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Llywela

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Re-Watch

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For the first time I noticed that when Director Coulson was making the death notification there was the picture of Gabe Jones from The First Avenger along with the WWII Howling Commandos and not happy Sam from the post war Agent Carter episode. Time for The Real S.H.I.E.L.D. pod. I do remember reviews of the end of the season saying the early drop outs didn't know what they were missing after season 3. It sort of reminded me of the press Star Trek Deep Space 9  got in the genre magazines after their second season. 

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Mmm, me too. I mean, the show went out of its way to confirm that what happened in the last episodes were her decisions alone, but after all the manipulating Ward did, she wasn't really herself.

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Thirded. Through S2 I always longed for SHIELD to rescue Agent 33 and de-programme her - but alas, by the time she fell under Ward's sway, it was pretty much too late. It kind of highlights the 'them' and 'us' attitude of the main team, mind - they'll move heaven and earth to save one of their own, but if a fellow agent they aren't so close to gets into trouble, they aren't nearly as concerned. How many red shirts died over the course of the show, unlamented? Poor saps!

Iain and Elizabeth do such a great job in early S3, when Simmons is trapped on the alien world. I'm less enamoured of Hunter's revenge-on-Ward storyline, which for this show is a relatively rare dip into male toxicity, that whole attitude of 'my woman was hurt therefore it is my holy right to take revenge on the perpetrator, even though there is already a long line of others who were more personally injured by him, including my ex-wife herself, vengeance is mine and mine alone.' Urgh. And everyone else just goes along with that attitude, too - enables it, even. Luckily it doesn't last long and then he's off the case, having failed!

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4 hours ago, Llywela said:

I'm less enamoured of Hunter's revenge-on-Ward storyline, which for this show is a relatively rare dip into male toxicity, that whole attitude of 'my woman was hurt therefore it is my holy right to take revenge on the perpetrator, even though there is already a long line of others who were more personally injured by him, including my ex-wife herself, vengeance is mine and mine alone.'

That was silly but not quite as silly as Coulson pulling the same stunt when Ward dared kill his girlfriend of two weeks.

Hunter's plan was dumb not only for his "I need to get my revenge myself" attitude but because the idea that no one of Ward's minions was going to recognize him was a little risky. They should have let Bobbi kill Ward in the season 2 finale, he had already overstayed his welcome by that point.

And then there was Fitz who for a moment seemed to seriously contemplate the idea of getting rid of Will for the unspeakable crime of sleeping with his precious Jemma. Lots of stupidity to go around in the first half of season 3, I have to say.

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13 minutes ago, Jack Shaftoe said:

That was silly but not quite as silly as Coulson pulling the same stunt when Ward dared kill his girlfriend of two weeks.

I haven't got that far yet in my re-watch, so no doubt I will complain about it when I get there! 😄 Because yes. At least that storyline all happens a lot faster, though, so it comes across as more of a heat of the moment thing, whereas with Hunter it is months later and Bobbi is almost recovered, and he is still very cold-bloodedly and single-mindedly planning his revenge trip. It just plays really awkwardly.

I really like Rosalind. I wish she wasn't going to die (again). And I still really like Joey. Imagine if he'd stayed with the gang, if only as a background agent in the same vein as Piper and Davis - heck, imagine if he and Piper had both been around and allowed to have love lives! Would have done wonders for Marvel's diversity ratings.

Still can't warm to Lincoln. I want to. His story as written is compelling. But something about him just leaves me cold.

Edited by Llywela

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I don't mind the "dip" in Hunter and Coulson going all Berserk because in BOTH cases the narrative points eventually out that they are utterly wrong to do so. In Coulson's case so much so, that in the end Lincoln has to die for his sins (in place of Daisy).

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19 hours ago, Llywela said:

And everyone else just goes along with that attitude, too - enables it, even. Luckily it doesn't last long and then he's off the case, having failed!

I always assumed everyone went along with it because they all wanted Ward dead and if Hunter was willing to put the work into making it happen they’d support it. That’s why it’s such a big deal when he fails. He had ONE JOB- kill the team’s mortal enemy, and he couldn’t get it done.

I liked Rosalind but I didn’t really buy that her death would set Coulson off so much. I think Fitz and Simmons were much more affected by Ward and I had been hoping one of them would have been the one to kill him.

15 hours ago, Llywela said:

And I still really like Joey. Imagine if he'd stayed with the gang, if only as a background agent in the same vein as Piper and Davis - heck, imagine if he and Piper had both been around and allowed to have love lives! Would have done wonders for Marvel's diversity ratings.

Yes! I love Joey. I think it would have been cool to have another Inhuman around, even if it was only part time. LGBTQ representation is the one thing this show never really delved into, but I think that’s true across most of the Marvel shows.

19 hours ago, Llywela said:

they'll move heaven and earth to save one of their own, but if a fellow agent they aren't so close to gets into trouble, they aren't nearly as concerned. How many red shirts died over the course of the show, unlamented? Poor saps!

At the end of season 3 when Hive tries to gas the base and turn the agents into mindless Inhumans, Fitz is the only one that gets away. Everyone looks sad for a minute then they never mention the fallen agents again. It must suck to not be in the inner circle. I always wanted an episode from the background agents POV (this would include Piper and Davis).

 I just hit season 4. I didn’t realize but the first episode featured something from all three pods- Ghost Rider obviously, but they started experimenting with the framework and Aida. I really wish Robbie had gotten his own show.

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Yeah, there are basically three kind of episodes which I would have loved to see, but AoS never did. One if the "minor agent" episode. One would be the "outside perspective" episode (it would have been great to see the team from the perspective of a couple of normal people who get drawn into the craziness). Third is the musical episode (which I only desired in the end, because at that point they had so many great singer and dancer in the cast).

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17 hours ago, swanpride said:

Third is the musical episode (which I only desired in the end, because at that point they had so many great singer and dancer in the cast).

I assume you’re referring to Chloe and I think Enver. Who else?

An episode from the perspective of an outsider would have been good. Aside from 4,722 they didn’t really deviate from the format, did they?

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I was actually referring to both. Well, Chloe for the singing, Enver for both. I am pretty sure that Ming-Na Wen is at least a good dancer, she must be in order to do all those fight moves. and the one tango scene she had with Gregg wasn't quite as shabby as most of them are. And apparently Jeff Ward can at least hold a tune.

 

Oh, they had a few more experimental episodes, but they mostly played with narrative structures. Ie T.R.A.C.K.S, in which they kept telling the same events but from different perspectives until the audience gets the whole pictures. But they never went quite as much out there as they could have.

 

 

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I think the most narratively experimental they ever got was the handful of episodes with reduced cast (Jemma on Maveth, catching up with Fitz early in S5, Jemma and Fitz in the mind machine in S6, etc) and the black-and-white noir episode in S7.

I've reached Coulson's vengeance fest mid-S3, and yes, it is as annoying as Hunter's earlier in the season. It's over and done with a lot faster, at least, but there's again that overpowering whiff of entitlement - I get to temporarily quit my job (with full expectation of reclaiming it later) while still commanding expensive resources in order to cross unforgiveable lines in pursuit of personal vengeance against a man whose death I claim as mine by right even though I'm far from the only person to be terribly hurt by him, my pain is more important than anything else he's done so only now will I stop at nothing in pursuit of him, not for justice but for revenge. Bleurgh. At least it's over now. Although I guess if Coulson hadn't gone through the portal after Ward, Fitz might not have been able to overpower Maveth!Will to make it back through the portal. But then again, maybe he would have - and without Ward's corpse lying so handily nearby, Maveth would never have made it to Earth.

I'm still not clear on how Ward!Maveth made it through the portal at all, never mind without Mack and co spotting him. I mean, I suppose they must have run for it the second they were through, but the portal was already closing even before Fitz and Coulson started to run toward it, and Maveth had to get to Ward, possess his corpse, and then sprint for the portal before it snapped shut. It should have been closed before he got there, there was nothing holding it open at that point, since Daisy had already collapsed. Dramatic licence, I guess!

Edited by Llywela
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11 hours ago, Llywela said:

Jemma and Fitz in the mind machine in S6

I don’t know how I forgot this. It’s one of my favorite episodes, especially the scene where Fitz finds out he and Coulson died.

When you lay it out like that, Coulson’s revenge against Ward does sound over the top. I don’t think it was possible for Hive to leave Will, infect Ward’s corpse and make it through the portal before it closed. Hive being alive on Earth in Ward’s body was a good cliffhanger. I think that was all that mattered to them.

 

I feel like the Ghost Rider arc ended a bit abruptly. He grabs Eli, disappears, and that’s it.  The last time Robbie disappeared he was with Coulson and Fitz and there was a lot of energy put into trying to get them back. This time everyone shrugs and goes home. It’s like they knew it was time for the LMD arc.


I just finished 4x10 and the show’s biggest plot hole. What happened to Vijay Nadeer? He shows up again in the Framework, but I feel like the writers had some other plan for him in the main series. Otherwise, why show us him forming a second cocoon underwater?

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21 minutes ago, BaggythePanther said:

 


I just finished 4x10 and the show’s biggest plot hole. What happened to Vijay Nadeer? He shows up again in the Framework, but I feel like the writers had some other plan for him in the main series. Otherwise, why show us him forming a second cocoon underwater?

With Afterlife and that group gone as a unified force maybe they were waiting for The Inhumans later and held him in reserve?

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Vijay Nadeer is the ONE lose plot line which annoys me. There were ample time to address him in season 6, and I don't get why they never did. Even if they couldn't get the actor again, he could have turned into pretty much anything, making a recast easy.

There are a few other plot points which were just dropped, like what happened to Agent Blake or Agent Calderon, but those aren't as annoying as this one.

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10 hours ago, swanpride said:

Vijay Nadeer is the ONE lose plot line which annoys me. There were ample time to address him in season 6, and I don't get why they never did. Even if they couldn't get the actor again, he could have turned into pretty much anything, making a recast easy.

There are a few other plot points which were just dropped, like what happened to Agent Blake or Agent Calderon, but those aren't as annoying as this one.

Yes! I really want someone from the writing team to tell us what happened with Vijay - did they have a plan for him that got shelved as later seasons developed, or did they just forget?

I watched the end of S2 very carefully to see if I'd just overlooked any last mention of Agent Calderon, but no. He gets impaled by Daisy quake-blasting a tree, we're told he's in critical condition, and then...nothing. Did he die of his wounds? May does get offered a spot on the board immediately afterward, which we might assume was his spot, but the Real SHIELD people were so antagonistic toward Daisy and the Inhumans, you'd expect Calderon's death to be mentioned as another reason to go against them, but no. Nothing. He is wounded and then just disappears. I'm going to be generous and imagine that he had a long recovery and then decided to retire to escape the insanity of SHIELD at last!

I'm spacing on who Agent Blake was, though. Was he the Watchdogs guy? I don't remember the end of his story - haven't got there in this re-watch yet? I'm guessing it was another loose thread, though, since you've linked it to Calderon, which is no doubt why I don't remember!

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Agent Blake was the Level 8 who got paralyzed by Deathlok when Hydra was emerging. He went on to found the Watchdogs who were ignored in favor of generic mercenaries in the Inhumans IMAX episode 

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Speaking of the Real SHIELD board - Agent Weaver also disappears. She has a scene with Jemma in the season 2 finale where they discuss the monolith, then we never hear from her again. 

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I always assumed that Weaver got back teaching, so her not being around isn't that big of a deal for me. People come and go after all (we never got to see Agent Akela again either after all), but there are a few people which seemed to have been a set up for something which never happened or which just vanished without explanation. And that is odd considering that Shield was so good in picking up plot points you wouldn't expect them to remember.

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Watching Lincoln's journey through S3, from fugitive to SHIELD agent to leading strike teams (in the Precog Charles episode) in three simple steps, has got me thinking about the life of a lowly red shirt support agent, those guys in full body armour who provide tactical support to the main cast on their missions. Because honestly, how much would it suck to be one of those guys, having gone through full and rigorous training and dedicated your life and career to SHIELD, only to turn around and find yourself having to take orders from some half-trained schmuck who has only been with the agency five minutes? Way to jump the promotion ladder purely because you were lucky enough to get special magic powers! I mean, Coulson talks about being two field agents down after Bobbi and Hunter get disavowed, but he has all those tactical guys in reserve - how hard would it be to promote one or two of them? They may not be 'specialists' but they've got more training than Lincoln, that's for sure! At least when Hunter jumped straight from outsider to specialist he was given an SAS backstory to support his claim to the position.

Same principle when Daisy and Lincoln call in Joey and Elena to go rescue the rest of the team when Gyera captures the Zephyr, just the four of them, two of whom aren't even full SHIELD agents at all. They make such a big deal about how their whole team has been captured and they have to call in the Secret Warriors because there is no one else to help. Like, hello, you have an entire agency at your disposal! Call in the reserves! We know those strike teams exist, I'm sure most of them are more than capable of pulling off this mission. But no, instead they go with the timid construction guy who just found out he can melt stuff and the hot-headed art teacher who can run fast, neither of whom has had much if any actual training for special ops missions, never mind practical experience in the field (in Joey's case - Elena was already running anti-militia ops in her spare time, fair play).

But of course, the real handicap for those hapless reserve tactical guys is not being cast members. 😄 I think that's why it is such a relief when Davis and Piper show up, actual background agents promoted from within SHIELD ranks in a plausible manner.

Nearing the end of S3, I keep hoping Lincoln will grow on me this time, but no, he is not. I find him just as whiny and rabbity and unconvincing as ever, alas. I saw someone on Tumblr a little while ago grumbling about how everyone was treating Sousa as the love of Daisy's life, as if Lincoln never existed, and this person was talking as if Daisy-Lincoln was the most perfect, most romantic relationship ever, and I wondered if they'd watched a different S3 than me, because in the S3 I've watched, Lincoln is a deeply troubled individual and his relationship with Daisy is riddled with angst throughout. It is a strong storyline, but most definitely is not the perfect, trouble-free romance this Lincoln-fan was claiming! Which, of course, is a big part of why most people loved Daisy's relationship with Sousa, because he made her so happy with no angst or heartache at all, in stark contrast to every other relationship she'd ever had.

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I am pretty sure most of the tactical guys were on the plane....if I remember correctly there were scenes suggesting that the core team just "happens" to be the part of the agency which is still awake and able to fight.

 

Also, those tactical shield agents are supposed to be newbies, too, they haven't been at Shield much longer than Lincoln. Coulson is lacking people with experience all around, hence Mack being turned into a field agent, because at least he has some experience.

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Mack becoming a field agent happened much earlier, but is another example of the kind of thing I'm talking about, since there were tactical guys around by then, too, none of whom ever got the chance for that kind of promotion, despite it being more in their line of expertise. Mack did have SHIELD training, though, yes, even if he was primarily a mechanic. The stuff I'm talking about is the tail end of S3, and at that point, Coulson has been rebuilding SHIELD since the start of S2, it's been a good 18 months if not more. So all those tactical guys definitely have more training and experience than Lincoln, Joey and Elena - not to mention that they'd have been recruited from, like, police and military, not to mention ex-SHIELD brought back after the fall, as opposed to a doctor, a builder and an art teacher! And I don't think they were all on the Zephyr when it was captured, there'd have been some back at the base; there's a never-ending supply of them when needed, after all, way more than would fit on that plane.

Anyhow, it was mostly just something that occurred to me when Coulson sent Lincoln off in charge of a whole SWAT team on, like, the same day he was approved as an agent - having not actually passed the assessment, even, because of ongoing concerns over his commitment and stability. But at least we'd seen him doing a bit of training toward becoming an agent. Neither Joey nor Elena had done any such thing at the point when they were called in to help.

Re-watching S2-3 reminds me all over again how much I miss the base after it gets blown up in S4. It's such a great location, so versatile and attractive, with cosy lounges and bedrooms and actual windows and all the rest of it. That damn Lighthouse is so drab and depressing by comparison!

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1 hour ago, swanpride said:

I am pretty sure most of the tactical guys were on the plane....if I remember correctly there were scenes suggesting that the core team just "happens" to be the part of the agency which is still awake and able to fight.

 

Also, those tactical shield agents are supposed to be newbies, too, they haven't been at Shield much longer than Lincoln. Coulson is lacking people with experience all around, hence Mack being turned into a field agent, because at least he has some experience.

Are they new or S.H.I.E.L.D. holdouts  who didn't jump agencies like Commander Maria Hill, Agent 13 or Agent Jimmy Woo in the movies did?

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8 hours ago, Llywela said:

Re-watching S2-3 reminds me all over again how much I miss the base after it gets blown up in S4. It's such a great location, so versatile and attractive, with cosy lounges and bedrooms and actual windows and all the rest of it. That damn Lighthouse is so drab and depressing by comparison!

I love that base for all the reasons you listed and the exposed brickwork. It’s my favorite base. Is it called the Underground?
 

How big is the Zephyr? I know it has two levels. In the beginning of season 4 they indicated that Coulson and Mack basically lived on the Zephyr for weeks so there have to be bedrooms, but I don’t think we’ve seen them like we did on the Bus. 

 

16 hours ago, Llywela said:

It is a strong storyline, but most definitely is not the perfect, trouble-free romance this Lincoln-fan was claiming! Which, of course, is a big part of why most people loved Daisy's relationship with Sousa, because he made her so happy with no angst or heartache at all, in stark contrast to every other relationship she'd ever had.

I think Lincoln was kind of a boring character and his death is what made him memorable. He and Daisy flirted in season 2 but their relationship pretty much started off screen between season 2 & 3 and I don’t think they had a lot of good times together. I liked when he would use his medical skills and work with Fitzsimmons. I know he has powers so IMO it makes more sense for him to work in the lab and only do fieldwork on specialized assignments. Not everyone needs to be a field agent. To your second point, someone on Tumblr pointed out the Sousa is Daisy’s only long term love interest that hasn’t physically attacked her. Also, it’s Sousa, he’s great.


I’m at the end of season 4 and it can’t be said enough, the Framework arc is amazing. Season 4 overall is great because of the way everything ties together. I didn’t really think about this the first time I watched, but there’s no in story reason why the Framework is set in the season 1 timeline, where Ward and Trip are still alive and Daisy still goes by Skye. Unless the point is that without SHIELD everyone would be alive.

I feel like from here on out the villains get progressively worse.

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Ward is still alive because in this reality, he encountered Hand first and not Garreth. Daisy still goes by Skye because  for one, Coulson is a teacher hence he never recruited her and two if Katja had exposed the existence of Inhumans early on, there is no reason for her to ever seek out information about obelisks or strange signs. And Trip is still alive because he never went into a strange alien place with Daisy. On the other hand Lincoln still died (he is really unlucky in every reality...maybe he has a better fate in the Ward one), because the Inhumans were rounded up and Hydra experimented on him.

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What @swanpride said - the changes made to various storylines in the past are the reason Ward and Trip are alive and Daisy is still Skye in the Framework. The events that led Daisy to discover her true identity and caused Trip's death never happened in that reality - Ward's Framework backstory is slightly sketchier, because it isn't connected to changes made for actual living people entering the Framework, but I can accept it as part of the fallout of the various other changes. Maybe it also stems from Coulson never joining SHIELD - that changed Garrett's story enough to prevent him finding and manipulating Ward. Hand recruiting him instead is the real stretch, but I can buy it.

In line with my musings above, I was thinking about how Coulson said he'd got rid of all the levels when he rebuilt SHIELD, and how that isn't necessarily a good thing. I mean, in-story he did it because he wanted to be free of all the layers of confidentiality and bureaucracy, but honestly, all those systems were in place for a reason and the new SHIELD still had levels, they just weren't formal. If you were part of Coulson's inner circle, you were high-ranking and generally In The Know about what was going on, but if you weren't part of Coulson's inner circle, you were just an also ran, always on the front line but never in the know - with absolutely no career structure in place for ambitious lowly agents to work toward. And don't even get me started on the complications of pay scale without role grades... 😉

I jest. Kind of. 😄 

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18 hours ago, Llywela said:

If you were part of Coulson's inner circle, you were high-ranking and generally In The Know about what was going on, but if you weren't part of Coulson's inner circle, you were just an also ran, always on the front line but never in the know - with absolutely no career structure in place for ambitious lowly agents to work toward. And don't even get me started on the complications of pay scale without role grades... 😉

I jest. Kind of. 😄 

Even if there was a structure in place how much would it have mattered? Coulson would just promote his favorites, which basically happened when Daisy, then Mack, were appointed Director. Sometimes I forget this isn’t a straightforward superhero show but this is their job and they’re actually getting paid for all this. 

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4 hours ago, BaggythePanther said:

Even if there was a structure in place how much would it have mattered? Coulson would just promote his favorites, which basically happened when Daisy, then Mack, were appointed Director. Sometimes I forget this isn’t a straightforward superhero show but this is their job and they’re actually getting paid for all this. 

I love how Mack got his promotion. The inner circle, all of them his very close friends, had a show of hands and that was it. Damn, I wish my job interviews were that easy! Daisy was never officially Director, Coulson just had her acting up to the role temporarily while he was sick, which isn't quite the same thing. Having someone from within the team filling in until a permanent replacement is found is fairly normal (I hope she got a responsibility allowance for it, though 😉).

Yeah, but more seriously, I like about S1 that it at least attempts to portray SHIELD as a large organisation with a defined hierarchical structure. They never really had that again, even in those seasons where the rebuilding was going well and there were lots of staff around. Well, apart from the brief Mace era in S4, I guess! Bless his heart, he had his flaws, but he at least attempted to turn that agency into a functioning, structured entity again. 😄 

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12 hours ago, Llywela said:

Yeah, but more seriously, I like about S1 that it at least attempts to portray SHIELD as a large organisation with a defined hierarchical structure. They never really had that again, even in those seasons where the rebuilding was going well and there were lots of staff around. Well, apart from the brief Mace era in S4, I guess! Bless his heart, he had his flaws, but he at least attempted to turn that agency into a functioning, structured entity again. 😄 

I kind of missed that too in most of the seasons. Also as this would have allowed them to have scenes where they have "normal" lives going on. Like talking about going on a date or looking for an apartment (which Fitz and Simmons did).  As much I love the later seasons there wasn't a time where they weren't in constant danger (except that part in season 4). 

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I am at the point where everyone realized Hydra was inside the ATCU, as the show retconned Captain America movies and gave us the comic's history of Hydra. I noticed this time Rosalind Price catching herself when saying Gideon malick set up the Science Division inside of the ATCU as she was remembering that was what the Red Skull set up for the Nazis. That agency never had a chance.

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Finished S3 now. I like the Hive storyline for bringing Ward's prolonged tenure to an end and allowing Brett Dalton to play a completely different character for a while, all in one fell swoop. Ward had outstayed his welcome already, it was high time he was ended, but placing Hive in his body allowed the actor to see out the season while also stretching his acting muscles - and I like that Hive is such a very different character, the distinction between the two is apparent in all his scenes. But more than anything, I like that the season finale finally closes the chapter on Ward - well, apart from his brief cameo sub-plot in the Framework, but Ward the person had his swansong and was gone for good, and that was right. Too many shows wouldn't have been able to let go of him, and it would have become ridiculous.

Having re-watched the season, I've decided that I like Lincoln best when he interacts with almost anyone but Daisy - the couple of missions he was paired with May were his strongest, I felt, but I was intrigued to see how many times Coulson chose to take Lincoln with him. I think maybe Lincoln might have worked better as a character if he'd been allowed to bond with the team properly, but I also think his alienation from the team at large was a big part of the point of his character, and that he was never intended to be anything more than a brief, tragic love interest for Daisy, he was never intended to be in this for the long haul. I do wish, though, that I could like him more than I do, because without that, I feel his death for Daisy but not for him, if that makes sense. He was certainly no Trip, that's for sure!

I think I enjoy Elena more every time I re-watch the show.

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Getting into S4. I really enjoy the pace of the storytelling, and the show's willingness to mix things up and try something new each season, so that the basic formula never gets stale. I enjoy Coulson most when he is just another agent working for someone else as Director, so having him stand down with Mace taking his place works for me - gives him someone to kick against, rather than being the one making all the decisions all the time.

Watching Simmons and Radcliffe stop May's heart to save her from the ghost infection, though, and seeing again how long she was dead, with the power cut delaying her revival longer still...she really, really should have suffered a brain injury worse than Fitz in S2!

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I really love season four. Even though there are separate plot arcs they are still connected enough to tell one overall story. I just finished season 4 and I’m about to start season five. I hate season five. I seriously considered rewatching season four again before moving on to five, because I just do not like that season. I realized that it’s probably because season five feels like misery porn. I know the previous seasons weren’t fun, but it just feels like there was a lot of terrible stuff crammed into season five. And it doesn’t help that most of the season was filmed inside on dimly lit sets.

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Yeah, season 5 is one big darkness overload. That was my main issue with it, too, it needed a few more light-hearted episodes to break up the darkness. They don't really hit that balance properly again before season 7.

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I am at the point where we meet Nathanial Malick in Gideon's flashback. Where Garrett in season 7 felt okay to the original motivation to join Hydra the season 7 Malick even with knowledge of Gideon's cheating the and proof that the Red Skull wing of Hydra was wrong about their "religion" due to the timestream  doesn't match up for me.

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Not sure I follow you...do you think that his character don't match up? Keep in mind that 1. his father was different AND lived longer and 2. what we see in the flashback is a teen grieving for his father, not a young man.

 

It is kind of the point of season 7 that different decisions have different outcomes, hence you can't judge people on things they haven't even done yet.

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Honestly, it makes sense to me that a many-headed beast like Hydra would have many branches and offshoots with differing priorities, some adhering slavishly to the 'old ways' while others simply embrace the prospect of power and evil, and that some of those branches might find themselves working at cross-purposes. Just look how many schisms and offshoots the Christian church has spawned, for example, and how different some of them are from one another. So the differences between the various branches of Hydra we meet always seem entirely reasonable to me - different leadership with different motivations and goals and different entry routes into the organisation, the difference between those raised in Hydra who see it as a religion (Gideon Malick) and those who join at a later age for more personal reasons of their own (Garrett out for self gain, Ward out of loyalty to Garrett), and so on.

We don't really see much of Gideon Malick in S7 to judge, but the Gideon we do see is slightly older than Flashback!Gideon, has not had to contend with losing his father at a formative age, and has been raised by a father whose personal timeline has been considerably altered from that of Original!Gideon. The Nathaniel we meet is also older than his Original!Timeline self ever got to be, and again never had to deal with the early loss of his father, and was also raised by a father whose personal timeline had been considerably altered and had foreknowledge of the future, all of which would have an influence on how Nathaniel turned out in this alternate timeline. Then, of course, encountering Daisy's superpowers had a life-changing impact on him, and thereafter he was well and truly corrupted by Sibyl. It seems reasonable to me that they would both have turned out slightly differently in this timeline than what we saw of them at a younger age in Original!Gideon's flashbacks.

I'm well into S4 now and very happy to have both Piper and Davis around, satisfying my desire for recurring agents outside of the main cast.

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6 hours ago, Llywela said:

I'm well into S4 now and very happy to have both Piper and Davis around, satisfying my desire for recurring agents outside of the main cast.

I will be forever disappointed that we didn’t get an episode from their POV. Or even a miniseries like Slingshot.

A few episodes into season 5 and in the first couple of episodes of the season the characters are a bit obnoxious IMO. They’re in a new environment with customs they don’t understand and rather than keep their head down until they can come up with a plan they make a ton of noise and ignore every warning from Deke and Tess. I understand not following them blindly (especially Deke who is shady as fuck at this point), but this is their world.

Also, I’m a bit disturbed that I find this version of Deke hotter than the version at the end of the series. Season 5A Deke has a swagger that disappeared once he was taken out of his comfort zone and brought into the present. 

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I find wide-eyed, tree-hugging Deke way more endearing. But that is just a personal preference. "Swaggers" do little for me....though admittingly, The swagger of "The Doctor" is kind of hot….

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Early S5 Deke always comes as a salutary reminder of how incredibly well he copes with being irrevocably torn from his own timeline and flung into what to him was an entirely alien world, with almost no support of any kind. He was pretty much universally disliked and rejected by just about the only people he knew (with good reason, but still, I think effectively sacrificing his life for theirs kind of made up for selling Daisy out for what he believed was the greater good). Yet he manages to thrive. I'm always sorry that we never got to see Fitz bonding with him properly - maybe if Iain had been available for S7 that might have happened.

I'm into mid-S4 now, about to enter the LMD arc, and have been reminded that although I enjoy Mack and Elena's relationship, generally speaking, Mack's smotheringly paternalistic attitude toward her in the early stages is absolutely maddening. He is constantly talking over her, talking for her to her face, overruling her decisions, making declarations on her behalf, and generally telling her that he knows what's best for her better than she does. I find it infuriating, perhaps all the more so because I once had a boyfriend who kept trying to pull the same crap, and let me tell you, it is not nearly as 'cute and romantic' as film and TV generally like to make out - in fact, it is toxic to live with. Elena calls him out on it every time, always stands up for her right to make her own decisions about what she is or isn't capable of, but damnit she shouldn't have to.

On the other hand, I can't help liking Radcliffe in spite of everything. He's a corrupt little weasel, but at least he owns it, he does genuinely want to do the right thing, most of the time, and his eventual downfall isn't really his fault, given the corrupting influence of the Darkhold, which he only came into contact with in an attempt to save lives. I also appreciate Mace more and more every time I watch this season.

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Mace was really neatly done...the writers new that the audience would hate no matter which outsider they made the new director...so they gave us permission to hate on him (since all our favourite characters did too), and when they got around, the audience was kind of brought around - and made to feels like heels when the actual motivations of Mace were revealed.

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I'd forgotten that Vijay Nadeer is really only around for two episodes. My memory thought it was longer.

I like Aida. I feel like that's probably an unpopular opinion, but I enjoy the progression of her story. Mallory Jansen does an excellent job with the character.

I had a thought about the Inhumans the other day. Back in S2 when Raina transformed, we were told that she was the first documented prophet the Inhumans had ever known. In something like 2000 years, there had never been an Inhuman capable of foreseeing the future. Then Raina died, and in S3 up popped Charles Hinton - another Inhuman with the previously unheard of ability to foresee the future. Then Charles died, and in S5 we learned that his daughter Robin was also an Inhuman able to foresee the future. All of their gifts had a slightly different slant, but they all had the power of prophecy, after 2000 years without any trace of any such gift.

And that ties in, I believe, with Lincoln's theory in S3 that each Inhuman's gift is designed to fulfil a specific evolutionary need. Now, to me, that theory sounds like nonsense, especially given what we know of the origins of Inhumans. They were a failed Kree experiment left to run wild for 2000 years, and the Kree didn't care about evolutionary need, they just wanted to create warriors. 2000 years later, there was no evidence of any intelligent design behind the Inhumans as they transformed, no higher power in evidence to control what each Inhuman turned into - especially once terrigen was released into the ecosphere, triggering transformations at random. But Lincoln believed wholeheartedly that each new power came into being for a reason, that there was some kind of design or forethought controlling it all somehow. And the existence of three prophets in rapid succession, each one only gaining the power of prophecy after the last had died, does seem to back that up - as if the need for a prophet had been identified, so whenever the post was vacated, another had to be created.

So now I'm picturing some kind of Terry Pratchett small god latching onto the Inhumans when the Kree abandoned them, unseen but working hard over the centuries to ensure that the right power was created at the right time, for whatever purpose, foreseeing the need for a prophet and therefore ensuring that one was in place...only to get increasing exasperated that the prophets keep getting themselves killed, so that another has to be created, and then another... 😄 

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On 10/15/2020 at 3:58 AM, Llywela said:

I like Aida. I feel like that's probably an unpopular opinion

It is? I love Aida. There was great character progression so you could see how she went from robot android to Ophelia in the end. Mallory Jensen has so many parts to play in season four and she did a great job with all of them.

You’d think having the gift of prophecy would lead to a long life, but it only worked for Robin. And she was still killed.

Also, season 7 is finally coming to Netflix. I was starting to get worried they just weren’t going to add it.

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5 hours ago, BaggythePanther said:

Also, season 7 is finally coming to Netflix. I was starting to get worried they just weren’t going to add it.

Apparently the UK is getting it on Disney+ which is a bit of a bummer - the first six seasons aired on E4, which is widely available and not behind a paywall, but they seem to have given up on the show right at the death. I was fortunate enough to have a friend supply me the episodes as they aired but had hoped to record them on Tivo when they finally made it across the Pond. Doesn't seem that will be possible now. I just hope these last two seasons make it to DVD eventually.

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In Germany AoS on Disney Plus...which I haven't subscribed to, yet. I wait for there being more content overall.

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I think America is the only place where AoS isn’t on Disney + right now. I assume it’ll move there eventually.

Despite all my initial complaining I’m actually enjoying season 5 so far (I just finished 5x06). I think it’s because I’m ignoring the depressing plot and concentrating on the character interactions. This is the third time I’ve watched this season and I’m picking up on things I missed before. And for me 5A was the less depressing part of the season because the characters were all on the same page and shared the same goal of getting home. 5B is where the infighting starts and I hate it. There are no words for how much I hate 5x14.

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A little bit of an issue with the last part was that nobody really expected that they wouldn't manage to avoid the end of the world, hence it kind of felt like the stakes were lower than they seemed to be...if that makes any sense.

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My re-watch has just hit the Framework, Agents of Hydra arc. Daisy and Simmons have gone in, the Base has been blown up (sob - RIP, Playground), and I'm remembering just how long it is going to be before I see actual SHIELD again. As much as I enjoy the adventures of the senior staff (and I really do, I find these arcs really exciting and entertaining), between the Framework and being flung into the future, they are gone a hell of a long time, in real world terms (in-universe real world, that is) - I want to know what was going on with all the flunkies at SHIELD, left hanging to face the music with no way of knowing what was going on or if their senior management was ever going to come back!

And thinking about that is making me pre-emptively sad about Talbot all over again, knowing what is going to happen to him at the end of this season, while in the middle of trying valiantly to defend SHIELD in the absence of its entire senior staff. Dammit, for all his differences with Coulson, he was such a loyal ally to SHIELD for so many years, he really didn't deserve what happened to him - which, of course, is what made him such an excellent villain, in the end, because his story was so tragic, and he wanted so badly to do the right thing and help save the world, only to have his mind broken and corrupted.

I really enjoy Framework Ward - hilarious to see the coin flipped, as it were. But every time I watch this arc, it is clearer and clearer to me that Aida manipulated the nature of the Framework universe way more than she ever admitted. She claims that all she did was change one thing for each person and then let the scenario play out, and the team always seems to accept that as truth, but there is no way she could have positioned herself as Head of Hydra, with Fitz, whose technical skills she needed so badly, in place just where she needed him as her right hand man, without serious additional manipulation. The very act of inserting herself into the scenario was a major change that the entire scenario would have had to be re-adjusted to allow for. She had complete control over the Framework. Of course she manipulated it to create the exact outcome that best suited her purpose. Of course she did more than change one detail for each person and then just let the scenario play out. I simply do not believe that Hydra could have taken SHIELD's place and become such a powerful and universally accepted arm of government in such a short span of time (well actually, looking at the real world, I guess that one is kind of plausible), or that after a lifetime of serving SHIELD's ideals May would have switched her allegiance to its polar opposite Hydra so completely, not without serious manipulation by Aida. No, Aida created the universe she wanted, absolutely. She might never have made major changes, but she absolutely did enough to ensure that the scenario ended up where she wanted it.

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I think what Aida mostly did was to shove Jemma out of the picture, but I don't think that she really touched any of the regrets of the others.

The only thing I think is kind of odd about the Framework is the role of Daisy...if Aida was collecting Inhuman powers, then Daisy was right there, even pre-reveal. This would only make sense if Aida could only take the powers of Inhumans which died in real life for some reason.

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Aida picked and chose which regrets she was going to 'undo', but I'm not really talking about the lives of the agents she plugged into the framework, I'm talking about the the formation of the world they were plugged into - there are loads of details that could be argued as programming choices made by Aida rather than inevitable algorithmic outcomes. Aida wrote the algorithms. She absolutely arranged it so that the outcome would best suit her purposes.

Most of her manipulation was around Fitz, to be sure. She made certain the influences on him in this world were all negative and pushed him to her, and then controlled and manipulated him constantly once he was by her side. But I also think that creating a Hydra-controlled state in the first place (with herself at its head, in a position of absolute power) was no accident or random algorithmic chance - May saving the girl in Bahrain instead of killing her would not inevitably lead to Hydra seizing control of the entire nation and turning it into a military state, no way. Aida constructed the world of the Framework specifically to make it so, because it was in her own interests to do so.

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