Now re-branded as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Uprising, ABC's television tie-in to the Marvel Cinematic Universe has a new name, but is still the same show. The series has faced a rough, uneven debut, and while the network claims to be aware of the problems and promises a strong run of episodes to finish out the season, more than a few fans and critics remain skeptical.
Despite early promises to crossover with the Cinematic Universe in a clear and productive way, this first season has been a generally frustrating experience. On paper, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an inspired notion and a great opportunity to expand this popular, dominant genre beyond the multiplex in a way that other studios and networks are only now exploiting.
Marvel's small screen universe has gotten a brand makeover along with some shake-ups in the cast, including the addition of Bill Paxton (Big Love) for a multi-episode arc and perhaps the series' biggest move yet, the appearance of Thor: The Dark World's Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif.
We've had our initial look at Sif among our S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and we know her mission: tracking the nefarious Lorelei - and now we have the first long look at her arrival on Earth, directly in the agents' path on the upcoming episode "Yes Men." Check out the video above.
Here's a synopsis of the episode, as well;
“Yes Men” – When Coulson and his team are attacked by Lorelei–a deadly seductress who escaped from Asgard–Thor’s Lady Sif, her longtime nemesis, steps in to try to save them, on “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Tuesday, March 11 (8:00-9:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Sif's appearance has to be one of the most highly anticipated moments in the short history of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Not only is this a direct crossover with one of Marvel's major character universes and successful films, Sif is the only major MCU character outside of series mainstay Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) to have a prominent appearance in this small-screen continuity.
We've gone into detail about how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is failing to live up to its promise, and while we've been promised a strong tie-in to Marvel's big April release of Captain America: The Winter Soldier along with the first footage from 2015's The Avengers: Age of Ultron during an upcoming ABC special, perhaps the best way to bolster Marvel's small screen universe at this point is to emulate this model of directly tying the show into the films. The notion of exploring uncovered corners of the Marvel comic book universe in an episodic way just hasn't seemed to pan out, either through a flaw in the concept or in the execution.
Maybe the inclusion of Lady Sif can draw the fans back to the show, and hopefully the "Yes Men" episode will prove just how viable this crossover experiment can be. If not, then we always have the in-development Marvel Netflix shows to look forward to.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Uprising returns Tuesday with “Yes Men” @8pm on ABC.