Welcome back, recruits, to another year of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Before we get this recap going, allow me to formally introduce myself: I’m Andrea, and some of you may know me from Marvel’s Art of Evolution, or maybe from recaps all the way back in season 1 — that naive, innocent time where no one knew Ward was evil and Coulson still had two hands. I’ll be the agent talking about the show with you this year, so without further adieu, it’s time to dive into season 3: the season where everything is shiny and new, from Daisy’s name to Coulson’s hand to Fitz’s reemergence of courage. In fact, the only thing that’s not so shiny (despite being new) is the after-effect of those terrigen crystals that we saw being released into the ocean at the end of last season.
And to prove that this year is going to move fast (and furiously), we open on one such incident: Joey (Juan Pablo Raba), who has had his Inhuman abilities awakened by ingesting the fish oil vitamins. Joey’s abilities seem to be centered on being able to liquefy metal — nearly everything that he touches blows up or disintegrates. He’s coming into his powers in a Hulk-esque way, running amok through the city and causing destruction wherever he goes, without really knowing why he’s doing it at all. Two black cars show up attempting to subdue him, but before they can officially take him in, they’re blasted away by what is arguably one of the most badass superhero arrivals of the season.
Enter… Quake! Or, as we now know her: Daisy Johnson. Call her whatever you want, just don’t call her Skye, because she’s finally got a real identity (and some new hair, and a new uniform) and homegirl is OWNING it. Along with Mack and Hunter, she also seems to be running her own op, and it looks like the past few months have done a lot of good for the plucky hacker who spent a lot of last season afraid of herself. Daisy manages to get Joey into a special carton (specifically, a polytechnic adaptive module that can be customized to someone’s powers) and sends him straight up into the sky, effectively making Joey’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day even worse. In the aftermath, we’re treated to our first introduction of the woman we’ll come to know as Rosalind Price (UnREAL‘s Constance Zimmer), who is apparently behind the other people who are trying to take Joey in. A one-armed Coulson, meanwhile, spies from the crowds.
Understandably, Joey is freaked out by everything that’s just happened. Daisy tries to talk him down and explains that they’re just trying to protect him, despite this “biomorphic event” that’s currently happening. Although Joey’s safe, he doesn’t really feel safe, but he’s grateful that at least they didn’t shoot him. “It may feel like your life ended, but it just got… more interesting,” Daisy tells him, trying to soothe his fears. (I feel like S.H.I.E.L.D. at some point just becomes a therapy breeding ground, where people have their own terrible experiences and then use them to help others acclimate.) She then asks if he takes vitamins because Coulson and his team are still attempting to figure out just how far and wide this stuff has spread.
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According to Coulson, it’s definitely spread, and although the product has been pulled from shelves, they can’t pull every bottle sold. The good news? Despite the fact we’ve seen that terrigen crystals aren’t so great for humans, if you’re normal, you’re not affected. The bad news? If you’re Inhuman, you’re screwed. And there’s a good chance the crystals have spread to other sea life, which means that until they can get a read on just how widespread it is, they have no idea what kind of outbreak they’re looking at. This is the third incident this month, new cases are popping up all the time, and hey, did we mention Coulson got a brand-spanking new aircraft called the Zephyr One? (I hope he doesn’t love it more than Lola.) The mysterious Black Ops, run by Rosalind, have already taken at least five people, but no one can figure out who she really is. According to searches, she’s used a number of different aliases along with different professions, all of which make her impossible to find. The only thing they do know is that she’s not Hydra, despite being well-funded, because Hydra’s essentially gone silent. Rosalind, in turn, is trying to figure out who is running their operation, as she collects all the Inhumans she can get her hands on. And from the looks of it, it doesn’t seem like she wants them so she can make them her BFFs and braid their hair.
When the plane lands, Joey and his Magical Carton are introduced to Bobbi, who is waiting in what will become his new room. It’s kind of like those rooms they have for people in The Island, all white and closed off with a happy little landscape tacked to the wall so you feel like you actually have some connection to the outside world. Bobbi’s cleaned up pretty well from the last time we saw her, and is also wearing a white lab coat — which, along with the line from Coulson about her biology degree, is a nice nod to one of the more prominent aspects of the character of Bobbi Morse. As much as Bobbi is a fighter, which is how we saw her most of last season, she’s also an insanely smart scientist (like, PhD smart) and it’s fun to see that Easter egg reflected as part of her recovery process. Joey’s still unwilling to cooperate, even after Bobbi drops all of her Facebook-earned spy knowledge on him, so Daisy and Mack attempt to talk to him, instead.
Unsurprisingly, this talk doesn’t end well. Daisy attempts to tell him about the terrigen, alien DNA and all, which goes over about as well as you’d expect for someone who was just living a normal life before taking a few vitamins. Joey can’t comprehend the fact that he can’t go back to his old life, even after Daisy and Mack show him footage of the destruction he’s caused earlier. “The world’s been a little twitchy since Sokovia fell out of the sky,” Daisy says, and man, has it ever. When he lashes out at her, Daisy lashes back, and gives him a taste of what her powers can do. (Hint: Don’t mess with Quake, okay? Just don’t.) Joey’s far from convinced about his new life and new abilities, but it’s safe to say that in time, he’ll probably end up as the first official recruit to the Secret Warriors team.
NEXT: Fitz will do anything for love (yes, he’ll even do that)