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My Thoughts on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 So Far

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a semi-review of sorts. A little while ago I did my season 1 review of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. talking about the show’s improvement from beginning to end and seeing the show in a different way when watching it all in one go versus watching on a weekly basis. Now that I’m up to date with AoS this season I thought I would pass on my thoughts on how I feel its shaping up so far. I don’t know how long this post will be, but please stick with me. SOME SPOILERS TO FOLLOW…

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Tone

The thing stood out to me after seeing the first episode was the change in tone. Immediately you are presented with a much darker and serious show than before. Its like AoS did a 180 in terms of personality, without the characters, you could assume that this was a totally different show. Obviously due to the fallout of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ongoing threat of Hydra, things could never go back to the light-hearted and humorous nature of last season, that’s not to say that there isn’t small moments of humour to be found, it’s just that it takes a back seat to the drama instead. The show’s more mature and aggressive than before and now this show feels like it is more in line with the MCU films like Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

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Story

Story-wise this show seems to be more focused, swifter in tone and has a better use of its source material than ever before. What I like about the stories in season 2 now is that it is all about S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to survive in a world that’s against them. Director Phil Coulson has his main base of operations and small teams across the world, but he is outmatched and out-gunned by Hydra and the US government who want to take him out. Right now it is about living to fight another day for S.H.I.E.L.D., while their enemy, Hydra, is everywhere obtaining new recruits and trying to utilize a new dangerous artifact that could kill many people if weaponized. When it comes to the use of the MCU films and Marvel comic books, this show happens to have a better grasp on how to handle it. Using the flashback sequence in “Shadows” with Peggy Carter and the Hollowing Commandos is great way to not only tie those characters to Captain America: The First Avenger, but it’s also great for the Agent Carter TV series that will be on its way soon too. Its good publicity and nice tie-ins overall. Also the use of villains like Absorbing Man (Carl Creel) and returning characters like Blizzard (Donnie Gill) and Raina, and introducing Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) is a good way of again connecting aspects of season one and two, while also relating to the comics too.

KENNETH CHOI, HAYLEY ATWELL, NEAL MCDONOUGH

Characters

As for the cast, they’re all very good with returning cast members doing very well and the new cast fitting in nicely. Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson is great, he now feels more in line with the Coulson I knew from the MCU films, the man is focused, serious, doesn’t mess around and always has a backup plan. Since becoming the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. the guy just oozes a badass personality and definitely has mannerisms and traits similar to Nick Fury when he was in the role. Ming-Na Wen is still awesome as Melinda May, she is still silent but deadly, can kick anyone’s ass in a fight and her personality leads to some funny interactions with other team members. She also has great intimate moments with Coulson, helping him with his problems but also doing missions with him too. Chloe Bennet is great as Skye this season. I can’t say I was keen on her character last season at all, but now she’s changed as much as the show has personality-wise. She’s got a new look, is a field operative, gets into the thick of the action and now trains under Melinda May. She’s cool now and I also like is the fact that she has problems with the secrets Coulson keeps from her and the assignments he puts her on.

CLARK GREGG, MING-NA WEN

Oh and then there’s Brett Dalton as Grant Ward, I wondered how he would factor into this show in this season, but the people behind the show have found a way for him to be relevant but not overshadow the main plot elements. I love Dalton, ever since he came out as a Hydra agent he became one of my favourite bad people, and even though he’s done so much wrong and hurt so many people, I still like him, and after the episode six I’m hyped to see where his character goes from there. Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz, damn, talk about a major change. Poor Fitz, poor Fitz. The dude’s broken. Because of his brain injuries he sustained last season he’s got problems relating to memory, interacting with people and forming basic sentences. Caestecker’s acting is very impressive and heartbreaking to watch. Elizabeth Henstridge has definitely stepped up this season as Jemma Simmons, with her role going undercover and gathering intel for Coulson, while also having issues with Fitz’s mental problems. Henstridge has become even prettier than before and I like the new dangerous scenarios and conflicts she now has to deal with.

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B.J. Britt as Antoine Triplett is still as cool as ever but just in a smaller capacity. Patton Oswalt as is still great Billy Koenig, unfortunately we don’t get to see that much of him though. Adrian Pasdar has a more imposing presence this season as Glenn Talbot, he’s now on the hunt for S.H.I.E.L.D. but is also talking to the media trying to reassure US citizens that his people are there to protect them and remind them that S.H.I.E.L.D. are the bad guys. Pasdar really lends himself well to a villain role. Ruth Negga returns as Raina and is just as cool, weird and confident as ever, though she now starts to realise that there are forces bigger than her at work that could end her life if she doesn’t play her cards right. And there’s the new cast members. Reed Diamond is a great as Daniel Whitehall, even though Hydra is everywhere, it is nice to have a face to put to all this chaos. This man is basically the new John Garrett and while he’s not as hilarious or as charismatic, the man has a very intriguing past, has a sinister presence and his personality seems to be something like ‘work with me and you’ll live or turn against me and die’, and he’s awesome. Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie is another nice new addition to the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and I like his interactions with Fitz, while Nick Blood as Lance Hunter is another new face that works with Coulson’s team, and he’s basically the British guy who is cocky and humourous. The guy has a bit of a bumpy start as he’s not exactly loyal, his jokes aren’t always funny and he moans like a little bitch, but otherwise he’s fine. And finally we have Adrianne Palicki who is awesome as Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird), she is gorgeous, is really good at being an undercover agent and has excellent fighting skills. There’s no sign of Ian Quinn or Deathlok at the moment but I hope they return soon because I miss them.

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Presentation

The presentation for this show seems to be improved as well. Visually the atmosphere, cinematography and lighting come across better and more film-like or at least higher quality. The action seems to show up more often and is more aggressive than before with more hand-to-hand combat sequences, super-powered characters messing people up and big set pieces. Even the visual effects seem better with scenes involving Absorbing Man and the Quinjets looking pretty slick and detailed. Even the music by Bear McNeary seems more interesting and developed than last season.

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Conclusion

So all in all season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a hell of a lot better than it was last year and from what I’ve seen of the first six episodes, it is really firing on all cylinders. The show is like a bullet train, its focused, quick and moves with conviction. It feels like the show has a presence among all of the other great TV going on right now, all it needs to do it keep up this momentum and give us fans more mysteries and action, but give it to us quickly and not drag things out like last season.

So have you been watching season two of  Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and if so what do you think? Are you down with the show’s new direction and how do you feel it compares to last season? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to drop them in the comments below and I’ll see you on the next review, laters! 😀

 
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Posted by on November 5, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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LATE Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Nothing Personal” Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the interweb, time for my late review of episode 20 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled Nothing Personal“. I was actually gonna review this last week Wednesday but since my schedule has been messed up I haven’t gotten around to reviewing the show until now. 😦 Anyways… So now we’re finally in the final stretch of episode in AoS and it has taken a while to get to this point, but we’re here now and thing are definitely getting more and more interesting. So how has the latest episode fared? Read on and find out.

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As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.

The Plot

Just when there’s no one left to trust, Agent Maria Hill returns to team up with Coulson as S.H.I.E.L.D. is being destroyed around them.

COBIE SMULDERS, CLARK GREGG

What I Liked

This was another great episode filled with more interesting pieces of information being divulged for both the heroes and the villains too. There was more character development for Skye and Ward, Coulson, Fitz and Maria Hill in an episode that was fairly dramatic, emotional and melancholy overall.

Here’s some of my highlights:

  • Hooray for the return of Maria Hill: It was so good to see Cobie Smulders back as Maria Hill as I believe she has so much more to give to the MCU and in this episode we got see a bit of that. Her introduction scene was great, the Man-Thing reference and the fact that she was talking to Pepper Potts on the phone was just delightful (again establishing that shared universe which makes the MCU so fun and engaging). Also I enjoyed not only her interactions with May but also with Coulson too. Those were some very heated and insightful conversations especially with Coulson being annoyed at her for leading Colonel Talbot and his team to the secret base.
  • Skye and Ward, the Awkward Couple: Just seeing these two together is awkward. You can see that they’re lying to each other to the point where you’re just waiting for one or the other to crack. Obviously Skye eventually breaks her cover and let’s Ward know that she knows about his Hydra dealings.
  • Fitz is Angry and in Denial: Man it seems like man can never catch a break. First he lost all hope when he came close to death a few episodes back, plus he’s had to deal with Triplett imposing in on Simmons and now he finds out that one of his own team mates is Hydra. Seeing him snap at Triplett was cool, he’s totally distressed, in shock and doesn’t wish to believe the truth. You can understand is anger and frustration, he’s all over the place and I loved seeing his aggressive and emotional breakdown.
  • Deathlok’s Back: Yay, my Terminator friend is back and he’s totally badass. I love how menacing he is, I love how he blames Skye for his son’s protection being compromised and then that point when he shots that thing at Ward and potentially kills the guy is great. He won’t hurt Skye, but he’ll nearly kill Ward just to prove a point that she’s not a killer, oh and obviously to get the hard drive encryption code. Also it seems like Deathlok can also be funny, like that point when he tells Ward to fly the plane and Ward says he can’t, then Deathlok shock’s him, bringing up his heart rate and then gives him a tap on the face. That was so cheeky.
  • The Infiltration of Providence: So it seems like the Providence base got a visit from Maria Hill and the special forces which was a another surprise. Adrian Pasdar returns as Colonel Talbot and he’s very bossy, rude and throws his weight around in a cool and villainous kind of way. I like how he just doesn’t give a crap about the team and wants to keep the world safe, but has a twisted kind of logic about how to get the task done.
  • Coulson Talks About Tahiti… Wait, What?: So yeah the first time I saw this I was severely confused and even after watching the episode a second time I’m not quite sure hat that last end scene meant. So May found a video of Coulson talking about the Tahiti project and recommending that it be shut down because of bad side effects among other things. But I’m wondering, who is this guy? Is it Coulson before or after his memories got replaced? Is this a Coulson clone? I don’t even know what this means and that both excites and troubles me.

There are some other things I wanted to about like when May was climbing out of that grave at the cemetary and that dude saw her, that was funny. Also the way the episode ended before the secret ending was a nice, if somewhat melancholy one. With Maria Hill confirms that S.H.I.E.L.D. is no more and that there is nowhere else to hide, Coulson and his team have no base of operations, no proper home or protection or any official missile. They are just people, people with skills who are being hunted for their association with an organization that has now been destroyed from the inside.

BRETT DALTON, J. AUGUST RICHARDS, CHLOE BENNET

What I Disliked

Firstly the way that Skye and Ward were acting around each other was a bit dodgy, I know that they were meant to be lying to each other but I swear the way their back and forth conversations were going, especially in the diner was just unbelievable. By that point in the real world one of them would have just said “Is there something you wanna tell me?” or “Okay let’s cut the crap”. Also I wasn’t keen on the way Adrian Pasdar has been treated, it’s too bad the dude along with the rest of his team get taken out so quickly.

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Conclusion

In conclusion “Nothing Personal” is another good episode. This episode had a lot of great high points like the tension and deception between Ward and Skye, seeing Deathlok again and having Coulson and company discover the hidden agenda of Ward was delightful. While the episode didn’t blow me away, it was still a great episode and I am really curious to know what’s gonna happen in the season finale because there’s still so many unanswered questions.

Rating: 8/10 (Conflict and secrets being exposed makes for a good episode)

So what did you think of “Nothing Personal“? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya again for episode 21! 😀

 
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Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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LATE Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Providence” Review

Howdy ladies and gents of the interweb, time for my review of episode 18 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled Providence“. So it seems like AoS struck gold last week with “Turn, Turn Turn” with most people really loving the episode and believing that AoS has finally becoming the show they wanted in the first place. So how has this week’s episode fared? Read on and find out.

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As usual in these reviews I’m just gonna present the plot and then say what I liked and what I didn’t like. Cool? Okay let’s keep going.

The Plot

With Colonel Glenn Talbot now on their trail, Coulson and his team seek refuge in the last place anyone would look, where they begin to uncover S.H.I.E.L.D.’S most dangerous secrets — secrets that could destroy them all.

CLARK GREGG, PATTON OSWALT

What I Liked

For me this was another solid episode, it picks up right where we left off before and weight of Hydra’s infiltration of SHIELD in the last episode can definitely be felt here as there are actions and consequences taken for both the good and bad guys. Trust seemed to be a key feature in this episode, it was really about knowing who is telling the truth or who is lying, knowing who to believe or who distrust and just having faith in general. I liked all of that stuff and then some.

Now let’s talk about my personal highlights:

  • Coulson The Believer, Coulson The Crazy: Another episode, another time you feel for Coulson. This must be his most emotional episode yet. Even after Hydra has brought SHIELD to the ground he is still a firm believer in the organization that he worked for and you want to believe in him and hope that his instincts are correct, but with all the recent happenings it is hard to ignore how questionable he looks. It also doesn’t help when he finds coordinates on his S.H.I.E.L.D. badge that he believes to be Nick Fury even though he is assumed dead at this point. He still goes after this supposed rendezvous point anyway even when his team questions him. His strong belief that Fury is reaching out to him makes him look crazy and delusional especially when Melinda May and other members of the team question his actions. This leads to one very emotional speech when they get to their location in the middle of nowhere and Coulson proclaims that they are still agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that it carries weight, seeing the anger and desperation in his eyes in painful and saddening, but amazing thanks to the acting of Clark Gregg. Thank god Coulson wasn’t wrong though lol.
  • Fitz The Jealous One: Ah man poor Fitz, this guy has it bad. Last episode he almost got killed, now its back to him losing his friend to another man again. So here we have Fitz clearly aware of how much Simmons is attached to Triplett and clearly he’s annoyed, so he makes glares from the background and tries to contradict Triplett just to look cool in front of Simmons which is admirable but foolish. But the worst part for him is when in the woods he tells Simmons that he doesn’t want things to change between them and she says it’s too late for that, us audience members knows she’s referring to the new Hydra threat, but Fitz sees this more as the end of their potential relationship and the start of hers with Triplett. Our man is losing and you can’t help but feel for him. 😦
  • Garrett and Ward, Partners in Crime: Man these two look like they’ve been teaming up and doing stuff like this for years, not surprising considering how long they’ve known each other. These two have a great repore with each other with some funny lines of dialogue and good screen chemistry. I love the way they operate, their infiltration of The Fridge was cool and even more impressive is when Ward has to go back to Skye and create a believable story, so Garrett beats Ward up to make it look like he was in a heavy fight. That scene was just brutal and just shows how far they are in sync, its mad, but smart at the same time.
  • Grant Ward is SO Bad: Man this dude is dodgy. Ward is really playing up the fact that he is bad guy by busting Raina out of jail, hanging with Garrett, pretending to care for Skye and still pretending to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in general. This guy is so full of trickery. I liked both of his insightful conversations with Raina and Garrett, with Raina we discover that he got his former team’s trust by saving Simmons and sleeping with May and befriending Skye by being her superior officer. And with Garrett we find that he didn’t want Skye to be shot in the way that she did, but Garrett says that while he understands why Ward likes her, he says not to forget the mission and why he was doing it in the first place. We also learn that he’s been on the bad side since before joining Coulson’s team and that he really has been pretending the whole time, this makes Brett Dalton much cooler now.
  • Raina’s Back: So we catch up with Raina who has been stuck in jail making paper flowers (which doesn’t make her look weird or crazy at all), but then she’s sprung out by Ward and meets the famous Clairvoyant only to find out that is Garrett, but also that he has no special powers. Naturally she’s confused, cheated and disappointed by the events that take place between her, Ward and Garrett, but when she’s told that she’s needed for the centipede project again with all the resources at hand, she seems to fall right back into play again. I did miss this character and her odd yet calm demeanour and the fact that she may be able to solve the mystery behind Coulson’s death with all the samples that Garrett stole intrigues me.
  • The Return of Ian Quinn and the Gravitonium: Ah Ian Quinn, how I missed you. So after being busted out of jail, Quinn has no kind words for Garrett, rightfully so considering all the crap that Garrett did to him. But then when Garrett presents Quinn with the Gravitonium you can see that the dude is pleased. And rightfully so, when Grant and Ward found that special something at the bottom level of the Fridge I prayed that it was the Gravitonium and thank god it’s returned. Its been ages since it was last seen and if its come back into play now then there must be plans for it, I just wonder if that doctor is still in there.

BRETT DALTON, BILL PAXTON

Other things I observed was the inclusion Patton Oswalt and Adrian Pasdar was great as Agent Eric Koenig and US Air Force Colonel Glenn Talbot (especially Oswalt he was hilarious). Koenig also let’s Coulson know that Fury is still alive and that only he can know about it (outside of Captain America, Maria Hill, Black Widow and Falcon). Agent Triplett is definitely sowing up a bit more and making himself known among the group, even if Fitz doesn’t like him and we also learn that Coulson plays Call of Duty, damn he just gets cooler al the time. And silly little Skye has her school girl crush on Ward, not knowing that she finding information to the enemy and that he’s just faking emotions! At least I hope he is and there’s no redemption for him.

What I Disliked

There wasn’t much I disliked this time around, I guess the only thing I would have wanted was more Gravitonium. 😛

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Conclusion

In conclusion “Providence” is another good episode. It puts the Hydra threat at the forefront and shows Garrett and Ward making movements and assembling their big guns by grabbing key characters and items from previous episodes. On top of that we ee that even though Coulson and his team aren’t necessarily an official organization anymore, they are still a team and still believe that there is hope.

Rating: 8.5/10

So what did you think of “Providence“? Whatever your thoughts drop them in the comments below and I’ll see ya again for episode 19! 😀

 
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Posted by on April 20, 2014 in Media, Reviews, Television, TV Reviews

 

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Adrian Pasdar Joins Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Glenn Talbot

Howdy people of the internet, today I’m gonna talk about a quick bit of TV information coming from Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. concerning a new cast member. following information comes from the ever-reliable superherohype:

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Marvel Entertainment have just announced that former “Heroes” star Adrian Pasdar will be joining the cast of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” for an upcoming episode of the TV series. Pasdar will play the role of Glenn Talbot in the series, a character that has long been a pain in the Hulk’s side in the comics, but he’ll be trading his green enemy for Agent Coulson and his team in the upcoming episode. Pasdar will debut as Talbot in an episode set to air this April. Check back here for more details on the episode as we learn them.

Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Glenn Talbot first appeared in Tales to Astonish #61 and went on to hunt down the Hulk in over 140 other issues of the popular series. He was previously played by Josh Lucas in the 2003 film Hulk.”

Alrighty then, good stuff, I like this casting news. Pasdar is a good actor and I loved him in Heroes too so having him join the show makes me smile. From the picture above I can see that this is a very different look for him, such a lack of hair and that moustache is looking so weird on him, that being said he does seem to give off a badass and intense vibe. He doesn’t look like someone you should mess with. I am also happy that the show is once again introducing more comic book related characters as this is what the show needs. Since he is connected the Hulk comics will there be any references to The Incredible Hulk or maybe he’ll give mention about Bruce Banner’s whereabouts or something like that? Who knows, but it is fun to speculate as a fan. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2014 in Films, Media

 

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