4 Reasons Why ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Published 4 months ago by , Updated May 17th, 2014 at 9:12 am,

agents of shield tv review 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

The freshman season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a high-profile experiment in multi-media synergy; it took Marvel’s increasingly popular cinematic universe, and gave it another avenue of expansion on the small screen. That venture into synergistic television has not been without trial and error; in fact, some would say the experience of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been one long trial, rife with error.

We here at Screen Rant took a fair amount of heat week-to-week for our critical evaluation of the show, but it’s a mistake to think we are simple “haters” or bull-headed fanboys of that OTHER popular comic book movie/TV show camp. We love the Marvel brand – which is why we want nothing but the best to come of it – and we are fully capable of admitting that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to finish out season 1 in a way that honored that brand in much better fashion than earlier episodes in the season.

We’ve already identified some lingering issues needing to be addressed in season 2 – and the showrunners have a lot of challenges to overcome – but in a rare bit of Internet optimism, let’s discuss 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still deserves to exist as part of the growing Marvel Universe.

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4. It Found a Way to Implement the Comics

Marvel Deathlok Art 570x320 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

One of the biggest challenges facing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the very beginning was finding a way to implement the fantastical elements of Marvel Comics into a television show that a) had to be relatively grounded and believable, and b) centered on characters who are not (yet) endowed with any super powers. With the exceptions of Thor‘s otherworldly beings and the monster movie tropes of The Incredible Hulk, not even the MCU movies have (as of yet) provided enough foundation for a world where humans can fly, use psychic powers, fire energy blasts, etc….

Early on, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. flirted with the idea of opening the MCU up, but it never seemed to fully deliver on that promise. Recall the disappointment of that “Clairvoyant” red herring: many fans expected a psychic or advanced A.I. (like M.O.D.O.K. or Arnim Zola) to be the culprit, but we were eventually reminded that in this universe, the impossible is only slowly becoming possible. However, that hindrance didn’t stop Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from laying groundwork for a future of “miracles” and marvels – including true supervillains (Graviton), alien beings (The Kree) and other larger-than-life characters born of experiments gone wrong (Deathlok, Centipede, GH.325, etc.).

Ultimate Captain Marvel Mahr Vehl 700x425 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Captain Marvel Coulson?

It’s ironic, but two of the most grounded properties in the MCU (Captain America and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) have actually been the most effective avenues for sowing seeds of a more fantastical comic book universe to  come (advanced tech and science, aliens, mysticism – the whole shebang). Where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deserves credit is for finding the means to bring so many of these pulpy comic book elements to life in a grounded enough way – conceptually, if not visually (sorry Deathlok, your back story was okay – your armor was not).

Going forward into season 2 – and with new films like Guardians of the Galaxy opening some bigger doors – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is already poised to capitalize on some well-placed comic book potential. (In Mahr Vehl we trust!)

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3. It Cracked the Characters

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Characters 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Personally, I was ready to cut the cast of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  in half after the first string of episodes. I can admit now that that was presumptuous. Despite starting off with some cookie-cutter character types – led by the watered-down version of a fan-favorite (Coulson) -  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to get each member of the principal cast into a fully-earned and worthwhile place by the time the season 1 finale aired.

Ward (Brett Dalton) went from boring lone wolf to an insidious double-agent threat (with hints of a well-armored heart of gold). Skye (Choloe Bennet) went from snarky (read: annoying) blogger to a worthwhile fledgling agent. Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) went from Zen mute to a more complexly-layered (and believable) woman warrior. Coulson got his groove back and proved he’s an honorary Avenger. Fitz and Simmons proved themselves the heart and mind of the squad, respectively. We even got an upgraded “specialist” in the more charismatic Agent Triplett (B.J. Britt), and a fun new administrator in Eric/Billy Koenig (Patton Oswalt).

Agent Ward Deathlok and Skye in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to pull one of the biggest (and unlikely) character turnarounds that I’ve ever seen – let alone with an entire ensemble cast. While there is no guarantee that the momentum at the end of season 1 can be used to propel these characters through another 22 episodes in season 2, the show at least deserves a shot at doing so.

….Just don’t expect the same benefit of the doubt if compelling character arcs aren’t established quickly. The same mistakes are rarely forgiven twice.

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2. It Managed to Justify Its Own Existence

agents of shield season 1 episode 17 review hydra 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Our reviews of early Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes all hinged on a crucial question: Why does this show need to exist? At first coming across as an Avengers knock-off with non-superpowered (ergo, less interesting) characters, there was little incentive to make the show part of your larger Marvel Cinematic Universe experience. However, that changed during the course of season 1.

The pivotal turns of Captain America: The Winter Soldier no doubt saved this show’s bacon. Once that film hit theaters and brought the threat of HYDRA along with it, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had more reason than ever to exist; however, it was up to the showrunners to seize that narrative capital and turn it into a worthwhile investment – and they managed to do just that, despite the massive inconvenience of being told the major HYDRA reveal late in the game.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

By having HYDRA tear down everything they were, Coulson’s team (and subsequently the showrunners) were forced to firmly reassess who they are and what their purpose is in this world of superhumans, aliens, and bigger terrorist threats. The final answer? The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. discovered why they are still heroes even if they don’t have powers (or resources or backup). More importantly, the showrunners managed to demonstrate the characters’ heroic status, and their proven value as clandestine peacekeepers committed to rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. into an organization ready to take on a world of Marvels.

How Coulson rebuilds the organization – and deals with some big lingering questions -  is now a point of importance within the entirety of the MCU. That’s all the reason Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. needs in order to justify its season 2 story arc. Which already helps to prove our final point:

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1. It’s a Successful Extension of the MCU

Agents of SHIELD Captain America Winter Soldier Tie In 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Let’s be clear: when I say “success” I’m not talking about ratings or profits. What I am saying is this: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a bold experiment in synergistic universe building over television and movies. A large part of that experiment was answering the question of whether or not a universe split across multiple platforms would be better for the sum of its parts. After one season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it’s clear that – while the quality of the show itself might be in question – the model of multi-platform shared universes is one that essentially works.

How can I make this claim when the quality of AoS is so debated? Well, just look at recent steps this show has taken: The mysterious blue alien that was revealed in episode 14 (“T.A.H.I.T.I.”) could have MASSIVE ties to future of MCU properties like Guardians of the Galaxy or even Avengers 3. We also got a Graviton origin, met new Asgardians – and Maria Hill’s offhanded remark that Tony Stark is “privatizing world security” after S.H.I.E.L.D.’s collapse could be a huge plot-point of The Avengers: Age of Ultron. These developments didn’t come from a big-budget movie; they all came from this show (as did many other potential MCU developments).

Avengers Age of Ultron Joss Whedon Interview header 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been fully utilized as an avenue by which to advance the MCU at a much more rapid and manageable pace than individual movies made by separate teams of people twice a year. And with the show getting a “cousin” in the Agent Carter TV series, the entire history (or herstory) of the MCU and S.H.I.E.L.D. can be further explored without Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, Captain America 3, or any other future properies having to spend screen time laying that groundwork and back story.

marvel agent carter poster 620x370 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

In fact, both Marvel TV shows can lay a foundation that actually allows new film properties to be launched within the universe with greater ease. Agent Carter could introduce us to Ant-Man‘s golden era version of Hank Pym; Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s alien DNA plot thread may help launch The Inhumans movie. The possibilities are wide.

Despite some early stumbles, Marvel has learned better interplay between television and films, which will help to make their universe ever-present, keep each segment relevant, and the universe as a whole always compelling for fans who want the complete experience.

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Conclusion

agents shield season 2 renewal 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Nobody is saying that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has reached its full potential yet; trust us, we sat through enough bad episodes in season 1 to KNOW that the show still needs work. However, that effort should definitely be made, because somewhere under all the wrinkles is not just a television show, but a milestone in synergistic media entertainment that has the potential to be something truly great for dedicated fans.

DC will have no less than five shows airing on television soon (read more about them HERE); however, only two of them will be linked (Arrow and The Flash) – and so far, NONE of them will have any ties to the Batman vs. Superman or Justice League movies. As far as true multi-platform superhero universes go, Marvel has the early lead on its competitor – and really, the industry as a whole (with the exception of Star Wars, perhaps).

Marvel Agents of SHIELD Changes Needed 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

There’s always a price for being first out of the gate on a new venture, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 certainly paid its fair share in mistakes and ridicule. But things did get better (for what that’s worth, to you), and will perhaps continue to get better. So maybe let’s dust away the past and look to the future… Where we’ll likely be the first ones to call out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 if it doesn’t deliver in timely fashion. icon wink 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 will premiere on ABC in Fall 2014.

Agent Carter will premiere on ABC during the winter hiatus of AoS season 2.

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TAGS: agents of shield

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  1. ” – the model of multi-platform shared universes is one that essentially works.”

    This is not the first time something like this has been tried.

    Andy and Lana did this with their Matrix series, movies, animated stories, computer games all directly linked and providing plot points for the next segment.

    Flight of the Osiris fed directly into the start of Reloaded and the Enter the Matrix game took place during Reloaded.

    How’s about a trademark ScreenRant comparison between the MCU and other shared universe attempts.

    Star Wars – original trilogy, the 80′s comics, the prequals, the cartoons, Caravan of Courage lol, etc. Trek, B5, Wheedonverse, so on and so forth……

    • Great comment, I’d like to see that article

    • The Matrix attempts at multi-platform expansion were not successful. The video game was not well received, and the Animated film was a middling success. Let’s put it this way: If it had been successful, you’d still see the Matrix brand in TV, Film, Games, etc. But you don’t, because they could never get the whole universe off the ground.

      Star Wars is mentioned as an exception, but until the Clone Wars animated series, none of the other expansion material was truly “Shared” with the main universe, as it’s not really canon. Same goes for Star Trek.

      Marvel really is the first successful attempt at linking a bunch of properties on multiple platforms under one roof of connected storytelling. We HAVE thought this through. Trust.

    • The MCU really is the only continuity to pull something off this coherent, long, and massive. There are 7 tv shows, countless of movies, short films, and comics all canon to each other. Everything is connected. Plot points add up. It’s a true comicbook minus the muddled continuity comics suffer from basic comic tropes (even treated as one of many universes branching off from Earth 616, mainline Marvel, called Earth 1,999. Dr Selvig pointed it out on his chalk board.)

  2. What I’m getting from all these articles on AoS is
    “If it wasn’t a show connected to MCU it wouldn’t exist, let alone be renewed”

    DC: Stick to TV shows and animated movies
    Marvel: Stick to Avengers AS A TEAM(not Thor alone, not IM without RDJ, not Captain America alone)

    • You realize that, without the solo journeys to establish character and flesh out the universe, the Avengers team-up would’ve been a mess, right?

      Imagine trying to cram Tony Stark’s chest-implanted arc reactor and battle armor, Banner’s gamma-radiation-induced monster alter-ego who’s on the run from the US Army, Steve Rogers as a frozen WWII super soldier, Thor as a Norse god sent to Earth to stop his frost giant foster brother and all the agents of SHIELD on top of that. You could do it with tons of exposition, but not in a way that would mean anything to anyone. The solo films build the Avengers.

      • Indeed. it would look like Transformers. a big messy explosion bag. i do like explosions but i love to have well-implemented characters in the movies, which is soemthing one gets thanks to the solo movies. btw, i do enjoy tranformers but only because it’s just GIANTS ROBO FIGHTS, as opposed to the marvel ones, which feed directly on a almost endless source of characters full of inner depth.

  3. “Some lingering issues”… Other shows get to call those “cliffhangers”. It’s a shame this show is given such little rope. But by all means- let’s hype up the Flash disaster or Gotham. I’m sure this site will say “they need time to find their footing, everybody. Give them the chance all new shows deserve.”

    • ….Except we never argued for patience with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s development – or any show ever that I can remember. We rate what we see, as we see it. Don’t get mad just because we keep it honest and are flexible in our opinions.

      And you can’t call a mystery dragged out over an entire season but never solved a “cliffhanger.” A Cliffhanger is when a main character is left in a precarious or difficult position at the end of an episode or season. Plot threads developed over an entire season but never resolved are simply “dangling plot threads.”

      We’re not hyping DC shows over Marvel shows – or whatever ridiculous thing you’re referring to with your sarcastic swipes. Did you forget you’re reading an article praising AoS and hyping season 2? Was that lost on you? You read one phrase (“Lingering issues”) and decided that the whole post was wrong or unfair? Really?

      …May want to step back and focus on what the article is ACTUALLY saying.

      • I generally disagree with your articles, but I think you made a lot of valid points in this one.

        However, as for the “lingering issues”; did it ever occur to you that they left so many unresolved plot points because they haven’t yet thought of a good story arc for them? I am not a writer, but I do know that in writing a story, inspiration is key. And it is quite possible, likely even, that many of the unresolved plot/character issues will be resolved after story arcs play out that haven’t even been written yet.

        I can easily see the writers working out an episode next year and saying “hey, remember Coulson’s scribbling on the wall, last year? Well what if we do this with it…” Waiting, and waiting, and coming up with something that will be truly earth-shattering would be so much better than trying to come up with answer now and having everyone think “yeah, I guess that’s ok.”

  4. I thinkt AoS got very entertaining in the second half of the season. The series had some really huge problems in the beginning and I think that the initial critizism was well deserved but over the course of the season the writers figured out how to make the show better. The potential for a great show is still there so let´s hope they knock it out of the park in season 2 and everybody will be happy.

  5. I don’t think that Coulson is going to be Mar vell, just like Skye’s not Carol Danvers/Ms. Marvel/ Binary/Warbird/Captain Marvel.

  6. I still haven’t checked out this show because of how it supposedly started out uneven. And I still have a few misgivings despite it getting much better towards the end of the season – can anyone who’s watched the show tell me if the back part of season one is objectively, stand-on-its-own good? Or is it just good relative to the season’s slow start?

    I think the premise remains interesting and they could certainly do it really well – the only doubt I have is whether they’ll take advantage of the HYDRA shake-up to make the non-crossover elements of the show interesting on their own, or if they’ll need to keep relying on the MCU itself to propel the plot here and there. It could become an inconsistent show – great at points, mediocre at others, but I think if they just keep allowing themselves to dip into the comics and the source material they should be able to make it consistently engaging in its own right. Look at Arrow, it did well enough with fairly minor/lesser-known DC characters to start off with.

    • I think people simply expect too much out of these shows.

      Folks need to enjoy this show for what it is: a cop show set in the Marvel universe.

      • I agree. It’s known to everyone that this show will have to pace itself in regards to the rest of the MCU. I also want people to start differentiating Jed Whedon and his wife’s work versus actual Joss Whedon. I think some people have yet to realize that this isn’t Josh Whedon directly

  7. People need to stop judging early without fully understanding the entire situation. There are plot points here that prolong throughout seasons like any show. However, Agents of SHIELD is not extremely episodic like your standard cop show. The connections have always been there since ep 1, building up. I saw the cause and then the effect from ep to ep. It’s fun now because of that development. A impacting B impacting C impacting D. I love it. and it’s nice to have something in the lighter style of Warehouse 13. few shows like that exist now

  8. I also agree that Deathlock armor and look in general was pretty poorly executed. I mean come on MCU. If your gonna be a Universe and use key characters in that universe that goes along with the films. Then borrow or get finances that the films earned to make Deathlock more believable pleeeeeeaaaasssse.

  9. “Where we’ll likely be the first ones to call out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 if it doesn’t deliver in timely fashion. icon wink 4 Reasons Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Deserves Its Season 2 Renewal”

    We will hold you to this Sir….honestly if it were not for ABC, even if it is written for the Male under 14 demographic….. despite blind devotion and bias for MARVEL. It should have been dropped after initial episode order. If it were for Saturday mornings then I totally get it, but not a prime time slot….no offense, the show does not deserve it.

  10. Most of you are forgetting that most of these characters had no back story ..they are new characters…and in the early part of the season they had to establish their personalities..also t played huge roles towards the end…without the epsiode the hub..you would not have know why Fitz is the last one to give up on ward being good…and if you go back and look u see how ward really is a part of the team..saved Simmonswhen she jumped out the plane..helped her co quer her fear of nights…how he became like a part of their family not just team…and without establishing all of this it would t have mattered that ward was hydra….it would not have been felt by all the members of coulsons team…

  11. “and they managed to do just that, despite the massive inconvenience of being told the major HYDRA reveal late in the game”

    http://www.tvguide.com/news/agents-shield-spoilers-hydra-clairvoyant-1080215.aspx

    if you couldve just done some more research you would know that the they knew from the the start but had to play it down as to not accidentaly spoil the outcome of CA TWS, one could almost say that it was TWS that kinda tied the show down to what it was.. there are more things listed that with common sense can be explained, some others you have to pay attention..

    yes, the show did start slow, and deathloks armor couldve been a lot better if it werent for the design of the chest plate (because seriously, when deathloks leg was revealed one has to admit it was pretty badass) but at the same there were a lot of hints at stuff that sets up how the show would turn out in the coming episodes,
    which was already conceived.

  12. What happened to agent blake after Hydra reveal?

  13. however, it was up to the showrunners to seize that narrative capital and turn it into a worthwhile investment –

    You may have evidence to say otherwise but I think you are wrong.

    I think the HYDRA thing was the big plan all along. You miss some narrative but if you watch just all the episodes with Mike Petersen, they are the better episodes. The rest are filler.

    most grounded properties in the MCU (Captain America and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) have actually been the most effective avenues for sowing seeds of a more fantastical comic book universe to come (advanced tech and science, aliens, mysticism – the whole shebang). Where Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deserves credit is for finding the means to bring so many of these pulpy comic book elements to life in a grounded enough way – conceptually, if not visually

    Duh, TV is always better than movies than this. It is extremely rare for any movie to have depth. The vast majority of movies are one-dimensional, two-dimensional at a stretch.

    As for the heat SR took – if you guys weren’t critics you would probably be right, but the minute someone becomes a proper critic, they are usually wrong. I don’t know why that’s just the way it seems to work.

    Oh and if you’re a comic book fan and have read them all then these shows aren’t for you, they’re for everyone else that may have an interest. This probably feeds into the critic thing.

    PS. Never got the love for Coulson pre-AoS. Once again its taken TV to give him depth. The movies certainly didn’t do it.

  14. There, in the second paragraph for your number 1 point that kind of information is the reason i wanted to watch this show but i dont wanna watch all 20 something episodes to get it. can someone please make like a sizzle reel type video with all the key aspects of the show and sum the entire season up into one like 20 – 40 minute clip?

    that would be fantastic

  15. How the Haters have fallen…(Just kidding)
    Yes the show has had some weak epsidos and yes it can get alot better.
    But imo it has always been a very entertaining show.

    I am happy to see that finally many haters are being proved wrong and hope season 2 goes to level beyond AWESOME. AoS should focus on Hydra’s role behind what is happening in the movies. Also they should have more superbaddies and heroes that are not good enough for the films.

    Also the should lead in the upcoming Marvel series like Agent Carter, Daredevil and Heroes for Hire.

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