Agents of SHIELD is a new show on ABC that chronicles the adventures of Agent Phil Coulson and his team as they investigate very strange occurrences and battle with superhuman bad guys of all sorts. The team works for the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division (or SHIELD for short), which is a government division within the Marvel Cinematic Universe that deals with superheroes and supervillains. As the premise suggests, it’s a pretty exciting show.
Many of you may know Agent Coulson from several Marvel films. He has appeared in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor, and The Avengers. He started off as a new character created just for the films, but he has turned out to be pretty important in the series. And if you’ve seen The Avengers (spoiler alert if you haven’t, just skip to the next paragraph), you know that Coulson is killed during the film. A big part of the show revolves around the mystery of how Coulson is alive, his journey to understand what happened to him, and the psychological implications of coming back from the dead. It’s a really interesting story, and they’re telling it in small pieces that are satisfying but still keep you guessing.
The other main characters in the show are new to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. SHIELD is a pretty big operation, and we’ve only met a few agents personally, so the show gives us an opportunity to look at what it’s like for the people working within SHIELD. Each character has his or her own quirks, and they interact with each other in complicated, interesting ways that are sometimes simply hilarious.
You’ve got Agent May, the pilot who came out of retirement just to work with Coulson. Then there’s Ward, the young agent who does everything by the book. Fitz and Simmons are science experts, but they both end up spending a good deal of time outside the lab. And finally, there’s Skye, who isn’t officially a SHIELD agent but works with the team as a tech consultant. Each character has their own backstory that we learn little by little, and each of them has gone through a great deal of growth since the show began. It’s very cool to see the characters’ stories unfold as the series progresses.
What I think is really cool about Agents of SHIELD is that it takes place within the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you’re a fan of the recent Marvel movies, then you’ll feel right at home with this show. There are plenty of references to the films, and some major characters even make cameos on the show. Events that happen within the films have an effect on the show, and I’m hoping that the show will eventually make an impact on the films, too.
I’ll finish by saying this: I almost gave up on Agents of SHIELD after watching the pilot. It was cheesy and awkward, and I didn’t really feel like it fit well with the rest of the MCU. Fortunately, I gave it a second chance and watched the next episode, and I was hooked. The show had a bit of a rocky start, but it’s really found itself. They’ve been working on an overarching storyline for this season that is just starting to emerge, and I can honestly say it’s very cool. I would suggest giving this show at least two episodes to grow on you. I think if you give it a chance, you’ll be hooked. I know I am.
Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays nights at 7:00 central on ABC. New episodes start back this Tuesday, February 4.