In the midseason finale of arguably Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s best season yet, episode 10 entitled “Maveth”, had some good and it had some bad. While over the last few weeks AoS seemed to become more seamless in its storytelling, by finally doing more with less. It seems, however, to be back to its bad habit of doing too much and having too many plot threads.
“Maveth” focuses on several main plot pieces of the various members of the SHIELD team, all narrowing to its midseason finale and tease, for what will follow when they return.
Fitz is busy helping Ward find the mystery Inhuman and also secretly searching for Will, with Coulson in hot pursuit. Mac is managing the agents behind the scenes, as Daisy is leading what one could be considered our first look at what will become the Secret Warriors. While Simmons, must make her escape from HYDRA and rejoin the SHIELD team but, in the process unleashes Lash, who promises to protect her, from her HYDRA pursuers.
With that basic skeleton of “Maveth” out of the way, it’s the results of these various plots that really matter. First, while they aren’t much, finally getting to see some form of the Secret Warriors, even if we can only call it version one, was a step in the right direction. One of the biggest teases or promotions of the season was Daisy and her team, which has taken a lot longer to form than expected.
Next, with Lash released, the question will be how important or how much of a role will he play in the second half of the season? As well as how much this could effect May moving forward. Will Lash get pushed aside as another side story or will he take on a larger role as a villain, in SHIELD’s upcoming fight against HYDRA. Lash killed all of the Inhumans in the stasis pods, and it seems, that Andrew is no longer in control of himself at all. Does SHIELD immediately try and find him? Or does Lash join HYDRA as part of their secret team of Inhumans?
Finally, I think the results that occurred on the alien planet, will be the biggest plot to effect the rest of the season. With Grant Ward killed by Coulson (Sorry guys, doesn’t seem like Ward will become Task Master like many of you hoped) and his body taken over by this “Death” Inhuman or the HYRDA God, this keeps Ward (sorta) around as a villain at least for the rest of the season. It’s disappointing to see the actually Ward go, especially after being built up as such a bad ass for the past two seasons and dying from his chest being compressed, was a bit disappointing. Hopefully, with Ward’s body being controlled by this HYDRA Inhuman, there can be some sort of redemption. This will also have tremendous ramifications for Coulson, once he and SHIELD realize whatever this Inhuman actually is, has made his way to Earth.
The positives could be narrowed down to we are finally moving forward, as far as the Secret Warriors go and that’s about it. While the episode itself was entertaining and enjoyable, AoS once again went back to creating too many stories entangled with their overarching goal.
It was revealed by Will, or the Inhuman possessed Will, that he was once a part of the civilization that inhabited the alien planet. Is this something that will lead to or hint at other Inhuman civilizations, aka Attilan? Maybe, but it’s another question that will take up focus in the final half of the season, eating up time that could be used on the main story. I want to know more about the Inhumans in the MCU but, when AoS is focusing on so many other things as well, it just becomes too much.
Season Three was teased as being a season of “gifted” individuals, yet over ten episodes we’ve only seen four.
The same goes for the lack of Inhumans or really, the lack of “gifted” individuals this season as well. Throughout ten episodes there have only been two powered additions to the SHIELD team and two powered individuals outside of it, Lash and this HYDRA Inhuman. AoS has talked about Inhumans, but actually they’ve become back story to push Lash, without ever getting to see their abilities or the variety of potential this new species has.
Another complaint is simply the lack of powered individuals in general. This is the MCU and outside of the Absorbing Man in season 2, we haven’t gotten to see any of the other potential “gifted” characters in Marvel’s vast tapestry of characters, within their mythos. This season was teased as the Secret Warriors, putting together a team of gifted people to fight with SHIELD, except we’ve got only two characters, both of which are Inhumans. Is it too much to ask for to get someone who’s fallen into a vat of radioactive material or science experiment gone wrong, to be introduced as well?
Overall, while this first half of the season has been solid, it isn’t reaching its potential just yet. Week in and week out AoS is exciting and enjoyable but is missing something to put it over the top as special. I had thought they had begun to find their groove but, it seems it will be back to too many plots threads when AoS returns. There’s HYDRA, Lash, the Secret Warriors, character dynamics and of course, a Civil War tie-in as well. AoS is just trying to handle too much, and if it could just narrow itself down to a few key story lines, it would excel so much better as a show. Hopefully once again, the second half of AoS can work through these issues and be the series we all know it can be.