Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD – Season 3 Episode 6
“Among Us Hide…”
After a short departure from the norm last week with Simmons on an alien planet, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returns to planet Earth and developing the other plots.
Simmons problem hasn’t been completely pushed aside as it gets some lip service here when Fitz reminds her that he is working on the problem but hasn’t made any progress. Fitz also looks up Will to see what information there is on him and highlighting the difficulty he is having trouble remaining supportive for Simmons after finding out about their relationship. He is a complete professional and devoted to his friend so he soldiers on despite how hard it is for him. At least Simmons acknowledges that and is thankful for the help he is giving.
Hunter has a different take on the issue. He seems to think that Will isn’t necessarily worth saving. It’s a pretty cold perspective but it makes a kind of sense given Hunter’s attitude of being able to make tough choices when the occasion calls for it. I very much doubt that Fitz will ever agree with him but it does give him something new to think about.
After his tough decision last week Hunter is completely in the dog house due to his choice not resulting in the death of Ward. Andrew is alive but that doesn’t downplay the reaction to Hunter making the choice to sacrifice him for what he feels is the greater good. As you might expect May is the most annoyed at him and refuses to work with him again. Coulson removes him from the assignment because of his failure and there’s a real sense that Hunter has lost some of Coulson’s trust as a result of this. It still needs to play out but so far it’s an interesting place to start.
Andrew being so near death gives May the motivation she needs to rejoin the team and adds to her already determined notion to make sure that Ward dies a horrible death. I like seeing May out for blood as Ming Na Wen plays her as almost a little scary as she applies all of her focus to a simple goal.
Thankfully her goal of getting revenge for Andrew is compatible with Coulson’s objective to bring down H.Y.D.R.A. so he lets her do her own thing. We finally get Bobbi in the field again when May challenges her to stop hiding behind the test results that apparently leave her unfit for field duty. I was a little surprised that May would encourage Bobbi to disobey doctor’s orders like this but given the circumstances she doesn’t have a lot of options for backup since Hunter can’t be trusted. I also think Bobbi’s personal vendetta against Ward is something that May would like to exploit to help get the job done. It is mentioned that Bobbi should use that anger to fuel her on her quest for revenge so between the two of them there’s a lot of revenge to go around.
Bobbi and May’s part of the story is pretty fun as they scour the globe -or a small part of it- trying to find out what happened to Andrew. Seeing them do the spy thing is enjoyable especially since Adrienne Palicki is very chameleonic when playing a cover identity. Ming Na Wen shows lots of versatility when it comes to playing May under cover as well. The action sequences involving these two characters are always the strongest on the show and that is proven here. I like that Bobbi is still not at 100% but manages to use her experience to come out ahead.
They eventually manage to track down Werner Von Strucker who is near death by the time they find him. I thought that Von Strucker would be a larger part of the series given his parentage so I’m not sure how I feel about him being killed so quickly. On one hand he was in it so little that it doesn’t really matter but he did have a lot of potential being Baron Von Strucker’s son after he was killed so unceremoniously in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
His death did provide some interesting information. It is revealed that Andrew survived by transforming into Lash and taking on the H.Y.D.R.A. goons. As twists go it’s fairly effective but it could be a betrayal of the character that they have created if not handled properly. Is Andrew at war with his Inhuman side or is the Lash persona simply an extension of his own and therefore using the strength he has to achieve Andrew’s goal? If so then that would seem inconsistent with Andrew as he has previously been set up. There’s a scene after the reveal where Andrew acts shifty which of course is pretty standard once the audience is in on the secret. Given that May knows the truth I doubt these questions will linger for very long and I look forward to seeing the exploration.
Unfortunately for Daisy and Mac they spend the entirety of the episode chasing down a lead that was never going to go anywhere. They go after one of Rosalind’s agents because they suspect that he might secretly be Lash. Daisy’s theory about him being inside her organisation is a solid piece of reasoning as it would explain why he knows all of the information that he does. Of course with Andrew being Lash he has access to all of the S.H.I.E.L.D. information that he needs to hunt people down.
These scenes were really well done but I always like it when Daisy and Mac work together. There is definitely a brother/sister vibe to their relationship and it’s a lot of fun to see them play off each other. It’s a nice touch that Mac calls Daisy “Tremors” and she accepts it. I wonder if it’s a reference to the infamous Kevin Bacon film of the same name. I really do hope so.
Hunter forces himself along on their mission and proves to be something of a reckless liability when he gets bored of the surveillance and simply stuns the guy before punching him to get a blood sample. It undeniably gets results but it lacks a certain finesse that should come with being a spy.
Despite the Lash sized dead end Daisy and Mac come away far from empty handed. They get a look at Rosalind’s facility and find out what she does with the Inhumans she captures. She puts them into some kind of stasis gel and puts them in a warehouse so that they can’t be a threat while a cure is looked for. Naturally this proves horrifying to Daisy and Mac who see this as a betrayal of human rights. Daisy is especially affected by this as she sees herself in that situation and personally vows to never work with Rosalind’s people again. This will undoubtedly cause more tension between her and Coulson who is still firmly associated with this group.
Speaking of Coulson there is further development of the attraction between him and Rosalind. There is a great deal of respect between them but also a seemingly perpetual game of cat and mouse as each of them tries to exploit a vulnerability in the other. Coulson does acknowledge that she is purposely humanising herself to disarm Coulson and play on his compassionate nature but it’s clear that Coulson is wondering if Rosalind really is as vulnerable as she is putting herself across. Her story about losing a husband to cancer adds to her motivation to find a cure for Terrigenesis and removing the problem until that can happen. She’s a wonderfully complex character and the fact that Coulson seems to agree with her most of the time is an interesting complication to bring to the show.
There was a lot of good stuff in this episode but there was perhaps far too much going on. It’s smart to link Daisy’s investigation to Coulson’s part of the story but the reveal of Andrew as Lash isn’t quite given the narrative punch it needs because it exists among a lot of other thought provoking scenes that almost drown it. This season is the best yet but more focus is needed in many of the episodes to properly develop certain ideas.
A compelling yet busy episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD that comes with a few revelations successfully managing to be thought provoking.
Hunter being completely in the dog house after his reckless decision to leave Andrew for dead and go after Ward makes complete sense. Andrew survived but it doesn’t make the reactions any less powerful. May is the most annoyed and refuses to work with him while Coulson takes him off the assignment and loses some trust he had in him.
May is on Ward’s trail completely fuelled by revenge and recruits Bobbi who has a similar hatred for Ward. Bobbi is encouraged to ignore the medical results and make herself ready for field duty. It’s a surprise that May would push her to do that but since she can’t work with Hunter her options for backup in tracking down Ward are fairly limited plus Bobbi’s anger can be used effectively on this mission.
Their scenes are a lot of fun as they do the undercover spy thing which provides some strong performances from both actresses. The action scenes are cool as well as is expected from these two characters who always provide the best combat.
Their discovery of Werner Von Strucker and his subsequent death feels like something of a wasted opportunity for this character given his bloodline but on the other hand he has had very little to do before now so it isn’t really that big a loss. Before he dies he does reveal that Lash’ human identity is Andrew which makes a kind of sense but I wonder what this will do to the character that has already been established. Given that May knows the truth we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Daisy and Mac chase down Daisy’s theory on who Lash might be which of course turns out to be false but it does lead them to Rosalind’s facility where they see that she encases them in a stasis gel and stores them away until a cure can be found. This terrifies Daisy as she sees herself in that position and refuses to work with Rosalind ever again. This is sure to cause tension with Coulson who is in deep with this collaboration.
Coulson and Rosalind’s interactions prove to be as compelling as ever with some humanising of Rosalind after revealing that she lost her husband to cancer. It is pointed out that humanising herself could be a deliberate tactic but it’s clear that Coulson feels that she might be telling the truth and that her vulnerability might be genuine. I love seeing these actors work together.