TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 03: A Wanted (Inhu)man [ABC]

Luke Mitchell Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A Wanted (Inhu)man

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. A Wanted (Inhu)man TV Show ReviewAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 03, ‘A Wanted (Inhu)man,’ was another breather, in the grand scheme of things – despite its fugitive under pursuit main plot. Altogether, the episode served to settle accounts – between Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) & S.H.I.E.L.D., Lincoln & Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Daisy & Coulson (Clark Gregg), and Coulson & Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) – set up the next anti-HYDRA sting, and provide a much needed decompress for Fitz-Simmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge).

Still, the fugitive element did have some energy to it, and after the ATCU demonstrated a surprising lack of understanding, regarding Lincoln’s powers (you gotta think better of chasing an electricity caster under electrical transmission towers), it was S.H.I.E.L.D.’s turn to drive him underground – by way of good intentions. Daisy’s effort to talk him in from the cold only tipped him off to Team Coulson having tabs on him; making for something of a wedge, between Daisy & Coulson. The ATCU, meanwhile, opted to make Lincoln’s fugitive status public, handicapping his options – but also forcing Coulson into taking drastic action.

 Coulson’s drastic action was another charmingly underhanded call, for a candid face-to-face with Rosalind. I am just loving the banter between these two; but while I won’t be shipping the pair (still “no ship, Sherlock,” here), their chemistry brings an essential dynamic to the show. A tier, set above the action, where Coulson can finally have a worthy (sparring) partner in managing the affairs of the warring factions, below.

It gets lonely at the top. Rosalind may be the kind of frenemy that Coulson not only needs, but deserves.

The public flush method forced Lincoln into taking desperate (reckless, in one case) action. Somewhat effective, in the end; but the resulting conflict – and one accidental death – was mostly unnecessary. I don’t know how tightly Rosalind holds the leash on her operatives, but I suppose it was necessary for Coulson to remind Daisy about the nature of the business – as well as their professional relationship. Lincoln’s status was left somewhat up in the air (again, no ATCU prep for dealing with Lincoln); but I think the writing was left on the wall, regarding the outcome.

I still appreciate the occasional Skye slip – Daisy has a way to go, in catching up to how long Skye has been in use – and the Daisy-Lincoln thing seems official; so SkyeWard shippers can eat various unpleasant bits.

Operation ‘Ward removal’ kicked off with Hunter (Nick Blood) looking up an old underground contact (who had to be a tough customer, being a Brit in Irish Bean Town), as an in to infiltrating Neo HYDRA. There may be no honor among thieves; but in this case, no love lost either. The catch-up over drinks, however, was pretty funny (funnier for me, since I actually understood most of it without the captions). A fight club turned out to be the proving grounds; and while this made May (Ming-Na Wen) the logical candidate, between the two, Hunter’s point (about a tiny Asian woman kicking hardened roughneck ass being a tip-off to Ward) cemented his place as the designated hitter (if not hit-taker). If burly guys bare knuckling themselves bloody doesn’t appeal, don’t worry – May got her ya-yas out, someplace discreet (bruising enough ego, along with the bodies, to ensure word – about a tiny Asian woman kicking hardened roughneck ass – not getting out).

As much as I enjoy watching May work, it was kind of something watching it at the back of an audience full of fans (I caught the advanced screening at NYCC). The Lincoln-Daisy moment: not so much; but it was good energy, all the same.

A good bit of that energy was directed at the reunited wonder twins, Fitz & Simmons, as Simmons went about re-acclimating to all things terran, and Fitz went about redirecting his energies to facilitating just that (at one point, Fitz going Ritz, to get his lady – and his quest –  some closure). Her rapport with colleagues was pleasant enough; but all that warm-and-fuzzy left me apprehensive (the silence before the shoe drop variety). Further raising by neck hairs: her total sensory reset. I don’t think the months, since her whisking away, were enough to change her so completely; suggesting maybe a time component to the monolith’s space bridging. This opens up the real possibility of a Freddy (Angel) scenario – or at least a scientific take on the philosophical Cave Analogy; but the obvious question, pertaining to Simmons’ final declaration, left me thinking of a much more personal answer – the kind that could turn the dynamic duo into a triple threat.

At this point, I think the show has finally lined up all of its cans, and is ready to start plinking away. There may be some more Hunter-May (Hay?) cloak-and-daggery, more Coulson-Price (Crice?) ‘flirting,’ more hijinks at S.H.I.E.L.D. academy, and further detail on Simmons’ time off, along the way; but I see a full pivot to Inhuman/ Neo HYDRA matters taking shape.

I never said these past two episodes amounted to even breath breaks; but compared to the expected follow through – yeah, these were warm ups.

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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