The first half of season two of Agents of SHIELD has fallen somewhere in between the slow start of season one, and the explosive finish that made up its second half. But regardless, this past week’s winter/fall finale was a can’t miss episode, and one that at least should have ramifications for the larger Marvel universe.
For those wishing to be kept in total darkness about the future of Skye, Raina and others, feel free to stop reading now, but for those who at least want to know somewhat what’s going on based on past comic lore, keep going.
In short, we’ve stumbled into The Inhumans, a plotline pulled from the Marvel universe that leads to a number of unique characters. Though this SHIELD storyline on the show, we’ve learned that Skye and Raina have been Inhumans this entire time, and now that they’ve gone through the transformation process (called Terrigenesis). Skye is Quake from the comics, her dad is Mister Hyde, and it’s possible Raina is someone like Tigra.
The most exciting part of all this? As part of Marvel’s grand universe plan, they’ve announced an Inhumans movie set to debut about four years from now if their timeline is accurate. And now they’re laying the groundwork for it via Agents of SHIELD (even if it’s way, way in advance). I have to imagine at least the second half of this season will take on the Royal Family of the Inhumans, if the after-credits scene is any indication.
So naturally this leads me to wonder if finally we might see Skye pulled into the cinematic universe in an actual cinematic adventure. It would almost see strange to have all this set-up and then not feature Skye in an Inhumans movie. She could practically be the lead, but at the very least a supporting character.
But the Inhumans aren’t the only SHIELD characters who seem like they should transfer over to the films. I have to imagine Coulson will be brought back somehow, even though that will definitely confuse film audiences, but I’m really referring to Adrianne Palicki’s Mockingbird, a character which goes on to actually join the Avengers at one point in time in the comics. Palicki is teetering on the edge of being a movie star herself, so I can see her joining the roster.
The problem with SHIELD/movie crossovers is while that would be great for SHIELD fans, these characters would probably have to be in pretty minor role so as not to confuse audiences who only see the movies. SHIELD only gets about 4-5 million viewers a week, while an Avengers film will get ten or twenty times that at least.
For a long while now, the show has existed on scraps from the Marvel movies, as in sometimes they’ll send over Cobie Smulders or Sam Jackson as Maria or Fury. But it rarely works the other way around where you’ll see SHIELD characters head to the big screen. But if Marvel is really committed to its grand cross movie-TV universe, I think they need to spend a little more time integrating them. At the very least, the upcoming Inhumans movie would have to have direct ties in with SHIELD somehow, or all of this would just be a useless prologue.
Or perhaps I’m wrong. Maybe it’s the right call for SHIELD to say somewhat insulated from the rest of the universe, given that it’s thrived on its own and has handled the curveballs the movies have thrown its way with aplomb. But when Marvel’s TV universe expands beyond SHIELD to Agent Carter, Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and who knows what else, it’s going to be hard to continue to keep them all segregated. TV and film need to tango, and I think the results could be pretty cool.
I’m looking forward to seeing more from the Inhumans plotline, though I have to wonder with the film so far away, how that’s going to play into the long-lastingness of the storyline. Most shows tend to shift focus after one season of a specific villain, so it’s hard to imagine three years of Inhumans coming up. But I guess we’ll just wait and see.
[Photos via ABC]