Danny Hale reviews the third episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4…
With no episode airing last week I was eagerly anticipating Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s return and I was not let down, not at all. Uprising showcased amazing action, blended Robbie Reyes into the cast and brought S.H.I.E.L.D. back into the public eye.
It was great to see Elena away from Mack and the rest of the team for a change and to see her in her own environment. We open with her attending a bachelorette party and we begin to see the differences between her and her somewhat superficial friends when suddenly a blackout hits, cutting the power throughout the entire city. In addition we witness a helicopter falling out of the sky and colliding with a nearby building setting this situation far above a simple loss of power. It isn’t long before a group proclaiming to be an Inhuman resistance takes responsibility for the EMP and the subsequent attacks on other major cities around the world. I don’t think I ever really believed that the attacks were by Inhumans, as such the reveal that it was in fact the Watchdogs was not very surprising but thankfully did not detract from the rest of this strong episode.
Although Quake and Robbie had a brief fight with some thugs threatening Gabe it was Coulson, Mack, Fitz and Yo-Yo that really stole the show this week; I adore when this show films its fight scenes in one or two long tracking shots. It is akin to how Joss Whedon utilises these beautiful sweeping takes to capture his entire team at work in Avengers and again in Avengers: Age of Ultron, albeit here it is on a smaller scale. I would also like to note how much I’m enjoying having Phil back in the field this is where he belongs and this role allows him to have a bit more fun. If that wasn’t enough we were granted one more action sequence with a pulsating light as Coulson, Mack, Fitz and Yo-Yo quickly cleared a room of soldiers and dismantled the Watchdogs EMP device. Both scenes were shot beautifully and highlighted characters that don’t always get to shine when it comes to action.
Robbie’s little brother Gabriel in this show is clearly a different take on the Gabe from the comics but I’m open to see how this plays out. Indeed having him so blatantly turn on Daisy due to her Inhumanity makes him far more compelling and leaves me intrigued as to how Robbie and Daisy’s relationship will develop in the future as a result. Meanwhile Daisy’s bone condition only seems to be worsening; this week as Daisy used her powers to protect Gabe we heard her wrist snap. Worse, once revealed we see that her arm looks horrifically painful and damaged. The medication that Elena has been sneaking her is clearly just slowing a seemingly inevitable process. Against going to a hospital and seeking aid Daisy now seems to be on a self-destruct mission but I’m sure it will be her rapidly debilitating injuries that will eventually force her to return to S.H.I.E.L.D.
When we last saw May she was not in a good place and things only got worse this week. Lucy’s infection, if that is an appropriate term, has placed May in a constant state of fight or flight leaving her crippled with fear and hours from death. Dr. Radcliffe has the pretty radical idea of stopping May’s heart with the intent of resuscitating her in order to shed her body of Lucy’s bizarre effects. Of course when Simmons stops May’s heart and readies the defibrillator the blackout strikes. I admit I gasped and although I didn’t really think May would die there was a definite moment of panic. More importantly I think this scene did a great job of reminding us how close Simmons and May are and although our characters are in new positions of authority this is still our old gang.
In an attempt to clear the Inhuman’s name and to place the blame with the Watchdogs where it belongs, Director Mace made a public announcement defending Inhumans and simultaneously unveiling S.H.I.E.L.D. to the world again. In opposition we also learn that Senator Nadeer who crops up throughout the episode to openly oppose Inhumans is in fact in contact with the Watchdogs and appears to show no remorse for the murdering of Inhumans, criminal or not. She may pose an interesting and dangerous ally for the Watchdogs as the series progresses and before the episode ended we discover her brother encased in rock, a direct result from terrigenesis. This sheds some light on Senator Nadeer’s motivations while still leaving a lot of questions.
We met new threats this week, a new public S.H.I.E.L.D. and we got to see Robbie Reyes shine without the need of Ghost Rider. May seems to be back to her old self while Daisy’s condition is worsening. All in all this was a very strong week for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in what’s shaping up to be an even stronger season.