Overall, I thought it was okay.  I felt there were too many glib lines, and while there was some mystery, not enough to keep me truly interested.

A handful of thoughts:

* I dislike Skye and Ward from the get-go.  Too glib, too competent, too attractive, too obvious. Total Riker vibe from Ward.

* Was that a Ron Glass sighting?

* Fitz and Simmons feels a little too pushed too.

* There are 50 gazillion heroes and villains in the 616 universe.  I know Marvel doesn't want to pay any extra royalties, but a few familiar names would have been nice.  Hydra? AIM? Scorpio? The Hellfire Club?

* Has the Super-Soldier Serum become the go-to evil plan?

* No good explanation for Coulson's survival.  I was really expecting to hear LMD.

* I'm just not buying into this yet. At the same time, Whedon's got a rep for pulling rabbit's out of hats, so we'll see.

* Oh yeah, the ending made zero sense to me.  Did the bullet not pierce his skin?  Was it a special bullet to fix his condition?  Really hard to tell.

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So if Hand were actually alive, would that make her Hydra, too? Or would it make Ward actually triple-cover SHIELD, and it was part of a ruse for Garrett's benefit? If that's the case, to what end? He was already in custody. And what would that say about Koenig -- was he Hydra, and Ward killed him, or was he SHIELD but Ward was too concerned about his mission secrecy to allow him to live.

I think what we've been presented with is mostly true -- Ward is Hydra, and he killed a good agent in Keonig* -- but I can't help thinking that Hand is alive despite this, and perhaps was using that gun to test Ward. But those pieces don't really fit, either. 

Still, I'm glad this show is inspiring this type of speculation lately -- it's much more interesting that complaining that the Gravitron episode was a dud.

*And that's why Patton Oswalt was such a great casting choice for that character: We immediately predisposed to like him, and would definitely bear a grudge against his murderer. It's only a question of whether the producers are using that affection at face value, or will turn it against us as more is revealed.

  How many fans did Dallas loose when Bobby showed up in the shower?

  I think a major question after this is where the series goes.  In the comic-mu I see no real difference between SHIELD and HYDRA, in fact all of the alphabet agencies seem to be corrupt with no oversight, secret agendas and unlimited budgets.  In the context of the movies and the tv show however the writers seem to want to portray SHIELD as the good guys and that'll be hard to do with a good deal of that organization suddenly turning traitor.  Again there is no way I can think of that SHIELD is rebuilt with Fury in charge, the scapegoating instinct alone would cause every member of congress to cast him as the dumb/bad guy.  What might happen is that they'll have SHIELD but with someone in charge who's so hostile to the agency that he/she/they make it nearly impossible for the regulars to get anything done.  I can't see Coulson taking his team the independent route (didn't Waller do that with the Suicide Squad once?).

Richard Willis said:

I don't think TV and movie audiences would be as tolerant of the revolving door of death as comics fans seem to be.

Waller did do that with the Squad once -- around issue 40, I think. SHIELD will be rebuilt eventually -- it's too cool an organization to completely disappear -- but maybe not until Nick Fury's existence is revealed to the world. (Maybe around Avengers 2?) But it really does raise the question of how the show will continue, right down to the title. I'm excited to find out.

Blakes 7 went on without Blake.

Coulson shot May, with no lasting effect, earlier in that very episode, so perhaps they were establishing a precedent for similar fakeouts to come.

That was with an ICER, right?

Craig Boldman said:

Coulson shot May, with no lasting effect, earlier in that very episode, so perhaps they were establishing a precedent for similar fakeouts to come.

Yeah, they've been using the ICERs since the first episode, a gun that puts people to sleep. My wife keeps missing that point, too.

ICERs don't tend to draw blood, though, and we saw blood on Hand's hand, even though the rest of her was out of frame as she was getting shot.

Dave Elyea said:

.....once the Spider-rights revert.....

After the ASM 2 movie my understanding is they're making ASM 3 and ASM 4. Sony won't let it go until it stops being a license to print money. (Same with Fox and the X-Men)

I haven't read the Norman Osborn/HAMMER stories, but I'd be really surprised if they went there. It just introduces too much complexity for the general audience. I think Ward is just a Hydra agent and Hand is just dead.

I've been catching up and saw The Winter Soldier crossovers. Nothing is sacred anymore nor is anyone safe.

I'm still bothered by Ward's part now. Traitor or double agent? He is a major character who saved all their lives at some point. Will he be redeemed? Can he be redeemed? Should he be redeemed?

Logically, the Widow or Hawkeye should have contacted them by now.

Why would the Widow or Hawkeye call? They don't even know Coulson is alive.

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