Review: Tonight’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Sure Didn’t Waste Time Exposing Lash’s Identity
Warning – FULL SPOILERS for Tonight’s “Among Us Hide … ”
Ha, called it!
Obviously, by virtue of the fact that tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. utilized the opening moments to clarify Andrew’s survival, as well as the final act to cement his identity as Lash’s human alter-ego, this wasn’t some seasonal mystery producers intended to drag out for very long. Even in the week or two we’ve had to consider, Andrew presented one of the few viable options, what with affording Blair Underwood something more meaningful to do this year, or putting aside some intimation toward Rosalind or a random figure we’d yet to meet.
Mind you, it’s still not entirely clear what’s going on, or how much control/knowledge Andrew has over his monstrous alter-ego, who himself had no such duality in the source material. If nothing else, it’s still refreshing to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wasting so little time in its first six episodes, rather than drag out mysteries the audience has already voiced discontent for.
Coming back from last week’s Simmons solo hour “4,722 Hours,” it seemed only natural that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would return to its delicate balancing act of serving so many spread-out characters, something of a necessary evil, though “Among Us Hide... “ didn’t suffer many glaring dull spots. May finally returned to the field with her best John Wick-style “Yeah, I’m thinking I’m back,” though in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s case, that tends to bring about less shooting everyone in sight, and more the usual mixture of hand-to-hand combat with some classically lighter spywork.
Pairing May with Bobbi’s return to the field was also a nice touch, not merely for the refreshment of two women out in the field kicking ass left and right, but also to expose a bit of Bobbi’s overdue vulnerability, as in her attempt to keep up cover identities rather than default back to violence so quickly. The bank scene with Bobbi prolonging her ruse with the manager, while May sarcastically denigrated the effort in Mandarin was a particular highlight, atop a nice pairing we haven’t seen much of before.
On the other side of Marvel’s Most Wanted, Hunter tagged along a bit less effectively with Daisy and Mack for a two-sided mission that rang notably weaker than the Bobbi-May pairing. On the one hand, Agents wasn’t likely to reward its characters’ first stab at Lash’s identity, but Banks seemed too obvious a red herring to keep any real mystery afloat. The other half of the pursuit saw the trio tracking Coulson and Rosalind to the ATCU base, casting further doubt on their leader by his apparent acceptance of Rosalind keeping Inhumans in stasis.
From Coulson and Rosalind’s point of view, the natural chemistry between Constance Zimmer and Clark Gregg kept their interactions moving along nicely, even exposing a bit of flirtatious vulnerability in Rosalind’s reasons for wanting to help, rather than harm the emerging Inhumans. I don’t know how much longer their burgeoning relationship can reasonably serve as an engine of distrust for the rest of Coulson’s team, a sentiment that itself feels somewhat repetitive of last year, but for now at least, the two leaders’ push-pull dynamic remains a highlight.
On the sidelines this week, Ward’s Nu-Hydra (Wardra?) thread still isn’t going anywhere, though we at least have new player in the form of Powers Boothe’s enigmatic Avengers reprisal of Gideon Malick, equal parts mentor and threat to the fandom’s belovedly irredeemable psycho. Also a bit (understandably) sidelined this week were Fitz and Simmons, still hard at work on simulations to reopen the portal and retrieve the latter’s lost love Will, though we at least got a strong refresher on Fitz’s determination to do the right thing, regardless of whatever selfish advice Hunter might offer.
There was always going to be some deflation after last week’s strongly focused and emotional hour, but as setup for the latter half of Season 3’s first major arc, “Among us Hide…” seems largely to have coasted by. The expedience with which we learned Andrew’s true identity as Lash should inspire some hope Daisy’s issues with Coulson and Rosalind boil over equally quickly, or at least facilitate some shift in the ATCU dynamic. The always welcome Powers Boothe should also afford a better means of tethering Ward, or at least a bigger bad.
AND ANOTHER THING …
- Can’t say how much sense it would make, but I almost wish Ward were Lash. That’d at least give him some enduring value to the story.
- Seriously, that was some messed-up advice on Hunter’s part.
- I’ll assume that Andrew has some intrinsic compulsion to his Lash persona, rather than any real reason to hunt down Lincoln or the others.
- “There you go, blood. Okay, there may be some anger issues ”
- I half-swore Rosalind was bringing Coulson Big Belly Burger. Conditioning!
- I can’t be the only one to presume Rosalind was a candidate for Lash, right? Tonight made at least three references to her “humanity,” seemingly as a swerve.
- Still no thank you to Daisy-Lincoln coupling.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will return next week with Tuesday’s “Chaos Theory”
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