Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – Season 3 Episode 3

Oct 14, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Agents of SHIELD

“A Wanted (Inhu)Man”

Lincoln returns to Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD on the run from the government agency established in the first episode while Daisy makes it her personal mission to get to him before they do.

Having Lincoln’s situation be the main plot of the episode was a massive misstep as it was nothing but a by the numbers chase plot that brings nothing new or interesting to that trope. There was an attempt at depth for Lincoln when it was revealed that he is a recovering alcoholic who struggles with the constant threat of relapse. This isn’t something that has even been hinted at before and could have been an interesting development for his character but it comes across as fairly bland.

A big part of the problem here is how Luke Mitchell performs him. There’s something very clean cut about him so it makes the prospect of him having a darker side really hard to sell. I know that Mitchell can handle this sort of character as he was able to do it convincingly in The Tomorrow People before it was sadly cancelled so it should have been easy for him to put that across.

Agents of SHIELD

Lincoln uses his power to engineer an escape

There is a standout moment when his friend John (Daniel Roebuck) suffers a heart attack and dies despite Lincoln’s best efforts to revive him using his powers as a defibrillator. Seeing him come to terms with something that he feels responsible for is definitely the strongest part of this episode and Mitchell handles this really well. He comes across as genuinely shocked, confused and consumed by guilt. His conversation with Daisy is really well put together as she does everything she can to convince him that it isn’t his fault and he would be better off coming with her but Lincoln is unwilling to listen at that point. Their kiss felt really forced as I’m not seeing any real chemistry between the two actors. It seems that the producers want them to have chemistry since they are both Inhumans but it doesn’t work at all.

On the subject of Daisy I like the way her character is being handled this season. She seems focused and determined to help her people after finally achieving a sense of identity but this tunnel vision approach that she is taking comes at the expense of meaningful development. I have a clear sense of what Daisy wants to do and what her objectives are but I don’t get a sense of who Daisy is at this point. Back when she was Skye there was a playfulness about her and her arrogance at her own abilities actually came across as more charming than annoying most of the time but writing her to be completely on task this season so far has completely removed any sort of personality from her.

What does Daisy do in her spare time these days? Does she like being an Inhuman? Is it having a deeper psychological impact than we’ve seen? Does she ever have any fun with her powers? These are only a handful of the questions lingering around this character that really need to be addressed before she turns into nothing but a plot device. I get that her determination might be a symptom of some sort of denial on her part but it really needs to be seen to be effective.

Hunter and May’s plot was a lot more interesting than Lincoln’s. It was cool to see Hunter among friends and people he understands which allowed Nick Blood to have some real fun with the performance. His interactions with his friend Spud (Dan Feuerriegel) are immensely entertaining and the subtitling of the very accent heavy drunken slurs was a stroke of comic genius. The simplicity of this part of the story was the greatest strength as all it involved was Hunter getting himself into a fight so that his scrappy nature would get the attention of H.Y.D.R.A. and he could be recruited. It did take a bit of a tragic turn when he accidentally killed Spud which drew an effective parallel to Lincoln having to deal with the accidental death of someone close.

Agents of SHIELD

Hunter cuts loose

May was mostly there to observe but she got a cool moment when she beat up the 3 guys trying to sexually assault her. Her badass line about promising not to tell anyone that a small Asian woman kicked their ass was appropriately amusing as well.

The strongest aspect of this episode was Simmons and her long road to recovery. It’s clear that her time in the Negative Zone -prove me wrong-has deeply affected her and it won’t be easy for her to readjust. It’s a clever touch to have the effect be a physical one as well as a psychological one. Her body has adapted to the different atmosphere and gravity of the Negative Zone so getting used to Earth again is a constant struggle. This says nothing about her mental state upon her return which is about as fragile as it gets.

I liked the little touches such as everyday noises alarming her but I wonder if it was supposed to be a hit at her having some kind of enhanced hearing ability or if it was shot in such a way to emphasise how much the sounds unnerved her.

Fitz is entirely by her side and being incredibly patient with her through the slow recovery process. It’s a sweet gesture that he kept the dinner reservation for the entire time she was missing to signify that he wasn’t giving up hope and the fact that he arranged to have the whole place emptied for their dinner  was another really thoughtful thing for him to do. He is lending her as much emotional and physical support as she needs but keeping an appropriate distance to keep from smothering her. His tactic is as delicate as the writing in these scenes is sophisticated and both actors do a great job with special attention to be given to Elizabeth Henstridge who gives an excellent performance. It’s hard to believe that I found both of these characters unbearable only two seasons ago, a lot has changed.

I wonder what surrounds her desire to get back. Maybe she needs to help her new friend Annihilus with something. I’ll stop with the Negative Zone references when it’s definitely revealed not to be but for now I’m having some fun dreaming.

Another thing that works really well is the antagonistic yet respectful relationship between Coulson and Rosalind who have a really interesting discussion that highlights their positions. Rosalind appears to be presenting a brave front but the truth is that the president set up her task force so that she could get tangible results to help convince the public that they are safe and that the government can protect them. So far she hasn’t come up with much so there is some concern there. Coulson easily recognises that she needs a win and tries to use that to manipulate her by reminding her that S.H.I.E.L.D. has the experience dealing with those sorts of problems so she should leave it to them.

Agents of SHIELD

Coulson and Rosalind negotiate

Despite projecting some vulnerability Rosalind never loses any sense of strength and Constance Zimmer’s layered performance puts this across perfectly. She clearly admires Coulson and agrees with much of what he says but her hands are tied by what is expected of her. Coulson doesn’t have any such restrictions so is able to make alterations to any bargain he makes on the fly so that a peaceful outcome can be reached.

Controversially he makes the decision to let her capture Lincoln because he feels that she’s sincere when saying that he won’t be harmed. A big part of the reason he agrees to this is that Rosalind has a picture of Daisy and is waiting for the right time to release her image to the world.

Naturally Daisy is unhappy with Coulson’s decision and Lincoln manages to escape in the resulting confusion anyway so it leaves both parties relatively empty handed. In order to keep Daisy out of their clutches Coulson has to agree to lend his expertise to their cause and uses the fact that he’s tired of being in conflict with everyone. He cites Talbot and the other branch of S.H.I.E.L.D. as notable examples and while he has a point it still seems like a really reckless and risky decision that will no doubt come back to bite him. I find the conflict between Daisy and Coulson to be a promising aspect of the show that I’d like to see developed in more detail as time goes on. Having them separated by ideologies could prove to be interesting.

I also want to see the relationship between Rosalind and Coulson develop as they have great chemistry on screen. Whether that turns out to be romantic or not I can’t say yet but I definitely want to see more scenes of them together.

  • 7.5/10
    A Wanted (Inhu)Man - 7.5/10


A solid episode with excellent sub-plots that make up for a relatively weak main story that seems underdeveloped by comparison.

While there was nothing technically wrong with this story it just felt like a very by the numbers chase plot that failed to bring anything interesting to the table. Luke Mitchell’s performance is fairly bland which is a shame as it has been proven that he can play the tortured character that the episode implies he is. When he feels responsible for the death of his friend there is some strong stuff in there but it’s ultimately spoiled by a forced kiss with Daisy that doesn’t work due to their lack of chemistry.

Hunter and May’s plot was entertaining and allowed Nick Blood to cut loose with the fun side of Hunter. Seeing him around his friend Spud was a lot of fun and the subtitled accent filled drunken slurring was a stroke of comic genius. It helps that this story is relatively simple but has the added guilt when Hunter is accidentally responsible for killing his friends.

Simmons being emotionally and physically affected by her trip to the Negative Zone is by far the strongest aspect of the episode. Elizabeth Henstridge plays her sense of unease wonderfully and makes it incredibly believable. Fitz’ contribution to her recovery works really well too. It’s hard to believe that I found these characters unbearable in season 1.

Coulson and Rosalind’s interaction is really interesting. They have an adversarial relationship that seems to be built on respect and their innate chemistry makes this more interesting. I don’t really agree with Coulson’s decision to offer his expertise to their cause but I’m willing to give it a go as it brings in some potentially interesting conflict with Daisy over the way he makes decisions.

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