Well that was a good, albeit cluttered episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Said episode began with a look into the origin of Hive, presenting us with an interesting idea as to how the villainous Inhuman monster came to be. Rather than simply being an Inhuman from another world, Hive was originally an ancient nomad. Captured by two giant Kree warriors dubbed “Reapers,” the once human, now Inhuman, gives us quite a view of how the Kree operated when they originally came to Earth. It certainly is a tad unexpected to see that Hive was at one time a human being, but I believe that it works for the story and gives us a better idea of what he once was. It’s from this point that we learn that Hive’s motive is to attempt to turn all of humanity into Inhumans so that he may place everyone under his control.
Before delving further into the plot, I have to say that I thought that all the new elements that were thrown at us so late into the game were a tad distracting in this episode. Not to say that this necessarily makes the episode worse for it, but it definitely stuck out when all of a sudden we had giant blue men walking around as a mad scientist named Radcliffe attempted to use their blood to move along the process of turning humans into super humans. With the show being so close to the third season finale, it can sometimes take a little longer to take into account all the different parties at play. Perhaps if they had tailored the story a little differently to incorporate some of the elements presented earlier in this season, such as the Watchdogs or Malick in some form, this would have felt a little more thematically cohesive. But it’s a minor gripe.
We return to the Agents as they mull over now needing to see one of their former friends as a new enemy, with Daisy under Hive’s control. In a particularly cool scene, Coulson sits still as the world moves around him; waiting for any sign on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s monitoring system of an appearance from Daisy. It’s kind of creepy to be honest, and if they had the time, I think it would have been an interesting aspect to study. Is the new S.H.I.E.L.D. carrying out the same mistakes as the old organization? Anyway, Coulson manages to find Daisy and informs the rest of the team. Mack, who has fit well into the role of second in command to Coulson’s director, has a heated discussion with Phil about Daisy’s fate. Surprisingly, Coulson is now advocating Daisy’s death if necessary while Mack is vying for her to be saved. This seemed strange considering how fervently Phil was pulling for Daisy to survive by any means necessary when talking with May in the previous episode. I wish that we would have seen a bit more insight into why Coulson feels this way rather than have that take place behind the scenes.
The great angle that the show decided to take with Hive’s “victims” is that they still act like their former selves, albeit much happier, more positive, yet still clearly under his thrall. The Inhuman town made for some great scenes and I particularly liked Daisy and James connecting with each other over a game of pinball. James, a.k.a. Hellfire, also managed to have some really great one-liners this time around, hopefully proving that he’ll be a future addition to the time if he makes it out alive from this Hive business. Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Fitz and Simmons are working on a cure for Hive but need a live Inhuman in order to get the results they need. Lincoln, now on the verge of death, literally jumps at the chance and injects himself with it (of course).
As Hive and Radcliffe attempt, and fail, at turning humans into Inhumans, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents infiltrate the town, with May taking point. Her conversation with James as a know-nothing Hydra agent may be one of the highlights of the season for me, as she dances around James in order to have the location of Hive told to her, before smashing him over the head with a pool cue. From here, Hive reveals to Daisy that in order for their experiments to be successful, they’ll need actual Kree blood rather than just his own. Shooting out a beacon, Hive calls down the two Inhuman reapers to the town from their stasis orbiting the world, which was apparently what they were doing for thousands of years! The two enforcers swarm the town and begin killing anything that gets in their way, including the multiplying Inhuman, Alicia. Daisy manages to take out one of them in an amazing and brutal display of her powers, essentially “quaking” his bones to break apart. Hive begins fighting with the other as May and her team looks on.
In the best confrontation of the night, Mack stumbles upon Daisy and destroys one of the Reaper bodies before any experiments can be successfully completed. In a rage, Daisy begins pinning Mack down with her powers, severely injuring him in the process as she begs to just be left alone. Again, it’s a testament to the strength of the approach to Hive’s influence here that really gives some emotion to Daisy in this whole scenario. Playing into her past terrible bonds with her parents, and her life of loneliness, makes you really believe that maybe she does just want to stay under Hive’s sway. Hive, who manages to kill the Reaper he’s fighting and take a full on assault from May’s team, comes to Daisy’s aid and May pulls an injured Mack to safety. The situation is made even direr when it’s revealed that Lincoln’s heroic attempt at curing was ultimately useless and the vaccine did nothing.
While I think this was a good episode with some great moments, I think that there was plenty on the mediocre side to bring the latest installment down a tick or two. Still, I’m excited to see where the series goes as it hurdles toward its finale.
Rating: ★★★ Good
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
-I’m sorry but the Reapers looked AWFUL. I don’t know what it was specifically about them but they looked comical versus menacing. Maybe if they looked a tad closer to their “cousin” Ronan the Accuser from Guardians of the Galaxy, it would have played a little better.
-Poor Alicia. I wish she had been given more personality in the series, as she seemed like something of a blank slate outside of her power set.
-Hive’s regenerating moment where he takes a freaking rocket to the shoulder was great. Really goes to show how up shit’s creek the team currently is against this guy.
-May: “You really want to help? Stop trying.”
-Simmons: “You’re right; I only had to listen to the disgusting face of Grant Ward pretend to be my dead boyfriend.”
Fitz: “Yep, yours is worse.”
-Daisy: “My friends wanted to end wars, not cause them.”
Hive: “By building giant battleships that float into the sky?”
-Radcliffe: “Does that mean we can get started?”
-May: “If I need a gun, I’ll take one.”
-Daisy: “Keep your hate Dundee, because someone doesn’t play when it comes to pinball.”
-Radcliffe: “Besides, you’re very frightening.”
-Coulson: “I suggest running…very fast…away.”
-James: “101 percent awesome? You bet!”
-Mack: “Was wondering if there was a chance this guy doesn’t get his ass whooped.”
Coulson: “Not a chance.”
-Mack: “Maybe he’s looking to form some sort of creepy dude alliance?”