Season 3 Episode 17: The Team
‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ has so many twists and double-crosses this week that you’d almost swear it was a Shonda Rhimes show. I’m hyperventilating. Did that really just happen?! If this episode is any indication of the caliber of the finale, were in for a ride of epic proportions. Ok, let’s get to this weeks review and apologies for presenting this one out of sequence – it was just too important to pass up, but I promise I’ll catch up on the outstanding episodes ASAP.
With Coulson and the S.H.I.E.L.D. command team trapped aboard Zephyr One as it was hijacked by Giyera and piloted to a HYDRA base, Daisy and Lincoln are left to rescue them. Using a quinjet, they fly around the world to pick up the members of Daisy’s “Secret Warriors Initiative,” which sounds pretty cool and impressive until you realize that it actually only consists of two other people: Joey (the guy who can manipulate metal) and Elena (the speedster who can spring back and forth faster than the eye can see). Elena has (conveniently) been practicing her English enough to carry a conversation now. Joey seems reluctant to get involved and put himself in danger, especially when Daisy makes them all HALO jump out of the jet – something neither he nor Elena has ever done before.
Starting a new chapter in your life is always difficult, and joining a team of Inhumans has to be hella difficult. Good thing Yo-Yo and Joey have each other. They commiserate in rapid-fire Spanish, just before taking the plunge out of the jet. Two newbies, becoming friends is very heartwarming; the conversations in Spanish make them that much better. Especially since not one other “agent” there understands the language. It becomes their thing and anchors them to each other.
Meanwhile, on the ground, Giyera leaves the plane and reports to Ward. A HYDRA team storms the plane to flush out the S.H.I.E.L.D.ies, who hold them off with a gunfight and then lock themselves into a storage room. (How the hell big is this plane?) May was injured in the last episode and is in pretty bad shape, but Simmons is able to stabilize her. Fitz works on MacGyvering a chlorine gas weapon using supplies in the room.
The warriors arrive and split up. Lincoln finds Malick (all of a sudden Lincoln seems like a pretty epic fighter to be honest!), Daisy finds the plane, Yoyo finds the team, and Melty Man… does… something? That really could have been clearer. Anyways, the team leaves on the plane with Malick, only to find that the Inhuman I call Secrets In Their Eyes is hiding on the plane. He eye freezes Lincoln but Melty stabs him with a pipe. This is his first “kill” and he’s rightfully NOT a happy camper about it. As it takes off and leaves the HYDRA base, Ward isn’t too concerned. He tells Giyera, “Now we have one on the inside.” That sounds ominous. Is he talking about Malick, or does he have a mole in S.H.I.E.L.D. now or is Eye guy not really dead?
Completely ignoring the conflict of interest, Coulson interrogates Malick, the man responsible for having Rosalind killed. Protocol is different from organization to organization, but this can’t be okay no matter what. Coulson is still so damn bitter about Rosalind. This may sound cold-hearted, but can we get past this? It’s been some time, they didn’t date very long, he got his revenge on Ward; let’s stop bringing up the dead lady! Anywho, Malick tells Coulson about the death of his daughter – remember that time that Hive killed Malick’s daugher by creepy alien tongue kissing her? – Malick reveals how Hive works and he says that he made a terrible mistake in bringing the Inhuman parasite (whose official name is Alveus, which supposedly translates as “Hive”) to Earth. He explains that Ward/Alveus/Hive murdered his daughter and says, “It is a god, just not ours.” Malick warns Coulson that the Inhumans will all worship Hive, who has the ability to control the mind of any Inhuman. He also suggests that some of Coulson’s own people may have already turned. Coulson isn’t sure if Malick is just playing him, but the seeds of doubt quickly grow in his mind. He asks Mack to quietly lock down the base and instructs Fitz and Simmons to work on making a test to see if anyone is under Hive’s spell.
Daisy immediately suspects that something is up and that Coulson is hiding something from her. She doesn’t like being left out of the loop. Elena also gets very agitated about being stuck in the base, and Joey disappears for a while. Mack watches all of them (plus Lincoln) on surveillance but doesn’t feel very good about it. Meanwhile, Fitz-Simmons discover the infection in Secrets In Their Eyes and cause the power to go out so the doors will lock for good. They find Malick’s door open with him dead inside laying next to a bomb which goes off and destroys all of the evidence.
At this point, nobody trusts anybody. Coulson and Mack try to round up the Inhumans, but Daisy is adamant that they’re being railroaded. She barricades the four of them into a room, where they even argue amongst themselves, each accusing the others of being traitors. They all take turns accusing each other of being infected and killing Malick, until Daisy tells them they need to stick together. She leads them out via a secret elevator, straight into a containment room, with Coulson waiting. Damn, Daisy, you turncoat. Coulson announces who the infected person is: Lincoln; they found the orb in his locker and they know he’s stolen before. Not only that, he’s been infected since the mission at Transia, and Daisy buys it. Lincoln denies it all and loses his temper on his team, leaving Daisy to take him down. Why would Coulson think he’d been turned at Transia? It’s not like whoever was infected would admit to seeing Hive; but wait, Lincoln did. The wonkiness of the events leading up to it certainly make clear the purpose of the last few episodes. If you thought that Daisy and Lincoln’s relationship was a bit ham-fisted, you’re not wrong, as it was clearly rushed in order to make this misdirection more shocking and emotionally resonant. Unfortunately, the relationship didn’t quite spark the way the writers had hoped, and as such the reveal was a little predictable.
FitzSimmons try to figure out how to help Secret Warriors, but have no real way of doing that outside the lab. So basically, they’re hanging out and mackin’ on each other. They’re worried about Hive, but Fitz says they’ll take care of him. Stuck in that dirty room, they finally have their moment, so they commence to kissing. About bloody time (pardon my french … only been 3 seasons of waiting for them to hook up!)
Coulson breaks the news to Daisy that he’s benching the Secret Warriors, because they can’t be near Hive; they’ll have to stay in quarantine. Daisy is understandably disappointed, but tells him they’ll be stronger next time. No fight at all, Daisy? She escapes quarantine to go see Lincoln. Everyone knows she designed the security protocols, why wouldn’t they alter them if she’s locked up, too? Lincoln maintains he didn’t betray the team. Not to worry, boo, Daisy is there to let him out so they can runaway together. Lincoln doesn’t want to leave because he’ll be proven innocent. Then it hits him: Daisy is the infected. She’s sick, no she’s happier than she’s ever been. She describes the infection as a bond. Lord, she sounds like one of Jasmine’s followers on BtVS. Yep, she killed Malick. Lincoln is equal parts disbelief and bitterness as he realizes she his past against him. Damn, she’s like a combination of Jasmine plus Raven from The 100. She can’t convince him to go, so she leaves, taking the orb and a fair number of crystals with her. It’s not enough she’s a lying liar who lies, on her way out, she disables the locking mechanism so no one can escape and destroys the base.
The last 10 minutes of the episode is the big reveal, as usual, with a pretty big change at the end that should be interesting to see where the final episode of the season goes. There’s still the eventual tie-in with Captain America: Civil War too to deal with.
I’m sad to see Powers Boothe exit the series. Malick was a great character and brought a lot of much-needed menace to the villain side of the equation. (I still don’t care for Brett Dalton as the new Big Bad.) That disappointment aside, this is a pretty terrific episode with lots of suspenseful twists and turns. Daisy being under Hive’s control means that, in a sense, Ward will finally get her as he always wanted. That dynamic should be interesting to watch play out. The episode is one of the better for the season, here’s hoping it keeps it up.