The Road To Age of Ultron: The S.H.I.E.L.D. Gang Is Back

This post originally appeared on Panels, which is now Book Riot Comics

We’ve come a long way with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and this week’s episode, The Dirty Half Dozen, took us on a stroll down memory lane. The team we were introduced to in the pilot, and ultimately becoming a family, is definitely not the six people we see here.

Agents of SHIELD. Season 2 Episode 19. The Dirty Half Dozen. ABC. Marvel.

Six people – not a group – working towards a common goal. A goal that’s acting as glue to keep them all together in some kind of recognizable whole but the facts of the matter is the family is a lot more broken than just what we saw at the end of season one. So I thought I’d grade everyone based on their journey so far which’ll factor in their character development, good vs bad decisions, and how their actions affect the greater good with a dash of my personal biases.

Leo Fitz

At the beginning of season two, we got to see the repercussion of Ward’s decision to dump Fitz, and Simmons into the ocean which left Fitz dealing with brain damage that made it difficult for him to complete, and communicate his thoughts. Ward had essentially taken his mind from him – Fitz’s greatest tool as well as his contribution to the team – and it was taken from him by someone he trusted. So it was great to see him slowly recover, and have him face, and confront – not once but twice – the man who betrayed him. It made sense why Fitz was the one who kept Skye’s powers secret because he wanted to protect what was left of his family which also propelled him to ditch the base in favour of helping an on-the-run Coulson.

We’ve seen Fitz become more confident, fearless, and more loyal than ever. – A+

Skye aka Daisy Johnson

There’s nothing like falling for a guy who ended up being a Hydra agent. Season two brought us a Skye who was a full fledged SHIELD agent. She kicked butt, and took names with May cheering her on. It was great. Throw in some raging daddy issues, turning into a super powered Inhuman, and reuniting with her mother, it’s safe to say that Skye went through a lot. I still think Skye is coddled a bit on the show, and would like to see her character progress further but it looks like she might be in a much healthier relationship soon. – B+

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3W_zZifedw

Grant Ward

…is a psycho. He betrayed his team. For a while there, he thought there was a tiny chance he’d be together with Skye (NO) which got him shot by her (YES). He killed people, and did I mention that he was Hydra??? All of this would warrant a Z grade but the last two episodes have made me quirk an intrigued but still-not-fan eye brow at Ward. He got over Skye, and got into a relationship with Agent 33 before leaving her behind at SHIELD in this episode. Why? Because he knew it was a better place than being with him. Most importantly, he acknowledged that his actions shattered this family he never had in his own life, and even admitted that he regretted it.

That’s some growth but you’re still evil – F+

Melinda May and Phil Coulson

I decided to put these two together because they really need to trust each other more if the team is expected to thrive. End of season one, Coulson didn’t trust May after the whole spying behind his back on Fury’s orders thing but season two started off promising with the two being bad ass together as a well oiled machine. The last few episodes not only gave us a deeper look into May’s character but it also started to dig a trench of mistrust between these two friends, and partners. May was now on the receiving end of the having things kept from her, and joined Gonzales in his new democratic SHIELD. Democratic is the key word because what was Coulson’s reply when May called him out for keeping secrets – like the Theta Protocol – from her? “We’ve always had our secrets, May.” Secrets were what got SHIELD in the mess it’s in. Secrets that Fury kept which made the organization susceptible to infiltration.

May: A

Coulson: C+

Agents of SHIELD. Season 2 Episode 19. The Dirty Half Dozen. ABC. Marvel.

Jemma Simmons

Oh, Jemma. You are my favourite case study. Probably one of the big changes we saw with Simmons in the beginning of this season was that she got much better at lying, and being in the field. She also didn’t know how to interact with a very different Fitz which made Fitzsimmons just Fitz & Simmons. What really fascinates me is how militant Jemma got after the death of Agent Triplett that made her immediately saw Skye as a threat, didn’t hesitate to suggest killing Raina versus capturing her, and trying to kill Ward who is on their side in this week’s episode. There was some great moments like when Jemma helped Fitz smuggle out Fury’s toolkit but otherwise, Jemma is a tad scary but in a not so awesome way and more of a she’ll-hurt-someone-real-soon way.

Look what happened when Fury wanted to “stop threats before they happened”. D-

Pre-Age of Ultron Set Up

Agents of SHIELD. Season 2 Episode 19. The Dirty Half Dozen. ABC. Marvel.

This wouldn’t be Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. if they didn’t set up a Marvel movie so let’s see how well they did it:

  • Lincoln, and Deathlok’s Hydra Cells: It’s identical to the ones that Scarlet Witch, and Quicksilver were in at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
  • Dr. List Mentions Twins: it’s safe to say that the twins in question are Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver. He mentions that they’re the only ones to survive the experiements so it’s pretty obvious by now (and logical) that the twins are Inhumans.
  • Loki’s Scepter: It’s the object that killed Coulson, and gave him his own show but it was also what was in Baron Strucker’s position at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It’s also an Infinity Gem, and since it controls people’s minds, it makes sense that Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch were likely brainwashed.
  • Eastern Europe: Dr. List mentions that Strucker is in Eastern Europe which is another link to the twins who sound Russian in the Age of Ultron trailers (at least Quicksilver does), and in some of the trailers, it looks like that’s where the Avengers end up as well. If we’re getting a glimpse at Black Widow’s backstory, that can also be another link to the region.
  • Spoiler, Gonzales! Fury Is Alive: Coulson tells Gonzales that our beloved, and deceased SHIELD Director, Nick Fury, is very much alive. We’ll be seeing him in the film.
  • Gonzales Has A Secret On His Ship: It’s the same ship Fury was willing to let many agents die on in order to keep whatever was on it out of the wrong hands. That didn’t happen, and it seems like Gonzales’ team has no clue that there’s a secret in the basement of their ship. I wonder if Age of Ultron will either tell us or at least offer a hint. Maybe a powered individual?
  • Theta Protocol: WHAT IS IT??? Whatever it is, it involves calling in the Avengers. This is probably the one thing I’ll be looking out for the most this weekend while watching the film.

That’s it for the road to Age of Ultron. Have any other possible links from this episode to Avengers: Age of Ultron that I missed? How would you rate our agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? More importantly, what is it with superhero shows and keeping things in their basements? Sound off in the comments. Also, check out Dana’s made up spoilers from Avengers: Age of Ultron.

[Editor’s note: We accidentally wrote Agent 13 when it’s actually Agent 33 who’s in Agents of SHIELD. Agent 13 was in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and was played by Emily VanCamp.]

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