Can we talk about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a sec?

I was so ridiculously excited when it was announced that the Avengers were getting a television spinoff, and that Joss Whedon was involved. Multiple nerdgasms right there. I watched the first few episodes, wavering between optimism and disappointment. The quips were there, and some of the plot lines were pretty engaging, but it didn't really gel for me. Skye was annoying, Ward was boring, Fitz and Simmons were cute but very one note, and the charms of Coulson and May weren't enough to keep me interested. Around episode seven or eight, my interest had completely fizzled, and I just stopped watching.
I'd heard that the event of Captain America: The Winter Soldier had shaken things up a bit, and brought some clarity and focus to a struggling show. I already had plenty on my plate in terms of entertainment viewing, though, and for the past couple of weeks I haven't had any internet in my new apartment, so I never really caught up.
We've got some rabbit ears hooked up to our TV, and last night I happened to catch the season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and while there was some stuff that I probably would have benefited from some background on (who was that dude hanging out with Coulson? Apparently he brings both the noise and the funk. And was Garrett the guy who got dropped into the gravitonium?), but overall, it felt like a vast improvement over the early episodes. Coulson and May were total badasses, Ward's actually pretty sexy now that he's evil, Skye had something to say other than "mumble mumble HACKING," and the scenes with Fitz and Simmons actually made me feel something, despite not being at all invested in them.
And ***spoilers!!*** the scene where the bad guy gets killed and tried to triumphantly come back and then gets promptly blown to smithereens was a total win and was basically just like that one season opener from Buffy with Dracula. 
I read the review for the episode on the AVClub, and they had some quibbles that I didn't really pick up on. I didn't really get what was up with Coulson at the end (although that's some nifty freaking wallpaper, where I buy?). His resurrection was apparently the central mystery of season one, and they had expected some answers, but I didn't really find it necessary. As setup for season two, it worked for me. The reviewer was also not impressed with the dialog, but to me it read as classic Whedon quippiness, which I dug. 
Overall, I'm coming out of this season as a fan, and I'm happy that my faith in The Avengers and in Joss Whedon has been reaffirmed. I do have some catching up to do after I get my internet back on Sunday, so we'll see how I feel after that, but generally I'm  just very excited for the next season.
On a side note, I guess they're doing another series called Agent Carter, about Peggy Carter (Captain America's love interest in the first movie), to which I can only say hell yes. I loved her as a character, and it's also really nice to see a show with a woman at the center. And it's a period piece, so, you know, I'll totally be thinking about how to do my hair like that and how cool the clothes are and man I really need to wear more lipstick. We'll see how it goes.