Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 3, Episode 17 “The Team”
The tension was ratcheted up to the max for this claustrophobic episode. The conflict was largely internal and no one was who they seemed. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D rarely hits the mark with their setup episodes, but this one was right on target.
Daisy pulls the Secret Warriors together to rescue the rest of the team from Hive and HYDRA. The operation goes as smooth as can be, but also unfolds exactly the way Zombie Ward wants. Hive used its power to create an Inhuman traitor, the knowledge of which puts everyone on edge.
The Big Deal
S.H.I.E.L.D. pulled out a classic spy story trick and executed it with expert precision. The Secret Warriors (Daisy, Lincoln, Joey and YoYo) rescue the team and grab Malick in the bargain. At one point or another every member of Daisy’s team is by themselves. After Coulson’s interrogation of Malick turned into more of a theological discussion (as objects that will be important later flash in front of the screen), Malick sows the seeds of paranoia that Hive’s major power is controlling Inhumans and now four of them are in the base, any of whom could have been exposed to Hive. Coulson’s spymaster instincts kick in and the distrust begins. The distraught Joey goes missing. YoYo’s anti-establishment feelings boil over. Lincoln’s temper rises in the atmosphere of secrets and mistrust. Daisy is doing her best to hold it all together and find out what’s going on. So, basically everyone is acting suspicious. Everything goes to hell when Malick winds up dead and the explosive (earlier shown to YoYo) used to mangle the body nearly takes Fitz and Simmons out as well. Episode director Elodie Keene makes excellent use of the base’s labyrinthian layout. The use of a lot of tight shots and the maze of dark corners and heavy doors enhances the claustrophobic feeling as the episode progresses. Eventually, the evidence points to Lincoln as the culprit, especially when the ancient Kree sphere ends up in his locker. If you thought that was the last twist, you are a sucker. Hive is wearing a Ward suit and carries his memories, including his infatuation with Daisy, so it’s natural he infected her. Daisy used her hacking skills and knowledge of the base’s security systems to roam the base stealing widgets and murdering HYDRA leaders without notice. The episode closes with Daisy gathering up the orb and a handful of Terragen crystals and strolling out of the base while using her powers to cause a cave-in inside the base’s aircraft hangar.
On the Side
It was so refreshing to see Fitz and Simmons doing science together again. There’s a reason why poor Fitz went into computers robotics, because opening up a robot’s head doesn’t make you nearly as queasy as opening up the skull of an Inhuman. It was nice to finally see these to back in their more natural habitat, examining their situation and trying to find ways to counter Hive’s abilities. It also gave rise to the first intimate moments FitzSimmons has experienced in what feels like forever (or at least as intimate as one can get in a hazmat suit during an autopsy). Later on with the base in lockdown, they hole up in Fitz’s room for studying, which leads to cute nerd flirting which leads to full on making out. Let’s hope the cosmos really doesn’t have it out for these two, because they are as cute as it comes when they go all young nerds in love.
Observation and Speculation
*Daisy called Hive “Zombie Ward.” It’s like they read my recaps! Sure everyone calls him Zombie Ward, but throw me this bone will you?
*Nice little bit of continuity on Daisy’s makeup. The last three episodes have all happened within the same 48 hour period, so naturally her cuts and bandages from a day or two ago are still needed.
*YoYo is picking up on the secret agent stuff quickly. Her mid-rescue flirting with Mack was spot on. We call this ship YoYoMa.
*A tip of the hat goes out to Powers Boothe who played Malick with such malevolence. It’s a shame to see such an amazing actor leave, but those are the breaks for picking sides with the bad guys.
*May was hurt pretty bad in the plane crash, but that’s barely enough to slow her down.
*Isn’t always the case as a manager? Coulson and May can’t even have a quiet drink without the entire base falling down around them.
*It looks like the corner of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fandom that wanted Ward and Skye/Daisy to get together get one last hurrah over the course of the next few episodes. Enjoy your moment in the sun SkyWard shippers, just know this pairing can’t end well.
Word to Live By
“Too fast? Fitz, it’s been 10 years. We can’t waste any more time.” – Jemma. Hell yeah girl. As we used to say on another show, “Climb that tree.”
This episode accomplished to overcome one of the series most glaring weaknesses. Up until now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has always required an episode or two to successfully change course. This time the show shed the “Secret Warriors” storyline for “Fallen Agent” during the course of one conversation. It’s a huge step forward for a show that has taken so many in the past couple of seasons, credit episode writer D.J. Doyle on that one.