Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Chaos Theory' Recap and Review

Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 10:16AM
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Wednesday, 11 November 2015 - 10:16AM
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Chaos Theory' Recap and Review
Last week's installment of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. gave us the most shocking reveal of the season when we discovered that Lash was none other than S.H.I.E.L.D.'s own Dr. Andrew Garner. This week sees drama ensue as the team comes to terms with this "monstrous" truth. Unfortunately the show fluffed its lines, failing to capitalize on a season high point and rushing through an Inhuman storyline that could have been a huge moment in.
 
'Chaos Theory' is off to a tension-filled start with Daisy, Coulson, and Dr. Garner arguing about whether Inhumans deserve the chance to learn to control their powers before being stocked away to wait for a cure. It's always interesting how discovering more background on a character makes you more aware of how they might react to everyday dialogue. In the case of Garner/Lash, viewers were incredibly aware of the distinctly unsettling moment when Garner says he feels that not all Inhumans deserve the chance to evolve their abilities. What would have been an off-the-cuff remark last week, now feels like an ominous threat.
 
Despite my wariness of Coulson's deal with the ATCU, it's reassuring to see him plan to use this partnership to join in on a meeting with the President and act as an advocate for the Inhumans. Coulson has been handling the partnership well, but I can't help but worry that he'll lose sight of S.H.I.E.L.D's goals of protecting the masses in favor of protecting those closest to him- especially now that he and Rosalind Price are getting cozier by the week.  
 
The developing Coulson/ Price relationship is far from the only romantic subplot this week. With the Lincoln/Daisy, Bobbi/Lance, May/Garner, and Fitz/Simmons pairings contributing to the plot, there's so much relationship drama we're starting to think this show might belong on the CW. Whether this romantic angst will help or hinder the show is yet to be seen, but so far the show has handled these pairings rather well. The relationships add to the emotional depth of show without seeming forced, and each one has a very unique dynamic which has prevented it from feeling to repetitive so far.
 
This week Fitz and Simmons plotline progressed as Fitz recovered the data from the phone Jemma had in her possession on the alien planet. He finds an emotional video message Simmons recorded for him during her ordeal, in which she confesses she often thought about the life they could've had together. Fitz wasn't the only one in tears by the end of the video. Fitz also finds a picture of Will on the phone and recognizes that the symbol on Will's uniform is the same one he spotted at the castle. He begins to suspect that the same secret organization that constructed the castle basement was behind NASA's mission to the alien planet. We're not sure an ancient organization could be behind NASA missions, but we're sure that certain corners of the internet have been telling us that for a while now.

 
Meanwhile, Agent May confronts Dr. Garner who explains that he transformed around 6 months ago after their trip to Hawaii. The rest of the team finally learns the truth when Lincoln comes to warn them that Lash has to be working for S.H.I.E.L.D. since they have Jiaying's ledger of Inhumans, and it's the Inhumans on that ledger that have been on Lash's hit list. Apparently, the book was rigged with terrigen activating Dr. Garner's powers and causing him to "Lash out" violently- thanks to his new inexplicable desire to kill Inhumans. It seems the writers really wanted you to make the connection between Lash and that term 'Lashing out', because they used it more times than was really necessary, so just remember he's 'Lash' because he 'Lashes out'.

The team goes after Dr. Garner, hoping to bring him in peacefully, which obviously doesn't happen. In another case of S.H.I.E.L.D. oversight, the team bring Lincoln along, yeah the same Lincoln whose friends were just brutally murdered by the man they're trying to capture. Understandably, Lincoln is a little short fused and when he attempts to fry Lash into oblivion, he's jeopardizes the entire mission. Lincoln's attack backfires and Lash wreaks havoc, only stopping when confronted by Agent May in an emotional scene in which she pleads to the man inside Lash to basically calm the F down. This all felt a little too reminiscent of every scene involving turning Hulk back into Bruce Banner. Maybe Marvel needs to come up with a new way to calm down monsters that isn't a woman standing in front of him with puppy dog eyes. Either way, May knew what she was doing and abruptly forces Lash into a containment unit by way of a S.H.I.E.L.D.-issued handgun.
 
Both Daisy and Agent May agree that Dr. Garner should be put into stasis storage at the ATCU until a cure can be found. Daisy might not agree with Price's methods, but now it's difficult not to view the ATCU facilities as a decent contingency plan for when things get out of hand. Like Price said earlier "mankind is scary enough as it is" and "for every daisy Johnson there's a Lash".
 
But if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. taught us anything, it's to never trust anybody, especially people who head up shadowy organizations like the ATCU. Just as we were starting to trust Price, the final scene threw viewers through a loop as we see her on the phone with Gideon Malik- the very same Hydra kingpin who's supporting Ward's revenge plan to "cut off the head of S.H.I.E.L.D", aka Phil Coulson. Chances are that Price isn't aware of Malik's ties to Hydra, but this new plot twist is still a game changer. If Malik is pulling the strings at the ATCU, "curing" Inhumans probably isn't at the top of his list. Whether or not she's in league with Hydra, with Price answering to Malik, Coulson is in more danger than usual. Emotional ties have always been a weakness for Coulson and, as endearing that quality is, it could also be the downfall of our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D director.


 
We hadn't seen or heard much from new Inhuman Joey Gutierrez so far, but now he's back in the show and he has pretty impressive control of his powers. Hopefully we will get to see Joey develop into his own character soon, because so far he's served merely as convenient plot fodder more than anything else. With Lash under containment (for now) it would be nice to see a focus on the Secret Warriors story arc that was talked up by showrunners before the season started.
 
The vague explanation for Dr. Garner's violent reign as Lash was a bit of a letdown. Since his activation, Dr. Garner has apparently been struggling to control his new-found murderous impulses and suffering from delusions of "moral responsibility" claiming he "only killed those who deserve it". He didn't have any vigilante type tendencies before his transformation, but now he seems obsessed with ridding the world of dangerous Inhumans. What's more, Lash has already been taken down and is no longer a threat (at least for the moment). Readers of the comics may have mixed feelings on Lash's new origin story. In his first appearance in the comics, Lash is an Inhuman from another city who believes the majority of Earth's new Inhumans unworthy of their powers. While the writers of the show should be applauded for taking an interesting spin on Lash's 'Judgement Quest', it has all felt a little underwhelming so far. 
 
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday at 9pm on ABC.
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