Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Ep.16

(Marvel Studios 2016)

Summary: Inhumans have begun popping up all over the globe now that the Terrigen strain has been released into the ozone. Phil Coulson, Director of S.H.I.E.L.D., is leading a task force to detain these Inhumans before they unleash unknown catastrophe on the world. However he meets opposition from all sides including the U.S. Military. Things are not the same and this is a tale of a changed people.

“Paradise Lost”

Directed by Wendey Stanzler; Written by George Kitson & Sharla Oliver

[SPOILERS!!]

Review: I really, really dug this episode. If there’s one thing this show does well it’s eventually taking those one dimensional villains and ascending them into the spotlight of relatability. Malick as a billionaire is already someone who is unrelatable to most of us general folk, but to also make him evil and HYDRA really throws any hope out the window.

Until you add in that he’s also a lifelong coward to boot. Hiding behind his money and influence to keep in the dark secrets that haunt him to this day. And on this day those secrets come back to literally haunt him. In the form of Hive, the God he’s not only been attempting to resurrect since he was a kid, but also the God that he more or less sacrificed his own brother to when they were boys.

Hauntings of the past is a general theme for this episode as we continue the connection of Grant Ward coming back from the dead over to Coulson, who’s rattled with guilt over killing him during the mid-season finale. We do understand that he liked it, something that already doesn’t sit comfortably with him, but to also physically see Ward still walking around afterwords truly messes with Coulson.

HiveI also most certainly did not see Malick’s daughter’s death coming at the end of this episode at the hands of Hive due to Malick’s sins. It’s a heavy price to pay for disloyalty and I’m sure Malick will be scheming to get Hive back, but first and foremost he must play the part of the pawn in order to survive.

This may make Coulson and Malick allies for a short time at the end of the season due to the nature of their shared enemy. Although as we get confirmation in this episode Malick is destined to die horrifically himself – seen through the vision he had last episode. Already the season finale is teaming up to be very, very interesting.

Even if we didn’t get to see his face full on, what we did see has me so excited they’re going full on Hive with this character, squid face and all. It’s great to see the writers embracing the comic book origins of this character while still working with a budget. I’m not sure why we didn’t get to see his face when we saw so much else, but I am guessing it’s so when Coulson or someone else sees it then we can get that “Ooh! Aahhh!” moment.

Daisy and Lincoln’s arc in this episode was definitely the weakest of the group. Looking into another Inhuman hiding away deep in the country in order to find out more about Hive, apparently this Inhuman was researching him before getting kicked out of Afterlife. Now, questions abound, but why was this country bumpkin cast as another skinny, attractive, British guy? I mean, this is like deep country U.S. and seriously, that’s who you choose to represent people of that nature? Someone who’s not going to be like the majority of that kind of population at all?

I didn’t mind the stereotyping of the land he lives on, there are people who are that protective/paranoid over their land and self being. My biggest criticism is with the casting. I’m not going to bother looking up the actor’s name, he did a serviceable job. I just think their choice of – again – a skinny, attractive British guy was just way off the mark for the kind of character they’re trying to convey.

Also this arc leads to the finding of yet another mystery item in the form of a Kree orb. Now, I don’t think this item will really come into play this season. Unless it just happens to be the item “Hive has been searching for all this time” kind of absurdity. I just don’t like the idea of yet another MacGuffin being spearheaded into this season at the last minute and to be perfectly honest even more so than villains being killed in this universe I am very much getting tired of almost all of the MCU stories having to center around MacGuffin’s.

Whether it be this season or next we’re getting another MacGuffin guys, and I for one am tired of it. Let’s just have some bad guys be bad guys for a change. That would be really nice. – However, backtracking really quick, this episode also offered up a great character moment for Lincoln, something he and we as an audience really needed. This too fits with this week’s theme of ghosts of the past.

Finally, the episode was utterly stolen by May and Giyera who had GREAT fight scenes this time around. The one with them in the enclosed square room is so brutal and epic, this episode really allowed Giyera to become a villain worth rooting for. And it also introduced us to the idea that perhaps that’s not even the true Giyera we met at the beginning of this season. It might be Hive having branched off a bit of himself into Giyera’s body?

Either way, by far my favorite scene is their hand-to-hand brawl and even the moments at the end featuring Giyera. Definitely the best highlights to me.

Another strong episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. who’ve been doing a kick-ass job since the show got back from its mid-season break. I am definitely excited to see what comes next for this series as we’re only a handful of episodes away from Captain America: Civil War and the season finale.

Final Score: 4.5 Ghosts of the Past out of 5

DERRICK-imageDerrick is a born and raised otaku with a love for comics, anime, manga and movies. The full list is pretty long, but that’s just the basics. Stories set in space are his bread and butter.

You can find more of his writing at IndieComix.net

@KazekunForever

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