Remember when QR Codes were a thing? S.H.I.E.L.D. does!
There was no Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to recap, so this is what we’re doing instead!
For those who aren’t in the know, QR Codes were a relatively short-lived fad that involved scanning a barcode-like pattern with a smartphone, which would display messages, direct you to a URL, add a contact, or several other options. (Come on, scan the one above, it’ll be fun!)
S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to use QR Codes frequently, presumably under the assumption that no one has QR Code readers on their phone anymore. However, I do! (I downloaded it for this article!) So let’s take a look at some of the times S.H.I.E.L.D. has implemented scannable media in the show.
Promotional Badges – Pre-S01E01
Okay, okay. Technically these are not QR Codes, but appear to be a variant of a similar code called “Aztec Codes”. As “Skye” was not an agent initially, five of the original main six cast members had their badges released before the show as promotional material. The messages on the codes aren’t terribly exciting, and appear to have been possibly re-purposed as product codes. They were difficult to scan, but ultimately read:
COULSON Phil – PRODUCT: 172300000735
SIMMONS Jemma – PRODUCT: 067200001237
WARD Grant – PRODUCT: 08
FITZ Leo – [Unreadable]
MAY Melinda – [Unreadable]
Agent Felix Blake and Agent Skye’s badges of the same style show up later in the show, but are also unreadable.
Fake Undercover IDs – S03E06
In the season three episode “Among Us Hide…”, Agents Melinda “The Cavalry” May and Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse go undercover as Shu Wong and her translator Katelin Frayer respectively. Agent Leo Fitz makes fake ID badges for the duo. If you scan the IDs, they say the following:
KATELIN FRAYER – MESSAGE: Katelin Frayer. All access global package. No Restrictions.
SHU WONG – MESSAGE: Shu Wong. All access global package. No Restrictions.
It makes you wonder why, if they went through the effort of assigning them messages, they didn’t do something more fun for the fans who bothered to scan them.
Spectrum of Security Badges – S04E01
In season four, under the tutelage of new director Jeffrey Mace, the agents are assigned color-based level badges instead of number-based level badges. When scanned, a QR Code flashes on the screen. We see May’s red badge flash on the screen. Unfortunately, due to the color, these are very difficult to scan. After a little photo editing, you can scan it and receive the following interesting message:
– MESSAGE: nothing nothing nothing
Secret Warriors Folder – S02E22
At the end of the finale of season two, then-Director Coulson decides to put together a team, codename “Caterpillars”, that will eventually become the Secret Warriors. The folder he has in his hands teases this – however, the QR Code is simply too small to scan. Rumor has it it takes you to the Secret Warriors Marvel Wiki page. I cannot confirm nor deny.