Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: "A Wanted (Inhu)Man"

Wednesday, 14 October 2015 - 12:31PM
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015 - 12:31PM
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: "A Wanted (Inhu)Man"
If last week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. brought us countless questions, this week's entry showed us that Marvel will be making us wait before we get any answers.
 
In an electrifying start to the episode, Lincoln is forced to go on the run from our new favorite gun-toting government agency, causing a spectacular shower of sparks as he makes his escape. Not only was this a visually stunning scene, but it was also a welcome return to a more Inhuman-centric storyline after the last episode eschewed this particular arc in favor of focusing on the monolith and Simmons return to the team. 

Simmons's return at the end of the last episode opened up an entire realm (see what we did there?) of baffling  possibilities and burning questions. We still don't know what happened to Simmons on the alien planet other than the fact that she was being "hunted".  Seeing her struggling with the aftermath of her traumatic experience is heartbreaking, but it opens up the opportunity to really see how deep her relationship with Fitz runs, with here counterpart taking the term adorable to new levels. Evidently though, it will take more than a romantic dinner to get Simmons back to her normally high-functioning self. For some reason, Simmons desperately feels the need to go back through the portal, the reasons for which remain painfully unspoken. Does she have unfinished business on the planet, or does she just need some questions answered before she can put the matter to rest? These are shaping up to become the burning questions of this entire season, and it wouldn't be at all surprising to see Marvel withhold the answers until the Season 3 climax in 2016.
 
Away from the Simmons arc, this week saw Agents Hunter and May make some progress on their ambitious mission to infiltrate Hydra and track down Ward. It soon becomes clear that Agent May will endure just about anything to achieve her goals, including the torturous proceedings of listening to two drunken Brits bonding over beers.  Hunter's contact, a towering lump of a man known as Spud eventually divulges that, if Hunter and May want to work their way into Hydra, they have to prove themselves worthy by fighting their way in. Deciding that it may look odd if a "tiny Asian woman" takes down a big burly man, Hunter is put into the ring in a bare-knuckle, no rules fight. His opponent, the very same man he was just sharing a beer with – it turns out Spud wasn't quite the mate Hunter thought. But as Hunter is steadily getting his brains beaten out, Agent May finds a way to blow off some steam….  
 
 
Hunter ends up defeating his one-time pal, apparently killing him in the process, which only serves to further intrigue the Hydra contact running the fight club/recruitment office. They've scored their meeting, but with contact already made with one of Ward's right hand men, are things moving a little too fast?
 
Hunter and May's exploits would remain the one violent moment in what was a surprisingly romance-laden episode. With the ATCU having released Lincoln's picture to the public, the Inhuman now finds himself isolated with nowhere to turn, a fact that only becomes more true when he accidentally kills his one true friend (an old contact from a rehab program).  Coulson, as usual, is one a step ahead. Having placed a tracker on Lincoln's jacket during their last meeting, S.H.I.E.L.D. is able to locate and attempt to rescue Lincoln during his darkest hour. While they might come as a relief to her, Coulson's tactics don't sit well with Daisy, and there are shades of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as the she makes an impassioned plea for a more human approach to handling Inhumans like Lincoln. Daisy has a point, too. At the very least, tracking Inhumans without consulting Daisy undermines her position, and while she might be new to her leadership role, I can't help but think Coulson made a rare mistake in not consulting her. When Daisy reaches Lincoln, she begs for him to take shelter in the relative safety of S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. It's a plea which sees the two Inhumans share a romantic embrace that we've know was coming ever since they first crossed paths last season. Did it feel predictable? Yes. Does it make us any less happy about it? Heck no.
 
As Daisy and Mack intercept Lincoln in an effort to bring him back to S.H.E.I.L.D, Coulson meets ATCU chief Rosalind Price in what would become the best sequence of the episode. With ATCU troops heading off S.H.I.E.L.D.'s rescue attempt, Price reveals to Coulson that she has identified Daisy as an Inhuman, essentially giving her the government-mandated power to apprehend the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, or at the very least, make her secrets public. In a nice battle of political minds, Coulson deals out a number of bargaining chips to counter Price's superior position. At first he agrees to let the ATCU take Lincoln but that plan goes south when Lincoln escapes, leaving Coulson with no choice but to form a partnership with Price in exchange for Daisy's safety. 
 
I trust that Coulson has a plan, but I still have to wonder how much control he actually has over the partnership. I can't help but agree with Daisy - it's hard to trust the ATCU when they're actively hunting Inhumans, and Price is a shrewd character who has so far proven herself to be one-step ahead of her opposite number at S.H.I.E.L.D.
 
With budding romance, people hunting, and the accidental murder of old friends, this episode was undeniably intense.  Despite having some dark and emotionally-loaded themes, Agents of SHEILD generally keeps to a lighthearted tone that viewers have come to know and love, and this episode didn't disappoint. The dark plotlines were accompanied by some well placed humor, witty banter, and endearing moments.  If we could see more of Hunter's drunken (subtitled) ramblings each episode, we would be very happy.
 
Admittedly, I did expect to be seeing more of the Inhumans by this point, but hopefully the rest of the season will be more consistent about keeping up with Daisy and the Secret Warriors. Next week's episode looks promising with the return of Lash, and possibly the introduction of a new Inhuman. As Simmons and Daisy said, the terrigen is spreading- and so is the paranoia.



Marvel's Agents of S.H.E.L.D continues next Tuesday at 9/8c on ABC. 
 
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