Following last week’s capture of the main Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. by Hydra, Daisy and Lincoln are left with no other choice than to assemble their team in full force for the first time: the Secret Warriors. It’s up to Yo-Yo, Joey, Lincoln, and Skye to save their comrades from the clutches of Hydra, which just so happens to be all squared away in the first five minutes! It’s kind of odd that you would have all this build up to the team finally coming together only for all of them to basically bust their way into Hydra HQ, save their fellow Agents, whip back to the Quinjet, and capture Malick all in the first fifth of the episode, but here we are. To be honest, I think that this first scene is sort of telling in a problem that this episode had — everything was framed very oddly and scenes didn’t flow as well as they could have. It certainly helps, though, that a lot of the scenes are decent in their own right.
Anyway, the rescue scene does at least give us a nice display of all the Secret Warriors’ powers, with Joey and Yo-Yo working in unison to take down Hydra thugs, while Daisy and Lincoln shake things up. Along the way, the team encounters an Inhuman with the ability to freeze people with a glance, who I believe is the Marvel villain Gorgon, but don’t quote me on that. In the scuffle, Gorgon freezes Lincoln in place and Joey accidentally stabs him in the chest, killing him instantly. The other human Agents meanwhile are battling off the forces of Hydra inside the Quinjet, throwing gas and bullets at their attackers. Eventually, the two teams link up with a captured Malick and skeedaddle out of there, as Hive watches, telling Giyera that they need not worry as one of the Secret Warriors has been compromised and taken over by Hive!
As the two teams gather their bearings, we get a nice scene of Mack and Yo-Yo getting reacquainted, Yo-Yo learning English to better communicate with him, and Mack learned Spanish. They make for a really cute couple. An un-cute couple though is Malick and Coulson, the pair sharing words with one another in a S.H.I.E.L.D. interrogation room. This was honestly my favorite scene of the night as both Powers Boothe and Clark Gregg chew up the scenery and play amazingly off one another. While Malick tells Coulson that Hive took his daughter from him, Phil attempts to pull Gideon to the side of S.H.I.E.L.D. as revenge against the Inhuman monster, even describing how he took revenge against Ward. It’s two masters of their craft acting here and I actually wouldn’t have minded if we saw more of it. As a crescendo, Malick tells Coulson that Hive has most assuredly gotten to one, if not all, of the Inhumans on their side.
It’s then lockdown time as Coulson and the rest of the human S.H.I.E.L.D. agents descend upon the Inhumans and attempt to put them into quarantine to make sure that none of them are infected by Hive. We know this is a fairly bad deal, as Fitz and Simmons complete an autopsy on Gorgon, confirming that Hive latches itself in an Inhuman’s brain after entering their body. It’s a pretty grotesque scene actually. The Inhumans, however, don’t really take this lying down, so the Secret Warriors run away and barricade themselves away from the other agents, trying to decipher who in fact may be the traitor. To be fair, it’s pretty obvious that they’re going for a John Carpenter’s The Thing vibe with no one being able to trust each other, but it doesn’t quite go off as well as you would hope here. The Secret Warriors just stand around bickering with one another, seemingly going through every option as to why each team member could have been taken over by Hive at any given time.
In The Thing, it works because it’s not too dialogue heavy, the atmosphere is almost a character unto itself, and there’s an ever present sense of dread. This episode doesn’t really have time to establish all of these factors, and spends far too long having everyone bicker with one another. This is especially discouraging because the Secret Warrior just assembled in this very episode and are immediately at one another’s throats. It doesn’t come across as very organic but I’m willing to give it a few points for when it’s eventually revealed who the traitor actually is. The episode does a good job of trying to make you believe that the traitor was either Yo-Yo, Joey, or Lincoln, so when the curveball is thrown in that Daisy is in fact compromised, it’s a great twist. Aside from selling out her team to Hive, Daisy murders Malick in the same way he had foreseen his demise in a previous episode.
When Lincoln discovers the truth about Quake, she quickly knocks him out and begins walking calmly out of the base. As she exits, she uses her earthquake powers to begin collapsing the headquarters on top of itself, burying her teammates below under tons of cement and bedrock. It’s a fantastic finale to the episode and legitimately has me excited to see who survives the cave-in, not to mention how they manage to get out of there at all!
Ultimately, this episode was fairly solid, but still had a number of issues that stopped it from reaching the levels of some of the excellent installments of the season. Still, the ending promises great twists to come and I’m excited to see where it all leads in the remainder of Season 3.
Rating: ★★★ Good
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
-I guess I wasn’t expecting the Secret Warriors to have full fledged costumes. After all, they all pretty much wore the black S.H.I.E.L.D. get ups in the comics, but it just looked bland with all of them together in what could have been a bigger moment. Minor nitpick.
-Watch them kill Fitz or Simmons after they’ve finally gotten together.
-Yes, we all knew Malick was going to die, but I honestly could have stood to see him stick around the show for longer. When you have Powers Boothe on your set, might as well get all you can from the guy.
-It certainly seems from the autopsy that Daisy is permanently under the control of Hive. This would certainly make for some great television moving forward in that now the team has to take out not one, but two former team members in the form of Ward and Daisy.
-Daisy: “Kidnapping Inhumans, global terrorism, all around bad dudes”
-Coulson: “I’m not really the equestrian type.”
-Malick: “It is a god, just not ours.”
-Malick: “I thought I could resurrect a god, but instead I freed the devil.”
-Coulson: “That’s the sin that gave your devil new life.”