In one of the better episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D this season, ‘Chaos Theory’ wastes little time this week in getting to the main plot, focuses heavily only on the Lash storyline and sidelining basically everything else.
‘Chaos Theory’ opens up by instantly revealing how Andrew received his Inhuman abilities and proceeds forward, wasting little time telling the story. Andrew was dosed with Terrigen mist, while reading material left by Jiaying, in order to better understand the Inhumans. After von Strucker revealed to May last week Andrews’ Inhuman form, she instantly confronts him about it, with this week’s episode almost entirely focused on this single story and only deviating from it on slight occasions.
Everything about the Lash storyline leading up until this episode created such excitement for what the rest of the season held for him. Even within ‘Chaos Theory’, it was exciting to see exactly how SHIELD would utilize him.
Andrew had been tracking the other Inhumans, using Jiaying’s material and deemed himself as a necessary evil of sorts, in handling Inhumans. However, once AoS revealed his motivations in why he was hunting Inhumans, in comparison to his comic counterpart, it ended up being a pretty lame reason to say the least. In AoS, Lash simply has an internal, natural compulsion or desire to kill Inhumans. Rather than following a more religious or personally driven ideology as he does in the comics, which seemed to be the cause at first, with Andrew’s dialogue. But, was then later significantly downplayed by the “instinct” angle.
Another issue I had, was Lash was built up as such a strong villain but, to basically wrap him up in a single episode, more or less nerfed what they had previously created prior. Most likely Lash will return, yet to discover who he was so quickly and capturing in such a short amount of time, takes away the weight of this character was supposed to hold as a villain.
That being the only glaring negative, ‘Chaos Theory’ did have a lot of positives as far as building the characters and developing only one plot, rather than several as AoS has been doing.
First, the way AoS has gone through the ups and downs of May and Andrew’s relationship, bringing it to the boiling point of ‘Chaos Theory’, was extremely well done. May is always portrayed as this cold and extremely pragmatic character, to the point she would even eliminate a close friend if the greater good called for it. Well, that’s no longer speculative as she shoots Andrew, unaware of whether the bullets would simply hurt him or kill him, choosing to eliminate the only person ever to make her happy, in order to accomplish the mission and stop a threat. How this will effect May throughout the rest of the season, will be fascinating to witness. Whether May will actively pursue a cure for Andrew or just compartmentalize this experience and pull her down a darker path, will be a wait and see from this point forward.
While Lash was a bit of a disappointment in the end, ‘Chaos Theory’ as a whole was another strong episode for season 3.
Another interesting plot being developed is between Coulson and Rosalind, which by the end of ‘Chaos Theory’ has seemingly taken a romantic turn, with a dark twist. Throughout season 3, Rosalind and Coulson have been building trust between the two of their agencies, as well as on a personal level. However, if there are no misdirections being used, then at the close of this week’s episode, it is shown Rosalind is linked with HYDRA and looking to harm Coulson.
Rosalind as a whole has been a great addition to the AoS cast this season and the way she’s been built first as an ally and now as a potential villain has been excellent. While it’s cliché to bring in a character as first being mistrusted, to later become a close ally, only to turn on the heroes is old and overused, the way AoS has built the characters around the plot will be why this angle succeeds.
AoS’s strength has always been the emotional attachment to characters, as well as pushing these dynamics rather, than extremely deep plot lines with no connection or substance. While I still think AoS has some issues week to week, in how they are building the season, as far as storylines and simply having too many. I believe by midseason, everything will have come together a little more cohesively and make more system in the broader sense for season 3 or so I hope.
Random Thoughts and Theories:
Rosalind Price: While it originally seemed like she would have some connection as a future ally, specifically the founder of S.W.O.R.D and later reveal as Special Agent Abigail Brand, this now seems extremely likely. At this point, with the final moments of ‘Chaos Theory’ showing her connection to HYDRA, I would possibly guess maybe Madame Hydra if anyone. It’s quite possible Rosalind is no one connected to the Marvel 616, but it seems she has some significance within HYDRA, so Madame Hydra instantly jumped out at me as a possible character.