Actually she's had a lot of lengthy monologues in the past 2-3 episodes. I think the whole "rarely speaks" thing has fallen by the wayside. She was closed off to begin with, but being on the team has drawn her out more. I did see that special, and I don't agree. They "spoiled" the Winter Soldier's true identity -- something that the whole comics audience already knew -- but even after watching the special, I was still entirely surprised by the HYDRA reveal in the film, and by the revelations of who was working for HYDRA. If anything, they used the Winter Soldier-identity spoiler to distract us from the bigger spoilers, and it worked. No -- Spoiler: TWS Pierce was the only HYDRA member on the Council, and he wasn't there in The Avengers. It's not hard to understand why the Council was skeptical of the Avengers Initiative. I mean, look at the roster. A dissolute, borderline-unstable bad-boy billionaire. A fugitive doctor who occasionally turns into an unstoppable rage monster. A powerful alien who may or may not ever be able to return to Earth at all and whose true loyalties are unclear. A couple of spies who can fight well but have no powers and questionable ethics. And a WWII hero who was only defrosted months before. The idea of trusting the security of the world to a ragtag band of weirdos and loose cannons like that sounds completely insane on paper. It was an enormous gamble on Fury's part, and it's perfectly understandable why the Council would've preferred to rely on more conventional defenses like armies and missiles. And no, they did not launch that nuclear weapon with the goal of killing the Avengers. They did it with the goal of saving the rest of the planet by sacrificing one city. They didn't want to kill the people who were already there in New York, but they believed it was the only way to close the portal and save the world, and they were convinced that if they didn't do it, everyone in New York would've been doomed anyway, along with the rest of the human race. And they had every reason to hold that conviction. It may be dramatic and exciting to write a story where a desperately outmatched band of heroes pulls an insane hail-Mary play at the last second and saves everyone, but nobody who's actually responsible for the safety of the world would be willing to rely on such a strategy, not with seven billion people at stake.