Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 1: Laws Of Nature

Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s back! And it was a pretty darned good premiere too, introducing new characters, threats and what I assume will be the arc for Season 3.

I have to admit, I came close to giving up on this show in the less than stellar first season. I'm glad I stuck with it. It continues to improve with each season, now that the producers have finally figured out that the audience wants to see actual superheroes in a superhero show. Let's hope they keep up the good work.

Skye, er, I mean Daisy, has also improved greatly. I couldn't stand her in Season 1, but she's changed for the better and grew on me last season, and is now one of my favorite characters.

It looks like they're laying the groundwork for the upcoming Captain America: Civil War movie here. That's a good thing. In Season 1 the show had to spin its wheels while it waited for Captain America: The Winter Soldier to premiere, so it could tie into that film. Since the movie won't be out until next summer, I'm hoping that won't happen again.

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
As the episode opens, a man named Joey has just had his Inhuman powers activated by fish oil tablets (foreshadowed at the end of last season), causing him to melt any metal he touches. Members of the ATCU (the Advanced Threat Containment Unit) swoop in to capture him. They're a new government agency that specializes in subduing alien and superpowered threats. Before the ATCU can nab Joey, S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives, and Skye, now calling herself Daisy, tosses him in a Wonkavator-like escape pod.

The Wonkavator carries him high above the city and into S.H.I.E.L.D.'s brand new aircraft, Zephyr One (replacing the Bus, which was destroyed last season). Rosalind Price, the head of the ATCU, watches from afar and is unamused.

Inside Zephyr One, Daisy tells Joey he's an Inhuman and his life just got more... interesting. I guess that's one way to put it. He's a bit alarmed when he finds out he's a "permanent guest" of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that due to his powers, he can never return to his old life. Coulson (now sporting a spiffy new bionic hand) and S.H.I.E.L.D. are now focusing on rescuing and containing Inhumans before they become a threat, and before the ATCU can eliminate them.

Meanwhile, Fitz is in Morocco, hunting down clues that might lead him to Simmons, who was sucked into the Kree Monolith last season. He meets with an arms dealer named Yousef, and recovers a one thousand year old piece of parchment that, for reasons known only to Fitz, may contain info on the Monolith.

Coulson and Hunter confront Rosalind, and demand to know why she and her agency are killing Inhumans. She says they're not harming them, and thought S.H.I.E.L.D. was. They discover there's apparently a third party that's killing off newly-activated Inhumans.

Daisy isn't making any headway with Joey, and thinks Lincoln (who was her Inhuman "transitionist") may have better luck. She and Mack visit Lincoln, who's now somehow a doctor in a busy hospital. Lincoln says he's done with S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans and wants to be left alone. Just then a new Inhuman called Lash attacks the hospital. He's the one who's been killing Inhumans. Daisy and Lincoln combine their powers against Lash, but barely escape with their lives.

Fitz returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. with the parchment. When he opens it, he sees it just contains the Hebrew word for "death." Coulson takes this opportunity to convince Fitz that Simmons is gone, and it's time he let her go. Fitz goes to the Monolith containment lab and pounds on it in frustration, hoping to get some sort of reaction out of it, even if it means swallowing him as well.

In the tag scene, we see Simmons is alive but not well, trying her best to survive on an alien planet.

Thoughts:
• As I predicted, Coulson has a spiffy new bionic hand in this episode. I wonder where he got it? From his pal Tony Stark, perhaps?

This episode would have been an awesome opportunity for Robert Downey Jr. to have made a cameo appearance. He could have walked in, opened a briefcase and handed Coulson a new arm. Ah well.

• In last season's finale we saw a Quinjet full of Terrigen sink to the bottom of the ocean. It's now showing up in fish oil pills and turning various citizens (with Kree DNA) into Inhumans.

This all sounds a lot like The Incredible Hulk movie, in which a few drops of Bruce Banner's blood found its way into a soft drink bottle in Brazil, causing an elderly man (played by Stan Lee, of course) in Wisconsin to become ill.

So if the Terrigen in the tainted fish oil is activating people with alien DNA, does that mean it's turning normal people into stone? I'd certainly think so. But Coulson makes a big deal out of mentioning that the "dangerous" parts of the Terrigen sank to the ocean floor, while just the mist was absorbed by sea life, so it won't kill anyone.

• Agent May's absence was keenly felt in this episode. Let's hope she gets back from vacation soon.

• S.H.I.E.L.D. has a brand new Bus! The Zephyr One! We didn't get to see much of it in this episode, but what we did see looked pretty interesting.

• So where's S.H.I.E.L.D. getting their funding? Weren't they shut down by the government last season when the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. took over? I guess the two S.H.I.E.L.D.s merged after Gonzales was killed. But it looks like the ATCU has government funding as well. Is our government really paying for two separate programs that oppose one another?

• I was going to say something snarky about how super-spy Mockingbird somehow became a talented scientist in the past six months. But apparently she started out as a scientist in the comics as has a degree in biology, so it's not as far fetched as it seemed at first glance.

• Coulson has a Grumpy Cat mug. That's one fad that's surely just about run its course.

• Is that Mac's big red ax hanging on the wall of Coulson's office? Why would Coulson keep that particular memento, especially after it was used to chop off his hand? Now that I think about it, why is Coulson still keeping his severed, ossified hand in Mockingbird's lab? I guess he just can't see to let go of it (see what I did there?).

• When Fitz confronts Yousef, he tells him he recently lost a friend and is trying to get them back. Note that he doesn't say anything about the gender of his friend. Yousef then tells Fitz he's foolish to risk his life for a woman.

How'd Yousef know Fitz's friend was female? Maybe he just assumed. He had a fifty percent chance of being right.

• Daisy (I'm with Coulson, it's tough to not call her "Skye" anymore) visits Lincoln at a hospital, where he's apparently a doctor. How the hell did that happen? He never said anything about being a doctor last season. In fact I don't think he ever mentioned any profession at all, other than "New Inhuman Transitionist."

He had to have been a doctor before Jaiying brought him to Afterlife though, unless he completed four years of med school and another four of residency in the past six months.

• Lash, the powerful big blue Inhuman, looked pretty cool. Although I thought he was a bit similar to Beorn from The Hobbit movies.

• It was awesome to see Skye, er, I mean Daisy, so comfortable with unleashing her full power. Good thinking too, when her quake power wasn't fazing Not-Beorn and she collapsed the floor underneath him. Well done!

• Coulson's computer simulation says the Terrigen contamination will cover the entire earth in 17 months, 21 days.

• President Ellis holds a press conference on the Inhuman threat. If you thought Ellis looked familiar, you're not imagining it. He last appeared in Iron Man 3. Sadly, it looks like the Marvel Cinematic Universe is not the same one as our own.

• Fitz finally opens the scroll he obtained from Yousef, and sees it contains just one word: "Death," written in Hebrew. Is Fitz Jewish? Or does he just happen to be fluent in Hebrew?

• As always, this episode featured quite a few shout outs to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Mockingbird says, "The world's been a little twitchy since Sokovia fell out of the sky," referencing The Avengers: Age Of Ultron.

When Coulson discusses Simmons' disappearance, he mentions Pym particles, and the possibility that she was shrank and entered the Quantum Realm, both of which were mentioned in Ant-Man.

• At the very end of the episode we get a brief glimpse of Simmons, who's still alive on what is obviously an alien planet. But where is she exactly? Some fans have speculated she's on the Blue Area of the Moon, which is the home of the Inhumans in the comics.

I'd say that's a pretty good guess, considering the amount of blue in those color-graded scenes, but there's no way she's on the moon. At least not our moon, given the presence of several large planets in the sky.

Pacing-wise, I think they should have waited another episode or two before showing us that Simmons is still alive, but that's just me.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like an awesome season. I've missed so many episodes that I think I'll have to get this on DVD or something. By the way, I just read your post about The Man from UNCLE and it was great. I just wrote about it in my blog (wich I encourage you to visit):

    www.artbyarion.blogspot.com

    I hope you enjoy my review, and please feel free to leave me a comment over there or add yourself as a follower (or both), and I promise I'll reciprocate.

    Cheers,

    Arion.

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails
 
Site Meter