S1: Agent Coulson is somehow mysteriously alive after dying during the Avengers crisis, and he’s putting together his own team now. It should be business as usual, but gradually the secrets within SHIELD catch up with Coulson, his team, and the entire organization.
S2: SHIELD is in tatters, with rival factions vying for power. As Coulson works to unite his SHIELD with another faction, a community of enhanced people (Inhumans) comes into play–and he and his new allies have vastly different ideas about how to handle them.
S3: Coulson has managed to put his organization back together as a covert force, and wants to establish a task force of people with powers led by Daisy, who can create vibrations. But the release of a compound into the environment is causing people to develop powers in violent and uncontrolled ways. While the team navigates a turbulent political landscape, HYDRA’s secret plans–to unleash a terrifying power upon the world–come to fruition.
Series: Third season is finished.
I’ve Watched: All of season 3.
Verdict: Still enjoying it immensely.
At the end of the third season, it’s amazing to look back on the show as a whole and think about how much everything has changed.
SHIELD went from a government organization, to an underground organization, to a weird mix of the two. Inhumans went from a complete unknown, to an emerging presence across the world, to possibly becoming the world. Coulson lost some of his righteous beliefs, only to see things get worse once he did. All of the characters changed and grew–Fitz and Simmons especially, though the core of who they were is still recognizable. And we’ve met great new characters–Yo-Yo especially, I want to see more of.
One thing I have come to know about this show: Skye/Ward shippers have it hard. The show cannot stop messing with them. From my perspective, it’s hilarious, though I feel bad for anyone who was too attached to the ship.
In the beginning, it really looked like Skye/Ward was gearing up to be the official couple. All the set-up for it was there. Pretty much everyone, whether they loved it or hated it, believed it was going to happen. Wow, did the writers mess with our expectations on that one.
Ward got together with someone else. Then we learned he had feelings for Skye anyway. Then they kissed. Then he was revealed as an enemy spy, and kidnapped her–and man, those scenes where she was pretending she hadn’t figured out he was the bad guy. The irony that when the supposed “official couple” got together, it was through a web of deceit, where Skye spent half the time afraid of him and trying not to show it.
The rest of the season played with whether or not he was as bad as the show hinted…until he dropped two of their mutual friends in the ocean to drown. So yeah. Kinda bad.
Season two played with whether or not he would get a redemption arc, but not without making every interaction between Skye and Ward as creepy as possible. The prison scene, where he refused to cooperate with anyone but her. Then he kidnapped her again, and she shot him. He allied with his old team, Skye included, then ditched them. And got himself a new girlfriend, who used her face-altering technology to look like Skye. Which, for anyone still invested in the Skye/Ward ship–ouch.
It should have been over when Ward died and a powerful alien entity took control of his body. But said powerful alien entity apparently still has Ward’s memories, and can exert a mind-altering effect on Inhumans. Leading to the culmination of how Agents of SHIELD chooses to dance on the grave of the Skye/Ward ship: Ward’s possessed corpse gets a cute moment with a brainwashed Skye. It’s so deliberately messed. Wow, it sucks to be a Skye/Ward shipper.
But it’s also a fantastic illustration of what this show has chosen to do with its set-up of a typical plot point. Even in the third season, the show is still going ‘Hey, remember when you guys thought these two were going to be a couple?’ And laughing diabolically.
All this goes to remembering that show is comfortable with change, and shaking up the status quo. Which is where it looks like the next season is going again, with another personal change for Daisy.
In a way, this makes sense. Daisy was always out there in the wild, relying on her own judgment and distrustful of the secrecy that the government works behind. She became a part of SHIELD because she wanted to belong somewhere. But after what she’s been through now, she doesn’t feel like she deserves that. So it makes sense that she switches from compromising her ideals for her personal happiness, to doing the opposite.
Which leaves me excited to see where the show takes this other major change in its style and characterization.