Not surprisingly, given the Level 10 top-secrecy surrounding all things Marvel-ous, exec producer Jed Wheon at first hedged, “We can’t say much,” when TVLine asked if the TV series is tasked with getting S.H.I.E.L.D. from “Point B to Point C” during its sophomore run. He then allowed — echoing the Season 1B theme — “Everything is connected, sometimes more so than other times. Obviously Coulson was born out of the films, and we can only hope to have that sort of impact in the other direction.

“But right now,” he added, “we’re just trying to make everybody as cool and interesting as we can.”

During a previous conversation with TVLine, Whedon’s fellow EP (and wife) Maurissa Tancharoen offered on the exact same topic, in measured words, “All of us are aware of the moving parts at all times. With that said, there are many opportunities for planting things that… end up in other things.”

Whedon himself then revealed this much: “Let’s put it this way: In the second season, there’s definitely a milestone that everybody needs to hit.”

Oh, look: the second season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD looks set to have the same problems as the first one. Great! (Also, how weirdly needy does “we can only hope to have that sort of impact in the other direction” sound?)

I’ve complained many times before about how bad the first season of that show was–and quite why I stuck with it for the whole thing, I can’t even vaguely explain beyond “masochism”–but what really sticks with me about the whole thing is how clearly it demonstrates the series’ lack of ambition and imagination.

Let’s take the idea that everyone involved with the show started things off knowing that SHIELD was going to effectively cease to exist at the end of the season because of events in the Captain America movie as read. Given that restriction, would you (a) create 15-odd episodes of filler and set-up for storylines that won’t get any payoff that season or (b) think to yourself, “Wait: we have SHIELD-as-is all to ourselves for pretty much a year? We can establish all kinds of weird shit and the movies won’t have to worry about it at all because there’s an in-built get-out clause right there!”

There was the potential for Agents of SHIELD to be the procedural that appeared to be spilling all kinds of organizational secrets about the Marvel Universe’s central intelligence agency, making it more of a destination for movie fans without any true risk to the movie continuity because the organization in question was primed to self-destruct. There was even the potential to, you know, actually create foreboding about the moral integrity of SHIELD along the way–which, to be fair, the show tried to do, except the morally dubious characters were the leads, who the show kept trying to convince us were the good guys all the way through the thing–in order to create something interesting about the show and anything to make the “Oh, yeah, we’re filled with sleeper agents from our evil alternate organization” plot not come out of nowhere. And yet–nope.

That’s the thing about Agents of SHIELD ultimately: It really did have a lot of potential. It’s just that almost every single creative choice the show made was made in service of ensuring that that potential would be squandered.