It shouldn’t be surprising that Disney/ABC/Marvel is practicing synergy in how it’s handling ABC’s Tuesday-night series “Agents of SHIELD” and the April 4 release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” the second Marvel movie – after “Thor: The Dark World” – released since “SHIELD” debuted last fall.
There was a “SHIELD” episode earlier in the season that tied in, in a minimal way, to the “Thor” sequel. And Jaimie Alexander guest-starred this week as Sif on “SHIELD,” tracking down fellow Asgardian Lorelei.
But it’s increasingly obvious, as I noted in an earlier piece, that both “SHIELD” and “Winter Soldier” seem to be building to something.
On “SHIELD,” Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) has had a season-long arc of discovery as he tries to determine how and why he was brought back from the dead after Loki inflicted a fatal goring in “The Avengers.” So far, we’ve learned that Coulson – and SHIELD team member Skye – were saved by a mysterious liquid that appears to be generated from the half-missing corpse of a blue alien bottled up in a remote SHIELD facility. In last week’s episode, Coulson asks Sif about “blue aliens” and she mentions several, from frost giants (obviously not the answer in this case) to the Kree, the longtime Marvel alien race that spawned not only the original Captain Marvel but also is the mortal enemy of the Skrulls (or the Chitauri, as they were depicted in “The Avengers.”)
By episode’s end, Coulson – frustrated that alien biologics were used in his resurrection and to save Skye – is seeking answers and demanding to speak to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson, who’s already appeared on the series).
Promos for the series – using the subtitle (“Uprising”) – would lead us to believe that Coulson’s quest for knowledge may shake up the prevailing image of SHIELD.
As I’ve stated before, SHIELD’s been the subject of sinister undertones in the big-screen Marvel movies, most notably “The Avengers,” when our heroes discovered that SHIELD was experimenting with Hydra weaponry.
I have a feeling this will tie in, more or less, to “Winter Soldier” when it comes out on April 4. The promos for the movie indicate Cap, Black Widow and new partner Sam (aka The Falcon) Wilson might find themselves pitted against SHIELD itself or at least leader figures like the one Robert Redford plays. I’ve previously speculated the role Robert Redford’s character plays in all this (spoilers here if you look).
So what can we infer from this?
Marvel is trying to pull off something that’s extremely tricky. It’s making some pretty big changes to SHIELD, the organization that has been, more or less, the glue that’s held its cinematic universe together from the start.
And it’s doing some while it’s producing a weekly TV series about that organization.
Is the series going to turn its “good guy” into a “bad guy,” with the rank-and-file agents on the outside? Or even on the run?