After the strong start over the last two episodes, will they keep up the momentum with Agents of SHIELD episode 303, “A Wanted (In)human.”
[divider]Recap of Agents of SHIELD Episode 303: A Wanted (In)human[/divider]
Agents of SHIELD episode 303 centers around 3 key storylines:
- Lincoln being on the run and all the complications surrounding that,
- Simmons return and her recovery,
- Hunter and May working to infiltrate Hydra.
Lincoln is on the run, trying to avoid capture. Daisy wants to bring him in and add him as a part of the team and despite her attempts to talk him in, he isn’t wanting to be on team SHIELD yet.
Daisy’s case probably isn’t helped when Lincoln discovers a tracking device SHIELD had put in him and short circuits it with his electrical powers. Lincoln then escapes a SWAT group from the Advanced Threat Containment Unit. This sends him running to a mentor and friend, who it sounds like was his sponsor in Alcoholics Anonymous.
His friend is incredibly kind, helpful and caring about Lincoln…until he sees on the news a report calling Lincoln an alien. He suddenly wields a baseball bat and Lincoln zaps him, only to accidentally kill him. Panicked, Lincoln nows calls Daisy and says he will come in with her.
Daisy and Mack then go to get Lincoln, while Coulson goes to meet with his counterpart on ATCU, Rosalind Price. Coulson and Price go back and forth like seasoned governmental workers before they ultimately strike a deal: Coulson will give her Lincoln if she keeps Daisy out of the news.
When this news gets relayed to Daisy after she and Lincoln have just kissed, it doesn’t go well. Eventually, Lincoln runs and Daisy makes it back to SHIELD, where Coulson explains his deal and mainly his willingness to work with ATCU if it means that they can help the growing surge of Inhumans instead of fighting outside forces all the time.
During all of this, Hunter and May have found an old mercenary buddy of Hunter’s and are working an angle of having high end weapons to sale. After they get drunk, the guy explains the only way into the club is via a Fight Club scenario, where you have to be the last man standing.
Hunter agrees to this, explaining later to May that he is a good fighter and, worst case, he can take punches until the other guy wears himself out. The surprise happens when it turns out Hunter and his buddy are facing each other. And while they battle, some thugs take Melinda May around back and to their surprise, they learn why her nickname is the Calvary, where she wipes the floor with them and goes back, arriving just in time to see Hunter takedown his friend, and his eyes get really wide when he learns that he has killed him.
And, of course, there is Simmons. Throughout the episode, we get little glimpses of Simmons and her recovery. We see her slowly regaining strength and we see some of the harder parts of her recovery as well, as sounds and other things trigger a reaction. She and Fitz are having a nice dinner and she has a bit of a breakdown but the crown jewel of the Simmons storyline is when she is looking at the pieces of the Monolith, now inert, and declares to Bobbi, “I have to go back!”
[divider][divider]Review of Agents of SHIELD Episode 303: A Wanted (In)human[/divider][/divider]
So, this episode is a 7.5. It lost some of the pace and speed that made the first two episodes so outstanding. And while that pace was probably unsustainable over the long haul, it felt like a car getting stuck into neutral, right as you are getting to the really cool, curvy part of the road.
- Simmons’ declaration is very interesting but it is impossible not to hear it through the lens of Jack on Lost and that lens made me go: “Oh, no!” That said, I hope that they give us a healthy, smart backstory about what happened to Simmons while she was gone and what would make her want to go back there. But don’t drag it out forever. Resolution is needed.
- ATCU seems destined to become what is known in Marvel comics as SWORD, the SHIELD like partner entity that focuses on protecting Earth from alien invaders. That change will probably take awhile but I can foresee that being slowly built up. Will it ever show up in the movies? I doubt it. But it could.
- Some great acting moments this week. Hunter’s expression when he realized that he just killed his friend was magnificent, marking a sadness and a sense of power as he is moving slowly towards his goal: killing Ward. Likewise, Simmons’ work as a wounded person in recovery was great.
- And a concern: I can only handle so many factions. At some point, SHIELD, ATCU, Hydra, the Inhumans, etc. gets to be too many moving pieces. The show is at its best when it has focus and when it loses that focus, momentum goes away and it has had a hard time recovering it in the past.