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 tonight’s episode, “The Team”, we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Then let’s go.
As much emphasis as has been placed on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Inhumans of late, this week’s episode demonstrates how the principal asset of any team — be it comprised of humans or powered people — is trust. It’s what leads to the success or downfall of any organization, no matter its virtuousness.
Picking up immediately where last week’s “Paradise Lost” left off, “The Team” begins with Daisy assembling her task force of “Secret Warriors,” on a mission to rescue Coulson and co. from the clutches of Hydra. Though as they soon find out, it’s not Hydra they have to worry about anymore, at least not the organization that was led by Gideon Malick.
The rescue at first appears to come off without a hitch, with our heroes saved and the Hydra head captured. But what begins as an action-adventure episode quickly turns into a paranoia thriller, when Coulson learns that one member of Daisy’s team has been compromised, or “swayed”, by the being that now takes the form of Grant Ward. Meaningful looks, false leads, and red herrings are tossed out willy-nilly. Initially it seems likely that Joey is the traitor, then Elena (or, as she prefers not to be called, “Yo-yo”), and finally Lincoln. In the end, it’s revealed that the person we’d least suspect — Daisy herself — was brainwashed by Hive during the team’s raid and is now heading to join Team Hydra, toppling S.H.I.E.L.D.’s HQ on her way. With yet another kiss between Fitz and Simmons interrupted (hey, maybe they are cursed after all) and Coulson buried under a ton of rubble, the outcome of this game appears as uncertain as it did at the episode’s start. But the pieces have been realigned.
One key piece, however, is now missing. I’m mourning the loss of Powers Boothe’s character. Malick brought a gravitas to the show unlike any of its previous Big Bads, even if it turned out he wasn’t quite the Boss we thought he’d be. Hive knows exactly how to hurt even the most emotionally detached of players. And killing Gideon’s daughter? Well, that turns out to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
I’m still happy enough with what Brett Dalton’s doing as Hive that I’m anxiously awaiting this season’s few remaining episodes. His diction alone is so weird, measured, and mannered he owns most any scene he’s in. And with Daisy now at his side? Here’s hoping some of those old Ward-Skye sparks will reignite. If she’s as good at being bad as he is, they could soon replace FitzSimmons as my favorite power couple.
— Finally a scene depicting a gay romance (or would-be romance) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe! And is it just me or is this the first time we’ve seen the old “I’m sorry, something’s come up” quick-exit non-excuse with a gay character in a mainstream superhero film or television show?
— “Oh no, Mr. Coulson. It is a god. It’s just not ours.” The conversation between Coulson and Malick about their differing religious viewpoints doesn’t last all that long, but it offers a few choice quotes. Such as…
— “I believed that I could resurrect a god. But instead I freed the Devil.”
— Another first: a Spanish-language conversation between two superheroes on screen.
— “Simmons will make try to make this seem sciencey but for the record we’re about to split open this guys head.”
— Coulson and May really should have handled the situation way better when they made their move to “quarantine” the Inhumans. Isolating them before confronting them is a no-brainer.
— “Who needs space when I’ve got something magnificient right here?” Awww, Fitz.
— “I’ve met gods. Gods bleed.” Apparently they also go on shopping sprees…
What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).
Image: Marvel, Disney, ABC