Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns on Tuesday, September 23, on ABC. If you've been watching the show or have seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, you know S.H.I.E.L.D. is not in the best place. With the second season now beginning, this is not exactly the same show we had last season.
This will be a brief, spoiler-free review of the second season's first episode, "Shadows." We'll have a more in-depth review tomorrow where more discussion can be unleashed.
In a surprising fashion, despite S.H.I.E.L.D.'s current predicament and the fact that the remaining agents are wanted by the U.S. government, we actually see some more agents in this episode (including Lucy Lawless). One of the complaints some had, myself included, was the isolated feeling of the show. We were seeing some potentially big power events happening yet S.H.I.E.L.D. was only sending in a small team with some not even being full or experienced agents. The darker feel of the season adds some more tension. HYDRA is still a problem and we're seeing the remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. agents try to pick up the pieces under their new command as well as stay one step ahead of the government.
Last season gave us some betrayal and injuries. As the show picks up a few months later, we see some follow up. The show's not candy-coated so we see that not everything falls into place in a nice neat fashion. Some of the questions raised last season, like Skye's childhood, still remain and, as you likely heard in the news, we have some more actual Marvel Comics characters popping in.
General Talbot is still targeting any remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, Crusher Creel shows up here, there's a flashback with Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandoes, and another big S.H.I.E.L.D. enemy shows up. Absorbing Man is down in a great fashion. There's one thing in particular he does that brought a smile to my face. There's still a tiny bit of the humor you'd expect but overall, it has a darker feel. There's a nice twist as well in the episode, two actually, that makes the season take off to a great start.
I've been enjoying the show but I felt this first episode is taking things up a level. Hopefully you're caught up on the first season. You can still watch the first season's final episode on ABC.go.com, at least until tomorrow. The first season is also available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Here's a clip from "Shadows."