Thursday, October 22, 2015

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 4: Devils You Know

There's lots of conflict on this week's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., as Coulson clashes again with Price, Daisy clashes with Coulson, and Hunter and May finally confront Ward. We also learn some interesting details about Lash, and Simmons decides to spill her guts about what happened to her on the alien planet. Well, almost.

SPOILERS!

The Plot:
Lash invades the apartment of an Inhuman couple and kills them. S.H.I.E.L.D. investigates the murder, and runs into Rosalind Price and the ATCU. Coulson and Price decide to join forces and work together to find Lash, much to Daisy's concern. 

Meanwhile, May's frustrated with Hunter because his plan to invade HYDRA and kill Evil Ward isn't very well thought out. In fact it consists of little more than "Invade HYDRA and kill Evil Ward." 

Simmons meets with Andrew, the team psychiatrist and May's ex. Simmons assures Andrew that she's OK, but it's obvious she's not. Fitz discovers Simmons' notes and realizes she's trying to get back to the alien planet for reasons he can't fathom. 

Daisy finds out that the dead Inhuman couple received a cryptic email before they were murdered. She tracks down the sender, Dwight Frye of Maryland. Frye's an Inhuman as well, who can detect others of his kind. He reveals he's just a flunky who's working for Lash. 

S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU take Frye in, but are attacked on the way by Lash. Daisy uses her quake powers to stop him, which overturns their van. Lash kills Frye, but leaves Daisy alive. In her groggy state, she thinks she sees Lash, who's also an Inhuman, transform back into human form.

Hunter's accepted into HYDRA's ranks and meets the head man, Evil Ward, who immediately recognizes him. A shootout erupts, and just as Hunter's about to be killed, May appears and saves him. They wipe out Evil Ward's men and seemingly have him on the ropes. Evil Ward then tells May he's got men tailing her Andrew, and tosses her a cell phone with a live feed for confirmation. He tells her if she doesn't stand down, his men will kill Andrew. Hunter says he's bluffing and comes out guns blazing. He manages to shoot Evil Ward in the shoulder, but he leaps out a window and escapes. 

The episode ends with Andrew seemingly lying in a pool of blood inside a burning drug store. And with Simmons saying she's ready to tell Fitz what happened on the alien planet.

Thoughts:
• Alisha, the Inhuman who can make multiple copies of herself, first appeared in last season's finale. Apparently she's now working for S.H.I.E.L.D. 

For the record there's a Marvel character called Multiple Man (aka Jamie Maddrox) who has the same powers as Alisha, and feels it when one of them dies.

• The couple that Lash kills in the apartment are named Shane and Lori Hanson. They don't appear to have any comic book counterparts. I guess every character or name isn't an in-joke or Easter egg.

• Fitz finds several of Lash's hairs at the murder scene and takes them in for examination. As Mockingbird analyzes them, they begin to deteriorate. I'm betting this happens because Lash can morph back into human form.

• Hunter chooses the alias "Ritchie" when he infiltrates HYDRA. Did he choose that nickname because he's a fan of Guy Ritchie, director of British gangster films like Snatch and Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels?

• Fans of the 1931 Dracula movie will recognize the name Dwight Frye, the actor who played Renfield. 

Here Frye is allergic to other Inhumans, and can detect their presence. So is he allergic to himself as well? 

In the comics, there are a couple of mutant detecting characters (something that Marvel sadly can't touch on TV or in movies). The Morlock Caliban can detect other mutants, while Rachael Summers (the future daughter of X-Men Cyclops and Phoenix) was a "hound" who could telepathically sense other mutants.

• Coulson may or may not have a laser in the finger of his prosthetic hand.

• Evil Ward's apparently rebuilding HYDRA in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s image, even insisting that his grunts address him as "Director." He also makes a joke about his right hand man Kebo not having Level 7 clearance. That's a reference to the very first episode.

• Evil Ward is nothing if not prepared. May appears out of nowhere to save Hunter, and within seconds, Evil Ward tells her he just happens to have three agents tailing Andrew and he'll be killed if she doesn't stand down. Thorough!

What are the odds that Evil Ward knew that this was the day May would infiltrate his secret HYDRA base? Or did he somehow know she and Hunter were coming for him?

• At the end of the episode things look pretty bad for Andrew, what with him lying in a pool of his own blood and all. But there were a few things about his "death scene" that stood out. First of all, we didn't actually see his body, which as we all know, means he ain't actually dead. That's Comic Book Writing 101.

Secondly, when Strucker Jr. ran out of the drugstore, he looked like he was spooked. Like he saw something... unexpected in there. Something happened in the drugstore that we didn't see.

Third, Daisy saw Beorn, er, I mean Lash morph into a human form. "HE COULD BE ANYONE!" Even a psychiatrist.

Fourthly, Lash had the chance to kill Daisy, and didn't. So I'm calling it now—  Andrew is secretly Lash. Think about it— Lash's MO seems to be killing Inhumans who "are weak," which I guess is supposed to strengthen the species. He knows Daisy is strong. And Andrew consistently rejects Inhumans for Daisy's Secret Defender team. Is he doing this because he thinks the candidates are all weak?

• In the tag scene, Fitz asks Simmons what's going on. She says, "It's time I told you the truth, Fitz, about everything. But first I'm going to wait a week before I tell the story." OK, I made up that last part.

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