Wednesday, April 23, 2014

IFFB 2014: BENEATH THE HARVEST SKY

IFFB 2014 opened tonight with a beautiful film about Casper and Dominic, best friends growing up in a farming town on the Canadian border, and a Harvest Week that changes their lives. The week off from school in Van Buren, Maine is an opportunity for Dominic to make some money working on the potato harvest, while Casper earns by working for his father, who's in the business of smuggling drugs across the border. The boys have a pact of sorts: pool the money they make to leave this small nowhere dead-end town and make their way in the world. Alas, the people closest to each of them all seem intent on keeping them there, one way or another.

The directors Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, soundtrack artist Dustin Hamman, and co-star Aidan Gillen (Tommy Carcetti of THE WIRE) were present for Q&A after and the directors mentioned their hope/goal was to make the kind of film that they grew up loving, a STAND BY ME or THE OUTSIDERS, that just doesn't seem to be made these days. I think they've succeeded in creating an heir to those films. Something true to the relationships of those films, but different in style, and excellent in style. The directors' previous work has been documentary, and that seems to inform what they've created in HARVEST SKY. It feels real.
It doesn't hurt any that Emory Cohen, who plays Caspar, is remarkable in his role. I think the proper critical hyperbolic non-hyperbole would be "a revelation." The directors explained that most people on set called Emory—or only knew him as—Caspar. Musician Dustin Hamman shared a story about spending a night in one of the film locations with Caspar, and when Emory, apparently ready to break character, offered to tell Dustin his real name. Dustin replied something like, "No, man. That's okay. I don't want to know." Why mess with the mojo, right?

Emory is really frickin good.

In power (please excuse the vague term) and style, casting and performances, minutes in, the film reminded me of WINTER'S BONE. It wasn't a deja vu thing in any way, and it really only crossed my mind once, but for me there's something sympathetic between the two films. Or at least my memory of them. Would make for a very satisfying double feature, if you're feeling up to some darkness with your coming-of-age stories.

The directors announced that the film will be playing for a week at the Coolidge Corner theater. Yes, it is already available via iTunes and Amazon Prime, but if you can, please grab a friend or three and see it on the big screen together. So very worth it.

Some dopey asides, more for me to remember than for anyone else's illumination. There are some not-super-important spoilers, so skip/stop reading if you'd rather not know some details before seeing the film…

Love that Casper and Dominic are reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS for English class. Also love that the teacher brought up the "Jim twins" for the lesson. I wanted to ask (but of course didn't/chickened out) if it was always THE OUTSIDERS in the script. When the movie started, I wasn't thinking of it along those lines, but having the book in there, as part of the fabric of the film, connected a dot for me and I like it.

I love the strong show-don't-tell-ness of the film. No doubt it plays a big part in achieving the real-ness of the film. We are given… shown… allowed to see and hear… traces of things, glancing blows of conversations and events, bits and pieces that almost subliminally build character and relationships. I really dig that.

The directors mentioned that they took indie potato farming as a metaphor for indie filmmaking. At the end of the harvest, the potatoes get trucked off by Terra Chips. When I was eavesdropping on the directors after Q&A, someone congratulated them on getting distribution with Tribeca Films, and I dropped a wee clunker: if the potato farming in the film represents independent filmmaking, then is Tribeca your Terra Chips?

While the film was playing, I saw the focus on the potatoes to be a way of marking time during Harvest Week. Later, I kinda took the potatoes to be the boys, and maybe the small town residents in general. Not a perfect parallel, but you can sort of talk your way into it. To grow big potatoes you want to kill of their flowers, so they don't leech nutrients from the tubers (educational!). Once grown, they are harvested and shipped away from the place where they are grown. That's the best case scenario, I guess. The worst case: you get picked and chucked into Casper's potato cannon. Heh.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, April 14, 2014

Marvel ramblings: Hail Hydra!

Some randomish bits of crazy talk in the wake of CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and AGENTS OF SHIELD: Turn, Turn, Turn.

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Garrett/Clairvoyant: Hail Hydra? Yeah, yeah, whatev…

I hope/don't yet believe that the Clairvoyant is just a Hydra lieutenant. I stand by my theory that the CV is someone who's been involved in all parts of the SHIELD turducken, but only for his own goals. Even if Ward were free to express his own independent thoughts, he wouldn't need to "Hail Hydra" because that's not to whom he'd pledge his allegiance (extorted or freely given). His allegiance is to Garrett, who has so far enjoyed being taken for the CV. When SHIELD agents storm the room he and Coulson's team are in, he calls out Sitwell's recruits with a "Hail Hydra" out of convenience more than loyalty. He explains as much when he describes how he turned his sails.

I'm finding it less likely that Garrett has had access to the Insight Algorithm now. I was hoping that the CV would have stolen/duped a beta of the algorithm for personal gain and planned out most if not all of SHIELD's confrontations with Centipede. Now it seems that he's a gifted button-pusher and strategist whose taken genius-level advantage of the SHIELD's HR department's files.

Which, incidentally, are now out in the open, thanks to the events of WINTER SOLDIER, no? I'm gonna not go out on a limb here and say that Fury's super fancy secure tip top secret files were not released (Coulson's recovery, GH-325, among others), tho. So, Avengers Initiative files? Perhaps a seed for something like a Young Avengers team? The Index? Which could be tapped for super-skilled and super-abilified human resources for good and evil, no? Skye's history? Weapons designs? Project Pegasus? What else?

So, what IS Garrett's/the CV's motivation? Survival? Being on the winning side?

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Hail Hydra: Ward?

Can Ward be a double agent? We're meant to understand that he killed all those SHIELD/Hydra guys in the corridor while Skye was hiding, right? He eyed that knife on the floor, got to it, used it.

Hrm… Any chance he's kept a sliver of the Berserker staff in his utility belt?

I've got two possibilities:

1. He's under Centipede-tech remote control, like Deathlok. He could've been implanted before or early in his tenure as part of Coulson's team, without his knowing. Not sure where that would've been likely in show continuity, but I'm sure there's a gap where it could happen. The connection might not have been activated for control until more recent events, and until then used for passive intel gathering. This certinaly fits into an explanation of his shooting Thomas Nash, the prop CV. He finds himself pointing his weapon directly at the man who's been manipulating him by remote for days, weeks, maybe months. What can Nash possibly do to Ward or anyone/anything Ward cares about (leverage) before he shoots and kills him? Nothing. Maybe there were even remote commands like "PLAY ALONG AND TAKE ME INTO CUSTODY," "ALL ACCORDING TO PLAN," playing in Ward's eyes. But Ward's doing that bullet math, and when Nash's mechanical voice starts explaining what will happen to Skye, he carries the one and fires. F it. At this point, the real CV would stop transmitting to Ward's implant. So, Ward would still have the hardware in his head, but see no more commands and believe that he's truly free and the CV is dead. Until it's revealed that he shot the wrong man, that is. New commands would have appeared in his HUD when Hand gives him the opportunity to execute Garrett. And, if that IS what happened, then the CV is still transmitting, which means that the CV can't be cuffed and restrained Garrett, right?

2. This is kind of a romantic notion, but he's legitimately in man-love with Garrett. He's not a Hydra agent, he's a Garrett agent. Garrett's training was such that he instilled unquestioning loyalty and respect in his agents. Ward believes in the man. If he's doing something that appears shady, he's doing it for the right reasons. Yeah, definitely a tough sell given that Garrett was involved in activity that led to Coulson's torture and Skye's near-death, but how's Ward been sold to us since the show began? The good soldier, the specialist, the guy who makes the tough calls in the field.

Frack, just came up with a third possibility…

3. What if Ward agreed to be implanted and it's to receive commands from Coulson. In this scenario, Coulson suspected Garrett, or someone close, early on, and had Fitz-Simmons implant him (w Skye's help?). So, when he turns on Hand to save Garrett, he's acting on orders given by Coulson. AND, his sidearm would've been replaced with something that wouldn't kill his targets, but make it appear he did. AND and, the drive with all the data from The Bus that Ward is carrying is a decoy with false or corrupted data.

Crazy talk?

Maybe. But I like it. =)

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Hail Hydra: Heads or limbs?

I love that Garrett and Coulson have that little back and forth about the Hydra oath, Garrett thinking that it's "Cut off a limb…" but Coulson certain that it's "Cut off a head…" From what I think I remember from my Steranko NICK FURY reprints ("Dark Moon Rise, Heck Hound Hurt" anyone? =) and forward is "limb" but yeah, in the Marvel Movie Universe so far, it's been "head." I never thought twice about the "limb" in the comics, as that works scientifically (and graphically, for when agents do that Vishnu-looking pantomime standing behind one another) in reference to the microbiological hydra. The image of a gooey microscopic organism with tentacles around its mouth doesn't seem very romantic or inspirational, tho, does it? But in the comics, they pulled it off, and it fairly described the organism's actual structure. "Head," however, evokes the mythical Hydra. Much more awe-inspiring, no? And that dude was about being multi-headed.

You can see the legacy of the change in the design of the Hydra sigil. The figure is more Cthulu than Hydra, a (red) skull with tentacles below it rather than a body with multiple heads.

I wonder if the Garrett-Coulson exchange is a pet peeve of any of the writers, heh. In any case, I appreciated the in-story wink and nod to the comic book organization.

Heh. Would be awesome if AGENTS OF SHIELD encountered a, like, 5-agent rogue Hydra group that split off over the oath. =)

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GH-325.

A drug/extract refined from the chemistry of an extraterrestrial (perhaps extradimensional) being, a blue-skinned being whose remains were held in some kind of stasis in a lab marked T.A.H.I.T.I. at an off-the-books SHIELD facility known as The Guest House. The Guest House has been destroyed. I'd love for the being to have slipped thru a portal between worlds to Earth, but at this point, I'm thinking we've got to go with alien, and if it's a blue-skinned alien in the Marvel Universe, it's got to be Kree.

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084: Skye.

Skye was an 084 before she was injected w GH-325 to save her life. The search for her origin revealed that her parents were killed, but we never get names for them, nor any mention of their species (which in most any other TV show context would not be conspicuous =). The simplest, most basic details are given: she was orphaned, her parents killed or found dead. Now, let's add a few details…

In the wake of a massive energy discharge, SHIELD agents were sent in to investigate the source. At the epicenter of the phenomenon they found the baby who would be called Skye. Her parents were found nearby, killed by gunfire. One was human, the other, unknown. They were in front of a structure built to camouflage the wreckage of a spacecraft. The bodies of armed operatives in bright yellow hazmat suits were found surrounding them. Heh.

In the Marvel Comics Universe, the Kree are either pink- or blue-skinned. I'm not certain of the differences between them besides color, but both are capable of mating with non-Kree species. The Kree Empire has a history of mucking about with the genetics of other races (including Human), effectively producing Kree hybrids with unusual abilities/characteristics. This is what Skye is. A child of love and/or science, we can't know just yet, but I'm a sucker for the stranded alien/alien spy scenario, y'know? An extraterrestrial finds itself in dire straits on Earth. Stranded (or if a spy, assigned to gather intel), it learns Earthican ways and eventually falls for humanity in general and one human in particular, and decides to make a home and a family here. But someone notices, human scientists and military or alien superiors and military.

This partially explains why Coulson's physical reaction to the GH-325 was so violently different from Skye's. I say "partially" cuz—HelLO!—he was frickin dead, everybody, remember? Hrm… I wonder when in the series of surgeries and whatnot was the GH-325 administered to Coulson.

But you know, aside from the resurrection deal, Skye's Kree-Human hybrid genetics accepted the GH-325 whereas Coulson's simply Human flesh tried to reject it.

Hey, what if GH is Skye's father? Wack!

Are the healing effects of GH-325 one-time or forever? It seems like forever, as Simmons seems to believe that Skye's blood may be the key to healing others. Coulson's tests earlier in the season revealed that he was in tip top human shape, but nothing more than that, right? No evidence of a healing factor?

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Artificial Intelligence: JARVIS.

JARVIS is the first we've encountered in the Marvel Movie Universe. Built with personality, but with no indication thus far of true sentience. No independent desires or preferences save what Stark has programmed to exhibit. Back when there was no sign of a Hank Pym in the MMU, I thought that a JARVIS on board one of Stark's remote IM suits might have a comic book moment (cosmic ray exposure, hostile takeover malfunction, interception by a ghost or alien intelligence) and become sentient and ultimately become Ultron.

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Artificial Intelligence: Arnim Zola.

Arnim Zola was a living human being until his mind was backed up onto millions of miles of magnetic tape. He now exists as a disembodied electronic consciousness. Presumably once the transfer was made, his body died, but we do not know that for a fact. Leaves the possibility open for the electronic Zola to be a copy of an original that might be maintained by some kind of stasis or life support, eh?

I think it's safe to assume that as technology progressed, so did his storage media. If SHIELD/Hydra was smart, they'd do everything possible to keep Zola isolated and unconnected to ARPAnet and the present day internet. Perhaps he was contained in such a way on the Lemurian Star? Hrm… But what about his coordination with the SHIELD missile launch on the bunker? I guess that could've been analog, a radio signal or voice line, but not a data line.

Maybe there are limits to what a human consciousness can do digitally, and Zola *does* have access to the internet, but can't be everywhere and see everything and maintain his scheming genius self.

What WAS that Zola that addressed Steve and Natasha in the SSR bunker? Was that a Zola "agent" or drone code that the master Zola (on the Lemurian Star) embedded in the data that Natasha duped? She described the data as protected by an intelligent encryption, right? So, once the drive was plugged into the bunker machines, it unpacked itself into a (nearly) full version of the original and did what it did.

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Loki's Sceptre.

Quite an oversight by Thor and Asgard, taking the Tesseract back to Odin's Vault, but leaving behind the Sceptre, which *somehow* holds a portion of the Tesseract's energy. So far, I believe it's been established by demonstration that the Tesseract generates energy and creates stable wormholes. Regarding the Sceptre, on the energy front, it's a fraction of the "Cosmic Cube's," but a fraction of the infinite is still infinite, right? I imagine it would do a more than decent job of powering up those WW2-era Hydra weapons and any new models based on that tech.

On the wormhole front, well, the Sceptre allowed Loki to be transported thru an unregulated wormhole created in Project Pegasus. It also allowed Loki to communicate and interact with Chitauri across galactic(?) distances, something resembling astral projection.

The Sceptre, in Loki's hands, at least, also demonstrated an ability to corrupt and control those touched by it. Perhaps the effect is dependent on the wielder, tho? If Cap had used the Sceptre on anyone, perhaps their most selfless and all-American qualities and desires would come to the forefront of their personality. It would still be imposed behavior mod, but—hey!—as long as it's for the greater good, right, Cap? Oh, right, forgot about WINTER SOLDIER's that whole freedom vs. security thing. My badd.

Well, in any case, Strucker and Hydra have a fraction of the infinite to play with. What do you suppose the Baron would do with such a resource? SATAN CLAW anyone? Highly impractical, but pretty frickin iconic, right?

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Keep on keepin on~

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

AGENTS OF SHIELD: Turn, turn, turn: Hand, Garrett, Ward?


Some more rambling theory-spinning crazy talk on AGENTS OF SHIELD after WINTER SOLDIER before tonight's ep…

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I see three possibilities for the allegiance of Hub Director Agent Victoria Hand…

1. She's loyal trust-the-system SHIELD and answers to the SHIELD chain of command (as Hub director, would that only be Fury?). This offers two sub-options: that she's following orders from legit SHIELD, or unwittingly following orders from Hydra, perhaps with (well-hidden) misgivings. This second sub-option seems true to her comic book persona.

2. She's Hydra and in cahootz w the likes of Sitwell and Crossbones and Pierce. This would be a powerful strategic move for Hydra, as she can enlist all the resources of The Hub for Hydra objectives, without revealing Hydra itself.

3. She's Centipede and answers to the Clairvoyant. Okay, maybe she IS the Clairvoyant, but I'd rather she was another lieutenant. Either way, this would be a powerful move for the Clairvoyant for the same reasons as option 2.

By ordering some level-something something-protocol lockdown, she might effectively seal The Hub off from the events of WINTER SOLDIER, at least for a while. And by trumping up some charges on Coulson's team, or even just throwing up the "Level 8" classified wall, she can defend any moves she makes against them, including killing them. As a legit SHIELD agent, she may have received orders branding Coulson & co as traitors, and the Bus's course change might be just the manufactured or coincidental proof to back them up. I don't quite buy that Hand is responsible for the plane changing course (away from the Triskelion and Insight, btw).

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Ward could easily be SHIELD's or Hydra's. I feel like he genuinely believes the Clairvoyant to be a menace and a monster, tho, so I'm gonna say he's not w CV. I don't know that his delivery sold me on the emotional duress he experienced when he cracked and shot Nash, but if I take him at his words, okay. His execution of Thomas Nash was indeed in the heat of the moment. That makes sense, as it would have been choreographed by the Clairvoyant. CV's words, pumped thru the machinery surrounding Nash, were no doubt designed to manipulate one of the agents in the room into killing Nash, as CV could *not* have him be taken into SHIELD custody alive. Ward may have been the easiest mark, or simply the first on CV's list, or served the bonus purpose of fracturing Coulson's team.

Maybe the Clairvoyant is going to use the SHIELD/Hydra schism and WINTER SOLDIER events to his advantage by outing some Hydra agents close to and on Coulson's team.

The next episode is titled "Turn, Turn, Turn," the same words that Garrett uses to describe the wheel of agents and S.O.s. Garrett trained Ward and Ward trained Skye. So, what if Garrett is Hydra, eh? That would make me really sad. Not just cuz it's Wild Bill playing him, but because he's ostensibly playing the character brought to life by Frank Miller and Bill Sienkiewicz in ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN. Not quite as over-the-top as I remember him, but he definitely brings some cowboy swagger.

Taking "Turn, turn, turn" to heart, tho. Would Hydra Garrett have recruited Ward? Is there something in Ward's past (I'm real shaky on character histories, bleah) that would make him seem a likely convert?

And let's say he did. Would he have expected Ward in turn to convert Skye? I found their conversation before the double-blind mission to be… conspicuous. It wasn't unreasonable or unlikely, just… I dunno. Seemed to skip a few beats somehow. Maybe he was fishing for a Hydra call and response? Third degree burn, nerve endings, gut shot?


Keep on keepin on~

AGENTS OF SHIELD: The Clairvoyant: Hail Hydra?


Some more rambling on the Clairvoyant, incorporating some events and intel revealed in CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER.

]]] WINTER SOLDIER SPOILERS FOLLOW [[[

Let's say Clair Voyant, aka CV, is a SHIELD agent who's been recruited by Hydra. Let's say CV moved up the ranks of both organizations, to a level high enough to gain access to Zola's work, specifically the Insight Algorithm, perhaps an Alpha or Beta, y'know? Not in its ultimate, Hydra-ted form. CV sees a way to exploit the Algorithm for his own personal agenda, copies/steals it, and begins using it to plan and predict. The first thing CV would do would be to hide himself from both sides. How? Modifying his SHIELD file to project a competent, loyal, sufficiently high-level, but not trouble-making operative, basically painting the picture of a successful but forgettable drone.

What agenda?

I like the Clairvoyant as having a personal stake and/or a high ideal as the drive behind his clandestine machinations. On the surface, it seems like CV's operations, aka Centipede, are focused on the development and acquisition of exotic weaponry. I don't think we've seen that weaponry applied in the support of a particular ideology, right? Seems mostly like an arms dealer on the surface, traveling in the same circles as alien tech scavengers and exiled cybercriminals, right?

Not very satisfying to me, but that might be enough. Especially as a til-now-phantom-like third party in the SHIELD-Hydra dynamic. A mercenary villain, building an enhanced mercenary army for hire.

Wow. Can you imagine Hydra getting SHIELD on the ropes at some point in the WINTER SOLDIER struggle and Coulson cutting a deal with the Clairvoyant to *hire* his forces to help SHIELD? And maybe Hydra counters, but CV sticks w Coulson, as he can be trusted while Hydra certainly cannot.

What if CV tweaked Insight to do more than hide himself, but also cripple Hydra, perhaps out of philosophical disagreement? That would be a nice touch. Like when the mob turns its Tommy Guns on the Nazis instead of the cops, cuz, F that—Nazis! Y'know?

So, on the surface, Centipede looks like an exotic arms developer and dealer and super army for hire. But what does the Clairvoyant really want out of this? What end would this be a means to? Well, it's the creation of a force that can stand toe-to-toe with SHIELD and perhaps Avengers. I've gone on quite a bit about my wild hopes that there is time or dimensional travel involved, that the Clairvoyant doesn't just have SHIELD files from the present, but from the future as well. Well, the algorithm renders that unnecessary. So, maybe CV has used the algorithm and discovered an imminent Earthican catastrophe—Insight itself? The rise of a supervillain or superpowered force? The age of Ultron?—and created Centipede as a pre-emptive strike or defense against it. Or as a force against which SHIELD (and Hydra?) can be tempered and strengthened, to better face this coming apocalypse.

I say Earthican because the algorithm operates on recorded personal history and data, and we can assume that CV would only have access to human information…

Or can we? What if CV is an extraterrestrial, or has access to extraterrestrial data? Perhaps the algorithm, applied to an ET-net, revealed that another battle in the higher form of war is going to take place on Earth soon and in his way is helping to arm and prepare the adorable Earthicans.

Would be a nice comic booky "Humans Number One!" to have a mad Earthling scientist develop something like the algorithm that no one's seen applied in the rest of the galaxy. Hari Seldon's psychohistory, anyone?

Or, we go back to one of my old theories that doesn't require ET data or the algorithm, but simply Nick Fury's do-what-has-to-be-done-to-protect-humanity directive. SHIELD as the world knows it is too massive (so massive that it's unwittingly become home to Hydra as well) and transparent (compartmentalized, sure, but everything is logged somewhere) to do the dirty work needed to properly defend the Earth in a higher form of war. So, Nick sets up an independent rogue op, completely disavowed and unconnected to SHIELD, to develop weapons and soldiers in the wild, to fund itself any way it needs to, and then to get big enough that it has to lock horns with SHIELD, and in that conflict, SHIELD gets smarter, stronger, and when it wins, acquires weapons that it would otherwise have been unable (read also as unallowed) to ethically and safely develop on its own.

Keep on keepin on~

Monday, April 07, 2014

WINTER AGENTS: syncing up CAP2 and AOS redux ramble


Then again…

How about we try this without being so impatient? Not as much fun, but we do have most of half a season to go, right? =)

]]] WINTER SOLDIER SPOILERS (and the usual crazy talk) FOLLOW [[[

In AGENTS OF SHIELD: End of the Beginning… Before Victoria Hand returns to The Hub, she relays that Agent Sitwell is to report to the Lemurian Star. This is the SHIELD barge that Cap and the Widow are sent to free from Batroc and his pirate mercs (enlisted by Nick Fury). This doesn't necessarily mean that Batroc strikes immediately on Sitwell's arriving at the Star. He may have been there for days or even weeks before he's taken hostage.

Although… In WINTER SOLDER, we *do* get the apparently superfluous information that the Star has been held by the pirates for 93 hours when Cap and Nat are brought in, right? That's almost four days of time that begins sometime after Sitwell arrives. How much time do we think passes in the course of the events of "End of the Beginning?" Could it have been four days?

*Maybe.* But if AGENTS OF SHIELD needs more time for Agents-vs-Clairvoyant to play out before Fury's apparent death, they can write it in easily enough. Just extend Sitwell's time on the Lemurian Star before Batroc takes the ship. So, if it "helps," everything that happens in last week's episode happens BEFORE Cap, Nat, and the Strike Team board the Lemurian Star. That potentially opens up weeks in the AGENTS timeline before SHIELD has to be dissolved. Coulson may have a chance to speak to Fury before his death, and with Insight and Hydra on his mind, he would definitely clue Coulson into a contingency plan/mission.

Actually, going along with the notion that May is reporting to Fury, let's take her report to Coulson that Fury has returned (from wherever/whatever) as legit. Assuming that Nick hasn't been dodging Coulson specifically (which is what it's seemed like from within AGENTS), that would have happened *before* Cap meets Nick in WINTER SOLDIER, right? That by itself significantly extends the amount of time between the events of "End of the Beginning" and WINTER SOLDIER.

Are we gonna let AGENTS OF SHIELD get away with no mention of Insight's satellites? The three carriers, well, okay. Let's say they're ultra super top secret. Altho launching them from the heart of D.C. seems counter-intelligent, no? Okay, okay, fine. Let's say that despite the fact that everyone in the Triskellion seems to know about Insight, it's been compartmentalized tightly enough that none of our AGENTS would know about it and discuss, refer to, or gossip about it.

Hrm… All of SHIELD's files were released to the interwebs. That means the Index and Skye's history are Out There, right? Hrm…

There's no need to bring Hydra into AGENTS, altho it would certainly be cool and bold. As I keep saying, for me, Clairvoyant ≠ Hydra. Way more interesting for me if they do bring Hydra in as an enemy of the Clairvoyant as well. Hrm… 

What if the multiple choice options for "To whom is Agent May reporting?" are actually…?
  1. Nick Fury - SHIELD
  2. The Clairvoyant - Centipede
  3. Hydra - SHIELD
Answer 3 would be frickin cool. Hell, what if Victoria Hand is Hydra and she wants to quash the Clairvoyant as badly as Coulson and co? Which way would the "enemy of my enemy is my friend" dynamic swing things in that scenario, eh? Agents + Centipede vs. Hydra? Or Agents vs. Hydra vs. Centipede?

Hrm… You know what. For the Clairvoyant's prop gambit to work, Thomas Nash could not be allowed to survive as a prisoner of SHIELD. If Ward truly did fire because of emotional duress or whatever, someone else in the room was ready to do the job. Or Nash would somehow have to appear to provoke an attack. Altho… Frack. I guess the Clairvoyant would be able to push anyone's and everyone's buttons in that room in order to get that desired result. For whatever reason, probably to screw w Coulson's team, Clair chose Ward for the job.

Try to forget about the Clairvoyant. If Hydra does wrap a tentacle head around AGENTS, who would be the most likely target for Hydra recruiting? I kind of like Fitz for that. Agent May, sure. She's been thru hell for SHIELD and as a result might be susceptible to the right pitch from Hydra. But Fitz! C'mon, that would be way more fun! It's played for comic relief, but you see the flashes of resentment and superiority beneath his nerdy Brit surface, don't you? He might be science-nerdy enough to appreciate the Hydra philosophy as something elegant, or perhaps something incredibly naive but convenient. Man, that would be Something. =)

Curious. Hand is quite insistent on having Simmons join her at The Hub, ostensibly to brief her agents as SHIELD's expert on Deathlok. Nah. Simmons couldn't be Hydra w Hand. If Hand wants Simmons at The Hub, it's because she/the Clairvoyant is counting on her bringing Skye's blood sample with her for study.

Compartmentalize the information. Skye's double blind protocol. Could be an illustration of Agent May's situation, believing she's working for Fury, but actually reporting to someone else?

Okay, am I totally arguing w myself now? *sigh* Allright, enough w the crazy talk…

…for now. =)

To address what I originally meant to walk thru…

The next eps of AGENTS OF SHIELD could be playing out before or during the events of WINTER SOLDIER. I *want* it to be during, with Fury's return (announced by May in "End of the Beginning") marking the completion of some off-the-grid counter-intel work (investigating Hydra corruption and setting up Batroc's Starjacking). I want for Centipede to be distinct from Hydra. I'd love for there to be a three-way battle/struggle.

And I'd really like for Nick Fury to be "wearing" Victoria Hand's eye to gain Alpha-level access to SHIELD's files at the end of WINTER SOLDIER. =)

Keep on keepin on~

AGENTS OF SHIELD: GH-325?

Some scattin' on the "GH" in GH-325. Most are tweets from the night the episode aired. Note that when I first saw the episode, I wasn't sure if the specimen's skin/surface color was actually blue or tinted blue by lighting and the cryo tube. Since then, Coulson has described the creature as "blue" on the show.
GH-325 Infinity Formula? Super Soldier Serum? Captain America blood? Wolverine blood? Red Skull blood?
Is GH actually blue-skinned? Tint from cryo tube/suspension? Centaurian (Yondu)? Kree (Ronan)? Frost Giant? G for Giant?
GH… George Harrison? =)
GH… G for Gilgamesh? aka Forgotten One. Eternals, anyone?
GH… Maybe it's where the being was found/recovered? Ghana?
GH… Glenn Hughes? =)
GH… Green Hantern? =)
GH… Gamma Hydra? Heh. A star, but man, look at those words in Marvel light, right? =)
GH… H for hormone? Harvest (as in organs)? Humanoid?
GH… GREY HULK?! A secret history 1960s gamma bomb test survivor who ultimately died or had to be put down?
GH… H for "Hala?"
I really like G for "Giant" and H for "Hala." Unfortunately, those would be mutually exclusive. G for Giant as in Frost Giant would be a great fit as collateral damage from the portals created during THOR 2. H for Hala as in the Kree homeworld would be kind of perfect because Coulson reacted violently to GH-325 treatment while Skye (a "natural" 084) took to it rather easily, indicating that Skye has Kree blood in her. I'm pretty certain that blue and pink cree are NOT different species, so a pink Kree Skye should be able to accept a transfusion of blue Kree chemistry. Hrm… Might be an indicator of Kree genetic manipulation as well, eh? Inhuman Skye?

Would be an interesting way to introduce mutants into the MMU without "mutants." Having the Kree genetically tinkering with human stock over millennia, resulting in something along the lines of the recent Inhumanity phenom in the MCU.

What about T.A.H.I.T.I.?

They're all happier in the ice?

Geep hon geepin hon~