Our episode starts with Lincoln, the Inhuman who was somewhat of a former protégé to Skye as she was learning the ropes, on the run from the Advanced Threat Containment Unit. The ATCU, while primarily being a group of faceless goons, do offer up an interesting counterpoint to S.H.I.E.L.D. inasmuch as they aren’t actively attempting to destroy their rivals, but simply trying to make sure that folks with superhuman abilities, outside of the Avengers of course, are locked away. Constance Zimmer as Rosalind makes for a good foil as their leader to Agent Coulson, which we’ll delve into a little further in the recap, though I do wish they’d give her character a bit more individuality from the other “hard as nails” female characters we’ve seen in the show’s history. To be fair though, her humor and ability to match Coulson in the “quips” department makes her fun and interesting to watch.
In the previous season, I thought that Lincoln didn’t have much of his own character. Granted, he acted as a love interest for Skye, but aside from his powers and his setting, there wasn’t much to him. This episode alleviated my concerns over getting to know the character. I have always been a little wary of the Inhumans on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as they were clearly just set up as a replacement for Marvel’s mutants without really delving into what makes the race unique in the comics, but to the show’s credit, they’ve managed to create some really interesting characters to fill the roles and introduce audiences to this new group of weirdos. In the premiere, Joey had a compelling background with a lot of moving pieces, and Lincoln’s backstory of being a recovering alcoholic makes for a neat spin. It makes his character all the more tragic when his current state is actively destroying the one good thing left from his previous normal life, in the form of his A.A. counselor suffering a heart attack.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the spectrum, Simmons continues dealing with her return from whatever planet she had been trapped on. Obviously, something quite horrible happened to her because she finds herself losing her composure and bursting into tears throughout the episode. This is all the worse because Fitz has finally gone the distance to express his feelings by renting out a restaurant for the night. While the mystery of what the heck happened to Simmons on the planet is reinforced by her mood swings, another roadblock to a relationship that has been teased for nearly 50 episodes is a tad eye rolling. After a certain amount of time, the “will they, won’t they” aspect of the duo needs to be done away with already. It’s a minor complaint though as I’m sure many folks had their hearts melt as Fitz led Simmons into the restaurant.
Swinging back around to Coulson and crew, hard decisions had to be made this time around with Coulson pulling some dirty deeds to make sure that the final mission could be accomplished, or perhaps simply trying to be selfish. While I can understand his love of Skye over Lincoln, his decision to sell Lincoln out to save her life seemed somewhat disingenuous to me, mostly because it’s not like Skye was going to be leading a normal life at any point anyway. Releasing her photo to the press and having one organization, out of the MANY she’s fought in the past, vow not to hunt her doesn’t seem like a fair trade, but it is what it is. I was happy to see Phil come up with a fairly reasonable compromise, as it’s a pretty logical decision to integrate the remainder of S.H.I.E.L.D. back into the government somewhat while also keeping one eye open at all times.
With subplot C, May and Hunter integrating into Ward’s Hydra was interesting and lead to the most brutal and action packed set pieces of the night. I didn’t necessarily find the subtitled accents of Hunter and British Hydra agent as funny as the show did, but again, the action made up for some of the humor falling flat here. There’s not a character or plot wasted in this episode, and I feel that the show has really learned its way around its characters and stories, making for extremely solid episode, with this being a prime example. Everything is moving at a very nice clip and I can honestly say that I’m finding it all pretty interesting along the way.
Another very good outing for the Agents this week, cementing its place as one of the top comic book shows on the air right now…except for the Flash. Nothing touches the Flash.
Grade: ★★★★ Very good
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.
– Has Lincoln appeared in the comics at all? I’m not really familiar with the new breed of Inhumans that have popped up in the past few years…unless he turns out to secretly be Lockjaw.
– Seriously, the chemistry between Rosalind and Coulson was one of the best parts of the episode. I hope she becomes a mainstay of the series for sometime since the two work so well together.
– Coulson: “You’re not the only person with a connection to the White House.”
– Rosalind: “It’s just a car and it’s a ‘him’.”
– Rosalind: “Eyes up here.”
– May: “Right cause you guys aren’t hard enough to understand as it is.”