A week late due to travels into the southern wilds, but Secrets of SHIELD is back with what's been hailed as a mighty episode, worthy of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So how well does the episode fit into the MCU sandbox? Let's dive in.
First, I agree, this was a fun episode, and the series could really benefit from having a superpowered regular cast member. Get on it Marvel!
Next, the spoiler-light recap: Continuing from last episode's stinger, a rogue Asgardian goddess is wrecking havoc among the men of Nevada, and Coulson's Kiddos jump right in to stop her with the help of another, more heroic Asgardian goddess. Relationships are strained, friends are punched, and random bystanders have their lives destroyed. Still, this counts as a win, right?
Now, the Marvel connections:
As mentioned last time, Lorelei the Ice Queen is an evil Asgardian, and sister of the also evil Amora the Enchantress. To make things simpler, Enchantress is a seductress who is usually the enemy but occasional lover of Thor, and her little sister Lorelei is a seductress who is usually the lover of but occasionally the enemy of Loki.
Lorelei quickly dumps Jimmy MacKenzie, whom she seduced into dumping his bride Nicole last episode, after finding Rooster (aka Duane) and his "Dogs of Hell" motorcycle club (aka biker gang). On the plus side for Jimmy, as far as Nicole was concerned, he was just kidnapped, so she'll probably take him back when and if he heals from the 25-foot toss through a car that Lorelei gave him. Duane ends much worse, however, as he apparently kills his wife Rosie at Lorelei's command before getting captured by authorities.
Rosie owns (owned?) Rosie's Desert Oasis, a bar/casino in Nevada. There are a few Rosie's Bars in the comics, including a few featured prominently in Daredevil and Wolverine stories. Rooster also says Ben Franklin used to rule the country, and while his historical knowledge may be questionable, Ben Franklin's electronic ghost (yes, he was ghosted by science, not mysticism) is still an active part of the Marvel U, appearing regularly in issues of Deadpool!
Not sure why the "Dogs of Hell" have what appears to be a warthog for a mascot, but there are no shortage of biker gangs in the Marvel Universe, including a literal group of dogs from hell and even a team of superhero bikers. The Thunderiders haven't appeared in years, largely due to the murky legal territory they inhabit, in that they were first introduced as part of a licensed comic, Team America (no, not that one, the other one).
Back to the regular SHIELD gang, Skye is quickly recovering thanks to the "miracle drug," GH-325. As speculated last time, GH is probably the MCU version of MGH (minus the M as there are no superpowered "mutants" in this universe). Coulson, a previous recipient of the drug, is real twichy about the chemical's apparently alien origins and has apparently suffered no repercussions for killing two men and blowing up an above-top-secret location. This is probably understandable as, even in the comics, Fury keeps his secret bases off-grid, so it's likely no one outside of Coulson and Garret's teams know about the incident. Well, and Fury, of course, but Coulson met with Jasper Sitwell (Deep Throat-style) to learn that Fury is MIA (to learn more, see Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the show heavily implies).
Coulson returns from a few days of "personal time" to learn SHIELD is tracking Asgardian readings similar to those detected by Drs. Selvig and Foster (to learn more, see Thor and Thor: The Dark World, the show heavily implies) and have served as the Index Asset Evaluation and Intake - or Welcome Wagon - for Sif, visiting Asgardian warrior goddess.
Sif herself claims Bifrost (the Rainbow Bridge) dropped her off at Lorelei's last location, but given she appeared just feet in front of a SHIELD convoy, presumably Heimdall helped out behind the scenes. She is quick to notice Coulson is not as dead as previously thought, but in an effort to preserve movie continuity, Coulson asks he be allowed to tell Thor personally.
We learn, via Sif, that Lorelei caused some unspecified chaos across the Nine Realms 600 years ago. It's possible Elliot Randolph, ex-pat Asgardian, was involved as he was on Earth at the time, but he isn't mentioned by name in this episode, only his Berserker Staff is alluded to. Like her comic counterpart, Lorelei bends and shapes men to her will, but the cinematic version requires visual or physical contact. To stop Lorelei, Sif busts out a magical muting collar that looks like a cross between Wonder Woman's tiara and Xena's chakram. Lorelei escaped during the Dark Elf-orchestrated prison break and snuck away through one of "Loki's secret pathways between worlds" (again, see Thor: The Dark World). Sif holds something of a grudge against Lorelei regarding a dead lover named Haldorr and Sif's unrequited love for Thor (in mythology and the comics they are somewhat fated for each other, in the movies, not so much).
Say, "Elliot Randolph" is an anagram for "open till Haldor," maybe Elliot is ... okay, maybe not. That's just silly.
A member of the Interdites appeared to Thanos' enemy Adam Warlock during one of his (partially retconned) adventures. These intergalactic nomadic psychics have some precognitive abilities, but are unlikely to have healing properties. On the other hand, wouldn't it be interesting if another of these clairvoyant aliens was active on Earth causing some kind of trouble...
The Levians are slightly more advanced than humans, for all that's worth; not much to write home about as a species.
Pheragots, super strong warriors, although in an alternate future they are famously pacifistic. They could conceivably have healing factors, but they do have a more distinctive look.
The Kree are one of the most significant races in the Local Group of galaxies around the Milky Way. Although one of the most advanced humanoid races, their warlike ways have brought them into unwinnable conflicts, greatly diminishing their power in the Marvel Universe. Expect big things from the Kree in the up-coming Guardians of the Galaxy movie (in theaters this summer, the show heavily implies). By the way, this marks the first official mention of the Kree by name in the Marvel Cinematic Universe!
Sarks are rarely heard of outside of Adam Warlock stories, as their most famous member, Autolycus was a major enemy before having his soul stolen by Warlock. Somewhat ironically, the disembodied soul of Autolycus now considers himself Adam Warlock's friend.
There are several Centaurian races from the suns and planets near Alpha Centauri, but Sif is referring to the natives of Centauri IV, who have an interesting, if complicated history in the comics. In the alternate future reality of Earth-691 (the mainstream Marvel comics universe contains Earth-616), the blue-skinned, red-finned marsupials (well, they have pouches to carry babies anyway) were essentially the oppressed, bow-and-arrow using natives being bossed around by alien races, including humanity and the Badoon. Yes, they were the original Na'vi. In the present of Earth-616, they have had some encounters with humanity already, and several thousand Centaurian Inhumans currently live on Earth, ruled by Queen Oola Udonta. The upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie will feature Yondu, who is an honorable warrior from the 31st Century of Earth-691 in the comics; it's anybody's guess how he'll be represented in the film. This is also the first mention of Centaurians in the MCU.
Frost Giants were shown fairly thoroughly in the first Thor movie, they aren't always blue in the comics.
Given that the LMD theory was lampshaded then discarded by this series, it seems likely that the Big Blue Guy wasn't any of those races.
From the first episode, Ward has complained that the Night-Night gun had a terrible name and he previously complained that it was an ounce off-balance, both problems have been fixed with Fitz's newest line of non-lethal automatic weapons: the ICERs! The appropriately chosen acronym stands for Incapacitating Cartridge Emitting something something. Fitz didn't get to finish his explanation, but the tripled stopping power of the ammunition should come in handy in later episodes (to be naturally outdone by some future baddy, no doubt). On a tech note, the previously unnamed interrogation room is officially called the Cage according to the plane's onboard computers.
After SHIELD goes in unprepared despite clear warnings from Sif, Ward falls under Lorelei's sway. She is impressed by his abilities and berserker rage (which she, uh, indulges), and takes Las Vegas by storm. During a planned second confrontation, Coulson smartly sends in a SWAT team of only female SHIELD agents, only to learn Lorelei and Ward have flown the coup and have hijacked the Bus (with Fitz's loving help).
Sif and Lorelei fight. Ward and May fight. Simmons and Fitz chase. Coulson's fist and Fitz's face meet (Fitz later forgives him).
Interestingly, after the battles end, Coulson asks Sif how she can remain so professional even after her enemy wounded her so personally. This is something Coulson showed an inability to do last episode, and by this episode's end decides to completely abandon.
May, secretly, believes this revelation proves, "Coulson knows."
Hmmm... this week SHIELD will be on hiatus while Marvel pimps its other live-action properties, but more on this mystery next time.