Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap and Review: 'Devils You Know'
Last week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Inhumans became more central to the plot than ever, and this week that trend continued as more Inhumans were introduced- and then promptly killed off in an exciting and fast-paced, yet slightly underwhelming episode.
Dinner is ruined for a lovely Inhuman couple when Lash kicks down the door, killing them both and injuring a third. Although none of them were new to their powers, they couldn't stand a chance against Lash, who's quickly becoming this season's most formidable foe. Daisy and Mack show up too late, and scary movie antics ensue as they creep around in the dark looking for the killer. Suddenly, they find themselves in a tense standoff with the ATCU, Rosalind Price, and her new best buddy Coulson. He explains that this partnership is simply "a means to an end" to which Daisy retorts, "Ours or theirs?" I'm inclined to side with Daisy on this one, but I'm still hoping Coulson has one of those game-changing secret plans he's come to be known for.
The banter between Price and Coulson is quickly becoming one of my favorite parts of the show, and their battle of wills continues this episode- with Coulson coming out the winner so far. Apparently Coulson has been careful which secrets he shares with the ATCU and still seems to have the upper hand. Still, I can't help but feel that this partnership might be difficult to keep under control. Price has shown that she is definitely on his level, and the two seem to be getting along well- almost too well. Daisy is obviously suspicious of their first-name basis relationship, referring to the ATCU's "Dragon Lady" as the "sharp, attractive, head of a big shady organization." Coulson, in turn, accuses Daisy of letting her inner conspiracy nut run rampant, but only time will tell.
Both teams head to the location of an Inhuman IT guy who's been sending out emails to trace the location of other Inhumans. Despite Price and her gang tagging along whenever S.H.I.E.L.D. tracks down a new lead, Daisy is still owning her new role, leading the charge with a seismic blast. However, she's forced to retreat after finding that our newest Inhuman, Frye, essentially suffers from severe allergic reactions to other Inhumans. Frye helps Lash by sensing the location of other Inhumans and tracking them down. He believes that other Inhumans shouldn't have to live with their powers, since his own are a source of pain. Coulson hands Frye over to the ATCU, but not before convincing Price to let Daisy and Mack tag along to ensure their facilities are up to scratch. It seems Coulson is still keeping a firm hand on the situation– literally. Coulson's new hand appears to give him near-superhuman strength- and apparently it's also equipped with a "laser-finger." But that's classified.
Unfortunately, Frye never makes it to ATCU headquarters, as the transport truck is intercepted by Lash. Daisy can do nothing but watch from her hiding place as Frye begs for mercy. Before killing Frye, Lash proclaims, "I'm not merciful, I'm necessary." There's nothing more terrifying than a killer with a cause- except for a killer that can hide in plain sight. Daisy witnesses something unexpected- as Lash walks away, she sees his shadow transform into a human.
Meanwhile, Agent Morse has a gut feeling that Hunter's in trouble- and she's not wrong. Lately, Hunter seems to have bit off more than he can chew. After what Ward did to Agent Morse last season, Hunter wants to go after Ward guns blazing, and damn the consequences. Agent May points out that his desperation has affected his judgment.
Sure enough, Hunter lands himself in the midst of a firefight, completely unprepared to Ward again face-to-face. Back-up shows up just in time as Agent May jumps into the fray to help, but Ward has a contingency plan. Unless they stand down, Ward will have von Strucker kill Dr. Garner. Hunter goes after Ward despite the risk, convincing himself that it's a bluff. Ward is hit, but he gets away as Dr. Garner becomes the victim of a fiery explosion, marking the second death caused by Hunter's reckless vendetta this season.
Meanwhile, Agent Weaver helps along the Simmons arc. After covering for Fitz earlier in the season, she's now covering for Simmons by keeping her secret. But this time her cover-up is pushing Fitz and Simmons away from each other, rather than bringing them back together. Last week we learned that, for reasons yet unknown, Simmons desperately needs to go back to the alien world. So far, only Agent Morse knows about this, and she gently reminds Simmons that there are others she could confide in that would help her. After this heart-to-heart with Bobbi, Simmons finally opens up to Fitz at the end of the episode. She's now prepared to tell him "everything," and asks for his help re-opening the portal. This closing scene serves to set up next week's episode, when it seems we'll finally discover what happened during Simmons' time in the alien otherworld.
All of the classic elements were there this week; the witty humor, the sweet moments of bonding between characters, the feats of strength and badassery, and the (literally) explosive dramatic end scene (not to mention a major character death). But for some reason, I still felt that something was missing from the episode, leaving me feeling slightly underwhelmed. Perhaps it was the lack of monolith action, or perhaps it's because this show has become so much more than just S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra, but whatever the reason, it looks as though next week's episode will be getting back on track....