Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has recently been doing a tremendous job of wasting no time furthering the drama of the internal Inhuman conflict within the team. In this week’s episode alone, the long standing drama between the mysterious Lash and Daisy’s Secret Warriors was hastily put to a close. To top the episode, we got hints at a few more mysteries; one surrounding the origin of castaway Will’s expedition on the alien planet and another involving Grant Ward’s new alliance with Gideon Malick.
1.) The Secret Life of Andrew Gardner
Last week, we were given a sense of resolution regarding the mystery of the identity of Lash. To no one’s surprise (for at least everyone already suspecting Andrew), it was revealed that Andrew had been Lash all along. The secret to his sudden ability to transform into a violent monster is underwhelming at best; accidental and purely out of carelessness. Our own Grant S. put it so eloquently in his review: “The S.H.I.E.L.D. intern who didn’t decontaminate those books is gonna get an earful.”
After securing the Inhuman spa resort known as Afterlife, S.H.I.E.L.D. sends Andrew a few of Jiaying’s personal scriptures to further study. Jiaying being the conniving woman she is decides to rig the book with Terrigen powder, potentially killing any human to come in contact with it. Andrew, of course, unsuspectingly opens it and gets turned into a cocoon, revealing that he too has the Inhuman gene.
Like most fans, I was expecting something much more elaborate and mythologically driven. Lash, after all, holds himself responsible in the segregation of the weak Inhumans from the strong; a motive that clearly holds a sense of higher purpose in their genetic hierarchy that none of the other Nu-Inhumans post-Afterlife have. Andrew refers to it as instinct but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was something more to it.
Despite those perceived shortcomings of mine, the whole ordeal is handled decently. In his most compelling S.H.I.E.L.D. performance to date, Blair Underwood carries the burden of being Lash with confidence and maddening conviction.
The team is devastated when the truth gets out, even more so with Melinda May. Feeling a conflicted sense of responsibility towards her husband and her team, May goes out on a limb and sides with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the end. In the very intense third-act of the episode, Coulson and Rosalind’s ATCU band together for their first mission which is to contain Lash. With Lincoln finally on their side, it is our first look at an almost-complete Secret Warriors. The protagonists succeed albeit in a very bittersweet way.
It’s left up in the air where May stands in the grande scheme of things but from the look of it, her relationship with Andrew is way beyond the point of no return. With her monstrosity of a husband contained, there’s no telling what could go down the moment when Lash inevitably escapes. The Inhuman stakes are getting higher so let’s hope it all pays off.
2.) The Dubious NASA Expedition
Picking up where we left off in the previous episode, Fitz continues to dig through logs of information on Will Daniels and his team’s shady expedition to the alien planet. In the midst of basking in the sentimentality of his friendship with Simmons, Fitz makes a startling discovery: Will Daniels and his so-called NASA expedition may be in fact tied to the mysterious group of noblemen in 19th century England dedicated to the study of the monolith.
What does this mean for the season? Well, for one thing, this is an outright indication that there is more to Will’s presence on the planet than meets the eye. Many speculated that Will was withholding information regarding the true nature of the planet as the motives of Will’s expedition were never made clear during Simmons’ time in the planet. It opens more questions surrounding the mystery of the monolith. Could there still be an unheard-of organization in present day solely dedicated to understanding the alien planet? It’s an interesting thought that directly leads to the next item.
3.) Ward’s New Buddy
Ward has a new friend and it may or may not be that dude from the World Security Council. The still unnamed Powers Boothe (press releases have him listed as Gideon Malick but that name is neither seen or heard yet) is Ward’s new villainous liaison in his quest to shallowly end the life of Phil Coulson; a hilarious step down from the over ambitiousness of the old HYDRA, but what the hell.
Pulling the strings from behind, the end tag of the episode reveals a more significant albeit ambiguous end-game for Gideon Malick as he too has a pawn in his hand – Rosalind Price. Earlier in the episode, a global meeting about super-powered people involving all relevant political figures was brought up by Couslon. A tiny nod to Civil War and an even bigger reference to Malick’s power play.
We know jack shit about Malick and what his end-game is. All we know is that it has something to do with Coulson and the super-powered community. If you ask me, Malick is playing everyone here, Ward included. We also shouldn’t rule out Malick’s possible involvement with the aforementioned expedition on the alien planet. His involvement with the World Security Council serves as a precedent for this theory, assuming he is the same character. Or you know, he could totally be someone else. Who knows at this point?
What do you think are the biggest moments from this episode? Tell us in the comments below!