TV Show Review

TV Review: AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 3, Episode 12: Inside Man [ABC]

Brian Patrick Wade Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Inside Man

ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Inside Man TV Show Review. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 12, ‘Inside Man,’ had some fun with its title, fitting moles within moles like the ugliest Babushka Doll you’ll likely see. It would have been even uglier, had the Inhuman inside Ward (Brett Dalton) been more faithful to his gooier source nature; but I suppose it was easier to keep our focus on his ‘followers’ as individuals. It would have also been much more convoluted, had a) Hunter & Bobbi (Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki) not been given more to do; b) Daisy & Lincoln (Chloe Bennet, Luke Mitchell) really explored a fundamental difference in views; c) the air hadn’t been let out of Fitz-Simmons’ (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) romantic tension; and d) the Coulson-Talbot (Clark Gregg, Adrian Pasdar) dynamic not been so much fun, since season 2.

Talbot seemed… lesser than I remember – maybe due to the emasculating circumstance of his re-introductory scene – but being reduced to a Reagan-era reactionary of a running gag could do that, I suppose; as well as his apparent dependence on a superhuman bodyguard with some bad history, regarding the Team.

Carl “Crusher” Creel (Brian Patrick Wade), aka The Absorbing Man, was still a lightweight, compared to his source self, but he left a sizable enough impression with the Agents – Hunter, in particular. A preview of the episode seemed to give away the entirety of Creel’s rematch with the now powered Team, and it turns out that the episode could’ve afford it. The rematch was only to serve as Creel’s reintroduction to an entirely different role – one none too pleasing to Hunter.

Creel’s presence only underscored Hobbi’s lobby for ‘fairness’ in covert craft; so the countdown to their spinning-off rolls on. May (Ming-Na Wen) dressing Hunter down, over their relationship, likely helped.

Speaking of relationships, I feel the need to mention that Fitz-Simmons seemed determinedly regulated to background peons, this ep, despite contributing to a somewhat important plot point. One which was immediately delivered to the pair with an active romance going.

It gets hard to set aside the whole Inhumans-as-a-stand-in-for-Mutants thing when familiar themes – like Daisy & Lincoln (Dincoln?) taking up the cure-as-backdoor-to-genocide argument – keep popping up.

Okay, so every so often I take a break to note something relatively irrelevant, that I couldn’t be the only one thinking. This time around, it’s Lincoln & Daisy (Laisy?). Was I the only one thinking of all the things they could do… for… each other, during certain scenes? Just a thought.

If I didn’t know better, I’d say Agents may have attempted to backdoor Genosha into the MCU, and I’m not sure how I feel about that notion, just yet.

The given resolution was, however, considerably more simplistic.

For one thing, a) Talbot’s lesser status had a lot more to do with family trouble than his initial family trouble; b) Coulson was left considerably more trusting of someone easily (and completely) compromised than seemed reasonable; c) Laisy worked out its differences with… a workout; and d) Agents may have sanitized Hive, quite a bit, in order to make things like his restoration fit for TV. I’ll blame family friendly ABC for that one – I think today’s audience appreciates gross detail, if only to keep up with the ongoing desensitization process.

On the bright side, a) the complexities to Creel’s status remained; b) Hunter found a reason to hate Creel less, and be hated less by May; c) more may have been hinted at, regarding the ‘dark side’ of Lincoln; d) the Inhuman arms race may have picked up speed; and e) if there are still any Ward fans, casually sipping on his now ashy Kool-aid, he has been restored to showroom condition. I’m sure you appreciated getting his lubed up “you’re next” glare as well, you dirty, dirty, birdies.

In any case, ‘Inside Man’ was enough fun (despite its leaps & lapses), and relevant enough (despite occasional lack of focus) to be a fairly break-even bridge episode. Some stages have been set, and it’s now up to Agents to make something of them.

Maybe without Talbot filling in for Rosalind, though….

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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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