In terms of an episode, Agents of SHIELD‘s “Failed Experiments” was an exercise in both what works about the show , and its own failings. There were some seriously thrilling moments, especially once the Kree walked in. But in between the awesome sauce moment and the hilarious points (like May’s scene with James), we had some things that were enough to make anyone scream
May: Why is everyone making this about themselves?
Seriously–May was the voice of reaso this week. Both Mack and Lincoln were well night insufferable this week, trying to make Daisy’s defection all about themselves. Boys, sometimes girl just don’t choose you. Deal with it. I will say that Mack’s was certainly the more sympathetic of the two. The show’s excuse was that Lincoln hasn’t know Daisy nearly as long as the rest of them. but the truth is, Lincoln as a character is annoying and as an actor is dead wood half the time. At least Bennet has chemistry with Mack.
But the fact is, going off the reservation like this because you have emotions is not how this works. (Say it with me know: THAT’S NOT HOW ANY OF THIS WORKS!) Mack disobeyed a direct order. He’s lucky he didn;t get his ass killed. And moreover, by doing so, he cemented Daisy’s choice to pick the other side. Meanwhile, Fitz basically laid out the case for Lincoln on how this was just not ok. He disobeyed Coulson, and he fried the base to boot. One can only hope that someone walks in and sneezes on Lincoln hard.
Radcliffe: I was swept up in the moment! I wanted to change the world! Besides, you’re very….frightening.
Now the good stuff! Seeing Hive in his original body at the top of the episode was a neat gesture as well as a reminder to those not steeped in the lore of the Marvelverse how long ago the whole Kree and Inhumans thing happened. This was a project on earth so long ago it came and went centuries before recorded history. The early humans who defeated the Kree and hid the transmitter to call them back did so for a damn reason–not to mention the Kree themselves took off and abandoned the Inhuman project and Hive because it wasn’t working. Now he’s called them back–or at least a pair of hunters in status, who it turned out were less interested in looking for new humans to turn than in killing off the Inhumans we have now. Perhaps if all goes truly badly, calling in the Kree will be Coulson’s last resort?
Until the Kree showed up though and started taking Inhumans out, Afterlife 2.0 was an awesome place to be, now located somewhere in America. The original Afterlife was all Asian fusion and peaceful meditation. Afterlife 2.0 is pinball, beer and vaguely western like stereotypes. But it was a joy to see the Inhumans being allowed top be themselves in public–well most of them James continues to be the best asshole they’ve written into the show in years. I continue to doubt his ability to survive to Season 4, but a girl can dream about seeing May kick his ass on a regular basis.
Grant: Only billionaires can build iron suits. Only the military can make supersoldiers, which can only lead to a war of it’s own.
Hive as new Jai’ying also continues to be one of the better iterations of Grant Ward so far. Not to mention that his plan is to make everyone an Inhuman is the best choice we could hope for. His cult leader behavior is effective as hell, and watching Daisy literally offer to have her own blood drained to appease him was both well done and horrifying. Mack’s right–she’s not well. But the more they fight her, the more she will cleave to her newfound family, even if it’s Hive who is calling the Kree to come back so Daisy can kill them.
And speaking of fighting. That Daisy’s takedown of the Kree was merely an appetizer for the main course of her versus Mack while Hive took down his own Kree opponent was thrilling. Bennet especially has grown in her fighting skills these last three years, and every time they give her an action sequence, it’s like she reaches new levels. Meanwhile, Hive seemed to almost be a cheat–in the end the Kree was never going to win, because Hive, as far as we can see it, cannot be killed by conventional weapons. Someone release the Lash!
Mack: Worst case scenario, if Hive can’t be killed?
Coulson: I suggest running. Very fast. Away.
Next week is the two part finale, which we are all promised will leave someone dead. After tonight it’s hard to imagine it won’t leave several someones dead, considering how easily Daisy can take down Mack. The question is, can anyone take down Daisy, since Hive’s plan now hinges on her and her Kree blood. (One could also say that Coulson is a candidate for blood extraction, just point of order.)
By the way, Civil War opens this week, and from the looks of it, other than Grant’s one prophetic throwaway line there doesn’t seem to be any sort of reflection on the show. I mean, we’ll see, things could change. But as of right now, it looks like the show had chosen to diverge wholly from the movies for its own good.