This week kicked of the “Fallen Agent” arc for Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. as both sides gathered their forces as we head towards a possible war of Inhumans. Head here for Doug’s review of episode 18, and read on for the biggest moments from “The Singularity.”
1) Hellfire, the Australian Gambit
Well that didn’t take long. It’s only been two episodes since we were introduced to Axle Whitehead‘s James, a disgruntled former Afterlife resident. When we meet him in “Paradise Lost“, he’s living a life of isolation after abandoning his fellow Inhumans who didn’t see fit to allow him to undergo Terrigenesis. He also knows a great deal about Hive/Alveus thanks to his theft of a Kree artifact that acts as a type of codex of information on the Inhumans origins. I mentioned in my review how upset he’d been when he realized how easy it now was to go through Terrigenesis, but never-mind that because two episodes later and one rapid cocooning courtesy of Daisy and Hive, and he’s a whole NuHuman.
In the comments of the previously mentioned review, a reader noted that they hoped when James did get powers, they’d prove to be the abilities of JT James aka Hellfire, one of the main Secret Warriors in the comics. Back when the Secret Warriors were first teased, James (whose name is James Taylor James, oof) was a member I figured we wouldn’t meet considering how similar he was to Lincoln (generic white dude with elemental powers, a chip on his shoulder, and a thing with Daisy), but the show found a way to tweak him and make him more interesting. Since Gambit won’t be appearing in the MCU anytime soon (and he’s having a tough go at appearing in the X-Verse as well), Marvel decided to turn the Georgian with the ability to channel hellfire through a chain to an Australian who can ignite objects with explosive energy. It splits the difference and adds in another visually satisfying ability and pairs it with a roguish character we’ve already met as Hive gathers together some familiar faces for his squad.
2) The Head Has Been Cut
It’s a testament to how far this show has come that something as monumental as the dissolution of the remnants of HYDRA is almost an afterthought in the larger plot of this episode and season. The show has moved past the initial HYDRA threat that motivated their early actions, even though they did some great work fleshing out the group’s backstory this season. While it should still serve as a big moment for the team and series, instead it happens off screen with only a few characters even aware of it. Considering the Avengers stated that they’d stopped HYDRA in the opening moments of Age Of Ultron, it was always a bit strange that they continued to be active on S.H.I.E.L.D..
While they were certainly a smaller threat this season, their main function seemed to be tying in to the story of Maveth and Hive and that has proved to be one of the most effective plots of this series. But with Malick dead and Hive moving towards an Inhuman endgame, it didn’t make sense to still have the ancient organization operating in the periphery. While the execution could have been handled better, I’m much more interested in seeing where the show goes with its other plot threads, especially as they’re unique to the show within the MCU. HYDRA’s been handled in a variety of films, but for now, the Inhumans and Hive are purely S.H.I.E.L.D. territory, and that makes for more interesting TV.
3) Welcome To Hivetown
And speaking of Hive and his crazy gang of mind-controlled Inhumans, we end the episode with a glimpse at his plan. Well, technically we end with FitzSimmons crossing the event horizon, but there’s not much to say about that other than: awww. Our tag, however, provides some tantalizing details as to what Hive is working towards. He plans to use the Kree artifact and the skills of Dr. Holden Radcliffe (John Hannah) to recreate the original experiments the Kree performed to create Hive and his fellow Inhumans. It’s an interesting twist as the mass Terrigenesis seems to have stopped (another plot thread that seemingly ended offscreen), so rather than recruit more Inhumans, Hive is simply going to create them. I’ve really been enjoying this show’s dive into the Inhuman and Kree backstory, and while I have no idea how this may or may not eventually tie into a film franchise, I’m excited that the show has its own piece of the Marvel Universe to play with. It’s also a hilarious and eerie way to end the episode when Hive reveals that he used Malick’s fortune to buy an entire town to perform his experiments. I hope that if the season ends with S.H.I.E.L.D. stopping Hive and curing the Inhumans he’s infected, all of his experiments end up just living in this weird suburb together. That’s a spin-off I’d definitely watch.
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 19 titled “Failed Experiments” 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.