When Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. first premiered, fans had very high expectations. We were told from the beginning that it wouldn’t be a superhero show, and yet, that’s exactly what fans were expected. Yes, the pilot hinted at them going that route with Mike Peterson (played by J. August Richards), but after that, the show seemed to take on more of a case of the week format. Which I didn’t mind, but I could understand why a lot of the fan-base did.

The numbers when the show premiered were huge, but week by week, they continued to drop. They’ve been steady since then, for the most part, but the show has never been able to pull back in that audience. Which is a shame, really, because after about six episodes in the first season, the show seemed to be slowly finding its footing. Was it perfect? Absolutely not. Was the payoff in the end worth it? Absolutely yes.

Here’s the thing I think most people overlook about season one: Other than Coulson, every main character was written specifically for the show. They had to make us care about these characters, they had to let us get to know these characters, or else “Turn, Turn, Turn” would have never left as much of an impact as it did.

So yes, while the show wasn’t perfect during season one, I’d say they did a great job of introducing these characters into the MCU (characters that are now officially a part of the comics). And while it may have taken a while to get to that point, the pay off was more than worth it, because what they are doing now in season two? I feel as though I can safely say Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has not only become the show fans were hoping for from day one, but it has become the best comic book series currently on television.

Now, before you decide to call me crazy, hear me out for a moment:

1. The show has been the origin story of a super heroine all along

One of the best revelations to come out of season two is that, since the first episode, the show has pretty much been an origin of a superhero. Sure, a lot of fans complained about the actress playing Skye early on, and back then, I understood those complains. But both Skye and Chloe Bennet have grown since the pilot episode. This is no longer the annoying hacker tagging along with the team. She is a vital part of this series. Her story is the one we’ve been asking for from the beginning, and while it was a slow burn to get to where we’re at now, the way it was written and executed was pretty damn great.

2. The show is no longer crippled by the movies

The Thor: The Dark World episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was bad. I say this as someone that actually loves AoS. It was really, really bad. And while I didn’t hate the Lady Sif episode, it could have been written a lot better. Those episodes felt like a bone throw to the fans just to remind them that the show was a part of the MCU. But then Captain America: The Winter Soldier happened, and S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, and then the show seemed to really find a way to exist within the MCU while not feeling forced, if that makes any sense. (You have to give it to the showrunners, they knew what direction Captain America: The Winter Soldier would take the MCU and what it would do to S.H.I.E.L.D. and they had to find a way to work around leading up to “Turn, Turn, Turn” and I think they did a dang good job.)

3. The Inhumans

This also goes with the second point. The show introduced Inhumans into the MCU. That’s a pretty big deal considering the movie won’t be out until 2019. (I love you, Spidey, but now I have to wait even longer for Medusa and Lockjaw and this makes me sad.) While there’s only so much they can do on ABC with the budget they have, I feel as though they’ve done a great job with how they are showcasing the Inhumans and their powers. They look really good, honestly. And while I don’t see the show introducing the Black Bolt and the Royal family on this show, we know that they do plan to bring in a decent amount of humans thorughout the second half of season two.

4. Diversity

Here’s the deal, I love Marvel and the MCU, but they really do need to focus on adding more diversity. I get that. And while we’re nowhere near where we should be, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been pretty good about that.

5. The characters

Like I said, season one was all about making us care about these characters. Season two seems to be about turning everything on its head and character growth. Every single character on this show has shown significant growth this season, especially Fitz & Simmons. If you hated FitzSimmons (which…. seriously people?) you’ll enjoy this season, because it is all about testing these characters. They are all in different stages than they were in season one. The writing has been great in season two, but the cast has really sold the story-lines. (Iain De Caestecker will rip your heart out this season.)

6. Bobbi Morse

Do I really need an explanation here? Adrianne Palicki has proven to be a great addition to the cast this year, and I’m beyond thrilled that she has become a series regular. I’m hoping we’ll see her make her way to the films, but for now, I’m enjoying having Bobbi exist within the MCU on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Honestly, if you’re not watching AoS this season, you’re not only missing out on some entertaining television, but you’re also missing out on exciting storytelling within the MCU. (Seriously, the Inhumans are a part of the MCU… four years before their movie comes out. That is reason alone to be watching!)

I will also be writing one of these for Agent Carter. Since that show’s first season is over, it’ll be more of a reason as to why you need to check it out through Amazon, iTunes, etc.