Fridge: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Fridge Brilliance

     Season 1 
  • Coulson lost his parents at a young age, as revealed by Raina in episode 11. It certainly sheds some light on why he's so adamant about not letting Mike Petersen die in the pilot, specifically referring to making sure Ace doesn't grow up without a father.
  • Simmons' comment on being "ready for a Journey Into Mystery" is used as a Mythology Gag to Thor's debut in the comics because it's also a Call Back to the fact that Thor's appearance in the MCU is what really took things from "billionaires in metal suits" to the "whole new world" of alien technology. And the first film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to be released after the pilot first aired? Thor: The Dark World, which will be delving deeper into the Asgardian mythology of the MCU.
  • When we first meet Skye, she's a computer hacker trying to take down the most powerful Government Agency of Fiction on Earth. Naturally, she lives in a van: mobile with no address.
  • The viral-marketing Rising Tide site having Abomination images mislabeled as the Hulk makes sense in-universe considering the Army's smear campaign against Banner; they would try to pass off their own much-worse accidental monster as a form of the Hulk, and a conspiracy-theory group like the Rising Tide could fall for it. Also, out-of-universe, it helps hide the problem of Edward Norton's Hulk looking nothing like Mark Ruffalo's Hulk.
  • Ward points out that someone really wanted their initials to spell out S.H.I.E.L.D. Makes perfect sense since S.H.I.E.L.D. was founded by Howard Stark and Agent Peggy Carter, both of whom had tremendous respect for Captain America.
  • When Coulson reminds May that he saw some action with the Avengers, she answers that it got him killed. However, she waits a while and Coulson can't hear her reply. Of course, since she was the one to build the team and had to make sure Phil had no problems with his resurrection, and Phil at the time believed to have been dead for seconds, she did not want to take even the slightest risk to trigger memories.
  • In "F.Z.Z.T.", Blake orders Coulson to dump any "infected cargo" if necessary. Coulson is, therefore, not truly disobeying orders when he does not throw Simmons out of the plane because people don't count as "cargo."
  • May practicing tai chi in "The Hub" makes more sense after watching "The Well". Apart from the obvious martial arts applications, she uses tai chi as a form of meditation to relieve stress and maintain her stoic demeanour, and deal with what happened to her in the past.
  • They mention that only Barton (Hawkeye) and Romanov (Black Widow) never needed extraction plans in "The Hub", which is true if you watch Black Widow's first scene in The Avengers.
  • Why Nick Fury and such go to such efforts to help and protect Coulson makes sense after rewatching Dollhouse's penultimate episode. He's Nick Fury's closest friend. He's family. Wouldn't you do anything to save your family?
  • In "Seeds", when the team is trying to revive Seth, the fact that Coulson is the one to tell them to stop defibrillating him is especially significant given how traumatic his own Back from the Dead experience was.
  • Stan Lee's character is the only one to fall for Simmons' over-complicated cover story in "T.R.A.C.K.S.", which makes a lot more sense once you consider that - by dropping in a lot of expositional detail at odd moments - she's talking a lot like a character in a Golden Age comic book.
  • Some people complain that Coulson's outrage about the truth of his revival is hypocritical for someone who used to be totally cool with all S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrecy. But if you watch closely, you'll note in previous episodes like "The Hub" that, while Coulson is fine with people simply not knowing about stuff that doesn't involve them, he's not cool with deceiving people or hiding truths about things that directly involve their well-being. So while he told Skye to just deal with not being cleared to know about the mission, he was outraged at them keeping the plan from Fitz and Ward whose lives were in jeopardy because of it. This is also why he's fine with keeping the truth of the Guest House from everyone but Skye. It affects her directly, but not the others.
  • Even when the agents enter Thomas Nash's chamber, there is a subtle hint that he's just a prop and not the real Clairvoyant: the voice does sound Creepy Monotone, but still has an intonation, for example it sneers at Coulson. It is not Machine Monotone, as a computer voice would have been.
  • After The Reveal of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Nick Fury's reason for creating Team Coulson becomes perfectly clear: Look at the people he assigned to the team (not counting Skye and May, who were recruited by Coulson): Agent Ward, while apparently a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, doesn't work well with others and views himself as the whole solution to any problem. In short, he's something of a Cowboy Cop. Fitz and Simmons are lab techs, not fully trained field agents, meaning they are likely to resist the bureaucratic system of S.H.I.E.L.D. to an extent. Finally, there's Coulson himself, with his belief that getting things done should come before "the red tape". Fury suspected that the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization had been compromised, so he created a team that would work outside of that organization, just in case he turned out to be right.
  • In "Turn, Turn, Turn", Simmons, who's a Bad Liar that likes to follow the rules because it "makes [her] feel nice", has to learn to lie and break the rules repeatedly to keep herself and others safe. Meanwhile Fitz, who's a Cowardly Lion that wants to avoid battle whenever possible, has to stand up to a HYDRA agent he thinks is going to torture him and has to take out another in what is almost certainly his first time killing anyone.
  • After "Turn, Turn, Turn", the reason for May's constant distrust of Skye becomes clear. She built the team (by giving Fury a list of roles she needed, which he translated into team parameters to give to Coulson) in case he Came Back Wrong. Ward to physically take him down, Simmons to fix his body, and Fitz to operate the machine that would fix his mind. Not only is Skye an outsider, but she's a disturbingly clever hacker who hates secrets and feels a strong bond with Coulson. If anyone could figure out the secrets behind Coulson's resurrection and bring the whole house of cards tumbling down, it would be her.
  • Looking back to Agent Garrett beating Ian Quinn up and gleefully telling him that he's been abandoned by the Clairvoyant for his failures... He's actually saying "You Have Failed Me".
  • One-Man Army though he is, one might be tempted to question how Ward came out of his 1 vs. 12 fight with only superficial injuries, especially since he was getting kicked around rather thoroughly at one point. The Reveal that Ward is a HYDRA agent answers the question: The whole thing was most likely a show improvised for Skye's benefit. Ward had to keep pretending he was a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, so when he started attacking his fellow HYDRA operatives, they just rolled with it. It was never as brutal a fight as it appeared.
  • Where would Centipede get all the Super Serum components for their Super Soldier serum? S.H.I.E.L.D. knew and studied them and probably had access to Extremis and Gamma rays, etc. Garrett had access to these components being a HYDRA agent within S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Centipede's name. In-universe, it's mostly meaningless, being just a reference to the incidental shape of the device that injects soldiers with the serum. However, from a meta perspective, it makes perfect sense. It's a subset of HYDRA. While HYDRA's motto is currently "Cut off one head and two more will take its place," it's also been "limb" before. A centipede has lots of limbs. HYDRA has had a lot of time to grow... Later, during the big reveal, Garrett says, "Wait, heads? I thought it was limbs" when Coulson quotes their motto.
  • This one's a tie-in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Remember how HYDRA says that if you cut off one head, two more take its place"? Consider that in the AoS tie-in episode, Garrett and Ward take over now that Pierce is dead. Two taking the place of one.
  • Erik Selvig's comment in the first Thor movie, about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. confiscating their research like "jack-booted thugs" takes on a whole new level of meaning after events in the episodes surrounding and including the second Captain America movie.
  • "T.R.A.C.K.S.":
    • Where did the security team get their Night-Night Gun-like grenades? Ward had access to the research, he then passed it to Garret, who used it to attempt to protect Ian Quinn. This is implicitly confirmed by the Cyber Tech recruiters in "Ragtag", where they mention they've seen ICER bullets before and turned them into aerosol grenades.
    • When the team infiltrate Quinn's Italian mansion, Coulson is packing real heat, while Ward is using twin Night-Night pistols, a non-lethal weapon. Who else but the HYDRA mole/Clairvoyant lackey would want to ensure that as many people affiliated with Quinn and Centipede are only temporarily put out of action?
  • With the revelations that S.H.I.E.L.D. is infested with HYDRA operatives, including Ward and Garrett and that Nick Fury had to fake his death by assassination to fight them, coupled with the fact that the mythological hydra was a serpent, it seems that Samuel L. Jackson is once again dealing with Snakes on a Plane.
  • Skye: Canon Foreigner or so it seemed, Audience Surrogate, and Ascended Fangirl. Quickly integrates into a well-oiled team of specialists, and is Easily Forgiven after being outed as The Mole. Everyone likes her, the troubled hunk on the team has a thing for her, and the Badass Normal of the MCU is her father figure. Is it really any wonder that her real name turns out to be Mary Sue?
  • "T.A.H.I.T.I.":
    • Coulson seemed to find the room that held the GH325 drug rather quickly without any false turns. The reveal in "Nothing Personal" that Coulson was actually the Supervisor of Project T.A.H.I.T.I. now sheds light on this. Even though his memories of what happened to him were altered, on some level he still remembered his way around the facility from before his death.
    • One of the soldiers that they shoot seems to recognize Coulson. But why would he recognize Coulson if Coulson was only brought there after he was dead? Because the soldier worked for Coulson before Coulson quit the project. It also explains the soldier's "Then you know about the countdown." A random patient wouldn't know about it—but the director of the project would.
    • This explains why they got so agitated when they realized Coulson didn't know the response to the question "How was the drive from Istanbul?" He was in charge of the project, so he should know the call-sign. This was the first sign that something was off.
    • Coulson seems to be in shock after looking inside the "T.A.H.I.T.I." room; stunned, walking slowly, barely articulate. Except that he's adamant that Skye not be given the drug. Okay, so it's an alien body, big whoop. Except that he's just been hit by a year's worth of pent up psycho, just itching to come out and start drawing on the walls.
  • It is absolute genius that the team is hit so hard by Ward's betrayal, since Ward is the one member of the team that has had a bonding episode with everyone else on the team: he bonded with Simmons in "F.Z.Z.T", Fitz in "The Hub", May in "The Well"(and well as their, erm, extra-curricular activities), and his entire main character arc revolves around his bonding with Skye (and by extension Coulson). Ward is the one member of the team that had proven himself to everyone else on the team on a personal level, and basically carved a niche for himself as the reliable one. Ward being HYDRA basically yanked the safety net from underneath the entire team, they basically built him up to bring the rest down.
  • Quinn shot Skye in the stomach in T.R.A.C.K.S. to ensure that she would be in a critical condition. Considering that Garrett was slowly dying from organ failure due to an IED blast causing critical damage near his intestines, this was probably an additional way to make sure that whatever saved Coulson from death could save him from organ failure and the accompanying issues (likely sepsis or septic shock).
  • Why can Garrett "feel the universe"? Because he's experiencing the negative mental effects that made Coulson want to shut down TAHITI in the first place.
  • Garrett declaring that he and Coulson are "blood brothers" is essentially laughed off by the latter and Nick Fury as being more crazy talk. However, as we see in The Tag, Garrett just might be not too far off the mark with that statement.
  • At the time, it seemed really stupid that Ward allowed Lorelei to get close enough to touch him instead of shooting her when he had the chance, but then consider his relationship with Garrett. As Skye points out in the finale, Ward is not as strong-willed as he presented himself to be at the time, so mere proximity to Lorelei could have been affecting him.
  • A meta example from the season finale. Garrett getting Killed Off for Real by Coulson is not just a Crowning Moment of Funny, it's also an audience-satisfying bit of thematic sense. After all, Coulson and Garrett had been long-time friends and comrades, with numerous escapades together; having Deathlok kill Garrett denies Coulson the closure needed to resolve Garrett's betrayal. Bringing back Garrett for a villainous Crowning Moment of Awesome, only for Coulson to obliterate him in the most trivial way possible, is a thematic Curb-Stomp Battle for Coulson.
  • Ward mouthing off about how "someone really wanted our initials to spell 'shield'" in the Pilot takes on a new significance after The Reveal that he's actually been The Mole for HYDRA the whole time. He was asked what it meant to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and what was his response? He snarked about it to the agent who asked him. A sign that his belief in the S.H.I.E.L.D. cause isn't as true as he pretends it is.
  • Young Ward having issues killing the dog Garrett left him with isn't just a literal Pet the Dog moment. It's an insight into Ward's true personality. Think about the essential personality traits of a dog: They're fiercely loyal to their masters, but they'll become listless and sad when they're not around. In short, they're nothing without their masters. Is Ward not the same way with his master, Garrett? Notice how, when Ward has no mission and no orders, he just seems lost. In some ways, his personality is more dog-like than human-like. No wonder he had trouble pulling the trigger.
  • The very first scene of the series involves a major twist on the Damsel in Distress trope, where the damsel is soon revealed to be more sinister than initially let on. Sound like another Mutant Enemy production?
  • In the pilot episode, one factor that contributes to Coulson recruiting Skye onto his team is that she discovers Centipede's involvement in Mike Peterson's powers before S.H.I.E.L.D. does. With Coulson emphasizing how rare it is that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't know that piece of intelligence but a random hacker does, it initially feel out of place and maybe just a weird way to paint Skye as an effective addition to the team. The reveal that HYDRA is secretly in S.H.I.E.L.D., and that Centipede is one of its projects, makes it easier to understand why S.H.I.E.L.D. didn't know about them. It is reasonable to assume that HYDRA could cover up their projects and activity with the right people monitoring and covering up any leaks.
  • Given that S.H.I.E.L.D. knows about Ward's traumatic family history—something established in episode 1—it might seem strange that a spy agency would recruit him for highly sensitive jobs. Unfortunately, this is actually Truth in Television. Many intelligence agencies, including the CIA, preferred to recruit young men from broken or abusive families because they displayed a higher than normal degree of sociopathy, making them more effective for "dirty work."
  • The absence of the Rising Tide in the second half of the season (and the rest of the show). A hactivist group dedicated to uncovering and exposing S.H.I.E.L.D.'s secrets. In The Winter Soldier Black Widow effectively does their job for them, making all S.H.I.E.L.D.'s files available to anyone. Suddenly S.H.I.E.L.D.'s reputation crumbles and the Rising Tide are no longer relevant.

     Season 2 
  • Coulson says that the damage to Fitz's brain is too severe and that Fitz will probably never recover. But the conversations Fitz has with his imaginary version of Simmons where she reminds him to take his medication and helps him with words he can't immediately recall show that Fitz's brain has created a way to deal with the trauma and work around the damage, meaning that his knowledge is still there, it's just that he can't directly access it.
  • The quinjet Triplett and Skye hijack cloaks itself but it still casts a shadow because the technology simply projects an artificial image on top of its body.
  • Remember that tech-disrupting bracelet Skye had in season 1? The wristband she uses to track her heart-rate as she kills someone for the first time in Season 2 is a call-back to that, except it shows how she's grown.
  • Coulson being so nice to Simmons while she's undercover and defending Simmons' actions to go undercover to Fitz is totally understandable - after all, as seen in most of Season 1 and especially in The Only Light in the Darkness, the guy knows all about staying away from the people he loves so that they can heal, regardless of his own feelings.
  • Hunter's response to finding out his ex-wife vouched for him to join S.H.I.E.L.D.—an appalled "Why would you do that?!"—seems at first like just another level of abrasiveness. But as of "The Things We Bury" it makes more sense: he's secretly terrified that as a super-spy she has ulterior motives for everything and is never being honest, which is why they broke up in the first place.
  • Why did The Doctor have that 'You're Insane' moment with Whitehall? He wasn't calling Whitehall's GOALS insane. He was accussing Whitehall of being a bad scientist, a much more cutting insult.
  • When meeting with Whitehall, The Doctor comments that "it's always good to look your enemy right in the eye", likely referencing his confrontation with Coulson. However, it's more likely he's pretty much referring to staring down Whitehall, the man responsible for killing his wife.
  • The Doctor's story about the aliens coming to end the world was more than just him correcting Whitehall about a legend, it was another insult directed towards the man. Whitehall shows an intense fixation on these legends and being corrected on them for even a minor point would likely make him infuriated on the inside, which The Doctor would enjoy.
  • When Bobbi interrogates Bakshi, she references borderline personality disorder, by way of explaining his unreasonable commitment to Whitehall. This also illuminates Ward's psychology and motives, grounding his character in something more concrete than "Someone who betrays people a lot." It's also consistent with his behavior towards Skye since Garrett was killed.
  • Ward's behavior towards Skye comes across as a stalker, but when you look at what Garrett put him through, you realize it's more than that. Garrett constantly abused Ward and forced him to suppress his emotions, and before that he was at the tender mercies of his mother and older brother. It's likely that he has never experienced a healthy relationship with another person, so he has no idea how to interact with others positively. Acting like a Stalker with a Crush is the only way he can express himself to someone he's attracted to.
  • Trip's death gains new meaning when you remember that his grandfather was a Howling Commando. His death is symbolic of the death of the old guard that was S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • The Doctor's violent mood swings make a lot more sense when you realize his name is Cal and his daughter is an Inhuman named Daisy. For those needing more explanation, this is confirmation that he's the MCU version of Calvin Zabo, AKA Mister Hyde.
  • Skye starts off as a computer hacker, and in the second season we find out that she's the MCU version of Daisy Johnson. A little known fact about Daisy is that she was originally modeled after Angelina Jolie as she appeared in the 1995 cyberpunk film Hackers. Three guesses what her character, Kate Libby AKA Acid Burn, did in that film. Pretty smart foreshadowing there, writers.
  • When Team Coulson was brought to Earth-616 (the comic universe), the only members not to get counterparts were Skye and Ward. For Ward, this makes sense: He's a traitor, not a real member of the team, so no counterpart for him. But Skye's loyalty has never once been in question, so why wasn't she given a counterpart? Because there already was an Earth-616 version of her.
  • Skye noting that there'll be a lot less laughs amongst Team Coulson thanks to Tripp's death also serves as a double meaning for how the show itself at this point is a far cry from the episodic and lighthearted "Superhuman of the Week" nature of the early first season episodes.
  • Simmons' view of xenobiology following Trip's death initially seems to come out of left field. However, her opinion that superpowers should be treated like an epidemic and eradicated, even if that means the death of individuals with such powers, makes a little more sense upon remembering she herself contracted an alien virus in season 1 and came very close to dying and taking the rest of the team with her - in fact, she attempted suicide, throwing herself off the Bus when she saw no other way out.
    • Although audiences may be familiar with Inhumans from the comics, the team are encountering them for the very first time in the MCU, and Simmons' only other points of reference for whatever might have happened to Skye are Raina, who sprouted wickedly sharp claws and spikes all over her body, and killed a number of her fellow scientists in the City, and Trip, who got Taken for Granite. Basically, while the audience knows that this is a superhero story, Simmons thinks it's a horror story.
    • Additionally, there are no mutants or Fantastic Four or Spider-Man (until recently, when they announced that Spider-Man does exist in the MCU). No one who has gotten superpowers accidentally has become a superhero in the MCU, ever. (Depending on the backstory of some of the new Marvel series, but let's assume that Simmons doesn't know about them.) The only real success story of 'getting superpowers and being good' is Captain America, and that was a deliberate scientific experiment. Everyone else who gets 'altered' by any sort of process, even if that process is entirely Terran, was a danger to start with, like Donnie or the Hulk or Mike Peterson, although if they're a good person they can overcome it. But she already knows that Raina is not a very good person, and has murdered multiple people during her escape. So the situation would be dangerous even without any alien involvement. Add in the fact it was unknown alien tech that gave the superpowers and it's DEFCON 1.
  • When Talbot is trying to identify which of his female subordinates is actually Agent 33 in her nanomask, he skips over one to jump to another who suddenly gets his attention. Since the officer is one 33 had earlier duplicated, and she was acting nervous, from a normal standpoint this makes sense. However, Talbot was actually being observant; the woman he skipped was African-American. While the mask would have allowed 33 to change her facial features and skin tone easily enough, it wouldn't have done anything to disguise the skin on the rest of her body, such as her visible hands.
  • Early in the season, Cal mentions to Whitehall that he'll "meet his family again in the afterlife." A simple statement at first. He LITERALLY meant that he'd meet his family in the Afterlife!
  • Why did Agent Peterson (Deathlok) hit that escaping Quinjet twice with his EMP missiles? With it being a military vehicle, there were probably backup electrical systems that kicked in to keep it flying after the first hit, necessitating the extra shot to keep it down.
  • How did Agent May fail to notice that the gun that Gonzales handed to her during his Kill Me Now or Forever Stay Your Hand gambit in "Afterlife" really was loaded after all? It was his grandfather's WW2-era pistol, a weapon of a type and model with which May likely would not have been familiar. On top of that, May might have actually noticed that it was loaded and declined to shoot anyways, and then claimed that she thought it was unloaded merely to deflect Gonzales' suspicion. note 
  • Last season, Raina worked for The Clairvoyant, who turned out to just be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-turned HYDRA sympathizer (who did, to be fair have an alien serum injected into him). After her exposure to the Terrigen Mists, she herself became a clairvoyant of sorts.
  • It seems odd at first that Coulson, Fury, and Hill – whose entire lives are dedicated to fighting to preserve humanity's safety and freedom – are so opposed to Gonzales' more democratic form of leadership. Then you remember that S.H.I.E.L.D. did have a group leading it before: the World Security Council. And the last major decision they made was to drop a nuclear bomb on Manhattan.
  • Despite being antagonists for several episodes, "Scars" has "Real" S.H.I.E.L.D. allowing Coulson to dictate terms with relatively little discourse. While they appreciate him helping to save thousands of lives in Avengers: Age of Ultron by donating the Helicarrier, it's equally likely they decided that Coulson was being nice by not calling in Nick Fury and the Avengers to put a stop to this nonsense. They could push the issue, but they'd be significantly outgunned.
  • Ruth Negga's forehead prosthetic doesn't allow her for much facial expression, other than her mouth and eyes. Thus we viewers can't tell if she's lying when she claims she had a vision of Afterlife being bombed if Jiaying talked to the S.H.I.E.L.D. envoy to Afterlife.
  • It seems a little convenient that Jiaying took so long to drain Skye. But when she drained the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, he was restrained with Gordon there to help, and she killed Raina by cutting her throat instead. Draining people always takes her that long, which is why she doesn't use it as an execution most of the time.
  • There were a lot of people complaining about HYDRA shifting to a more overt stance after their decades of success as the most secret of secret organizations. But recall Baron Strucker's attitude in The Stinger of Winter Soldier. He is dismissive of HYDRA as a whole, and tells Dr. List that they'll use other cells as decoys while they work on the Staff. Since he was the highest ranking operative left, this let him use the entire organization in a We Have Reserves ploy. HYDRA served him better as an Evil Army stalling S.H.I.E.L.D. than a careful and subtle spy organization.
  • HYDRA's continuing devolution also makes sense given their recruitment standards, command philosophy, and their organization's prime problems with the Fascist, but Inefficient trope. Red Skull, Zola, and Pierce all lead them fairly successfully, but the latter two did so predominantly as a sabotaging parasite of S.H.I.E.L.D., and their command staff afterwards is made up of primarily power hungry, self-centered megalomaniacs (Garrett was looking for a way to stay alive, and Strucker explicitly wanted to feed the Avengers the other parts of HYDRA to distract from himself). Each time a "head" is lost, another two "heads" take their place... another two heads which are exactly as flawed as the last one:
    • Pierce dies, and HYDRA's leaders seem heavily disorganized in his wake. Garrett, one of the highest ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to have been flipped, and armed with multiple super sciences, is fixated on solving his own problems, and thus is vulnerable to Nick Fury's counterattack with Coulson. His "limb" turns on itself, with Raina leaving to inform the Doctor of Skye, and Deathlok being immediately turned against him. This foreshadows the overall theme of S.H.I.E.L.D. vs HYDRA for early season two- a more heavily armed and apparently more intact HYDRA failing to defeat the remnants of S.H.I.E.L.D. because they are Fascist, but Inefficient.
    • Whitehall and Strucker lead HYDRA in conjunction with the High Council. Whitehall recruits Cal, Grant, and Raina. While he seems to be able to juggle them initially, he still ends up being used by Raina, countermanded and sabotaged by Ward, and very nearly murdered by Cal, who also uses him. Also, his men seem very aware of the possibility of espionage, but fail to catch not one, but two cases of The Mole from Coulson. He had just as many advantages as Garret did, but folds just as quickly.
    • Whitehall's death leaves the High Council in command...and they are almost immediately slaughtered by Coulson's Batman Gambit with Whitehall's Number Two when he runs a short, very quick con game that gets them to unleash Chronic Backstabbing Disorder on each other, effectively wiping out all leadership outside of Strucker and his The Dragon, Dr. List. HYDRA's most destructive leadership is its largest, and in comparison to S.H.I.E.L.D., causes much more internal damage in their Enemy Civil War.
    • Finally, Dr. List and Strucker, the two leaders who sacrificed their peers to survive, are exposed and annihilated by S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers with the aid of three of their own former agents. Leaving HYDRA (which started the season with most of the cards, resources, manpower, and with their enemy disorganized, disregarded hunted by other armed services) basically reduced to a few thugs and their new leader Grant Ward.
    • In other words, "Cut off one head, and two more shall take its place..." And then promptly turn on each other.

Fridge Horror

     Season 1 
  • Was it really Odin who sent Sif to recapture Lorelei? We already know that Loki was pretending to be him at the end of Thor: The Dark World. Sending Sif alone with specific orders to bring in alive a foe she had personal tragic history with? Totally Loki-style trolling. However, considering Lorelei's powers, could it be the next step in Loki's own story? Furthermore, Sif would most likely have to give a full report on what transpired on Earth. Including the fact that Coulson is alive. Even if she tried to keep it from Loki-Odin, he would either a) pull rank and order her to tell the whole truth as her King or b) Ask Heimdall about it. In either scenario, Loki now knows that Coulson is alive, and will be very curious about how he managed to achieve that feat.
  • Another one involving Loki: in The Avengers he tells Romanoff that members of her organisation "lie and kill, in the service of liars and killers." With HYDRA coming out of the shadows, and having infiltrated S.H.I.E.L.D. thoroughly, right up to its highest echelons, he was dead on the money.
  • Coulson's flashback in "The Magical Place" shows that he was awake through all of the surgeries they put him through, and he was in excruciating pain the whole time. What they don't show is him moving at all, which means he was probably being routinely injected with strong paralytic drugs. Imagine being in that kind of pain and feeling completely trapped because you can't even move.
  • In "Seeds", we learn that when Skye was an infant, someone had every citizen of a small village in China killed to get to her. Horrible on its own, but it also raises the question: What exactly can Skye do that someone would expend that kind of effort to get? Answer: Given the kind of people who typically resort to such methods, probably nothing good. Also, how much of it is metaphorical? The people looking for Skye were monsters, her parents; "monsters" since they slaughtered a whole village looking for their daughter, or "Monsters" as in Chitauri/Kree/Skrull/etc.? Exactly how human is Skye?
  • Remember how Ward justified his kill count to Skye? He called the people he killed "terrible people". If he really is loyal to HYDRA, then who do you suppose he considers "terrible people?"
  • Given the events of Winter Solider, we know that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by HYDRA. This means that Skye was right to worry about their reach and lack of oversight.
  • Asgard doesn't know about HYDRA. The next time they need to show up on Midgard, they'd be looking for S.H.I.E.L.D., knowing them to be allies. Which means that Asgardians could walk right into HYDRA without any suspicion. And to make matters worse, thanks to Lorelei getting control over Ward, she could know everything about HYDRA's presence...which then means that, as his prisoner, Loki might know as well.
  • At the end of "Turn Turn Turn" Coulson and Hand discuss how in the fall out, HYDRA has claimed at least 2 of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s bases, and an untold number of others. What happens if HYDRA gets their hands on a key base, like The Sandbox where they store all the 0-8-4's, or The Fridge, where they keep high security prisoners, like Blonsky? As of Providence, this has born fruit...and got a whole lot worse. Turns out not only are prisoners stored at the Fridge, so are all the 0-8-4's that Fury claimed were sent off on the Slingshot.
  • Combination of this and Fridge Brilliance: Regarding the episode "The Bridge", it's been noted that Ward was really stupid for taking a sniper position that prevented him from seeing the exchange, making him functionally useless if it went south. Given the reveal that Ward is a HYDRA agent and the fact that Centipede is a HYDRA project, it's entirely likely that Ward knew what would happen with the exchange and put himself out of the way on purpose. He allowed Coulson to be captured, all the while playing the role of a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
  • With the revelation of who was in charge of T.A.H.I.T.I., consider the two guards at the T.A.H.I.T.I. base. Their old, friendly boss comes over acting like he doesn't know the procedure. Either they knew what had been done to him or not. To them, they were either killed by an imposter desecrating the image of their old boss, or they knew they were being killed by their boss who didn't know who they were. Given how Coulson treats agents under him, those two were likely his friends. Either way, horrifying.
  • One of the flashbacks Coulson had when remembering his resurrection was repeatedly saying "Please let me die" while getting his memory rewritten. "Nothing Personal" shows Coulson was the supervisor on the T.A.H.I.T.I. and described massive risks in psychological breakdowns observed in their test subjects. The issues could be minimized and possibly resolved through memory rewriting, but success was not replicable enough to have T.A.H.I.T.I. be considered a reliable solution to overcoming death. It's harder to tell now if Coulson's begging for death was due to the trauma of dying and getting resurrected, or because he knew what was happening and what possible side effects he would expect from the T.A.H.I.T.I. research being used on him.
  • In "Yes Men," Ward continues to attack May and attempts to shoot her after Sif subdues Lorelei. Seems like bad editing at first, right? That was his first attempt to eliminate May. When it fails, then he drops his gun and pretends to have just recovered from the effects of Lorelei's mind control.
  • The revelation that Ward works for HYDRA makes the events of "Yes Men" an even bigger threat than previously known. Though her control of Ward, Lorelai could have become aware of HYDRA’s existence. She could have worked her way up the HYDRA hierarchy and gained control of the organization, and through it, control of S.H.I.E.L.D. Lorelai was actually closer than anyone thought to taking control of the planet.
  • In "Providence", Ward encounters the Berserker Staff again in the Fridge raid. This time, although he's wearing gloves, he's got more of a satisfied, pleased look on his face, in comparison to the wariness and dislike of the Staff he displayed when allied with Team Coulson. Another indication that Ward is one screwed-up son of a bitch.
  • Phil Coulson is one of the most powerful non-heroes in the MCU right now. And the side effects from TAHITI are starting to kick in. He's utterly calm when writing the alien language on the wall... with a knife. He knows what the other side effects are. Eventually, he's going to be suffering from the catatonia, the delusions, the inability to communicate, and who knows what could be effected because he couldn't read a memo, couldn't write a note, or hallucination!Loki decides now would be the best time to recreate stabbing him.
  • So Project TAHITI was originally intended to revive fallen Avengers in the event of their deaths? Given the way ordinary human test subjects reacted to the treatment (going insane from the process)), just imagine how someone like Bruce Banner might have reacted (or heaven forbid, Thor, whose physiology is vastly different from a human's.) It's definitely for the best that the project was scrapped. This becomes even wrose with The Reveal that the TAHITI drug was compelling those who were injected with it to recreate the image of an unidentified city. Imagine how, say, The Hulk might have accomplished this. The whole city of New York could very well have become his medium.
  • Looking the Fridge Horror entries on the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the Captain America: The Winter Soldier page, it appears that this series have taken all of those concerns, and put them in the Ascended Fridge Horror level:
    • When the movie had a Bittersweet Ending, with Agent Hill and Agent 13 seemingly being able to fit into a post-S.H.I.E.L.D. civilian life, here it turns out that in the case for Hill, even though she has renounced S.H.I.E.L.D., was instrumental in its downfall, and was in fact on the top of HYDRA's kill list, she remains under suspicion by the US government and is under constant surveillance. It was even hinted at by her phone call to Pepper that the only reason why she hasn't been arrested was because Stark is protecting her with his team of lawyers.
    • With the fall of S.H.I.E.L.D., not only are thousands of non-HYDRA-affiliated employees now not only out of a job, even those that are morally upright loyalists that have resisted against HYDRA's attempted takeover (such as Team Coulson) are being hunted down by the US government as terrorists. Even non-combatants such FitzSimmons and Skye were threatened by Col. Talbot with imprisonment for their affiliation with S.H.I.E.L.D. Think about how it must be like for all the other S.H.I.E.L.D agents still out there. One day, at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base that you were working in, half of your colleagues who you have always thought were your friends, suddenly turns out to be working for a neo-Nazi organization and you were forced to kill them in self defense. Once the dust settles, you discovered that you have unwittingly helped further a plot to kill literally millions of people, and S.H.I.E.L.D. has been declared a terrorist organization. You now find yourself sitting at a base full of advance reversed engineered alien technology with military applications, all your funding and support has been cut off, your own government which you have loyally served is hunting you down like a criminal even though you have done nothing wrong yourself, and said neo-Nazi organization is still fully operational and is threatening to raid your base at any second.... So, what choice do you realistically have? Try to sell whatever you can to Oscorp or The Ten Rings simply to get enough to survive and make a run for it? Apply for political asylum in Latveria in exchange for your services? We are looking at the same level of chaos that were cause by the fall of the USSR taken Up to Eleven. With all this technology and manpower being up for grabs by unscrupulous corporations, despotic governments, and terrorist groups worldwide. With S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed, who's going to stop them?
    • The outcome for any agents who are killed? They're put in unmarked graves, and don't get funerals. Chances are that their friends and family don't even know that they're dead.

     Season 2 
  • The TAHITI drug caused those who were injected to experience the GH alien's last memories, including its frantic desire to get to an unidentified city, which is why they were compelled to draw the carvings (which turned out to be a blueprint of said city) using any medium they could find. The emotional states of the injected would suggest that the alien was in some kind of panic just before dying, which raises two questions: 1) What happened to make a creature like that so freaked out? and 2) Is whatever caused it to be so afraid still a threat in the present day? Season 2 revelations suggest it was the Inhumans. Since it's evident terrigenesis was still occurring during that time, then like Van-Tak they were likely seeking to destroy the city. Scary point is if their knowledge and drive could be genetically encoded then the warning that Inhumans are programmed to be weapons is accurate. Furthermore, with the possibility that the Guest was seeking to destroy the city when he was killed, one has to make note that Coulson's plan upon finding the city was to, well, destroy it as well (though, this was to keep it out of HYDRA's hands too).
  • When Whitehall is torturing Raina he comments that he once operated on a woman for a week and that "the hard part is staying awake." Later, it is revealed in The Things We Bury that he operated on and ultimately killed Skye's mother to gain back the youth he had lost.
  • The fact that Odin!Loki still pays enough attention to Midgard to send Sif to deal with the Kree that lands there searching for the Diviner. And if she chooses to tell him about what's going on with Skye, that puts her in Loki's crosshairs.
  • Mack spends a great deal of time and effort trying to convince Coulson to let him work on Lola. Now we know that Mack is a double agent working to overthrow Coulson as Director. Is there an ulterior motive (beyond the scanner in the model) for him to want to work on a car that Coulson won't let anyone else drive?
  • As it was revealed in the episode Afterlife, Skye's mother is alive. And since we know Doctor Whitehall used Skye's mother's gift to return to his youth, there's a huge chance that those bullets Coulson put in him never kept him down. Even if that's not true, there's still the horror of knowing that Jianyang would have to live with the memories (and scars) of having been vivisected over the coarse of a week.
  • The revelation of Raina's precog gifts becomes this when she reveals that all she has are nightmares. What's going to happen that is so awful that it chases Raina in her dreams?
  • Jeff Bell has hinted at a time skip between Season 2 and 3 - just how long will Simmons spend in that Kree stone? And it's been said to be lethal to Inhumans, and Simmons isn't the Inhumans' biggest fan - how will the stone influence her in that time?
  • So Coulson and Skye are starting a secret super-powered team with the intent to keep its members anonymous for their own safety. That might hit a snag come Captain America Civil War.

Fridge Logic

On the headscratchers page.

Alternative Title(s):

Agents Of SHIELDS 1 E 15 Yes Men