Features TV

REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2×20 “Scars”

Boy, am I glad that I saw Avengers: Age of Ultron before this episode aired. I mean, I’m content that I saw it in general, but I’m very, very happy that I caught it prior to watching this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. This is the same thing that happened last year when Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released: the episode immediately following the movie’s release essentially spoiled a major plot point for people who hadn’t seen it yet, and the same could be said for this recent installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (spoilers for both the show and the movie ahead!)

The beginning of the episode is a huge call-back to the film and sheds some light on a huge plot question I had while watching Avengers: Age of Ultron. We find out that the Theta Protocol was an initiative to repair and restore a defunct Helicarrier after the HYDRA takeover of S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of the movie, I was questioning how exactly Nick Fury had access to a Helicarrier without Coulson or any of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents knowing. Thankfully, this episode cleared up that major question for me, but like I said earlier, it’s a big spoiler for anyone who hasn’t gone to the theater yet.

The rest of the episode hardly had anything to do with the film, which is both good and bad. It’s like they only cut that initial scene together JUST to tie into the movie, and then they just let the rest of the episode do it’s own thing. Was it necessary? To me, it was a waste of time, and I would’ve rather have seen an explanation of the Helicarrier in the actual movie. Oh, well. I can’t complain about the MCU tying itself together.

Things are heating up between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans. That’s right; you thought S.H.I.E.L.D. was too busy fighting HYDRA? Guess again! They’d rather go after the Inhumans than worry about a terrorist organization that’s still threatening the world. However, I will say that it’s pretty neat how Marvel is using a unique concept to possibly segue into Captain America: Civil War.

In this episode, S.H.I.E.L.D. implies that it wants to register the Inhumans on their Index so that they can keep track of “enhanced” individuals running around the planet (I also want to add that “enhanced” was the same term used to identify the Twins in Avengers: Age of Ultron, possibly confirming that they were Inhuman as well). The Index is reminiscent of the Superhuman Registration Act, which ends up being the catalyst for Marvel’s Civil War storyline. I think this aspect of the episode was done specifically to foreshadow the upcoming events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

I’ll have to be honest: “Scars” was cluttered with so much fluff. Like with most episodes, I feel like it could’ve been significantly trimmed down by around a half-hour. We don’t need these attempts at humor or pointless subplots to keep the running time going. It’s tedious and frustrating. The gist of the episode was that S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to have a meeting with the Inhumans, Skye was caught in the middle, and Grant and Agent 33 knocked out Bobbi Morse. There were interesting tidbits here and there, but the entire episode felt drawn out.

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 7.30.18 PM

I particularly enjoyed one segment where Gordon and Raina teleport into S.H.I.E.L.D. to find an object from Raina’s vision. They come across this mysterious, alien, black substance that can change and manipulate its shape. I honestly have no idea what this can be, though I’m curious to learn more about it (as long as it’s not something that will take an entire season to explain). If it’s another Diviner, then so be it. If it’s something else, don’t waste too much time dwelling on it.

Another part I really liked was at the very end when Gonzalez and Jiaying are having a discussion regarding the Index. Jiaying goes on this long explanation about the Terrigen crystals and how they trigger Inhumans to find their powers while killing non-powered humans by fossilizing them (like what happened to Trip and Hartley). She then smashes a synthetic Terrigen crystal, killing Gonzalez, and shoots herself with his gun before stumbling out into the courtyard and declaring war on S.H.I.E.L.D.

Obviously, the season finale next week is going to revolve around S.H.I.E.L.D. battling with the Inhumans, with Skye in the middle and being forced to choose a side. Now that I think about it, the situation seems eerily parallel to Marvel’s Civil War, with S.H.I.E.L.D. taking the role of Ironman, the Inhumans acting in Captain America’s place, and Skye being like Spider-Man. The similarities are uncanny, and Clark Gregg has recently mentioned that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was helping to set up Captain America: Civil War. Maybe this upcoming battle is being done on purpose to promote the upcoming film? We’ll find out next week!

Final Grade: B –

+ I liked the Index’s parallels with the Superhuman Registration Act.

+ The scene with Gordon and Raina sneaking into S.H.I.E.L.D. to look for the black object was interesting.

+ I’m so happy Gonzalez is dead.

– The episode spoiled some parts of Avengers: Age of Ultron.

– About a half-hour of the episode was useless and could’ve been taken out.

– The beginning of the episode explaining the Theta Protocol was out-of-place and a bit pointless.

Extra Thoughts:

– What exactly is that black stuff being hidden within S.H.I.E.L.D.?

What were your thoughts on “Scars”? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!