Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘‘Bouncing Back’
Starring: Clark Gregg, Ming Na-Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Luke Mitchell, Powers Boothe, Mark Dacascos, Gabriel Salvador | Director: John Terlesky
LONG STORY SHORT
General Talbot and Director Coulson play the odd couple during a symposium on the “alien contagion” in Taiwan. The new head of the ATCU has an ace in the hole that none of the SHIELD agents care to see again. Meanwhile, Gideon Malick is making sure Not Ward is pleased with his new digs and sets in motion another plot to disgrace Coulson. Lastly, a potential vaccine for terrigenesis may have been found, which results in a clash of ideologies between Daisy and Lincoln.
OH, THE INHUMANITY
At the start of “Inside Man”, Not Ward, King of the Highest Cheekbones is introduced to the latest inhuman snagged by Malick’s men, Lucio (Gabriel Salvador). The boss demands to see his eyes and of course, Lucio makes quick work of the henchmen. To his amazement, Lu’s powers don’t work on the ol’ Slimebag. While unWard has Lucio’s attention, he sheds a bit of skin and flings it in his direction to gain another formidable soldier for his evil army.
Another interesting development during “Inside Man” involved an as-of-yet-unseen inhuman by the name of Eden Fesi, who is under the custody of the Australian government. In the Marvel universe, he’s essentially one of the most powerful mutants inhumans on record, so Eden will likely be de-powered a lot on SHIELD. It’s unclear whether he’ll make an appearance in any of the final episodes, but there’s no doubt the Secret Warriors will have a very full roster in season four.
TALK ABOUT SELFISH
Daisy has been a fantastic character throughout SHIELD and it’s been a genuine pleasure to watch her grow into a kick-ass agent. However her confidence in her abilities has also made her believe everyone’s experience with terrigenesis was just as inspiring. She remarks to Bobbi that gaining her powers was “an awakening” that not only revealing her mysterious past but gave her the opportunity to begin life anew. Why wouldn’t anyone else want that?
When FitzSimmons brings news that Creel’s blood may facilitate the manufacture of a vaccine, Daisy goes off the rails. She automatically presumes FitzSimmons and others would use the serum as a means to annihilate inhumans entirely; Lincoln deflects her reactionary stance by rationally describing his own uncertainty about living with powers, and how others like Lash didn’t ask for them at all. Of course Daisy doesn’t want to hear any of that mess; you’re either with her or against her. After all the exceptional progression the character’s made in three seasons, her adherence to absolutes is almost as annoying as Lincoln’s inability to control himself in the field. ALMOST.
YOU DIRTY DOUBLE-DEALING SONUVABITCH
No matter what kind of ridiculously humorous situations writers place him, it seems viewers will never ever take to General Glenn Talbot. He’s a boob! An obstinate, uncouth, pompous, stodgy, high fade wearin’, no-good boob. Plus he hired a murderer for bodyguard detail.
OK sure, technically Carl Creel (Brian Patrick Wade) wasn’t responsible for the deaths of Hunter’s pals in “Shadows”, but somehow HYDRA’s brainwashing was eliminated and he’s right as rain again (according to the General). No one likes it, but they’re a package deal.
The team works quickly and efficiently during the symposium, checking every representative’s room for clues on their possible collusion with HYDRA. Not one to let bygones be bygones, Hunter is focused more on Creel and abandons the mission [classic Lance!] to tail the giant musclebound chameleon. While sneaking about, Hunter discovers Talbot’s son in a containment unit… which means General Talbot himself is the inside man! Well that was unexpected.
Also known as the world’s worst grandpa, Gideon Malick held Talbot’s boy hostage to ensure the General discredited Coulson at the symposium. Once the damage was done, Malick could waltz in and whisper sweet nothings in the delegates’ ears while giving them deep tissue massages.
Things were sorted real quick thanks to May single handedly retrieving Lil’ Talbot while everyone was running around and shooting up an opulent Taiwanese hotel. SHIELD hoofs it out of there without paying the check and the General finally accepts Phil as an ally. Still, the tenacity and effectiveness of HYDRA gives Phil pause as to who is really pulling the strings in the organization.
GIDEON GONE WILD
Thanks to Talbot pulling the wool over Coulson’s eyes, the members of the symposium are now entirely in Malick’s favor of “saving” the inhumans and establishing a sanctuary state in Russia. Gideon continues to butter up Russian representative Isyanov (Anton Petrov) by offering him champagne and a ride back home in his G5 [isn’t that what you do to impress video vixens?] Unbeknownst to anyone, Lance and Bobbi are holed up in the luggage compartment, unsure of exactly where they’re heading. Oh those kids and their wayward antics!
*Lance reveals weapons he hid for the mission*
Hunter: Buon appetito.
Bobbi: I love you.
May: I don’t hate you quite as much.
To be fair, it’s not exactly badass so much as absolutely disgusting. Faux Ward is tired of doing his best Slender Man impersonation and demands Giyera (Mark Dacascos) find him five healthy humans for reasons unknown. It doesn’t take long to figure out that Evil Alien Menace isn’t interested in playing Twister with his new partners… he’s gotta hankering for some fresh meat. It all ends with piles of bones surrounding a newly restored Ward Hive, covered in the viscous remains of the crying extras. EwWwWwWwWw.
Still. Kind of badass (for a villain).
Agents of SHIELD S3E12
It was fun! Lots of action and laughs despite the overall serious nature of the episode.
There were a few slow moments thanks to the usual suspects – *coughTalbotcough* – and the usual behavior from Daisy and Lincoln is becoming pretty tiresome. We get it, you love being an inhuman and people should accept that. Yes, Lincoln you’re a hothead and despite complaining about how much you hate your powers, you sure do like going overboard with them.
Powers Boothe appears to be having too much fun playing the bad guy and we’re grateful for that. The evolution of HYDRA over the years has been a perpetually entertaining arc and it did not disappoint in “Inside Man”. The organization has a knack for being surprisingly pervasive in any location, at any time, with any person of high integrity. Add Hive to the mix and they aren’t going away anytime soon. It does make one wonder just when SHIELD is going to incorporate itself again in the MCU. True, there is the Inhumans film in pre-production but it can’t be here soon enough.