Any television series with its roots in the espionage genre should be about trust. And let’s face it, even though “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is set in a superhero universe, it is at its heart about espionage. All the clichés apply, like the enemy of my enemy is my friend and better the devils you know than the ones you don’t. That last one hits hard this episode with S.H.I.E.L.D.’s new alliance with the A.C.T.U. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Devils You Know.”
As we open, Alisha, the Multiplex/Jamie Madrox-like clone-making Inhuman, is now working with S.H.I.E.L.D. to recruit other Inhumans. This is obviously part of the new alliance with the A.C.T.U. This is good, always good to see super powers in the show. The bad news is that Lash has also targeted these new recruits, and kills them, along with one of Alisha’s selves.
We do get another look at Lash, a really good one. Actions aside, this is not a friendly Inhuman. Mack compares him/it to a shark, a killing machine. He and Quake continue to make a good team. Mockingbird continues to feel out of place out of the action. Why is the man trying to keep her down? And no one is happy with the A.C.T.U./S.H.I.E.L.D. alliance, except seemingly Coulson and Rosalind Price.
The Many Women of Coulson
There’s no denying the attraction of actor Clark Gregg, after all he has Jennifer Grey waiting for him at home. There have been flirtations and suggestions of past loves for his character Phil Coulson before, but here in A.C.T.U. dragon lady Rosalind Price, whose love of cars and agency efficiency rival his own, I think we have a real possible love connection. Much to the derision of his teammates however. I like the pairing, I like the verbal sparring, and want to see some one on one without an audience of respective employees.
No one else likes this however, from Price’s number two Banks to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own Quake. In fact, it may be causing a rift between the old father/daughter relationship Coulson and Skye/Daisy/Quake used to have. That relationship has already suffered some blows going from family to business this season. With the seeming return of Agent Melinda May, and the flirting there picking up just where it left off, one has to wonder what she’ll make of Coulson and Price. But. Just wait, she may have other things to worry about very, very soon. And that’s not even mentioning how he’s pushing away his temporary right hand, Mockingbird.
Other than the wonderfully Halloween-ish name, Dwight Frye is a new Inhuman who’s working for Lash. His power is apparently that of a sick divining rod, as in he gets ill in the presence of other Inhumans. And he’s also the one sending out email viruses to new Inhumans so Lash can find them and kill them. He lives up to his name well as Renfield to Lash’s Dracula, and I loved when Coulson did his Darth Vader choke hold on him.
How much Dwight Frye resembles his Marvel Comics Universe counterpart is debatable however. In the comics, Dwight Frye, native to what’s known as the New Universe, got his powers – explosive concussive blasts, this the codename Bazooka – in the White Event, and became involved in the power struggle of his Earth. He was decidedly not very Dwight Frye-ish, so not the kind of guy Alice Cooper would sing about.
The subplot that has been building the last few episodes is Hunter’s obsession with finding ex-Agent Grant Ward, who has been rebuilding Hydra. Many are those who are worried that he’s taking this a bit too personal, as it was Ward who shot and took Mockingbird off the active duty roster last season. Hunter is desperate and reckless, and he’s going to get someone killed – and he does.
I had been happy to see the return of Blair Underwood as Dr. Garner, the former Mr. May, but this wasn’t the way I wanted to see this go, but I should have expected it. Ward had the young Von Strucker following Garner as an insurance policy in case SHIELD caught up with him. This back-up plan was made even more gruesome as May joined Hunter in his assault on the temporary Hydra HQ. Hunter’s recklessness has Ward pull the trigger on Garner, allowing Von Strucker Jr. to prove he’s exactly the same type of sociopath as his father. May is not going to forgive Hunter easily, if at all.
With all the tragedy of this episode, we have learned some things. First there’s Lash, who may be human some of the time as Quake watched his shadow transform from Sonic the Hedgehog to man-like. Lash also did not take the time to kill her, but only took out Frye. Is he only killing certain Inhumans? And coincidence or not, it’s notable that Quake and Mack did not get to see the A.C.T.U.’s holding facility. Could Lash be someone inside one of the two organizations? Put my money on Banks right now, and let’s see how this turns out.
Simmons finally let Fitz in on her desire to go back to Hala. Her sense of taste is off, and she’s also been taking copious notes on the Monolith and the place where she was. It looks like next week we will finally get a look at what really happened while she was on that other planet on the other side of the universe.
Next: Hopefully answers!