‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Recap: “Emancipation”

Whenever there is a major Marvel movie, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. always finds a way to tie in events the week after the film premieres.  The show has done it before tying in the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Avengers: Age of Ultron.  This week’s episode Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. follows the events of Captain America: Civil War and deals with the aftermath of the Sokovia Accords.  Captain America and the Secret Avengers are still missing after battling Tony Stark’s Avengers group.  You can obviously tell that Agent Coulson was #TeamCap.  He also mourns the recently announced death of Peggy Carter as well.  In the aftermath of the film, Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. has the dilemma of registering their Inhuman agents with the government or going the rebellious route that Captain America did as well.

Most of the episode dealt with three major storylines.  One was Hive’s experiments in transforming normal humans into Inhumans where he used the anti-Inhuman militia as “volunteers” for the experiment and the results of those experiments.  The episode also focused on Coulson as he finally invited General Talbot into the fold and gave him unprecedented access to all the Inhuman workings going on at S.H.I.E.L.D.  Finally, the episode also dealt with Lincoln and his wanting to escape S.H.I.E.L.D. and escape to his beloved Daisy.  Usually, one of the storylines tends to be the “weaker” one, but this week three storylines worked rather well for the show.  Here are some thoughts on the episode…..

As mentioned before, great nods to Captain America: Civil War.  The episode began with the “WHIH Newsfront” broadcast basically name dropping a little bit of the events of the film.  Unlike previous film tie-ins, this one did not show footage from the film but chose to use the “newscast” associated with the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  The Sokovia Accords were name-dropped a bunch of times throughout the episode as well.   When Talbot does his inspection of the S.H.I.E.L.D. base he continuously mentions registration.  The producers assume that the audience has seen Captain America: Civil War, and if not tough you should have seen it by now.  During this episode Coulson wants the Inhumans to remain secret and unregistered, essentially he’s the Captain America character for the show.  General Talbot takes on the role of Tony Stark as he wants all the Inhumans to be registered.  It didn’t feel overdone and fit what is going on the show very well.  

Great to see “Secret Warrior” Inhuman Elena “Yo-Yo” Rodriguez again.  As stated in other recaps, she and Mack have a great chemistry and for the longest I’ve said that they will ultimately be a couple.  Boy is the show taking its sweet time setting them up together.  Mack was in a bit of a rut due to his battle with Daisy, suffering broken bones, but most importantly a broken heart.  Being unable to stop his partner from turning to the dark side has put him in a slump.  Throughout the episode, Yo-Yo was able to talk Mack out of his slump.  She ends the episode giving Mack a cross, which just happens to be the same cross that’s forecasted in Daisy’s vision of whoever is going to die at the end of the episode.  This is probably a red herring.  If Mack was going to be the one to die, they wouldn’t be so on the nose with predicting it.

On the evil Inhumans side, Hive needs human test subjects for his experiments.  Who better than the anti-inhuman militia, The Watchdogs.  It’s been a minute since we heard from them.  The show explains their absence away basically saying recruitment went down as a result of the Sokovia Accords.  The Watchdogs think they are going to catch an Inhuman, but it turns out they find Hellfire.  He gets a chance to use his power in the most effective way he has this season.  He takes a link chain and basically “Ghost Riders” it into a heated whip that quickly disarms the domestic terrorists.  Now Hive can use them for his experimentations.  As Radcliffe does his experimentations, he basically “devolves” them into weird looking drones.  At first, Radcliffe is apologetic to Hive for once again screwing up the formula.  It seems like Hive has had it and will either kill Radcliffe, or force Radcliffe to be a volunteer next time, but instead, Hive is pleased with his new drones.

Lincoln finally got something to do.  Ever since Hive had the ability to infect Inhumans, Coulson has tried to keep his second best Inhuman on the sidelines.  This episode Daisy manages to do a number of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s security system.  After all, she developed most of them.  Some of the episode had a Daisy vs. Fitz computer war, but ultimately Daisy wins and is able to gain access to Lincoln to help plot his escape… or did she?  Coulson ever the spymaster plays the long game and works with Lincoln to have the most realistic jailbreak out of his quarters at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, to the point that Mack didn’t know Lincoln was in on it and had to get electrocuted.  Instead of Lincoln getting off the base, they swapped Lincoln for Lash, who’s somewhat more tamed than from the last time we saw him.  When Lash arrives at Hive’s location, he goes to town on Hive’s drones and even managers to hurt Hive.  At first, it looked like Hive might gain control over Lash, but Lash is too powerful for even that and manages to injure Hive.  When Daisy tried to stop him, she is too weak from donating blood for the experimentations, as she is weakened Lash uses a new power and manages to extract the Hive parasite from her brain to cure her.  Unfortunately, Hellfire uses his heated chain on Lash who is fatally wounded.  As Daisy arrives back to S.H.I.E.L.D. base, she’s completely cured and we have our “fallen agent” back!

This was a solid episode that helped wrap up the “evil Daisy” storyline.  It seemed as though she was going to remain with Hive for the remainder of the season, but instead the producers managed to not only cure her but rehabilitate Lash as well.  He started as an evil monster, but he died a hero.  We also know that Hive can be hurt as well.  Someone needs to replicate Lash’s power before the finale so that Hive can be defeated.  It’s not going to be all rainbows and smiles though.  As Talbot confirms at the end of the episode, Hive has a warhead ad can disperse his Inhuman drone-creating agent.  Next week we’ll see the two hours season finale and finally find out who will die in Daisy’s vision.  My money’s on Lincoln.