After the mid-season finale, last year, in what was a cliffhanger episode, during which Mike Peterson, the character played by J. August Richards in the very first episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., returned to provide “super-soldier” support for Agent Coulson, it looked like the character was a goner, given what happened at the end of that episode.

Those who’ve seen it, know exactly what I’m talking about.

Without totally spoiling it, Peterson is called upon by Coulson, and he gets to put on his superhuman strength act when needed, even donning the S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform; but something happens at the end that leaves audiences guessing as to whether he’s alive or dead.

I didn’t think he died, and fully expected that we would see him return when the second half of the season picked up in early 2014. After all, we didn’t see a body, did we? For a cliffhanger, it did its job.

And that’s exactly happened during last night’s mid-season premiere episode. Although it didn’t happen until the very end, so if you turned off your TV, or clicked to another channel after what you thought was the end of the episode, when Coulson is saved, etc, you missed about 30 seconds of footage, showing Mike Peterson, in a room, by himself, on a bed, with the lower part of his body covered up with a sheet. When he sits up and slides the sheet over, we see that his right leg is no more, severed at the knee, as he wonders where the hell he is. He stares into a mirror on a wall in the room to see that half of his face is terribly burned, and is obviously agitated by the entire discovery.

The preview of next week’s episode didn’t include him at all, so it’s anyone’s guess where his storyline is going to lead next. But, at least, he’s still alive, and will return surely.

Given that I abandoned the series after about the 3rd episode last year (as many others I know did, some even before), I will say that what I think could really boost interest in it is if there were more Mike Peterson-like characters. By that I mean that audiences want to see more superheroes with super personalities and super powers. At least I think that’s what many folks were hoping for in the series when it was first announced, especially since they kept talking about it in terms of The Avengers movie. I think there were a lot of people who wanted to see The Avengers in a TV series, not average Joes and Janes with martial arts skills and technical know-how, which don’t really help the series stand out. 

If you think about it, there aren’t any genuine superhero TV series on television right now.

Plus the fact that Mike Peterson is a black character, certainly encourages me to tune in when he’s on an episode, if only to see how he’s used, so that I can write about him here, given this blog’s interests.

But ratings have been strong, so obviously a lot of people are tuning in. 

It was also nice to see Ruth Negga return during last night’s episode as well. And it looks like we’ll also be seeing more of her give how last night’s mid-season premiere ended.