ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The Singularity TV Show Review. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., season 3, episode 18, ‘The Singularity,’ was the kind of fan-service any show could use more of. The kind that advances both character & plot in meaningful ways, without resorting to sudden tosses to narrow fan bases, or softball pitches at fan favorites.
With Daisy (Chloe Bennet) falling back on old hangups – and taking a chunk out of HQ on her way out – Coulson (Clark Gregg) went about something of a hostage retrieval response. His pre-game warm-up speech – about S.H.I.E.L.D. working through a broken leg, to get the job done through sheer stubbornness – had a personal ring to it. Daisy’s parting shot left his leg broken.
That would set the stage for some on-the-fly quality time, between Coulson & May (Ming-Na Wen), getting Mack (Henry Simmons) back with a former partner, and providing a pair of fan favorites with a whole new kind of quality time.
For fans gnashing over Fitz-Simmons (Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge) having been sidelined, since Agents went super, their new relationship status also came with an upgrade to field duty. Science still solves, after all; and when a possible solution involved securing another super scientist – one Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) – the Wonder-Twins had to go to there.
I should probably stop calling them the Wonder Twins – kinda creepy, now that they’re all hands-on with each other.
Points for referencing the running gag about Mack’s size, BTW, when the mission prep discussion touched on the fashion aesthetic of scientists.
Of course, getting back to old fashioned spycraft didn’t mean getting back to normal threats & obstacles. Super science had its own minefield to navigate – like an underground club full of enhanced neo-transcendentalists (including a taste of what a silver screen Mercy might’ve been like, had BvS not… well, turned out like BvS). One good minefield deserved another, as the pair took discussion over their pending Twincest (I’ll get past it – really) to a beautifully geeky, titular level.
While I appreciated Radcliffe’s precaution, not every scientist is surgery qualified; so unless he had someone on hand, to do the deed, his test was a little unreasonable. That’s how I saw through his little stunt, anyway. His healthy paranoia only played into Hive’s (Brett Dalton) hands, of course; but I have to say, I was expecting more from his assistant, Anon (Camille De Pazzis), when Daisy came cutting. I was looking forward to some cool powers matched against some keen tech.
Speaking of keen tech, the shield for the S.H.I.E.L.D. director idea was one of the niftiest things I’ve seen all season ( – series, even; and a possible Captain America easter egg, on top of that); but let’s not get too far ahead.
Before the dual elements converged, Team Coulson had to actually go about retrieving Daisy, for any cure Radcliffe could come up with. This meant putting an urgent Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) call-to-arms on hold, while Coulson maintained a very narrow focus on getting ahead of Hive, as the surest way of getting Daisy back (that, and maybe saving the World).
It should’ve been easier for Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) to process Coulson’s ‘accessory’ requirement, after May turned down his request to go with them; but that line about getting him out of the way, for a Coulson-Daisy-May family reunion, pretty much summed up where his head was at. There’d better be more to Lincoln’s darkness; otherwise, he risks just turning into a brat.
It wasn’t like May was all for a happy reunion, either. After Andrew, it seemed necessary for her to call out Coulson on his Daisy fixation, and set him straight on both her role as his razor, and his role regarding Daisy. As for their first step, in rolling back the Judge Worm Crawl, Lincoln had to get to an old associate (and once-opponent) before the Hive could have her in mind.
Alisha (Alicia Vela-Bailey) was finally back in play, and the group action on Lincoln was just like old times – if old times referred to their face off, near the end of last season. Between the resolve of each of their back-up, however, the rematch left Alisha a little lesser for it. Someone get that woman a booster shot – I want more of her… making more of her.
Chemically Australian James (Axle Whitehead) was where Hive’s focus fell, as his long-awaited upgrade came with a short leash, and the corner piece to Hive’s Kree antiquities collection. That left Hive with one more item on the day’s scavenger hunt list: Dr. Radcliffe.
So back to the convergence, and what turned out to be an impressive showing for almost everyone involved. Alisha was just the hand-off, unfortunately, and shopping-for-cool-codename James was still too… Australian to really give it his all. He still gave Mack a reason to flex his wit, though; but the highlight of the action was the squaring off of the remaining pairs.
For anyone concerned that Hive actually meant more Ward (not enough, AFAIC), this episode pretty much established that Dalton has brought a whole new dynamic to his role (and that it wasn’t just Daisy colored glasses talking). Hive does a great monster-wears-a-loved-one’s-face routine (voice, in this case); and the mixed pair confrontation brought out the best in both Fitz & Simmons. Not only did they remember their training – they pulled off spy cool in the process. Spy cool comes with certain benefits, of course, and they certainly earned theirs; but beyond that, it was Fitz-Simmons, people – there’s a small lifetime of reasons they earned it (this one just came with some curse insurance, is all).
Between Twincest, and Coulson finally taking Talbot’s call, some consolation came out of what amounted to a loss for the Agents. The fact that a long running element – to not just AoS, but to the MCU, as well – was seemingly dismantled entirely, as a collateral action, suggests the show is moving on in a big way.
A lot happened, this episode; and even if you could call much of it fanservice, at least it was fanservice that serviced the show’s plot, characters, and overall direction. That’s pretty good service, no matter who gets it.
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