We've entered "Action-Packed Setup" time on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its going well for all characters except one. Take a guess!

Tears in the Rain

Forward: Sorry this review is so late. I couldn’t watch this episode when it aired because I was at an advanced screening of Civil War. Check out that review here!

We’ve reached that point of the season…the point at which Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. puts the pedal to the metal and doesn’t let go. It’s at the point where it’s all action, and said action is informed by the characters that had been built all season long. Without strong characters, the action lacks purpose.

Lincoln sucks. His actions lack purpose because he has no character. He has lighting powers instead of a personality. When we found out that he tried out the experimental potion against orders we were like…okay. Then we found out the potion was killing him and we were like…okay. Then we found out there was no antidote and we put away our phones because maybe we won’t have to deal with this character anymore.

No, Lincoln will stick around, at least for a while. After all, the title of Failed Experiments probably applies to more than just Hive. His test will go wrong and it’ll look dire for awhile, but in reality Lincoln will likely come out clean as a hero (though I won’t rule out a heroic sacrifice just yet). Lincoln’s biggest flaw is that he is a “fill-in-the-blank” character who fills whatever gap the story needs him to. It’s hard to root for a guy who lacks any real definition. Heck, even Hive is a deeper character than Lincoln.

Yeah, we get Hive now. And he’s…not just pure evil after all. The poor guy was a victim of Kree experimentation. He was technically the first Inhuman and his test went awry. He’s the OG Failed Experiment, but, in his eyes, he’s the greatest achievement of the Kree. And he’s not wrong, really. So why wouldn’t he want to build a society of people more like him?

And, really, why should we want to stop him? Sure, you can make the argument that he is, by extention, killing the Regular Human race, but if people elect to become an Inhuman of their own accord, why should S.H.I.E.L.D. stop them? After all, Coulson has a secret army of Inhumans working for him…what makes them so special?

This is not the point of the episode, however, though I hope this mentality gets explored down the line. No, this episode really hits home the “Master vs. Creator” angle, as Hive and the Kree have a face off that ends not entirely dissimilar to that of Tyrell and his Replicant in Blade Runner. We have Hive taking back his identity from the Kree and using their technology against them to build something greater.

Mack and Daisy have a similar encounter, although it’s a bit less gruesome and a lot more heartbreaking. Mack is Daisy’s de facto older brother, so Daisy’s rebellion is a personal loss to him. Sure, he can argue that that’s Hive calling the shots, but either way, Mack has lost. Watching Daisy quake Mack to within inches of life was rough to watch, and although he escaped the encounter, it’s going to be a difficult journey back without his protégé.

This episode began the payoff the season had been setting up for so long. Our established characters had a wonderful interactions with their “masters,” but the less established Lincoln wound up disappointing (as usual). As always, we’ll have to wait and see how things will play out.

Odds and Ends

  • Did Coulson watch the face scanner search every woman…in the world?
  • There was a great set up before the Mack/Daisy fight to establish just how powerful (and ruthless) Daisy can be. Well done, show.
  • Yo-yo and that other guy are no replacements for Lance and Bobbi.
  • Even though we’ve seen Kree before, both on film and television, something about their uniforms, environments, and Dutch angles made them look extra goofy this go round.

    Alex Russo likes to talk about television. You can read more of his insane ramblings on Twitter.

Alex Russo

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