Okay while I understand it’s just comic book stories and there has to be a definitive good vs. evil story line, I have to admit I was a little disappointed by the HYDRA story line in the last episode of Agents of SHIELD. I think it would have been much more interesting and subversive if it was discovered that SHIELD had been slowly taken over by HYDRA operatives or people who supported the fascist goals that HYDRA stood for.
Seriously, in the real world, look at the CIA, who have done things that many of us would consider to be pure evil: hell, I’d say that most of our troubles in the Middle East and in Central America and even internally have been caused by the CIA. They use many of the same methods as the Soviet KGB or the Schutzstaffel of the Nazis, what do you think would happen if they came right out and started calling themselves that? Better to keep the original name and pretend what you’re doing is for the good of the nation.
I was making a point of this elsewhere, talking about the old Brotherhood of Evil Mutants: why would anyone intentionally join something that openly proclaimed itself to be evil? Magneto certainly thinks (and he makes a good point) his cause is a good one, protecting his people from persecution. The people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center didn’t think of themselves as evil, they had a holy cause. I’m sure the SS and the KGB never saw themselves that way, even if they were just enjoying being brutal for the sake of being brutal, they thought what they were doing was perfectly reasonable. The slave-owners of the Confederacy didn’t think they were evil, they believed (and many still do) that they had the favor of God.
So anyway now it appears that we will have a kind of Civil War between SHIELD and HYDRA. But the HYDRA operatives inside SHIELD severely hurt their cause by coming out into the open like that, what purpose did they think they were serving? We know SHIELD is eventually going to win out, because it’s still a comic book story even if it is a Joss Whedon thing, but I have to say I think it could have been handled better.