Warning: This post contains spoilers for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Proceed with caution, agents. If you haven’t yet watched this week’s episode, “Failed Experiments,” we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Then let’s go.
Hive’s plan for global domination heats up on this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. when he reveals his intentions to transform every human on Earth into an Inhuman. It’s a lot to accomplish in the mere two weeks that remain in this season (and probably way too much for the show’s budget to handle). But so far I’m enjoying the ride.
Because it turns out that Hive has been counting on his tech to summon the Kree Reapers (a.k.a. the “blue angels”) to Earth, requiring their blood to carry out his plan. Hellbent on correcting their past mistakes, they move to eliminate the mastermind, whom we learn was, ages ago, a tribal hunter that they genetically modified.
The episode’s title refers not only to Hive’s creation, the beings he in turn seeks to create, or the serum with which Lincoln injects himself, but Daisy. Ah, Daisy. I suspect Ms. Johnson still polarizes some viewers, even though the character’s come a long way since the show’s first season. But I’m guessing one’s enjoyment of “Failed Experiments” will depend largely on the amount of sympathy they can now muster for her, since everyone here—whether they admit it or not—is motivated to save her from Hive’s clutches. May speaks aloud her frustration at how quickly everyone blames themselves for her predicament, but then S.H.I.E.L.D. (at least in its MCU incarnation) is packed full of the most guilt-ridden super spies in popular culture. Here at least, we’re given some insight into Daisy’s connection to Hive (beyond the whole brain control thing), and into her connection with Mack. Since “Failed Experiments” also refers to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s history of trying to save her — from the the Rising Tide, from her parents — by turning her into a soldier. A weapon.
Mack too, she points out, was a mechanic before he joined S.H.I.E.L.D. and made her the little sister he never had. But since Mack’s also a tad wiser than Daisy, he tells her he’s well aware that he became nothing more, or less, than what he was needed to be. Henry Simmons, it must be said, has become the secret weapon of this season’s back half; His presence alone made the departure of Bobbi and Hunter tolerable. And he’s taken full advantage of the opportunity to flesh Mack out at every turn—from his flirtation with Yo-yo to his relationship with his younger brother to the maelstrom of mixed emotions swirling inside him as he tries to help Daisy break free of Hive’s influence.
As for this season’s other new featured regular, Lincoln, well…there’s no question the boy needs something in his life other than Daisy. His pining after her is getting more than a little old, as are his arguments with Coulson. There was a moment in this episode where I was convinced Lincoln could have given the director Hive’s head on a platter and still gotten yelled at for it.
Meanwhile, in the veterans’ circle: May gets a brief chance to go undercover this week when she poses as a Hive groupie in order to get some intel from James. Sadly, Fitzsimmons fans hoping for some afterglow from the newly christened lovers are denied it. Though it’s nice to see that the two haven’t let sex stop them from continuing to argue adorably.
But who has time for romance? As things now stand, our heroes are facing another race against time — to stop Hive from completely draining Daisy of her Kree blood after she volunteers to sacrifice herself for his cause!
- Hive may dress like Neo, but his background is reminiscent of the X-Men’s Apocalypse. Is it just a coincidence that with the first mutant’s big-screen debut arriving soon, S.H.I.E.L.D. chooses to focus on the first Inhuman?
- And speaking of upcoming Marvel movies, Hive’s words re: the Avengers are certainly no coincidence: “Only billionaires can build iron suits. Only the military can make super soldiers. Which can lead to a war of its own…”
- Those multiple melting faces just might make this the grisliest S.H.I.E.L.D. episode ever.
- Let’s hear it for John Hannah. The man survived multiple Mummy movies with Brendan Fraser and he can even crack wise while being strangled by Hive.
- “Stinkin’ Lincoln.” Okay, I laughed.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).
Images: Marvel, Disney, ABC