At last, the hills are alive without the sound of superhuman (well inhuman actually) action and the roar of Coulson back up in the sky! Agents of Shield has finally returned in the UK, and kicked off last night with our first look at how things have moved on in the world and for the team since;
- Skye’s Mum tried to murder a whole load of people
- Skye’s Dad got his memory wiped and was left to live out his days a mundane but pleasant life
- Ward decided to become head of Hydra
- Gemma got ‘eaten’ by the monolith
- Coulson got his arm chopped off
So your average week really.
We kick off with the ‘melting metal man’ (I’m no Cisco Ramone with the names), an ordinary guy who seems to have suddenly gained himself the ability to melt metal. He’s clearly scared by what is happening to him, was not expecting his new found ability and to top off his fairly bad day, is being chased by a load of armed heavies who are authorised to use lethal force to contain him. It becomes clear they don’t have great intentions for him, and just when it seems they are going to get their shot- they get blasted away. Enter Skye. I mean Daisy. Or Quake if you like. Whatever her name, she is badass!
She’s clearly got a handle on her powers now and is using them in an operational capacity. A quick rescue operation (involving a white containment canister that looks a bit like a washed out Tardis as it flies up to the waiting aircraft) and we find ourselves back up in the air, on a new and improved bus with Skye, I mean Daisy, and Coulson. It’s like the old days!
I really loved them being back up in the air, and I hope it’s an indication that we might get a bit more of the on-the-move investigation and action that we got from the first season. What I don’t love is Daisy. Well her name anyway! I know that she is Daisy Johnson- we covered that last season. I know that is what she is called in the comic books. But within the framework of the show, it doesn’t make sense to me for her to have adopted Daisy as her name.
Given that it is a symbolic connection to her parents- one of whom was a mass murdering and manipulative cult leader, the other of whom was a mass murdering straight up crazy person- who didn’t really bring her the safety and security she’d been searching for, it seems like an odd decision to choose to use it as her name now. I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me, but personally it felt like a forced nod to the comics, that wasn’t really needed.
Anyway, we find out that new inhumans seem to be appearing but almost immediately disappearing. It assumed that the black ops group who were trying to bring in ‘melting metal man’ are responsible for those disappearances. Initially it seems like maybe they are responsible for orchestrating the changes, and when we see a mysterious woman who is clearly in charge in what seems to be a lab facility, with a load of dead bodies with holes in the chest, they seem like a pretty sinister bunch.
We later find out that this woman is ‘Rosalind’ (as well as a whole load of other aliases) and they are not responsible for the disappearances. They appear to be a government endorsed agency, tasked with protecting the public from the inhumans – and they presume Shield to be responsible for the bodies that are turning up. We find this out after Coulson and Hunter set out on a mission to intercept ‘Rosalind’, which clearly, inevitably, is a set-up.
Late in the episode we find this black ops group are the ‘Advanced Threat Containment Unit’, when the President (the same one as is in Iron Man 3) gives an address explaining that they will now be capturing and/or killing the alien threat that is appearing in the population. I’m not entirely sure that I’m that excited about this as a storyline, but I’ll give it time. I’m just feeling that the Shield being hunted/opposed in some degree by the government was covered last season…
Elsewhere, Bobby is now in a non-operational role whilst she recovers from the injuries she sustained at the end of season 2. It seems that she has taken up Gemma’s role to a degree in the lab, and conveniently she has a never before mentioned degree in biology to assist her with that. The Bobby/Hunter dynamic is still going- initially it seems Hunter isn’t talking to Bobby and Mac warns her to make sure she knows what she’s doing. Then a short while later we discover that they are still involved, and Hunter references his plans to go and get retribution from Ward. I’ll be honest; their locker-room heart-to-heart slightly confused me!
Speaking of Gemma though, we know that she is still missing and the general consensus is that she is probably gone for good. Fitz however is clearly not happy to accept this, and it seems he has been on a hunt to find some other answer and a way to bring her back. We catch up with him in Morocco where he is searching for a scroll that might help him understand the monolith. It seems that although he might be obsessed with answers, Fitz is clearly operating at full capacity and there is no sign of the brain damage that hampered him last season. What’s more, is his burning motivation seems to have kicked him up a gear too!
We see him bartering with terrorists and coming out the winner, and generally looking much less bumbling and far more determined. I’m really interested to see his character progression over the upcoming episodes. Towards the end of the episode however he has a heart-to-heart with Coulson, and is persuaded to accept that Simmons is gone- Coulson is going to tell her family. Following this he proceeds to confront the monolith and ends up hitting it and daring it to take him too. It was a really well put together scene and very believable.
So much happened in the episode, that it’s hard to cover them all without simply writing the script… so a few other things;
- Coulson’s arm! He has a pretty upgraded prosthetic and I get the feeling we’ll be seeing it having ever more gadgets and uses.
- Daisy makes a reference to the world being a bit twitchy since Sokovia dropped.
- Coulson mentions the ‘Pym-tech’ incident.
- May is said to have gone on vacation and not come back – we know she has to be back sometime soon, but it seems an acknowledgment that last season was pretty rough for her too at times.
- Lincoln has turned his back on being an inhuman and instead is working as a doctor, apparently trying to live a normal life.
The last two things I want to mention, need more than just a bullet point. The first is this dude;
I have been referring to him as ‘angry sonic’ but I’ve been told he is actually called ‘Lash’. His initial appearance had me wondering whether he was a relation of Rayna- I doubt it, but it does seem he is the one responsible for collecting up the inhumans and the large body count with holes in them we saw earlier on. Lincoln and Daisy only just managed to hold him off together, so it’s no doubt he will be re-appearing and prove to be quite the match for the team.
Right at the end of the episode, we are taken well away from the team and we find Simmons, apparently being chased around an unknown place. The shots of her location are fleeting, but it’s not clear if it’s even on earth – at one point it appears there is some sort of blue force field and possibly a close moon/planet. Maybe this is connected to ‘angry sonic’, could this be a planet that the inhumans originate from? Of course, it could just be a bit of wasteland on Earth, but either way it appears the monolith has transported Simmons into a dangerous situation, and hopefully Fitz hasn’t given up on her entirely as she might just need him to rescue her. (Spoiler alert; the trailer for the next episode which followed this one, actually showed that Fitz figures out it is a portal).
Overall, it was a pretty promising start. I can’t wait to see more of Daisy in action, having spent two seasons learning to fight like an agent, the addition of her power being under control is going to make her pretty awesome. I’m intrigued by the inhumans storyline- what new powers are we going to see and is anyone else we already know going to under go a “biomorphic event”. It’s mentioned in the episode that the tarrogen crystals have infected fish oil vitamins, and that actually it’s spread wider- near the end we see Coulson viewing a projection that shows it having made it round the entire globe. And of course, I’ll wait with baited breath to see where and when Ward makes his reappearance, and what he’s leading Hydra towards.