Spoilers ahead for “Failed Experiments,” the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The short version: Everything is awful. Fitz and Simmons -- still figuring out their workplace dating situation -- work on a cure to detox Hive from Inhuman brains, which Lincoln foolishly takes for a test spin. Mack beats himself up with guilt over not seeing Daisy’s turn, and then gets really beaten up by Daisy. May plays an eager HYDRA agent to woo James, much to James' chagrin. And a few pair of Kree bookend the episode, being dispatched faster than you’d expect. And Hive is basically the worst and wants to make everyone Inhuman.
The good: Mack attacks and the Daisy chain
I thought Mack was a goner this episode after getting the crap kicked out of him by Daisy. While I did not see that part coming, I did expect things to go south for him after he disobeyed orders and went rogue in an attempt to save her.
Not that I can blame ol’ Mack. Everyone in Coulson’s army has had a tough go of it, but Mack seems to have been building up to this point with one broken relationship after another. The Bobbi and Hunter loss seems to still be weighing on him, and he just can’t let Daisy go.
Interestingly, it was Coulson who was the most reasonable about Daisy, admitting she’s a lost cause – but stopping short of telling May to put her down if she gets a chance. And burn! How cold was it for her to remind Phil that Daisy is not his daughter?
Daisy’s “Fallen Agent” arc has been intriguing to watch because Chloe Bennet is selling the performance as neither good nor entirely evil, but somewhere in between – although the scale tipped more toward evil this week. Her banter about Hive’s plan in the bar with James (as they drank beer and played pinball, and Alisha poured herselves a drink) was a refreshing villain talk because it wasn’t mustache-twirling level of bad. Sure, she’s technically infected and in a cult, but she seems to truly believe everyone would be better off with Hive at the helm and that her “friends” at S.H.I.E.L.D. will eventually come around to that.
And sorry, Mack, but it was pretty great watching Daisy get brutal with her powers on her former partner.
I don’t think Hive will last much longer, but how great would it be if Daisy is set up to be the villain for next season? If Bennet can remain likable, and somewhat reasoned (in her mind), she could make for an incredibly compelling long-term baddie for a post-Civil War MCU.
Speaking of Civil War, there were a couple references to the new Captain America movie – and to super soldiers and billionaires with suits – but this storyline is still feeling more like an X-Men story.
The bad: Kree-py issues
So, we got a little more backstory on how Hive began as a prehistoric human before being forcibly converted into an Inhuman by the Kree. And, clearly, he has been holding a several thousand-year-old grudge about the whole matter.
While his A-plan is to convert humans into Inhumans with the help of Holden Radcliffe -- starting with some remaining HYDRA brass -- it seems like Hive just wants to attract some Kree Reapers to earth for a smackdown.
But I was left pretty underwhelmed by it all. First up, the Kree look just doesn’t do it for me. I realize MAOS is working with a TV budget and the kick-ass moments have to be parceled out. Still, the blue blokes did not seem too threatening. And for these awesome warriors, their fighting skills were clunky and slow, and they were dispatched with relative ease.
Plus, Hive is starting to lose my interest. I realize he’s the ultimate baddies, but I like my evil Ward with a little more nuance. His transformation plan is very much like Ian McKellen’s Magneto in 2000’s X-Men movie; he could literally solve all his problems if everyone fell in line and joined the Inhuman cause. There would be no more war. I get that. But he’s also so ready to dial to full evil – did he need to nearly choke out Radcliffe when the guy was already on his side? – and could dial it back a bit to be more likably evil.
Finally, I hope Coulson gets back into action next week, and also makes the call that Daisy’s got to go.
Oh, and what’s up with suddenly having these stray S.H.I.E.L.D. agents show up? Did they come out of nowhere?
I don't think May would settle for a flesh wound instead of kill shot to save Mack from Daisy.
With only a couple episodes left, I'm feeling rushed to get someone into outer space to die.
My money is on Lincoln dying; he can't be in S.H.I.E.L.D. without Daisy. And there will need to be a showdown between these two.
“It would have felt better if he actually died instead of just oozing”
“Maybe he’s hoping to form some kind of creepy dude alliance”