The official end of the Marvel Television era is close as MARVEL’S Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered the first episode of its final season last night. And in true Marvel fashion, the show kicked off with a storyline that was completely unconnected to the narrative of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as the team find themselves in 1930s New York.
Kicking off right from where Season 6 ended, the team are following the Chronicoms as they attempt to destroy Earth, or more specifically, eliminate Hydra from forming, so that SHIELD themselves never form. With Fitz missing in time, unbeknownst to anyone in case the Chronicoms get wind of his whereabouts and try to kill him, with May currently indisposed, the team are now more than ever trying to defeat the enemy to save the world and their friends.
The agents are also joined by a familiar face this season as Agent Coulson returns…sort of. While in the last season, Coulson took the evil side, this season opens with our old Coulsin being resurrected as an LMD. While this is an extremely emotional scene having had to watch Coulson die, begging not to be revived, it’s extremely heartwarming and nostalgic to see him back on the good team, with his classic dad humour. It’s almost like the old seasons but with the added extra that Coulson can now be shot and not die: now has super strength.
For me, the show has also become much more sci-fi (and consequently confusing) as the seasons have gone on. I do miss the initial seasons where it was all about defeating rogue aliens or recovering SSR alien artefacts from being used for evil. If anything, I’m only still watching because of the characters; Quake, May, Coulson and the rest of this crazy family.
However, I think this season has potential. As an ultra history nerd, loving all things time-travel (Timeless is possibly one of the best shows I’ve ever watched), I’m here for the team fangirling over Roosevelt, meeting their heroes through time. That, in addition to the cool ass outfits and the discourse of equality and race as Mack finds himself facing discrimination, makes me think this season will live up to fans expectations from the show. I especially enjoyed the pun on the New Deal given the team were saving Roosevelt.
While we don’t know yet how many of this season’s thirteen episodes will take place in the 30s, it feels like perhaps the bulk of the season will have the post-Great Depression setting as the opening title graphic has been revamped in old-style noir.
What we do know, however, is that Enver Gjokaj’s Agent Carter character Souza is headed our way, much to the delight of fans of the cancelled show. Which, coupled with the Hydra plotline and the presumed super-soldier serum that was given to Freddy, this final season could set up a well-thought-out prequel to the First Avenger.
The premiere is full of everything Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is about: violence, strong, kick-ass women, humour (we all love Deke so much, he is our precious child), sciencey geekey marvel goodness but this time with a side of time-travel.