Wednesday, 20 April 2016

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 'The Team' Review

This review WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS for the episode to be discussed, if you do not want certain plot points or story spoilt, please do not read further.

'I thought I could resurrect a god, but instead I freed the devil.'

Things take an interesting turn this week as the Secret Warriors come together for the first time to rescue their friends from the clutches of Hive and his Hydra forces.

With Coulson and the rest of the team trapped aboard the Zephyr inside the secret Hydra base that Malick has been working out of all season, Daisy and Lincoln make the decision to call in Joey and Elena 'Yo-Yo' to form the Secret Warriors and infiltrate the base.

I was expecting the assault on the Hydra base to be the main focus of the episode, and that it would take up a big portion of the run time, so I was fairly surprised just how quickly the Secret Warriors managed to not only rescue their team, but capture Malick too.  As we find out when the team return to their base, though, the story is far from over as we discover that one of the Secret Warriors has fallen under the influence of Hive.

The attack on the facility is done well, with each member of the team getting to show off their Inhuman powers in cool ways.  The team up between Joey and Yo-Yo was particularly enjoyable to watch as the two of them have great chemistry after such a short time together.  The standout for the assault has to be Lincoln using his electricity based powers in some new and innovative ways.  Rather than just zapping everyone is sight with lightning blasts he used his electricity to form whips and lassos to toss Hydra agents across hallways.  Something that could have been quite dull to watch was given a flair that a lot of shows wouldn't have bothered to do.

As the team manage to escape on the Zephyr Hive tells Giyera that he has someone on the inside.  He doesn't say who, and we don't get to see who Hive has apparently recruited to his side, as a result this helps to up the stakes as the audience are put into the same situation as the characters of having to try to figure out which member of the Secret Warriors is under Hive's influence.

When everyone gets back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base we actually get some really good character moments to accompany the action we've already been given.  The scenes between Mack and Yo-Yo are very sweet, with the two of them building on the brief connection they made in 'Bouncing Back' and even suggested the possibility of a further relationship between the two of them.  Though that may have changed by the end of the episode.

Shippers will be pleased with Fitz and Simmons finally putting all of their baggage aside and appearing to become a couple in a moment that has been a very, very long time coming.  Whilst I don't watch the show for the romance plots, and the Daisy/Lincoln romance has been particularly dull for me, Fitz and Simmons are such sweet and likable characters that it's hard to not feel happy for them in these moments.

Some of the best scenes of the episode have got to be the interrogation between Coulson and Malick.  Whilst just a few episodes ago these scenes would have played out as very antagonistic, with each party at odds with the other, the events of 'Paradise Lost' have fundamentally changed Malick, to the point where he's willing to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. against Hive.

The emotion that Malick showed when talking about his daughter brought more depth to a character that could have been a very one dimensional villain, but here you can't help but feel a little bit of sympathy for him.  He's a man who dedicated his life to a set of beliefs and has gone on to lose not only his faith but the only person he cared about in the whole world.

The moment when Malick tells Coulson 'I thought I could resurrect a god, but instead I freed the devil' show just how broken he has become.  It's a stark contrast to the man we met at the beginning of the season, the powerful head of Hydra.  Malicks journey sadly comes to a close in this episode, and whilst it might make sense from a story point I would have enjoyed watching him work alongside the people he was once fighting against to get revenge on Hive.

The mystery over which member of the Secret Warriors has come under Hive's control is played out pretty quickly, and other than people arguing a lot there's not much that actually happens in these moments that add anything to the characters.  It's fairly standard paranoia plot TV.

Where the mystery does work well though is at the end when we discover that it is not Lincoln who is the double agent, but Daisy.  I have to be honest, and this might be because I don't think Lincoln is a very interesting character, but I was totally convinced that it was him, so I was completely surprised by the sudden reveal that it's Daisy instead.

The episode ends with Daisy stealing the Kree orb that she and Lincoln got hold of last week and leaving the base whilst using her powers to collapse the structure.  It's not clear who is injured, or if anyone may have been killed, but the mere fact that Daisy is now working for Hive puts the entire team in a terrible situation going forwards into the last episodes of the season.


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