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March 24 2015

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2x14 "Love in the Time of Hydra". This episode was written by Brent Fletcher and directed by Jesse Bochco.

It will be good to see Ward & 33 again. In a way though him being on the DL for three eps emphasizes that Skye shot him and that it was "real".

[ edited by JDL on 2015-03-25 01:41 ]
I don't know if I even care whether Ward and 33 are back. Then again, I may just be in a bad mood.
2x17 is called "Melinda." Yes please.
I'm fond of Ward & Agent 33 - when they are evil.
I don't think Agent 33 is evil. She doesn't remember who she was before Hydra brainwashed her.
I don't think she is, either.
I feel bad for Agent 33.
Wonder if her brainwashing is ever going to wear off and then she'll feel like crap about everything she did...
Wait... did something happen in Bahrain too? Was it anything like Budapest? I didn't spell Bahrain at all right, did I?
Yeah. Removing Skye from the equation still leaves her with uncontrolled powers. She would then be a danger to everyone else in the world, unless Eyeless Guy helps her.

Ouch. Face...
Oh. That's interesting....
Or we just decide that's not a bad face to be stuck with.
I've gone from being constantly annoyed by Lance to sort of adoring him. What is happening.
Is this the same as people who call themselves "real fans"?
Ah ha! I knew they didn't know about Fury. Totes a power grab.
So "real" SHIELD doesn't even know that Fury is alive.
Wonder what Hill thinks about this.
So. I want the guy with the smug grin to be the first to get punched by Hunter.
Convenient way to keep May playing her evil twin...
The transparency SHIELD is damned secretive.
I like that this other SHIELD is making valid points. Coulson is following too much in Fury's footsteps. Fury was far too secretive. These guys seem equally bad, though.
Which guy with the smug grin, NYPinTA? They all seemed to have one.
I'm having serious flashbacks to Battlestar Galactica's mutiny arc. If these guys are for real Civil War just got even more interesting.
Hmmm. Sounding less and less like Maria Hill.
I wouldn't go to a secret organization for lessons in transparency.
@Nebula1400 The smug guy that used to be on Fringe?

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2015-03-25 02:14 ]
If you want transparency, you approach others with an open hand, instead of kidnapping your next prospect.
Oh. Kirk Acevedo.
Holy fudge, I'm buying what Olmos is selling!
No. You're gathering evidence to back an already established opinion & ignoring everything else.
Coulson has been disappointingly shady. But Fury and Hill trust him with the organization, and they're not the type to misplace trust.
Ward. Still creepy.
Oh, I'm totally Team Coulson. However Olmos (and Brent Fletcher) are making really, really good points. Maurissa & Jed clearly put a lot of thought into this, which should make this plotline deliciously complicated morally and emotionally going forward (and heading into Civil War).

[ edited by JesusSavedIn01 on 2015-03-25 02:21 ]
Ewww ewww ewww.
*this is me hoping Agent 33 kicks Ward's ass and runs off*
Oh we're totally in agreement, JesusSavedIn01. The writing is good, here.
What if Agent 33 becomes MCU version of Madame Masque..... the possibilities....
OK creepy. And his past "relationship" with real May adds another layer. SHIELD 2 has good points though.
I'm getting shades of Spike and Buffybot here.

EDIT: Also Wes/Illyria

[ edited by PaperSpock on 2015-03-25 02:25 ]
33 will try to pass herself off as Skye later, but has no idea that she needs earthquake powers. Also, only Skye can rock Ward's world.
So... is Agent 33 ever going to become a real person again, soon please. This is freaking me out.
"Reconnecting." I'm worried Olmos is creepily spying on Bobbie like he's Professor Walsh.
33 needs to be wary of Ward. He's evil. She's not.
Whoa, Grant is really a better person than I expect-- oh wow, no, nevermind.
Loving EJO. I just wish they got a few more Battlestar alumni to be the other heads of "SHIELD." Say, Alessandro Juliani, Katie Sacchoff?
Also, Ward? So evil.
Talbot is such a tool. But so glad he isn't the guy chasing after SHIELD anymore. He's better as the occasional plot device. (IMO)
my satellite was messed up. can someone give me an update on the first 20 minutes.
She's staying with Ichabod Crane?
Eyeless guy will get her out of there. I hope.
Or it's a Cabin in the Woods crossover.
If you see me someplace I'm not supposed to be, I'm not there.
Damn it. I'm starting to actually like Talbot.
Watching Skye and hearing May was very disorienting!
If Ichabod Crane was in that cabin, would you want to leave?
Ugh. Coulson tell her the side effects Now! This is why SHIELD 2 has a point.
@JesusSavedIn01 Nice one ! :)
Why was 33 wearing Skye's face? why is skye in that cabin and why are they in Talbot's base?

[ edited by eddy on 2015-03-25 02:37 ]
Mac is a bad liar for a spy.
I think maybe that "ships passing in the night" thing tipped her off... please let May suspect something!
Oh god, Talbot. He thinks he's so clever. And he is. But he's not. I'm dizzy!
Finally! Someone that needed punching got punched!
Compliance....
Talbot is firing on all thrusters tonight.
Two sides of the civil war.
He's not getting out of there.... silly Hunter. But nice try.
This is an exceptionally well written episode.
The brightness on my TV is apparently off. Boat or helicarrier?
How do you not know you are on a ship ?
Hunter should play I'm On A Boat from The Lonely Island.
It was in the water.
That's the way to foster transparency. It's SHIELD's version of Guantanamo.
Still floving Fitz.
Talbot trusting Coulson kinda freaks me out too.
Damn good episode.
I am so pissed I missed half the episode.
Sorry eddy. I think explaining it would kinda ruin it, and it's too complicated to type out while the episode's on. Just watch it from the beginning when you can.
I have a sort of a feeling Fitz is going to end up with other SHIELD. Mostly intuition at this point.
Ew. Ward is so proud.
I really appreciate that they are keeping Ward and Agent 33 complicated and that his ultimate motives are not transparent.
oh my god next week looks insane!
Nice episode tonight.Seems to be setup for the rest of the season.Plus we got the origin of Lola.
Not sure if Fitz or Simmons will go over to the other SHIELD.
Does ABC.com still stream new episodes?
I'm going to be Mr. Contrary and say this is my least favorite episode since before "Turn Turn Turn."
It was a decent episode. Kind of scattered as the stories don't interconnect much and while they have good points against Coulson, a 2nd SHIELD still feels a bit anticlimactic. Fitz and Tallbot were my favorite parts.
I believe they do, eddy, but they only stream the last 5 episodes.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2015-03-25 03:12 ]
They stream on a week delay. Hulu Plus has it next day, possibly ABC has an equivalent.

[ edited by JDL on 2015-03-25 03:19 ]
iTunes has it next day for $2. Not the best option, but would get you caught up before next episode.
^ Well that blows. I want it now! /Veruca Salt voice.
SHIELDtv has a good summary of viewing options.
The carrier bothers me. They are not all that easy to hide out of port barring the Helicarrier's stealth.
Unless it's an invisible Helicarrier.
Enjoyed the heck out of the Agents Ward & 33 plotline. Great decision to have Ward behave in a blissful "normal" fashion, if only to accentuate his psychopathic behavior. Creepy. Feel bad for Agent 33, but look forward to some Bonnie & Clyde type action from those two the remainder of the season. Only quibble: didn't think the "May voice" worked all that well - came off like a bad foreign movie dub.

Always enjoy Talbot chewing scenery, and Fitz continues to deliver the convincing counter-point to the "Let's lockup / fix Skye" crowd.

As to the SHIELD 2 bit ... not sure it worked for me, as between Olmos and his hot head aide, they didn't seem like a particularly good guy alternative. They mainly seemed annoyed that Coulson got the cool toys and they didn't.

Next week looks promising - May vs. Bobbi? That's like a Pay per View title bout right there
Very good episode...

- Was thinking that maybe Lance isn't REALLY off the ship. Maybe he just launched the escape pod as a decoy and he's going to sabotage Shield 2 from the inside.
- I'm thinking Talbot is "team Coulson" and may even help them out against Shield 2. Coulson and Talbot have learned to trust each other. And Talbot's gotta wonder exactly how transparent Shield 2 can be if he doesn't even know about them.
- In the preview it looks like they are closing in on Skye in the Cabin, I'm guessing the Teleporting guy with no eyes (Gordon) is going to wisk her away in just the nick of time...
- What is Ward up to? What is his ultimate goal... Is he playing Garret to 33's Ward? To what end?
- The case against Coulson is BS. Xena didn't die because of Coulson, SHE opened the case and grabbed the obelisk of her own volition. Tripp didn't die because of Coulson, he died because he was a fracking shield agent trying to save another shield agent while they were trying to save the world. Coulson has not been as "careless" as everyone is trying to make it seem. He's had to act when time was of the essence on the best information available. They thought the Obelisk was a weapon, and that the city in Peru was where that weapon was to be used. Where was Shield 2 when all this was happening? If what Coulson was doing was so terribly wrong, then Bobbi should have called in Shield 2 when Peru was going down, not after.

Its funny, when Bobbi, Mack and Lance first came on they show, I liked Bobbi and Mack and hated Lance. Now it's completely the opposite. Lance is the total Bomb, Bobbi is a treacherous wench and Mack is a hypocritical, self-righteous jerk.
@Penthos-But Coulson is keeping secrets from his team and asking them to trust him because he is their leader-just like Fury. Mack witnessed Coulson's freak-out when he was ordering Simmons to unlock the memories of the Tahiti project. Two agents did die on Coulson's watch as was the unlocking of two superpowered weapons. HYDRA got to the city because of Coulson.

Objectively, he's only had one major success in killing Whitehall and some of the other mid-level leaders, which was partially motivated by vengeance influencing his judgement that they think is already impaired because of the alien blood in him. And he also maybe has a shaky alliance with one military leader. Not a good track record so far.

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-03-25 04:41 ]
Yeah, I guess Bill Adama is running some feel-good version of SHIELD where nobody ever has to die.

I hope we don't get yet another deus ex machina of Gordon bamfing in and saving Skye. I want to see Skye save herself by kicking some butt with her power.

Its funny, when Bobbi, Mack and Lance first came on they show, I liked Bobbi and Mack and hated Lance. Now it's completely the opposite. Lance is the total Bomb, Bobbi is a treacherous wench and Mack is a hypocritical, self-righteous jerk.

I'm feeling the same way. And if this show tries to tell me that Bobbi or Mack can ever be a part of Coulson's team again after this, I'm going to have to ask it to step outside.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2015-03-25 04:53 ]
At this point operational success is not imo the most important objective. Its more urgent to survive and rebuild, both of which
are tenuous at best. Coulson's track record other than the "find the city" thread seems fine to me.

[ edited by JDL on 2015-03-25 04:57 ]
@Dusk - I concede the points about Coulson's having alien blood and that he freaked out... But Coulson does have to keep some secrets, its a secret agency. Hydra didn't get to the city BECAUSE of Coulson, they got to the city because they are Hydra and that's what they set out to do. They would have likely found that city without Coulson eventually anyway. Except there would have been no Shield there to stop them. And guess what? Agents die, it's kind of the nature of the business. If Adama thinks he can run an international covert spy agency without keeping any secrets and without people dying, then he's crazier than Coulson ever was.

Objectively, Coulson took out Whitehall, arrested Bakshi and Eliminated 4 other heads of Hydra, not mid-level leaders, and lost TWO agents in the process. That's pretty fracking good IMO. And that just THIS season. Last season he stopped Garret as well as numerous other "bad guys" along the way...

@Andrew - Agreed, Bobbi and Mack are off team Coulson for good. Especially given the events that are about to take place in the next episode, there is no coming back from that.

[ edited by Penthos on 2015-03-25 05:25 ]
Quibble: The mask only changes Agent 33's face. Supposedly there's a separate device that changes her voice to match that of the person whose face she's wearing.

It does not change her body shape. So she had to find women who were built like her, not just any schlub. No one with wider shoulders, or skinnier, or chunky, or anything else.
I was thinking the same thing, ShadowQuest. I also wished I had a mask that would change my body.
What Dusk said:

"It was a decent episode. Kind of scattered as the stories don't interconnect much and while they have good points against Coulson, a 2nd SHIELD still feels a bit anticlimactic. Fitz and Tallbot were my favorite parts."

This was pretty much how I felt about the episode, too.

I think Bobbi and Mack and Secret!SHIELD kind of have a point: from the outside, Coulson's direction of SHIELD doesn't seem like a huge success so far.

But I'm not sure infiltrating his team and spying on him is the way to go? Why not sit down and talk with him, and see if he'll agree to reorganize SHIELD or whatever? I don't really understand what's going on here. And I like Bobbi and Mack a lot, so I hope we get an explanation of their motives that makes sense.

There was far too little Fitz in this episode. I hope he gets more to do next week. I'm also sad that we haven't gotten to see Fitz and Mack hanging out lately. I really liked their friendship--and I think we need to see that friendship continuing, if Mack's betrayal is going to have the kind of emotional impact it should.

Anyway. Most of the episode felt like it was putting a lot of disparate plot pieces in place, so they'd be ready for the next part of the story. Not my favorite, but curious to see where they go from here.
Bobbi and Mack are being manipulated by El Pachuco Adama, just as Agent 33 is being manipulated by Ward.
Nah, Shield2 wants Fury's cube for nefarious plot stuff.
Cubes are always dangerous things that nefarious plots are planned around in the Marvel Universe.
Do we know anything about this cube? Coulson's never done anything with it, that I recall. Am I forgetting something?
He uses the cube all the time. That display that disappears when somebody knocks on his door is part of the cube.

Here is another theory on Gonzalez's Shield. He is legit albeit misguided. But the 3 advisor types are HYDRA.
(We know Weaver was almost certainly captured in S1 E17 Turn,Turn, Turn)
This episode was all over the place in tone. None of the story lines gelled together very well.

Remember how we had a whole episode about SHIELD stealing just 1 Quinjet off the government? And the whole time Adama's out there on a frigging aircraft carrier with a whole deck full of 'em? Sigh.
Was Rhonda the waitress a nod to Joss' first incarnation of Buffy (aka Rhonda the Immortal Waitress).
I'm not saying to trust SHIELD 2, but based on their pitch to Hunter they seem to want to work more openly with human governments then Fury and now Coulson did. Part of the reason SHIELD got in trouble was keeping secrets from the other authorities and Fury kept his cards so close to his vest he didn't notice how much his organization had been infiltrated. Coulson's been running things less then a year and he's already been infiltrated. SHIELD 2 seems like it's more run as a council of near-equals and they seem to let everyone speak.

The only person he lets in is May, but even with her he usually does what he wants even if she disagrees. The rest of the team *still* don't even know Baby Skye was an 084! What is the advantage of withholding that now? That would at least provide some context for everyone and maybe even start a way to look for other people they may need to Index.

There main objectives more or less started after Coulson got literally and figuratively sketchy. Mack got body-jacked, Bobbi thought she had to kill him. I don't think SHIELD 2 expects everyone to live but you could argue 2 agents have lost their lives working on Coulson's personal obsession. If you weren't inside the chamber it would look like Tripp did trade his life for Skye's.

The new branch seems more professional compared to him in terms of getting emotionally involved. At minimum someone needs to call him out on how Skye compromised him, sooner or later it'll cost him like it did Ward. She's won't shoot Coulson, but if I were HYDRA if I wanted to make Coulson lose control of himself that's a giant weakness. If Skye were even possibly being warped like Donnie was, I'm not sure Coulson could keep his composure.

In regards to Mack and Bobbi never getting back on the team-Is this really so different from what May did? She manipulated Coulson into picking the original team after all, for Fury someone Coulson respects. SHIELD 2 seems to be made up of people that once respected Coulson, and the feeling is probably mutual. So executing them like HYDRA is unlikely. And as pointed out they have far more resources. Coulson desperately needs both allies and materials.

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-03-25 15:35 ]
Was Rhonda the waitress a nod to Joss' first incarnation of Buffy (aka Rhonda the Immortal Waitress).

Possibly!

Democracy is a terrible, dangerous way to run an organization like SHIELD. It can only be effective if it operates according to Spock's Axiom: The good of the many outweighs the good of the few or the one.

SHIELD, or Congress? Which gets the job done more effectively. Excuse me, Mr. Thanos, could you wait outside while we have 48 hours of debate, a filibuster and a few court cases?

Anyhoo... I'm still thinking SHIELD-2 might be the organization that Maria Hill hinted at, that Tony Stark is funding. They have to get the funding for that carrier from someplace. I don't know why things would have changed so much regarding their attitude toward Coulson's group, but who knows whether Hill and Stark are still on the same page, or if Stark even knows Coulson is alive.
@Dusk, you make very solid arguments...

However, if Shield 2 is being so open with the government and working with them, how come Talbot doesn't know about them but he knows about Coulson's shield. In fact, we've actually SEEN Coulson's Shield work with the Government and help Talbot out on more than one occasion. The same cannot be said for Sheild 2.

"The new branch seems more professional compared to him in terms of getting emotionally involved" - But Adama IS emotionally involved. He talked about Hartley saving his life and then getting killed working for Coulson. He had a personal affection for her and he blames Coulson for her death. That IS emotional. Yet Lance, who was also close with Hartley and was with her when she died doesn't seem to harbor the same resentment towards Coulson. Also, are you counting Bobbi as being professional and not getting emotionally involved? Because clearly, that's not the case either.

I would argue that pretty much any case you make against Coulson's team is a matter of perspective. One could even argue that if Shield 2 had been more "open" about their existence to Coulson instead of trying to infiltrate him, that the shared resources they would have had may have PREVENTED those agents deaths.

I totally understand what the writers are doing, they are giving Shield 2 a legitimate case for doing what they are doing. I'm just trying to make the case for why Team Coulson are still the good guys.

One last note: I was not suggesting that Bobbi and Mack be "executed" like Hydra. But they should certainly never be allowed back on Coulson's Shield.
Interesting choice they have with Bobbi - wasn't there quite the fanfare of her being made a series regular? Not sure how she can come back into the fold now unless she's doing the whole double agent thing, and the show already has a rogue in-the-show-but-not-directly-involved character in Sociopath Ward
I'm sorry to have missed the live watch. But I did just watch the episode and I did see last week's ep as well. This episode was far stronger of the two. I really enjoyed Hunter and I haven't felt connected to him in anyway yet.

I think the idea of Shield 2 is clever. It provides a place to put our concerns, which we have all aired here about Coulson, within the story. Shield 2 is raising good questions and it is feasible that the original Shield would have splintered into more then one group. I do hope that the various Shields work out their differences and that Shield 2 just isn't evil. Next week's sneak peak makes me think we are headed to Evil Shield 2.

It is also possible that Shield 2 is Hydra. Fury picked Coulson, despite the alien blood. He did not pick Gonzales. There may be reasons.

I liked Ward and Agent 33 but I am so not afraid of them. Does anyone really know their agenda at this point? Is it revenge?

Talbot was the best. I hope we see more of him. HIs wife was great too! Was Taco Tuesday a Lego Movie shout out?

Finally, I am so glad Fitz called out Simmons on what we have all been saying here. I was worried that none of the characters would address what's an obvious shift in her outlook and we as the audience would have to just live with it. Here's hoping that this conversation is the start of bridge building between the two characters.

Well done! I'm excited for next week.
I hope that when Simmons sees how devastated Fitz is by Mack's betrayal that she finally realizes how important they are to each other. And that if she had been there for him, he would not have been so emotionally attached to Mack.
@AndrewCorsett-It's not practical to run SHIELD as a democracy but from what little we've seen of SHIELD 2 they communicate far better then Coulson's team. Coulson's need to find the city was driven primarily by his and Skye's desire, not what his team needed. That is what allowed HYDRA to get there in the first place. Coulson is making Fury's mistake of shutting out opinions he doesn't like and has been blind enough that it took Hunter's action to get him to see something was strange in his team.

@Penthos-We don't know the extent of SHIELD 2's contacts yet. They may have government/military support, just not Tallbot's.

I didn't read Adama as having "affection" for Hartley, just that he respected her for saving his life and he disapproves of how and what she died for. The reason they haven't been open with Coulson is because they believe he is nuts. And up until recently he has been fighting to maintain his sanity. Someone who is/was clearly struggling to keep a grip on themselves is not someone I would trust with other lives, dangerous weapons, dangerous people.

Coulson made the calls that led up to Hartley and Tripp's deaths, even though they made their own choices in their final moments. Absolving Coulson of blame for them is logic that also absolves Ward for Fitz's brain injury. Ward put Fitz in that underwater death trap, but the brain injury is a result of Fitz's choice to give the oxygen blast to Simmons. But I think we can all agree Fitz's brain injury is Ward's fault.

Bobbi knows she made a mistake by getting invested with Hunter again and tried to fix it by breaking it off. It is hypocritical of Coulson to require notification of these kind of personal updates when he has clearly grown attached to Skye like an adoptive daughter. Both types of relationships create professional weaknesses.
@Dusk
Absolving Coulson of blame for them is logic that also absolves Ward for Fitz's brain injury. Ward put Fitz in that underwater death trap, but the brain injury is a result of Fitz's choice to give the oxygen blast to Simmons.

That is a HUGE reach and not AT ALL the same. Coulson sent Hartley and her team on a mission to retrieve the Obelisk. Some very bad and unforeseeable things happened. That is not on Coulson.

Tripp's mission was to help destroy the facility under Peru. Because Skye had been kidnapped, she didn't know they had rigged the place to blow and went down to stop Raina. Tripp went down to save Skye of his own volition, that is NOT on Coulson, it's on Tripp who perhaps should have just let the place blow with Skye and Coulson down there. But that's not who Coulson's Shield is. That's what makes them the good guys.

Ward dropped Fitz and Simmons in the sea with the intent of killing them (even if Ward claims otherwise). That is COMPLETELY different than what happened to Tripp and Hartley.

As the newly appointed leader of Shield, Coulson HAD to find out what was going on with the alien carving "obsession". He had to find out if he himself was compromised. He couldn't just stick his head in the sand and pretend it was nothing, THAT would be have been the irresponsible thing to do. Furthermore, he took measures to protect Shield against himself when he convinced May to put him down if it was necessary.
It arguably would have been more responsible for him to step down, and let someone else (perhaps May) take the leadership position.
He had already gotten over his obsession when he saw that former agent's workshop and realized the carvings were a city. It was the responsible thing to try and blow it up, but to outsiders like SHIELD 2 that doesn't negate the fact Coulson also had a hand in leading HYDRA there. The root cause of both deaths is still calls Coulson made. The root cause of Fitz's brain injury is because of Ward. There was obviously no malicious intent on Coulson's part but my argument is from SHIELD 2's perspective, Coulson's behavior changed drastically after he was inject with alien DNA and two agents are dead because of it.

We can also debate whether May would really kill him, I doubt it. This isn't like Sunnydale where Buffy had to do most of the heavy lifting so the big decisions automatically get put on her and the Scoobies just have to accept most of what she does. Most of this team has the same skill level and intelligence as Coulson so he shouldn't be isolating himself like his mentor.

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-03-25 16:49 ]

[ edited by Dusk on 2015-03-25 19:39 ]
@erandis - perhaps, but Fury picked Coulson to restart Shield because of who Coulson is. Had he wanted May to lead, he would have given the cube to her. He gave the Cube to Coulson knowing he had the Alien blood and leaving May to watch over him. And Coulson did tell May to put him down and take the reigns if that's what it comes to.

@Dusk "The root cause of both deaths is still calls Coulson made." ... No, the ROOT CAUSE of both of their deaths was HYDRA.

Look, I'm not saying there is no way to justify Shield 2s position. I'm just saying that given all the information available to us as the viewer, the evidence is there to come down on the side of Coulson. If you don't think it is, then that makes Coulson the bad guy and you should be rooting for Shield 2.

[ edited by Penthos on 2015-03-25 16:51 ]
OK, but a partial party responsible was Coulson.

And I'm not saying we should trust SHIELD 2 but we also shouldn't ignore Coulson's mistakes and contradictions. We've seen the show from mostly his eyes so we know he's a good guy, but maybe not necessarily a great leader.
Now that all of this is going on--two SHIELDs, Hydra running around, Inhumans following Raina and Skye--it sort of makes you wonder where the actual Avengers are. Is Tony Stark just sitting in Stark Tower laughing at amateur hour at work here? It's a legit question. The Avengers are apparently assembled and have been working together for months when the movie picks up, which means they're active right now somewhere else in the MCU. I'm not sure if this is a criticism; right now I have high hopes that the movie is going to tie-in to the show more directly than Winter Soldier did, which should do wonders for cementing its place in the larger MCU. I fully expect to see Coulson in the new film, and at least one Avengers on AOS during May sweeps.

Anyway, SHIELD 2 is most likely going to turn out to be more nefarious than they seem, and when Bobbi and Mack realize, it will allow one or both of them to reintegrate with our main protagonists. That's my guess. I say "one or both" because only Bobbi has been made a series regular. Mack is still a recurring guest.

Also, is anyone else starting to notice that Ward is basically Angelus at this point?
I predict that Adrianne Palicki is a one-season regular. Not that she's likely to die, because she's Mockingbird... but I think at the end of this season she either leaves the show or becomes an occasional recurring guest star.

I can't see any non-stupid path to her ever rejoining Team Coulson.
And see, we have a mini Civil War going on among the disembodied beings in this thread. I love it!
I, for one, hope that SHIELD 2.0 is NOT a nefarious group / Hydra but really a bunch of well intentioned individuals who strongly disagree with Coulson's methods/sole access to alien super goodies. On its face that is certainly a reasonable position to at least explore. I'm afraid, based on last night's episode and trailer for next week, that will not be the case and this group will be the heavy handed bad guys ...

I do think this second half has slipped some from the momentum of Season 1:Part Two thru Season 2:Part One. There's a number of reasons for that I think, but after nearly two seasons I'm convinced the weak link in the show is Coulson. It pains me to say this, in part because Clark Gregg seems like a terrific guy, great Twitter follow, real team player with a sincere enthusiasm for the role ... but I just don't think the character works as the tent pole for a series. I wonder, given the title of the show, they'd ever consider making someone else Director ... not unlike how the Avengers were always rotating their roster every year or two? Certainly could make for an interesting Season 3
@TallMJ
I'm convinced the weak link in the show is Coulson ... No way. He's the glue.
I don't wish to take anything away from Brent Fletcher or anyone else who had a hand in crafting this episode.
But during the epic tale of "Glenn Talbot: Lawnmower Man", did anyone else get the feeling that we experienced a tiny, uncredited Joss polish?
I enjoyed the episode. Ward's manipulation of Agent 33 is quite chilling, especially when you realise he did the exact thing in Season 1 but we didn't know it at the time.
I've randomly decided that when Coulson and Hunter talked about him joining the team full time *off screen* that Coulson really enlisted his help in figuring out what Bobbi and Mack were up to and Hunter getting himself captured was all part of Hunter's plan, knowing that if he confronted Mack he would do something like what he did. Because I want Hunter to be smarter than he usually seems to be.

BTW, I don't think SHIELD 2.0 is evil, I just don't think they're as objective as they think (or are pretending they) are. I do think they're mostly motivated by being annoyed Coulson got the gig that they wanted. And I think part of the reason Bobbi and Mack joined up to spy is because it's like they can't not be somewhere playing spy. Psycho-babble psycho-babble, but it's almost like if they aren't somewhere pretending to be someone else, they don't feel like they have a purpose. So, when the opportunity to be the double agent arose, they took it and feel like they're righteous. (Like I said, psycho-babble.)
@Simon Ew. But you're right. And ewwww. Creepy Ward is so creepy. (But I'm enjoying him *be* creepy and not delusional anymore about getting back on Team Coulson or with Skye.)
Good episode. I love all the arguments that Shield 2.0 is causing! I hope they don't turn out to be plain old bad guys.

I feel sorry for 33, but I'm evil so I laughed really hard when she said to Ward, "But you're so well-adjusted!"
If Agent 33 is the new Madame Masque, does that make Ward the new Hood? Will he be finding evil boots?
some more thoughts on SHIELD 2.0

I suspect that Coulson knows about Gonzalez, and the other agents on the carrier. Once Coulson made friends with Talbot, that allowed SHIELD access to more resources (like the carrier). As Coulson was acting more and more crazy, or being secretive like Fury, Gonzalez and the other agents got together and decided "we need to run things our own way, under the radar." They assign Mack to the team, and convince Bobbi to spy on Coulson and assess the situation. Mack and Bobbi think Coulson lost it and is a danger, and now he's created an Inhuman super weapon, so now Coulson has to be removed. Obviously Coulson won't just step down (Fury appointed him!) and the other agents are very loyal, so force is needed to contain Coulson.

There could be other motivators: SHIELD 2.0 might just want the Black Box. You can't be in charge of SHIELD without that resource.

I don't think Mack or Bobbi's betrayal is on the same scale as Hydra. Mack/Bobbi don't want to hurt Coulson, or anyone on the team. They are "just" not honest about their reasons for being there. They view Coulson's actions in a much different light that May/Skye/etc. and just need to be convinced that Coulson knows what he's doing. If Gonzalez and his crew really just want the Black Box and are using Mack/Bobbie to get it, that could make them switch sides. Ward was a betrayal, Mack/Bobbie are just spies. :)
Considering her comments about "removing the threat" at the end of this episode, I think Bobbi would be perfectly willing to harm Coulson in order to complete the mission. She might not like it, but she'd do it.

Her and Mack's allegiance to Gonzalez is worrisomely similar to Ward's allegiance to Garrett, or Bakshi's to Whitehall. (And we've seen on-screen reminders of both of those recently, which I don't think is coincidental.)

Hunter has nowhere near that kind of bond with Coulson, yet he risked his life out of loyalty to him. I think the theme here is that friendship and free choice is a stronger bond than duty and debt.
Keep in Mind we already know Fury is in Avengers Age of Ultron which is out May 1st. I think we may see this story line close with Fury showing up and merging both SHIELDs.
Except that Gonzalez's version of SHIELD feels the same way about Fury that they feel about Coulson (except that they assume Fury is dead).

If Gonzalez's group is reporting to the World Security Council, then technically they *are* the real SHIELD. I don't believe Fury had the official capacity to name his own successor. But I don't know if the Council even still exists after the events of Winter Soldier.
If that's the council that OK'd the nuking of NYC during Avengers, them I'm even more definitely on Team Coulson.
P.S. I didn't say it would be a peaceful merger...but that may be a way to salvage Mack and Bobbie and still be under Coulson.

[ edited by Jjsquid on 2015-03-26 21:55 ]
In a related topic... We've spoken in terms of a Terrigen bomb going off in the show. It could go off in AoU, which will could serve as the Inhumans origin story, and cause major chaos for SHIELD as well. What if the two SHIELDs (and perhaps more) have to work together to contain and/or support individuals from the sudden outbreak of all sorts of super-powered beings. We envision the two SHIELDs as being philosophically opposed to each other, but what if the Inhumans outbreak causes each group to split from within, so that by next season, we have two groups, but some of them from SHIELD 1 are now in SHIELD 2, and vice versa?


Plus, someone will die.
I think this storyline ends with Gonzalez dead and Coulson's Shield absorbing whatever is left of Shield 2.
Eh, I didn't Think the World Security Council was still around.
Eh, I didn't Think the World Security Council was still around.

Well Jenny Agutter's character is still around.

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