Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Part 4

Bad news: Summer is winding down. Good news: I’m not in school anymore. Better news: I’ve got another Mormon Geeks post on the Marvel Cinematic Universe here (does that count as prideful? Oh well.)

Thor: The Dark World
Loki and Thor briefly team up in "Thor: The Dark World".
Long ago, Odin defeated the Dark Elves, but some escape and hide in suspended animation. In the present day, Loki is incarcerated after the attempted Chitauri invasion on Earth. Meanwhile, Thor and his friends are cleaning up messes that resulted from the bifrost being broken. Meanwhile, on Earth, Darcy interrupts Jane on a date and they go find a special anomaly in England. In dealing with the anomaly, Jane falls through a portal of sorts. Thor is alerted that she’s not on Earth and goes to find her. She wakes up on Earth, hours after disappearing. After Thor arrives, they discover that she has absorbed something the other realm and he takes her away from Earth.

While Jane is on Asgard, Odin realizes that it’s the Aether. Meanwhile, because the Aether has been found, the Dark Elves awaken. In the struggle of the Elves attacking, Thor’s mother is killed. Thor decides to team up with Loki to get Jane off Asgard. Loki appears to sacrifice himself in helping Thor fight the Dark Elves’ leaders, who takes the Aether from Jane. After returning to Earth, Jane and Thor get help from Selvig, Darcy, and Ian to defeat the Dark Elves. After the battle ends, Volstagg and Sif visit the Collector to have him take care of the Aether, which is one of the Infinity Stones.

Random Connections/Trivia:
  • When Jane meets Loki, she slaps him, because of what happened in New York.
  • The wars that Thor and his friends are dealing with are the direct aftermath of Loki’s aggressive actions in “Thor”.
  • Erik Selvig’s mental problems are a direct result of being controlled by Loki in “The Avengers”.
  • Loki briefly disguises himself as Captain America, to make fun of Thor.
  • The Collector later appears in “Guardians of the Galaxy”.

I’ve heard a lot of critiques about Dark World. However, I can’t completely have a negative opinion about it. I mean, we get more of Darcy! How can you hate Darcy? Even though Jane won’t be coming back any time soon (thanks to contract disputes and such), I’d love to see Darcy pop up in another movie sometime. This was also a good place to start with “introducing” the Infinity Stones. Sure we saw the Tesseract before, but this one is more explicit about it, especially after seeing Thanos at the end of “The Avengers”.

Agents of SHIELD: Season 1 (Episodes 8-16)
In "The Bridge", Mike trades Coulsen for his son.
The specialized SHIELD team of Coulsen, May, Fitz, Simmons, Ward, and Skye continue on their missions, starting with the aftermath of “Thor: The Dark World” and leading up to “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.
  • 8. The Well: The team cleans up the aftermath of “Thor: The Dark World”, while a couple in Norway find an Asgardian staff giving them super strength. The team comes to check the scene out and end up on the hunt for the couple. With the help of Elliott Randolph (who turns out to be Asgardian) the team track down the Berserker Staff. Having touched the staff, Ward is incapacitated by memories from his childhood. May is finally able to retrieve the staff, using her emotional coping mechanisms.
  • 9. Repairs: The teams is brought in to investigate a woman (Hannah) who is apparently telekinetic. During their investigation, they discover a man (Tobias) who is stuck in an alien dimension. After Tobias starts sabotaging the Bus, May discovers that Tobias has been out to protect Hannah, phasing in and out of our dimension.
  • 10. The Bridge: Skye searches for leads to her past. Reluctantly, the team gets help from Mike Peterson to look into a break-in, involving Centipede soldiers. Meanwhile, Raina looks for guidance from the Clairvoyant. After a scuffle with the Centipede soldiers, Mike calls his son, only to find out that Raina is with him. Coulsen agrees to trade Mike for his son, but they take Coulsen instead. Later, Raina reveals that she wants to know what happened after Coulsen died.
  • 11. The Magical Place: The team searches for Coulsen, after Skye gets kicked off the Bus by Victoria Hand, with May’s approval. Meanwhile, Edison Po reveals that the Clairvoyant can’t see what happened to Coulsen after he died. Skye tricks a Centipede financer to help her track the money trail back to Raina. Coulsen agrees to let Raina uncover his memories. Skye regroups with her team to rescue Coulsen, who has learned of the TAHITI procedure, which revived him after his death. Meanwhile, Mike Peterson is told to await instructions.
  • 12. Seeds: At the SHIELD academy, a couple of students get killed in a sudden freeze at the pool. The team is brought in to investigate. After another sudden freezing, Fitz takes an interest in Donnie Gill and helps him complete a project. Meanwhile, May and Coulsen look for answers about Skye’s past, discovering that she’s considered dangerous. At the academy, turns out at the Donnie and his friend Seth are behind the freezing. Before they can sell their idea to Ian Quinn, they’re stopped by the team.
  • 13. TRACKS: The team goes undercover on an Italian train. However, not long into the mission, communications go down. After getting chased off the train, Ward and Coulsen get frozen by an dendrotoxin bomb. While they’re frozen, May (who has already fled the train) gets them out of harm’s way. She had been captured by Coulsen’s Italian police contact, who she follows to the Bus and kills, just in time to save Coulsen and Ward. Meanwhile, Fitz and Skye trace the target to Ian Quinn. When the rest of the team catches up with them, Skye has already found Mike Peterson in stasis. Quinn shoots Skye, against the Clairvoyant’s wishes. The team captures Quinn and puts Skye in the stasis chamber to save her.
  • 14. TAHITI: The team tries to find the facility that saved Coulsen, so that they can save Skye. Because they haven’t taken Quinn to the Fridge yet, they are intercepted by Agents Garrett and Triplett. They agree to help, to interrogate Quinn on the plane. The Bus lands at “the Guest House” where the team finds the GH-325 serum that saved Coulsen. They blow up the Guest House on their way out, but not before Coulsen discovers that the GH-325 serum is derived from Kree blood. Meanwhile, in Death Valley, an Asgardian appears.
  • 15. Yes Men: An Asgardian named Lorelei starts using her powers to create a posse of men to follow her every command. Meanwhile, Simmons is testing Skye for any irregularities after being injected with the GH-325 serum. Lady Sif arrives and teams up with SHIELD to find Lorelei. However, in taking on Lorelei, Ward is taken over as well. Ward and Lorelei take control of the Bus, with Fitz in tow. Finally, Sif is able to capture Lorelei, breaking the spell on the men. After Sif and Lorelei leave, Coulsen has a one-on-one with Skye, which is overheard by May.
  • 16. End of the Beginning: Trip and Garrett search for the Clairvoyant off the Index’s rejects, but run into Mike/Deathlock. Later, Agents Hand, Garrett, Trip, Sitwell, and Blake join up with Coulsen’s team to track down the Clairvoyant. Skye (recently made an official agent) randomly assigns them to missions to track it down. Deathlock attacks May and Blake, putting Blake in critical condition. Coulson, Ward, and Garrett track down Nash, their prime suspect for the Clairvoyant and Ward shoots him at the mention of Skye. On the Bus, Fitz discovers an encrypted line, which is traced to May. Skye and Coulsen realize that the Clairvoyant is a high ranking SHIELD agent. Skye, Coulsen, and Fitz confront May, when suddenly the plane shifts course, Meanwhile, Nick Fury is being shot at in DC.

The hunt for the Clairvoyant gets
serious in "End of the Beginning"
Random Connections/Trivia:
  • In “The Well”, both Thor movies are referenced as we see snippets from The Battle of New Mexico and The Battle of Greenwich.
  • Multiple Asgardians are seen, including Randolph and Sif.
  • Bucky Barnes’s name is seen on the Wall of Valor at the SHIELD Academy in “Seeds”.
  • Baby Skye is revealed to be an 0-8-4.
  • Blonsky, the Abomination from “The Incredible Hulk”, is referenced by Coulsen in TRACKS.
  • It is stated that Lorelei escaped Asgard during the events of “Thor: The Dark World”.
  • When Coulsen and Sif see each other in “Yes Men”, they recall meeting during the events of “Thor”, but she also recalls Thor indicating he’d died in “The Avengers”.
  • In “End of the Beginning”, Sitwell is transferred to the Lumerian Star, which is overrun by pirates and later saved by Captain America in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”.
  • The final scenes of “End of the Beginning” leads into the events of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”, starting with Nick Fury’s car chase.

I really liked how this part of Agents of SHIELD began connecting the episodes more to the movies. This is where things really got rolling and the interweaving of the show with the cinematic universe got fun. Having it just as a side story wasn’t as fun as having “The Well” and “End of the Beginning” tie into “Thor: The Dark World” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”. It also started giving a bit more depth to the story, instead of just episode long missions.

That's all for now. Next Marvel post I'll get at the fall of SHIELD on two fronts: cinematic and television.

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