Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Chaos Theory

“Secrets can eat you up from the inside.”

Well, I’m just gonna say what we’re all thinking. This was an amazing episode. Daisy sure has some troublesome step-parents, doesn’t she?

I say it every review and - surprise - I’m going to say it again. I adore Constance Zimmer as Rosalind and I think they’re handling the conflict between her and Daisy flawlessly. The first part of the episode was dedicated to a quick but thorough discussion of their opposing points of view. Daisy thinks putting innocent people in Jell-O is inhumane (no pun intended) and Rosalind thinks that Daisy is being naïve about the potential dangers Inhumans pose to the world. By the end of the episode we were forced to admit that they were both right. Daisy agreed that the best thing for Andrew was to be kept in stasis until the ATCU perfects their cure and Rosalind realized that not every Inhuman is dangerous and managed to work amicably with Daisy and Lincoln. Daisy even saved her life. Like I said, flawless. One thing, though…

I don’t want Rosalind to be HYDRA. They’re doing such an amazing job playing with her moral ambiguity, making her straight up evil would be disappointing. Plus, we’ve done the betrayed by a romantic partner thing. Recently. Like in this very same freaking episode.

Andrew is Lash and this isn’t a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. This is a brisk devolvement into insanity situation. Blair Underwood’s performance was melodramatic bordering on cheesy but when paired with Ming-Na Wen’s earnest emotion it made for a dynamic and thoroughly watchable episode. It was fun listening to Andrew ham up lines like “I don’t know what I’ll do!” and then devastating watching May shoot him, totally willing to kill the love of her life for the greater good. Add in the flashbacks to their romantic Hawaiian getaway and that cut from FitzSimmons’ sunrise to Andrew and May’s sunset and the whole thing was just…wow.

On the Jemma/Fitz/Space Boyfriend plot front: Fitz has discovered that the logo on Will’s spacesuit looks vaguely like something carved into the magic castle that helped them rescue Simmons. If you turn it upside down and squint at it. I am so sick of love triangles in general and I was prepared to be annoyed at Fitz after his initial tantrum in this episode. But then he heard Jemma’s messages to him from her phone and calmed down. And I really like the way the episode ended for them. He’s not pushing her towards a big romantic reconciliation, he’s fine with just letting things be for now and watching the sunrise (no symbolism there). From her smile, that’s just what she needed to hear. As for Will (aka Space Boyfriend) possibly being involved with or without his knowledge in some grand, ancient conspiracy…I mean, it’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Grand, ancient conspiracies happen. All in all, the thing about this story that bugged me the most this episode is that Jemma is apparently not helping Fitz trying to open the portal. I know she’s just back and getting reacclimated to normal life, but I’d really love her to be doing something to help. She was whining last week about everyone treating her with kid gloves and a few weeks ago she was shown to be desperate to rescue Will. So…what the heck, writers?

Bobbi put the kibosh on Hunter’s “Let’s kill Ward” plan. Finally, someone showing some sense about the situation. Hunter’s rage at Ward over what he did to Bobbi was making him reckless. Not to mention, if anyone deserves to kill Ward, it’s May or Daisy. And that definitely won’t happen until the end of the season at least. They need him until then to be a sinister end of episode presence.

Intel and Assets

--Whenever I hear anyone say the ATCU, I think of the ACLU and then I fall into a tangent thinking about what they’d have to say about the ATCU’s tactics.

--Coulson told Rosalind he lost his hand in a shark attack. I love that.

--Joey and his budding metal sculptor career survived the episode. Color me surprised. I thought he was a goner for sure.

--Rosalind mentioned that she lived around the corner from Ruthie’s. Ruthie’s is the restaurant from the pilot.

Bobbi: “I don’t need a knight in shining armor, I need you alive.”

Coulson: “One of my men cut it off. Saved my life.”
Rosalind: “By chopping off your hand?”
Coulson: “Kinda had to be there.”

Mack: “Really got to commit to that shotgun/ax idea.”

Coulson: “Andrew, we’re friends... or maybe just acquaintances.”

four out of four sunsets
sunbunny, who is not Mark Greig


Kathy said...

It's my speculation that Rosalind isn't HYDRA. It's going to come out that she's inadvertently working for HYDRA.

At least, that's my hope. Because, yeah, I don't want another lover betrayal. That's been done to death.


Lamounier said...

Excellent episode for May. Ming-Na Wen did a good job. She displayed a very fragile May without ever losing touch with the tough woman we’ve come to know.

I like the explanation that Andrew is disappearing and Lash taking over... Am I a bad person for wanting Lash to take over? It’s not that I don’t like Andrew, but drama wise it would be better, and I don’t know why they would bring a character from the comics only to make him a temporary alter-ego.

There was a great discussion on Whedonesque about how you don’t need to buy a certain relationship (Fitzsimmons, May/Andrew) to feel for the characters suffering due to complications on those relationships. That describes how I feel about Fitzsimmons and May: I’m still not shipping Fitzsimmons, but their scenes were terrific. That sunrise, with Jemma being content by just looking at it, and Fitz ok with giving time to things fall in place, was beautiful. And “4277 Hours” was so terrific it was great getting one more glimpse of Jemma’s time on that unknown planet. It was like that late Anya number on Buffy bringing us back to the musical episode.

As for May/Andrew, I’m still not fully on board with the Andrew-is-Lash scenario, but boy did they make a good job on showing May’s pain. That cut from Fitzsimmons’ sunrise to May’s sunset was amazing: there’s hope for Fitzsimmons, but May’s world is going dark. Poor May.

While this was a good episode, it came with a few missteps. What was with the dialogue? Too many of Andrew’s lines had double meanings and it became old very quickly. Did Rosalind and Coulson need a let-me-ty-your-tie scene? Complete with cliché dialogue even? Thank the lords the two actors have tons of chemistry to compensate.

Speaking of Rosalind, I also don’t think she’s evil. Not Hydra evil, anyway. She could be other kinds of evil. Her confrontation with Daisy was awesome, and it was good how by the end of the episode they both had helped one another, even though Daisy saving her was a little on the nose.

The promo for next week’s episode got me really excited. It looks like it’s going to be a big episode.

migmit said...

I love May. She's terrific at portraying emotions... and I must say, not very good at hiding them. She was really terrific in this episode.

And Rosalind has a lovely smile. I can feel my heart melting when she smiles. I totally understand Coulson — he didn't stand a chance.

FlopHairedWuss said...

Lack of subtlety's a deal-breaker for me, so I didn't enjoy this one all that much. There was way too much telling and not enough showing. The Andrew/Lash wasn't handled all that well, going for broad strokes rather than complexity. It didn't quite have the tragedy they were going for, only improved by the performances.

Lincoln continues to be as annoying, stupid and dull as ever, not to mention plot convenient. Some of the action was quite poor in this one, especially the scene between Lash and SHIELD agents.

I did really like the stuff with Rosalind and Coulson. Despite it also suffering from on-the-nose dialogue.

Also 'I lashed out'. Really?

Marianna said...

I really hope Rosalind isn't HYDRA too. Regardless, I am very disappointed in Coulson for falling for her. She is still far from trustworthy. At least she's more age-appropriate than Amy Acker was.

I still don't really like the Andrew-is-Lash concept. I get that he became less himself as it went on, but I still think when it first happened someone as well adjusted as Andrew would call someone to help him deal with this, probably Daisy.