Last night, on Agents of SHIELD: Plot! Revelations! Girls kicking ass! All that and more in our weekly recap.
1. The Bitch is Back
Both May and Bobbi stepped back into action full time this week, and boy, has the show been missing out on them. While May has still had quite a few moments of being able to kick ass and take names, Queen B hasn’t really gotten the opportunity to shine like she did last season — and now that she’s back in action, I’m really excited to see her become a more active member of the show. One of the major highlights of last season was seeing Ming-Na Wen and Adrianne Palicki do some great choreographed action sequences; the May v May/Raid-esque fight sequence was a major highlight, and Palicki came onto the scene batons blazing. While tonight was just a lighter version of what we’d seen in the past, hopefully this is a tease of things to come.
2. Inside the ATCU
Finally showing us what the ATCU is up to, it turns out they’re up to exactly what you think they’re up to: imprisoning Inhumans under the guise that they’re doing it for their own good — because nothing says “we’re thinking of your safety!” like locking people up before they even do something wrong. There’s some obvious metaphors at play here, and Coulson not really seeing any of the hypocrisy behind Roz’s explanation kind of shows the weakness of the writing for the show what could be an interesting point for Coulson and Roz to butt heads becomes yet another moment for Clark Gregg to just sort of look around and smile in that way he always seems to do. Granted, there’s a Daisy/Coulson brawl that’s foreshadowed here pretty strongly, but Coulson’s ostensible lack of reservation once Roz lays out what the ATCU does is surprising, if not just disappointing.
3. The Old Guard
As we learned on last night’s episode, there are still some old Hydra guard out there lurking in the shadows. This episode introduced Gideon Malick, played by Powers Boothe, who (as Google results will actively tell you) was also in The Avengers as one of the World Security Council members. This is either really well done (Hydra having infiltrated SHIELD at the top levels would make Malick’s role on the WSC very understandable) or a happy accident, but this does bring up the question: who is Gideon Malick? And is he someone that Ward actually fears? It’s tough to tell; Ward puts on a good show because obviously he has to, but he also describes Malick as a boogeyman-type character on the phone. While Hydra’s existence in the MCU is currently up in the air post-Ultron and SHIELD s2, it’ll be interesting to see what Malick brings to the table, and if he’s a decent replacement for Whitehall.
So, the truth of Lash’s identity has been revealed: Dr. Garner is not dead, and he’s actually Lash. It’s a decent twist that’s played fairly well; making Garner appear overly weak was a good way to throw us off his trail (even aside from this week’s obvious red herring), and what this means for May’s actions is smart for pushing that character further. May has had a lot happen to her on the show in relation to Garner’s actions, and a big question this season is what happened to them most recently — having the Lash reveal and showing us that May didn’t know makes Lash’s backstory all the more interesting, because apparently not even Super Awesome Master Mega Spy Agent May couldn’t figure out what was going on. While it remains to be seen how the Lash plot will play out over the rest of the season, it’ll be interesting to find out what’s really motivating him to kill so many Inhumans.
5. A Follow-up to #5 from Last Week
Last week I complained that SHIELD was all over the place this season, and that there was no direction. This week improved this, slightly; while there’s still a lot of really random stuff going on overall, the disparate pieces are starting to come together a bit more — the Inhuman storyline is starting to take shape, and Hydra and SHIELD are interacting. While Jemma’s alien planet is still on the outs in terms of feeling relevant, here’s hoping that the rest of the season pulls together things more concretely, especially now that Lash’s identity has been revealed.