With "The Bridge," Marvel Studios' first foray into live-action television took things up another level -- perhaps to level 7? First, a spoiler alert for the first half of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." season one. All set? In "The Bridge," Centipede made its move, J. August Richards returned as the Extremis-enhanced Mike Peterson (for the last time?), and Coulson got kidnapped! While fans may have grown impatient with the first nine episodes' open-and-shut case structure, the midseason finale seemingly blew up that formula, hopefully in favor of one more in line with what Marvel fans have wanted from the get-go.
Since it looks like the second half of the season will be more serialized as it follows the leader-less S.H.I.E.L.D. group in their search for Agent Coulson, possibly against the organization's wishes, CBR News thought now would be a great time to spotlight the five "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." characters from the first ten episodes that need to come back for more.
Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows)
Judging by the teaser for upcoming episodes, it looks like Hand will be back for more in the New Year. That's great, but one episode isn't enough. Of every episode so far, "The Hub" was the only one that felt like a real S.H.I.E.L.D. adventure pulled right from the comics. That's no doubt due to the involvement of Victoria Hand, a prominent S.H.I.E.L.D. (and H.A.M.M.E.R., but that's another story) agent that we now know adds a level of tension to any comic and TV show she's in. So far "S.H.I.E.L.D." has no real gray areas, which is odd considering it's a spy show. Victoria Hand lives in the gray.
Dr. Streiten (Ron Glass)
Come on, you don't hire "Firefly" alum Ron Glass to play a S.H.I.E.L.D. physician for just one episode. Ron Glass is too good to just use once, and his character knows Coulson's secret. With Agent Coulson in Centipede's clutches, now might be the perfect time to give Dr. Streiten a bigger role. Maybe he'll be come targeted by Centipede, or maybe he'll become an asset to our ragtag team as they search for Phil? Either way, he needs to come back.
Akela Amador (Pascale Armand)
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has developed a possibly well-intentioned but disappointing trend of casting minority actors for nothing but one-off appearances. That needs to change, and adding the captivating Akela Amadour to the cast full-time would be a fantastic response to critics. With her Agent May-level fighting skills and her firsthand experience with Centipede's invasive eye-spy technology would make Amadour a great addition to the team. We even learned in her one appearance that she was Coulson's former protege, which means she has more than enough reason to join the rescue mission. If the show's still hesitant to add Marvel Comics characters to the show full time, they should at least consider adding one of their best original characters.
Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders)
With her sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" in its final season, fans have their fingers crossed that Cobie Smulders will be airlifted right out of that show's nonstop wedding-weekend plot and right onto a Helicarrier -- if and when "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." comes back for season two. But why wait until season two? The Marvel show saw a ratings jump for the "Thor"-tangential tie-in it did in November, so it stands to reason they'll try that trick again. There's a little movie called "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" coming out just a few weeks before the show's season finale. Smulders could easily bridge the gap between the show and the S.H.I.E.L.D.-ful movie.
Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)
While we're here, we have to mention Nick Fury, whose not-so-surprising cameo in the second episode gave the series its one unimpeachable laugh-out-loud moment. Samuel L. Jackson's a busy guy, but expanding his role on the show from a bit role to prominent, action-packed one would be worth whatever price he's asking. Whedonverse shows tend to go all out for season and/or series finales, and nothing says "all out" like Nick Fury carrying a rocket launcher on network TV at 8 PM. Go out with a bang, "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," and give us a second helping of Nick Fury.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."