This Agents of SHIELD review contains spoilers.
Agents of SHIELD: Season 3, Episode 6
A few weeks back I praised Agents of SHIELDfor the ballsy move of killing Melinda May’s beau, Dr. Andrew Garner in such a violent fashion. Being murdered in a Quickie Mart by the son of Baron Von Strucker while buying Hostess cupcakes? How unexpected! Turns out I jumped the gun a bit because there was more to Garner’s fate than met the eye. So, Garner ain’t dead — so much for the ballsy. But Garner being among the living did open some intriguing doors on this week’s Agents of SHIELD.
A lot went on this week. The episode was a return to espionage for the series as there were many stake outs, gadgets, and brawls. First off, we had Mack, Daisy, and Hunter trying to track down the truth about Lash. They thought that Banks, the bald dude that pals around with Rosalind Price, could be the Inhuman killer. So our heroes tracked Banks and Hunter beat the piss out of him. Hunter has become the final piece the show needed. He is that dashing agent to round out the squad but there is a heroic darkness to him. I’m so happy that this season isn’t simply focused on his relationship woes with Bobbi Morse. This season, the series has done a good job separating Morse and Hunter into independent characters with their own purpose and voice, something that will be so important if their spinoff series ever gets off the ground.
Anyway, I digress. While Hunter and company hunted Lash, May and Morse tried to track down Werner Von Strucker, the only survivor of the attack on Garner. Von Strucker was on the run and ran into none other than Gideon Malick. Malick was one of those shadowy string pullers from the first Avengers film. You know, he’s pretty much that one character that Powers Boothe plays. Turns out Malick is a high ranking HYDRA agent, perhaps the last high ranking HYDRA agent still standing, and seemed as big a threat to Ward as he was to S.H.I.E.L.D. Strucker didn’t survive meeting Malick (so much for that legacy) and it looked like Coulson’s crew had a new threat to contend with — one that goes right back to the first Avengers film.
Von Strucker Jr. may not have come through the episode intact but he did drop some knowledge on us — he revealed to May that Dr. Garner was in fact, wait for it, LASH! And it was true because we got to see Garner transform into the beast during the attack from a few weeks back. That was a pretty darn huge reveal, but the transformation FX sucked eggs, which was a shame because the Lash practical make up looked really darn good. But yeah, Garner was Lash and that’s a game changer.
And May knows it too. And while we are on the subject of May, let me just say that this week, she went undercover as a demure Chinese businesswoman and it was pretty hilarious. Ming Na Wen has the May scowl down so tight than whenever she fakes a smile the results seem incongruous and hilarious. In more May action we got to see the dream match of May versus Morse. May wanted to show Morse that she was ready for action after being taken down by Ward last season so May suckered Mockingbird into a fight. May got taken down but one has to wonder if May let that happen or if the woman who is an Avenger in the pages of Marvel Comics is just that damn tough. Whatever the case, thanks to May going down, Morse was back in action and she even took down Ward’s right hand skell — you know, that weird, craggy faced bald dude.
Coulson wasn’t idle this episode either as he got his spy on with Rosalind Price. It’s still hard to tell if Price is truly who she says she is, a woman who just wants to keep the world safe from emerging Inhumans. This week, Coulson got to see Price’s home and learn about her husband — a good man brought low by cancer. Price revealed that she just wanted to make the world safe and provide a cure for the Terrigen mutations (am I allowed to say mutations in relation to the Inhumans? Don’t sue me Fox).
I’m not sure Daisy will take kindly to having the Inhumans compared to cancer, but Coulson seemed to gain an understanding of who Price was and what made her tick. It’s just too bad Daisy was using one of Fitz’s dwarf drones and saw Coulson palling around with Price as Inhuman captives were being stuffed in amber prisons. I kind of hope Price is legit because it would just be too derivative of Edward James Olmos’ character from last season if she wasn’t. That being said, her simple origin was refreshingly unexpected and really opened Price up as a character.
I told you the episode was loaded and I’m not done yet. Fitz and Simmons continued to try and find Simmons’ interplanetary pal and lover. Fitz is just such a good dude. He knows if he saves Simmons’ galactic love interest, he probably will lose her forever, but he’s still doing the right thing, something Hunter tried to explain to Fitz this week. But Fitz stood strong because of all the agents, powerbrokers, and Inhumans we examined this week, Fitz’s selflessness made him the greatest hero of them all.
This week was Agents of SHIELD‘s 50th episode and man, it just seems like yesterday I saw the first footage of the show at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con. It’s hard to believe that this show is three years old. It’s had its ups and downs but this week served as reminder that Marvel has built quite a world away from the big screen. So here’s to 50 more!
– This week, Morse was wearing some high tech eyeglasses which was sort of cool because in the comics, she is traditionally portrayed as wearing glasses or goggles. It’s good to see her in her more traditional and nearsighted state on TV.
-Werner Von Strucker was not a big deal in the comics and he wasn’t a big deal on TV as his only purpose was to be killed by Lash.
– In case you’re wondering, Lash doesn’t have another identity in the comics.