Wow, there is a lot to digest after tonight’s Agents of SHIELD episode tonight. Skye’s crazy dad came back in a huge way, we got to see the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s very first supervillain team-up, and we finally found out who Bobbi and Mack are actually working for.
Let’s dive in to this week’s highlights.
Cal’s Super Team
The Marvel Cinematic Universe finally has its first team of supervillains! Although, these guys are D-listers at best next to the Avengers, and the Slicing… uhh, Talons leaves a lot to be desired as a name. It’s still a pretty exciting addition though, and a threat level that seems well-suited to the increasingly fractured and broken SHIELD (but more on that later).
Introducing (from left to right)
- Wendell Levi: Right off the bat, we see that SHIELD’s Gifted Index is a little bit forgiving with its definition of “gifted.” Levi doesn’t seem to have any superpowers of note, but he is a really smart guy who’s really good with electronics. He definitely can’t take a punch though.
- Francis Noche: Noche is a former mob enforcer who took experimental steroids to become stronger. So he’s basically Marvel’s Bane, but not as cool (or really all that strong compared to some of the characters we’ve seen).
- Calvin Zabo: In tonight’s episode we got confirmation that Cal is definitely not an Inhuman. Instead, much like his comic book and literary roots as Mr. Hyde, he invented some kind of serum or chemical that allows him to crush the crap out of coffee mugs. We still have yet to see the full extent of his powers, but hopefully he’s capable of a little bit more than making a mess. He also hints towards the fact that he’s still working on his serum, as it’s still unstable.
- Karla Faye Gideon: This character surgically attached razor blades to her finger tips, which honestly, really doesn’t seem like it qualifies as a superpower. She’s also a super weird addition to the MCU, as she shares a name with a minor Daredevil character. I previously theorized that this was done to tie SHIELD in with the upcoming Netflix series, but now I’m pretty sure that won’t be the case. The Karla Gideon from the comics was the mother of a murdered kid. This lady is… well, she has razor blades on her hands.
- David A. Angar: This guy meanwhile is a little bit closer to his comic books roots. He was inspired by Angar the Screamer, a Marvel Comics character whose superhuman scream could cause hallucinations and memory loss. The MCU version causes catatonia instead, and from the looks of it, the power can be amplified using a microphone. That makes him arguably the strongest addition to the team, and could actually be a force to be reckoned with for a lot of MCU superheroes (granted they don’t have earplugs).
Inhuman vs Enhanced
It’s a pretty minor point, but it is interesting that SHIELD is finally differentiating between “enhanced” people on the Gifted Index, those with science-created powers, and what basically amounts to Inhumans, those who were born with their abilities, like Skye and Raina.
As far as the Enhanced angle goes, we definitely know of a few more entries on that list. Deathlok has yet to be heard from since his last appearance, and both Blizzard and Franklin Hall (the Gravitonium guy) are likely still alive. Additionally, we know that SHIELD still had the Abomination from The Incredible Hulk locked up somewhere, at least they did before all of the HYDRA business happened.
Also, they never did reveal who this guy was and what his deal is. Why was he in a secret SHIELD prison?
Skye’s New Tech
At the end of the episode, we learn that Skye had been containing her powers at a pretty great cost to her health and well-being: over 75 fractures in her arms and hands. Simmons manages to come up with a temporary solution: a pair of casts that will help to minimize the damage. This idea seems pretty similar to the gauntlets that Skye’s comic book counter-part Quake wears, which enable her to direct her seismic energy.
It seems like Agents of SHIELD is slowly laying the foundations for Skye to become a full-on superheroine. If she does take on that role this season, Cal is pretty screwed, because like we covered above, his supervillain team is pretty much the worst.
The Inhumans have an agenda.
That teleporting blind guy is still going around causing shenanigans, this time kidnapping Cal just as he was about to ruin Coulson’s day. The still-unnamed Inhuman makes it clear that Cal is drawing too much attention, and that it’s time to answer to the group’s mysterious leader.
This clues us into two things: one, that the Inhumans are still very much organized, despite the problems that HYDRA must have caused them; and two, Cal has some history with them, which makes sense given he was married to Jiaying, Skye’s mother.
Cal also raises a good question, why wasn’t Skye taken in? Raina was after all, and Skye’s powers seem to be way more out of control. She could definitely benefit from some help and guidance in this area, and despite their best efforts, her SHIELD teammates aren’t doing a whole lot for her.
What’s the “Real Shield”?
Wow, what a way to end an episode! We finally know who Bobbi and Mack are working for, but the revelation presents a heck of a lot more questions than answers.
This new organization is calling itself the “real” SHIELD, and they’ve even given the logo a bit of a facelift. This is a huge development for the show and the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so I put together a more extended bit of speculation here. If you’re looking for the short and sweet version though, here’s my top theory.
My guess is that in the aftermath of the events of The Winter Soldier, Tony Stark covertly stepped in to clean up the pieces. We know that he’s obsessed with the idea of policing the world, and he’s never been a fan of the way Fury and SHIELD have handled things. We also know that Maria Hill applied to work for him, which would give him the insider knowledge necessary to rebuild the organization (with a few Stark-y changes of course).
The organization we saw at the end of the episode was efficient and well-equipped, something Stark could easily provide with his endless resources and technical genius. Adding to this is the fact that in the comics, Stark himself became director of SHIELD for a time… during the events of Civil War. I think we can all see where this might be going.
No matter what it turns out to be though, I strongly feel like this is how the show plans on squeezing in a Hawkeye cameo, something’s that’s been teased a few times now. We still have no idea where his character has been since The Avengers, and all we’ve been told is that he is on a “secret mission” prior to the events of Age of Ultron.
You’d think that Director Coulson would’ve given him a ring by now, unless Hawkeye is off the grid… because he’s working for the “real” SHIELD. Fingers crossed, I would personally love to see Jeremy Renner jump into an episode or two before the season wraps up!