“When your country calls, you answer.”
Full spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD continue below.
We’re only two episodes into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’s winter return, and the series is wasting no time getting deep into some of the biggest plot points of the season. Did Director Mace never seem quite trustworthy to you? That’s finally dealt with. You were wondering whether the May L.M.D. storyline was going anywhere fast? There was developments on two fronts, there.
While it’s a repeated refrain that many people jumped off the SHIELD bandwagon in Season 1 after the show didn’t turn out to be what they wanted, this strong return after the Season 4 hiatus shows just how much the series has improved over the years. I’d go out on a limb to say Season 4 is as strong a season as Agents of SHIELD has ever pulled off, and a big tweak that needed to be changed was not lingering too long on any one plot point or mystery.
We want to hear it.
Which brings us back to Mace. As much as Jason O’Mara’s character has been integral to the events of Season 4, the question of his slightly sketchy motivations has been relegated to the background as more pressing concerns (*cough* Ghost Rider) came to the forefront. So with Radcliffe’s L.M.D.s and Senator Nadeer’s association with the Watch Dogs now major plot points, it does feel like it was the right time to reveal Mace isn’t even an Inhuman.
There was something off about Mace from the start, from his public relations focus to his goody two-shoes persona, so finding out it was all an act wasn’t that shocking. That said, I never questioned whether or not he was Inhuman since we found out a powered person replaced Coulson, so that was a nice payoff. The action sequences playing into his newly de-powered state were fabulously choreographed, and it’s always nice to see Coulson’s shield (and Mack’s
axe hatchet) come into play.
Agents of SHIELD goes back and forth on how much General Talbot is a part of the show — likely due to Adrian Pasdar’s availability more than storytelling demands — so finding out the good general was behind the whole bait-and-switch wasn’t as impactful as it might have been if he’d been around more frequently. Fortunately O’Mara’s great, humbled performance as we see the real person behind the mask helped solidify the twist. And hey, we even got a nod to Mace being “the next Captain America” in the comics, and a nice reference to his super powered serum being based on the one used by Mr. Hyde, making the whole series feel more cohesive.
We want to hear it.
That was something this episode did repeatedly, like when we got a nod to Simmons’ time undercover with Hydra. (It was also mentioned last week, as well.) Sometimes a show can be so focused on barreling forward, it loses sight of how far it’s come. With the speed at which Agents of SHIELD is burning through plot, it was at the risk of that, so if the writers are making a more concerted effort for the series to feel more cohesive, all the power to them. The effort is noted.
Even with the focus on Mace, the Watch Dogs and their Hydra lackeys, Agents of SHIELD didn’t lose sight of its L.M.D. storyline. The throughline is that Fitz and Simmons remain in conflict about what to do with Aida, and Fitz again lies to his girlfriend as he tries to investigate what went wrong with the L.M.D. project. How many times does he have to learn this isn’t a smart call?!
At least this might lead him quicker to the troublesome Radcliffe, who offered some much needed exposition about the May L.M.D. He viewed Aida’s self-awareness as an issue, so he programmed May to not know she is an L.M.D. Of course, that becomes an issue at the end of the episode when she sees her inner machinery, and with Radcliffe not able to tweak her programming, that likely is going to have very negative side effects. It’s a nice touch that the May L.M.D. continues to note that something feels off about her, and I’m excited to see where that storyline is headed.
Considering she’s appeared in every Avengers movie, it’s safe enough to count Maria Hill as an Avenger, right? Cobie Smulders confirmed she’ll be back for Infinity War during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!
Expect Hulk to play a pivotal role in both Avengers movies. “We’ve worked a really interesting arc into Thor 3, Avengers 3 and Avengers 4 for Banner that I think will — when it’s all added up — will feel like a Hulk movie, a standalone movie,” Mark Ruffalo told Yahoo! Movies.
Sebastian Stan will be back as Bucky Barnes in Avengers: Infinity War, The Hollywood Reporter confirmed.
Russo also said that Vision and Scarlet Witch’s relationship would prove significant in Avengers: Infinity War.
Expect to see Scarlet Witch’s Captain America: Civil War arc continue in Infinity War. Co-director Joe Russo teased the death she causes in Civil War will inform “where she goes in Infinity War.”
Jeremy Renner will be back in Avengers: Infinity War, and he’s excited about what’s ahead. “It’s some real exciting stuff for lots of characters, especially for what they’re thinking of doing with Hawkeye,” he told Hey U Guys.
Nebula will be in Infinity War, but don’t expect it to be a huge role. “I’ll be making a little appearance in the next Avengers movies,” Karen Gillan told BBC Scotland.
Zoe Saldana reconfirmed her involvement in Infinity War to MTV News at the 2017 Golden Globes. Even though shooting was slated to begin in several weeks, she still hadn’t seen a script.
Yes, that includes Drax the Destroyer too.
Vin Diesel then let slip that all of the Guardians of the Galaxy will be appearing in Infinity War, promising an epic Groot vs. Hulk fight.
Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord was the first of the Guardians of the Galaxy to be confirmed for Infinity War.
In addition to Doctor Strange, his sidekick Wong will be back for Infinity War. Benedict Wong confirmed his appearance to ComicBook.com.
Benedict Cumberbatch confirmed his inclusion in Infinity War, and expressed his excitement in getting to work alongside the other Avengers. “To get us all together will be quite something,” he told Empire magazine.
Expect to see the effects of Thor: Ragnarok have a direct impact on Infinity War. Said co-director Joe Russo: “Where he’s gonna be at the beginning of Infinity War is gonna be a very interesting place and I think very profound. I think he’s gonna have a real emotional motivation after that.”
After some uncertainty, Tom Holland confirmed in an interview with Vogue Italia that he will be in Infinity War.
Expect to see Chris Evans in Infinity War, but he won’t be suiting up as Captain America. Coming off the events of Civil War, expect to see him in civilian garb as Steve Rogers — at least at the start the movie.
Robert Downey Jr. is back as Iron Man in Avengers: Infinity War, fulfilling one of the final couple of appearances as the character in his Marvel contract.
Avengers: Infinity War will bring together a wider swath of Marvel superheroes than any Avengers film yet, but just who exactly will be in the movie? Click right to find out who is confirmed for the 2018 release.
Equally intriguing is the storyline with the real May. Ming-Na Wen seems like she’s having a heck of a lot of fun with these dual roles, and seeing her get another gritty action scene as May wakes up in Radcliffe’s lab was an especially impactful performance. With Coulson now in charge of SHIELD again, even if Mace remains its public persona, you have to get excited for how he’s going to respond to Radcliffe’s deception when he inevitably finds out about it.
Agents of SHIELD delivered another standout episode as it peeled back the mystery surrounding Director Mace and also had some exciting developments with May. Between its great action sequences, solid character work and speedy plot development, the fourth season of Agents of SHIELD is as great as the show’s ever been.