Welcome back to my weekly coverage of the 3rd season of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Be sure to check out and catch up on our previous coverage here.
This week we find Lincoln on the run from Rosalind Price’s task force ATCU. Due to the surveillance footage of Lash’s attack at the hospital of episode 1, Rosalind has identified Lincoln as an ‘alien threat’. In order to track him down she is spreading his image across media platforms to allow the public to assist with Lincoln’s arrest. It seems like a sloppy strategy, especially considering this is supposed to be an elite task force and that also in the first episode the President openly stated he did not want to create panic in the streets; which is exactly what happens to an extent. Lincoln’s friend John Donnelly immediately looked at Lincoln differently upon seeing his wanted status on television. John’s betrayal of Lincoln of course led the ATCU right to him and Lincoln had no choice but to call in Daisy for some help. I’ve never quite understood Lincoln’s apprehension of joining S.H.I.E.L.D. At the end of the day, isn’t Daisy being there enough for him to trust? Especially since this episode confirmed both of their feelings for one another, I was kind of wondering why they didn’t admit this sooner. I liked their moment together, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like they could have fit that in at any point really. What I am happy about in the way that these events went down is Coulson having to make decisions while backed into a corner. It was let Lincoln go, or allow Daisy to be the focus of the ATCU’s witch hunt. Then it was give up Daisy or partner with the ATCU giving Rosalind the ability to call on Coulson for advice and support. I still don’t trust the ATCU, I feel like Rosalind will always have something up her sleeve, but I am curious to see how Coulson and her can work together. The conflict up to this point, while justified, seems to be about misinformation. No one knows who or what the Inhumans are, so naturally everyone is frightened, but if Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. can get people and organizations to trust them again, then maybe we can finally get to achieving some good. We’ll see.
Our B story followed May and Hunter continuing their quest of going undercover in Ward’s new formation of Hydra. Hunter has to prove himself by fighting, and winning, in this fight club-esque underground ring. May wanted to be the one to fight herself, but they both agreed that news of “a small asian woman” kicking the crap out of a few guys would spread through the ranks and possibly leak to Ward. It was the right assumption, of course May ended up beating a couple guys to a pulp anyway, making a quick quip on her exit. I was surprised at the amount of trouble Hunter was having at fighting during his scenes. Perhaps he was doing it intentionally so as not to give away his true identity as a trained agent/mercenary. Regardless, it got the job done and he made it to the next part of initiation. The whole process wasn’t that interesting to me though. Watching May kick ass is always fun to watch but here it was more than expected, and thus predictable. Their was nothing at risk really, or any tension which this show thrives on. Hopefully Hunter and May progress will speed up in the coming weeks. The closer they get to Ward, the more tense it will be I’m sure.
Our C storyline is the most intriguing as Gemma Simmons is now back with the team. She is having a rough go at re-acclimating to Earth due to her experiences on the other planet. According to Fitz, everything is fine in her body, she just needs time to readjust, which is hard for him right now because he is just excited and happy to have her back. I am just amazed at the amount of growth both Iain de Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge have made as performers. Every episode they have been outdoing themselves and I have just come to love each of their characters more and more. Their interaction in this episode was particularly touching as Fitz was trying to meet the line between being overbearingly helpful and empathetically sensitive. You could see in his every move just this complete love and caring for Simmons, that all he wanted to do was make sure she was okay, which meant sometimes for him, despite the difficulty, was not doing anything at all. Simmons is clearly struggling from her experiences, naturally not even willing to talk about them yet. The scene in the restaurant for both of them was equally powerful as it allowed Fitz to be as charming and caring as ever, and it allowed Simmons to break down in front of the only person she would feel comfortable with. They can both rely on one another and it was just really cute. I’m sorry, I got really giddy watching this.
I was a bit surprised at the end to see Gemma in the lab already studying for answers when she didn’t even want to be in there during Fitz’s tour. Like I said last week though, the show is exuding confidence when it comes to their pacing, and I’m willing to trust them as they go forward. The whole prospect of Simmons not only wanting to find answers quickly, but go back to the place that can give them, is an intriguing element and I’m very excited to see what that adventure brings us.
Until next week folks…
Episode Rating: 8/10