This is really the strength that SHIELD should be aiming for: filling in the holes of the Marvel Universe that we would normally turn to fan fiction for. A throwaway line, like the one in The Avengers where Coulson and Pepper Potts discuss his long distance relationship with an unnamed ‘cellist, in a network as large as the one crafting Marvel’s shared cinema universe, is one destined to only be explored by fans. But Marvel has confirmed that it will be featuring that unnamed musician in an upcoming episode of SHIELD.
A tangent: We might not even have a line where Pepper asks Coulson about his ‘cellist if Robert Downey Jr. hadn’t pushed so hard to ensure that Gwyneth Paltrow was included in The Avengers.
Dollhouse and Angel veteran Amy Acker is our ‘cellist, a woman named Audrey who, as established by previous episodes of SHIELD, believes Agent Coulson to be dead, and will appear on the show in just a few weeks. Apparently, a “super-powered threat from her past” reemerges and she must be “guarded” by Coulson from afar. And maybe I’ve read too many superhero comics, but *yawn*. I at least expected her to be kidnapped by the Clairvoyant or something. Still, I’m sure there will be lots of vulnerable Coulson in there, so that’s something to look forward to.
In other SHIELD news, the production is opening up a SHIELD themed hands-on science exhibit in New York Times Square for all ages, keeping up a theme of supporting STEM education that began with Natalie Portman and Marvel collaborating on a girls in STEM mentoring program. Clark Gregg is doubling down on the idea that the show’s climax will truly shock fans. “When people see the remaining episodes of the season — what they’re doing here is a slow build to something I don’t think you’ve seen before.” I dunno, Mr. Gregg. I’m not quite over you calling folks who quit after a whopping ten episodes “losers” and asking fans to have patience, even if you did walk back from your language a moment later. Lets say that I’m crossing my fingers that you’re right, but I’m not holding my breath.
And finally, Marvel has confirmed that SHIELD will have a tie in episode as soon as Captain America: The Winter Soldier premieres, which will be an interesting test for the production. Winter Soldier promises a plot where most of the main characters are high level SHIELD agents, so the production has their work cut out for them to make the show and movie feel like they’re happening contiguously. Their first tie-in episode that coincided with a movie release (“The Well“), was criticized for not actually deriving its plot from the events of Thor: The Dark World. The most recent episode of the series, “Yes Men“, which actually features an asgardian character from The Dark World as well as a central episode problem that derives directly from plot points in The Dark World, proves that the show is capable of doing close tie ins with movies. Just maybe not immediately after release.
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