In the latest episode of Agents of SHIELD entitled “Among Us Hide”, some story lines finally get answers, such as the identity of Lash and what exactly the ATCU is doing with Inhumans. However, some things are still left lingering, such as Fitz and Simmons attempts to rescue Will and Ward’s goals with HYDRA, with no real expansion as far as these side stories go.
At this point, SHIELD has stretched their plots from focusing on the team as a whole, to something more of individual stories involving one or two characters, leaving the “team” element on the back burner, at least for now.
There are several major plots currently being explored on SHIELD. The least explored as far as “Among Us Hide” went, was Fitz and Simmons looking for some way to return to the alien planet or moon, in which Will is still currently trapped. The only way they expanded upon this was Fitz’s inability to find a solution at this time and reassuring Simmons, that no matter what he will find a way to save Will. Even after Hunter made reluctance comments, about him bringing the man Simmons had been with the last six months and a direct way to bring him back to her.
“Among Us Hide” also focused on the budding personal relationship between Coulson and Rosalind Price, as well as their professional one. After what Coulson believes to be another ruse or avoidance tactic to keep SHIELD away from their base again, he is finally given access to the ATCU base directly. It is here that he learns that the ATCU has been putting these Inhumans in a form a stasis, in order to find a cure, rather than the SHIELD philosophy of simply allowing them to find uses for their abilities.
This discovery of what happens to the Inhumans when captured by the ATCU runs directly parallel to a mission that Daisy, Hunter, and Mac are currently executing in trying to find the identity of Lash. Daisy and Mac believe that Lash has to be a member of the ATCU, with Hunter tagging along after being sidelined by Coulson, after his mistake in last week’s episode and endangering Dr. Gardner. While the agent that they suspect has been found not to be an Inhuman and just a regular human, it does lead them to discovery the ATCU base and witnessing Coulson there with Rosalind Price. Bringing Daisy to now question Coulson’s loyalties, after seeing their treatment of Inhumans and what he will do about it.
Finally, the last plot thread that to be expanded upon was May’s return to SHIELD, after Ward’s attempt to have her ex-husband killed. May then recruits Bobbi to go back to the field, with both women searching for Werner von Strucker, who has gone on the run after failing Ward and fearing for his life. May and Bobbi are eventually able to track down von Strucker, where May questions him on what exactly happened with Dr. Gardner at the convenience store. This scene is where we finally get the answer to who is Lash. The reason von Strucker and the HYDRA agents failed in killing him was because Gardner is an Inhuman and Lash. With “Among Us Hide” closing with an ominous conversation between Gardner and Daisy, after Gardner begins questioning the whereabouts of Lincoln and no one besides May aware of this new information.
Overall, while “Among Us Hide” was a solid episode, it was pretty uneventful besides the revelation of Dr. Garner being an Inhuman and specifically Lash. There are so many major plot points, that week to week one could get lost or feel unfulfilled, because of so much is happening. In the era of streaming TV and watching series in bulk, slow-burning episodes can sometimes feel like filler
With series like Flash and Arrow bringing some new each week, especially in their newest seasons, the speed at which Agents of SHIELD is currently moving is a bit disappointing. Between Ward and HYDRA, the Inhumans, the inklings of building up and setting the tone for Captain America: Civil War, Simmons and Fitz trying to cross space, with several mini plots in between those, it’s a lot to follow, pay attention and cover. SHIELD needs to buckle down and focus in on the story they want to tell, which was advertised as this season focusing on creating the Secret Warriors. While this is only episode 6, it doesn’t feel like we’ve moved much farther since episode one. There is just too much happening.
Sometimes less is more and SHIELD needs to follow this, unless it wants to fall behind other superhero shows.
That all being said, the big reveal of Lash, which was huge and saved the episode in a lot of ways. It will also be interesting in how the Inhumans will also play into the bigger MCU world, with slight parallels being created in the way the ATCU and SHIELD are handling them, with Captain America: Civil War on the horizon.
To conclude, other than the exceptional actions scenes and strong characters we’ve come to love, SHIELD needs to do less and focus more. Otherwise, this will be an extremely long season. And if it continues, they might even fall behind the CW’s superhero universe, Supergirl and Gotham, as well as the MCU’s own Jessica Jones. SHIELD is great at what it does and knows how to be unique and entertaining in its own right, at the moment they are trying to handle too much.