Yes, folks – you read that right – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – that low budget, watered down, but always fun Joss Whedon side-project for his family – makes it into my Top Twenty list as it became one of TV’s most well-told and compelling shows.
Season five has been a massive letdown, but for a brief period in its fourth season, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. or Agents of HYDRA as it came to be known told some of the best, maya-smashing, Trump-bashing stories on TV.
Split into three pods – mini story-arcs which lasted one third of a season, the last pod took place in a digital hologram, made possible with spiritual science from the Darkhold and via the domain of Doctor Strange, Season 4b has become part Matrix, part Lost and part Marvel “What If” comic book or more so The Man in the High Castle.
In this other dimension, Hydra rules with an iron fist because Doctor Holden Radcliffe’s android, Aida has imprisoned our heroes and created a Matrix-style digital dimension called The Framework where (despite being zeroes and ones) no-one has any regrets.
Madame Hydra’s lover, Fitz is a Nazi science experimenter and now in charge of Hydra. In another reality is an illusion ref, he’s under some kind of daddy-issue brainwashing spell. Melinda was HYDRA’s next in line until she woke up and switched sides to the resistance.
And here, in this alt-world just as “President” Trump took power, Agents of HYDRA. has grown into an adult show with a political message; even having a Homeland-like Brett O’Keefe slash Alex Jones (Infowars) newscaster puppet in the form of Sunil Bakshi spewing right wing propaganda and whipping up inhuman-hate (read race-hate – the X-Men; Marvel’s original Inhumans was first published in the 1960’s and a metaphor for civil liberties) through lies, false flag operations and fake news.
Phil Coulson wins the Internet with the peach of a line “We’re smart enough to know when we’re being fed alternative facts.”
The Agents of HYDRA story arc is the most interesting this show has ever offered, it has everything that I love – which, of course, is all connected. The Hindu idea that reality is an illusion. A cosmic sense of inescapable fate and a sock-it-to-The-Man message.
What more could you ever want from a watered-down, low budget spin-off… ya know; for kids?