The Secret Warriors of the comics come ever closer together as the Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hive’s HYDRA team make moves towards securing Inhumans as their international threat level gets called into question. Head here to read Doug’s review of the episode and keep scrolling for the biggest moments from episode 12 aka “The Inside Man.”
1) Secret Warriors Assemble!
I mentioned last week that Yo-Yo and Hive’s appearance on the show brings this season closer to the Jonathan Hickman run of Secret Warriors that the series has been drawing inspiration from of late, and this week saw two more pieces of that comic (sort of) come to life. Under Hickman, the team consisted of Yo-Yo, Sebastien Druid, Phobos, Manifold, J.T. James, and Stonewall, all led by Daisy Johnson. We’ve got Daisy and Yo-Yo now, and Lincoln is pretty much a substitute for James who had similar abilities but based around fire instead of electricity. Druid was a magic user so isn’t likely to show up anytime soon (though we’ll see how Doctor Strange changes that aspect of the MCU) and Phobos is the Greek god of fear and son of Ares so, again, he seems an unlikely candidate. But at the end of last season when the Secret Warriors were teased, Stonewall and Manifold seemed like sure bets to me along with Yo-Yo and this week we got pretty close to them joining up.
In the comics, Stonewall is the son of the Absorbing Man, and rather than introduce Crusher Creel as having a son, the show seems to be making the smart move by streamlining and having Creel re-appear this week after having last been seen at the beginning of Season 2 when he killed Hunter’s team and absconded with the Obelisk. It seems that since he was captured by SHIELD and turned over to Talbot, the General was able to break Creel’s HYDRA brainwashing and has started using him as his very own powered bodyguard. With the rise of the Inhumans, Talbot feels much safer with some enhanced help while he joins Coulson’s team at a world summit on the “alien threat,” much to Hunter’s chagrin.
And where was Manifold, you may be asking? Well the showrunners made another smart move this week by revealing his eventual appearance far ahead of an actual casting, thus preserving the surprise for even us most diehard production nerds. If you, like me, you were wondering why an Australian delegate was one of the six present world powers at the summit, it seems it was merely to set up that she was currently holding an Inhuman of her own in stasis. When Bobbi breaks into her safe, she discovers documents detailing the imprisonment of an “Eden Fesi,” better known as Manifold. In the comics, he’s a mutant and Aboriginal Australian with the ability to fold space and time, allowing him to teleport. Assuming the show sticks close to this, then like Yo-Yo’s Columbian origin on the show it’ll add some global perspective to the Inhuman outbreak and give SHIELD some worldwide assets, making the show’s version of the Secret Warriors not dissimilar from Hickman’s Avengers which counted Manifold as a member.
2) Curin’ Creel
As I mentioned above, one of our last encounters with Creel was him stealing the Obelisk/Diviner that would later transform Daisy and Raina into Inhumans (and, sadly, kill Trip). This point is brought up again tonight once Creel is in SHIELD custody as all involved (well, mostly FitzSimmons) are curious why the device didn’t kill or transform Creel, as it’s known to do. Once they analyze his blood, they find that his unique abilities (given to him in a lab experiment gone right, according to the world’s shortest origin story since Jessica and Luke’s first date) actually halt the process of Terrigenesis. His blood can’t revert an awoken Inhuman, but it could be used to synthesize a vaccine that would prevent someone from turning. Logistically, it makes sense, and would certainly go a long way to easing the public and government’s fears about the process. Even Lincoln agrees, as a vaccine would help reset the balance that those at Afterlife strived so long for. Daisy doesn’t quite feel the same, and she’s not wrong either. It continues framing Terrigenesis as a disease and risks feeding the flames of redpillers like The Watchdogs, an Internet hate group loosely based off characters from Cap comics.
The two reconcile a bit, and we learn that Lincoln hasn’t been adjusting to the stress of being a SHIELD agent, which has been causing his powers to go a bit haywire whenever he feels fear or anger. His sparring session with Daisy was a blast, showing off the growth of her character in the butt-kicking department and highlighting how much room the rest of Secret Warriors have to grow as actual fighters. And though the tension is relieved a bit by the end of the episode, I suspect this cure and the Watchdogs will continue to play a role this season, and where our characters fall on these issues is likely going to be their own version of the Civil War that will be playing out in theaters soon.
3) Dinner Time!
Now that’s just gross. We end the episode (not counting the sting that may or may not be setting up Most Wanted [I vote not]) with Hive consuming the flesh of five frozen HYDRA goons and bathing in their meat-goo to heal his wounds. I’m disappointed that the show is forgoing Ward’s zombified appearance as it added some alien menace to the character and helped the audience distinguish the version of him that left Maveth from the one that went there. It also means that aside from a transformed Lash, we have zero Inhumans on this show that don’t just look like regular, attractive people. The comics are full of weird mutations and physical changes (hell, one guy turns into a giant head that’s a teleporter door) but after the loss of Raina and Gordon, everyone could comfortably pass as human, robbing the storytelling of some of the richer aspects of mutant issues that’s been present in the X-Men comics the MCU is attempting to appropriate. But it’s still scary as all get out. Hive’s powers are still a bit nebulous as his attempts to make Giyera and Lucio believers seems to have failed as both are clearly disgusted by his actions. Hopefully the weeks to come will explain exactly what he can do and why he’s doing it. Either way, the creepy Terminator homage was a fantastic way to close things out and the show continues doing a great job of telling two streamlined stories of SHIELD and HYDRA racing to gather up Inhumans for an inevitable clash.
So, what did you think? Let us know in the comments what your favorite moments were and what you’re hoping to see next week. You can check out the promo for episode 13 titled “Parting Shot” here and for all things Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., follow along here. For more MCU related news and features, make sure to follow us on Twitter.