Plot: Following the devastation of a hospital, Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) is a publicly wanted man. Coulson (Clark Gregg) must find him before the ATCU does or else he risks losing another Inhuman. Meanwhile, May (Ming-Na Wen) and Hunter (Nick Blood) find a lead in their hunt for Ward (Brett Dalton). Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) tries to acclimate to her normal life.
When the ATCU was introduced back in the Season 3 premiere, some viewers voiced concerns over how this could be a rehash of the S.H.I.E.L.D. vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. story from last year. This all makes sense of course. At the end of the day, both the ATCU and S.H.I.E.L.D. want to make sure Inhumans don’t pose a threat to everyone else. They’re just going about it much differently. This is just like how Other S.H.I.E.L.D. wanted to make sure they could keep the world safe, while also believing Coulson to be an enemy. It took a lot of episodes to come together when Jiaying decided to wage a small war, and I can’t imagine any viewers being interested to watch this again.
So I’m not surprised that we’ve completely jumped passed this. After some shrewd tactics by Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer), Coulson’s team is now supposed to work with the ATCU. Coulson doesn’t trust them, and it’s that exact distrust that made him agree to a partnership. Did that partnership come a bit too easily? You can make that case. Who would’ve thought that all Coulson needed was a picture of Daisy (Chloe Bennet) to put down his resistance? Sometimes his agents are a serious achilles heel. That being said though, it’s an old saying that if you can’t trust someone else to do your work, do it yourself. The ATCU is terrible at bringing in Inhumans. What a shock that no one is cooperative when armed guards come marching on in. With Coulson there, at least he can make sure there’s no collateral damage.
Not a moment too soon apparently. Previews for next week’s episode revealed the return of Lash and that’s pretty exciting. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has used regular people vs. regular people conflicts as its backbone for so long, it’s great that we might have a full-on supervillain to harrass our protagonists. Lash looks absolutely nuts too! He seems like a living demon and you know the ATCU will aggressively treat him as a shoot first, ask questions later issue. The guy’s an Inhuman, and because of that, everyone needs to tread lightly.
Everything surrounding Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons was an absolute knockout this week. These two are by far the most compelling characters of this season. Fitz, now a bonafide hero, is clearly making it his focus to bring Simmons back into a normal life. That’s a bit difficult though as the woman’s been stuck on an alien world for several months, living in constant fear. Even the vibrating of a phone causes her to jump (not sure how that relates to her experience but I guess we’ll just run with it). The dinner scene was extremely emotional too. Props to the show for, I’m sure, causing many viewers to cry.
Looks like my wish for this planet to return will actually come true too. The episode ends with Simmons desperately trying to go back. What is this, LOST? I’m sure there’s some big reason why Simmons feels she must return, and I’m legitimately curious to found out what that is. Also, if they find a smoke monster, I’m kicking my TV over.
The Hunter and May subplot was pretty exciting. It started off humorously with them grabbing a drink with Hunter’s old friend Spud (Daniel Feuerriegel). Spud was an entirely two dimensional character that you’re not supposed to care about, but at least his introduction proved that May can seriously hold her liquor. Hunter can learn a thing or two. Later, the show’s typically excellent choreography came into play as Hunter and May fought their own battles. May’s by far was the best as she effortlessly destroyed three guys (“How about I don’t tell anyone that a tiny Asian woman kicked your ass”). Hunter’s, however, was more gruesome as he actually killed his friend with brass knuckles. May was definitely unsettled seeing Hunter all wild eyed and bloody, but clearly that’s what needs to happen with Ward’s new Hydra. It was awesome watching Hunter go all out though.
Injured Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) is starting to run its course though. Yes, she was severely beaten by Ward and is in serious need of physical therapy, but with three episodes down I hope this doesn’t last until the mid-season. Her as an excellent voice of reason for Fitz can only go so far with a badass character like this. Bobbi was one of the best additions during Season 2 and seeing her saddled to a lab coat is missing a ton of opportunity. Even Fitz and Simmons are doing more things outside of the lab. It’s great that the show is trying to keep this recovery realistic, but sooner rather than later, Bobbi needs to get back into the field.
Also, most of the stuff involving Lincoln was horribly transparent. It sucks that John (Daniel Roebuck) chose to rat him out, mostly because this is something we’ve seen far too often. People on the run always turn to a close friend, and that close friend always betrays them. Why couldn’t this be different? A romance between Daisy and Lincoln was obvious from the start too. Not because these characters are a strong pair or anything. It’s because it’s essentially TV law that, when you get two single attractive people together with a unique bond, they have to form a romance. This kiss took a year to happen and there was absolutely no indication in the interim that these two should be a couple. Now, they apparently are.
“A Wanted (Inhu)man” was definitely much more focused than last week. A lot of the cast was wrapped around the Inhuman story with Lincoln and that’s where a lot of the episode’s attention remained.When that turned away though we got compelling (and better) side-stories about heroes fighting their own battles. Fitz is fighting to fix Simmons while Simmons wants to work past her PTSD. Both May and Hunter fight to get to Ward, and now it looks like the former is fighting from within. There were a few things to gripe about, but none of them really prevented this from being another exciting hour.
Agents of SHIELD airs on Tuesday at 9 pm on ABC
Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.