The way that Disney and Marvel have handled the Marvel Cinematic Universe is nothing short of impressive. The series has not only been entertaining but has given us some genuine moments of cinematic art despite what detractors may say. It is also impressive that the series has covered many genres and even mediums now that it has gone head on into television. This venture into television first began with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which certainly had growing pains in its first season but it’s hard to deny that the first few episodes and the Hydra arc with Bill Paxton worked quite well. However, as Marvel has proven that it can do even better with newer shows such as Agent Carter and Daredevil and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. having failed to reach the heights of the first season it is hard to find enthusiasm for the show anymore. The second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is just a mishmash of the problems that plagued the first season in its weaker moments.
The second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up with Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg) and company trying to root out the remnants of Hydra. However, as they get deeper into the underworld they come across much more sinister forces including a substance known as Terrigen Mist that will have major consequences for newly promoted S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Skye (Chloe Bennet). One thing that this show improved upon in its sophomore effort was that it had clearly defined story arcs. The hunt for the remnants of Hydra and the Inhumans storyline made for clear halves of a season that seemed to have a beginning, middle, and end.
Other than though everything this season seemed like a step downwards. The characters become much less interesting. Clark Gregg seemed to get lost in the crowd, which is a shame considering Agent Coulson was such a fan favorite for so long. Adrianne Palicki was wasted in what should have been a slam-dunk role as Bobbi Morse. Kyle MacLachlan was an absolute joke as the main antagonist of the season, and while Chloe Bennet got some great material and an increased screen time, she was surrounded by characters that were really boring.
It also didn’t help that the show somehow found a way to make extraordinary story elements such as the Inhumans, Terrigen mist, and Asgardians be boringly ordinary. Making it even worse was that the connections to the other Marvel Cinematic Universe properties seemed more tacked on then ever. The appearances of Peggy Carter (portrayed by Hayley Atwell) only felt like advertisements for a much superior show rather than an important plot point to this show, and the less said the better about the “tell, don’t show” approach to the Avengers: Age of Ultron crossover.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe finds a new low with the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..