I finally had a chance to sit down and catch up on the first three episodes of AoS season two. At this point, there have been a number of good things and a number of troubling things. For me, they add up in the following manner:
• So far Season Two features tighter writing in general than Season One had.
1) stronger, more believable relationships between characters (especially between May, Skye, and Trip)
2) better episode plotting and pacing (the first two episodes held me pretty engrossed, in spite of a couple of serious content problems)
and 3) the development of potentially solid story arcs for Simmons and Fitz (I think it was a good idea to split them up, and I did NOT see that figment of the imagination twist coming at all; that was extremely well executed) (additionally, the inclusion of a character who is struggling with a disability but who is shown to be a capable and respected member of a team could be a very good thing provided the writers handle it appropriately; that is to say, provided they don’t decide to retcon Fitz’s condition with… I don’t know… some alien serum bullshit or something like that)
• No one, most notably Skye, is buying into Ward’s bullshit at this point, although that is probably destined to change.
• KYLE MACLACHLAN (‘nuff said)
• The continued depiction of body horror that focuses almost exclusively on women and PoC characters.
(How about we not?)
• It’s cool to see a racebent Al Mackenzie and all, but the creators need to be extremely careful about how they frame his interactions with Fitz because that dynamic could go from touching friendship to “magical Negro” in the time it takes to say “Aphasia,” and no one wants that.
(Seriously, let me say this now: if you brought his character in for the purposes of playing the Fitz Whisperer, just stop.)
• The fridging of Isabelle Hartley in episode one.
I have A LOT to say about this, but I’m putting it into a separate post. Suffice it to say that I was not impressed with the use to which the Hartley character was put by the AoS creative team—I see what you did there, AoS peeps: I SEE WHAT YOU DID. I’m not stupid, and I see exactly what you did. And I’m not happy about it, on any level.