10:00 am EDT, April 26, 2015

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 2, episode 19: 6 hints about the lead-up to ‘Ultron’

We’ve seen the last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. before the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron – and here are a few things you might want to know.

It leads right into ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’

And not just because “The Dirty Half-Dozen” is capped off with a clip from the movie. Not only are there a few nifty Easter eggs to look forward to, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 19 spells out exactly how the conflicts of the show will impact the Avengers – and even why it all happens in the first place.

The gang’s all here, and they’re not happy

CHLOE BENNET, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, BRETT DALTON, SIMON KASSIANIDES

Yes, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 19 does include a “reunion” of the show’s “original six,” as it were. Coulson, May, Skye, Fitz, Simmons, and Ward do go on a mission together, and they do manage to work as a team. (Mostly.)

But fans shouldn’t expect old grievances to disappear – not even close. The deja vu of their reunion stirs up ugly feelings for those who have been hurt by Ward; eventually, those feelings go beyond words into a physical confrontation which will leave viewers hearts pounding.

The Gonzales thing is becoming a problem

“The Dirty Half-Dozen” makes it clearer than ever before that Coulson and Gonzales are very well-matched as foes. Both men have elaborate plots in play, and both are keeping secrets from people they claim to trust. Gonzales and Coulson each seem confident that they have the upper hand as they advance their pieces across the metaphorical chessboard, but viewers will be less sure who is really winning.

Especially as their vastly divergent goals threaten to poke holes in their trusted officers – and even S.H.I.E.L.D. itself.

Someone switches sides – sort of

Many characters on the show inhibit various shades of gray, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 19 makes an interesting change for one of these independent agents. By the end of the episode, this character finds him/herself back in the ranks of S.H.I.E.L.D. – apparently permanently. The new development brings another strong personality to the Playground, and opens up several intriguing options for future episodes

Theta Protocol is revealed

CLARK GREGG

The outlines of oft-teased Theta Protocol, which Coulson has been keeping oppressively secret, appear to become evident by at the end of “The Dirty Half-Dozen.” And though the details and implications are vague, we’ll just say that Theta is much bigger than we were expecting.

Oh, and someone dies

Not everybody makes it out of Team Coulson’s mission alive – and it’s pretty shocking to see exactly what goes down.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 19, “The Dirty Half-Dozen,” airs on Tuesday, April 28 at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.

What are your top theories for ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 2, episode 19?

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