Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. got stuck playing second fiddle to the Marvel movies last year, but with the Age of Ultron officially come and gone, the Avengers-adjacent ABC series has officially leaped forward to all-out Inhumans war. Find out who suffered the first “Scars” with our full review!

You’re warned of the full spread of spoilers from tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (as well as the Age of Ultron climax) from here on out, but the opening minutes of tonight’s “Scars” took us back one year before the birth of Ultron to reveal the mysterious “Theta Protocol,” and it isn’t quite what we thought. Coulson may yet have had a hand in helping to set up the “New Avengers” facility, but the S.H.I.E.L.D. director’s role in aiding the Avengers proved far larger.

That’s right, it seems one of the bases Coulson has been visiting contained a mammoth secret behind closed doors: a flippin’ helicarrier! As Robert Gonzales puts it back in the present, the Sokovian survivors would no doubt forgive Coulson’s secrecy over the last year, lest they have hung around a floating city, waiting for Ultron to drop the thing and kill us all.

Rather than sift through any Sokovian dust for Ultron-bots however, tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kept right-on moving with Coulson and Gonzales burying the hatchet, agreeing to merge the two S.H.I.E.L.D. branches, Coulson serving as director under their advising board. After all, Nick Fury too had a World Security Council above him, regardless of the good that ended up doing anyone.

First and foremost for the new S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson and Gonzales agreed to investigate the newly-uncovered “Inhumans” (yep, they actually said it!), hoping to use Skye as a bridge between their two peoples. None of the Inhumans themselves were exactly comfortable with the idea, as Raina attempted to use her gifts to warn Jiayang against trusting anyone, but slyly looking to take power for herself. It didn’t go her way.

More pressing perhaps, Raina’s vision of a mysterious column set off alarm bells with Gordon, who recognized the image as a devastating Kree artifact that might well mean their doom. Reluctantly, Jiayang agreed to Gordon and Raina tracking down the object, only for them to teleport smack dab into the middle of New S.H.I.E.L.D.’s aircraft carrier. Hunter managed to raise the alarm before Gordon or Raina could conduct a thorough investigation, though the object seemingly liquefying in their presence probably won’t lead to hugs and puppies.

Following a bit of internal debate (and serious soul-searching for what side Skye was on), Coulson agreed to stay objective and send Gonzales to Afterlife with a S.H.I.E.L.D. team, hoping to establish some diplomacy. Jiaying took a bit of convincing from Skye and Cal, but agreed to at least meet with the S.H.I.E.L.D. brass, Cal even volunteering himself as a prisoner in show of good will.

Everything seemed smooth enough, Gonzales espousing that both he and Jiaying had suffered “Scars” at Hydra’s hands, and that he only wanted to meet and evaluate the so-called Inhumans under a noble goal of protection. The erstwhile S.H.I.E.L.D. leader even offered a gift, having retrieved a necklace from Daniel Whitehall that Jiaying intended to give to Skye years earlier. Jiaying too had a gift to exchange, though her intentions, shall we say, were a bit less peaceful:

And Gonzales goes down! Jiayang even used Gonzales’ gun to shoot herself twice through the chest, staging the attack to look like self-defense, and thereby triggering full-on war between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Inhumans. The assault wasn’t exactly spur of the moment, either, considering Cal shrugged off the vials S.H.I.E.L.D. agents found on his person, when we know from experience it ain’t muscle milk.

This may get ugly. Anyone want to call in the New Avengers yet?


  • Elsewhere this week, Kara was apparently free of Daniel Whitehall’s mind control at last, but still locked up for her trouble. Or so we thought. May later appeared and spirited Bobbi away on a recon mission, but soon revealed herself as Kara, and delivered poor Mockingbird right to a waiting Ward. Just when we were starting to like that guy.
  • S.H.I.E.L.D.s may have integrated, but Mack just couldn’t hack working for Coulson again, resigning over deep mistrust of his alien blood-infused leader. Hopefully, that isn’t the last we see of the character.
  • Simmons is still kicking herself for missing out on a chance to kill Ward, noting that any nefarious action he takes will be on her hands, but something tells us she may yet get another chance in next week’s finale.
  • We’re no closer to understanding the mystery of the Koenigs, but Star Wars bedsheets need no explanation.

Well, what now? Will Coulson or Skye manage to save face with the Inhumans, or has Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. started a war with a Marvel franchise it can’t fully explore until 2019? What could Ward want with Bobbi, and how might it affect her spinoff potential? Where’s Deathlok when you need him? And what’s up with that stoney, liquidy doo-dad in the cargo hold?

Stay tuned for the latest from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., spinoffs, Age of Ultron, and more, and check back next week for our full review of the two-hour season finale event, “S.O.S.”!

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