Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which premiered on September 24, 2013 and ran for seven seasons and 136 episodes until August 12, 2020, is a fine television addition to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Jam-packed with action, character development, and cool design and special effects, and with the exact right amount of tie-ins to the rest of the universe that someone could watch it alone and understand what’s going on, AoS is, in many ways, perfect.
This fantastic science fiction television series was exactly the right length, had exactly the right characters and plots, and was all in all a wonderful show to spend my time watching. Though select seasosn didn’t live up to the expectations set by previous MCU content, every part of it was a joy to watch and I would recommend this show to anyone willing to watch it.
The first season, which mostly introduced the characters while still working in a reasonably watchable plot with multiple surprising twists at the end, was the worst, followed by the second season, which in turn didn’t provide as interesting episodes as seasons three through five and seven. The ratings given to these seasons as they aired were similar to my thoughts. The third season is when the series begins to get interesting, with the introduction of Hive and Lash, and the expansion of the Inhumans’ background and backstory.
In season four, the agents work with Ghostrider, which is an exciting plot, though one that moved sluggishly enough that I woudn’t care to rewatch it. The second third of the season sees Holden Radcliffe, a scientist who created an impeccable AI consciousness named A.I.D.A., trying to sentientize his creation, though it eventually turns on his, which leads to the final sect of the season, where the agents are stuck in a decaying computer-designed alternate reality, where they are oblivious to their lives on Earth and live how they would if they had not joined S.H.I.E.L.D.
Season five sends the agents to the future, on a post-apocalyptic Earth where the small section of civilization that remains lives underground, in a facility dubbed ‘The Lighthouse,’ which appears as a S.H.I.E.L.D. base upon their return to the past, in all future seasons. The season is perfect, spending the exact right amount of time in each location, while simultaneously setting up the third-most power villain in the series’ history. The sixth season isn’t as well-fleshed out as the previous seasons, as the writers were adjusting to 13-episode seasons as apposed to those that consist of 22, but the final episodes and the storyline in space were fun to watch. The seventh season, which is arguably the best, sees the agents flung through time to the past to stop an alien race of robots (the Chronicoms) from taking over the world after their planet is destroyed. The Chronic storyline is continued from season six, where there just wasn’t enough time to do it true justice, but as the agents jump through time, reminisce about the past (which they are currently in), and pick up characters from other TV series (most notable Daniel Sousa, from Marvel’s Agent Carter), I couldn’t take. my eyes of the screen.
There will be no more episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but after being nearly canceled after season five and still being renewed for a final two seasons, the show got to end on its own terms, and provides a spectacular finale that is both action-packed, thrilling, and emotionally deep. The series also ties in with companions Agent Carter and Inhumans, as well as the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies and web series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:Slingshot.