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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I Watched the last two episodes of the season last night. They really put a lot of information and action into these two. As you said, it's good that there are more mysteries unrevealed. Bill Paxton did a great job as John Garrett. He really chewed the scenery to death. I also really enjoyed Ruth Negga as Raina/Flower Dress. Interesting that she made off with Graviton. If Billy Koenig is an LMD, maybe Eric was too?

The clip you linked to is of the Peggy Carter character, but it's from the upcoming ABC show Marvel's Agent Carter:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3475734/mediaindex?ref_=tt_pv_mi_sm


Captain Comics said:

Aaaaand here is an entirely different Peggy Carter clip. (Actually, it's probably from later in the One-Shot.)

http://www.icv2.com/articles/news/26750.html

I didn't pay close attention to the names of the secret sites, so this may be wishful thinking. Was the one with Eric site E? Was the one with Billy site B?

I see where you're going with that Richard -- Koenig "A," then Koenig "B" and so forth. But Imdb.com lists the first Patton character as Eric Koenig. But if "Billy" isn't a clone or LMD, I'll be very surprised!

As to Grant Ward, I don't see how he can be redeemed. We've seen him kill SO MANY PEOPLE that I don't see how he can be forgiven, even if I wanted to. (And I don't want to. I enjoy openly hating him.) But think about it: He killed Hand and her two SHIELD agents. He killed the two SHIELD agents in the elevator (and no telling how many more in the Fridge). He killed the two cops Skye was trying to surrender to (and probably killed or crippled the ones in the diner). Those are just the ones I remember off the top of my head. He's been casually killing people ever since the Big Reveal, many of them unaffiliated with SHIELD or Hydra.

Even if Ward's a triple agent -- which I doubt -- the things he's done put him outside the pale. And don't think I've forgotten about Buddy, either! (Which my wife said was great filmmaking, with the original misdirection.)

I thought it was a nice bit with Bill Paxton at the end. When he crawled up on the gurney, my wife said "I KNEW he wasn't dead!" Then, well ...she just laughed.

Incidentally, Paxton's character had a similar character arc in the comics. IIRC, he was created in the Elektra: Assassin miniseries (1986), and gradually became A) more nuts and B) more cyborg as the series progressed. So thus of who could remember back that far had some idea of what his character arc MIGHT be. Which it did. But he was great as Garrett, the cheerful, your-best-buddy bad guy you don't often get to see.

I was surprised at how much they cleared up for the season-ender -- I expected more of a cliffhanger. But I guess they're on a timetable -- the Marvel Cinematic Universe timetable -- and can't afford to waste time. For all we know, Guardians of the Galaxy will have ramifications for the security community on earth, and that premieres before Season 2.

They did leave a minor cliffhanger in Coulson's "promotion" (how does Fury have the authority to give him that?) and Skye's apparent father. Both interesting, but not compelling, at least not to me, so far.

And there's the mystery of Fitz. I fear things aren't going to go well for him.

Yea, Ward is definitely out, but as noted in other discussions Cap bad deeds have an expiration date in comics so they might try to work that in tv as well.

The ending with Coulson and Paxton reminded me of the ending of Wizards where Avatar and his brother face off. Nice to see that Coulson is smart enough to realize that you have to be really, really dead before you stay dead.

I'd be interested to see how they rebuild SHIELD as well. In the comics the incompetence and fascism of the agency is generally glossed over, but it could make for some good television if they have Coulson dueling it out with a congressional hearing.

For the life of me I can't match what little we saw of Skye's father with any marvel villain that I know of. Would be really interesting if she were related to Doom though.

They did leave a minor cliffhanger in Coulson's "promotion" (how does Fury have the authority to give him that?) and Skye's apparent father.

It sounds like you might have a theory about Skye's father, Cap. Who do you think it might be?

Oh, yeah, Ward's killed tons of people! And at least one dog, which there's no coming back from. So yeah, in the larger scheme of things, he's going to hell (or wherever murderers and traitors go). BUT -- that doesn't mean that he doesn't have a useful skill set, and there couldn't be plot contrivances to team him up with the rest of the group again. And regret for his deeds, plus some Marvel Universe-style extenuating circumstances, could set him on that road. 

Remember, Jean Grey killed a PLANET. Hal Jordan killed hundreds of Green Lanterns. How many assassinations was Bucky responsible for? These things happen, can't make an omelet, etc. The only person Ward killed that the audience liked was Keonig, and he's back! I doubt that's a coincidence.

As for Nick Fury's authority -- is it necessary? At this point, there's no official sanction for SHIELD, so Coulson could just as well be rebuilding the Merry Marvel Marching Society. But once he gets the organization in place, then it's time to ask permission. 

Well he's going to have to get funding from someplace. Helicarieers aren't cheap.

Agreed. But I think step 1 is trusted personnel. Let's not put the helicarrier before the horse.

"Here ya go, pal, the keys to an organization that nobody likes and is dissolved anyway and has no resources. I'm its former boss, but I'm jobless right now, so I have no authority. Anyway ... good luck!"

Ward survived for a reason. I'm sure that he'll be back, probably with an explosive device implanted in his head (and a new foot! I mean, OUCH!!). He cares for Skye and he could have just shot Fitz and Simmons. I can't see them dropping Ward out of the picture after investing so much time in him for an entire season.

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