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Agents Of SHIELD: 15 Things You Need To Know Before Season 2 Starts

Essential reading before September 23.

If you missed out on the first season of Agents of SHIELD you aren't alone, if ratings figures are anything to go by. Things got off to a rocky start for the first Marvel Cinematic Universe tie-in show thanks partly to fan expectations that the series would replicate the excitement and big budget thrills of its silver screen forebears and the show's creators struggling to find their feet in the first half of the season. In all honesty there were some pretty naff episodes in 2013, but faithful viewers also got glimmers of what the show would become in the future, and those who stuck with AoS were treated to an improvement in quality and drama so vast that you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd started watching a different show entirely. If the series had ended then it would have been on a high note, but thankfully Marvel and ABC decided to renew Agents of SHIELD for a second season shortly after the first wrapped up its run. Optimism's high that the show will hang on to its momentum and come roaring back onto screens on September 23 with all the paranoia, excitement and humour it ended with back in May, but for those of you who missed out the first time round you might want to know what all the fuss is about. So consider this a handy recap of all the important stuff that happened in season 1, what it means for the future of the show and all the delicious new things there are to know about season 2:

15. What The Hell Happened To SHIELD Last Season?

A hell of a lot, actually. Agent Phil Coulson, who you may remember as dying in The Avengers, is back on the scene and still working for SHIELD at the start of the season. He's told to assemble his own team to deal with powers-related incidents and does just that, although there's a whole lot the people at the top aren't telling him. Coulson and his team jet all over the world and, in between fighting supervillains of the week and the nefarious Centipede program, uncover more and more information about how dodgy many of SHIELD's activities are. They eventually end up becoming embroiled in the world-shaking discovery that Hydra - the terrorist organisation thought to have been destroyed at the end of WWII and Captain America: The First Avenger - has actually been secretly controlling SHIELD the whole time, as first revealed in The Winter Soldier. After that things get pretty crazy and, after the Marvel heroes root out and rid the world of several of Hydra's high command, Nick Fury decides to dissolve SHIELD as it is and charges Phil Coulson with rebuilding it as its new Director.
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