Agents of SHIELD starts again and after the major improvement of last season I was sincerely hoping that the show would get better. Well, while the show is not on the Daredevil level of outstanding, it is certainly back stronger than ever.
The main thing that made this season premiere effective was the use of superpowers. SHIELD initially started as a show about non-superpowered people living in a world that was dealing with superpowers. Frankly, this did not work. It was boring, Moreover, in a world with the Avengers one could not help but wonder why we were spending time with these guys. Luckily, the show seems to have realised that it was not working. Having a scene like the series’ opener where a guy is melting metal and causing explosions, and we see Daisy use her powers to take out some military guys and save the day shows that we are going to see some superpowers. That looked really cool. If this is the direction the show is taking, that is a good thing.
I also really enjoyed the new Advanced Threat Containment Unit. It was nice to see that the government was involved in the Inhuman threat and that it was not just SHIELD vs HYDRA. The head seems like a good character and the scene where she meets Coulson is great. Here you see two heads of two organisations trying to gain the upper hand. Both sides seem interesting and none of them seem like moustache-twirling villains. Price seems committed to containing what seems like a dangerous threat but is unwilling to try and help the new Inhumans and Coulson wants to work to recruit them into SHIELD and help them make the most out of their lives but has no oversight or way of controlling them if they get out of hand. It is good to see we are not being set up to hate one side unduly. That makes for good storytelling and it will be interesting to see how both sides work together, and hopefully we won’t have that storyline shelved like the one with Commander Adama (sorry, I mean Gonzales).
Finally, the best character of the episode was clearly Fitz. He is on a one-man quest to find Simmons and return her. Watching him stare down a terrorist and outsmart him was truly remarkable. He has come so far from being the lab rat who is virtually interchangeable with Simmons to being his own character and that is really nice to see. Iain DeCaestecker’s performance is one to be commended. Moreover, it is the best bit of the episode as it shows how far Fitz has come, not just from the start of the show but from the start of Season 1.
On the whole, this episode was good and hopefully the season will be good and not go back down to the Season 1 level of awful.