This week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD made some changes to the show’s formula. The audience saw the Secret Warriors in action. We also saw the foretold death of Gideon Malick and watched one of the Inhuman members of the team turn traitor. So, hold on to your licensed Marvel headgear: the recap of “The Team” cometh …
“The Team” – The Recap
This episode started off with a few bangs as the assembled Secret Warriors worked together to rescue the majority of SHIELD and the Bus from a HYDRA air hangar, Giyera having hi-jacked it with personnel aboard at the end of last week’s episode. The audience gets treated to a glimpse of what it looks like when each member of the Secret Warriors Initiative uses their powers, and soon they have rescued their personnel and the Bus. Lincoln captures Malick during the rescue and Guttierez kills Lucio. During Lucio’s autopsy, though, Simmons claims that he’s not totally dead. Simmons eventually determines that the biological processes she’s observed are a result of a contamination of foreign genetic material.
Coulson, meanwhile, interrogates Malick. Malick is surprisingly forthcoming but talks mostly of his daughter’s death. His interrogation does bring up some useful intel though. Aside from Malick’s mention of what is, as far as I can tell, the first ever use of the name “Hive” on the show to describe Grant Ward’s new personality, Malick also tells Coulson that Hive can hypnotize Inhumans, bending their wills entirely to his. Simmons backs up Malick’s story: she determines that the foreign genetic material inside Lucio’s brain is a remnant of Hive and was responsible for Lucio’s slave-like obedience to the HYDRA god. Simmons suggests that Hive could effect the same results in any Inhuman. With a full complement of Inhumans assembled at SHIELD HQ, Coulson becomes concerned that his team may have been compromised. He puts HQ on lock-down and works to determine who’s switched sides.
Malick is found dead in his cell. An autopsy proves impossible because someone has used a grenade to incinerate his corpse. Mac suspects Yo-yo, having previously shown her where they stored the type of grenade that was used to incinerate Malick, describing them as lethal.
A now draconian Phil Coulson demands that all Inhuman team members’ possessions be examined in an effort to find any lead on the identity of the mole. The search reveals that Lincoln has the Kree Orb that he and Daisy confiscated from James. Suspicions increase when Lincoln denies any knowledge of having had the artifact.
In a remarkably poor bit of police work for the world’s foremost spy organization, Lincoln is put in an isolation cell and the rest of the Inhumans are released. Later that night, though, Daisy shows up outside of Lincoln’s cell and offers to break him out. Daisy explains that she was wrong all along: Hive is actually a really cool guy once you get to know him! Daisy describes how she murdered Malick and framed Lincoln in order to cover her tracks. Speaking like a true cultist, Daisy reminds Lincoln of their conversation concerning their shared feeling of spiritual emptiness and promises an end to this feeling should he bond with Hive.
In refusing to leave with Daisy, Lincoln proved, I would hope once and for all, that he’s not a traitor. He may have regretted his decision not to leave his cell, though, when Daisy quite literally brought the house down as she made her exit from SHIELD HQ with the Kree Orb and as many terrigen crystals as she could carry.
“The Team” – My Critique
“The Team” suffered from the same problem as many previous episodes of Agents of SHIELD. Although there were some interesting ideas here, the execution was a bit poor.
I didn’t realize that Daisy was the mole until the big reveal at the end of the episode but I was pretty certain throughout that the mole was neither Guttierez nor Rodriguez. And, since Lincoln is still a relatively unproven new recruit, I figured that it wasn’t likely to be him either. In order to get the most drama out of a team member’s betrayal, the traitor has to be someone the audience has a longstanding connection to. So, the red herrings, including Yo-yo and Mac’s discussion about the grenades, came off as just what they were, obvious red herrings which served to make me less rather than more suspicious of the suspects involved in them.
Also, only seeing Daisy murder Malick in a flashback took away from the drama of his death. Because Gideon Malick has been the closest thing the audience has seen to a real villain on the show–including Ward/Hive–, it was anti-climactic to kill him like this, making him seem like a peripheral character rather than the man who, up until then, had been pulling the strings.
One other bit that made the eyes roll in this episode was the latest incarnation of the ongoing will they/won’t they struggle of Fitz and Simmons’s relationship. I feel like this is the third or fourth time they’ve said that life is too short and that they should give ‘er a go. Unfortunately, whenever it feels like they’ve made the decision to engage in coital activity, something intervenes and the two erstwhile nerd-lovers are pulled apart. In this most recent endeavour to be the nerdiest couple on TV, the two were prevented by a cave in after just a bit of kissing. If I have to hear Fitz and Simmons discuss the future of their relationship one more time, it had better be the morning after.