TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 10: Maveth [ABC]

Brett Dalton Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maveth

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Maveth TV Show ReviewAgents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 10, ‘Maveth,’ got right to following through on ‘Closure’s’ set-up; with Ward (Brett Dalton) & co. setting out on the other side of the portal – with Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) in tow – in search of HYDRA’s ancient Inhuman forbear. On the other side of the portal, a captive Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) was holding out for getting Fitz (plus one) back; but Malick (Powers Boothe) figured he’d break her down some, with a quip on Fitz’s true purpose. All he really did was get her back on her time & opportunity game, while Fitz did the same, on the other end. Wonder Twin powers: activate.

Was I the only one thinking German Afrika Korps, from Raiders of the Lost Ark, watching Team Ward navigate Maveth? Okay, for the record, the planet isn’t called Maveth; but, meh – the Hebrew term for death was applied to the castle, Will (Dillon Casey) had applied the title of death to the whole planet, so Maveth it is.

Fitz may have been good at playing for time & opportunity, but his lack of field chops – and Ward having already gotten a whiff of his new edge – worked against his first attempt at a break. Ward’s effort to reassert the prison yard pecking order, however, was given a new perspective, by way of the local décor.

There’s something particularly jarring about a fantasy scenario serving to remind you of a nightmare reality. I guess that fantasy turning into a ‘poor yorick’moment didn’t make it any more pleasant; but it did get Coulson (Clark Gregg) – last seen doing a soft splat, out of the portal – back on mission & minding his surroundings – Star Wars reference or not.

And no, I didn’t miss the poignancy involved – it was nice to see Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) keeping him on his toes, again. Bye, Roz.

While Coulson set out, to make good on his reckless pursuit, the man he had left in charge was doing his best to marshal the resources he had. This included Daisy (Chloe Bennet), and Power Rangers Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) & Joey (Juan Pablo Raba). S.H.I.E.L.D. Secret Warriors: activated. Anticipation: piqued. I was tempted to call them ‘Daisy & the Cutters;’ but I don’t think that would’ve come out right.

Fitz seized his second opportunity, by first finding Will, then talking Ward into thinking this was in the interest of the mission. How right he was. I’m not a shipper, I never really took an interest in the whole romantic aspect to the show, and I had no vested interest in finding reasons to root for or against Will; so when I point out that Will took to Fitz’s update too well (IIRC, Simmons never mentioned HYDRA, or sacrifices being sent through the portal), it wasn’t because I was looking for reasons to hope for the eventual outcome to his rescue – just that I never got over the fact that we never saw the confrontation between Will & Walker, for his last appearance. Lack of fighting chops aside, Fitz should’ve been smart enough to at least keep clear of the hobbled Will suit’s one good leg; but: drama.

Thanks to some Dixie styled whittling, Simmons was able to seize her own opportunity, when things started to go down. Unfortunately, after stumbling upon Malick’s Inhuman collection (still in their collector cases), she seemed to miss (or forget) the brief on Andrew’s (Blair Underwood) condition. Sure, he got her out of a jam; but given what he did with his freedom, the decision to spring him may haunt her for a while. Sure, what he did was also a real inconvenience to Malick; but it won’t help settle Lincoln’s beef with him, either.

You know it’s getting to the big finish when the snappy banter comes back out, before & during a mission. There seemed to be more gallows humor to it, but acting Director Mack (Henry Simmons) stuck to his no-nonsense, call-it-as-he-sees-it way – this time with authoritah. The role seemed to suit him; so I wouldn’t be surprised if the character was being groomed for bigger things.

I also took Giyera’s (Mark Dacascos) promotion to speaking role as a promising sign of escalation; but he got shut down pretty quick (and still none of Dacascos’ martial arts skill utilized). The climax (on this side of the portal) wasn’t quite as SFX spectacular as I had hoped (some of the most extensive carnage actually happening off-screen), but it was still something of a nail biter. Joey gets the Morpheus Prize, for ‘not having to dodge bullets.’

By the time Will & Fitz got their quality time together, Coulson had gotten the jump on Ward. I don’t understand why he didn’t just drop him, right there & then; but I allowed for the possibility that he needed a contingency, in case HYDRA still controlled the Earth end of the portal. Unfortunately, that meant having to listen to Ward re-assess his own sense of purpose. If you thought Ward had a high opinion of himself before – his new sense of self-worth would inspire a cheap (and literal) shot to his arm from you too.

Failing to keep away from Will suit’s good leg had left Fitz in the kind of fix that meant Coulson having to take his eye off Ward. Between that necessary evil, and Will’s reluctance to comply with Coulson’s intervention, we got a four-way match, for the final Boss Fight. I was tempted to call shenanigans, on how the Coulson-Ward fight played out; but then remembered the state they were each in. Fitz, on the other hand, had less of a fight on his hands, than the challenge of keeping the Will suit away from the portal.

An accomplished Doctor, from a town called Springfield, once suggested fire (and plenty of it) as a solution to loved ones behaving unnaturally. This was clearly some professional advice Fitz could get behind – and it came in handy. Unfortunately, he should have been thinking of applying it as recommended by some guy named MacReady, instead. I thought the same thing that guy did, after bullets didn’t seem to solve Fitz’s immediate problem – and after considering the nature of the problem, in the first place.

Well, the Will dilemma became someone else’s problem, anyway; so back at the main event….

The process to Coulson’s revenge/ justice came with a serving of attempted suspense; but I wonder if anyone actually thought there was a chance of Coulson opting to leave Ward behind – if only to guarantee getting himself & Fitz to their appointment. No, that was a savoring moment; and I suspect Coulson would have rather Fitz go through solo, if it meant getting the job done. There was, however, still the process, you see. It wasn’t enough to just get the job done – Coulson left a memento, which no one but himself was ever likely to remember. Thanks to the process of revenge/ justice, that was to be enough.

On the other side of the escape – Millennium Falcon out of the 2nd Death Star style – was the resolution. Mack did good, with & by his team, Lincoln-Daisy is going to be a thing, and there may be a whole new kind of bond, between Coulson & Fitz. For anyone who may have missed it, however, Simmons didn’t accept Fitz as a consolation prize – she missed his arrival and thought she had lost both of her men. Polyamorous greedy means she would’ve celebrated/ mourned either way, regardless of which one emerged. A part of me was left hanging, however, on what she would have done had they both gotten back. Oh, well – the fans have been serviced. The good guys won round one, Lash & the Secret Warriors are in play, couples made official, and Coulson left his load on Ward’s chest. I don’t think that came out right.

In any case, the Ward dilemma became someone else’s problem, anyway; so back here, come March….

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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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