Why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is An Incredible Show

The Agents of Shield logo

Image Credit: ABC

Lyra Thompson, Staff Writer

With the recent releases of Marvel TV shows over the past couple of years – Wandavision, Hawkeye, and Moon Night, to name a few – some people are talking about a Marvel series that doesn’t get the recognition and praise it deserves: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

AOS isn’t an “official” Marvel show released exclusively on Disney Plus, like the ones mentioned above. Instead, it was an ABC show that aired on regular TV, but still had the Marvel name and licensing and featured many cameos from main MCU characters and references to the movies. The show had seven seasons with a total of 136 episodes and ran for seven years, from September 2013 to August 2020.

In this article, I want to shed some light on the incredible show that is AOS. I will break down everything, from characters and their relationships to individual season arcs, and discuss why I think Agents of Shield is one of the best TV shows to date, and my personal favorite.

Characters/Character Development

Agents of Shield is filled with a cast of compelling, relatable, loveable characters. Sometimes people leave and sometimes new people join, but the core group of characters remains the same throughout the show’s run. The main agents are Phil Coulson, Melinda May, Daisy Johnson, Jemma Simmons, and Leo Fitz. These five have been in the show since episode one.

Each of these characters have their own arcs over the course of the show, growing and changing as the events of the show affect them. Jemma and Fitz go from awkward, nerdy lab techs who had no field experience to strong fighters who would do anything to protect those they love. May goes from a stoic, closed-off fighter who doesn’t feel worthy of love to a person who’s at peace with herself and the world. Coulson’s arc is an interesting one. He starts the show always following the rules no matter what, not disobeying protocols given from his superiors, to someone who will do what’s right for the safety of his team and the world, whether it was instructed or not.

Arguably the biggest and most drastic character arc in the show is the development of Skye/Daisy. When we meet her in episode one of the first season, she’s a young hacker without a family or purpose. By the end of the last season, however, not only does she find a family at Shield, but she’s also a really cool superhero who does a lot of good in the world.

Emotional Impact

This show is full of heart, humor, and heartbreak. There are moments that will make you smile, laugh out loud, and cry – sometimes all in the same episode. The humor is witty and lighthearted but never feels out of place. The show knows when to put in a joke and when to be serious.

Watching this show can give you emotional whiplash. Some episodes are filled with good, happy moments only to end with a shocking or heartbreaking reveal – or vice versa.


Warning: the following sections have major spoilers for the show.


There are many amazing relationships, both romantic and platonic, that develop throughout the show. These relationships add so much heart and give the audience something to root for in the midst of all the bad events that happen.

The biggest relationship – and one that I consider to be the best relationship on TV – is the one between Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons, dubbed Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons are adorable and heartwarming, but theirs is a slow-burn. From the moment they’re on-screen together in the first episode, their chemistry is obvious, but it takes three and a half seasons for them to finally get together. There are so many moments with them that made me scream in frustration that they weren’t together, and later on that made me squeal with happiness at their cuteness.

The second main romantic relationship is with May and Coulson. Theirs is much more subtle, and it isn’t clear early on that they’re endgame. They both date other people, but they eventually realize that their bond is more than a friendship. Their romantic relationship is short-lived because of Coulson’s death, but they had a good few months together after everything they had been through.

The last relationship I want to talk about is one that isn’t romantic, but one that’s equally important and heartwarming. I’m talking about the father-daughter relationship between Coulson and Daisy. While they aren’t blood-related, the love they feel for each other by the end of the show is like that of a father and daughter. Coulson is one of the first people Daisy opens up to in season one, and he constantly encourages her and pushes her to improve. When the team discovers that Coulson is dying, the scene between him and Daisy is heartbreaking.


As well as amazing protagonists, AOS also has its fair share of compelling antagonists that you love to hate. 

The first main antagonist is Grant Ward, a member of the team who is revealed to be secretly part of Hydra at the end of season one. Up until this big reveal, the show didn’t have a villain that lasted more than a few episodes. Grant Ward became that. The last quarter of season one and half of season two was focused on Ward’s betrayal and the aftermath of it. The gang now had a consistent threat to fight.

The next very memorable villain is AIDA, the artificially intelligent android who eventually learns how to become human and tries to kill anyone who’s against her. Her level of evil goes from 0-100 pretty quickly. She starts off harmless, albeit causing a bit of suspicion, but at the height of her chaos she’s a manic psycho.

The final villain I want to highlight is Ruby Hale, a villain introduced in season 5. She’s not the most evil, but she definitely does a lot of terrible things. At her core, she’s a lonely teenager who becomes rebellious and power-hungry, which leads her to seek out a dangerous weapon to become stronger. Some of her actions are unredeemable, but in the end you could feel some pity for her.


AOS tried out many different storylines throughout its run, some of which worked better than others. There’s some disagreement among fans about which plotlines are the best, but I’m going to talk about three of my favorites.

The first story arc is about Maveth, a distant planet that Jemma gets trapped on for months. After the team discovers a mysterious monolith and stores it on their base, Jemma gets too close to it one day and it sucks her away into space. This plot covers most of the first half of season three. On Earth, the agents – specifically Fitz – are trying to figure out what happened to their friend and how to get her back. 

Meanwhile, on Maveth, Jemma, with the help of an astronaut also stranded there, is trying to find a way home. One of my favorite episodes of the show takes place entirely on Maveth, showing what Jemma has been experiencing. Another reason I love this plot is because it leads to Fitzsimmons’ first kiss.

Season 4 of AOS experimented with pods – three contained but still connected plots for each third of the season – and my favorite of these was the Framework arc. The Framework was a virtual reality world that had good intentions when it was created, but became a sort of mind prison, trapping the users in a dystopian world.

Inside the Framework was a world based on “what if?” scenarios from the show. It showed what the world would’ve been like if certain decisions were never made or characters never met. Some of it was extremely dark and hard to watch, like Fitz being a heartless murdering scientist. This is what made it so good, though – all the emotions it evoked.

The final plot I want to mention is the entirety of season seven. Season seven was about half the length of most of the previous seasons, so it was pretty much all one storyline. In this season, the team unexpectedly goes back in time with no way to control when they jump to another time. This results in them having to rush to solve problems before they’re sent ten years forward. I’m a sucker for time travel stories, and this was no exception.

As you can tell by this article, I love Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you haven’t watched it, you should definitely give it a watch. Maybe you, like a lot of people, watched it when it came out but gave up after season one. If that’s the case, give it another chance. The first season might not start out the strongest, but it lays the foundation for an incredible show that follows.