I know all the fanboys were all excited to see the ep start with May showers bringing April flowers, or whatever, but I love seeing seven-years-ago Phil. Come on! He’s in good shape, he’s walking tall; he’s looking good. First weekend in Europe. Or wherever. Point is, he’s been shopping for polyester ties at Target for at least seven years, and I don’t know about you but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowin’ he’s out there. Son of Coul. Takin’ ‘er easy for all us sinners.
Anyway, I was trading ones and zeroes with spunkybuddy and Friend of the Show Jordan Scott (which may explain the back-to-back Stripes and The Big Lebowski quotes), and we were talking about the prevalent sandwich thing in the MCU and how come nobody has asked why Skye’s mom is still alive and how he thinks it’s funny every time a Russian girl shows up we all just assume she’s part of the Black Widow Program whether she is or not when he asked me what I thought the Theta Protocol is.
And since I know how the sausage is made, I usually don’t think about things like that, so much. I want to enjoy stuff like an audience member. It’s a story bomb, you know? One of those cartoon globes with a sparking fuse you see in Road Runner shorts? You know it’s going to go off eventually but we can cross that bridge when we come to it, narratively, right? Theta Protocol! One of those deals that writers put in to explain later.
But then the missus and I watched the Kimmel thing right after and I realized there are two more S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes after Age of Ultron drops and we all know what happened after Winter Soldier last year, don’t we? Changed up some stuff and put things on a new course and pretty much put the audience on notice that there was a firm hand on the tiller, TV show-wise..
So I started to ponder: this “Theta Protocol” thing isn’t a story bomb to be figured out later, it’s a linchpin. And last night’s apparent throwaway of Coulson’s that they were going to assemble Earth’s mightiest and see who are heroes or not wasn’t a sop to fanboys but rather a call to action. But anybody running interference on a big job… whether you’re doing advertising and marketing or brain surgery or landscaping… you have to have a Plan B for when it all goes nuts.
We added on to our house, ten years ago, now, and our contractor was an awesome drunken Irishman I loved like I was related to him. I’m a standoffish guy unless i know you and this guy I felt like he’s a brother right away, so he got the job.
One day, the blueprints didn’t match the work or the work didn’t match the plans and there was a little back-and-forth and he ended up giving his crew the rest of the day off. I said, Jim, I said, everything all right? And he said it was and they were on point and they needed a minute and they’d see me tomorrow and there’s always a fix.
The crew showed up the next day and everything was fine and the Ts were crossed and the Is were dotted as you’d expect and in the fullness of time we had the addition completed to blueprint and code and we had Jim over for a pint or two and some food in the part of the house he built as a thank you from us to him.
And I couldn’t resist over the Jameson’s and the meal and I said Jim, don’t me wrong, we love you and the job your squad did and a happy life for everyone going forward but you have to tell me: what was your plan for that day when things were in the shitter and not looking any better?
Aer Lingus, he said.
Anyway, that’s what I think the Theta Protocol is. Fury has the “Avengers Initiative” in mind, but what happens when Earth’s mightiest might possibly go pear-shaped? May even says Coulson doesn’t go off the reservation without a reason, so if she’s thinking that, why wouldn’t you think that might be a possibility for Hulk, Thor, or Iron Man? S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been about secrets-on-secrets, so that seems fair. But it also puts a weird light on nuSHIELD. They’re all mad Fury and Coulson are being clandestine? That’s kind of the definition of a super-secret spy agency, yeah?
Anyhow. Why has no one asked why Skye’s mom is still alive? And I love that Maria Hill has a phone extension you can call her office at in the helicarrier, #314.