Marvel Studios has been plenty successful launching their cinematic universe and in doing so have made big changes to how the traditional franchise is being made. Through their thirteen films, they have made the longest running franchise ever and as if that is not enough for Marvel fans, they have also created television shows set within the same universe. Properties such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the upcoming Luke Cage have been developed for Netflix and the binging culture has devoured them so far. While these have been met with praise from critics and viewers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been treated like the evil step child of the movies.

The series has been going on for three seasons, each one better than the last, but as the show has improved, viewership has declined. With it making the move to 10 p.m. next season, the viewership could (and likely will) drop once again. That said, current fans of the show are sure to make the travel to an hour later but if it the show is going to continue on for a fifth season or more, it is going to need new viewers. Granted, the show debuted to solid numbers but those viewers have decreased by 50% and if you are somebody who gave up on the series early on, we are here to try and help you out. With 66 episodes under their belt, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would take a while for somebody to catch up completely. However, all three seasons are now on Netflix and we have picked the best and most necessary episodes that you should watch to get caught up with the series. Below you will find the title, season, and episode of each as well as a picture and short description of the plot and why you should watch it.

“Pilot”, Season 1, Episode 1

The pilot episode for the series may not be the strongest hour of television, but if you are going to watch the series or simply binge it, this is the best way to get a grasp on who the main characters are. With the exception of Mike Peterson and Maria Hill, the rest of the cast will be with you the rest of the way, so get used to them.

The pilot episode for the series may not be the strongest hour of television, but if you are going to watch the series or simply binge it, this is the best way to get a grasp on who the main characters are. With the exception of Mike Peterson and Maria Hill, the rest of the cast will be with you the rest of the way, so get used to them.

“Eye Spy”, Season 1, Episode 4

While the majority of this episode deals with Coulson trying to rescue a former protege that has a mechanical eye, this episode provides us with the first look at this formula that will play a big factor in the series moving forward.

While the majority of this episode deals with Coulson trying to rescue a former protege that has a mechanical eye, this episode provides us with the first look at this formula that will play a big factor in the series moving forward. If you don’t care for that, then this is an episode you can probably skip.

“The Magical Place”, Season 1, Episode 11

For regular viewers of the show, the biggest question on their minds was how Coulson was brought back from the dead and this is where we finally learn how. It is fun to see the team operate without Coulson as their leader.

For regular viewers of the show, the biggest question on their minds was how Coulson was brought back from the dead and this is where we finally learn how. It is fun to see the team operate without Coulson as their leader. There may be some confusion with Raina and the rest of the people she works with, but simply put, they are working to find out how Coulson is alive, just like the rest of you.

“T.R.A.C.K.S.”, Season 1, Episode 13

For people watching every episode of the season, this is where the plot starts picking up. Deathlok debuts and Skye becomes a victim of the Clairvoyant.

For people watching every episode of the season, this is where the plot starts picking up. Deathlok debuts and Skye becomes a victim of the Clairvoyant. For those following the guide, in the previous episodes Mike Peterson was redeemed, attacked, and then transformed.

“T.A.H.I.T.I.”, Season 1, Episode 14

Coulson makes his return to where he was resurrected and uncovers the alien secret behind it. We also get to meet Agent Triplett and John Garrett in this episode, who both have impactful stories moving forward.

Coulson makes his return to where he was resurrected and uncovers the alien secret behind it. We also get to meet Agent Triplett and John Garrett in this episode, who both have impactful stories moving forward.

“The End of the Beginning”, Season 1, Episode 16

The hunt for the Clairvoyant heats up and brings all of S.H.I.E.L.D. together to get him. Tracking him/her down proves to be difficult when S.H.I.E.L.D. suspects there is a mole in their midst.

The hunt for the Clairvoyant heats up and brings all of S.H.I.E.L.D. together to get him. Tracking him/her down proves to be difficult when S.H.I.E.L.D. suspects there is a mole in their midst.

“Turn, Turn, Turn”, Season 1, Episode 17

This is the clear turn (no pun intended) for the series with the tie in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier destroying the foundation of the show. As if that was not enough, the mole is uncovered that will put the rest of the team in danger for the rest of the season.

This is the clear turn (no pun intended) for the series with the tie in to Captain America: The Winter Soldier destroying the foundation of the show. As if that was not enough, the mole is uncovered that will put the rest of the team in danger for the rest of the season.

Beginning of the End”, Season 1, Episode 22

Season 1 comes to an end with Nick Fury making his biggest appearance on the show. While you will have missed a few things following this order, S.H.I.E.L.D. is making its final attempt to stop Hydra.

Season 1 comes to an end with Nick Fury making his biggest appearance on the show. While you will have missed a few things following this order, S.H.I.E.L.D. is making its final attempt to stop Hydra. Remember the alien markings from episode 4? Those start to become a factor here as well.

“The Shadows”, Season 2, Episode 1

Season 2 kicks off with S.H.I.E.L.D. underground and operating without the government's knowledge. There are new recruits and the first appearance of the Absorbing Man. All that and more kick season 2 off the right way.

Season 2 kicks off with S.H.I.E.L.D. underground and operating without the government’s knowledge. There are new recruits and the first appearance of the Absorbing Man. All that and more kick season 2 off the right way.

“A Hen in the Wolfhouse”, Season 2, Episode 5

Mockingbird arrives in a non-traditional manner, but it starts a great run for the character. We learn more about Skye's dad, what Hydra is up to, and get another clue as to what the alien markings may be.

Mockingbird arrives in a non-traditional manner, but it starts a great run for the character. We learn more about Skye’s dad, what Hydra is up to, and get another clue as to what the alien markings may be.

“The Writing on the Wall”, Season 2, Episode 7

It only took them a full season to answer the question of these markings first seen in episode four, but nevertheless, we have our answer. These markings will have a profound pay off in the upcoming episodes so this is a must watch to see how they get there.

It only took them a full season to answer the question of these markings first seen in episode four, but nevertheless, we have our answer. These markings will have a profound pay off in the upcoming episodes so this is a must watch to see how they get there.

“What They Become”, Season 2, Episode 10

This episode is not only season 2 mid-season finale, but almost a series finale of sorts. From this point forward, the shows focus shifts to the future and bigger and better things.

This episode is not only season 2 mid-season finale, but almost a series finale of sorts. From this point forward, the shows focus shifts to the future and bigger and better things. The team goes through drastic changes during this episode, Skye meets her dad and learns her real name that should give comic fans a glimpse of what is to come.

“Love in the Time of Hydra”, Season 2, Episode 14

The growing conspiracy of the season has been unraveled, which brings in Edward James Olmos into the fold. His allegiance will put him and Coulson at odds with one another.

The growing conspiracy of the season has been unraveled, which brings in Edward James Olmos into the fold. His allegiance will put him and Coulson at odds with one another. What may be unclear is how things got to this point, but all you need to know is that not everyone within S.H.I.E.L.D. thinks Coulson is fit to lead them.

“One Door Closes”, Season 2, Episode 15

Its S.H.I.E.L.D. vs S.H.I.E.L.D. as Skye's newfound powers come into question. Sleeper agents are uncovered and the larger community Skye is now a part of starts to reveal itself.

Its S.H.I.E.L.D. vs S.H.I.E.L.D. as Skye’s newfound powers come into question. Sleeper agents are uncovered and the larger community Skye is now a part of starts to reveal itself. For those who are fans of larger MCU connections, there is a blatantly obvious one made towards the largest Avengers.

“Afterlife”, Season 2, Episode 16

Skye becomes fully aware of the Inhumans, which brings us to meeting Lincoln for the first time, as well as Skye's mom.  If that is not enough, Deathlok and Raina return and one of the agents threatens to leave S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye becomes fully aware of the Inhumans, which brings us to meeting Lincoln for the first time, as well as Skye’s mom. If that is not enough, Deathlok and Raina return and one of the agents threatens to leave S.H.I.E.L.D.

“Melinda”, Season 2, Episode 17

For this episode, it is largely set in the past but it is a great way to learn more about where May came from. Her transformation into the Calvary is worthy of a full episode and your viewing.

For this episode, it is largely set in the past but it is a great way to learn more about where May came from. Her transformation into the Calvary is worthy of a full episode and your viewing.

“S.O.S. Part 1”, Season 2, Episode 21

The first part of the season 2 finale features an attack on Afterlife, Skye (now known as Daisy) learning more about her mother, and Cal makes his transformation into Mr. Hyde. If there is a single moment that makes this episode worthy, the Ward and Agent 33 vs Bobbi fight is one of the best of the series.

The first part of the season 2 finale features an attack on Afterlife, Skye (now known as Daisy) learning more about her mother, and Cal makes his transformation into Mr. Hyde. If there is a single moment that makes this episode worthy, the Ward and Agent 33 vs Bobbi fight is one of the best of the series.

“S.O.S. Part 2”, Season 2, Episode 22

The second half of the season has been building towards S.H.I.E.L.D. taking on the Inhumans and this final part of season two gives us that showdown. With the Inhumans planning to spread the terrigen mists across the world, S.H.I.E.L.D. and a few friendly Inhumans will do whatever it takes to stop them.

The second half of the season has been building towards S.H.I.E.L.D. taking on the Inhumans and this final part of season two gives us that showdown. With the Inhumans planning to spread the terrigen mists across the world, S.H.I.E.L.D. and a few friendly Inhumans will do whatever it takes to stop them.

“Laws of Nature”, Season 3, Episode 1

Season 3 starts with S.H.I.E.L.D. recruiting Inhumans and gives us our introduction to Joey, the ATCU, and Lash. Daisy has embraced her powers and is ready to lead a team of her own, which will be a big story point for the foreseeable future.

Season 3 starts with S.H.I.E.L.D. recruiting Inhumans and gives us our introduction to Joey, the ATCU, and Lash. Daisy has embraced her powers and is ready to lead a team of her own, which will be a big story point for the foreseeable future.

“Purpose in the Machine”, Season 3, Episode 2

Fitz and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. go to extreme measures to rescue Simmons from Maveth. Meanwhile, Hunter is on a quest to get revenge on Ward.

Fitz and the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. go to extreme measures to rescue Simmons from Maveth. Daisy’s powers are put to the test and Henry Simmons gets some Chris Evans-esque bicep shots. As for more important things, Hunter is on a quest to get revenge on Ward that turns out to be quite fun but also dangerous.

“4,722 Hours”, Season 3, Episode 5

Even though by now you know that Simmons has been returned safe and sound to Earth, it is clear that there is something different about her. In this Simmons heavy episode we see her entire time on Maveth and get one of the best episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the process.

Even though by now you know that Simmons has been returned safe and sound to Earth, it is clear that there is something different about her. In this Simmons heavy episode we see her entire time on Maveth and get one of the best episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the process.

“Among Us Hide…”, Season 3, Episode 6

The mystery behind Lash becomes clear in this episode and feature the debut of Powers Boothe as GIdeon Malick. Both of these characters will be featured throughout the rest of the season and this is the real starting point for both.

The mystery behind Lash becomes clear in this episode and feature the debut of Powers Boothe as GIdeon Malick. Both of these characters will be featured throughout the rest of the season and this is the real starting point for both.

“Closure”, Season 3, Episode 9

Closure is an intense build up to the mid-season finale packed with jaw dropping moments. There are deaths to beloved characters and the Secret Warriors start to take shape as well.

Closure is an intense build up to the mid-season finale packed with jaw dropping moments. There are deaths to beloved characters and the Secret Warriors start to take shape as well.

“Maveth”, Season 3, Episode 10

As the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to bring a few agents back from Maveth, Coulson's personal agenda gets the better of him and changes the way he will operate moving forward. Just when you think you know what is happening, the show changes what the latter half of season 3 will be about.

As the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to bring a few agents back from Maveth, Coulson’s personal agenda gets the better of him and changes the way he will operate moving forward. Just when you think you know what is happening, the show changes what the latter half of season 3 will be about.

“Bouncing Back”, Season 3, Episode 11

The debut of Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez brings a breath of fresh air into the show. Be sure to pay attention to the very beginning as well, as that scene will continue to be shown throughout the remaining episodes.

The debut of Natalia Cordova-Buckley as Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez brings a breath of fresh air into the show. Be sure to pay attention to the very beginning as well, as that scene will continue to be shown throughout the remaining episodes.

“Parting Shot”, Season 3, Episode 13

Arguably the saddest episodes of the series happens now as we lose a few agents. The send off is heartfelt and completely earned.

Arguably the saddest episodes of the series happens now as we lose a few agents. The send off is heartfelt and completely earned. I will not say any more, but man this is a good ending and you better bring the tissues.

“The Team”, Season 3, Episode 17

Even though the show promised that the Secret Warriors would come, you have to wait until now for them to work together. There is a mole within S.H.I.E.L.D. and a death hinted at in previous episodes that are not on this list goes down.

Even though the show promised that the Secret Warriors would come, you have to wait until now for them to work together. There is a mole within S.H.I.E.L.D. and a death hinted at in previous episodes that are not on this list goes down.

“Emancipation”, Season 3, Episode 20

This is the Captain America: Civil War tie in episode, even though it does not have that big of an impact on the episode as a whole. Nevertheless, Talbot is back and wants answers and a long awaited showdown happens that leaves somebody down for the count.

This is the Captain America: Civil War tie in episode, even though it does not have that big of an impact on the episode as a whole. Nevertheless, Talbot is back and wants answers and a long awaited showdown happens that leaves somebody down for the count.

“Absolution”, Season 3, Episode 21

The first part of the season 3 finale is a lot of set up for what is to come so it is a necessity to watch to see how events build up. That said, there is some very fun science stuff that goes down and even more slight of hand swaying who you think will die in the season finale.

The first part of the season 3 finale is a lot of set up for what is to come so it is a necessity to watch to see how events build up. That said, there is some very fun science stuff that goes down and even more slight of hand swaying who you think will die in the season finale.

“Ascension”, Season 3, Episode 22

Hive's evil plan finally leads to a confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D. and his true form is unveiled. The episode is responsible for not only killing off at least one character, but also plenty of set up for what is to come next season.

Hive’s evil plan finally leads to a confrontation with S.H.I.E.L.D. and his true form is unveiled. The episode is responsible for not only killing off at least one character, but also plenty of set up for what is to come next season.

So there you have it, that is our list of the episodes most necessary to watch to know what is happening in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. That said, there are a few plots that may seem to come out of nowhere because of missed episodes, so if you want the full experience just watch it all. While I would love for you to follow this guide, do as you deem necessary, but for those jumping in for the first time or giving the show a second chance, at least follow the guide for season 1. The following seasons improve upon one another and to get the full effect of Lash, Mockingbird, Hunter, Mack, and other newcomers to the show, other episodes will be needed. Hope you guys like this list, but let us know if you think we missed any of your favorite or most important episodes in the comments below!