Psychology and Agents of SHIELD

I love this show.  Yeah, the first 3/4 of the first season were shaky, but I liked the people enough — especially Coulson to hang in there.  I was also fascinated with Grant Ward and not just because he’s pretty (though that helped).  I just knew there was more to that guy then just being the pretty boy.  Then the whole Hydra thing hit, and yeah, I was totally there.  Now we’ve got inhumans and other planets, and wow.

What we also have is really interesting analysis of human psychology.  We’ve got May determined to be totally independent yet longing for the husband she pushed away.  We’ve got Coulson a profoundly decent man who is still wondering why he’s alive, what does it mean?  What can he, should he do with this gift?  The truly messed up relationship between Fitz and Simmons.  Total love on the one side.  Advance/retreat on the other.  Ironically Skye/Daisy has become the most grounded person in the mix.

And then there’s Ward.  Abusive family.  Psychopathic tendencies nurtured under the care of a true psychopath and sociopath.  Desperately looking for love but unable to understand what love actually is.  The last episode Ward is the head of Hydra but he calls himself “Director” as in director of SHIELD.  His people are called agents.  He’s trying to recreate SHIELD so he can recapture that feeling of belonging somewhere.  A friend of mine once suggested as a joke that the person Ward actually loves is Coulson.  I actually think there is something to that.  He clearly never loved May.  Skye was an infatuation.  Agent 33 was a weird attempt to nurture not destroy.  Maybe a sense that if he could heal her he could heal himself.  And then he killed her.  So maybe Coulson is the person over whom he obsesses.  Is it a misplaced need for a father?  Romantic feelings?  Which ever way the writing staff goes I’ll be there to watch.

And this is a show that had a shrink as a character.  You don’t see that very often.  Basically it’s a show that despite all the super powers and explosions and guns and just general cool shit it’s about the human mind and the human heart.

2 Responses to Psychology and Agents of SHIELD

  • Beth says:

    I’m enjoying the show as well, but I’m not sure I agree that Coulson is a decent man. He seems more amoral to me, in that once he defines his goals he has no qualms about doing anything to achieve them. Last season they had to make the “bad guys” incredibly evil just so we could pretend that Coulson’s team were “good guys” (well, “probably-less-bad guys”).

    Is this a comic thing? Because even back in the movies I never saw why everyone around him thought Coulson was a good man. Effective, sure, but that’s different.

    • Melinda Snodgrass says:

      That is really interesting. I have to think about that. My sense is that Coulson has lines he will not cross. And in the defense of his people he is fierce and passionate. He tried to save Ward from falling completely to the dark side. His defense of Skye/Daisy is lovely. I think he’s cunning and not above tricking his opponents. The one who is _really_ amoral is Fury. That guy is scary and not just because Samuel L. Jackson is playing him.

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