Hive finally gets some good clothes! Malick finally grows a pair! We finally say goodbye to Andrew forever! We finally get an Inhuman with unique powers! We finally get to see who’s going to die in outer space later on this season! Yet another solid Episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
This episode centered on the idea of changing fate. We got to meet a new Inhuman who has the ability to allow whoever he touches to view their future and how it connected to death. This is an interesting power because until now almost every Inhuman we have met this season had aggressive powers: lightning, “quakes” magnetism, etc. We meet Charles Hinton, a man so distraught by his powers he left his family in the middle of the night and so that he wouldn’t hurt them by simply touching them, and is now living homeless on the streets. When he’s first introduced, he is touched by a shop owner, where the shop owner sees the future and his upcoming death. In the man’s vision, he knows that Daisy Johnson will be there. The man calls 911 trying to get a hold of Daisy. Since S.H.I.E.L.D. is monitoring all communication frequencies in a weird NSA-type of manner they quickly go to investigate. When they arrive, the man meets Daisy and tells her that HYDRA will attack and then kill him, turns out it’s true, everything happens just as his vision did. HYDRA does yet another Inhuman kidnapping of Charles, but not before he touches Daisy where she sees a future choreographing her own death at the hands of Coulson.
During most of the episode, the team debates fate vs making your own future. Essentially every time travel quip from movies we all know is explored. Fitz does an interesting, yet confusing Whovian explanation of time and the Fourth Dimension arguing that whatever future Daisy experienced, will happen since she already experienced it in the vision. This leads the team to try and make sure that this future doesn’t come true.
The first thing to do is try and take Daisy out of the picture. She is the one who knows what’s going to happen, she knows where so she’s the constant. Take her out of the equation, and the future won’t come true. Instead of Daisy going on the mission to retrieve Charles, it will be May. They go over many trial runs recreating the future scenario so that May is prepared for every obstacle and she can save the day instead of Daisy. Of course, it didn’t play out that way. For some reason Andrew decided to turn himself in, knowing that this would be the last time he was Andrew before fully turning into Lash forever and wanted to spend time with his wife, so May stayed behind with her ex-husband leaving Daisy to carry out the mission. Will the future play out like intended?
Meanwhile Hive in Ward’s body has fully healed and is in his prime. No longer is he the emaciated zombified version of Ward. He even got himself a new suit to go along with his perfect body. It’s not entirely clear what exactly he wanted to accomplish by getting the exoskeleton for Malick, other than give Malick the opportunity to take a life. He did have a heart to heart asking Malick why he was helping him. After all, he didn’t need the power. A man like him had more than enough money to buy himself whatever he wanted in life. What Malick wanted was power. After killing the board members at the office to get the exoskeleton, Malick got to try it on, and at Hive’s encouragement crushes a man’s skull. This was an interesting turn of events not just because it finally had Malick get his hands dirty, and find out he likes it, but these two events were rather violent. Hive once again used his power to “feed” off normal humans (he doesn’t kill Inhumans) and leave them as a pile of bloody skeletons, but Malick crushing a man’s skull was actually quite graphic, not something one would expect from “family friendly ABC television.
As Daisy storms the location, it plays out much like they rehearsed, but with one hiccup S.H.I.E.L.D. did not know that Hive was there, and in Ward’s body. Hive was the variable they didn’t prepare for. Coulson then went in after Daisy to help her from Hive and the additional HYDRA agents. It turns out that Daisy’s vision did happen, she just didn’t interpret it correctly. She saw a bloodied Lincoln, but he wasn’t dead. She saw Coulson point a gun in her direction, but he was actually shooting at a two-way mirror and killed a HYDRA assassin that was about to shoot her. So even though this was all true, Daisy wasn’t able to decode it correctly. Daisy does meet Malick in his exoskeleton, who proceeds to almost beat her to death only to be saved by Charles who touches Malick and shows him his death. Through the confrontation Charles died, happy he actually helped someone rather than predicting their death. Before he dies, he touches Daisy again, where he reveals to her that she is the one who will die three months from now in outer space (from the mid-season premiere).
Overall, this was a very interesting episode. It tackled the idea of fate vs making your own future, and somewhat took the middle ground. Sure everything happened as per the future vision predicted, but only because they saw the future and the steps they took to avoid it made it come to fruition. Unlike other movies/shows that have dealt with this theme, ultimately the vision was the cause of the impending reality. Fitz’s science gobbledygook explanation was interesting, but Coulson said what we all thought. Coulson also had the best line, when Lincoln said he never saw the original Terminator film: “You’re off the team.”
Saying goodbye to Andrew didn’t seem as heartfelt as it intended to be, it’s probably because May didn’t seem as interested in saving him as well. She didn’t want hope, so why should we?
Hive’s continuing to be an interesting character. Ward has always been a great villain on the show, and now that Hive has taken over him, he’s an even more interesting bad guy, he’s even starting to show his true colors to Malick. It’s fairly predictable that Malick might not last through the season and will probably die by Hive’s hands, after all, he’s a human.
This continues to be “the Daisy show.” Now she is one of the most interesting characters on the show, but it wouldn’t hurt for her not to be the center of attention all the time. The last two episodes didn’t focus on her, but it could have been someone else who got the future vision and worked to avoid it, maybe Lincoln?
One future even that seems to be hard to misinterpret is the space explosion. Now that we know it’s Daisy who it’s happening to (of course), how can this one be misinterpreted? How is Daisy going to survive? Only time will tell!