Disclaimer: This article is full of spoilers for “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and the April 1 episode of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’
Two weeks ago I attended the Paleyfest panel for Marvel’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ where executive producer Jeph Loeb repeatedly stressed watch ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on April 1; see ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier’ on April 4; come back for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ on April 8. If you have accepted the first two parts of Loeb’s mission then you can’t wait for the third.
Did you go back and watch the April 1 episode of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ after seeing ‘The Winter Soldier?’ I did and I’m wondering if it will just be called ‘Agents’ going forward. Here are the random ramblings and observations of a fangirl trying to wrap her head around everything that has occurred or could occur.
Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) has popped up several times on ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ this season. On the April 1 episode, just as he was about to go out on mission with Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) team when Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows) tell Sitwell that orders have come in from the Triskelion for him to report to the Lemurian Star immediately, which sends him off to ‘The Winter Soldier.’ The next time we see Sitwell is early in the film as a hostage on this ship.
So the Clairvoyant is or was Arnim Zola’s (Toby Jones) supercomputer consciousness. The Clairvoyant knows the future, broadcast low quality graphics to the people he controls like Deathlok (J. August Richards), talks to Couslon through a monitor when chatting to ‘Thomas Nash,’ and according to Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) review of the psyche evaluations he knows everything about them. “The Clairvoyant doesn’t have abilities; he has security clearance. He’s an agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” That’s just about right Coulson. It’s too bad this ‘realization’ makes Coulson begin to loose it.
The technology on the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) seems very similar to Deathlok, who Triplett (B.J. Britt) refers to as “Cyber Soldier.” Was Bucky Barnes Centipede Program patient zero? That Centipede Serum is nasty (or amazing depending on your view) stuff made up of alien metal, gamma radiation, the Extremis Virus and the Super-Soldier Serum. Based on Zola’s work with Hydra I could see how he could have been the one to create this cocktail.
“Just got a message from H.Q. Director Fury’s back. He’s waiting for you at the Triskilion.” – May (Ming-Na Wen) to Coulson after the death of Nash. How close is this to the attack on Director Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), i.e. that freaking awesome car chase scene? It has to be close or maybe even at the same time. When Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is on the encrypted line with Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) she relays to him that there’s a great bit of commotion – “There’s agents rushing to the situation room.”
Is Melinda May a Hydra sympathizer (I doubt it), has she been talking to Nick Fury or Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), or is there something else going on? She got a message about Fury. Was it from him? Did he warn her not to trust anyone and that’s the reason why she went after Fitz? If she’s not Hydra who is? Garrett (Bill Paxton)? Triplett? Ward (Brett Dalton)? Or the one who’s not present on the Bus, Simmons?
The Bus was on the way to the Triskilion, but gets rerouted to the mysterious Hub, where Hand is planning to kill the whole crew. This would imply that none of Coulson’s crew is Hydra, but I won’t put it past someone of Hydra, in this case Hand, to sacrifice a sympathizer if they felt it best for the cause.
When they showed the April 1 ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ episode at Paleyfest on March 23 it did not include ‘The Winter Soldier’ car chase scene that aired at the end of the episode on television. The addition of that scene makes it seem like it’s happening at the same time that the Bus was being rerouted. Considering that Simmons was reporting commotion at the Hub prior to the Bus changing course, either a coup by Hydra was happening at the Hub or news of Nick Fury’s accident was coming in.
So how much did Fury know and not know? There were Hydra weapons on the Helicarrier in ‘The Avengers!’ Anything that shade of blue, the color of the stuff (alien blood?) that saved Coulson and Skye, means trouble. How many sides did he ignore? How blind is he with only one eye because I don’t think he can trust the good one after this. Was he playing both sides (Nooooooo!)?
Is Nick Fury really Jules Winnfield from ‘Pulp Fiction?’ Random? Not quite. When Captain America (Chris Evans) and Falcon (Anthony Mackie) are standing over Nick Fury’s grave, you can see the quote on the headstone is “The path of the righteous man…” This quote begins Ezekiel 25:17, which Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules Winnfield quotes whenever he is about to kill someone in the Tarantino film ‘Pulp Fiction.’ An unexpected Tarantino fangirl/fanboy moment in a Marvel movie was quite a surprise, but makes me wonder who Fury is going to take down next.
Another observation, Coulson and Agent Garrett almost were trapped by a detour and a Chevy. The lesson here is if they’re driving a GM vehicle then you know they’re from ‘The Winter Soldier.’ Was there a plan in place to take out Coulson and Garrett then, but Coulson’s mad Lexus driving skills eluded the Chevy?
By the way, Poor Skye! She’s been a proud S.H.I.E.L.D. agent for like two days before the implosion begins. Was Rising Tide really trying to bring down Hydra?
Let’s talk for a moment about Agent 13 (Emily VanCamp). I don’t think anywhere in the film did you hear her real name is not ‘Kate’ – it’s Sharon Carter…yes, Carter. In the comics Sharon originally was Peggy Carter’s (Hayley Atwell) sister, but eventually it was changed to Peggy’s niece. She’s a love interest of Steve Rogers so he should probably take his neighbor the ‘nurse’ on a date. Considering VanCamp stars on another ABC show, ‘Revenge,’ I wonder if she’ll make her way over to ‘Agents of the organization formerly known as S.H.I.E.L.D.’ in a guest role. We haven’t seen the last of her.
The credit scene in ‘Thor: The Dark World’ was preparing us for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ arriving this summer. The credit scene in ‘The Winter Soldier’ is getting us ready for next May’s ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ Some people will wonder, ‘who are these people’ as is often the case for the unindoctrinated Marvel fan. The German guy that doesn’t seem very fazed by the events of ‘The Winter Soldier’ is one of Hydra’s leaders, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann). I’ve been surprised by how many people I’ve heard say, “How did he get Loki’s staff?” Well we didn’t see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) take it back with him and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to Asgard at the end of “The Avengers” so they have to have left it with S.H.I.E.L.D. Since S.H.I.E.L.D. was overrun with Hydra members, someone on the inside must have stolen it.
The mention of the twins caused a stir in the theater I was in as we got our first look at Pietro and Wanda Maximoff, also known as Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen). They were a mess – dirty, looking crazy, and unable to control their abilities. Von Strucker announces that the “age of miracles” has arrived, which means “mutants” are now in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but we can’t call them “mutants” because 20th Century Fox owns the rights to the term “mutants” with their rights to the ‘X-Men’ film franchise. Pietro/Quicksilver will be appearing in ‘X-Men: Days of Futures Past’ next month, but played by a different actor, Evan Peters. The debate is on over what will “mutants” be called in the MCU. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has said they won’t be “Inhumans.” What else could we call mutants? Gifted doesn’t have quite the same meaning.preparing us for ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ arriving this summer. The credit scene in ‘The Winter Soldier’ is getting us ready for next May’s ‘The Avengers: Age of Ultron.’ Some people will wonder, ‘who are these people’ as is often the case for the unindoctrinated Marvel fan. The German guy that doesn’t seem very fazed by the events of ‘The Winter Soldier’ is one of Hydra’s leaders, Baron Wolfgang von Strucker (Thomas Kretschmann). I’ve been surprised by how many people I’ve heard say, “How did he get Loki’s staff?” Well we didn’t see Thor (Chris Hemsworth) take it back with him and Loki (Tom Hiddleston) to Asgard at the end of “The Avengers” so they have to have left it with S.H.I.E.L.D. Since S.H.I.E.L.D. was overrun with Hydra members, someone on the inside must have stolen it.
So with theories in place, what now for the ‘Agents?’
Coulson knows something is seriously wrong. He’s already been grappling with what Fury had done to him to bring him back to life. He’s remained loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. even as he’s been questioning everything. Now he knows there’s something rotten inside S.H.I.E.L.D., and while The Clarivoyant seemed like a big deal, he has no idea how huge the problem is about to become. As S.H.I.E.L.D. falls where will that leave Coulson? Will he believe Nick Fury is dead and with his death all the answers he’s been seeking are gone? Will he reveal he’s alive to the Avengers and go work at Stark Enterprises with Maria Hill? I’m sure Pepper would hire him. Will he be able to get his vintage card set signed by Captain America? Will his optimism prevail so he can lead the charge to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D. in the image of what he believes the organization always stood for with Steve Rogers by his side? Will “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” be renewed for a second season allowing us to find any of this out? I don’t know the answer, but there are six new episodes left this season to find out.
I have some recommendations for new names for the TV show in light of the obliteration of S.H.I.E.L.D. There are the previously mentioned ‘Agents’ and ‘Agents of the organization formerly known as S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Here are some other thoughts:
‘Melinda May’s House of Lies’
‘Why Did ‘Coulson Live’ for Only One Season?’
‘Traitors of Hydra’
‘Mystery of the Blue Stuff’
What do you think should be the new name for ‘Agents?’
Disclaimer: In case some Marvel fan read this and thought, “but she’s totally missing this point from the comics,” I admit that I don’t know all of the comics. I love the Marvel world and I’ve spent quite a bit of time reading up on and learning about the Marvel universe over the last several years, although my love for Marvel goes back further than just the MCU. I don’t know everything, but I do my best to be as informed as possible. At the end of the day, I am a Marvel fangirl who gets super excited over anything new related to Marvel on the big (and small) screen. I’ve been geeking out for the last week about ‘Agents’ and ‘Captain America’ and I’m thrilled to share my thoughts with you.
Disclosure: I am an employee of Lexus Financial Services. The views and opinions expressed in this article are not those of Lexus.