Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns Tuesday night from its winter, Agent Carter-supplemented hiatus, but if your memory is foggy regarding the first half of the season, here are the top 5 things you need to remember before jumping back in:
R.I.P. AGENT TRIP
One of the later additions to the team in Season 1, Agent Trip not only acted as a fresh face for the group, but also as a link to the Howling Commandos, as his grandfather was a member back in World War 2, bouncing around Europe with Dum Dum Dugan and Agent Peggy Carter on occasion. Originally introduced as a partner to Bill Paxton’s friend turned foe in the form of Agent Garrett, Tripp became a stalwart member of the team while also acting as a third wheel in a love triangle between himself, Fitz, and Simmons. As Season 2 got rolling, and more characters were introduced, Tripp was unfortunately left on the sideline for quite a few missions, though it did allow for a budding friendship between him and Patton Oswalt’s Agent Koenig, wherein Koenig took every opportunity to try to freak Tripp out.
In the mid-season finale, Trip found himself alongside Agent Skye and the villainous Raina, face to face with the Terrigen Crystals, and the mist spewing forth from them. While Skye and Raina found themselves “better” for it, Trip unfortunately succumbed to the gas and was turned into a statue, which unfortunately instantly crumbled to pieces. While I had thought that Trip may somehow dodge the bullet and may have inherited powers that turned him invisible or made him change to some sort of spectral form, it was later confirmed that he is in fact pushing up daisies (which to be honest is a good thing in that it manages to cull the almost unruly cast). To greener pastures, Trip.
It almost seems like we have just as many villains this time around as we do heroes! With Agent Garrett humorously dispatched at the end of Season 1, Season 2 marked the return of the psychotic Agent Ward and the mysterious Raina, the girl with the flower dress, crashing back onto the scene. Ward managed to escape his imprisonment with the renewed S.H.I.E.L.D., while Raina found herself playing numerous fields at once, only to stumble into some super powers at the end of the mid-season finale. On the newcomer front, we were introduced to Whitehall, a top man in the halls of Hydra who has survived since World War 2, seemingly discovering the secrets to immortality. We’ve also had Kyle MacLachlan hit the scene as Skye’s father, Cal, who is as insane as he is powerful, creating an uneasy alliance with Whitehall, waiting for his chance to not only reunite with his daughter, but take revenge on the person who murdered his wife, a.k.a. Whitehall himself.
We also were introduced to General Glenn Talbot, who would give the Hulk a run for his money in the comics. While not really evil per se, Talbot acts as a roadblock to the team, and is on their tail to make sure that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t make a resurgence following the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Other Marvel villains we saw early in the season included the Absorbing Man and Blizzard, which allowed the show to delve further into the whirlpool that is Marvel’s super-powered population. Apparently, we’ll be getting Angar the Screamer during the latter half of this season, so Marvel Studios is really doing their darndest to bring some unknown/crazy characters to the small screen.
MISTER HYDE PEAKS
One of the biggest mysteries of the season was the deal behind Skye’s father and, once introduced, why he was so crazy and super strong. That answer was given as “Cal” revealed himself to be none other than Calvin Zabo, aka Marvel’s Mister Hyde. Hyde though was much larger in the comics, rivaling even the Hulk’s size, and was as super strong as well. While not entirely as villainous as his comic book counterpart (Hyde in the comics tended to kill innocent people and pretty much anyone who got in his way), he does seem just as insane, as he spent a lot of the season muttering to himself and flying into blind rages from time to time. There’s still potential for Cal to “hulk out” at some point, but it’s great to see Kyle MacLachlan handle the human side of the character in the meantime.
Mister Hyde usually tended to scrap with Captain America and the Avengers, and he makes for a worthy adversary to the Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. Hyde’s identity reveal also lead into the secret behind Skye being….
With Skye’s father revealed to be Mister Hyde, and her real name revealed to be Daisy, her identity as Quake was quickly put together by most Marvel comic fans watching the show. In the comics, Quake was introduced fairly recently within the past decade, with the ability to manipulate the ground around her, creating earthquakes. She mostly bounced around with Nick Fury and was a member of his “Secret Warriors,” steering clear of the superhero shenanigans transpiring around her for more secret agent fare, so don’t expect Skye to be joining the Avengers anytime soon.
Skye’s newfound, unstable powers will most likely cause her some problems moving forward, and it adds someone with some “super” into the ranks of the agents, which is something I feel the show has been needing. Skye’s powers were gained from her exposure to the Terrigen Mists, which also ended up killing Agent Tripp, changed Raina into some type of cat-like creature, and paved way for the introduction of….
Marvel’s playing the long game on this one, that’s for sure. As Agent Coulson spent the better part of the season scribbling out equations and blueprints to a “lost city,” many believed this would lead to a closer tie to the Guardians of the Galaxy and their meeting with the alien race, the Kree. While it certainly does manage to make that connection, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also began introducing numerous aspects of the Inhumans to the fold, such as the Terrigen Mists, Terrigen Crystals, and characters who themselves were “Inhuman” without even realizing it. The final stinger of the mid-season finale was a character many assume to be “The Reader” being introduced, who is an Inhuman with abilities tied into his blindness (think Daredevil, only weirder).
The Inhumans film is still set to debut in 2019, albeit pushed back from its original date thanks to the recent deal for Marvel and Sony Pictures to collaborate on upcoming Spider-Man films, so it is quite amazing that Marvel is willing to begin building things four years in advance. Though, we did have around a similar timeframe from the first Iron Man to the first Avengers movie, so it does fall into their wheelhouse.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC Tuesday, March 3rd at 9 p.m. Check back after the episodes for weekly recaps on Collider.