ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Devils You Know TV Show Review. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 04, ‘Devils You Know,’ would have counted as a resumption of the main arc, and a commencement for two other sub-plots; but it seems Agents has something of a to-do-list to get through, so those two others were wrapped up just about as quickly as they started. This is a good thing.
It also seems like concerns I had, for one particular Inhuman, were both well founded and premature, because: superpowers. Alisha (Alicia Vela-Bailey) – last seen playing one-woman-human-wave-attack, for Team Jiaying – opened another episode-in-progress, at a no-so-safe safe-house, and payed the ultimate price (along with her two would-be harbourers) for her trouble when Lash (Matthew Willig) came calling.
Shame on me, for not considering her ‘bonus lives’ function; but that was effectively as far as she got, this episode. Kind of a mixed blessing; but at least there may be more of her, down the road. Her semi-remote Lash encounter served to set up the responding S.H.I.E.L.D. team – Daisy & Mack (Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons) – for an introduction to the newly blended covert houses of Coulson & Rosalind (Clark Gregg, Constance Zimmer). It wasn’t a happy one.
Beyond Daisy & Mack’s ‘new mommy’ issues, Gregg & Zimmer continued to have fun with their flirty frenemy dynamic (Coulson even going source Strucker, with his new ‘accessory’). In this case, their Spider’s courtship did prove mutually beneficial, as the newly minted Inhuman, they tracked down, turned out to have a direct connection to Lash. Lash, of course, was forced to take action; and while I figure Daisy, Mack, and the ATCU team responded as expected, I don’t know what the driver was thinking. In any case, the outcome proved (to anyone with doubts as to her at risk status) that Daisy isn’t on the grill menu. Not only that, but this fact allowed her to notice a little extra ‘dimension’ to Lash’s character. Later on, her exposition on this was interrupted, in a rather timely fashion, by another key character. If that was supposed to be a clue, I hope it was a red herring.
Elsewhere, May (Ming-Na Wen) was starting to worry about Hunter (Nick Blood) making their Ward (Brett Dalton) removal sting recklessly personal. So worried, that she broke her self-imposed exile, made a case to Coulson, and ran into he own personal hang-up, over Andrew (Blair Underwood). The relapse to the May-Andrew relationship would have seemed forced, had it not served as a foreshadow – one made clear by the apparent expansion of the Andrew role, and Ward’s apparent Quantico gambit.
Two things that have kept Ward interesting: the satisfaction I get from watching him get blindsided, and the fact that he always has an out (keeping him smug, thus setting him up for future blindsiding). When May actually salvages Hunter’s sting going into effect (and Hunter), Ward leveraged his Quantico gambit for a pass from May. I’m not sure how I feel about May’s hesitation, but the ploy didn’t stop Hunter from getting some satisfaction. The outcome to Ward’s reprisal contingency, however, could make for some hard feelings between the Team Ward Removal pair.
The Ward sting could have gone on for at least a half-season, along with Ward’s infiltration of S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. I always take it as a good sign when the show would sooner wrap sub-plots quickly, rather than draw them out, as this suggests they have plenty of material to work with. I can see where Operation Ward Removal would serve as a stepping stone; but the Quantico gambit had only been set-up, previously, and I would not have minded some of that Sleeper tension being explored. At the very least, a bit more on Alexander (Spencer Treat Clark) – aka Strucker Jr. – would have been nice, before having him break cover.
As for the outcome of QG, here’s what we know: four men enter, one man leaves with the only face shown – Alexander. That’s all. Well, that, and the fact that Lash has an alter-ego. So, there’s all that, really; and if prematurely activating Alexander serves the main arc the way I suspect it might, then the QG has done enough, with the next-to-no time it was given.
With two subplots pretty much rolled back into the fold, a third – which may potentially serve as more of a background function to the show’s larger mythology, rather than to this season’s main arc – seems poised to cover a bit of ground. Having already made her intentions clear to Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) came clean to Fitz (Iain De Caestecker); so, so much for her unique case of secret Stockholm syndrome becoming a thing. With the mystery of her off-world experience about to be revealed, Agents could go either way, regarding how much time will be devoted to Simmons’ subplot, and how far reaching its implications. At this rate, I’d say win-win, either way.
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