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'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' recap: 'Failed Experiments'

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ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet

Ladies and gentleman, please welcome to the stage…the Kree! The Inhuman alien race made their entrance into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. tonight in what was basically a set-up episode for the final two hours of the season. (If you’re a fan of the show, you know that this is a routine occurrence as we get closer to the season finale.) So we begin with a flashback that shows a primitive man hunting for his food, then being chased through the forest by two very menacing blue Krees. Apparently these guys are “reapers” and they captured the man to experiment on him, using their own Kree blood to change his DNA. This is Hive’s origin story and the story of how he became an Inhuman. Don’t all monster stories start out like this?

But that was then. This is now. And Hive has big plans to re-create that experiment…but this time on humans. Yes, Hive’s plan is to turn all the humans into Inhumans, which is like the biggest level of revenge you can plot. Hive tries to give Daisy a town history lesson, telling her S.H.I.E.L.D. is no better than the Kree reapers that took advantage of him. Daisy, for her part, is surprised to find that Radcliffe can run experiments that can change DNA and make people Inhuman at the same time. Too bad his tests aren’t wildly successful, though — the first attempt leaves the poor subject with a melted skull.

At the base, there’s still no word about Daisy, which is driving Lincoln insane. Like, scary-annoying-boyfriend insane. May’s not having it. Simmons and Fitz are trying to see if there’s any chance they can still manufacture a vaccine for Daisy now that the Radcliffe option is off the table. There’s a possible option, but they need an Inhuman to test it on. Lincoln, naturally, offers himself up in the name of love, but our science duo immediately shoots him down due to the fact that the vaccine is so experimental and unstable it has the potential to be fatal. (I did very much enjoy the casual and adorable harmless argument between Fitz and Simmons about their terrible relationship setbacks. “If this is a competition, then I’d win. I had to shoot him three times to shut him up.” I agree, Jemma.)

Coulson is running facial scans and finally finds Daisy in Wyoming. Coulson thinks that Daisy’s willingness to be found means she’s leading them into a trap, but Mack, ever the loyal pragmatist, believes it’s a call for help. He thinks there’s a part of her that’s still resisting Hive, even though Coulson is steadfast in his belief of Hive’s powers. But that’s okay because they’re going to kill Hive! Well, they’re going to try.

In other news, May is continually pissed that no one is handling Daisy’s situation like an actual agent should (“Why is everyone making it about themselves?”) while Mack is just guilting himself more and more for the fact that he was too wrapped up with his brother and personal issues to realize Daisy was in trouble. Fitz and Simmons run the “Lincoln takes the anti-toxin” idea by Coulson, who is vehemently opposed. Simmons, for her part, thinks that Daisy wouldn’t want someone she loves acting so recklessly to save her, and it’s interesting to watch them debate the ethics of the situation, especially since Fitz is more or less “eh” on the decision when it comes to being confident one way or the other.

NEXT: Why do you always say what you believe?


The Inhumans are spending some bonding time at the bar, where Alisha is ordering a drink for herself and her double and making me wish that I had that power. James, becoming increasingly cockier by the moment, tries to hit on Daisy, who is trying to find out why he kept himself so isolated. Easy answer: He doesn’t like people. When she doesn’t flirt with him easily, he calls her out for still holding a torch for Lincoln and taunts her about S.H.I.E.L.D. But Daisy has an idea. If the people that still care about her don’t understand, she’ll make them understand. Sure, okay. Hive, meanwhile, is pissed that Radcliffe’s experiments didn’t work, but Radcliffe insists it’s because he didn’t have the right ingredients: namely, DNA from a living Kree. Hive is pretty, but he’s dead, so his blood is kind of not worth anything. But Radcliffe is determined to make this work, so Hive sets out to help make it work. He wants to know if Daisy can defeat the people who made her, a.k.a. S.H.I.E.L.D. Daisy says she wants to put her friends through the Kree experiments so that they finally understand because it’s the only way she can save them. Guys, this Kool-Aid has been DRUNK. Like, a lot.

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Coulson’s team arrives in Wyoming, and May and Mack stake out the bar James is at. May goes undercover in the best way possible, pretending to be Hydra security who has never seen an Inhuman before. For Mr. “I am the greatest thing since sliced bread,” this is a perfect way to get James to open up. Plus, the fact that he basically flirts shamelessly with May doesn’t hurt when it comes to spilling secrets. He tells her about Hive’s plan to turn humans into Inhumans and how powerful and amazing his boss is and shows off his amazing and awesome powers. May finally gets fed up enough to knock him out, and the team attempts to find out where Hive is hiding…

And then the Kree arrive. Via a satellite. That arrives like a missile. Look, all I know is that’s a pretty cool way to travel. These are the same two Kree reapers who made Hive appear, and Daisy wants to know how the hell they found them. Remember that artifact that Hive took from James, the one that contained the only way to kill him? Apparently he used it to send a signal. Sure, the reapers may be the only thing that can defeat him, but they need living Kree blood for these experiments to work, and he thinks Daisy can rip their hearts out. After all, she was pretty determined in telling Hive she would do anything.

NEXT: I am not throwing away my shot


But these Kree aren’t anything to be sneered at. They take down Alisha easily, and Mack and May figure out that Hive is hiding in a nearby church. Once they feel a quake tremor that screams Daisy, Mack abandons May and goes to find his partner because damned if Mack isn’t loyal beyond anything. Daisy takes on a Kree and actually does manage to kill it for Radcliffe, even though the actual fight doesn’t go too well. By the time Mack shows up, the experiment is underway with the dead Kree and Daisy’s pretty much a lost cause. But Mack appeals to his partner even as she tells him about her plan to make them Inhumans and save them. Despite Mack’s repeated pleas about how S.H.I.E.L.D. cares about her, Daisy is unwavering. She forces Mack to leave, even when Mack tries to point out that Daisy’s slip-up in alerting them to her location was a cry for help. And then she’s as crappy to her partner as she was to Fitz, perhaps even moreso. Fed up, Mack stops the Kree experiment with a splinterbomb, which causes Daisy to attack him. But Mack isn’t going to fight Daisy because Daisy’s his friend. Daisy, however? “You’re my mission.”

The other Kree goes to Hive as May watches, brutally fighting his first creation while lamenting, “We shouldn’t have chosen you.” But Hive prevails by using his parasite powers to drain the Kree. May and the team finally go in for the attack, but literally all this does is piss Hive off, so…dumb idea really. They save Mack, who has been beaten to hell and back by Daisy and leave the town. Back at base, Fitz and Simmons tread awkward territory with their disagreement over Lincoln that ends in comfortable banter, and it’s amazing what change and maturity can do. A season ago, these two would have been snippy with each other and let their work affect their relationship. Their moment is cut short when Simmons catches Lincoln giving himself the antitoxin because sometimes love just can’t wait I guess. Afterward, Lincoln apologizes to a pissed off Fitz while Simmons takes care of him and tries to complete the procedure of seeing if the antitoxin works. (By drilling into his brain. Simmons is getting pretty handy with drills lately, isn’t she?)

Simmons patches Mack up when they return, unable to believe Daisy did this to her partner. Lincoln, for his part, is recovering, but Simmons tells him the mission failed: Daisy is still alive, but they couldn’t stop Hive. Lincoln is still pissed off about no one telling him things, but Simmons shuts him up by saying they don’t have a cure. Lincoln’s sacrifice was nice, but the antitoxin didn’t work after all.

Back in town, Hive is staring at the heart that he’s ripped from the Kree. He’s pissed at Daisy for failing and pissed at Mack for destroying everything that they’ve worked for. He calls her out for having stronger ties to S.H.I.E.L.D. than she had told him, but Daisy insists she’s done with S.H.I.E.L.D. To prove it? She’s going to make the ultimate sacrifice to the Inhuman cause. See, she has Kree blood AND Inhuman blood running through her veins, which Hive didn’t know. So if he wants to do this experiment the right way, he can drain her.

Oh, Daisy. This is not a good idea.

Debriefing Notes:

  • “Only a billionaire can build iron suits, only a military can make super soldiers, which can only lead to a war of its own.” Ladies and gentleman…Civil War!
  • “A handsome but dead host.” —Radcliffe to Hive. (Well, that’s a compliment if I ever heard one.)
  • These new S.H.I.E.L.D. people who need a moment to believe aliens landed here clearly need to read up on the Battle of New York.