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MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: “The Singularity”

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: “The Singularity”

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, “The Singularity”, we highly suggest you do so before proceeding. Okay? We good? Then let’s go.

Few romantic couplings on TV today have generated such polarizing feelings in viewers as that of Fitzsimmons. The name alone is an invitation to shippers, but there are few things that shippers hate more than relationships that don’t at least appear to have begun in their own minds. Nevertheless, over the course of three seasons, the star-crossed, socially awkward but still adorable S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists have gradually won the hearts of even the most resistant among us. Primarily through a narrative that has, time and again, brought them to the brink of couplehood before cruelly yanking them away from it.

It’s no wonder then that despite their long shared history Fitz describes the crux of their relationship as this episode’s titular singularity. “Are you comparing us sleeping together to crossing the event horizon?” says Simmons. Hey, it beats his former assessment: that they were “cursed”! But then such is the state of foreplay on TV these days, where the nerds rule uber alles. (Those who saw the recent episode of Supergirl in which Kara explained to James that they needed to align themselves like the “infinite earths” of the multiverse know what I mean.)

While Fitzsimmons’ long-teased consummation is certainly the highlight of this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the ongoing Hive storyline is also furthered, with the Hydra god recruiting new followers to his cause, including Lisha (the Multiple Woman) and Lincoln’s old Aussie buddy James. The latter finally gets his wish to become an Inhuman, and he gains the ability to energize solid matter to the point of combustion. It’s a little like the power of the X-Men‘s Gambit, except he doesn’t throw playing cards. (Though in one scene, was it just me, or was there a quick shot of him playing with a deck?)

Both Coulson and Hive get the chance to put Malick’s parting gifts to use this week. Hive by buying a town in which to raise an army, and Coulson by finally destroying every remaining Hydra base in the world. And with Hydra gone so appears to go the show’s balance of espionage and science fiction. If this proves true, then I for one will miss the espionage. Even if it never quite gave us the twenty-first century James Bond gadgets I’d hoped for. Though Coulson does get to wield a “force shield” this week in saving May from a booby-trapped house.

Of course S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s primary concern isn’t genre but family. Which is emphasized this week in Coulson’s concern over losing the “closest thing to a daughter” he’s ever known, and his willingness to trade his adversary for her affections–would-be son-in-law Lincoln–for her. Hive too is concerned with family, and in his own warped way, he offers a more perfect paternal figure than Coulson ever could. This is if one prefers their children to be brainwashed slaves.

There’s no doubt that Daisy will at some point rejoin S.H.I.E.L.D., but the question that looms over the remaining episodes of this season is “Which S.H.I.E.L.D. agent will die in space?” (The mystery death has become a staple of TV this season, with Arrow teasing one and The Walking Dead dragging another well past its expiration date in a controversial cliffhanger finale.) I can’t begin to guess who will perish without seriously offsetting the relationship dynamics of the show, with the exception of Lincoln. But do fans like him enough to care? We may soon find out.

Agents of SHIELD 4

Declassified Deliberations

— “No one comes to me with their feelings.” Aw, don’t feel so bad, May. Everyone came to your ex with their feelings, and look how he turned out!

— Fitzsimmons’ choice of fancy clothes to wear undercover is hilarious. He’s dressed as a 1960s idea of heterosexual suave while she wears a pants suit with a rhinestone choker and shoulder pads straight out of the ’80s.

— “Guys, this woman has been heavily modified. In ways you wouldn’t anticipate… Man, I need to get out more.”

— Thank God that eye was prosthetic. I almost forgot I was watching a Disney show.

— Lately some of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s characters have had an unfortunate tendency to speak the episode’s subtext. This week’s offender is Coulson: “On some level I’m no better than Hive.”

— As James was listing the potential names by which he’d like to be called, I was waiting for “Pyro,” the evil mutant firestarter who fights the X-Men. Like James, he’s Australian. Unlike James, his screen rights are owned by Fox.

— “This should have been a great day.”

What did you think of this week’s episode? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter (@JMaCabre).

Images: Marvel, Disney, ABC

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