In the last episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” our team was on the run after being outted by hidden Hydra leader Gideon Malick as being Hydra at the ‘Symposium on the Alien Contagion, despite it sooo not being true. Meanwhile, future stars of “Marvel’s Most Wanted,” Mockingbird and Hunter, are hot on Malick’s trail. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “Parting Shot.”
In an episode promoted by the ABC announcer asking, “Who will say farewell to S.H.I.E.L.D. forever?” those words don’t bode well for two characters who will be leaving as fugitives to star in their own spin-off. I’d have to guess we’re talking about Agents Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter. Morse AKA Mockingbird has always been able to hold her own, and sooner or later, as in the comics, I hope she’ll be an Avenger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hunter on the other hand has been a bit of a mercenary, and more of a hired hand to the team. In the last episode he pretty much went rogue and was confirmed by May as one of her least favorite people. He is notably not at all like his comics counterpart (first seen in the UK’s Captain Britain Weekly), the more John Steed-like leader of the British version of S.H.I.E.L.D. – S.T.R.I.K.E. (Special Tactical Reserve for International Key Emergencies, man, these spies love their acronyms). Perhaps this will be the swan song before they get their own series.
The episode opens in the present, in Siberia, with Bobbi being interrogated by an Interpol agent, with the tale being told in flashback, no Hunter in sight. She’s accused of murdered three Russian government officials on Russian soil. If you remember the Russian rep at the Symposium, Petrov, wanted to put a refuge for Inhumans in his country, and had formed an alliance with Malick. Yep, there’s Hive’s army.
Meanwhile Hunter is also being interrogated and presumably also telling his tale in flashback. His alibi is that he and Bobbi were on holiday picking rare mushrooms found only in Siberia. The flirtation and additional backstory between the two only make me anxious to see them together and separate from S.H.I.E.L.D. in “Most Wanted.” Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood have great chemistry together, why have we not seen more of it? And will we ever get the entire mushroom recipe?
As all this is happening, in flashback at least, the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew is monitoring from above at a safe distance in the Zephyr quinjet. By the way, nice haircut, Fitz, but seriously, when did you get it? Anyway, Bobbi and Hunter see an Inhuman being brought into an abandoned power plant where Malick and Petrov also are, so a new plan is arranged, this time the rest of the team is involved.
May and Hunter form one couple, proving that not only doesn’t Blood have chemistry with every femme fatale on the show but that he still doesn’t get on well with May. She partnered with him because she doesn’t trust him. Hunter is still burnt over teaming with the Absorbing Man last time, the villain who killed his mates a season ago, and hates that S.H.I.E.L.D. will do whatever is necessary for the mission – not caring about the people.
In the meantime the real heartless folks are plotting and planning. I got chills when Malick compared this sanctuary for Inhumans to the reservations on which the US government placed Native Americans. He’s eeevil (not Earth-Three evil, but close). And then we see what he’s really up to – taking over and killing the Russian muckety-mucks. The bad news is that there’s something worse a foot, an Inhuman assassin.
The General, who S.H.I.E.L.D. was trying to protect, is actually the assassin. His power is to create a shadow twin composed of darkforce (yeah, the stuff from “Agent Carter“) and have it do his bidding. It can’t really be touched, hit, or killed – but it can do all those things to you. Nasty bit of business, this guy.
Bobbi finally stops this creature, by killing the General, but of course anyone who doesn’t know he’s an Inhuman… all they see is her killing him. The powers that be need someone to take the rap so S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t be exposed. Even when Coulson offers a way out, they decline. Obviously they are on their way to “Marvel’s Most Wanted,” and that vacation they’ve been after, but never had.
I found it intriguing that during the interrogation Bobbi doesn’t want Hunter to take the fall for the General’s murder. I was reminded of Mockingbird’s trials against the Night Rider in West Coast Avengers. Murder has never been her last option, and always gets her in trouble. Still, Bobbi and Hunter get a good send off. I almost had a tear in my eye during the bar scene. How long do we have to wait for the spin-off?
All in all this was a pretty fair episode. Despite it being essentially a backdoor pilot for “Marvel’s Most Wanted,” we got some of the best moments between Bobbi and Hunter this time out. It was also highlighted by some cool (but all too brief) special effects, great espionage action, and lots of butt-kicking. The only good thing about Bobbi leaving is now May will have more of that ass-kicking spotlight, and I’m more than all right with that.
Next: The Watchdogs, and maybe Hive has Malick’s daughter for lunch…