After the daring rescue of Agent Jemma Simmons last week, things are back to status quo for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” While ex-Agent Grant Ward rebuilds Hydra with the son of Baron Von Strucker, S.H.I.E.L.D. is back to collecting Inhumans before the mysterious government group run by Rosalind Price, the Alien Threat Containment Unit, who are more about dissecting the Inhumans than recruiting them. And what does the sinister Inhuman called Lash want? Meet me after the jump for clues, and my thoughts on “A Wanted (Inhu)Man.”
Lincoln on the Run
Since getting inadvertently outed as an Inhuman back in “Laws of Nature,” Lincoln’s world has been turned upside down and he’s on the run – from S.H.I.E.L.D., from A.T.C.U., and from the as-yet-unnamed evil Inhuman Lash. As we open the A.C.T.U. are on his tail and we get to see the also-as-yet-unnamed Sparkplug use his powers in some interesting way.
For all of us veteran viewers and genre fans, this is a bit of an odd situation. Here’s someone who has special powers, and all he wants is a normal life. Whereas S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the right choice for him under the usual circumstances, they are responsible for his current situation, so yeah, Lincoln is not taking Daisy’s calls. We do get some cool espionage gadget-trickery when we find out how S.H.I.E.L.D. is tracking him, very smooth.
I should have known better than to think Simmons would be all good as soon as she was back on Earth. She’s still a bit shaken, still acclimating to our gravity. She jumps at everything, and she believes she was hunted. I have to express disappointment at the showrunners for reversing the roles of Simmons and Fitz so far. We’ve seen this dance – best friends in love, but can’t act upon it because one of them is broken. New toy please?
When taking Simmons to the lab doesn’t work, Fitz tries a subtler, more daring approach. He keeps the date with her that he made waaay back when, before Ward tried to drown them. Simmons breaks down at the fancy dinner with the restaurant all to themselves, but reappears at work, recharged and examining pieces of the Monolith. She has to go back, Simmons insists. Curiouser and curiouser…
Hunter is still on the hunt for Hydra, and especially Ward. The plan, now that May is with him, and rocking an old school Blondie t-shirt, is to work his way up through the ranks from the bottom. To do this he tries to sell some weapons to an old drinking acquaintance of his, Spud. I like Spud, he seems like he walked off the set of “Breaking Bad” as a potential partner for Badger. And he’s also Australian, so once they start drinking, May has no idea what either he nor Hunter are saying. Nice touch, and props to the writers.
To get in, they have to fight their way in. The tricky surprise is Hunter has to fight Spud, and Spud doesn’t mind, in fact, he’s looking forward to it. I guess they’re not a s good of buddies as Hunter thought. The harder part is for may not to intervene. As itchy as she is to get back into action, she can’t really give herself away. Oh, the pain of being undercover. She does get to kick a little ass on the side though, which was awesome, and Hunter gets in, but at a cost.
The Leadership Evolution
The leadership situation among the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an interesting and constantly evolving dynamic. As Coulson floats into a secret-keeping, take charge position much like Nick Fury used to hold, he becomes less approachable and more business-like. The Agents are no longer family, this is business. I no longer see the father figure in Skye’s life that I once did in Coulson. Now that Skye is Daisy, and she is more in charge, things have readjusted.
Daisy is learning the ropes when it comes to S.H.I.E.L.D. chain of command. She was given an assignment – assemble a team, the Secret Warriors, to search out, train, and protect Inhumans – and is not happy when obstacles keep her from doing her thing. And while it is interesting to see Daisy on this journey to action heroine, along with, to an extent, Simmons, it is disappointing to see Mockingbird Bobbi Morse sidelined to an administrative, almost clerical role.
Like all government agencies, the A.C.T.U. is not beyond using their bag of dirty tricks, one of them of course is taking their Inhuman witch hunt public. With the news media putting Lincoln’s picture everywhere as an alien threat, nowhere is safe. He turns to his old AA sponsor, and that gets him only so far before he catches on who Lincoln actually is. The sponsor’s turnaround is as predictable as it is unbelievable. Writer, and co-executive producer, Monica Owusu-Breen let me down here. Couldn’t the one person who should believe Lincoln actually do it?
When the sponsor has a heart attack after Lincoln uses his powers to get away, things get desperate and he finally calls Daisy for help. And she comes, and helps him, the way that he helped her, and more. The kiss, this situation, makes more sense than the sponsor’s betrayal, but Mack coming in with the A.C.T.U. to capture Lincoln – that doesn’t make sense.
The Enemy of My Enemy
An ongoing theme of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has always been the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and nothing changes as for the second time, Coulson and the A.C.T.U.’s Rosalind price meet for the second time like generals on the battlefield before a grand combat. I like the flirtation, especially the car talk, and wonder if a romance is in the cards. It certainly would spice things up this season, especially from across the battle lines.
It’s not only subtle but powerful flirtation going on here, information is traded, and a deal is struck. To keep Daisy safe from the A.C.T.U. and off of America’s TV screens as a news item, Coulson has to give up Lincoln. And if not him, something better. The final offer and deal is not an easy one to swallow, but Coulson gave himself up. His expertise, his indentured servitude more or less. Now he works for Price.