How Agents of SHIELD Has Changed

Coulson's team

The team goes for Coulson

Roughly a year ago, everything changed in Agents of SHIELD. With the reveal of HYDRA having long term infiltrated SHIELD. The SHIELD that we previously knew that was light hearted and honestly not as good as it could have been went out the window. All of a sudden, Agents of SHIELD became a superior show. With the start of the second season, things didn’t just stay batter, but they also got darker. The entire palate of the sow changed to something to was a bit more friendly to one that didn’t shy away from death. The show shifted from being about a team handling various issues to a show about the people within the team.

The show has gone through so many changes, but the biggest thing is the change in the nature of the show that I mentioned previously. With the arrival of season two the creative team became unafraid to let the characters dive into material that wasn’t bright and cheery (literally the first season had a different range of colors). Everything is now blue, black, and grey. I still keep thinking back to how inane those early episodes were. They just didn’t have punch. However, now every episode fed into each other. They weren’t just advancing a single episode, they were advancing an entire storyline. Things got darker. Things grew to be more troublesome. Most importantly, the stories were cohesive.

Agents of SHIELD - "Who You Really Are"As the season went on we saw a serial treatment rather than episodic. No doubt, ABC in the early days wanted an episodic show. Broadcast networks tend to favor episodic shows because they tend to hold higher rating for them. With an episodic show, you can tune in and not pay much attention to where they are in the story line. The individual episodes hit similar beats. There’s a case, there’s a problem. There’s a hitch. And then final there is the solving of the case. Every so often a particular case may get so big that it spreads over into a second episode, but that is rare. These episodic shows are easy to consume, but they don’t often hold the emotional depth that serial shows have.

Agents of SHIELD is entirely a serial show now. Week after week we are seeing the growth of our team. They are each dealing with problems and they aren’t tritely touched upon for a moment every few episodes. We really get to dig into the problems they are having and come to have an understanding. This creates a stronger relationship. In season 1, I found Fitz amusing. Then the latter part of the season I came to love Fitz. Now in season 2, I feel so connected to Fitz that any wrong done to him feels like a personal offense. Sure, over time I could have grown to feel that way if Agents of SHIELD remained episodic. However that was done quicker and with more character depth through the show’s serial nature.

Have you been enjoying the changes Agents of SHIELD have made in their second season?

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4 thoughts on “How Agents of SHIELD Has Changed

  1. Well, I don’t think saying the show has made “changes” is entirely accurate, the writers new about the ramifications that Cap 2 would have months in advance, so they were just following a plan/outline that was laid out and provided to them from Marvel Studios’ execs from the beginning. Now that’s not to say that the plan couldn’t have been better, particularly leading into Winter Soldier. Basically, the writers for Agents of SHIELD get to play a very complex and more entertaining version of fill in the blank, because all the high level ideas such as: HYDRA being within SHIELD, Skye being Inhuman, etc. are decided by the Marvel Studio execs the writers then write around what’s been laid out.

    Marvel being a comic book company always plans things out years in advance, so does DC. Everyone, seems to think that DC’s Convergence event and Marvel’s Secret Wars event by way of being released around the same time, are attempts to “copy” each other. However, Marvel started building to Secret Wars since Jonathan Hickman took over writing duties on Avengers and New Avengers in Fall 2012, DC likewise has said that they’ve been building to Convergence since the start of The New 52 in Fall 2011.

  2. They were creative changes, however they were intentional, yes. Regardless of whether the changes were intentional or not, The Agents of SHIELD that came on last night is nothing like what was coming on in September 2013 or even February 2014.

    It is a damn shame that Agents of SHIELD had to play the Marvel game when it was starting out. It is a different show, a better show.

    • Well, right now the benefit that the show has in the aftermath of Winter Soldier is the freedom that comes with the technicality that SHIELD has officially been dismantled by the Gov., with Coulson and Gonzales both rebuilding under a different set of ideals. However, based on casting calls for extras for Captain America Civil War there will be some form of SHIELD that has been reestablished by the Gov. to spearhead the Superhuman Registration Act.

      Being familiar with the comics, I’ve been under the impression that Agents of SHIELD has been adapting the Secret Warriors comic. It follows a very similar plot, Nick Fury discovers that HYDRA had infiltrated SHIELD and so he assembles his Secret Warriors team to fight HYDRA from the shadows. In addition, one member of the Secret Warriors is Quake, which is Skye’s comic book counterpart. Basically, Coulson’s team is the MCU’s version of Nick Fury’s Secret Warriors, only Nick Fury isn’t directly leading the team like in the comics, which is only because it would cost to much to have Samuel L. Jackson be a regular on the show.

  3. Pingback: Agents of SHIELD Season 2 Review | So, I pondered...

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