Some critics have said that Agents of SHIELD has been lackluster so far, even disappointing. It has also been suggested that the show just isn’t as gripping as it could be. The argument can be made that it hasn’t reached the potential fans have expected. While I don’t agree with these criticisms, I understand them. But the latest episode, Seed, may finally be what disgruntled fans have been waiting for. If there hasn’t been a defining episode yet for the series, Seed certainly is just that.
A lot happened in this episode, at least on a character development level. We got insights into most of the character’s true feelings, fears, and motives, especially agents Fitz and Simmons. But in the end this episode was about Agent Coulson and Sky. Having found out most of what happened to him after he died, Agent Coulson had been brooding for some time, and it took the strength of the only non-agent in his crew to give him back his even keel approach, and snatch him away from the abyss of uncertainty and anger.
Sky turned out to be the most important character in this episode, and not just because we finally learn about her past, or put another way, her origin story. We basically learn that Sky has the potential to become a super hero (or super villain?). For a show set in the Marvel universe, Coulson’s team is noticeably lacking in green muscle men, guys in iron suits, and hammer-loving Norse gods. The last person I ever expected to have the potential to become a super hero was Sky. But there you have it. A great surprise!
And that’s where I think Agents of SHIELD is going to really shine. So much has been done to establish Sky as rather normal, aside from her exceptional hacking skills. But even Agent Coulson remarks on her almost super-human ability for compassion, and for seeing the good side of things. While these aren’t super powers in of themselves, the revelations about her origin do sew the seeds for the manifestation of Sky’s true powers.
In an episode that somewhat shed light on the origin of SHIELD agents so far as their education, as well as set up Sky’s origin story, we even got a sort of new beginning for Agent Coulson. After he reveals to Sky the horrible truth about her childhood, rather than turning to the dark side of the force, she chooses the light. Her strength and positive acceptance of the news so moves Coulson that he even says that it rejuvenates his faith in Humanity. And in direct contrast to this we have the origin of a potential super villain, creating an excellent counterpoint to an otherwise feel-good story.
The big reveal that Sky has some mysterious “powers” so dangerous that her entire life was a guise to keep her hidden, shocked me more than it probably should. I almost feel as though I should have seen it coming. In any event, it adds a completely new dimension to the show. The focus, even if indirectly, will probably now be on discovering Sky’s powers, who knew about them, who was looking for her, and what she really is. In a flash, Agents of SHIELD found its super hero, and I think the show will better off for it. I suspect we’ve only seen the beginning of what Agents of SHIELD will become.