Tonight’s episode of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.fulfilled a promise first hinted at in the Season 2 finale, and confirmed with a teaser poster released a few weeks later. Nearly halfway through Season 3, the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Secret Warriors have finally come together for the first time.
It’s currently a small team, consisting of three Inhumans: Daisy “Quake” Johnson, Lincoln “Sparkplug” Campbell, and Joey Guitierrez. While small in number, the team still represents a major milestone for the series.
When Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was first being promoted, it had the tagline, “Not all heroes are super.” The desire on the part of the show’s creators seemed to be to explore how the vast majority of do-gooders in the MCU, those without superpowers, stay relevant and make a difference in a world with thunder gods and super soldiers.
However, there has always been a vocal contingent of fans who were disappointed with this approach. If they were going to tune into a weekly series set in the MCU, they wanted it to feel like the MCU. To them, that meant superpowers in abundance.
The series has been upping the superpower quotient slowly, primarily through the introduction of the Inhumans in Season 2. Even so, superpowers have been used sparingly. We saw Daisy’s father round up a band of supervillains for a single episode, but the results weren’t exactly spectacular. The climactic battle with Jiaying’s Inhumans was a much more exciting turn, with Gordon’s teleportation and Alisha’s ability to duplicate herself among the highlights. Since then, Daisy has come to understand and control her powers in a way that’s become useful to the team.
But the formation of the Secret Warriors, in a moment of desperation for S.H.I.E.L.D., means that the midseason finale episode, “Maveth,” may actually give Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. its first super-team showdown. The episode synopsis suggests that the Secret Warriors will go head-to-head with the full might of Hydra, using their powers to keep the hordes in check. We know that Gideon Malick has been attempting to build an Inhuman army, including the magnetically gifted Mr. Giyera, and that he’s been trying to bring Lash out of Andrew. There’s a lot of potential for a superhero fight like the series has never featured before.
In short, “Maveth” may be the episode where Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. becomes the show that Marvel movie fans – fairly or unfairly – always wanted it to be.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC.