I’ll be the first to acknowledge that the first season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was uneven. Actually, I’m being nice about that, since the first half of the first season was very hard to get through. The only reason I did continue to watch it was because I was convinced it would tie into the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe in a profound way.
When the fallout of Captain America: The Winter Soldier started to affect the series in a huge way, that we finally got a very good television series, but the show did squander the goodwill it got in the beginning from being associated to the films. The second season will show whether the series can start picking up viewers, or whether it will continue to hemorrhage them. Like Agent Coulson says in the first trailer, “This is a make or break moment” and you can watch that trailer here:
Possible spoilers to follow!
About a full half of that trailer are shots from season one, but the new scenes do hint at what’s to come. First of all, there are no shots of the Bus (the aircraft used as a mobile base of operations in season 1), but it does look like there will be a new set, which is almost certainly the playground glimpsed in the season finale. Looks like this is the new base of operations for Coulson to rebuild S.H.I.E.L.D.
Skye also seems to have taken several levels in ass-kicking and will be a more active member in the team, Ward is still around but looks like he’s spent the last several months growing a beard in lock-up, and a brief look at Brian Patrick Wade?(MTV’s Teen Wolf) who is playing the Absorbing Man.
We’re also getting a few other new players for the next season. Nick Blood?(Him & Her) has been added to the regular cast as Lance Hunter, who may have his own motives to signing up with Coulson. We also have Lucy Lawless playing a new character invented for the show S.H.I.E.L.D., agent Isabelle Hartley. Rounding out the rest of the new reoccurring cast is Kyle MacLachlan as Skye's dad, Reed Diamond?(Moneyball) as Hydra agent Daniel Whitehall, Simon Kassianides?(Quantum of Solace) as Bakshi, and Henry Simmons?(Ravenswood) as Alphonso "Mack" Mackenzie. While Adrianne Palicki is only set to appear in episode 5 as Mockingbird she could also become a recurring character. Check out the first image of Lawless as Isabelle Hartley below.
Lucy Lawless as Agent Isabelle Hartley
There are still some unanswered questions from the first season and new obstacles for the team, so it seems to be shaping up pretty well. Executive producer Jeff Bell told TV Line (via our friends at?Screen Rant) that you can expect some of those questions to be answered (at least partially) in the first episode, including what to do with Ward, what’s going on between Fitz and Simmons, can May and Coulson trust each other, and what’s up with Skye’s parents.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2 premieres September 23, 2014 on ABC. Here’s the press release for the next season:
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns for a dynamic, action-packed second season, with newly appointed Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) – now the keeper of the secrets — charged with rebuilding and restoring government and public trust in S.H.I.E.L.D. in the wake of the events of “Marvel’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” where it was revealed evil Hydra agents had infiltrated the organization. Ever since the existence of super heroes and aliens became public knowledge after the Battle of New York, the world has been trying to come to grips with this new reality. Agent Phil Coulson, who had died at the hands of Loki during the battle, was resuscitated and brought back into action, assembling a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistics Division). S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mission: to protect those who cannot protect themselves from threats they cannot conceive.
But the biggest threat was growing from within, as S.H.I.E.L.D.’s old enemy, Hydra – a dangerous extremist group Captain America fought against in World War II – had secretly infiltrated and infected the organization at the highest levels. Once revealed to the public, S.H.I.E.L.D., including Coulson and his team, was discredited and made to look like the enemy. The world now views S.H.I.E.L.D. as untrustworthy, and it’s Coulson’s job to change that opinion.
After helping to thwart Hydra, Coulson was appointed as Director and tasked with rebuilding the agency. This won’t be an easy job to accomplish with the majority of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents either killed, secretly working for Hydra or free agents. Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot, martial artist and longtime friend, will continue to look after Coulson in the wake of the mysterious etchings he’s been carving into walls. What do these etchings mean, and can Coulson be trusted? Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage, was found to be a Hydra mole and a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D. and locked up away from the world and his former teammates. But this isn’t the last we’ve seen of him… After being left to die in the middle of the ocean by Ward, Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer, and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist, found a way to escape their watery grave. But all did not go well for Fitz, who was left in a coma and may never regain his full cognitive functions; a devastating blow to Simmons. And computer hacker Skye (Chloe Bennet), now a full-fledged S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, discovered her origins as a 0-8-4 — an object of unknown origin – and that her parents were considered “monsters.” Could Skye have darkness lying dormant inside of her? Also joining Coulson’s core team is Lance Hunter (Nick Blood), a dashing mercenary sharp shooter with a quick wit. Since he didn’t rise up through the ranks, does he have an ulterior motive for helping out the team?