[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!]
Marvel and ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV show has improved significantly over the course of this past year; not just in terms of its character development and narrative quality, but also the caliber of new casting. The latter trend will for sure continue when the series returns to the airwaves, as folk like Blair Underwood and - as revealed today in an official Marvel announcement - Oscar-nominee Edward James Olmos are joining the globe-trotting/espionage show's ensemble.
Many a film geek knows Olmos best for his fan-favorite role as world-weary William Adama on the Battlestar Galactica reboot of the 2000s, though his career is far more extensive than that. Indeed, his resume includes a recurring role on the original Miami Vice TV series in the 1980s (not to mention his turn as Professor Gellar on Dexter), as well as roles in such acclaimed films as Blade Runner and Stand and Deliver, among others.
Marvel has confirmed Olmos as an addition to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., simply teasing that his character on the show (who is named Robert Gonzales) "will have massive repercussions for Director Coulson and his team." That seems to indicate that Gonzales is more likely to be a foe than friend to Clark Gregg's Phil Coulson and his fellow agents, but Marvel's Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb didn't expound upon that foreshadowing line with his official statement (see below).
“Edward James Olmos brings an amazing gravitas to any role he inhabits, something we knew we needed for Robert Gonzales. When Olmos first appears on our series, everyone will have to take notice--including our favorite Agents."
It could be that Olmos as Mr. Gonzales will be filling in the main antagonist spot in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2.5 recently vacated by Reed Diamond, now that his character on the series (Hydra head Daniel Whitehall) is dead and presumably out of the picture. If so, that means S.H.I.E.L.D. has settled nicely into the habit of featuring a big baddie every half-season since Bill Paxton played John Garrett/The Clairvoyant in season 1.5; that approach seems to work better than having episodic villain of the week showdowns.
S.H.I.E.L.D. has several compelling, over-arching, character and plot threads that should become even more interesting in season 2.5. That includes Skye (Chloe Bennet) and Raina (Ruth Negga) being Inhumans who now have to decide what to do with their newly-gained super-abilities; Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) still being alive and not having strict allegiances to anyone, save for maybe Skye (even after she tried to kill him); and the ongoing personal drama involving agent couples Bobbi/Lance and Fitz/Simmons, which gives the series a heart (and looks to continue evolving in the episodes ahead).
In short: the future looks bright for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that will make the wait until the show returns in March all the harder to bear (even with Agent Carter to fill the time until then).
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC on March 3rd, 2015.
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