Last year, it was teased that there might be an Agents of SHIELD spin-off, which caught a lot of people and critics off guard, mainly because the ratings for the original show aren’t exactly stellar. But at the time, there were some ideas about how that could work, including Clave’s appeal for the West Coast Avengers.
At this weekend’s ABC panel at the Television Critics Association winter meetings, it was confirmed that the spin-off has been ordered as a pilot, with it focusing on a Hunter and Morse spin-off.
And since we are in a different place show-wise than we were last April, it is important to say again: “ABC, you are screwing up this spin-off.” But this time, in a much different way.[divider] What the Agents of SHIELD Spin-off Might Be [/divider]
A year ago, the Morse and Hunter spin-off had some potential. There were reasons for it and I understand why it is appealing, mainly because ABC seems to believe Adrianne Palicki can carry a show on her own, or at least as the lead.
But the more obvious thing to ask is this: What storyline is suffering on the main show that could benefit with more time, energy and space? The answer is obvious: The Agents of SHIELD spin-off should be a Daisy Johnson show centered around the Secret Warriors.
Before the start of this season of the show, much of the speculation was that the focus on this season would be around Daisy and Coulson assembling and leading the Secret Warriors, an underground band of heroes with a deep history in the Marvel comic book universe. Marvel and ABC even used a ton of the promotional materials to hint at the same. But as the season has gone on, the Secret Warriors group has lost its importance.
Now, that isn’t to say that this season’s Agents of SHIELD hasn’t been good, bordering on great. It just means the writers and showrunners have gone in different directions. As a consequence of that, Daisy and the Inhumans storyline got lost in the Fitz Simmons stuff, the Coulson and what’s-her-name-I-don’t-care-because-she-is dead, and Lash. Maybe the plan has been all along for the second half of the series going Secret Warriors centered and there were hints of that when you saw Joey, Lincoln and Daisy suited up and ready to roll. But it has been the storyline that has suffered![divider] What the Agents of SHIELD Spin-off Should Be [/divider]
Some reasons why the Secret Warriors Agents of SHIELD spin-off makes sense:
- It is a step away from SHIELD and long term that may be what is best. Tied to SHIELD means tied to the Marvel Universe. And while there is an Inhumans movie coming down the pipeline, it isn’t exactly soon. Jettisoning the Secret Warriors into their own JV Avengers for television could make for great stories.
- Daisy is ready to lead her own team. Honor the work that the writers and actress have done in making this character into a leader that people are willing to follow. Lincoln isn’t back because he respects Coulson as a leader. And he isn’t just back because he wants to mush face with Daisy. He is back because he respects her as a leader and is willing to follow her.
- It could be much different in tone. Think X-Files with superheroes. Every week they could be working towards finding another Inhuman. Sometimes those Inhumans will be good guys, sometimes bad guys. Sometimes, somewhere in the middle. They should be mining some of the early Chris Claremont X-men stories where the X-men and the Hellfire Club were both after the new mutants, like Kitty Pryde and, well, the New Mutants. That can be a compelling story.
- Training montages are the coolest. And do you know what you don’t get with May, Morse, Hunter, etc? Training montages.
- It can be a spin-off that crosses back over naturally. In the same way that CW has lighting in a bottle when they crossover Flash and Arrow, ABC could have and use crossovers, especially during sweeps weeks.
- It avoids what is terrifying: A show with Morse and Hunter chasing Grant Ward, the embodiment of Death around. (Please, please finish that storyline this season. Or never. It would be okay if they pretended that it didn’t happen in the mid-season finale!)
An Agents of SHIELD spin-off makes perfect sense ABC! But I think you are just doing with the wrong storyline and the wrong characters!