Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Finally Gave Us the Secret Warriors, Then They Took Them Away

Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 10:54AM
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Wednesday, 20 April 2016 - 10:54AM

Spoilers for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'The Team' follow

For one beautiful shining moment this week's episode finally gave us the Secret Warriors team up that we've been waiting all season - and then it was gone. It's looking like the Secret Warriors plotline isn't going to go the way we wanted it to, at least not this season. The few existing members of the Secret Warriors initiative got their moment in the sun before Hive came sweeping in and mind-hacked our favorite leading lady. 

Last week we left off with team S.H.I.E.L.D. in peril and relying on the help of the Inhuman Secret Warriors to come to the rescue. The rescue itself took all of 5 minutes, but it was as amazing as it was brief. Elena and Joey make a great team, and it was fun to watch the two bond over being thrown into the world of secret spy missions. It wasn't all sunshine and clear skies, though. When Lincoln winds up paralyzed, Joey is forced to kill Lucio (aka Medusa Eyes) by jamming a metal stake through his heart. This left its mark on Joey and will obviously have repercussions for him later in the season, which isn't surprising seeing as most of us can't kill another person without some seriously heavy baggage to sort through.
During their rescue, the team successfully captures Malick, taking him back to base to interrogate him for information about Hive. Between the vision of his own death and witnessing Hive murder his daughter last week,  Malick understandably seems to have given up on things. This works out rather conveniently for S.H.I.E.L.D. as it means the Hydra boss is now a little more open to a spot of revenge on the parasite that has slowly ruined his life.

It's a credit to the talents of Powers Booth that, during Malick's predicament, I almost felt bad for him. Him being a person who throughout his life has shown little to no regard for anyone other than himself. Malick tells S.H.I.E.L.D. that Hive uses a parasitic form of mind control on Inhumans that causes brain damage over time. This makes sense now that we know Hive was created by the Kree in order to control an army of Inhumans. But Malick's words weren't all roses and rainbows for Coulson, who soon calls for a quarantine of the Inhumans after the Hydra boss leads him to believe that one of the Secret Warriors could have been infected during the rescue mission. It doesn't take long before a state of paranoia sweeps through S.H.I.E.L.D HQ, something that is summed up by the wise words of Agent Mackenzie who says "Everyone looks suspicious if you stare at them long enough".
As the heightened sense of chaos and paranoia reaches fever pitch, Malick is killed by an Inhuman operating under Hive's control. After a quick game of whodunnit leads to the Inhumans being put on lockdown, the blame is eventually posted squarely on Lincoln's shoulders. This, of course, seems wholly implausible. Lincoln may have been a somewhat dull, sullen grump since he came to the show, but he's soon come around to S.H.I.E.L.D.'s way of thinking, and needless killing is a big step above his usual anger management issues.

But when Daisy escapes capture and visits Lincoln's cell, we soon learn that it was her who has fallen foul of Hive's powers. This also means that Malick's vision of his own painful death wasn't inflicted by Hive as we once thought, but by our very own Agent Daisy Johnson. With this revelation, Daisy's powers all of a sudden seem more pronounced than we've ever seen them, and after Lincoln rejects her offer to do the Marvel equivalent of joining the Dark Side, she sets about bringing down the S.H.I.E.L.D. base.
Even though I knew the conflict between Daisy and S.H.I.E.L.D. was bound to come to a head at some point, I didn't expect it to happen quite like this. It will be interesting to see her really unshackling her powers, and there's no doubt that much creepiness will ensue since Hive still has Ward's memories of "Skye". Maybe the addition of Daisy to Hive's forces will help give the parasite some more depth as a character, especially given the history that his host body has shared with his new recruit. 

Despite all of this Daisy/Hive excitement, I can't shake the feeling that I wish the Secret Warriors had gotten together a little earlier, allowing for a few more scenes like this week's opener.  Daisy's "betrayal" would have carried a much more profound emotional blow if the team had actually had the chance to bond. The impact of the episode's paranoia and betrayal plotline was dampened somewhat by the fact that these Inhumans have never really been given the chance to feel like they are part of the team. Had the Secret Warriors truly embedded into the S.H.I.E.L.D. ranks, it would have been far more interesting to witness the agency tearing itself apart from the inside.

Of course, this could be explained as trying to allow us to see things more from the perspective of the new Inhuman recruits. Joey and Elena had close to zero combined experience working with S.H.I.E.L.D., so having misgivings about a powerful government organization that quarantines you at gunpoint at the first sign of trouble is easy enough to empathize with. All in, this felt like a rare misfire from the writers who normally do such a good job at making sure we feel every emotional blow that is dealt to the agents. 
On a happier note, Mack and Elena were pretty adorable this week - at least up until they hit an icy patch during the quarantine. The writers haven't shown their hand in how this relationship will develop just yet, especially since the only available opening in the "allowed-to-be-a-reasonably-happy-couple" department (previously occupied by Bobbi and Lance) has just been filled.  Yes, at long bloody last Fitz and Simmons are finally together. The general consensus is that the couple has no more time to waste, and after close to three seasons of cuteness, I'm inclined to agree. 
"The Team" was an extremely exciting installment, and it used the 'whodunnit' plot really well by executing its big reveal with what was arguably Daisy and Lincoln's most interesting and heartfelt scene together. Daisy's betrayal is another body blow for the team, and it looks like next week's episode will build on this turn of events giving us a mind-hacked Daisy working for Hive and the team coping with the aftermath.

Best lines:
"May, you can't even walk." "I can still fly."
"Simmons will try and make this sound science-y but for the record, we're about to spilt open this guy's head."
"No eres espía, aprende español."/"Aren't you a spy? Learn Spanish."
"Too fast?? Fitz, it's been 10 years. We can't waste any more time."
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