Welcome to VOCIFERY, my attempt to re-watch every piece of media in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – every movie, every television series, every one-shot, every web series, and every tie-in comic book, using the Wikipedia entry on the MCU as a guide, before the release of Avengers 4 in May 2019. Join me as I write my thoughts about what I’m seeing, as I see it!
Also, spoilers follow – if you’re worried about that kind of thing, view before reading.
Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1 Episodes 14-16 (2014)
“I don’t care about your clearance level, I’m ordering you to read it.”
This trio of episodes continue straight on from the cliffhanger at the end of Episode 13 – after the team pursues the Clairvoyant to Quinn’s estate in rural Italy, Skye was shot multiple times by Quinn himself, forcing the team to take him into custody and rush Skye to a nearby hospital in a hyperbaric chamber.
After doctors are unable to act, Coulson reveals the truth about his death and resurrection to the team – even showing Fitz and Simmons his file, hence the line of dialogue above – and orders them to take Skye to Bethesda (where he was revived) in hopes that they can help Skye. Unfortunately, failing to hand over Quinn puts Coulson at odds with S.H.I.E.L.D., leading the higher-ups to send a team – led by Garrett (played by the late Bill Paxton) and Trip, who becomes a regular cast member.
It kicks off a handful of episodes that add a ton of mythology to the universe, features one final tie-in to Thor: The Dark World, and sets up a paradigm-shifting tie-in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
The first of these three, “TAHITI” (Episode 14), follows the team as they travel to Bethesda in hopes of saving Skye’s life, and introduces a pair of major characters – Garrett (played by Paxton), whose role grows throughout the rest of the season, and Trip (played by BJ Britt), who becomes a member of the team and a recurring star through two seasons.
It also features the first appearance of the Kree, a race of blue aliens whose blood is used as the source of the GH-325 serum which saves Skye. The Kree play a big role in SHIELD going forward – even appearing in the latest episodes of Season 5 – and their leader, Ronan The Accuser, is the main antagonist in Guardians Of The Galaxy.
“T.A.H.I.T.I.” is also the first episode of the series to be nominated for an Emmy, picking up a nom for Visual Effects.
The next episode, “Yes Men” (Episode 15), is a straight tie-in episode to Thor: The Dark World, featuring an appearance by Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif who is in pursuit of an escaped prisoner named Lorelei who has the power to use her words to convince men to do anything she desires, effectively taking Ward hostage in the process.
The last of these three episodes, “End Of The Beginning” (Episode 16), is a fairly major episode, bringing together all of the major guest stars from throughout the season, including Garrett, Trip and Deathlok, plus SHIELD agents Blake (played by Titus Welliver), Sitwell (seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and Hand (Saffron Burrows) – plus Brad Dourif as a suspect named Thomas Nash, whom the expanded team believes to be the Clairvoyant.
I love it whenever SHIELD goes big picture, and this episode is no exception; the inclusion here of so many bit-part players in the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe – people like Blake and Sitwell, who is called off to the Lumerian Star, which features in the opening scene of Winter Soldier – elevates the episode into something more grandiose.
And I guess my impression of the episode is coloured by the fact that I know what is coming. Episode 16, and the rest of the season, mark a momentous shift in the direction of the show – the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which hit theatres a few days after this episode aired, had a major effect on the series.
It is thoroughly disappointing that the show doesn’t get to tie-in with the films more. The events of Season 1 promised so much interconnectedness, which was played down by the time it came back for Season 2. The tie-ins to Winter Soldier are the only time that a film has had such a major effect on a show. Sad that it doesn’t happen more often.
At any rate, a good trio of episodes. And I’m kind of excited to get to Winter Soldier and the rest of the season now.
Next: Guardians Of The Galaxy comic tie-ins!