ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Team TV Show Review. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 17, ‘The Team,’ was a Crazy Ivan (Clancy points to anyone who knows what that means) to what would have otherwise been a straight course run towards the season finale. It’s AoS, so that was bound to happen. The fact that it came immediately after what could have been a finale showdown preview, made the shift that much more effective.
Unless, of course, you’re familiar with John Carpenter’s The Thing (yes, that again).
After losing the bulk of the team to HYDRA, Daisy (Chloe Bennet) officially got the Secret Warriors off the ground, they kicked ass in typically impressive fashion (killed, in one sense), saved Team Coulson (Clark Gregg), captured Malick (Powers Boothe), and rode off like the champions they could finally appreciate always being.
That was all in the first act.
What came next would have seemed ham-fisted, had the superhero action start not served to set up the horror suspense follow through so well. Even better, was the fact that switch relied on various character histories to make its point.
Okay, so for anyone keeping track, the Thing-like nature of Hive (Brett Dalton) didn’t register – otherwise Fitz-Simmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) would’ve gone to red alert, over a certain someone’s otherwise alarmingly warm disposition.
Just as well, since giving Hive a completely Thing-like nature would’ve made the outcome much more complicated (and messy).
The more conventional route was necessary, to sow paranoia among the Agents, and make viewers think twice about the episode’s course. Taking advantage of what we thought we knew – about Malick’s fate, and the fact that the entire second half of the season was predicated on a resurrection – was kind of a nice touch (I say that with the assumption that the Fitz-Simmons subject was a deliberate red herring – I could just be giving the ep too much credit).
Besides playing like another Thing tribute, it was pretty much a step on the breaks, to everything established, between the likes of Daisy & Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), or seemingly imminent, as, say, between the Yo-Yo Mack (Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Henry Simmons).
The single biggest accomplishment of the episode, however, may have been in shaking up the status quo of the series mythology (at least forestalling the Secret Warriors, for example), while bringing some conflict back to Daisy’s relationship with the men in her life, and maybe even giving some of the character’s most ardent critics something to cheer for. Something, that is, besides Fitz-Simmons getting off the platonic plateau (oh, yeah – Fitz-Simmons has officially shipped. Since I actually found their moment cute, don’t get too surprised… or squeeley… or obnoxious).
There are quite a few viewers who may appreciate Daisy not being the series champion, for the time being, I mean; but anyone shipping SkyeWard again gets a pre-mortem autopsy (never know how some fans get ‘turned’ into fans, after all).
She still managed to bring the house down (sorta), and will remain the center of attention (for entirely different reasons); but the episode succeeded in shaking up the dynamic to pretty much everything that had come before.
It’s good to go into a finale without a clear view of what’s coming.
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