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Note: This post contains spoilers for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
Things are really heating up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as it barrels toward its season finale and pulls the show’s premise from the wreckage left by the final moments of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The connective tissue between the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s big and small screen exploits is stronger than ever before, and it’s about to get even stronger.
Fresh off of a nine-year stint on the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, actress Cobie Smulders will return to television on April 29 as Maria Hill on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Fans last saw the character in the closing coda of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, where she reluctantly took a job in Stark Industries’ human resources department following S.H.I.E.L.D.’s dismantling. The show’s producers have already teased that Hill will have a “large role” in the episode, meaning that there should be plenty of opportunities for Smulders’ to bring some of these essential Hill traits to life.
Maria Hill needs to fight.
In her three on-screen appearances, Hill’s done little more than yell at computer monitors and shoot a gun. Granted, her car chase in Marvel’s The Avengers was incredibly bad-ass, and Smulders does sell every order she barks – we just want to see Hill put her training to work in a full-on choreographed fight scene. She’s definitely got similar chops to Melinda May and Black Widow, and we want to see them.
Maria Hill needs to run the show.
No disrespect to Agent Coulson, but Maria Hill really gets things done. In the comics, Hill was introduced immediately as Nick Fury’s successor as director of S.H.I.E.L.D., a position she’s held for the majority of the last decade. Regardless of whatever state the spy organization is in now, we gotta see Maria Hill taking charge of whatever situation comes her way, independent of Nick Fury’s influence.
Maria Hill needs to be inspiring.
Not only is Cobie Smulders a commanding presence in her own right, but the character she plays is from the movies, everybody. Compared to the TV show’s cast, she’s definitely an A-List character, and we hope she gets treated like one. Remember that awestruck rundown Coulson gave of Sif when she boarded the Bus? That needs to happen for Hill – an agent who was there for the battle of New York and the battle at the Triskelion, in addition to countless other missions that took place prior to the Avengers’ arrival.
Maria Hill needs to butt heads.
Victoria Hand wasn’t the first S.H.I.E.L.D. officer to ruffle a few feathers in the comics; no, that’s Maria Hill’s game from way back. As the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. through such catastrophes as Civil War and Secret Invasion, Hill often found herself making tough calls that put her firmly against super heroes – and she never backed down. This is a tricky trait to pull off, as anyone going up against Coulson’s orders could be seen as a bad guy, like Victoria Hand. And, honestly, we’re not even sure Coulson’s charisma can stand up against Smulders’ steel-eyed gaze. The show needs to figure out a way to show that Hill’s smart enough, brave enough and confident enough to sacrifice her relationships for the greater good without having her go the way of Hand.
Maria Hill needs a haircut.
Okay, this one’s infinitely less important, and also not likely considering the promo photo released by ABC – but come on. Hill’s short hairstyle is her defining feature in the comics, and it wouldn’t be so hard for Smulders to rock a pixie cut by the end of the episode. After all, it’s infinitely more practical in battle situations – the kind of situations we really want to see her in. But haircut or no, we’re just excited to see Maria Hill command attention on the small screen – something that we also hope to get a lot more of in the future.