Last night’s episode was the tie-in episode to Civil War, and I was completely happy with how they did it. Recently I’ve said that I didn’t think the tie-in would be as monumental as the tie-in to Winter Soldier, and in a way, I was right and wrong. I was right because the events of the movie didn’t really change anything for the show: Government officials have always been distrustful of Coulson’s SHIELD and the Inhumans; that distrust was just amped up to 11. The foundation of the show didn’t change. However, I was also a little wrong: The episode further solidified and emphasized the Secret part of Secret Warriors, because so long as the team doesn’t register under the Accords, they are fugitives just like Captain America and the funky bunch. I foresee a lot more clandestine in the team’s future.
It was also interesting because the show, as recommended reading by Professor Feige, was able to expand on the Accords in a way that the movie did not. Not only do the Avengers have to sign up and agree to be a regulated unit under the purview of the UN, but all enhanced individuals were required to register with the government. This is really interesting because in the comics version of Civil War, registration was the main point of the rift between the heroes; in the movie, it wasn’t so much registration as control and accountability. Here, we got snippets of news reports talking about the public scuffle between the Avengers over the Accords, which General Talbot called “the law of the land.” The show expanded what we know about the Accords:
Enhanced individuals need to register with the government and provide finger prints and DNA samples, as well as undergo evaluation for health and safety risks to themselves and everyone else, and all powers need to be documented in a classified list.
Watching this episode as an extension of Civil War leads me to lean more towards Steve’s point of view and away from Tony’s. I’m still on Team Natasha (she was the only level headed one of the bunch when it came to the Accords), but details do matter. For the sake of the movie, I don’t think it needed to spell those details out. But now that we know them, Steve was more right than Tony. Like Coulson said: Nothing good ever comes of lists.
It was also refreshing to see Coulson, director of SHIELD, be on Steve’s side of the whole debate. Coulson is deep in the system and knows what the Accords mean for people like him and his team and the Avengers. When action requires a committee to agree, whatever necessitates that action will be over by the time the committee gets around to making a decision. This isn’t some nefarious intent of the committee system itself; decisions and consensus take time. If the Avengers learn that Batroc escaped and is going to kick his way into some third world country to start a new operation, and they only have a few hours to mobilize before he gets to that country’s borders, what good is a committee if it can’t issue an approval in time? Or, more sinisterish, what if certain committee members stall to give the Avengers no time to respond? Bureaucracy sucks, and Coulson knows this.
Also, think about Secretary Ross and his response to Tony when Tony found some evidence that Bucky may have been framed: He didn’t believe him. During Talbot’s crash course into all things Hive, the team told him about Maveth and what he is and how Hydra worshiped him and how many ideas of demons and devils were derived from Hive’s legend (paging X-Men: Apocalypse), and how Talbot was freaking the fuck out and said he was going to call in an air strike NOWNOWNOW. Coulson said “You’ll lose them at Devil” and Talbot replied “Don’t worry. I won’t tell them the truth.” What good is oversight when that oversight will not seriously consider information presented to it because of any bias or agenda or belief? Secretary Ross doesn’t trust Tony, and hasn’t liked him since The Consultant when he has Ross’ favorite bar demolished. The military and President wouldn’t believe General Talbot if he told them the devil bought a town in Wyoming. Bureaucracy sucks.
Which leads to another point: As Steve said, agendas change. The Accords were literally just signed, and already we see that Ross has an agenda and vendetta against Tony, and that Talbot has an uphill battle in getting military action (on US soil, nonetheless) to respond to the
Devil inhuman that inspired the idea of the devil. What happens when Ross retires or a new president is elected and the mission changes?
I loved how Talbot tried to get Coulson on his side by saying that the Accords were good enough for the Avengers, and Coulson quipped back: “Not all of them.” God I love this universe. #ItsAllConnected.
1. Last night / this morning Jezza, Hampster, and Captain Slow announced the name of their new show on Amazon: The Grand Tour. Even last night before the name announcement, I watched the “previously on” portion of Agents of SHIELD and got a Top Gear intro vibe from it: Lincoln sits on a bed. Nobody tells May their problems. And a man’s face melts. Maybe for next season they can do one of the previously on segments like that. It would be an absolute HOOT.
2. ALPHA. FUCKING. PRIMITIVES. Holy shit I feel like Spidey looking at Giant Man for the first time because I cannot fucking believe that they just introduced Alpha Primitives on this show. If you are not aware, in the comics, Alpha Primitives were created thousands of years ago by an Inhuman geneticist who convinced the Inhumans that they needed a sub-human race of beings to act as workers and slaves, so the Inhumans didn’t have to bother with all that pesky “work” and could focus on being more enlightened. They were worker drones that took orders and had the mental capacity of a six year old. Later, it was revealed that Alpha Primitives were actually humans exposed to Xerogen Mist, which devolved them. The Xerogen Crystals were made by the Kree as a defense for Inhumans against regular Humans.
Potter Radcliffe did was make Xerogen mist instead of the original Terrigen compound used to create the first Inhumans like Hive. OOPS. But, in a twist, Hive was absolutely fascinated by his new slaves, and wanted more. His plan was originally to use the Kree blood and his spores and mix it all with the terrigen crystals and disburse it with the stolen ATCU Nuke to create many more Inhumans that were automatically persuaded (the show calls it “sway,” but I like “persuasion” better) and under Hive’s control. Now that Daisy is back (yay!) and no longer persuaded, all Hive can make are more Alpha Primitives. But he doesn’t seem to mind one bit.
Hive told Skye that they were their children. You know what they say about the offspring of hot couples...
But seriously. Hive turned the Dogs of Hell into Alpha Primitives. That’s what those
Trumpublicans bigots get.
3. From the beginning of the show, we’ve been told that Daisy was a master hacker, and last night we got to see it in action. She was playing cat and mouse with FitzSimmons, who were doing everything in their power to keep Skye out. Fitz was exacerbated, and when he made some adjustments, said “That should keep her out for an hour. Or a minute.” Remember: Hive doesn’t control her mind, his spores just activate the pleasure receptors of the brain and make the subject want to help him. Because Skye wanted to help Hive, she used everything in her toolbox to help his goal: The used what she knew about Lincoln and the team to escape. She used what she knew about her own blood to help make the Alpha Primitives. She used her hacking abilities to keep tabs on the team.
4. And May saw right through it, and new how to respond: Stop being on the defensive, Skye was going to get in. It was time to go on the offensive, and that plan involved using Skye’s feelings for Lincoln against her (STINGS, DON’T IT?) I knew something was up when Lincoln got all pouty with Skye on the creepy Skype (unintentional puns!) and wanted out NOWNOWNOW, and how he was ready to spill secrets to Talbot for a ticket out of the facility. Skye could see it all, and they needed to put on a show.
5. Lash the HGHog. I never realized how sad I would be to see him sacrifice himself for the team. For a few weeks I’ve been saying that they were going to use Lash against Hive, because as Lincoln had told them, Inhumans were made with a purpose. I recently opined that maybe they put Lash on that Quinjet with Hive and they duke it out in spaaaaace, but I was only half right: They smuggled Lash onto the Quinjet that Skye hijacked, and sent him on his merry way to hunt Hive. It was awesome to see that intelligent design (this is probably the ONLY time I’ll ever utter those words) in action, hunting the one Inhuman he was made to destroy. I don’t think Lash knew that he could cure Inhumans of the Hive Persuasion, but I think he got the idea that he might when he was able to block Hive’s spores. I’m just sad that Hellfire had to kill him.
We didn’t get much closure, and all we really got was a quick image of May mourning over Lash’s body in the Quinjet after Daisy (yay!) got home. I have a feeling the repercussions will be felt big time next week.
6. Daisy is going to have a lot of ‘splainin to do in the coming weeks, that’s for damn sure. Not just to Coulson, but to Mack and the rest of the gang. They all know she wasn’t in control, but like Bucky, she still did it. (Wow, the parallels are immeasurable!)
7. I absolutely loved how they gave Talbot the crash course in everything they did, and how he progressively lost his shit more and more as he learned new stuff, and how the team was calm throughout. I mean seriously: First they showed him Lincoln, and then Lash (“Rasta Hulk is your HUSBAND!?”), then told him about Hive (shit), then Daisy hacked the system (SHIT), then Lincoln got out (SHITSHIT), then the Quinjet got away (SHITSHITSHIT), then Hive stole something from the ATCU and wants to disburse his spores into the atmosphere (SHITSHITSHITSHIT). And all the wile, Coulson was cool as a cucumber. That was awesome and mean of them at the same time. Well done.
8. I love Hellfire, and hope he becomes a Secret Warrior after Hive is defeated (because lets be real, this is the MCU - Thanos is the big bad right now, not Hive. There has to be something to protect from Thanos for Infinity Wars, right? hello? anyone?) He has taken up the mantle of snarky foreigner left by Hunter, and right now, I’m okay with that. Following a stranger through a dark alley dressed as pups? “You cooked them too long, doc!” Nice. My favorite line of the night: “Those are some ugly muffins.”
And his fire chain. Watching this show gives me hope that one day, we can get a proper interpretation of Ghost Rider (maybe on Netflix?) without the taint of Nicholas Cage.
9. ABC has gone out of its fucking way trying to hype up the fact that someone will die in the season finale, and asking us. WHO. WILL. IT. BE? [BWOOOOOOOWWWWWW]. From the first time we saw the flash forward (such an under appreciated show, BEE TEE DUBS) of the Quinjet in space, there has been a gold cross floating around. Then we met Yo Yo, and she was wearing the very same necklace! But last night, she gave the necklace to Mack because he needed a beer and some faith (still waiting on that beer, Yo Yo) IS IT MACK? It better not be, dammit. I think it’s all a ruse. AN ELABORATE RUSE, as Admiral Akbar would say. God I hope I’m right.