As we open on this episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. there appears to be no good news, yet a plethora of bad news. Mack and Coulson are tracking a woman with Aida’s face. Mace’s chances of dying increase with every injection of that mutated Hyde formula, Radcliffe had been stealing terrigen crystals while he was at S.H.I.E.L.D., and the Superior has been reading the Darkhold. Can it get much worse? Oh yeah, meet me after the jump for my thoughts on … “BOOM.”
Before anything else, we should probably talk about the Inhuman elephant in the room. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is on the bubble, meaning its continuance is iffy for next season. The ratings have never been sensational, but of late they’ve been among the lowest on ABC. I’m sure there are more than a few folks out there that would miss this weekly shot of espionage with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
With the new Marvel series The Inhumans coming soon, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be taking the backseat next season if renewed, playing where Agent Carter ran the last two years. If we want to save S.H.I.E.L.D., we should start now. It’s never too early for the hashtag #RenewAgentsofSHIELD. Let’s do this, it’s a good show, even better apparently when binged. Maybe Netflix?
Follow the Leader
As Director Mace gets the news that the ersatz Super-Soldier formula that gives him his strength and formidability is killing him, and kills him more with each exposure, Fitz provides him with a new suit that injects the formula right into him at the touch of a button. Too bad he can’t use it. Or can he?
During the scene there is the very strong vibe that Mace is no longer in charge, but is just the figurehead no matter how much he wants to be in the field or one of the gang. He is being guided by Coulson via phone, and even more so by Daisy, who comfortably slid right into the role. I like where this is headed, how about you folks?
Coulson and Mack have tracked down the woman with Aida’s face, named Agnes Kitworth. It is indeed great to see actress Mallory Jensen’s range as both Aida and Agnes, as we meet someone completely different. As it turns out she is Radcliffe’s former lover and partner. She has an inoperable brain tumor, one that Radcliffe could not repair, so he ran, and eventually built a duplicate who could be fixed. Wow, our doctor is one damaged individual.
Agnes refuses to cooperate, wanting to keep her nightmare ex in her past, and live out what’s left of her life. Mack agrees, but Coulson, with the missing May in mind is a bit more diligent. Both have valid points, and should have found a middle ground, but Coulson gets Agnes to contact Radcliffe for a meet. It should be interesting to see who or what Radcliffe loves more – the real flawed woman or the perfect woman he built.
One thing this show has always had is plot twists and a rep for not going where you think they’re going. For instance when the Superior’s second, Tucker Shockley, visits Senator Nadeer with a terrigen crystal meant to trigger her DNA to become an Inhuman… she’s immune, but Tucker isn’t. He husks over than explodes.
Now while on one hand, this was quite a surprise and a twist, but in the other, a cheap way out of earlier plot complications with Nadeer, as she is among the dead. When the team, with Daisy on point, and Mace following her orders, they find that Radcliffe, the Watchdogs, Nadeer, the Russians, and the ex-Hydra Agents are all together on this. One enemy, with the Darkhold, with terrigen, and against Coulson. We know this, now if only the showrunners would decide on a unified label…
Tucker returns to the Superior and lies about what happened, telling him that Nader did change and omitting that he did. The Superior leaves Tucker to handle S.H.I.E.L.D. when they arrive. It’s notable that this detonation power, his long hair, and disposition do conjure comparisons to the Marvel villain Nitro, enemy of Marvel Comics first Captain Marvel and the catalyst of the superhero Civil War. If it goes that way, I’d be down.
In the switch of a scene, Tucker goes from lying in wait to in custody on the Zephyr. Of course he’s got a plan and a focus. He has two of the most famous Inhumans of all right in front of him – Quake and the Patriot – so he gets ready to blow them up real good. Fitz quick thinking gets Tucker in an elevator and outside the plane before he blows. When this show does action, they do it real good. I loved this sequence.
With a fight between Tucker and Quake in the offing, as well as Radcliffe turning Agnes to his side with a promise of a cure, the end of this episode is headed for a big bang. Agnes gives in to the promise of a new life in the Framework, and leaves Coulson and Mack in a hail of bullets care of the Watchdogs. That was our first unsatisfactory end.
Meanwhile, Quake has a duel with Tucker in the desert. While the two Inhumans battle, the Russians come for the team. Mace makes his final stand as the Patriot against the Russians, nowhere near as good or as long as it should have been. Give the man something, ya know? This is our second unsatisfactory end. As the team escapes, with Tucker contained, the Patriot is taken prisoner by the Russians. Even the stinger is bad news, as even though Agnes can live inside the Framework, her body dies. But did y’all see the cold jealousy in Aida’s eyes – this can’t be good…
This seems a bad way to end a good episode, but this might be a good place to mention I have been told I watch this show wrong. Many folks watch Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD as a binge and have told me it works much better that way. Perhaps I should take that into account. We have a great episode, with a great pair of cliffhangers. If I were binging this, I could go right on to the next episode with no complaints, right? What do you folks think?
Next: The Man Behind the Shield!