Thursday, October 15, 2015

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 3: A Wanted Inhu(Man)

After focusing on Simmons' rescue last time, this week Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to the ACTU vs. Inhumans plot line. For better or worse, it looks like S.H.I.E.L.D and the ACTU will be teaming up. I think that's a good thing, as the constant "S.H.I.E.L.D. vs. HYDRA, New S.H.I.E.L.D. and Afterlife" storylines were becoming tiresome.

I'm not a fan of the protracted "Hunter & May Track Down Evil Ward" story arc. In particular I don't understand why Simmons gets rescued from an alien planet in one measly episode, but Hunter's quest for Ward is drawn out and dealt with in minute and excruciating detail for weeks on end. Wrap it up soon, guys.

Kudos to Elizabeth Henstridge for her portrayal of Simmons and her harrowing portrayal of PTSD in this episode. And to Iain De Cake Stacker, er, Caestecker as well. FitzSimmons continues to be the heart of the series.


The Plot:
Lincoln the Inhuman is on the run from the ATCU (the Advanced Threat Containment Unit), which is trying to capture him. The ATCU goes so far as to broadcast his photo, hoping the public can help locate him. Daisy calls him (with the help of a secret tracking device in Lincoln's arm) and sets up a meeting to bring him into S.H.I.E.L.D.

In the meantime, Lincoln crashes at the pad of his pal John. He's friendly and accommodating at first, until he sees Lincoln on TV and freaks out, accusing him of being an alien. John threatens him with an aluminum bat, forcing Lincoln to zap him with his electrical powers. Unfortunately this causes John to drop dead of a heart attack. Whoops!

Coulson meets with Rosalind Price, the head of the ATCU, and asks her to let S.H.I.E.L.D. have Lincoln. She reveals that she knows Daisy's an Inhuman as well, implying that if she can't have Lincoln, she'll take Daisy. Naturally Coulson can't have that, and gives her Lincoln.

Daisy and Mack arrive at the late John's apartment to pick up Lincoln. Just as they're about to leave, ATCU agents arrive as well, creating a standoff. Coulson makes Rosalind a deal-- S.H.I.E.L.D. will work with the ATCU if she leaves Daisy alone. Rosalind agrees, the ATCU grunts stand down, and Daisy takes Lincoln into custody.

Meanwhile, Hunter and May meet with Spud, a man who may know how to get them into HYDRA. Nothing can ever be easy though, and Hunter finds out he has to win some sort of "Fight Club" brawl to win an audience with a HYDRA. Hunter enters the ring with Spud, and barely manages to beat him. He and May are then taken to meet Evil Ward's right-hand man.

Simmons is having trouble adjusting to life back on Earth. She flinches at any noise, can't stand bright lights and has trouble sleeping. Fitz does his best to help her acclimate, even reserving an entire restaurant so they can eat in peace. As the episode ends, Mockingbird finds Simmons in her lab, examining chunks of the destroyed Monolith. Mockingbird tells her  it's no longer a threat, as it's inert and can never open a portal to the planet again. Simmons, who was apparently a big fan of LOST, says it has to, because "she has to go back!"

• When Mockingbird is discussing the planet Simmons was marooned on, she says there was "flora, but no fauna." Then she goes on to say that Simmons claims she was hunted. If there was no fauna to hunt her, that means she was stalked by something... intelligent.

• Lincoln realizes he's got a S.H.I.E.L.D. tracking device in his arm, so he shorts it out with his electrical powers. Naturally it was completely and totally necessary for him to remove his shirt and expose his chiseled abs in order to zap his upper arm.

• Nice touch when they subtitled Hunter and Spud's slurred, drunken Brit-speak. Oi!

• Many fans were puzzled as to the nature of Lincoln and John's relationship. I thought it was pretty obvious— John is his AA sponsor. He even asked Lincoln if he'd been drinking.

• When Lincoln zaps his friend John and causes him to have a heart attack, he tries using his electrical powers as a defibrillator. This is an old, old song here at Bob Canada's BlogWorld, but once again— defib units DO NOT restart your heart like jumper cables! They actually STOP your heart! 

Some day a movie or TV show will accurately portray the use of defib units, and when that happens I'm gonna take a whole week off to celebrate.

• Not only did this episode contain a very LOST-like twist, it also featured actor Daniel Roebuck as Lincoln's AA sponsor. Roebuck played the doomed Arzt a few years ago on LOST.

• May wants to do the Fight Club thing herself, but Hunter says it would call too much attention to them if a "tiny Asian woman" beat a giant HYDRA agent senseless. She reluctantly agrees and lets Hunter do the fighting.

During his fight, May's propositioned and threatened by three enormous thugs. What does the "tiny Asian woman" do? She beats them senseless. The exact thing Hunter warned her not to do.

• Before Hunter's fight with Spud, he asks if there are any rules. The "referee" says nope. And how! After taking several hundred punches, Hunter finally ends the fight with a set of brass knuckles. 

Maybe there aren't any rules, but somehow that felt like cheating to me. Why stop at brass knuckles? Why not use a knife? Or a gun? Or drop a piano on him?

• So Hunter's told he can't just join HYDRA, he has to win a fight before being considered. So he wins one stinkin' fight and he's immediately introduced to Evil Ward's second in command. Well that was certainly easy! I was expecting there to be a few more bridges to cross before he got a meeting with #2.

Also, how long's it going to be before someone mentions Hunter and his Asian gal pal to Evil Ward, and he puts two and two together?

• I just noticed that Fitz is no longer struggling to find the right word when he speaks. I guess his brain damage is all better then? Is that even possible?

• Did anyone watching NOT think of LOST when Simmons announced she had to go back to the planet?

So why's she need to get back there so badly? Call me crazy, but my guess is the planet's some sort of penal colony, and someone there helped her escape. She now wants to go back and rescue them as well. Either that or she dropped her phone there and wants it back.

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