Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been overshadowed by other Marvel projects and its debut on Disney+ has been no exception. Dropping along with the Defenders Saga, the excitement over Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), and other characters inching closer to their MCU arrival, AoS was like the forgotten step-child of Marvel projects. However, This show will always have a special place in my heart and for many fans around the world. While the debate rages on whether it is canon or not, let’s not forget to give the show some love and reflection.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was born out of a desire to expand on the ever-evolving world of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Taking a well-loved fan-favorite character such as Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and developing a show around him and S.H.I.E.L.D. seemed like a no-brainer. AoS worked well at filling in the blanks on the small screen between the films, though at times to the detriment to the show.
During the first season, the events were lined up well, specifically with the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D. during Captain America: The Winter Soldier. It felt electrifying going to the theaters to see the film on a Friday and having AoS reflect those changes the following Thursday.
Bringing Disney royalty like Ming-Na Wen in as Agent Melinda May, to serve as the army and the backbone of the group was an inspired choice. Every week watching her have to make hard decision after hard decision as well as melt from cold agent to mother hen of the group man Agent May one of the best characters in the show.
Newcomer Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet), known as Skye originally, allowed viewers to enter into the world of Marvel with fresh eyes. It was like getting a sneak behind the curtains of something larger, from a character who wasn’t already a part of their world.
However, from the first moment I saw them, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) were instantaneous favorites. Every scene they were in was hilarious and perfect in ways that I cannot describe.
The first couple of seasons continued to tie directly into the events of the MCU, but it never really felt connected. The films would cause something to happen and AoS would respond in kind and for that it started to suffer. Not that it wasn’t a good show, but in service to the fans, it tried hard to connect itself to the larger MCU. However, when the show finally broke from the shackles of the MCU, it was able to finally come into its own.
Away from the anchor of the MCU
During the third season, something extraordinary happened on the show. While it still was a Marvel show, it no longer directly addressed the MCU as a whole. Instead, it began exploring concepts like Inhumans, Ghost Rider, LMD’s and many other stories from Marvel lore.
With that expansion into a new frontier, it felt like the show was able to remove itself from the shadow of what it thought it was supposed to be into something more. Perhaps I’m not the one to ask with the Inhumans being some of my favorite characters. However, I think they did well exploring this new race of being with the budget they had.
As well, the season with Ghost Rider and LMD stands out as one of my utmost favorite seasons, because it felt like the show has expanded not just the stakes but also the heart. The heart of the show grew so much during the middle and later seasons, as the characters grew closer together as a family and not just a team.
People speak of the heart of The Flash and Supergirl shows, however, I always felt the heart of AoS to be stronger, and knock me in my feels much more often. It almost became a comfort show, like coming back to an old friend.
Legacy and Future of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Overall was Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a perfect show? Of course not. But was it a great show which deserves love? Absolutely, whether it is canon or not.
While I’m unsure if we will ever see these characters again, I choose to have just a bit of hope. We live in a world where Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock has returned from a canceled show to a Spider-Man film. So the characters or actors may one day make it back to our screen, but it’s okay if they don’t.
Those who love the show, continue to love it because it has earned that love. And for those who gave up on it or never gave it a chance to begin with, I urge you to try it once more now that it has found its new home now streaming on Disney+.
What is your favorite moment or character in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Please let us know in the comments or on Twitter @mycosmiccircus.