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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review: Not Set In Stone

Written by  Published April 15, 2016 03:57
Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A new Inhuman was discovered named Charles Hinton with the unique power to make himself and anyone he touches see horrible futuristic visions of death. Sometimes their own, sometimes it’s someone they know. Once a family man, poor Charles chose the life of a vagabond. Trying to save him from being abducted by Hydra, Daisy Johnson touches Charles and sees several visions of herself and her teammates in dire straits, specifically Lincoln seemingly suffering from a bloody head wound and Director Coulson shooting Daisy! Not knowing how or when these events will occur, Daisy and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team try to figure out how to save Hinton from Hydra at the same time as not allowing the premonitions to pass.

Turned out that these were all inevitable, and they did indeed happen but not exactly the way we thought (Coulson actually shot at a 2-way mirror instead). After attempting to save Hinton from Gideon Malick (in a exo-suit given to him by Hive), Daisy discovered that her vision was of Hinton dying. It may not have been the most successful rescue mission, but Daisy learned some valuable lessons in heroism.

Meanwhile Andrew Garner made a surprise visit to S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, claiming that he feels that the next time he becomes Lash, he would remain in the form of the murderous creature. May was convinced to remain behind and say goodbye to her ex-husband.

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This episode was interesting as it focused on Gideon Malick’s past. It seems the Malick family had long been obsessed with the alien monolith that opens a portal to the blue planet, Maveth. We learn that they were part of a certain Hydra sect that held ritualistic ceremonies to decide who would be the next member to cross over to the world. It was seen as a privilege to be chosen, but Malick and his brother Nathaniel discovered that their recently deceased father actually had a sneaky method of switching the stone so he wouldn’t be chosen. They learn this from Daniel Whitehall (you’ll remember him as the crazy Hydra scientist from last season) whom they visited in his jail cell. Nathaniel wanted to get rid of the notched stone, but Gideon made a quick switch and kept it, then used it so HE wouldn’t be chosen, and his brother WAS!

This only goes to prove that Malick is a no good scumbag (which we’ve come to learn ever since he y’know, wanted to nuke New York in the Avengers movie)! Jump to the present, where Hive (still in Ward’s dead cardass and still dressing like he’s in The Matrix) has assembled the inner circle of Hydra at Malick’s family home. Malick’s daughter, Stephanie (whom we met in an after-creds stinger a few weeks back), meets her dad there, and she seems just as evil as he is...not to mention a bit smitten over Hive’s “Grant Wardish” good looks. Malick has no idea what he has planned, but he too touched Hinton last week and he reveals that he saw himself get murdered...withered away by someone’s touch...that someone can only be Hive. He totally knows this creature plans on killing him off and taking Hydra over.

Meanwhile, the agents hunt down Hive’s lackey (formerly Malick’s lackey) Giyera and we get an excellent one-on-one battle between the two. And it’s about time, because Mark Dacascos is a known martial artist and we finally get to see him in a formidable fight, against MAY no less! Of course, May takes him down...because she’s the Cavalry. They take him in to learn more about his “master”. They realize that he’s totally “drunk the Kool-Aid” and under the spell of this creature.

Lincoln tells Daisy that he may know someone who could know something about Hive, an Inhuman named James that never was chosen to undergo terrigenisis, and was banned from Afterlife for some reason. Those who read Secret Warriors totally know who “James” is, right? I really got excited.

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Apparently, James has been living in exile out in the desert in a cabin, away from the outside world (and away from the terrigen infected fish oil, apparently). When they get to his shack in the middle of nowhere, he threatens them with a shotgun and Daisy soon discovers he’s surrounded the place with land mines. She’s able to push the trigger down with her powers, though. She and Lincoln are able to “shake n’ bake” him into submission as well. They tell him the situation and he explains to them the secrets of Hive. Legend says he was one of the first generation of Inhumans, designed by the Kree to lead their Inhuman army. Soon they found out that he was so evil and powerful that they needed to band together with the human race to banish him.

Lincoln makes a deal to give James a piece of terrigen to finally unlock his powers, but goes back on his word, because giving someone like him powers would likely be a bad idea. Or so we think. Angry, James warns Daisy to be careful of Lincoln, as he’s murdered his last girlfriend. This leads to a rather touching moment where Lincoln explains that before being brought to Afterlife, he was an alcoholic, and one night drinking and driving, he got into a terrible car accident, eventually killing his ex. Daisy then felt obligated to tell him a secret she’s been keeping: that while touching Hinton she saw the vision that one of their teammates will suffer a horrible, firey death while driving a shuttle in space!

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Meanwhile, Malick learns the meaning of karma as he checks the copy of Paradise Lost in his father’s study (where Papa Malick used to keep his “cheat stone”) is missing, and Hive shows up with Stephanie at his side. She now knows what her father did to her uncle, and has aligned with Hive. You can’t trust anyone in Hydra, can you?!

Hive reveals that he has all of Nathaniel’s memories (he must have gotten to him on Maveth), and is now going to exact his revenge! Gideon totally thinks this is where his futuristic vision comes true, but instead Hive kisses Stephanie and disintegrates her! Ewww, technically that’s her uncle too, right? Is it? I don’t know...it doesn’t matter, she’s dead! Why would Hive kill sucha pretty girl that was clearly into him?! Obviously it’s been centuries since he’s...y’know...so I’m totally confused.

Why does Hive keep Gideon alive? We don’t know, but he soon reveals his true form....and if you’ve ever seen Hive in the comics, you will be pleased! If you love calamari, though, you may never eat it again!

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A cool episode, as we got to see a lot of interesting developments along with a good mix of action. The biggest moment was meeting James,who is obviously J.T. James, a.k.a. Hellfire in the comics! For those who don’t know, J.T. is the son of Carter Slade, the original Phantom Rider (or Ghost Rider) in the old Marvel western comics. If you remember he was The Caretaker played by Sam Elliott in the original Ghost Rider film. Now, all that history is probably to be rewritten in this MCU version, as James is an Inhuman here, and also originally Australian. But he looks exactly like James in the comics, and has a questionable personality to match as well. His ability (passed down from his pops) is the power to ignite objects (his favorite weapon being a chain) on fire. I would love to see him get his hands on some fish oil and become Hellfire at some point! Revealing his true lineage would also be very cool (Marvel DOES have the rights for Ghost Rider back), but I don’t see it happening. Still it’s very cool that we’re seeing Secret Warriors characters popping up in this season!

The background story with Gideon Malick is very intriguing, as it also intertwines with Hydra’s fascination with the paranormal and the supernatural. It was also interesting to see Whitehall return for a cameo. It was a shame to see Stephanie Malick killed off so soon, though. I actually think she would have been a great female villain. She almost had an “Emma Frost” thing going on. I would have preferred if Malick bought the farm, to be honest. But I guess it’s all part of the plan.

By the end of the episode we see Daisy realizing that Hive is a true danger and this is exactly the sort of threat her Secret Warriors initiative was created for. She’s gonna have to get the team together! And yes, I’m such a dork that I actually said “SECRET WARRIORS ASSEMBLE!” out loud at the end of the episode. Why? Because nobody else was going to say it!!!

I cannot WAIT for next week’s episode, where finally Daisy’s team is put together!

 

That’s it for this time! Look out next week for my next AOS review!

                

Dave Michaels

With his unique brand of humour mixed with die-hard passion and knowledge for all things comic books, Dave Michaels puts his weekly spin on the pop culture like only he can. Each “episode” of Full Page Bleed provides fun, wacky commentary, interviews, recommendations of Dave’s favourite comics, and whatever else his “evil genius” can conjure up. What are you reading THIS for?! Read some FPB RIGHT NOW and PREPARE to BLEED COMICS! FPB is Here...

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