Agents of SHIELD Is the Best Superhero Show on Television… So Stop Asking Me If You Should Watch It
If you've been following MTR for any amount of time, you know that I was once an Agents of SHIELD doubter. When the show started, I was down to follow the MCU wherever it went and I'm a Whedon stan from way back so I was excited about AoS. But when it started, the show didn't immediately draw me in. It felt rote but at the same time disjointed. I wasn't compelled to feel anything for these characters. And I write all of this to say, I GOT THE FUCK OVER IT SO WHY HAVEN'T YOU!? Yes, AoS had a rough start but since the last quarter of the first season, it has been nothing short of perfection and it's only grown by leaps and bounds.
Inevitably, when someone mentions their love of AoS, someone else will chime in with the tired refrain of "is it good now? I stopped watching in the first season." To which I respond, 'God helps those who help themselves. We been tellin' y'all and tellin' y'all and TELLIN' Y'ALL that Agents of SHIELD is the best but you are willfully ignorant.
The CW shows, with the exception of a tightly paced Arrow season and a truncated Legends of Tomorrow, have struggled with the pacing of their 22 episodes. In season 4, AoS took their already fast-paced season and broke it up into 3 sections, Ghost Rider, LMD (Life Model Decoy) and The Framework. Each section not only flowed seamlessly into the other but connected so thoroughly that part 1 could not have existed with part 3 and vice versa. One cohesive season, divided into three sections in order to keep the storytelling tight while pushing the character development of its ensemble cast. It was masterful.
Furthermore, AoS has become the master of twists. While clues are strategically placed along the way about the trajectory of the story, AoS manages to give its audience big reveals that aren't telegraphed from miles away (*cough*Flash*cough*).
But what really shows its deft hand is that despite complaints about its first season, AoS has never shied away from their origins. In fact, season 4 has a number of callbacks to the first season. Tiny throwaway references become major plot points in The Framework and characters from past seasons return much to the enjoyment of fans. In fact, you would do yourself a favor by rewatching season 1 before diving into the latest season. At the very least do so to rewatch the brilliant guest performance of the dearly departed Bill Paxton, who also gets a Framework shout out this season.
Like the title says, Agents of SHIELD is the best superhero show on television, bar none. It's a savvy fun, spy show, that doesn't shy away from superpowers or aliens or killer robots but is always fully grounded in the emotions of its characters and that makes all the difference. So stop asking me if you should watch it because the answer is "only if you like joy".
Agents of SHIELD season 4 hits Netflix on June 15th.