This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Among Us Hide,” brings us back into the fold with a look into the lives of our agents once again, with an installment that is fast and furious. Revealing that Dr. Garner survived within the first two minutes, Coulson finds no other choice except to take Hunter off of the Hydra/Ward case, with May proclaiming that she’s back, “John Wick-style.” Understandably, May finds herself a little ticked off at Hunter for choosing to attempt to kill Ward rather than save her ex-husband’s life. Hunter as the sloppy loose cannon of the team works for his character, and it’s a smart move in terms of his background. Here we have a mercenary who may have been out in the field for a bit too long, making the hard choices that Coulson’s new “friendlier” S.H.I.E.L.D. may not always agree with. In a show that has nearly a dozen characters to juggle, it’s nice for him to have found his place rather than being another character who simply falls in line.
Swinging back around to May, having Ming-Na Wen return to the fold is also nice, as she wastes little time in getting down to the business of finding Ward. After testing Bobbi in a quick spar, she takes Mockingbird along with her on the mission, while leaving poor Hunter at HQ. The rest of the team continues to question their shaky bond with the ATCU, believing that one of Rosalind’s own is in fact the Inhuman killer, Lash. We learn later on — which we will review in glorious detail — that this is not in fact the case, but the relationship between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU is a good one. If Coulson’s new organization wants to be better than Fury’s, it needs to be more open and less secretive. Lord knows that secrets have nearly torn the team apart dozens of times at this point, so being able to open up, albeit slightly, is a great direction for the team rather than considering every outside force an enemy as they had in previous seasons.
There is a LOT going on in this episode, and luckily, this season has learned a lot from its previous seasons’ failing and finds something constructive for each squad of the crew to do. Daisy, Mac, and Hunter work well as a unit, balancing each other out. I particularly liked Mac’s level-headedness in asking for Daisy to calm down when she immediately jumped to the worst case scenario while watching live footage of what the ATCU was doing to the Inhumans, and even Hunter’s devil-may-care attitude turned out to work for the agents in the end, discovering that Banks was in fact not Lash. Bobbi and May travelling to try to find the location of Von Strucker’s son was a fun little romp, with Fitz feeding them information about the threats in front of them using Facebook stalking to his advantage. Some funny moments to be had for sure.
Speaking of Fitz, poor Fitz. As we all remember from last week, he was put into an awful scenario, finally drumming up the courage to reveal his feelings for Simmons, only to have his advances shot down thanks to Simmons’ wild space adventure with Spaceman Will. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this approach as I think it’s one of the weaker aspects of this season. Fitz and Simmons had so many hurdles in front of them that I think we, as an audience, are just ready for them to finally settle down and not have the constant relationship problems that have been prevalent throughout their history. Adding more roadblocks, and even going so far as having Fitz “buy a ticket for his girlfriend’s ex from Phoenix” as Hunter put it, just rubs me the wrong way. At least have them both move on at this point to other people.
On the subject of couples, the “Rosson” or “Coulalind” relationship continues to be one of the strongest parts of the season. Rosalind makes for a really neat addition to the show, offering a new viewpoint on the Inhuman emergence while not being a flat out villain in the shadows. The banter between Coulson and Rosalind is strong in this episode, and their “date” really worked well for both their characters, including the situation they find themselves in with having to be very careful around one another despite their feelings. Constance Zimmer and Clark Gregg work so well together that you could tell me they were a real life couple, and I’d believe you. Hopefully, the duo remain a pair moving forward because there’s a strong bond.
Let’s talk about the bomb drop of the episode though, with the reveal that Dr. Garner is in fact the antagonist, Lash. I really appreciate the choice to make Garner Lash, as the clues were all there leading up to the reveal. And considering Blair Underwood’s always been a fantastic supporting character to the show, placing him into the role of villain should work wonders. Also, the transformation from Garner to Lash was something to behold as I was reminded Ruffalo’s transformation into the Hulk from the first Avengers film. Nice to see that the CGI is improving with time as well.
While I wasn’t a huge fan of last week’s outer space adventure, this episode was a freight train of action and plot development. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s third season is so far the strongest of its run and I hope the momentum continues.
Rating: ★★★★ Very good
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
– Powers Boothe appearing as an old friend of Strucker not only has implications for the team moving forward, but it’s a fantastic use of synergy with the movies. This gives us more insight into why his character was so adamant about controlling the Avengers in their first outing during his conversations with Fury. Considering the events of Winter Soldier, it all clicks together.
– Poor Strucker. It’s too bad as I thought he could be a welcome addition, and potentially even maybe become the Swordsman as he had in the comics.
– Speaking of the comics, I don’t know a ton about Lash, but did he have a human form?
– May: “Yeah, I’m back.”
– Bobbi: “You’re not going to say the thing?”
– Hunter: “If your girlfriend’s ex is wants to come visit from Phoenix, you do not buy him a ticket.”
Fitz: “That’s strangely specific.”
– May: “We’re screwed.”
– Coulson: “I didn’t actually know there were this many biographies of Margaret Thatcher.”
– Daisy: “Anything?”
Mac: “Guy shops at Costco.”
-Daisy: “He didn’t think it was ready yet, but that’s stupid because it’s awesome.”
– Coulson: “I didn’t expect…”
Rosalind: “That I’m human?”