Cosplay Corner: Costume Season and Red Shirt

Hi everyone! It turns out this is becoming a more difficult to maintain feature than I thought it would be. But I’m determined to keep it going, at least through what I call “Costume Season” (Renn Faire to My Birthday Party). I’m working on a few things for Costume Season, all of which I’m really excited about.

I really should have taken some pictures here, but I didn’t think of this until I was already on my way to work, so…that wasn’t going to happen. Anyway…here’s a breakdown of what I’m working on…

Renn Faire

I still haven’t settled on what weekends I’m going, but it would appear that I will be attending both the New York Renaissance Faire and the Pennsylvania Rennaisance Faire. At both I plan to wear a costume I put together, which I am deeply excited about…Renn Faire Lady Poe Dameron! I’ll be wearing the same base pieces as my costume from last year, the white dress and brown corset belt. To bring the specifics to it, I added an orange maxi skirt, grey lace up tank top, that looks like a bodice. I’m also going to wear a Rebellion/Resistance symbol necklace and a black and red flower crown. I’m crazy excited about wearing this.

Lead East

I’m sad, this is the first time in maybe 8 years? That I’m not going to make it to Lead East, the 50’s car show that’s been a mainstay of Katie and my summer since we’ve known each other. But I have a good reason, I’m going to Austin with my family! So we’ll see how that goes.

New York Comic Con

I’ve finally settled on my costumes (though I’m still working out which days I’ll be wearing them)

Poe will be coming back. (For a full breakdown of my Poe Dameron Costume) as will Peggy Carter (ditto)

But I’m working on Sansa Stark! I’ve got it mostly done. I bought a wig, cape, faux fur piece now sewn onto the cape and black maxi dress. All that’s left is creating a Direwolf sigil, and I have an idea of how I’m doing that, I just need to get it done. I have a few months, but I wanted it settled by mid September at the latest. This is going to be a part of a group effort, so I’m quite excited about it and know I can’t screw it up. When I’m done with it I can move on to my other new costume.

Red Hood! When I put together the Red Hood closet cosplay a few weeks ago, I realized how good it looked and decided that I wanted to finish it up and make it ready for a con. I need to buy a red domino mask, and a white hair extension. I’m also going to buy a fresh black tee shirt, and some red cotton and iron on, and then re-enforce with hand stitching the Red Hood symbol. I have my leg holster from Poe, and I need to buy a prop gun. I’m waiting for the NYCC weapons regulations to come out, because I’m not interested in spending a bunch of money only to be immediately confiscated.

I’ve got a lot of work ahead on these, but I’m excited for them.

Halloween

Depending on my plans, I’ll either be wearing a modified Poe (my Disneybound Poe dress, with the vest and chest piece from the full costume) or Sansa. If I’m at a party, it’ll be Sansa, a bar, Poe. If I’m with the nerds, then it’ll be Jason.

Hallow-Reenie 2016: Teen Drama

My Birthday Party! I’m still trying to figure out when I’m having this party. I don’t want to have it actual Halloween weekend, for a couple of reasons that are very boring. The next weekend, when I’d ordinarily have it, my parents are away (I like having my parents at this party…) and it’s my 10th high school reunion, so there’s some working around to be done. Anyway, the theme this year is Teen Drama, and I’m torn between two costume choices.

I want to do either Brooke Davis or Blair Waldorf. For both I’d be wearing my Jessica Jones wig. For Brooke, I found a blue skirt on Amazon that looks kind of like a cheerleading skirt and blue tank tops aren’t hard to come by.

Blair is even easier because I have plenty of dresses and headbands left over from the time when my entire wardrobe was Blair Waldorf approved.

I had settled on Brooke, but then Mary said that she would do Serena if I did Blair…this gave me doubts.

Closet Cosplay

This is a simple one! I’m off to see Star Trek Beyond tonight, so I had to channel it some how.

I have this red tunic shirt, so I’m wearing that, and jeans and for the picture I picked up my Poe blaster to stand in for a phaser!


I’m a red shirt, so I mean, I probably won’t make it out of today alive…but I had to do it!

 

City of Brotherly Fun

I spent a lot of time going back and forth deciding whether to go to Wizard World Philadelphia this year.

But then Beth (who lived in the apartment with me and Juli) was going. And then Kristi wanted to go. And somehow I ended up there. I also ended up with a new cosplay, meeting Anthony Mackie, chatting with more people than I had at a con in a while and doing a tequila shot. (A dude bought it for me, and then he promptly left. Kristi and I were quite put out by this. When a girl accepts a shot from you, the social contract says you have to at the very least chat awkwardly with her for a half hour. RUDE!)

Anyway, this is turning out to be a con season to remember (in that it’s actually a con season…) and it may have a sea bound finale that we can only dream of.

I owe so much of that to Kristi. It’s hard to describe exactly how amazing becoming better friends with her this past year has been, and what exactly shifted in our relationship. I guess it’s just the proximity thing…with three family weddings in the past year, we spent a lot of time together. But however it happened, I’m glad it has. (Also her insistence that we’d be friends if we’d met under different circumstances.)

Anyway, the show, I missed the Captain America panel due to me being unable to navigate on streets I am unfamiliar with. But I did catch the Thor and Agent Carter groups, which was pretty significantly cool. Especially the Agent Carter stuff as Haley Atwell and Dominic Cooper are all goofy british charm. (Tom Hiddleston is also that, but it doesn’t bounce as well off of Chris Hemsworth’s broish Aussie thing, that I completely adore…)

The cosplays went well, although the discomfort caused by my attempts at curling my hair were in vain, since by the time I got inside the 87% humidity had flatted my super straight hair. (The twists still worked, and another Peggy recommended a hairspray I should use…so in October, I should be better…)

Anyway, I know this is a lame write up, but I was completely overwhelmed. I haven’t been to a big con in a while, and there’s a lot to take in. Especially since I was only there two days, both of them being weekends I felt very overwhelmed. But I did have a great time.

Next up is Heroes And Villains Fanfest! That’ll also be fun!

 

Cosplay Corner: Wizard World Philadelphia & Chibi-Moon

Cosplay has started to become a big part of my life again lately. (It never fully goes away), but lately, I’ve been spending a lot of time and effort on it, both for conventions and for every day “closet cosplays” because they make me feel good. So, for now, once a week. (Tuesdays or Fridays, depending on Movie Season…) I’ll talk about what my cosplay stuff looks like for the week.

Since tomorrow, I’m heading to Wizard World Philadelphia, I figured today was a good day to talk about the costumes I’ll be wearing there. (I know the con’s been going on for 2 days, but I’m not there yet.)

Since I don’t sew, most of my costumes are assembled from various bought items or things I already own, or stuff I dupe my mom into making. (Hi Mommy, I love you!)

Con Ready Costumes

First up is my new costume of the weekend, Agent Peggy Carter!


If you’re unfamiliar with Agent Carter, I don’t know what you’re doing on my blog, because if you don’t know Peggy chances are you’re not into what I’m selling, but she’s the badass British bombshell who worked with the Strategic Scientic Resever (SSR) during Steve Roger’s training before he became Captain America. She also founded SHIELD alongside Howard Stark.

I’m wearing a take on her military uniform. It’s almost perfect, except for the jacket…but this was a last minute decision so I had to take what I could get quickly and cheaply.

I’ll be in brown skirt I purchased from Amazon, as well as a Khaki shirt and a black tie. The jacket is pleather and was quick Goodwill find, and I really like the way it came together.

My Captain America costume is my laziest of all cosplays, but I love it so much. It’s simply the Her Universe Captain America Dress, a pair of red boots I bought years ago for Supergirl, and the child size Captain America Shield.


Closet Cosplay Of The Week

So, I’ve been closet cosplaying or casual cosplaying a lot lately, and I figured I’d document those. These will be mostly from my already existing wardrobe, and almost always work appropriate!

This week, I decided to channel Sailor Chibi-Moon

I started by putting my hair up in half pigtails, I think that this gets the “bun head” feel a little better than just regular pigtails.

White tee shirt is pretty self explanatory. The pink skirt is a fun Polo skirt made of sweatshirt material and features a tie, to give me that extra Sailor Moon bow feeling.

The thing I was most proud of with this look though, was wearing the pink tassel to represent the Sailor Collar.

Add in a pair of pink ballet flats, and I’m all set to train to defend Earth in the name of the moon!

Over the next few weeks I’ll be pulling out other closet cosplays, and detailing some of my more intricate Con costumes, even if I don’t have a con coming up. (Although, I do…but I’m not putting anything together for Heroes and Villains…) I think this is going to be fun!

 

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: Strong Ladies Edition

Hey Everyone! I’m going through a couple of obsessions lately, and most of them are lady type people and feminism related, and thus let’s begin.

  • The new season of Veep. God, could this show get any better? Amy’s freak out at Selina was incredible last week and the fact that Selina is the most ineffective president ever is particularly awesome. If you haven’t watched Veep, I recommend it. It’s funny, smart and altogether brilliant. (Not to mention Bechdel-busting, and great at the numbers game.)
  • Agent Carter got renewed! Hooray! Let’s all happy dance.
  • NYCC tickets and acquiring them. (Not feminism related exactly, but still annoying) Look, I’m not the only one of my friends to get shut out. It’s a decent mix of people who got some and who didn’t. Hoping to hit the jackpot at Special Edition and if not, it’s Stub Hub for me!
  • The ACLU inquiry into hiring practices in Hollywood at as related to sexism. Can we get a Boo-Ya!
  • Sailor Moon…going over six months strong on the obsessions list. You’re about to hit the Batman mark my friend. Congratulations.
  • Jen Lancaster, I reflected on her work and what it meant to me last week, but now I’ve been making my way through her books again. This happens pretty much every year. But I felt it was worth noting.
  • The Indoor Kids podcast. Oh my God. I love this podcast. I’m behind on everything because I’ve been listening through old episodes but it’s so worth it. It’s hosted by Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani, and they’re adorable. Emily is everything I love about the women I’ve encountered as I’ve traveled through the oceans of nerd culture. She’s feminist, she’s sex positive, she’s intelligent, she’s passionate about games. I’m completely obsessed with it. You should listen to it.
  • The adding of more female characters to Silicon Valley.
  • Hey! Pitch Perfect 2 tonight. I’m not like, super psyched about it. I think it’s a wholey unnecessary bit of movie, but I’m just excited that another Bechdel Buster is getting an ridiculous unnecessary sequel.
  • Ava Duvernay is in talks to direct either Black Panther or Captain Marvel. I will take either, but I’d rather see Black Panther, not because I want her pigeon holed, but because she directed Selma and thus has strong working relationships with most of the best black actors in Hollywood, and that will be a useful network for Black Panther.
  • Oh right, and the Supergirl sneak peak? How AMAZING IS THAT? This show looks perfect. I’ve always wanted The Devil Wears Prada but with powers. If it sounds like I’m being sarcastic, I absolutely am not. Seriously, I’m all packed for this weekend and seriously considering changing up and doing Supergirl instead of Black Canary, it’s that good.

So that’s what’s going on with me. How are you guys?

The MCU So Far: What I Know Going Into Ultron

Age of Ultron

As much as I consider myself a completeist, there are actually very few things that I’ve absorbed as fully and as obsessively as I have The Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It’s pretty much just Harry Potter, now that I think about it.

This makes sense, because, Harry Potter opened my world to the idea of fandom, but The MCU, the MCU taught me about nerd culture, and forged unbreakable bonds with characters and a world that I’m thrilled to know so much about.

So yes, I am one of those annoying fans who DEMANDS to know when we will see Skye and Darcy have coffee sometimes. (Oh shut up, you want it to.) I can make detailed cases for everyone that you ship Black Widow with. (If she’s meant to be with Bruce Banner in Ultron, why the arrow necklace in Winter Soldier? WHAT KIND OF GAME ARE YOU PLAYING FIEGE?)

So here’s what I know from watching the movies and from Agents Of Shield and Agent Carter and Daredevil and various 1 Shots, that will make up our status quo for tonight, as far as I can see it:

  • The Avengers are coming together at Coulson’s behest. That’s what Theta Protocol is.
  • Loki’s alive but everyone thinks he’s dead. He has that in common with Nick Fury and Coulson.
  • Thor’s currently living in London with Jane. Remains Thor though. Which is cool.
  • SHIELD has various Hulk containment facilities. These are also useful for Inhumans.
  • Imhumans are a thing.
  • Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver may or may not be Inhumans. Probably aren’t. Joss seems to really hate Agents stuff, which seems mean to his brother and sister in law. I’m just saying.
  • Captain America and Falcon are out Bucky hunting. They will, presumably, stop for a while to fight Ultron.
  • Tony has no Iron Man suits as he blew them all up. Also no more arc reactor in his chest to fuel suits even if he had them. This will assuredly be problematic.
  • The 10 Rings is a real organization that kidnapped and killed The Fake Mandarin and this probably has no bearing on Ultron at all.
  • Howard Stark had a lotta guilt about not saving Steve. This is probably what made him such a lousy father. Also HYDRA killed him.
  • The Black Widow program has been around for a while.
  • New York is really crime ridden after The Battle Of New York. There’s a blind dude with super senses and a crime kingpin. I doubt they’ll figure into the story, but who knows.
  • Maria Hill works for Stark Industries. I imagine she does a great deal of sighing and eye rolling.
  • Natasha Romanov’s covers are all out in the open because she Edward Snowdened herself.
  • Hawkeye is, um around.
  • Captain America lost his shield, but has a new one. Presumably he got this because they got more vibranium, which is from Wakanda, which is where Black Panther is from…
  • Spider-Man is a thing in this universe now. But he’s in high school. And probably not Spider-Man yet. And is definitely not Miles Morales.

So, that’s where we are.

ASSEMBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Agent Carter, Princess Leia And Stories of Grief

I haven’t written much about Agent Carter, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been thinking about it.

A lot.

A lot, a lot. I’ve been thinking about the clothes, about the post war narrative, about it’s implications for the larger MCU, and until yesterday, I realized I wasn’t really thinking much about Peggy, about her story and what it meant to the character.

I was thinking macro, not micro, and that’s never been where my analytical focus was before, so I was kind of surprised when it took another piece of work to snap me into focus.

Last week the first issue of Princess Leia came out and I of course had to read it, because you all know how I feel about Leia. (First non mommy feminist role model). Also, both Darth Vader and Star Wars were excellent and I expected the same from Leia.

And the series is going to be about Leia mourning the loss of her parents and planet by jetting off across the Galaxy to save all the surviving Alderaans? (Alderaanians? I don’t know, people from her planet.)

And while Agent Carter was about a lot of things, it was, at it’s heart about Peggy figuring out what her life looked like in a world that didn’t want her as a soldier, and a world where the man she loved no longer lived.

And I like that both of these stories are about these ladies taking something they can control, saving what’s left of her people, clearing her friends name, and channeling their grief and anger into it. It’s such an active actiony way of going about it, which works so well for Leia and Peggy.

These are action stars, so their grieving process, their coping mechanisms should be active. And I love that. I also love that they immediately hooked them up with other awesome ladies. In the end, Peggy wound up fighting Dottie, a black widow operative, and was best friends with Angie. And Leia already has a cool lady sidekick to hang out with. (Who is also from Alderaan.)

And to be honest, their first stop is going Naboo, and that makes me so happy. Because I really want to see Leia like stare at a painting of Padme and feel something. (Like, The Force, or whatever…) We already know from Jedi that Leia has memories of Padme, which is ABSURD since the twins were minutes old…ugh. Prequel problems.

Anyway, I’m excited for this series, and I was glad that it allowed me to think more deeply about Peggy’s journey.

Things I’m Obsessed With Right Now: New Year Edition!

Hi Everyone! Low on inspiration again, 22 days into it, I think it’s time to say what the new year is going to look like, obsession wise.

So here we go!

  • Empire. Just, Empire. Particularly, Taraji P. Henson on Empire. And the character of Cookie Lyons on Empire. And also #TeamJamal, and not #TeamHakeem. Hakeem is the worst. THE WORST.
  • Star Wars #1. HOLY F***CKING CRAP, you guys, it was so good. SO GOOD! SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO good. Read it, it feels like a part of the movie. GAH. I’ve always resisted the lure of the extended universe. I’ve crossed into the dark side
  • Reading discussions of Serial in comment sections. I KNOW I’m late to the game, but seeing people actually type in ALL CAPS, “BUT THE NISHA CALL!” It’s pretty fun.
  • Agent Carter. This show is good, right? It’s really good. Although, I got frustrated at my SHIELD podcast, Welcome To Level 7, as they tried to make it fit into the AOS mold, because, it’s you know, a different song.
  • Mr. Kiss And Tell, the latest Veronica Mars book. I started it yesterday. I’m forgoing reading Lumberjanes and Batman & Robin right away to finish it. It’s that good. Without spoiling, Meg’s little sister Grace is involved. Remember Grace? Veronica and Duncan saved her from the closet that time, which is when we learned that The Mannings were monsters. And that Lamb’s father probably beat him.
  • It’s starting to be light-ish when I go to work in the morning and when I leave at night. I mean, it’s still you know, the end.
  • The bombastic pop-showtunes of the mid 2000s, that completely occupied my high school psyche. I’ve been listening to The Last 5 Years, and Wicked, and Legally Blonde, and Thoroughly Modern Millie, mostly because I saw Wicked and remembered what I loved so much about theatre, and this music.
  • Cabaret! Which I’m going to see tonight! WAHHHHHH!!!!!
  • Rewatching The Office, I mean when I fall asleep. But it’s been fun to revisit it.
  • Did you know that people ship YouTubers? Like real people? I didn’t know this was a thing that went on. I am fascinated by this practice…I mean, I’m pretty serious about shipping, but only with fictional characters.
  • The music of Zac Brown, Kenny Chesney and Darius Rucker. Work has been very stressful and country music mellows me out and puts me in a good mood.

So that’s what I’m obsessed with these days.

Agent Carter

Agent Carter

Agent Carter premiered last night, and despite feeling like actual garbage and just wanting to go to sleep, there was no way I was going to miss it.

The pilot was really strong. The second episode tacked on to make the premier a “2 hour event” was also good, but I had kind of drifted off by then, so I was having less fun.

Anyway, I really appreciate that this show is something that’s happening. This is the first female led superhero show since the new Boom. (No, Birds of Prey does not count. That show DIDN’T HAPPEN!) So, that’s a pretty big deal for you know, someone like me.

Peggy’s a pretty great character, and I was excited to see the way they showed who she was without having her be completely absorbed as “Captain America’s Girlfriend,” there’s an important distinction there and it’s played with through the “Adventures of Captain America” radio broadcast, where Peggy Carter, the capable tough SSR Agent is replaced by “Betty Carver,” a nurse who’s constantly being kidnapped and needs Cap to save her.

There’s a particularly great scene where Peggy beats the snot out of a guy while the broadcast plays in the background.

And of course, being me, I could only think of “Jefferson Reid: Ace American” from The Thrilling Adventure Hour, but that’s because I’m me.

Anyway, it’s going to be a fun ride I think. I like the plot engine of Peggy and Jarvis clearing Howard Stark’s name. (Although apparently Dominic Cooper is only in the first episode.) And I really like seeing Chad Michael Murray as Peggy’s work antagonist.

Also, I mean, Chad Michael Murray and Ben McKenzie are on Superhero shows now. LUCAS SCOTT and RYAN ATWOOD! I once wrote a post about that. Well, about them like actually as superheroes, but still. It’s very exciting to me.

I’ll probably have more to say about it when it wraps up, and maybe a few bits along the way, but yeah, it’s pretty good.

As for the Ant-Man trailer, I’m just not into it man. I’ll still see the movie. I mean, it’s a Marvel movie, but I just can’t bring myself to care.

So that’s where we are with that.

Super Tubes

There was a time when I didn’t think that this blog was going to be all about superheroes. There was going to be more fantasy and just general nerdiness. The thing is, I do still consume a lot of that kind of thing. I mean, Doctor Who is coming back and I’m thinking something about that will replace the Game of Thrones Character winner when that happens. But, with my recent foray into weekly comic book reading and of course how many comic book movies are coming out these days, it takes up a lot of my time and bandwith.

But that’s nothing compared to what’s going to be happening with TV this coming season.

Wow! Oh my God, it’s like my television has become more obsessed with comics than I have for this coming year.

Here’s a little peak at what’s going to be happening!

RETURNING:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D – ABC Season 2

marvels-agents-of-shield

Obviously this is where I’m starting. I kept up with and defended this show from it’s inception. I was rewarded for my faith with Agent John Garrett and the last 7 episodes of the show. I can’t wait to see where this goes in season 2. There’s a lot of roads that could be travelled down, with Director Coulson and Skye is totally a Kree, and Reyna with Skye’s parent. The show is being moved up to Tuesdays at 9, instead of 8, which probably means more violence and sex, although, after Ward got raped by Lorelei I don’t see how the sex could be turned up any further. Also, I think that we’re going to Spike Reyna, and Spike her hard. (By that I mean, transfer her over from bad guy to good guy, a la Spike in Buffy)

Arrow – The CW Season 3

I picked up Arrow Season 1 again. I will get through this show. But I cannot watch more than 1 or 2 episodes at a time. God, it’s so boring. Even Barrowman can’t wake me up from my stupor when it comes to watching this show. It’s a shame because Oliver Queen is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters in comics…anyway, I am going to get through seasons 1 and 2 at some point. But you should also know that I’m pretty much only doing it so that I can really enjoy The Flash. We’ll get there though.

Heroes: Reborn – NBC, 15 Episode Single Series (Sometime in 2015, I think)

I have not met a single person who thought that this would happen or even wanted it to happen. We have 0 news about this, how it’s going to work, who, if any, of the cast will be returning, and every time I think about it I just get confused and a little bit sad.

NEW:

Agent Carter – ABC Season 1 (During Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Hiatus)

Dear Marvel,

Thank you, thank you, thank you! While it’s not quite at the level of a green lit Black Widow movie, seeing an Agent Carter TV show is a really good step in the right direction to getting our act together with female heroes being represented on screen. Peggy’s a really great character, and I kind love the idea of an MCU version of Mad Men. If it’s anything like the One-Shot, Agent Carter, we’ll be dealing with fun action and some really cool gender politics stuff. I will certainly be looking at it through that lens.

Love,

Reenie

Constantine – NBC Season 1

I’m not a huge fan of Constantine, but I’ll give this a show a fair shot. (In my world a “fair shot means watching the pilot, and maybe two or three more episodes until I get bored.) It looks well cast, and interesting. We’ll see. I watch a lot of NBC anyway, and as long as this doesn’t interfere with anything else on my rapidly less crowded TV viewing schedule I’ll watch it. Might DVR it and watch it on Saturday mornings. I don’t know! It’s months away!

The Flash – The CW Season 1

Oh My GOD! Did you guys watch that extended trailer? I mean, seriously whoa! I didn’t know that Annalise Vanderpol (my second favorite Disney Girl after Brenda Song) was going to be on this show! Or Tom Cavanaugh (Give us Ed on DVD damn you! #Stuckeybowllives!) Also Jesse L. Martin, which, I mean, come on, Jesse L. Martin, and he’s playing a Detective again. Let’s just agree that it’s the greatest thing ever, and we can all move on. I’m really, really excited about this show, if you didn’t know. I think we’re going to have some fun now.

Gotham – Fox Season 1: Monday  9 PM

Gotham Logo

I think I’ve managed to cover how excited I am for this show. Extensively. I don’t think that we need to go into more, but here are bullet points: TV show about Jim Gordon as a young man. Meh. Ben McKenzie as Jim Gordon. SQUEE! Young Penguin? HOORAY! Jada Pinkett-Smith! WHAAT? Donal Logue as Harvey Bullock. Perfect! 12 year old Bruce Wayne. OK, cool! 12 year old Selina Kyle. NEW FAVORITE SHOW (Probably). Gotham trailer. WOW THIS LOOKS AMAZING, can’t wait to watch it.

The end!

So we’ll see what sticks. I’m looking forward to seeing what the new season brings.

In The End I Want To Be Standing At The Beginning With You

As I try to think about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and it’s strange little mess of first season that I really loved, I find myself  with the song “At The Beginning” from Anastasia stuck in my head. You know the one, it played over the credits, “Life is a road and I wanna keep going, love is a river I wanna keep flowing…” But the lyric that sticks out to me the most is the title of this post, “In the end I want to be standing at the beginning with you.”

We were strangers, on a crazy adventure...

We were strangers, on a crazy adventure…

Agents hada problematic and slow start that as it turned out wasn’t all it’s fault. Sure, it could have done more character and back story wise as it killed time leading up to the game changing revelations of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but I was consistently entertained by it’s little side missions, got to know and love most of the characters, and was willing to stick it out, even if I was a little bit bored from time to time. And of course, once the show took off and running with the introduction of Hydra’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D., the revelation of Ward as a double agent, and the return of funny optimistic Coulson. (Plus a little magic from Patton Oswald), the show proved that it could live up to the movies it’s meant to hype. In the end, Agents is always going to be the Johnny Drama to The Avengers Vinnie, it’ll get the job done, but it’ll take longer and won’t quite be the same. So it succeeded there, and it got Ming-Na Wen onto our TV pretty much weekly and I’m never ever going to complain about that.

I keep thinking about my earliest comparison for the show, that is realizing that this show lined up in a big way with another Whedon show and not the one everyone thought it would. Pretty much everyone I know thought that Agents would feel like a more earthbound version of Firefly, and I was one of said people. But by the end of episode 3, I realized that the show more succinctly felt like Angel. It doesn’t line up perfectly, but it’s much, much closer than Firefly, and has many of the same problems and disappointments with it’s first season as Angel did. The separation of one of the initial team members? In Angel, that happened when Doyle sacrificed himself, he was quickly, almost instantly replaced by Wesley. Here, when Grant Ward was revealed Hydra, he was actually instantly replaced by Tripplate. Additionally, Angel didn’t really take off until events external to it came into play. It wasn’t until Spike returned to Sunnydale with that ring that lets vampires be out in sunlight and then Oz went to LA that the show really took off. Season 1 of Angel ended with the destruction of The Oracles and the severing of Angel’s connection to The Powers That Be, here, S.H.I.E.L.D as we knew it is destroyed, but Coulson and gang are going to start up again. I could keep going but I think I’ve made my point.

So how  does this connect to a cult favorite animated movie from the mid 90’s? It doesn’t, really, except for the song. I said back when the show was announced that it was possible, even likely that Agents was going to be a one season wonder. For a good long while, it seemed like one season was all the show had in it. I’m so glad that it turned out otherwise, because I think season 2 is going to be awesome, but this episode was clearly structured to function as both a season and a series finale if need be. The appearance of Nick Fury, the appointment of Coulson as the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., these are all things that blend seamlessly into Age of Ultron, and my guess, Coulson’s reentry into the mainline MCU.

After I watched the episode on Tuesday night, I tweeted that it was “the Whedoniest thing ever,” and I stand by that statement. I couldn’t find who wrote “The Beginning of The End” but I’ll bet Joss had his hand in it in a big way. The quippy dialog, the straight up girl power awesomeness (Skye, May and Simmons all saved the day.) So much of this episode reminded me of “Primeval” the penultimate episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season 4. Not the strongest by any means, but still really solid with some really fun action and amazing seeds for the future planted. And that pretty much sums up Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Really solid, but not the strongest.

And so we bid adieu. I will be feeding on scraps of news about Agents and of course Agent Carter until September. Full steam ahead, starting out on the journey.