Daisy is now under HIve’s control, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is in a tight pinch. How do they get out of it this week, and what’s next for the ever-dwindling team in their battle against constantly-growing threats?
1. Memories in the Corner of Hive’s Mind
It was established a few episodes back that Hive maintains the memories of everyone he’s ever used as a host, which often means maintaining their feelings as well. He remembered how Malick betrayed his brother, and wanted revenge for that, and we see him tap into Ward’s memories during his interactions with Daisy.
Of particular note is how he refers to her as Skye at first, going off of the name Ward knew her best by. Daisy’s willingness to correct him on it, however, does indicate that she still maintains some of her personality and sense of individuality, while at the same time being subservient to his desires. More importantly, Hive mentions that Ward is even a little glad he died, and let’s face it, Ward was on something of a downward spiral ever since Hydra was first defeated.
Also worth noting is Hive’s memories from Will’s point of view, after Simmons left him all alone on the planet Maveth. But he also remembers how Will loved her, which influences his interactions with Simmons later on.
2. Daisy, Daisy, what have they done to you?
As we saw in the last episode, Daisy was infected by Hive, and fell under his control. There wasn’t enough time to see full extent, but this episode gives us a little more insight into how far the Inhumans are willing to go for their new parasitic overlord.
Daisy was willing to shake the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. base, but she focused on stopping them from moving, instead of just going for the kill. She maintains some semblance of identity, as shown in the aforementioned scene where she corrects Hive on her name, but at the same time is dedicated to Hive. The effect was described as like an addiction, triggering dopamine and creating a dependence on Hive, his presence, or at least the sense of belonging his infection gives Inhumans.
As such, they’re willing to kill or die for him. Daisy even uses her quake powers to “Force choke” Fitz, warning him that she’ll snap his neck if he gets in her way again. This, I suppose, is your Inhuman brain on drugs.
3. When the Things That Make Me Weak and Strange Get Engineered Away
This week’s episode takes a little dip into the world of Transhumanism, which has an interesting place in the Marvel world. Fitz and Simmons delve into an underbelly of society where people use advanced technology to upgrade their bodies, attempting to become more than human.
Transhumanism is an actual thing, but more complex than shown in this show. The Singularity is even a significant concept in Transhumanism, although the “Singularity” the episode title refers to is more the point of change at which the Fitz-Simmons relationship passes a threshold from which things will be in a huge state of change. (That is to say, the point where they have sex. Which they eventually do. But that’s beside the point.)
Still, the idea of using science and technology to improve the human condition takes an interesting turn in a world with super-soldiers, Extremis, and Iron Man technology. The technology in the Marvel universe is far more advanced than ours, so we see sub-dermal implants with wireless controllers, cybernetic eyes, and people who can emit an EMP from their hands.
Hive even points out that Inhumans are technically the first Transhumans, from before that was even a term, albeit ones made with Kree technology and a fair bit of genetic tinkering.
4. Burn, Baby, Burn
Speaking of Inhumans, we’re introduced to a new one this episode. A few episodes ago we met the would-be Inhuman James, who had a Kree artifact that Hive is interested in. So Hive came for the rest, which turns out to be “the only weapon that can kill [him].” So we’ll just call it Chekov’s Gun for now.
So what’s the best way to get James to turn it over? Toss some Terrigen at him, and once he transforms, take over his mind. And so we get a new Inhuman, and yet another character with fire powers.Continued below
Similar to Gambit, James can make things explode by touching them. Any arc of controlling his powers is quickly made unnecessary by his possession by Hive, but we do get to see some nice explosions as he puts his powers to use.
The most entertaining part is where he tries to pick a codename, jugging a few options. His first choice, Inferno, is currently being used by Dante Pertuz in the comics (and frankly, if you’re named “Dante,” you automatically have first dibs on anything Inferno-related). He also tossed out some ideas like Firestarter, Hellfire, or Scorch (which was already claimed in an early S.H.I.E.L.D. episode), and I’m certain that if Marvel had the film rights to Fantastic Four he’d have suggested The Human Torch as well.
5. Meanwhile, Back in the Other Subplots…
Still, there’s plenty more going on in this episode, particularly centered around Coulson. May calls him out on his willingness to make her sacrifice Andrew, while refusing to do the same for a compromised Daisy, and he admits that Daisy is the closest thing he has to a daughter.
Also, he has a solid-light holographic Captain America shield. Because Coulson is still a Captain America fanboy, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. or not.
We have the continuing development of the Fitz-Simmons romance, including a slightly adorkable moment where they try to talk about their feelings using either business talk or scientific terms, but the “will they/won’t they” has finally been resolved.
And perhaps most importantly, we have the offscreen takedown of Hydra’s remaining bases, led by General Talbot. Malick’s importance, and by proxy Hydra’s, went on a steep decline ever since Hive entered the picture, but it still felt like an unsatisfying, anticlimactic way to take out one of Marvel’s most evil organizations.
Which probably means another head will be popping up soon. Or another organization would work too; A.I.M. hasn’t been doing anything since Iron Man 3. Actually, I’d be fine with H.A.T.E. at this point.
In fact, can we just bring Nextwave: Agents of H.A.T.E. into the Marvel Cinematic Universe? I’d be all for Nextwave on Netflix.
And that, dear readers, is the last thought lingering in my mind as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (presumably) finishes off Hydra.