Strong performances, big decisions, and lots of subplots — there’s a lot going on in the world of SHIELD!
Elizabeth Henstridge stole the spotlight this week, and I expected nothing less. If her scene at the restaurant didn’t make you feel anything, you might want to get checked; she has a heavier weight to work with than the last time we saw her. And it’s interesting that her story with Fitz is a flip-flop from last season. One day, good things will happen to them both at the same time. One day.
Speaking of Fitz, it was bittersweet and heartwarming to see him take Simmons on their first date — on hold for months! — even in her fragile state. His patience and understanding with her re-acclimation was admirable, and comes from his own experiences in Season 2. I’m highly intrigued at Simmon’s declaration that she has to go back; I wonder how Fitz will react to this unsettling news.
Whatever the reaction, he’ll be his usual supportive self.
The rest of the episode focused on Lincoln’s run from the law. Dude just can’t catch a break, but it’s nice to see him spotlit and his character fleshed out. As much as I want to see him on the team, there’s good reason to be hesitant after living a lie in Season 2. That said, I hope this back-and-forth of possibly joining doesn’t repeat itself. We all know he’ll give in, so they can only drag it out so much.
Daisy seemed to be the sole sympathetic ear for Lincoln in a crowd of people trying to track him down. And we finally got that kiss that started to build up when they first met! I like the idea of them as an item, and I think it will work well for the season’s story. However, I wonder how Daisy will convince Lincoln that she had nothing to do with SHIELD’s betrayal.
I still very much like Rosalind, especially her dynamic with Coulson. Their car exchange was excellent, and Coulson deciding to work for the ATCU is an interesting choice — one that directly addresses my worry of a “real SHIELD” rehash. Coulson himself said so: he’s tired of fighting just to see “who’s right.” I’m glad the writers see they can’t do the same thing, but I’m wondering when and how Rosalind’s blackmail come back into play. Something like that won’t just go away.
“Coulson, is that Daisy as your iPad background?”
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget about our two undercover agents. Hunter and May started their infiltration of Hydra in this episode, and it left Hunter to deal with some hefty consequences after accidentally killing a former acquaintance. Even with that horrible outcome — a great weight added to the situation — Hunter succeeded in getting closer to Ward. On a lighter note, I really enjoyed the subtitle joke, and I hope the show puts effort into unique punch lines like those more often.
On the other hand, I don’t think May likes having to sit back. Their undercover story seems focused on Hunter, whom I love, but I hope May gets more important things to do. I did enjoy the brief moments of bonding, so more of that would be very welcome.
While this was not as strong as the two previous episodes, SHIELD is still heading in the right direction. Ian De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge are exceptional in their roles. Simmons needing to go back to that planet is a great twist, and Coulson’s move to the ATCU is a breath of fresh air. Conversely, the Hydra plot needs a little more balance between May and Hunter. Who’s ready for what’s next?
Article by contributor Russ Milheim.