[SPOILERS ahead for those not caught up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2.]
Things went badly pretty quickly on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two's penultimate episode, 'Scars'. Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) was tricked and captured by a vengeance-seeking Agent 33 (Maya Stojan), with help from Ward (Brett Dalton); Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) was killed by Jiaying (Dichen Lachman), who decided to take a pre-emptive strike rather than allow S.H.I.E.L.D. to "index" the Inhuman community; and S.H.I.E.L.D. has Cal (Kyle Maclachlan) in custody, unaware that he's essentially a bomb, waiting to go off.
The short of it: the stage has been set for an emotionally-charged and exciting finale in the S.H.I.E.L.D. season two finale, 'S.O.S.' - a two-parter promising "shocking sacrifices" from the show's main characters, leaving their lives and relationships "changed forever."
Marvel Studios' Daredevil Netflix series has been collecting praise for its complicated baddie, Wilson Fisk (Vincent D'Onofrio) - and now, S.H.I.E.L.D. has given us an even more complex antagonist for Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team, in the form of Jiaying. Here is what producer Jeffrey Bell had to offer THR, with regard to Jiaying's actions in 'Scars'.
It's really the bigger picture. What Jiaying says is true. She has set up a community in the middle of nowhere so they would be left alone. We know that her experience in the past with SHIELD, even though we know it was Hydra masked as SHIELD, was horrible. So now here she is with SHIELD showing up at her doorstep saying, "Hi, we don't want to hurt you but we do want to index you and we do want to monitor you," and that didn't work well for her. She is trying to protect her people. I don't think she's a bad person for doing it, but the way she's doing it seems a little bit suspect.
Jiaying's "suspect" actions in 'Scars' include handing Cal over after he's taken the chemical substances necessary to go into his "Mr. Hyde" mode, while at S.H.I.E.L.D.'s headquarters. The newest poster released as part of EW's "Art of Evolution" series for S.H.I.E.L.D. season two highlights Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) facing off against Cal in Hyde mode in 'S.O.S.', with artwork by comic book illustrator Ryan Sook (X-Factor, Arkham Asylum: Living Hell, Justice League).
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s writing staff and showrunners have not just effectively laid out the Inhumans mythos over the course of this sophomore season, but also added new layers to its season one players - including Skye (Chloe Bennet) and May (Ming-Na Wen) - while more subtly fleshing out backstories and season-long characters arcs for newcomers such as Cal and Jiaying. The final result: Skye/Daisy finds herself in a very difficult position; one where it's going to be extremely difficult for her to choose a side in this fight, seeing as both sides are (in many ways) equally justified, yet also in the wrong.
Bell also commented on how 'Scars' feeds directly into the storyline for 'S.O.S.' in that respect, during his interview with EW:
Episodes 20, 21 and 22 almost work as a three-parter. I think because we were doing the full two hours on the final night, we really decided to just lead into that. We left episode 20 with Jiaying saying “this is war,” and Skye assuming that Gonzales shot her and attacked her, so we have S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans and all our different threads finally coming together. And Skye is really torn between these two factions, between her surrogate family and her real family. Where will she go with that? And we’ve been promising Inhumans and some fun powered stuff, and hopefully we can make good on that promise as well.
Between the promise of more Inhumans powers being on display, dramatic payoffs to certain plot threads (don't worry, Bobbi should be okay), and revelations for some intriguing mysteries (What is that form-changing Stone that S.H.I.EL.D.'s housing?), it sounds like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two is poised to end with a bang.
Here's to hoping the show gets a season three, too.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season two concludes with the two-parter 'S.O.S.' on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 on ABC.