So, depending on where in the world you live, or on how impatient you were to watch the amazing Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, you will now have seen every episode of the explosive debut series centered on the formerly dead Agent Phil Coulson and his clandestine team of operatives who work outside of the usual regulations of S.H.I.E.L.D. So most of what I will say now is standard knowledge. But for those who are browsing the web looking for info on the team and the show, indulge me while I break it down for you. If you are indeed reading this to decide if you should give it a look, there may be some spoilers, fans of the show, this is my opinion... feel free to discuss it (a lot will be common knowledge from other Marvel productions).
Agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg)
Phil Coulson is an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D first seen in Iron Man, making some inquiries into the specifics of Tony Stark's escape from imprisonment by the Ten Rings in the Middle East. He also guarded Stark in Iron Man 2 before being sent to New Mexico where he found Thor's Hammer. Coulson is then seen again in Avengers Assemble, overseeing a S.H.I.E.L.D facility where research into the Tesseract is being conducted, narrowly escaping it's destruction at the hands of Loki, alongside Nick Fury and Maria Hill. Later Coulson is killed in the Battle of the Helicarrier when Loki's ensnared forces attack. Many people presumed that was the end of Phil Coulson. You were wrong.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D sees Coulson back in action, having recovered from his mortal wounds in Tahiti after the Battle of New York. His assignment is to put together a team of Agents to go out and investigate strange happenings in the world. He appears to be himself based on what was seen of him in the Iron Man and Avengers films, maintaining his cool sense of humour and his unwavering loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. Most people quickly picked up on the fact that not all was as it seemed in an exchange between a Doctor and Agent Maria Hill, stating that Coulson could never know the circumstances of his survival.
Coulson leads his teams on many investigations, mostly centering around Centipede and the illusive Clairvoyant, although after his abduction on the bridge and the revelation that not everything is how it seems around his recovery, Coulson leads a separate investigation into what happened after his death. He is among the highest ranking Agents left to hold S.H.I.E.L.D together after the HYDRA attack and the apparent death of Director Fury. His devotion to all that S.H.I.E.L.D is based on leads him to scatter whats left of the Agency when the US government brands them a terrorist organisation, and continue his pursuit of HYDRA despite no longer having any authority or help.
Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton)
Grant Ward is a S.H.I.E.L.D Field Specialist, trained for high risk solo missions. First seen on a mission to retrieve some documents, and later in a briefing with Agent Maria Hill, he is Agent Coulson's first recruit, much to his despair, stating that he works best alone. Despite his initial reservations about working as part of a team, Ward quickly finds his place on the team, even though most would see him as an awkward addition. His skills are quickly proven as he analyses the first encounter with Mike Peterson, coming to the conclusion that the only way to stop him from exploding or causing serious harm to innocent people was to shoot him in the head with a Sniper Rifle, although, his softer emotional side was shown when he was persuaded to tranquilize him rather than kill him.
Ward gradually became more comfortable with Coulson's team, forming friendships and attachments and even revealing his troubled family past that had pushed him to want to work in an organization like S.H.I.E.L.D, and exploring a sexual relationship with another member of the team. But it was all a front. Ward was originally recruited by Agent John Garrett, who later recruited him to HYDRA. Ward served HYDRA and Garrett, operating as a sleeper agent inside S.H.I.E.L.D until the time was right. Despite his unwavering allegiance to Garrett and HYDRA, Ward still had difficulty betraying his friends, but never the less, he did.
Agent Melinda May (Ming Na Wen)
May was recruited by Coulson as pilot of the plane, and was firmly set against any field or combat assignment, due to a past mission gone wrong. She was very serious, never seen to smile, laugh or make a joke. In fact, for the most part, she showed no emotion at all. However, as Coulson became more distressed by the circumstances around his survival, and as Ward became distressed by his past May was seen to show compassion and concern. Over time, she also assisted Coulson in the field, and was unwaveringly loyal to him.
Skye (Chloe Bennet)
Skye was a computer hacker, part of the conspiracy group known as the Rising Tide. She made first contact with Mike Peterson, at the same time as Coulson was searching for him. Their paths crossed when Coulson found her van and took her in. He elected to recruit her and after giving her access to S.H.I.E.L.D secrets, by drugging Grant Ward with a truth serum, she agreed to join, helping to stop Mike Peterson on his rampage. At first, her intentions seemed to be infiltration, being on the inside to get access to S.H.I.E.L.D secrets to broadcast to the Rising Tide. She seemed unenthusiastic towards her training under Grant Ward, but that changed when she had a near death encounter with Quinn. After she was saved by Ward, she put more effort into her training.
Skye was an integral part of Coulson's team, using her extensive hacking skills to assist in finding people of interest quickly, and as such, Coulson became protective of her, assisting her in her search for her family, and comforting her when she was confirmed as an 0-8-4 (unknown origin). Coulson took it hard when Quinn shot Skye in the stomach and she came close to death, going all out to find the people who worked on him to heal her.
Skye took it hard when Coulson's betrayal of the team came to light.
Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge)
Agent Jemma Simmons is part of the dynamic duo named 'Fitzsimmons'. She is a biochemist able to study both human and alien physiology. She is young and bubbly and with Fitz has been useful to the team in developing the ICER weapons. She is very methodical and practical, putting plenty of prep into her work and undercover missions with the team. Despite her young age, she is highly respected on the team and unwaveringly loyal to Coulson.
She was heavily affected by Agent Ward's betrayal during HYDRA's uprising, but never the less attempted to comfort Fitz.
Agent Leo Fitz (Iain de Caestecker)
Leo Fitz was Jemma Simmons' intellectual equal and best friend. In awe of Coulson and his team, his recruitment was as part of his longstanding inseparability from Simmons. He proved useful in the development of the ICER weapon and even in the field with Agent Ward, sometimes stepping up to fight superior foes in defense of himself.
Fitz was among the most heavily affected when Ward betrayed the team, refusing to believe that he was evil and set on believing that he could be brought back to the fold, even risking his life to try and convince Ward to atone for his mistakes. Fitz is said to be in a critical condition after the finale of Season 1.
So there is my short bio of the team, with the exception of Coulson who I find just awesome, and so said quite a lot about. In fairness, I find the whole team awesome, but there is just more to be said about good ol' Phil.
Now, lets get down to the meat and potatoes of the day. What happens next. We know that Antoine Triplett makes a great replacement for Ward after the HYDRA uprising, given that he is a proven loyalist, heavily loyal to Coulson in the absence of S.H.I.E.L.D. We also know that although Jemma Simmons has survived Ward's attempt to kill her, Leo Fitz is in a critical condition and may not be his normal self upon his recovery. Will Coulson adapt the whole 'Captain on the Bridge' approach to being the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D or will he continue to work on the Bus, with his team. What story arcs will we see in season 2, and of course, everyones favourite question... Will an Avenger appear in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?
I think I've harped on enough in this article, so I would suggest that we take this to forum. You read and put forward your views