I gotta hand it to the writers. One of the things that have simply been a fact of life for them is that most of the plot twists and turns and new elements are things that, because they’re adapting the world and stories of comics for the screen, half the fans immediately see coming the moment the first hint gets dropped, and the other half finds out shortly after from reading the blog posts of the first half. Even the big twist last season was given away the weekend beforehand by the movie that came out then. But when Lance finally asked the question we’ve all been awaiting the answer for, did anyone expect Mack’s response to be *that*? And from what I can tell from reading reactions last night and this morning, there’s no obvious explanation for his words either. Maybe it’ll eventually connect to something in the comics-people have been suggesting the organization might rename itself and thus prove another one from the comics, or that this may somehow lead into the Civil War, but right now, we genuinely have no clue what the hell’s going on, and shouldn’t until at least next week.
It’ll also have to be a little nerve-wracking for Coulson, having a rival S.H.I.E.L.D. show up when he’s starting to slip into the mistakes of the one that went down, keeping the Index and too many secrets and who knows what he’ll ultimately try to do with Skye. They successfully carried the dynamic between her and the rest of the team through the next episode, having Simmons refind some of her compassion(and I really like the idea she’ll be a major contributer towards the gauntlets from the comics-maybe she and Fitz can get more reconciliation working on those) while still compromising her old principles by keeping Coulson’s secrets and agreeing to prioritize “putting down” more dangerous people, May being determined to help but not yet knowing how, and Coulson making aforementioned mistakes while still genuinely wanting to do what’s best for Skye. Andrew Garner was really a terrific foil for them, as a man who keeps very strictly to his ethics, and whose words about their new S.H.I.E.L.D. they could do well to heed. It would be great to see him again, though he’s made a powerful impact on both the general story and May’s character even if we don’t.
Then again, will the rival S.H.I.E.L.D. be any better? Mack did not give us a very good first impression of them, and nor, for that matter, did next week’s preview. Although lately it seems his character is merely that of a fanatical follower, but that his bosses make use of him the way they did this week still doesn’t reflect that well on them. Poor Fitz, will all the guys he bromances in life turn out to be working for rival organizations and break his heart(and occasionally his brain)? Or is this all a darker statement, that there can be so many S.H.I.E.L.D.s, and they all get corrupted out of their original better intentions?