Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap: Emancipation
In the aftermath of Civil War, S.H.I.E.L.D. deals with Inhumans
The Accords have happened, and everyone is reeling. I mean, everyone. (If you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War, you should probably do that before reading this recap. But then again, you should’ve probably done that before watching the episode.) In a bar, a newscaster is talking about the Sokovia Accords and Cap’s disappearance following his mission in Siberia. May tells Coulson they knew this day was coming, and she’s probably talking about the government trying to control superheroes, but she’s also referring to the obituary Coulson is reading for Peggy Carter (who passed away in Captain America: Civil War). “They were both my heroes,” Coulson says of Cap and Peggy, and normally I’m lukewarm on Coulson, but I really felt his genuine emotion and sadness during this scene because I know what it means to have people you looked up to, whether you knew them or not, and know that they’re gone not just from your life, but the world, as well. It’s fitting, right? Because Cap and Peggy were both there at the start of S.H.I.E.L.D., and now S.H.I.E.L.D.’s on the verge of falling, and they’re picking up the pieces.
Coulson decides he’ll deal with the government while May will deal with Hive, and Talbot arrives to make his case for registering Inhumans based on the Accords. Coulson refuses to tell Talbot anything, but he does take him down to home base…which is conveniently hidden underneath a bar. This elevator booth thing is AWESOME, and I want one for my apartment. The first person Talbot meets when he gets to base? Elena, who has returned! She shows off her powers to Talbot (who is both impressed and probably a little freaked out). Coulson, obviously, wants to keep people OFF the registered list while Talbot is the Tony Stark of the situation. Elena comes to see Mack, who is NOT happy to see her after their last situation, and while it’s not the best reunion, it’s nice to see them acting cordial.
Daisy, meanwhile, is following through on her promise to help Hive with his experiments. But she’s also attempting to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s files, which Fitz is combating from his end. She sees Lincoln locked up and needs to get him out because “we have a history.” (Dude, you, like, barely know him but whatever.) Hive warns her if her friends interfere again, things won’t end so well, but Daisy’s not worried. Once they get Lincoln, they’re in business. Lincoln, by the way, isn’t so happy about being locked up still and less happy about Talbot being there to take inventory of Inhumans.
But he’s happy that Daisy has managed to hack into the system and talk to him, even if he’s pissed at her. Daisy makes a loop of him sleeping so no one gets suspicious on the security monitors, and he tells her he’s locked up because no one trusts him. Lincoln just wants to be with Daisy: no S.H.I.E.L.D., no government, no Hive. Just them alone, being together and happy. The call is cut short when Talbot arrives with Coulson, trying to sell him on the Accords. Lincoln tells him they sound like hell, but he does say he’ll register if he’ll get him out of here. Coulson, obviously, opposes this and then takes Talbot to see Garner, a.k.a. Lash, in his containment unit. And yeah, if Talbot wasn’t happy before, he definitely is not happy now.
Simmons and Fitz are upset they’ve lost Hive’s potential cure and also that they’re now stuck doing more work to prevent Daisy from hurting the team. May interrupts to ask them if they can get into Hive’s brain, hoping they can figure out some of his hidden motives. Talbot finds out about Hive (“the demon”), and Coulson allows him into the briefing room as they all talk about his powers and dangers. Talbot just sees this as more proof for the Accords, but Simmons and Fitz are smart enough to have a breakthrough: They realize there are two people they know who have Kree blood…Daisy and Coulson. Coupled with what they already know about Hive making Inhumans, it’s not hard to put the pieces together. Talbot wants the government to handle this instead of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that’s a no go.
NEXT: We hold these truths to be self-evident
Radcliffe is trying a new test for Hive, but he needs volunteers. And what better (unwilling) volunteers than the Watchdogs? Hellfire lures them in on the street, and Hive brings them back to his base, then locks them in a room and deploys the new serum from Daisy’s blood. But Daisy has other things on her mind: She’s breaking Lincoln out of S.H.I.E.L.D. He manages to escape his room, but no one is paying much attention, too distracted with Daisy hacking the system again. Fitz and Simmons eventually realize Lincoln’s feed is a pre-recorded loop, which does nothing for Talbot’s trust issues when it comes to Coulson and his Inhumans. Talbot wants to loop in the president, and Lincoln realizes he’s trapped even with Daisy’s help. Mack attempts to stop Lincoln, but Fitz realizes the quinjet can be automatically accessed remotely, which means Daisy could potentially fly Lincoln out — Fitz has been so concerned with the security system he’s forgotten to lock it down. Lincoln makes it to the jet and makes Daisy promise if he comes, it’ll just be the two of them, and then he takes off.
Except…that wasn’t Lincoln in the jet. Lincoln’s jailbreak was a staged show that almost everyone was in on, including Coulson and May, because they knew Daisy would trust him enough to lure him to where he was, and Lincoln also knew Daisy would never be true to following through with her promises as long as she was with Hive. But who DID they send on the jet? Lash. Because, see, every Inhuman exists with a purpose. And it’s believed that Lash’s purpose is to kill Hive.
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As for the Watchdogs? Well, they’re, uh…overcooked, I guess. They’re definitely not the Inhumans Hive or Radcliffe expected. They kind of look like variations of HYDRA’s Red Skull. Hive is apparently fine with them, though, since they’re now part of the Inhuman race. And he wants more. Which means more blood from Daisy. That’s going to have to wait, though, because the quinjet arrives with Lash and not Lincoln, who promptly greets Hive by beating the crap out of him. The newly Inhuman-ized Watchdogs try their best, but they’re no match, and Daisy tries to use her powers, but she’s far too weak to do anything. When she collapses, Lash…saves her. And then takes the parasites out of her. And then Hellfire throws a chain through Lash’s chest, effectively killing him (for real).
Daisy, now free of of Hive’s powers, sees the whole thing and is super shaken up. She manages to get into the quinjet and radios home, allowing Coulson to bring her in, a reunion that’s both emotional and awkward given all of the things she did in the past few episodes. May is holding court with her dead husband, who Daisy has brought home, and Daisy says he died saving her. The group realizes Lash’s purpose wasn’t to kill Hive but to save Daisy.
The good news is, Daisy will be okay. The bad news? Hive has the ability to create a shockwave of his powers that can affect a portion of the human race but ONLY if he can shoot it high enough into the atmosphere. He needs a way to do that. Which…he does. Because he stole a fully operational warhead from the ATCU in Indiana (remember that missile?).
Elena comes to see Mack and asks if he still thinks they can’t win now that they have Daisy back and things are starting to mend. Mack’s a little wary, but Elena tells him to “keep the faith” before making him close his eyes and gifting him with her cross necklace before leaving. And we all know the cross necklace makes an appearance in that quinjet that we’ve seen since the beginning of the second half of the season, the one where someone has died, right?
Look, all I am saying is, if Mack is one in that quinjet, there will be hell to pay. Your move, S.H.I.E.L.D.
- Lincoln talking to Daisy alone in his room the way people talk to God was…a little creepy? I know that some of that was part of the plan, and I love Lincoln and Daisy as characters, but the whole relationship between Daisy and Lincoln is a little weird for me.
- We’ve all seen how the Big Guns react to people like the Avengers having powers, but I really liked how the show played out the distrust of the government on a smaller level. Sometimes Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a hard time fitting itself into the MCU (sometimes it tries too hard), but I liked seeing how, on a smaller scale, people might deal with Inhumans and people who have powers that aren’t gauntlets or shields.
- Call me old fashioned, but I loved seeing Daisy’s hacking skills make an appearance.
- “Who in tarnation names these things?” —Talbot asking the real questions