TV Recap: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘Among Us Hide’

Spoilers Ahead.

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Among Us Hide Plot:

Angered by the attack on Dr. Garner (Blair Underwood), May (Ming-Na Wen) recruits Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) to hunt Ward (Brett Dalton). Daisy (Chloe Bennet) meanwhile leads a charge to find Lash. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) continues to help Simmons with her personal mission. Coulson (Clark Gregg) gets closer to Rosalind (Constance Zimmer).

Okay, I did not see that reveal coming. As if the writers knew that Banks (Andrew Howard) would be everyone’s expectation for Lash’s human identity, an entire subplot is dedicated to three main characters trying to solve this mystery. The whole endeavor was fairly comical, especially with Hunter (Nick Blood) trying to compensate for his benching, but it was ultimately a fool’s errand meant for the show to quickly check off this task. Banks was pretty much introduced for the express purpose of misleading the viewer so the truth would hit that much more. And boy, did it pay off.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen
Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen

Lash, the crazy monster pulling hearts out of Inhumans, is none other than Dr. Garner himself. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole gets a ton of credit for not showing their hand on this in the slightest. It helps that Garner’s story of survival against Werner (Spencer Clark) is extremely believable. The good doctor was saved by an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and barely escaped the explosion with his life. Basically as cut and dry as it can be. Werner’s revelation of something extra blindsides both the viewer and May, and it completely paints Garner in a much more menacing light. Why is he killing Inhumans and why did he spare Werner, when it would have worked a lot better to kill him and keep his secret? I’m sure that will be revealed next week, but as of right now I’m extremely game for this status quo change.

Unfortunately this big reveal has the side effect of negating an entire subplot of the episode. Up until Werner reveals what really happened to May, we’re lead to believe the guy just fucked up. He’s running from Ward and got the menacing Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) on board because Hydra doesn’t tolerate failure. Makes sense! So when Werner does give his big secret, it begs answering why he never decided to run with this instead. Are we really supposed to believe that he never told anyone that he watched a normal person become massive and blue?? That’s…pretty messed up news and relevant to Hydra’s interests as an upcoming super power! Perhaps in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s expected efforts to leave this bombshell as shocking as possible they forgot to smooth the path from Point A to Point B. I know that Ward’s a monster, but surely he’d like to know that his ex-lover was married to an Inhuman. I hope Werner isn’t dead so we can get some justification on this.

Maybe all that was necessary to give Boothe his formal introduction. That guy chewed scenery harder than a man eating a really tough steak and it was awesome. With all the focus on Ward forming his own Hydra, it’s easy to forget that this organization had a massive global reach. Believing that every former member just happens to be near Ward is a pretty stupid concept. Bringing in the idea of an even higher force is great, and Boothe is clearly more than adept at carrying his role. The man oozes evil with every word.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen
Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen

The material between Coulson and Rosalind did a lot of re-treading. Ever since these two characters have come together, there’s been a healthy dose of playful flirting.The bulk of this episode was the same stuff we’ve seen before though. They both have secrets, neither willing to give it up, etc. Except this time Coulson’s persistent and it finally gives us results. It just took an entire episode to get there. As it turns out, Rosalind is keeping Inhumans in a suspended state chamber in a facility not entirely unlike Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both Coulson and Daisy are appalled at seeing this, though Coulson is the only one who gets a reasonable explanation. Rosalind wants to keep Inhumans here so they can find a cure.

It’s not right to hold people against their will, and I have a feeling Rosalind has done a terrible job conveying her stance with people, but this whole facility makes sense. Untrained Inhumans are a threat to themselves and everyone around them. Just imagine the destruction someone can cause when they realize they can, I don’t know, cause an entire building to explode with their mind, and they’re in a state of frenzied panic. This is why Jiaying controlled Terrigenesis and why Coulson wants S.H.I.E.L.D. to pick up Inhumans. Rosalind is putting new Inhumans into suspension to save countless lives while scientists work on a cure for whatever is happening. She justifies this by talking about her husband who recently died of cancer and could have used a time extender like those gel filled boxes. Being an Inhuman isn’t normal, so it totally makes sense that the government will actively try to fix that.

Bobbi and May teaming up was pretty incredible. These two women are the most badass characters on this show, and putting them on a duo is a bonafide recipe for success. There wasn’t a lot of fighting throughout the hour so it was clear where the most of the choreography focus went during those scenes. As always, the fists were flying with expert precision. Bobbi constantly acting hesitant did get old quickly, but her awesome brawl with Kebo (Daz Crawford) fixed that right up. Outside of the fighting, where this pair really shined was their banter. Watching them plan in Mandarin in plain view of their enemies was a nice touch to this already exciting subplot. Really, really happy these two ladies are back in the field.

Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen
Photo Credit: ABC/Eddy Chen

The follow-up from Simmons telling Fitz everything was brief, but poignant. Fitz jumped into bringing Will back without any hesitation, and this episode gave us a chance to explore how other people feel about it. The responses were expected! Hunter doesn’t understand why Fitz would try to save his “competition” and Simmons is fully aware of what Fitz might sacrifice so he can do the right thing. Both bring up their points and Fitz, being the great guy that he is, simply shrugs them off. He wants to save Will to thank him for helping Simmons, and if that results in him losing her, it’s a price he’s more than happy to pay. How is it that, even when there’s a potential third character coming in here, S.H.I.E.L.D. can still keep these two as the best longstanding pair? Fitz-Simmons is something really special and I don’t ever want it to go away.

“Among Us Hide…” was a packed episode, and some of the material didn’t feel overly necessary. We had to wade through more already seen territory to finally get to something new with Coulson and Rosalind. Werner dropping the Garner/Lash bombshell on us puts into question why he acted the way he did. Bobbi hemming and hawing about her fighting skills got old fast too. Outside of that though, this episode was solid. May and Bobbi eventually reached their awesome ass kicking selves, we got the Banks investigation out of the way to reveal who Garner really is, we did learn more about Rosalind’s objectives, and Fitz-Simmons was the same old Fitz-Simmons. There was a surprising amount of humor too, and that’s always welcome in the right amounts.

Rating: 8.5/10