Agents of SHIELD is one of the best shows which is currently being produced for American network television. It takes aspects of the Marvel movies franchises and intertwines them within its own story with lovable characters and a story which never stops to take a breath.
This post will contain spoilers to season three of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD so beware!!!
It was another really strong showing from AoS this season, something which should be applauded because it is really difficult to keep an interesting engaging story going for more than twenty episodes, yet that is exactly what they have done.
Many shows would be content with having one antagonist for a season, AoS doesn’t follow that mantra and it helps the show massively. In this season alone we had Ward, Lash, Malick and Hive as the big bads and a mix of lesser villains of varying importance. It allowed the season to flow naturally and give the group a duel threat at most times, whilst also allowing for things to not get too stale.
It’s weird to think that Ward who has been a massive part of the show for the first three seasons will no longer play a key role in the series. Having him build up Hydra again was a good way to use his resentment from the last season to position him into being the primary villain of the show, something which has been building for the previous two seasons. Having Coulson kill him half way through the season was a nice piece of revenge after Ward’s previous misdemeanours but to bring him back as Hive’s new shell was absolutely perfect. It allowed Hive to have a body which was instantly recognisable to the viewer and in the context of the show was an absolute master class.
Hive himself was an interesting antagonist as he had been teased throughout the first half of the season as the mysterious figure from the planet which Simmons found herself on, followed by the nice swerve of it impersonating Will when Fitz and Coulson had went in to rescue and then moving on to the body of Ward. A villain who was built up throughout the season and became more of a threat as it progressed.
I thought it was an interesting switch to have Malick go from being the de facto leader of Hydra and playing a different game to everyone else to being hit scared of Hive once he started to gain his strength. His fear portrayed to the audience what a big deal Hive was and the scene where Hive kills his daughter for the sake of it added to this wonderfully.
Hive being able to control other Inhumans made for an interesting fight due to his ability to recruit powerful individuals at will, including Daisy. It allowed for some cool battles, shuffling Hive to being more of a messiah than direct threat himself. His desire to turn everyone into weird husks was classic villainous behaviour. I liked the way they killed him off and how instead of showing anger he showed acceptance, which suited with the character perfectly, a thinker above all else. Lincoln sacrificing himself was a nice end too for a character who didn’t really add anything to the show, a good way to write him out.
The main cast has turned into a really strong group, each likeable in their own way and distinguishable from the other. The characters have great chemistry with each other, which adds to moments such as Fitz being distressed about Simmons disappearing, it’s believable. Of the main cast the only character who didn’t really land was Lincoln, however it’s a compliment to say that this isn’t the norm on AoS, in fact quite the contrary as they are able to add and remove characters at ease without hurting the flow of the show.
A great example of this is the massive turnover in main characters the show went through this season. Hunter is a huge loss for the show, he was my favourite character and always added some comic relief to the more serious aspects of the show. Bobbi is a loss too, Lincoln not so much and losing Ward is a big one as he is the first original core character to exit the show.
It is a testament to the show that they can lose big characters and continue on in a strong fashion, Hunter and Bobbi left about half way through the season but there was no real drop off in quality. Characters like Mack, Coulson and May are fantastic each in their own way and with new additions to the season like the incredible John Hannah as Radcliffe, Powers Boothe as Malick and the guy who played Hellfire add to what is already a very enjoyable cast.
I have talked a lot about the characters in AoS and it’s because I think that the characters in the show are what make it so good. If you compare where the show was in the first half of season one to where it is now in terms of character development, it really is night and day. The plot in Marvel stories is usually pretty far-fetched, which is natural for a comic book based story, it is the characters which make a decent show into a really good show.
That’s not to say that the plot of AoS isn’t really good because it is exactly that. They thread numerous different stories together seamlessly, beginning and ending story arcs throughout the season rather than just starting something new at the beginning of the season and finishing it at the end of the season and so on. This ability to run numerous plots with a great group of characters make AoS one of the funnest shows on TV.
Agents of SHIELD is clearly a show I enjoy, yes it isn’t on the level of some of the cable or streaming service TV shows which are currently being produced but it’s a damn good show. The funny thing is that whenever someone asks me if they should watch AoS I find myself saying yes…but you have to stick with it because the first half of season one is pretty terrible. Ultimately I think this is part of what is keeping the show down, which is a real shame because since the mid season break of season one AoS has been a consistently good show.
So what did you think of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD season 3? Are you upset that you won’t be seeing Grant Ward’s handsome mug any more? Maybe you want to know how Talbot keeps such a fine moustache? Or are you just wondering what Hunter and Bobbi are up to in their new found spare time…(I’m guessing he’d make a good butcher)? Well leave a comment and share those thoughts!