Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D. Dossiers, a weekly look back at some of the Easter eggs from ABC's new series Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. If you've read Arrow Annotations, our weekly look at CW's Arrow show, you'll have a basic idea of what this column is about. While this won't be a comprehensive collection of Easter eggs and references to the comics/movies (I'm going to skip some of the more obvious references), I will do my darndest to catch as many as I can.
Here we go!
Jonathan Frakes - This episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes, who's best known for playing Commander Riker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and its resulting movie spinoffs. Frakes has directed a number of television episodes, including multiple episodes of NCIS: Los Angeles, Leverage, Castle and Burn Notice, as well as several episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. He also directed an episode of Dollhouse, which we'll get to later.
Ancient aliens - The Marvel universe typically depicts the Asgardians as a race of long lived extra-dimensional beings, although the comics typically stop short of outright naming them aliens. In one alternate universe, the Asgardians are group of aliens with powers defined by how others perceive them. As people believe they are Asgardians, they act, look and have power sets similar to Asgardians.
Vishnu - VIshnu has periodically appeared in Marvel comics as the leader of a group of Indian dieties. Numerous other dieties from other pantheons have appeared in Marvel comics as well, including dieties from Greek, Egyptian and Japanese pantheons.
Eliot Randolph - The Asgardian now known as Eliot Randolph was played by Peter MacNicol. MacNicol is best known for his role as Janosz Poha in Ghostbusters II. MacNicol is also a voice actor, and voiced the Mad Hatter in Batman: Arkham City, Dr. Octopus in The Spectacular Spider-Man and Professor Ivo/Amazo in Young Justice.
Petra Larsen - Petra Larsen (the evil lady Norse worshipper) was played by Erin Way, who played Kat on Alphas.
Berzerkers - There's been a few different Berzerkers in the Marvel Universe, although most have no relation to Thor or Norse mythology. The best known Berzerker was a Morlock, a group of grotesque mutants that lived in New York's subway system. That Berzerker had electrokinetic powers, and was killed by Cyclops in battle. The miniseries X-Men and Alpha Flight also featured a group of Berzerkers, who were given superpowers by Loki in a weird scheme to change the world. There was also a Berzerker robot that tried to kill Frankenstein's monster.
The Interrogation Room - The Bus's interrogation room is lined with a vibranium alloy. Vibranium was used to create Captain America's shield and can negate vibrations
Portland - Coulson's suggestion that Randolph move to Portland is a callback to The Avengers. Coulson's cellist (ex?) girlfriend is from Portland, which he references when he mentions that Portland has a lovely philharmonic orchestra.
"Did I Fall Asleep?" - The closing dream sequence is a reference to Dollhouse, Joss Whedon's last television show. Dollhouse featured a group of mind-wiped "Actives" who were bestowed with a set of temporary skills while completing missions. Upon waking up, Actives would ask their handlers if they had fallen asleep, to which the handlers would respond "For a little while." Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen were also both heavily involved with the show.