S.H.I.E.L.D.’s race to find Inhumans before they can be apprehended by the ACTU continues in “A Wanted (Inhu)Man”, the title of which refers to Lincoln, who’s on the run after the events of “Purpose in the Machine”. But ACTU leader Rosalind has plastered his face on every TV screen in the country, warning the public of an alien terrorist that hides among them. I’ve never found Mr. Electro to be all that involving a character, but “A Wanted (Inhu)Man” goes a long way toward remedying that by introducing his one and only friend, John, who gives him safe haven for a time. But Lincoln unintentionally fries his buddy when the hapless human watches a newscast and alerts the authorities. Granted, it was a dirty move. But I felt for the fugitive when he accidentally fries his confused friend, as he raises an aluminum baseball bat to defend himself. It even made the moment of tenderness with his would-be rescuer Daisy tender. (Repeat after me: I will not call her Skye. I will not call her Skye…)
Romance rears its head several times in this episode, most notably between star-crossed scientists Simmons and Fitz. The former is, as I suspected, not readjusting very well after getting rescued from the mysterious blue Kree planet on which she was trapped all summer. Every little sound of lab equipment, even vibrating cell phones, is freaking her out. We’re told that “every system in her body is out of whack.” Fitz literally takes her by the hand and walks her around HQ (it’s adorable, of course). Then he takes her to dinner, on a restaurant-wide reservation he’s held for them since she agreed to a first date before she disappeared. Sadly, she breaks down at their table before a bite is eaten. Like most abuse survivors, she must come to terms with herself before she can open up to another. But I love that the show doesn’t take the predictable route by having her push Fitz away. Since Simmons is one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s finest, she immediately decides to confront her demons head on by returning to the alien world and whatever thing it was that hunted her there.
Elsewhere, sparks continue to fly between Coulson and Rosalind Price, who have their second “date”. Each wants the same thing, in both Lincoln and Daisy, whom Coulson learns the ACTU chief has intel on. So they reach what is likely a temporary (likely temporary) agreement, in which Coulson will share her expertise in exchange for Daisy’s freedom. The S.H.I.E.L.D. director makes a good point when he says, “I’m done fighting with people over who gets to fight the real fight” (referring to the arcs of the show’s two prior seasons). In any case, his meeting with Rosalind is both necessary and ridiculously cute, with each line the two exchange given a double meaning. “Eyes up here,” she tells Coulson, as he gazes longingly at her convertible.
The third couple of this episode is Bobbi and Hunter. They don’t have a scene together, since he’s busy trying to find Ward with May, whom he’s finally recruited to his cause. But Bobbi’s parting words to him on the phone — as he infiltrates a fight club posing as an arms dealer — are simple, practical, and romantic as all hell. “Good luck. Don’t die.”
As for that fight club, it offers May the episode’s funniest moments. Decked out in ’80s punk threads (complete with a Blondie tee and thick eyeliner), she plays it as cool as she can when Hunter’s old buddy greets her with a bear hug, hitting him in the chest in faux excitement. Then she stands on the sidelines at Hunter’s request, simmering, while he gets bloodied and battered in an effort to reach the Big Boss. It’s not long before a couple of bruisers escort her into a back room, set on having their way with her. She takes out her frustration with Hunter (who, by now, has gotten her to reveal that her ex recently left her) and the entire situation by wiping the floor with them, delivering a priceless mic drop: “How ’bout I do you a favor and not tell anyone that a tiny Asian woman kicked your ass.”
Everyone’s so darn likable this season that it’s going to be more painful than ever when the shit hits the fan. But, judging by the familiar tentacled logo on the wall behind Hunter (when he finally gets his meeting), that won’t take too long.
- Can we watch Hunter get drunk and speak in a slurred English accent via subtitles in every episode please?
- “Powered people” still sounds weird to me. But I get that “metahumans” is taken.
- The greatest testimony yet to Daisy and Simmons’ friendship is that, upon being called Skye by the good scientist, she replies, “You can call me whatever you want.”
- “You’ll notice I was able to say ‘antithesis.'”
- Rosalind says her agency exists because Coulson’s “exploded.” Yet she’s making an awful lot of fuss this week over just one or two Inhumans. What happens when she faces entire teams of them?
- If you’re looking for me this Halloween, I’ll be the guy wearing Hunter’s track suit.
- “I love my car, but it’s just a car. And it’s a him.”
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).
Watch Chloe Bennet, Clark Gregg, and Jeph Loeb talk about season 3 at New York Comic Con!