“Shadows” sets up what has become the new normal for Coulson and his team since the fallout of last season and sets the trajectory for this new season.
In 1945, Peggy Carter and the Howling Commandos have infiltrated and destroyed what they think is the last Hydra base. Hydra leader, Dr. Whitehall escapes, but we’ll see him again. They also recover what will become the first 0-8-4.
In the present, Coulson has settled into his role as new director, unfortunately, this means that he’s been away from his team more and more as he attempts to find what few allies S.H.I.E.L.D. still has. He has enlisted fellow agent, Isabelle Hartley for help and she has, in turn, enlisted Lance Hunter and Idaho, who are mercenaries.
During an undercover operation, Hartley and her men are ambushed by Carl Creel who mysteriously has the ability to absorbs the properties of anything he touches. Using Intel given by an imprisoned former Agent Ward, Coulson’s team rush to get to General Talbot (who has been on S.H.I.E.L.D.s tail since last season) before Creel can. The ensuing fight leaves Creel in the hands of Talbot’s men and Talbot in the hands of Coulson’s team.
As Coulson tries to enlist Talbot’s help, Creel’s imprisonment proves to be just as affective as Loki’s was on the Helicarrier. They know that Creel has been taken to the same building that they’re also holding the 0-8-4, which is exactly where Creel wants to be.
Throughout the episode, we see Fitz wrestle with the fact that his brain is as fast as it used to be as he tries to get cloaking capabilities back on the Bus and Simmons is doing her best to keep his spirits high.
I’ll let you see the fallout from the big fight in the compound, but I will say that the writers have definitely figured out how to tear at your heart strings. The good guys win because they achieve their objective, but it’s a hollow win because it comes at a steep cost. And Creel lives to fight another day (which I’m look forward to because he was great).
“Shadows” definitely sets a more serious tone for this season. Coulson and his team are trying to defeat Hydra while at the same time being on the run from the U.S. military. His team is also broken. Skye has come into her own under May’s training, but Ward and Fitz-Simmons all have holes in their lives that need to be filled.
The writers have clearly heard the criticisms of fans about the slow build up of last season, because Season Two has started out strong and fast.
What did you think of last night’s episode?