One of the cool things about this show is that it throws twists at us fairly regularly, but none of it ever feels forced. You know what I’m talking about: X happens, then you believe Y, but wait! It was all an elaborate ruse! WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE? Find out next week! No. Just, no.
The opening scene with Talbot at the airport with his wife was played just ambiguously enough that we all thought she was mad because Talbot decided to head the ATCU. She insinuated that Talbot shouldn’t have taken the job, and he told her he had to, because the President asked him. Technically, Talbot could have refused, but realistically, if a General is asked to do something by the President, that General will do it (within reason, and sometimes without). Hell, I have a family friend who is a retired Brigadier General, and he has repeatedly said that he is never truly retired. If a President ever called on his services in a conflict, he would help, no questions asked. It comes with the job.
But there was more to it: Talbot’s wife may have been initially mad that he took the job as head of the ATCU, but once he had the job, Malick abducted his son to force him to help Malick get to Coulson. So the anger was more than just taking a job: She blamed Talbot for her son being taken because he took the job. But none of that was obvious - it just seemed like she was pissed that he took a job with the ATCU. It took us 40 more minutes to realize what was really going on. That initial conversation at the airport before Coulson got involved was very subtle, but was more important than we all thought.
1. Ward was one of the better villains in the overall MCU, and Brett Dalton is absolutely killing it as SquidWard. I mean seriously, he was top 5 villains easy before Coulson gave him the ultimate high five. Now? He’s straight creepy.
It’s interesting to see his powers in action, too. Malick brought Medusa in to the room to, and he immediately started freezing everyone with his eyes. Except SquidWard. He tried it, but the effect didn’t take. I was somewhat confused, though: Did the power just not have any effect on Hive because Hive is a collective and not really relying on Ward’s eyes (much like how you can get around the whole turn to stone thing if you look at Greek Medusa in a Mirror), or did it work, and temporarily freeze that outer layer of dandruff on SquidWard? But SquidWard was able to control that dandruff and engulf Medusa, so I doubt it. Either way, Medusa has some mad respect for SquidWard now, and is comfortable being his lackey and taking orders.
I liked how we got a little peek at how Hive absorbs the memories of his host body. As he remembered things, he realized what type of person Ward was, and was grateful to Malick for sending him. Sure, it was a fluke, but Hive lucked out. my only question, though, is what does SquidWard do with all that dust/dandruff? What’s it’s purpose?
One more thing about Medusa, thought. He gives off a crazy Boris the Animal vibe from Men In Black II, doesn’t he? Every time I see him I think Will Smith is going to bust in the room with some witty quips about his jacked up face.
2. I like how May is taking up the mantle training some of the Secret Warriors, much like how she did for Daisy. May is the one that really got Daisy to control her abilities, and Lincoln showed her what it took to accept her abilities and treat them as a useful tool. Now, May is going to help Lincoln learn how to treat his abilities as a useful tool, and Daisy will show him how to really control them. Oh how the tables have turned.
There is something interesting about Daisy and Lincoln’s relationship, though. it feels natural. A lot of shows don’t have the time to develop relationships, but that’s one of the best things about Agents of SHIELD. We love FitzSimmons because we had a full season to see why they just fit, and have had two more developing their other-than-professional relationship. Sure, it’s gone back and forth, but we’re finally getting a fresh start.
And Daisy may have been attracted to Lincoln fairly early in her jaunt to Afterlife, but we’ve had about a season to see that they just click. Daisy and Lincoln understand each other, and their relationship is more than just angst or lust or bumpin’ uglies. Just look at that fight they had when they realized Creel’s blood could potentially be used as a vaccine for Terrigenesis: They had a big old disagreement, but it didn’t break up the band. Everyone has fights and disagreements, it’s how you react that counts. Daisy went to see Lincoln and he didn’t shut her down; they talked about it like adults. It’s refreshing.
3. I’m not sure if I like Creel more as a villain or as a reformed hero. I’m leaning towards the latter, though. Talbot mentioned that he was brainwashed by Hydra and that it took a long time to undo what they did to him. Talbot trusted him with his life. Thinking about it, Talbot was right: When we first met Creel, he was given samples of materials to touch so he could feel the rush from different sources. He was a junkie and Hydra was his supplier. He didn’t really buy the company line (and gave half assed “Hail Hydra’s”) He just wanted a fix.
I noticed something: After they captured Creel and he was in the containment cell, he was walking around looking at his hand, which was the same color as the walls. This tells me he touched the wall and absorbed its properties. When the cell was first introduced and just about every time it’s used, we’re reminded that the inside of the cell adapts to whatever Inhuman powers are contained therein, and effectively neutralizes them. Slingshot couldn’t get out. LASH couldn’t get out. Joey couldn’t melt anything. And so on.
I think that was some foreshadowing: There is going to be a fight between Creel and some Inhuman(s). Creel will touch the inside of the cell, and absorb its characteristics, making him immune to whatever Inhuman powers are being used against him. Think about it: If absorbs those properties, Medusa’s glare won’t do shit. Lincoln’s electricity wouldn’t affect him. Whatever Inhumans Hydra throws at him, he will just brush off, and it’ll be a straight fight without any powers. You watch.
Expect many innuendos from Daisy about Creel being on the team in the near future.
4. Hunter, you magnificent beast. Hunter is one of the most fun characters to watch on television right now. He called Daisy and Lincoln Shake and Bake. COME ON. When he used Fitz’s device that makes gloves, he said “Fitz like a glove.” I CAN’T EVEN. “I hate to be a buzzkill but this is a gun free zone.” Dude. Hell, the entire subplot of Hunter and him dealing with not being allowed to have any guns was hilarious. Right on through Mockingbird’s “I love you” and May’s “I don’t hate you as much anymore,” I was rolling. I have high hopes for Most Wanted, whenever it airs.
Speaking of, I have a feeling that this mission they are on tracking Malick to Russia will prompt whatever change that removes Hunter and Mockingbird from the team, allowing them to do their own show. The premise is that they are on the run and don’t have SHIELD’s help any more, and they team up with a rich guy for jobs and protection. I’m thinking something goes very wrong in Russia and they get a bounty on their heads, and Coulson can’t use SHIELD to help them out, so they’re on their own.
I also think that Creel may replace Hunter and Mockingbird and eventually join the Secret Warriors, on an occasional loan basis from Talbot.
5. Talbot is such a charmer. From the moment he put on that dress, not a single one of his nervous jokes landed with the intended targets (other than the audience.) I laughed when he said he doesn’t put on a dress for just anyone. I cringed so hard when he told the representatives at the symposium that it was nice to finally put faces to all these unpronounceable names. DUDE. Just typing that made me cringe again. STOP IT.
6. Here’s something cool: Talbot and
Clark Kent Coulson were looking for an inside man. So it turned out to be Talbot because Malick took his son. But in the process, they learned that Australia was holding someone named Eden Fesi for medical experimentation. Eden Fesi in the comics is a mutant that goes by Manifold. His biggest power is his ability to fold space time and travel anywhere in this universe in the blink of an eye. Manifold doesn’t need to know or see where he is going, and his powers automatically prevent him from materializing inside a rock or any other object. Manifold can keep the portal open for as long as he wants. Manifold has been able to transport a QuinJet, so he isn’t limited to moving just himself or small amounts of objects or people. Manifold can be very useful to both Coulson and SquidWard. I’m glad Coulson’s team got to him first.
Interestingly, it seems like this character may fall into the Quicksilver class of characters Marvel and Fox have to share. Even though Manifold was a mutant, he had a long history with the Avengers and even joined A.I.M. Maybe Fox is allowed to use him as a mutant (but why would they when they already have Nightcrawler) and Marvel is allowed to use him as an “Avenger,” without mentioning his mutant heritage. Quicksilver in Age Of Ultron was changed to an “enhanced.” I see no reason why Manifold can’t be changed to an Inhuman.
7. May and Mockingbird as hotel attendants? Yes please.
8. This episode was filled with a bunch of interesting things. One of those things was the relationship between Malick and the representative from Russia at the Symposium. Russia immediately jumped on the idea of establishing a sovereign state (within its borders of course) so Inhumans could create a community and be free from blah blah blah. They want easy access. Malick framed Coulson as the Director of Hydra, and agreed to help Russia with that goal. Back in WWII (and probably beyond it - before and after), Hydra and Leviathan, a Russian operation involved with the Red Room (think Black Widow and Dottie) and touched on in Agent Carter, were enemies. Hell, Leviathan sent Dottie to spy on and steal from the Arena Club, a Hydra offshoot.
Now, though, there is potential for Hydra and whatever is left of Leviathan in Russia to work together. Malick is building an army, and I’m sure it could use Leviathan’s resources in Russia to make that happen.
Malick is a sumofabitch, too, using pictures of his own work to frame Coulson. Bastard.
9. I always maintain that Hunter is one of the best and funnest and funniest characters on television, but god damn Coulson and Talbot were bringing the comedy heat this week. I loved how pissed, nay, disappointed he was in Talbot for trusting Malick. HE IS HYDRA, YOU KNOW. And Talbot, asking the Hydra goons to shoot Coulson first so he could have a moment of peace. And Coulson trying to get the Hydra goons to work for him (“the good guys are hiring. You don’t get to kill in cold blood but at least there’s retirement!”) And when they escaped: “Give me a hand!” “Got it!” Call me Glenn. Occasionally. Man I love this show.
10. SquidWard. Holy shit. So lets see what we have here: His host has to be dead before he can take over, so logically most recently dead is his best choice. He “can’t” inhabit Inhumans, and “we” (Hive is a collective, not an individual) cannot feed on their own kind. Is that a natural obstacle or a self imposed rule? Either way, he wanted five whole humans, and a coke. One thing’s for sure: Motherfucker is a messy eater.
That last scene with SquidWard covered in goop surrounded by people husks was disturbing. Like, I’m surprised they showed it on this show. What was the goop, though? please don’t be people juice. Interestingly (again!), those five people rejuvenated Ward’s body back to full health (so far as I could tell, the goop was in the way). If Hive is removed from Ward’s body, will it survive? Will Ward still be in there?
11. Man that Bus is beautiful in the air, isn’t it?