Tonight’s genre-shifting episode of Agents of SHIELD was one of my favorites of the season and of the series, so far. There were a few moments of the episode that made it one of my favorites, but, ultimately, what made this one of the best episodes of the season, in my opinion, was the pacing and the focus on the centrality of the team.
A New Inhuman
We were introduced to another Inhuman tonight with an interesting set of abilities. A single touch from Charles (Bjorn Johnson) would enable the person touching him to see a death. The death the person sees, though, is unclear at the beginning of the episode. Do they see their own death? Do they see the fatality of another person? As the episode goes on, we learn that both of these answers can be correct.
While attempting to rescue Charles from being kidnapped, Daisy is shown a vision that brings her a lot of turmoil. After her vision, the team does everything they can to make sure the events of the vision don’t come to pass.
Fitz, however, points out that once someone sees the future, the future cannot be changed. Fitz uses some visuals and a lot of science-speak to explain the working of space, time, and the fourth dimension, but Director Coulson (and myself) was just as confused as ever. The team still tries everything they can to make sure what Daisy saw doesn’t happen.
The Centrality of the Team
As much as I hated to see Bobbi and Hunter leave a few episodes ago, cutting the team down a few members reminded me of the old days in season one when we had our six agents, Coulson, Skye, May, FitzSimmons, and Ward going on missions together in The Bus. Now, things are a little different. There was a scene where Coulson, Daisy, Lincoln, May, and FitzSimmons are walking out of Coulson’s office and it reminded me of the old days of Agents of SHIELD before the Hydra Uprising.
The team attempts to recreate scene from Daisy’s vision, but with Agent May in place of Daisy. It’s a fun and well-written sequence filled with humor. I laughed out loud when May would say, “Bang! Bang!” during the recreating of the scuffle to let her teammates know she had fired her weapon. It was also a fun moment when Simmons got involved in the reenactment and may had to tell her when to fall down. This scene was one of the few, if not the only, light moments in a rather dark episode by Agents of SHIELD standards.
Agent May and Dr. Garner
Like Fitz predicted, something did happen which would force Daisy to go on the mission no matter what the team did to stop the events of Daisy’s vision from happening. In a shocking moment, Dr. Garner suddenly returned. He turned himself in to S.H.I.E.L.D. because he know’s that the next time he transforms into Lash, it will be his last time and he will stay as Lash forever. Something that is hinted at in this episode is that Lash may come into play again later in this season – perhaps to deal with Hive?
There were a few times throughout the episode tonight that reminded me of other shows and films.
The introduction scene and the beginning quarter of the episode reminded me of an episode of Castle or another police procedural or crime drama. The team is keeping track of emergency dispatches when they find out about Charles. It was the scene in which the team brings in the wife of Charles to talk to her to get more info on him that made it feel like a police procedural. When Daisy was talking to her, it reminded me of scenes in Castle when Captain Beckett would question suspects.
When the team was reenacting Daisy’s fight scene, I was hoping they would do another one-take scene like Daisy’s fight last season. Boy, did they deliver. Daisy’s one-take fight sequence reminded me of another Marvel hero who has a knack for taking down a lot of bad guys in a single take and happens to call Hell’s Kitchen home. Props to Chloe Bennet for killing – literally and figuratively – her action sequences and blending the use of her powers and hand-to-hand combat so fluidly.
Agents of SHIELD airs on Tuesday nights, 9/8c on ABC.