This Agents of SHIELD review contains spoilers.
Agents of SHIELD: Season 3, Episode 8
This season of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has been a tale of three narratives: one, the Inhumans storyline that has leaked over from last season; two, the HYDRA versus SHIELD angle that has been flowing through the season with varying degrees of effectiveness., and three, the Fitz and Simmons storyline that has been this season’s anchor. This week, all of these plotlines dovetailed together very nicely as we discovered a major bit of HYDRA history.
Let’s start with HYDRA. We got to see Ward in action this week kicking ass on some of Gideon Malick’s HYDRA goons. Ward is in this strange place right now as it seemed like the series has given up the “Ward as HYDRA leader” angle and instead made SHIELD’s arch nemesis a pawn in Malick’s schemes. Now, those schemes had more weight and scope than many of the other villainous schemes that have unfolded these past three seasons, but other than the awesomeness of Powers Boothe (because the man’s name is Powers), Malick seemed rather generic. But his scheme wasn’t, as it was revealed that HYDRA’s master plan was very epic and cosmic.
Remember that creature that tormented Simmons on the mysterious prison planet? Yeah, turned out, that thing was an ancient Inhuman and the founder of HYDRA. Now, I’m going to spend all week trying to figure out who or what that creature could be, but all of a sudden, HYDRA has a new purpose, one that stretches way beyond what was established in the Marvel films. One has to wonder where does this all fit in continuity, did the HYDRA we saw in Captain America: The Winter Soldier know about this or was this ancient dictate only known by a select few? Whatever the case, Malick knew about HYDRA’s century’s old quest to bring its leader back to Earth and now Ward knows as well.
Of course, this changes things for Fitz and Simmons. HYDA has been trying to get to the prison planet and back for a very long time, and Fitz pulled it off. So, now HYDRA will need to have a word with Fitz to find out his scientific secrets. Many fans want to see these crazy kids together, but fate keeps throwing obstacles in their way. You know obstacles like being transported across the galaxy, being lost in the ocean, and hunky astronauts also lost in space. By having Fitz and Simmons lamenting the starcrossed nature of their love, it allowed the two characters to share the viewers frustration, but of course, good ‘ol Fitz still continued his work trying to bring Simmons’ space beau home. Sadly, Fitz did not realize that his work will put him in HYDRA’s crosshairs.
Fitz and Simmons weren’t the only couple to work through some angst as Coulson and Rosalind Price also went though some relationship anxiety. Coulson really wanted to trust Rosalind Price: it’s obvious they have a great deal in common. They both love football, they both love history (and damn did we get a tidbit about Coulson’s origins as a SHIELD agent this week in regards to Coulson being such an able student of history in college, SHIELD recruited him because he found out too much about how deeply SHIELDpulled history’s strings).
But Coulson really wanted to trust his new love interest, so he sent his team in infiltrate ATCU HQ. There he discovered that Price’s unit was manufacturing drugs to turn people into Inhumans. Coulson got in Price’s face but the real twist came when he realized just how clueless Price was to the actions of her trusted advisor, one Gideon Malick. It will be interesting to see how Price will react to being a high ranking patsy in a SHIELD plot and it will be even more interesting to see how Coulson will help Price pick up the pieces.
Now, don’t think all this hearts and flowers stuff meant there was no action. To infiltrate the ATCU HQ, Coulson sent in Hunter and Morse to get some much needed intel. It was Morse who discovered that ATCU was creating Inhumans and while making this discovery, Morse kicked some serious ass. Listen, this season has been very light on Marvel comic characters joining the fray. Other than Lash, who is a very new character, there have been no classic Marvel characters for us old school fans to sink our nerd teeth into.
I’m an old school West Coast Avengers fan, as in I bought the first issues off a spinner rack at a newsstand, and I freakin’ love Mockingbird. Adrianne Palicki’s Bobbi Morse is every inch the Mockingbird I thrilled to as a lad. When she spins those combat batons, I go through an arrhythmia of nerd glee. This week, Morse had a particularly cool fight with an Inhuman that seemed to have Magneto’s power set. And as cool as that was visually, because Agents of SHIELD always features some of the best fights on network TV, I wish we could get some Inhumans with better power sets. Man are these dudes generic.
Speaking of generic Inhumans, we also got to see Lincoln and May reach a catharsis this week as May had to deal with the guilt of her ex-hubbie trying to kill the electrifying Inhuman. Lincoln and May came to an accord but that didn’t help Doctor Garner who was locked in his containment unit and helpless while Ward proceeded to gas him. We’ll have to wait until next week to see how that played out.
I kind of dug the HYDRA origin bit of business with the Inhuman monster, prison planet, etc. It just felt big! I’d be curious to see who you cats think the HYDRA leader might be.
It all kind of made Red Skull seem like a patsy though, didn’t it?