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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Royal We

Last night I noticed something about Hive and his powers of persuasion that I didn’t give enough credit to in the past, but there was something about Skye’s (I’m calling her that until she’s back to normal!) performance that really drove home what is going on, and in an episode that could have used just a tad more subtlety, was very subtle and very well done.

Spoilers live in this post, for both Agents of SHIELD and Captain America: Civil War (even though I have not seen it yet, I will still talk about what I know) BE WARNED, wary travelers!


Recently we have talked a lot about the various connections between the various Marvel properties across the various mediums of entertainment, and how the Movies are the A squad, and the television side of things are more of B squad. Every once in a while someone from the A squad comes down and makes a quick cameo in the shows, but no one from the B squad ever pops up in the movies, with very few exceptions. I think Agent Sitwell started in the Marvel One Shot Agent 47, and appeared in both the show and Winter Soldier. Nick Fury and Maria Hill slummed it a few times in the first and second season of Shield, but didn’t talk about their sowed oats in the movies at all. The only real reference to the shows in any movie was Age of Ultron and the Helicarrier. That’s about it.

And this is understandable, as much as it pains me to say. The real money is in the movies, and the shows are just along for the ride. Netflix’s group of shows are on a slightly different level, and my guess is the first characters from the shows to show up in movies will be from that selection of shows. I could see Jessica scoffing at Parker’s innuendos. Luke Cage and Falcon would get along pretty well. And so on.


So that’s why, when it comes to connecting the shows to the overall MCU and the sheer awesomeness that is (probably) Civil War, we get quick little references to civil wars and the fact that “only billionaires can create iron suits and only the military can make super soldiers...” I half expected Squidward to give the audience one of those patented Frank Underwood glances. I appreciate the effort, though.

We’ve also talked a lot about how much more awesome the television villains are than the ones in the movies, save for Loki and (from what I’ve heard) Zemo, the television villains are just so much better. We’ve had two and a half seasons to hate Ward and now SquidWard; Kingpin was majestic like an abstract white wall; Kilgrave can fuck right the hell off; and Punisher, if you consider him an antagonist at least, was amazeballs. The movies just can’t compete in that department.


Maybe we’re missing the obvious, though: Instead of trying to force some television heroes like May or Daisy or Coulson (back) into the movies, why not give the movies some villain love? Kilgrave’s dead, but send Punisher in after Zemo or get Kingpin working with the Ten Rings. Think about it.

1. Back to that subtle little thing I noticed last night with Skye and how awesome it truly is: The Royal We. When Hive talks about himself, he consistently uses the royal we: We are going to change the world. We have a plan. And so on. Every once in a while, when Inhumans that have been persuaded by Hive talk to people, they drop in a few We’s here and there, showing that Hive has made his point and they’re on board with his plan.


But I noticed something different about it when Skye was talking to Mack during this episode. She only started using the Royal We when she got emotional. Watch the interaction. At the beginning, when Mack fist confronted her, Skye was talking about how she wanted to help her friends understand, and how she wanted to save them. When Mack wouldn’t listen and Skye got more desperate, she started talking about what We were doing and how they were going to make all humans Inhumans.

Thinking back, most of the other Inhumans persuaded by Hive sort of spoke the same way: They expressed individual concerns until challenged, and then reverted back to Hive’s influence.


Mack was on to something when he thought a part of Skye wanted them to help her. Last episode (before this one), Skye was on board with Hive’s plans and what he was saying, but she was still a little off-put by him. That showed during her interaction with Mack. She resisted Hive’s influence and was convinced she was in control, until challenged, and the hive influence kicked in. Hive doesn’t take complete control of the persuaded Inhumans; he makes them want to be part of him, and help in any way they can. That’s why Skye used the team’s distrust of Lincoln against him and why she brought up Mack’s brother. Hive didn’t force Skye to do those things; he made her want to.

Which brings me back to this whole connected universe thing. Kilgrave’s influence was a virus. Although Jessica learned to or developed a resistance to it, we never learned exactly what that resistance consisted of. Maybe it was biological, and maybe it was psychological (she only resisted after killing Luke’s wife). Maybe pushing Skye to the psychological limit is what it will take to release her from Hive’s influence.


2. That opening was completely awesome. So what if the Kree were a little Power-Rangery? It was cool seeing them hunt a human, and a brief summary of how they created Inhumans. They pushed the human to the limit (Deadpool style) while infusing him with Kree blood to unlock the powers within. Hive didn’t explain (and it’s likely he doesn’t know) the connection with Celestials, because it appears as soon as he learned to control his powers, shit hit the fan. They also did a good job of explaining why there won’t be any reference to Inhumans currently active on Earth in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: These Kree Reapers were in cryostasis for thousands of years orbiting the solar system waiting for a signal; they aren’t part of Ronan’s crew or on the Kree homeworld. Now that both of those Kree are dead, no other Kree are any wiser to the fact that their science experiments are advancing unchecked.


4. The town SquidWard bought with Brewster’s Malick’s Millions was in South Wyoming. The city of Braxton (where Asgard made a quick pit stop and that has been referenced a few times) is in Oklahoma. Sorry, nerds, SquidWard is about two states over. Maybe next time.


5. Everything between FitzSimmons was pure gold this week. From Fitz being worried that disagreeing with Simmons would affect them (Milton!) to them arguing about who had it worse: Fitz getting force choked by Skye of Simmons having to talk to her dead boyfriend through Ward’s dead face, I was rolling. My favorite was when they initially talked Lincoln down from turning into an electric incubator, and Simmons told him he was being a lovesick fool trying to make a grand gesture, and Fitz quietly looked down. TOO SOON.

This is the FitzSimmons we’ve wanted since the beginning of this freaking show. They work well with each other and build off of each other and finally acknowledge and embrace what we have all known for so damn long. FINALLY.


6. Piper and O’Brien might be my new most favorite SHIELD agents, and they better not get redshirted. Piper’s joy at getting to use the grenade launcher because Coulson promised it to her was infectious. Maybe instead of a bunch of spin off shows or full on Marvel One Shots, why not give us a few Webisodes of these fabulous agents out in the field? I would watch that in a heartbeat.

7. Speaking of, if Blowhard Hellfire is going to be joining this cast on a more full time basis and is somewhat of a replacement for Hunter, I’m all for it. Holy shit he was funny. He likes decent drinks and decent meals and indecent lass’, not necessarily in that order. OH MY GOD.


And when O’Brien asked if Mack heard any of what he was saying, and Mack responded that he didn’t hear because he was too busy wondering if there was any chance Hellfire didn’t get his ass kicked, I was on the floor. “Not a chance.”

As soon as he said where SquidWard was, May knocked his ass out. I love it. May had some great lines, too. When they were picking guns out of the cupboard Fitz opened for the mission, and O’Brien asked what the Cavalry was bringing, and May said “If I need a gun, I’ll take it.” Holy shit that was awesome. “Don’t tell me you’re still pining over Stinkin’ Lincoln.” Dude.


8. All that fun was canceled out by May having to shoot Skye to get her to not kill Mack. Damn this was a hard mission.

9. Most of the Inhumans we have met so far have somewhat of a control of their powers (Hellfire excluded), but once they get some Hive persuasion up in their systems, they turn that control up to 11. Budget Magneto could pilot a plane from the other side of a room. Ginga Ninja (RIP in peace) could tolerate the death of her copies easier. Hell, even Hellfire figured out how to make Billiard Bombs.


Skye has shown some crazy good control, even by those standards. Skye single handedly took down a Kree Reaper, broke all of his limbs, and destroyed his spine, so Dr. Potter Radcliffe could extract his blood. Hot damn. I wonder, when they eventually cure her from what ails her, if she retains that control. Hive doesn’t completely control her actions, but has some limited input. Her training just leapfrogged a few levels.

I noticed something else: Early in the episode Skye said “Sometimes the world’s greatest miracles happen by accident.” Near the end, SquidWard said the same exact line to the Kree Reaper. A week or so ago, SquidWard knew Malick turned and was killed before Skye got back to their base. Not only does Hive exert some control over the Inhumans, but there is an upload stream as well. Interesting. Not only can he control Inhumans, but he has a bunch of moles as well. He’s like Ultron in a sense, where he is everywhere all at once.


10. Line of the night goes to Piper: “A freaking alien just landed and we’re not gonna take a moment to let that soak in?” Welcome to the big leagues, Piper.

So Civil War comes out this week in the States (it’s been out everywhere else for like two weeks now which is RUDE because it’s Captain America not Captain Britain) and next week will most likely directly reference the movie. Go see it so the show doesn’t spoil the fun for you. Also, if you haven’t done so yet, go on Twitter and check out @WHIHOfficial. It’s the “Official” twitter of WHIH news, a news channel in the MCU that has been doing stories leading up to the movie. It’s got some awesome easter eggs in there.


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