Marvel's Agents of SHIELD just hit its milestone 100th episode. "The Real Deal" reflected on everything that has come before the SHIELD team, and so we're here to look back at the best of SHIELD has had to offer.
When Agents of SHIELD began, it was more or less a procedural sci-fi show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with the lingering mystery of how Agent Phil Coulson came back to life following his death by Loki's scepter in Marvel's The Avengers.
Over the past five season, Agents of SHIELD has become so much more, beginning with the major Hydra twist in Captain America: The Winter Soldier that reshaped the show's entire landscape.
Since then, Agents of SHIELD has become more and more independent and more and more bold in its storylines, beginning with introducing the Inhumans into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This storyline tied into the mystery of Skye's parents and the reveal of her real name, Daisy Johnson.
From, the series moved on to bigger and darker stories. The true history of Hydra was revealed, including its ties to ancient Inhuman cults and a planet were an Inhuman demigod was trapped.
The series turned supernatural to introduce Ghost Rider into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It went fully science fiction by introducing the threat of the Life Model Decoys, then sent the team to a new virtual universe in the Framework.
Season Five shows no signs of slowing down, having sent the team into an apocalyptic future with no clear answer as to whether they change anything about it.
We're looking back at all of these storylines and choosing the 10 best episodes from among. That's the top 10 percent of the entire Agents of SHIELD series.
Keep reading to see the best of what Marvel's Agents of SHIELD
Season 1, Episode 17
After a slow start to the series, "Turn, Turn, Turn" was the first episode to show what Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was really capable of.
The episode dealt with the fallout of the Marvel Studios movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Hydra had been incubating within SHIELD for a long time, and now it was out in the open.
The biggest reveal was first that John Garrett was the Clairvoyant, a Hydra agent within SHIELD. The bigger twist was that Garrett had inducted Agent Grant Ward, a member of Coulson's own team, into Hydra's ranks as well.
The episode marked a real turning point (no pun intend) for Agents of SHIELD.
Season 2, Episode 19
“The Dirty Half Dozen” is a late second season episode that showed just how far Agents of SHIELD had come. The episode reunited Coulson’s original team from Agents of SHIELD Season 1, they were all far from the same characters they had been when the show began.
Skye is no longer a wide-eyed hacker, but a capable SHIELD agent, Ward is no longer the model action agent, but a dangerous wild card, and Fitz and Simmons have fresh scars from their time in the field.
As a bonus, “The Dirty Half Dozen” also ties into Avengers: Age of Ultron, with a cameo by Cobie Smulders as Maria Hill.
Season 1, Episode 22
The first season finale, “Beginning of the End,” brought storyline begun by Captain America: The Winter Soldier to its conclusion. Its most-remembered for featuring Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, but it was Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz who really stole the show.
After he and Simmons are stranded at the bottom of the ocean by Ward, Fitz sees no other alternative but to sacrifice himself in a desperate attempt to free Simmons. Fury comes to the rescue and Fitz survives just barely survives. Its a moment that would help redefine Fitz's character for the rest of the series.
Season 5, Episode 12
The 100th episode of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was a definitive look at the leader and hear tof the team, Phil Couslon. It was also a celebration of every season that had come before it.
Coulson literally battled his fears in the basement of the Lighthouse bunker. Deathlok returned to lend a helping hand. There was a heated argument aout SHIELD's future. Villains like Hive and Lash made brief appearances.
Most importantly, Fitz and Simmons finally fulfilled the moment so many fans had been waiting for and got married. On top of that, it turns out that Deke is their grandson from the future.
Season 2, Episode 10
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 midseason revealed that Skye’s true name was Daisy Johnson and that her father was Cal, better known as Mr. Hyde to comic book fans. The episode is also the end of Hydra’s Daniel Whitehall, and the first appearance of the teleporter called Gordon.
The most memorable moment of “What They Become” has to be the moment in the temple, where Raina, Trip, and Daisy find the Obelisk. Upon touching it, Raina and Daisy are transformed, with Raina becoming something monstrous and Daisy surging with new power. However, the beloved Trip, a mere human, is killed by exposure to the Terrigen Mists.
Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD had an extended hiatus between seasons four and five, but made up for it with an epic two-part premiere.
The two-parter made good on the promises of SHIELD in space that was teased by the previous season's finale. The episodes come together to feel like the closest thing to feature-length Marvel's Agents of SHIELD movie as we're likely ever to get.
It was all building up to a bigger twist. The SHIELD team hadn't really travelled in space, but in time to a future where the Earth had been destroyed and the return of SHIELD was a hopeful prophecy.
Season 4, Episode 22
The fourth season of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD was its best yet, and the finale episode brought together all three of its major storylines in an incredibly satisfying way.
The episode saw Ghost Rider return. He proved to be the key to defeating AIDA, the rogue Life Model Decoy who threatened to rewrite reality, though the aide that Ghost Rider offered came at a cost still being unpacked in SHIELD currently.
There was also the end of the Framework, the virtual reality world where Hydra ruled supreme. Despite its evil nature, watching the inhabitants of the Framework fade away was one of the SHIELD's most poignant moments.
Season 2, Episodes 21 & 22
Agents of SHIELD has arguably never gone as big as it has in this two-part season finale.
Jiaying orchestrates a war between the Inhumans and SHIELD with her daughter, Daisy, stuck in the middle. It took a reunited SHIELD and an uneasy alliance with Daisy’s father Cal, now fully Mr. Hyde, to end the crisis.
“S.O.S.” saw the deaths of Jiaying and Gordon, the loss of Coulson’s arm, and the ascension of Ward as the new head of Hydra, plus the first hint at Daisy’s Secret Warriors. It remains, arguably, the most action-packed and eventful SHIELD finale yet.
Season 4, Episode 15
The midseason finale of SHIELD's fourth season was the most jaw-dropping, twist-filled episode of a series full of jaw-dropping twists.
The core of the episode is a tense "who can you trust" thriller after most of the SHIELD team is replaced by LMDs. Everyone gets an emotional moment during the story, even the LMDs.
Then there was the shocking ending. The team is loaded up into the Framework, a world where Phil Coulson teaches Hydra's version of history, Melinda May is an Agent of Hydra, and Daisy Johnson is with Grant Ward.
All of SHIELD's potential was fulfilled in this episode.
Season 3, Episode 5
“4,722 Hours” stands out from the rest of Agents of SHIELD for several reasons. No other episode of the series matches the tone and character focus of this one. Where other episodes have achieved high praise for feeling like a Marvel action movie, this one breaks the mold by feeling like a sci-fi drama.
The episode employs a visual style that breaks from the norm, right down to the title card. And as if the story of Simmons and Will on Maveth wasn’t tragic enough, Fitz’s unflinching willingness to help reunite them makes it even more poignant.
Elizabeth Henstridge gives a powerful performance in this episodes, taking audiences on an emotional journey through despair, hope, determination, and guilt. Its powerful stuff that can be watched and appreciated even by someone not familiar with Agents of SHIELD.