It Was Hive vs Blue Man Group in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'Failed Experiments'

Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 11:12AM
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Wednesday, 04 May 2016 - 11:12AM
With a major character death just around the corner, "Failed Experiments" serves as further build-up to what will likely be a world-shattering season finale for Agents of S.H.I.E.I.D. fans. The title of the episode pretty much says it all, with the episode focusing on three experiments that all failed in their own spectacular fashion.

1.) Hive is referred to as the ultimate failed experiment of the Kree.
2.) Dr. Radcliffe failed in his attempt to help Hive "advance the species" (by turning humans into Inhuman warriors by altering their genetics),  
3.) Fitz and Simmons failed to create a cure for Hive's infection.

Nobody is ahead when everyone's failing, so the episode was a little underwhelming at times. The focus on the lab experiments made this episode feel like it was still slowly building up to the season finale, rather than jumping in headfirst into the whirlwind event that the Fallen Agent arc was promised to be. For an episode in which everyone suddenly threw caution to the wind, it moved somewhat slowly. Still, the sheer world-altering potential of Hive's Inhuman experiments combined with the aftermath of Civil War should make for a heart-stopping finale episode. That being said, "Failed Experiments" definitely had its moments.
Once again, Hive's team of Inhumans seemed like a more cohesive and happy bunch than the Secret Warriors ever got to be this season. While the one time the Secret Warriors banded together was fraught with paranoia and betrayal, Team Hive knows how to have a good time. Seeing the group chilling out in creepy mind-controlled bliss was equal parts unnerving and entertaining.
It wasn't all fun and games at Hive headquarters, though. The first test subjects of Hive's gruesome experiments met a grisly end, putting the pressure on Dr. Radcliffe to deliver the results he promised to Hive. It turns out, the missing ingredient that caused Radcliffe's experiment to fail was the blood of a living Kree. As luck would have it, the mysterious Kree orb that Hive seized has the power to summon not one, but two living Kree Reapers who exist for the sole reason of killing Hive. Clearly, Hive wasn't the Kree's only failure, since they obviously weren't even able to cobble together a decent failsafe to stop him. The Kree Reapers weren't nearly as formidable as they should have been, looking more like overweight pro-wrestlers from the 1980's as they face-off against the lean and purposeful Hive. The lumbering Kree reapers were defeated far too easily after all the buildup surrounding the artifact, which Hive had previously said was the only thing that could destroy him.

Despite Hive and Daisy successfully taking down the two reapers, their plan fails when S.H.I.E.L.D. intervenes. Luckily for Hive, Daisy is desperate to get back in his good books after her pals crashed their party. Daisy reveals that she has all the Kree blood Hive needs pumping through her veins, thanks to the 'cure' Coulson gave her a while back.
During all the chaos of aliens coming to Earth, Mack and Daisy have a tense face-to-face confrontation that served as another reminder of Mack's growth as a character this season. After Mack pleads with his partner, Daisy refuses to listen and violently attacks him, beating him within an inch of his life and only stopping when the cavalry rolls in to enable a hasty escape. Daisy could easily have killed Mack, and the question of whether or not she would have if she hadn't been stopped will likely be ringing in her ex-partner's mind all the way to the end of the season. If Daisy is going to secure some redemption this season, I'm it doesn't come at the expense of Mack's life, but after their brutal face-off this episode I'm feeling less concerned about Mack being the fallen agent.

Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Lincoln got to make a stand this week by rashly disobeying Coulson's orders (again) in order to test out FitzSimmons tentative cure, the same cure that could hold the key to saving Daisy (of course). His angsty lovesick attempt at heroics backfired on him when the cure failed, destroying his immune system and placing him on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team bench for even longer. This didn't so much develop his character further as cement what we have already come to expect from him, but it was still a nice effort on Lincoln's part.
During its mad dash towards the finale, this week's episode also attempted to introduce some new agents, which felt a little off-pace. It's not the first time we've seen other agents come along on missions, but it seems as though they were trying to develop the character of Piper when there was just way too much going on in the episode already. This sort of move usually means that the character is just being puffed up to die later on, but it still felt unnecessary. If she hasn't been introduced simply to die then this would have been a very out–of-place way to introduce a new recurring character. There's a nagging doubt in my mind that Piper could be gaining some faux-prominence at this late stage just to become the 'Fallen Agent', but surely Marvel wouldn't pull a stunt like that....would they?  
With Civil War coming out on Friday, we were hoping for a little more build up to the film, but apart from a few notable lines, the show didn't elaborate on the upcoming events. Hive mentions that when he was created his abilities led to fear that "bred paranoia, which led to Civil War", and then the lines got even more on the nose when he went on to say that "Only billionaires can build iron suits, only the military can make super soldiers, which can lead to a war of its own". Although the pointed references to the upcoming film were a little more subtle than we had hoped, we expect the aftermath of the Civil War events to have a significant ripple effect that could even serve to set up the fourth season of the show.
Best Lines:
-Simmons: "I was much too busy listening to the disgusting face of Grant Ward act like my dead boyfriend."
Fitz: "That's true, that does sound worse."
Simmons: "Right, if this was a competition then I'd win. I had to shoot him three times just to shut him up."
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

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