Welcome back to my coverage of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Apologies for my absence over the past couple weeks, those last few essays of the semester are the worst! Thankfully my school year is over, and I can fully focus on all things Marvel. Be sure to catch up on my prior coverage here. For this week, I’m going to touch briefly on my thoughts for episodes 15 and 16, and then go a bit more in depth for how much those elements played into this week’s episode 17. Off we go.
With episode 15, we were introduced to a new Inhuman (pictured above) that has the ability to predict the future for anybody he comes into physical contact with. The visions this Inhuman provides aren’t very clear, they are more like disconnected images that will eventually add up to a bigger whole. Daisy ends up coming into contact with this guy and is able to get a glimpse of what looks to be Coulson shooting and killing her, but not before Daisy witnesses where Malick and Hive are going to be next. The team immediately sets out to catch the Hydra team off guard. To avoid the negative sides of Daisy’s visions, Coulson decides to ground her and have her not participate in the mission thinking that is the easiest way to remove her from the situation. This notion proves false as grounding Daisy is actually what leads her to participate in the action. And Coulson shooting at Daisy? That was just a reflection trick, he was actually shooting at an enemy about to get the drop on Daisy.
Overall, this episode was fairly tight. All of Daisy’s visions came true without too much collateral damage. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team finally saw the return of Grant Ward’s body, even though they aren’t fully understanding of who he actually is yet. It was also nice to see Hive taking a more direct approach than even Malick was expecting. Malick has always been a behind the shadows type of operator, and by having Hive force him to get his hands dirty with murder, it shows the growing discomfort Malick is starting to have with his decision to bring Hive back to Earth.
It was an intriguing cliffhanger to have Daisy come into contact with our new Inhuman friend once more to get a vision of another death that involves a quinjet in space. My bet is we will find out what that means in the finale of this season. I’m also expecting one of our original cast members to bite the dust. I think Coulson and Daisy are completely safe, so that leaves May, Fitz, and Simmons. Out of those three, I kind of hope it’s May, although the show would be missing out then on one of its more premier bad asses.
On the negative side of things, it felt very, very strange to shoehorn Lash into the plot of this episode. There was no emotional buildup for his return to give us any satisfaction during the May/Garner reunion and confrontation. I would have actually preferred if they kept Lash off the show until next season even. I used to love it when shows would have a character “leave” but then in a season or two completely surprise us with their return, without any forewarning or expectation. That alone created excitement. That kind of dynamic would have worked really well for this show because we would be able to see how a surprise run-in with Garner/Lash would affect May. Would she be able to use her instincts and work as an agent in response, or would her emotions get the better of her? Sadly, we won’t know now. The scenes with the two characters in this episode felt rushed and inconsequential to everything else going on.
Episode 16 saw the S.H.I.E.L.D. team dig heavily into the mystery of Grant Ward’s body still existing on earth. Both Fitz and Coulson know he’s dead. Coulson crushed his chest cavity in, and Fitz witnessed it. So that leads them to think it is the ancient alien that lived on the foreign planet. Malick’s worries grew much stronger in this episode as we see the vision he had witnessed when he touched our now deceased new Inhuman friend from episode 15. He witnessed his death, and as we hear him tell his daughter, it is Hive that kills him. Powers Boothe does an excellent job of portraying the increasing panic that Malick is feeling about the future and his imminent death. The surprise visit from Hive at his own house only increases his anxiety. The flashback scenes worked rather effectively as well to show where Malick’s faith began, as well as how events turned out as they did for him. The reveal that Malick lied to his brother about a pact in order to save himself hit home pretty hard because even though we see Malick as a coward now, we can’t help but feel sympathetic, especially after seeing what Hive is capable of.
The big news from this episode though was that when Hive inhabits a new host, and then later moves to a new one, he retains all of the memories and personalities of the hosts that came before. This culminated in a tear down Malick kind of day when Hive allows Malick’s brother to confront him about their broken pact, and then moments later to witness Hive sucking the life source from his daughter right in front of him. This was the biggest move of power Hive has made and I was tense beyond belief. I’ve praised the differences in Brett Dalton’s performances before, but this episode he took it to a whole new level. He is beyond evil as Hive and while I still miss the smugness of Grant Ward, I’m glad we have a more powerful villain on the show to combat our heroes on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
The B plot of this episode saw Mr. Giyera, now Hive’s number 2 guy, infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. after the team figured they had ‘captured’ him. Giyera, used his powers to get out of the Inhuman prison in order to meet up with a Hydra squad that was waiting for his signal. The Bus was quickly overrun, and Coulson and the troupe were trapped on board. Luckily, Daisy and Lincoln were off on another mission to retrieve an ancient Kree artifact that is rumoured to be able to give Hive greater powers. The tease at the end of the episode was that Daisy was going to have to call in The Secret Warriors!
While it was very exciting to see the Secret Warriors get together and kick some butt, I was left feeling disappointed looking at this group. Beyond the short time in which the team was kicking ass, outrageously short in my opinion, this team doesn’t excite much confidence in me right now. It seems silly to say, especially since I really enjoy how all of the powers these people have compliment each other extremely well. Perhaps I’ll feel a bit differently when we see some more of this group, because their scene lasted less than ten minutes. The season was building towards this team-up and for us to only get ten minutes of action is a cheat. Unless the show has planned an extended team-up for the episodes after Civil War has released, the build up to the formation of the Secret Warriors was wasted.
In saying that though, I LOVED Daisy being the mole for Hive. It makes complete sense, especially with the history that Ward has with Daisy. Hive knows all of that and in feeling with Grant Ward, he would want to toy and play with Daisy to get his revenge. To have Daisy be the one to kill Malick too was a unique surprise. For Hive to have someone as powerful as Daisy on his side, anything can happen.
I’m not sure how long Daisy as an ‘enemy’ will last, but it provides the show with a very exciting aspect going forward. This is especially true when considering how much damage Daisy caused with her powers and then remembering what Marvel movie is coming out in two weeks. The show is setting up for Civil War in a big way and I’m very curious to see if Daisy’s bad streak will play into creating a rift between our protagonists. If Hive’s influence of Daisy leads to the death of either innocents, or even a member of this team, will the others be able to forgive her when (if) she breaks free? Right now, I can’t say, but I’m glad the show is giving us this opportunity to debate such things.
Also, FITZ AND SIMMONS KISSED FOR REAL THIS TIME AND IT WAS SUPER CUTE AND ADORABLE! Simmons said it all when she mentioned how long they have already been waiting. Fitz wasn’t sure how to react and he was being himself and nerdy and then Simmons just interrupts him with more kisses. I loved this scene. I am so glad the show has decided to stop waiting on this front. This relationship works so well because it took so long to get going, I know, but I’m glad we finally made it. It just feels right.
15 – Spacetime: 7/10
16 – Paradise Lost: 9/10
17 – The Team: 7.5/10