Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has been back for about a month and a half now, and I’m kicking myself for just having watched the first episode. Between the Inhumans TV series wrapping up (to an admittedly lackluster although undeservedly maligned reception from both viewers and critics) and a bunch of other shows taking their respective mid-season breaks, Agents of SHIELD just seemed to slip between the cracks. Well, that’s what we all get for saturating the whole market with shows and movies based on comic book properties. Late though I may be, it’s a good thing I finally got to watch the fifth season’s premiere earlier this week. And the show’s off to a pretty good start.
To tell you the truth, Agents of SHIELD, to me, is the kind of show that I watch less for the plot and characters than for the hints and Easter eggs it could give about the wider MCU and, ultimately, to have something pleasant enough to pass the time until something like Game of Thrones or Westworld comes back. But, it all changed during last season’s second half, wherein the show finally embraced its sci-fi suspense roots and come to its own rather than be a season-long commercial for Marvel’s other bigger properties.
Now, basing my observations on the first episode of the current season, it seems the show has found a balance between serving the whole MCU without compromising its own characters and plot. For one – and I suggest you turn away now if you haven’t seen it yet – it appears we’re getting an alternate future set in a timeline where perhaps Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Infinity War sees the studio’s protagonists defeated by Thanos, its big baddie. Of course, I could be wrong. And this is what I meant when I mentioned about balance: there’s still the element of suspense and that interesting hook the show may have lacked in its earlier seasons.
Granted, though, we may not be getting another story arc that’s as faithful to the spy genre as the previous season’s, but this one’s shaping up to be an interesting yarn regardless. And, if there is indeed just one thing I really liked about this season premiere, it’s the homage they paid to the Alien franchise (I’ll leave you to watch the episode to see what I mean). Come to think of it, it’s like Disney already knew they were going to be able to purchase Fox, the Alien franchise’s former owners, months before the deal pushed through and went ahead to do a rendition of their own featuring Phil Coulson and the gang.
So, what exactly is Agents of SHIELD’s fifth season all about? Well, suffice it to say that they’ve been transported to another time where Earth has become destroyed leaving only a portion of the planet the shape of a watermelon slice’s peeling floating in space. As for the eponymous agents, well, of course they have to escape this timeline. How they will do it, though, is something I really can’t wait to see.