Previously on Agents of SHIELD, “The Team”
Agents of SHIELD – s3e18 – The Singularity | Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Brett Dalton, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, Alicia Vela-Bailey, Axle Whitehead | Writer: Lauren LeFranc | Director: Garry A. Brown
Picking up the pieces and dusting off their bruised egos, Coulson and SHIELD try to keep tabs on Hive and the inhumans in his stead, and those he intends to turn. Even with the Playground in ruins, May leads in the field despite her protestations on how the Director relies on her too much to do his dirty work. Meanwhile, FitzSimmons and Mack search for a prominent researcher who could provide the key to ridding the world of Hive permanently.
OH, THE INHUMANITY!
Poor, hapless Lincoln. It’s clear Coulson still doesn’t think well of the poor lad. Just when he thought he found a place to belong, Phil forces Campbell to choose between going in the field while wearing a murder vest (the explosives are meant to protect him, honest!) or stay in the Playground and do nothing. Worried about Daisy – and Alisha Whitney, who’s already under Hive’s control – Lincoln is the odd man out in this manhunt. Elena and Joey are a no-show because they too are vulnerable and in the doghouse for attempt to escape from SHIELD.
Like Fitz, Lincoln appears ready to do anything he can to save his girl from the clutches of the world’s sexiest tapeworm. With all his inhuman friends either dead thanks to Lash or killing themselves in Hive’s name, Lincoln may be getting it in his head that he has to do more in order to save what’s left of his people. Even if that cost is his very life.
In the inhuman camp, James (Axel Whitehead) finally got his wish and gained some extremely unstable powers after being misted by Daisy. More hung up on creating a codename rather than controlling his plasma-based abilities, James was hastily thrust under Hive’s command and put to work with his brief tussle against Mack. Though it wasn’t entirely certain after “Paradise Lost”, it’s all but confirmed that James is indeed based on the Secret Warrior Hellfire, with some considerable alterations to his origin.
His inclusion into the fray aside, James also gave Hive the other half of the device that’s capable of destroying the wormy inhuman. Unfortunately for SHIELD they are five steps behind and probably wouldn’t be any closer if Daisy didn’t shake the base to smithereens last week.
Speaking of Agent Johnson, her turnaround may be due to Hive’s ability to control the pleasure centers of his inhuman brethren but the way she opens up to Alveus (he does have a formal name) and her surprisingly violent confrontation with Leo tells us that she may not be entirely a slave that follows Hive’s bidding. It’s difficult to say… she’s able to control her own body and thoughts (for the moment) and warns Fitz about her glimpse into the future. Although Daisy may have hated Alveus before being riddled with his parasites (ewwwww), she wasn’t the most reliable Agent in the field all season. The inhumans became more and more of a priority for her, so it’s possible Daisy isn’t resisting as much as we think she should.
MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN
“The Singularity” also introduced Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah), a mad scientist and ardent transhumanist that lives in extreme seclusion. FitzSimmons are attempting to seek an audience with the reclusive genius because of his research involving genetically modified animals that combat parasites. The pair sweeten the pot with some old CyberTek gear but Radcliffe knows what’s up and tries to make a hasty exit but nope! Hive, Daisy and James manage to kidnap the poor doctor.
Before the fracas in the club, Fitz and Mack had a very intimate view of the party-goers and practically all were augmented in some form. Aside from Radcliffe’s assistant showing off the next generation of iWatch, there weren’t any demonstrations from any of these enhanced people. Perhaps none of them had any powers considering how they all rushed to the exit once James started turning shot glasses and martini shakers into makeshift grenades.
Despite Radcliffe’s extremely trivial presence in the Marvel universe, his recurring appearance in the MCU could portend the arrival of a few cybernetic characters, or further expound on certain mysteries like the origin of the Winter Soldier’s arm, or what happened to AIM’s research after Iron Man 3. If anything, this storyline could also spell the reprisal of Deathlok himself.
…AND THAT WAS THAT
In one fell swoop, SHIELD engaged in a simultaneous international operation that eliminated HYDRA for good. Really? That’s it? After the last two seasons of building up this seemingly unstoppable terrorist organization, it all ends with Coulson observing SHIELD teams across the globe taking down the last vestiges of a centuries-old institution. It feels like a bit of a cop-out because of all the effort given to build such a formidable enemy, only to have them fizzle out in ten seconds.
It’s understandable as Hive and his inhumans are the new big bads and both adversaries would be far too much for SHIELD to handle. Considering that Marvel Studios has dropped The Inhumans from their slate of films, it seems SHIELD is readying itself to make this arc far more prolific and mayhaps include the royal family itself.
FITZSIMMONS AFTER DARK
How cute were these two this week? It’s just like a pair of nerds to discuss their potential mating habits rather than simply go for it like the rest of us normals. Awkward relationship talks aside, both individually suffered rather traumatic moments, resulting in their scenes being edited together as though either one was going to fall victim to Daisy’s premonition. What they suffered was enough to push them over the event horizon – tomorrow isn’t guaranteed in their line of work – and now Fitz and Simmons’ silly nickname’s existence is finally justified.
This doesn’t mean both of them will survive the third season. SHIELD is a Whedon show, after all.
This week’s episode features a tie between Agent May drifting Zephyr One through the Playground’s malfunctioned blast doors like it ain’t no thing. Near “The Singularity”‘s end, Simmons looked Hive square in the eye before popping three rounds in his guts then casually walked away. Who can blame Jemma after Alveus brought up old memories of Will’s that he absorbed along with the astronaut’s body.
Look at his face. Yeah, that just happened… what you gonna do about it?! These women do NOT play.
SHIELD’s recovery efforts and Hive’s plans for an inhuman community continue next week in “Heartless” on Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC!
Agents of SHIELD S3E18 = 9.8/10