The Clairvoyant has been revealed, a traitor waits in the shadows, and Coulson and his team are officially Agents of N.O.T.H.I.N.G., now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been dismantled, thanks to the infiltration of HYDRA. Now, even more of the events from "Captain America" and "The Avengers" are beginning to fuel the Marvel Cinematic Universe's small-screen sibling.
On last night's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," titled "The Only Light in the Darkness," the series continued the breakneck momentum after the extremely eventful "Turn, Turn, Turn" and comparatively less-exciting "Providence." More than many other episodes, "Only Light in the Darkness" took its cues from what fans have come to know and love about the Marvel movies.
Here are some highlights:
1. Agent Triplett is the grandson of a Howling Commando. During an interrogation session, Triplett's connection to one of Captain America's original allies came to light. We don't know which member of the Howling Commandos is Triplett's grandfather — some are saying Gabe Jones, but there's really no way of knowing until we get more information. Regardless, it's just another reason to root for Triplett, who is quickly becoming one of the best new characters on the show.
2. Alexander Pierce gets named-checked. Robert Redford's antagonist from "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is dead, but not forgotten. We learn that John Garrett and Pierce were in cahoots, and that Melinda May met the man once upon a time.
3. Patton Oswalt plays S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Eric Koenig. (Well, played, I suppose, seeing as he died at Agent Ward's hands.) But Skye had another nickname for Koenig: "Steve Rogers, Agent of PVGWHIAB." (Which stands for "Playing Video Games While Hiding in a Bunker," by the by.)
4. We meet Coulson's infamous cellist. In "The Avengers," Phil told Tony Stark all about his girlfriend from Portland. In "Only Light in the Darkness," we finally met her: Audrey Nathan, played by Joss Whedon veteran Amy Acker. It's a quick appearance for the character, all things considered, but an interesting addition to the MCU all the same.
5. Coulson Hulks out. Not literally, mind you, but he gets an assist from Bruce Banner. The gamma-radiated scientist is the man who designed the energy-based weapons that Coulson used to stop Marcus Daniels. Nice to see some tech designed by Banner, rather than the MCU's go-to tech guru Tony Stark.
With only a few episodes remaining in its first season, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." keeps getting better and better. Fans who've stuck with the show are getting their patience rewarded, as made clear by the bus-load of Marvel Cinematic Universe references in "Only Light in the Darkness." Let's see how the game continues to change in the weeks ahead.
What did you think of all the Marvel Cinematic Universe references?