Welcome back to my coverage of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Be sure to check out my previous reviews here.
This week focused in on the two plot lines that I have been most excited for from the past couple of weeks. Elements of Ward started coming out of Hive when he was talking with Daisy and the relationship between Fitz and Simmons was further explored and ultimately strengthened.
It is really fun to see Brett Dalton having to act off of his co-stars in his new role. Hive is creeping me the hell out and this gets worse when he interacts with my favourite characters. This happened twice in this episode with both Daisy and Jemma Simmons. In the scenes with Daisy, she acknowledges how familiar Hive feels to her. This is where Hive allows Grant Ward to come out a little bit. This ability makes Hive infinitely more dangerous because he can use the personalities of now passed individuals to get what he wants. This makes him persuading, with a near 100 percent success rate and that is beyond the fact that he can use his physical powers to influence people. As weird as it is to say, I’m starting to dread the end of this season because it will probably mean the end of Hive. Usually these types of characters need to die or get banished somewhere, and since Hive was already summoned from banishment this season, I don’t think the writers will go down that route. So he is probably gonzo, along with Brett Dalton as a performer. If Dalton was still playing Grant Ward, I would be pretty satisfied with that arch and the ending that would inevitably come with it. Now that he is playing Hive though, I don’t want it to happen. This character is so deliciously evil, and Dalton plays it subtle which only emphasizes Hive’s eerie aura.
The scene with Hive and Simmons was particularly heartbreaking as we saw the remnants of Astronaut Will exude from Hive. The relationship that we saw between Will and Jemma is now pretty far gone, but it was handled well back at the beginning of the season and I think that brings the strength of the emotional punch in this episode to the magnitude that he needed to be at. What also helps is that the relationship between Fitz and Simmons has not only begun, but is on a full speed track dead ahead. Once Simmons got separated from Fitz at the bar and had to face Hive, I was then worried for two outcomes. The first is that Will’s consciousness would come out like he did and that would somehow convince Simmons that being with Fitz now is a bad decision. The second is that Hive would siphon the flesh off of Simmons right then and there. Thankfully, neither of my fears came true. Truth be told, I completely forgot about the gun that May had given to Simmons near the beginning of the episode. It was a very satisfactory feeling to see Simmons take a couple chunks out of Hive/Ward even though it does nothing to him. It was a small, yet still big moment for Simmons’ in the field confidence.
Speaking of that Fitz and Simmons relationship, they took a HUGE step this week. OK, they just had sex for the first time at the end of the episode, but this moment felt incredibly earned. The early awkwardness of the subject was quite cute, namely because of who these characters are and what we know about them, but mostly because the writers only had this element included in this episode. If, for whatever reason, the writers had such awkwardness be spread over a couple episodes, it would become too much and the specialness of bringing these two characters would lose a lot of its impact. So I’m glad they didn’t go down that route. These guys are just fun to watch together and that is something that has been true since episode one. That is one of the rare true statements that can be said about this show. What is also amazing is that even through this transition in their relationship, both characters and their dynamic together, feel the same. Things are changing for sure, but it still feels like normal. It feels right. Big kudos to the writers for making this work. I’m a huge fan of this happening. Based on the ending, I think they are too.
One really weird thing that happened in this episode is that General Talbot returned and headed up the mission to take down all of Hydra’s main base of operations. The team of course had this information from Malick as he was one paying for everything. This moment felt hollow because we didn’t see it happening. You would think that the take down of the organization of Hydra would be a much bigger point of emphasis for this show. Sadly, it was all swept under the rug rather quickly which makes Hydra’s presence on this show, and in this cinematic universe, seem almost inconsequential. Here’s to hoping the show will correct that as they point the fight more towards Hive himself.
Episode Rating: 8.5/10