Anyway, the show. The thing I love most about this stretch is the discovery that the first two seasons of Agents of SHIELD are Skye's origin story. Sure, other things happen, other characters and arcs are important, but all the major arcs, in one way or another, contribute to Skye developing her superpowers and learning how to use them. (There may be another post brewing on this subject.) Maybe the part I love most is that Skye, one of the characters most derided by fanboys as useless and "not really Marvel", to the point that the writers of the show lampshaded the complaints by naming her Mary Sue, is not only a superhero, she's a named hero from comic book continuity: Daisy Johnson, aka Quake. (We may never hear the name Quake, though -- I've noticed that Agents of SHIELD doesn't seem to use superhero names much. Bobbi Morse isn't referred to as Mockingbird, for example, and although folks talk about Deathlok technology, no one ever calls Mike Peterson "Deathlok" as if it were his name. The movie superheroes, yes, but not the characters who are primarily in Agents of SHIELD.) This development pleases me, greatly.
There are good arcs in this run of episodes for May and Fitz, too. I loved learning more about May's backstory: her marriage to Andrew, what really happened with the gifted in Bahrain and how it changed her, how she evolves as she takes on a leadership position within SHIELD. Fitz I find interesting for the ways in which he learned to live with his brain injury, to stop fighting the truth that his mind works differently now, and not just adapt himself but to encourage everyone else to adapt as well. His budding friendship with Mack was one of my favorite things about the first half of the season, and it was wrenching to see that friendship damaged by what Fitz saw as Mack's betrayal.
All the stuff with "The Real SHIELD" worked better for me time around, in part because I didn't have to stress myself out wondering whether was an evil organization, or a front for HYDRA, or something else unsavory. Instead, it was just a group of loyal SHIELD agents with a different vision for the organization and what it should be. The idea of operating SHIELD with a board instead of one single director is a pretty interesting one, and I'm honestly not sure which approach I prefer. A board has more accountability but less flexibility, perhaps better in day-to-day operation and worse in a crisis. I'll have more to say about how both "sides" acquitted themselves when I write about the finale.
Still haven't decided what to do next. But for right now, it's time to go see Ant-Man.
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