Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Laws of Nature

The hacker formally known as Skye.
"My name is Daisy, I'm with S.H.I.E.L.D. and we're here for your protection."

O brave new world, that have such Inhumans in it.

This was a fun episode that did an excellent job of setting up all the pieces on the new chessboard. As we saw in the season two finale, Terrigen has been released into the ecosystem and people are now gaining super powers (through fish oil pills, of all things) that they neither understand or can control. Luckily for them, there is someone out there to help them, someone like them, someone who understands what they are going through, and her name is... Daisy?

Okay, that is going to take some getting used to.

Skye Daisy and Mack are working together to track down these Inhumans and help them learn, if they can, to control their new powers. Skye Daisy has now truly come into her own as both a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and as a superhero (she even has a nifty costume). I'm already loving her partnership with Mack, although it makes me a little mad, because this is what we should've got with Tripp last season but didn't.

Skye Daisy and Mack weren't the only ones with new jobs. Bobbi is now working in the lab while she recovers from her torture at Ward and Kara's hands, utilising that Ph.D in biology that the show hasn't bothered to mention until this point. I know that in the comics Bobbi Morse started out as a scientist before becoming a field agent, but it's not something the show has ever brought up before so her change of vocation, even if it is only temporary, still felt sudden and out of the blue.

I'm relieved that the tension between them was just a ruse. I really hate it when shows break up couples for feeble reasons just so there can be will they/won't they get back together romantic tension. I liked that Bobbi is all for going after Ward and getting some good old fashioned revenge. I'm less happy that Hunter wants to go after him without her. Dude, what's your hurry? Killing Ward is totally something you two should do together. It sure beats going to couples therapy.

S.H.I.E.L.D. has a new rival/potential ally in the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit), headed by Rosalind Price, played by Constance Zimmer. She is basically playing UnReal's Quinn, but significantly less evil, because hunting down Inhumans for the government is still a more noble profession than TV producers on a reality show. I think I'm going to enjoy watching Coulson and Price spar with each other. She's a more worthy rival for him than Talbot, who is essentially a comedy buffoon, the Elmer Fudd of the MCU.

It initially looked like Rosalind and the A.T.C.U. were being set up to be the villain of this season (or half season, probably), and still might be later on, but in this episode they were a red herring. The real big bad appears to be Lash, a monstrous Inhuman who looks like Sonic the Hedgehog on a shit load of steroids. We don't know much about Lash other than that he can shoot laser beams and is going around killing other Inhumans for reasons that so far remain elusive. Is he knocking off potential rivals or killing anyone who doesn't join him? More importantly, where does he go when he wants to get his hair cut?

I think I preferred Fitz when he wasn't all about being in love with Jemma. The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. powers that be may be determined for us to root for this relationship, and Iain De Caestecker is acting his little heart out for queen and country, but I'm just not feeling it. The whole thing still feels forced to me. I just don't see why Fitz's love for Jemma had to be romantic.

Not only that, I find this entire storyline shamefully manipulative. By shoving Jemma into the fridge and blasting her off to parts unknown, we are now expected to root for Fitz as he works tirelessly to rescue her and win her love in return. Because Jemma is now basically a prize to be be won by the one who loves her the most. And she is expected to love them back, because to not do so would be considered cruel after everything they've done for her. Jemma Simmons is now essentially a princess locked away in a tower, obligated to marry the first prince who comes along and rescues her.

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm hoping that Jemma finds a way to save herself and thus us from enduring storytelling clich├ęs. Where in the universe is Jemma Simmons? It is clearly not the Blue Area of the Moon, as some have speculated. There are one too many planetoids in the sky. The monolith was of Kree origin so is it possible she's on the Kree homeworld? Wherever she is, she's not alone and is running for her life. Poor Jemma, lost on an alien planet without even so much as a towel to keep her safe.

Don't panic.

Intel and Assets

--While it is great that we are getting more LGBT representation in the MCU, I found parallelling Joey's current condition with his struggles as a gay man a little heavy handed.

--Ooooh, fancy new title card.

--Hunter and Coulson should always go on missions together. They are hilarious.

--They kept the thing that sucked up Jemma behind a door that even Fitz could kick in. Seriously, Phil, you can afford a brand spanking new Bus but you can't fork out for a better door to secure the death monolith?

--How can Joey not know what S.H.I.E.L.D. is? They weren't exactly that much of a secret agency and their downfall was pretty public.

--One of Rosalind's aliases had the last name Campbell. Lincoln's last name is Campbell. That cannot be a coincidence.

--William Sadler previously appeared as President Matthew Ellis in Iron Man 3. In fact, every Phase Three film was referenced in this episode at one point or another, save for Guardians of the Galaxy.

--I can't believe Coulson kept the axe and put it up on the wall. Does Mack look at it with longing every time he's in there?

--Henry Simmons and Luke Mitchell are now both series regulars.

--No sign of May or Ward this week, which is to be expected. With ten series regulars now, expect more characters to have off weeks.

--Please can Mack have a shotgun-axe combo?

Hunter: "HYDRA's gone silent, eerily silent."

Joey: So she's the greeting card and you're the muscle, huh?"
Mack: "Believe me, she's the muscle."

Rosalind Price: "I haven't spent any time in Tahiti, though I hear it's a magical place."

Hunter: "I know that's sarcasm and I'm choosing to accept your thoughtfulness at face value."

Hunter: "Sir, I have trouble counting without using my fingers, but I think there's more of them than us."

Three out of four super-powered fish oil pills.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


sunbunny said...

Great review. Excellent point about FitzSimmons.

Definite agreement on the Hunter/Coulson team up. And the Constance Zimmer really stood out more than other guest stars. Looking forward to seeing more of her. And I'm very glad that she and her team aren't the big bad (at least not yet). After Shield vs. Hydra and Shield vs. Hufflepuff, I'm a little sick of the agency on agency thing.

Johan said...

Regarding Jemmas wereabouts. The note said DEATH, my guess is that she is in Niflheim. The home of Hela!

Patrick said...

I find it odd that there would be such a swerve from having the monolith be something Kree-related(based on the significance the Inhumans placed on it), to now being something related to the Asgardian side of the Marvel universe. Then again, previews for the next episode do indicate an Asgardian connection, based on a returning guest star(woohoo! btw)

JRS said...

I'm hoping when we actually find Jemma, she's doing totally well, has created a base of power, and laughs at the idea of "poor Jemma" when Fitz shows up as Rescue Man–and has information and materials for the team to boot. The previews make me doubt this though.