Well folks, we’re on the home stretch of season three of Agents of SHIELD, and things are getting real. Like, face melting, alien invasion, shooting your friends real. Hive is still dead set on turning the entire human race into Inhumans using the same experiment that the Kree used to create him and the first Inhumans; Daisy is still his adoring assistant-slash-muscle; and Coulson and the team are getting understandably more concerned about the whole situation.
The episode opens on Hive informing his few remaining Hydra worshippers of their reward for surviving the destruction of Hydra: they get to be test subjects in the first trials of the human to Inhuman experiment. Lucky you! I appreciate that the Hydra members get to find out exactly what happens when you worship an evil alien god–you freaking die. Gideon already learned that lesson the hard way. The transhumanist doctor from last episode–let’s call him Dr. Frankinhuman–gets to work imbibing the subjects with Hive’s Inhuman DNA, but guess what: it don’t work. No, instead of becoming awesome superpowered aliens, they melt in the most horrific way possible. I can’t be the only one who watched Raiders of the Lost Ark as a child and is still scarred for life by face melting. Am I right? Guys? Anyways, Hive is none too pleased that the experiment doesn’t work, and he shows it by being generally intimidating and terrifying. According to Dr. Frankinhuman, what they need is real, live Kree blood–not dead man half-Kree blood from Hive. So Hive is all like, “okay.”
Additionally, Hive makes a blatant Captain America: Civil War reference!
Meanwhile, everyone at the SHIELD base is losing their mind. Lincoln is being a whiner, as per usual, and has the gall to tell May that his relationship with Daisy is different than everyone else’s. And May is like, uh yeah, we’ve known her longer, we love her more, you imbecile. Step off and let Mommy work. FitzSimmons might have a maybe-cure to relinquish Daisy from Hive’s control, and Lincoln has the gall to tell Simmons that, “as a doctor himself,” he thinks he should go ahead and test it on himself. Seriously, Lincoln, step off and let your way smarter, way better than you, baby siblings work. Coulson agrees with Simmons that injecting himself is a stupid ass plan, and tells Lincoln to step off and let the non-useless members of this family work.
Mack is also losing his mind, blaming himself for letting his partner down. May tells him to stop being a whiner and get his ass in gear. They pull together a team of a few operatives (including an awesome female operative named Piper that I already love) to infiltrate Hive’s weird science ghost town, but their mission is to kill Hive, not rescue Daisy. Once there, they pounce on the weak link of Hive’s posse: James, who has the coolest Inhuman power to date, but is also the biggest fool. May charms James into giving up Hive’s location and then whacks him over the head with a pool cue, so it still counts as an ass-kicking.
Back at the ranch, Lincoln is the most consistent character of all time because what does he do? He. Injects. Himself. With. The. Cure. Because of course he does. In an attempt to “do something” and “help Daisy,” Lincoln ends up frying half the computers in the lab, collapsing, and making FitzSimmons take care of him. This freaking guy.
Let’s just go back to the competent members of this team, shall we? Mack and May are still on the ground in Hive’s city, but the location that James gave is empty but for a Kree orb that looks a heck of a lot like the orb from Guardians of the Galaxy that housed the Power Infinity Stone. It wouldn’t really make sense for another Infinity Stone to pop up in SHIELD, and it doesn’t– because this one is actually a homing beacon. Enter: the Kree. Well, only two Kree. Two Kree who look like they just stepped out of a Stargate portal from a show with way less budget and way cheesier costumes and makeup. But wait, why are the Kree here? Well that’s because Hive needs their blood, and he tasks Daisy with getting it.
Even though Hive is the one who called the Kree to Earth, they are far from friends. The Kree are out to kill the half-breeds that they created so long ago, starting with Hive. Alisha, the multiple bodied Inhuman who only has one duplicate left, decides to try her hand at battling these uber strong super aliens with her… martial arts skills? Seriously, girl, did you think there was an ending other than your skull getting smashed in? Twice? Hive has better luck against the Kree, even though May and the rest of the team are hoping Papa Smurf will do their job for them. Unfortunately Hive bests the Kree, and May’s team takes Coulson’s advice to run. Very fast. Away. Daisy also has better luck with Kree #2 and crushes its spine with her vibrations. Dayum girl.
Elsewhere, Mack decides to take it upon himself to find and save Daisy, who he believes actually, deep down, wants to be saved from Hive. I love Mack, but this reeks of white knight syndrome. Maybe that’s why I found Daisy’s speech to Mack so moving. Throughout the episode, she has pleaded with Hive to let her convince her friends at SHIELD to understand the Inhuman agenda. She doesn’t want to hurt them, she wants to save them and bring them into the Inhuman fold. She explains as much to Mack, who obviously isn’t drinking the same Kool-Aid that she is. More interesting than that is her insistence that SHIELD manipulated her, and Mack, and all of them really, into becoming their spies by luring them in with a misfit family–somewhere to belong.
She may be under Hive’s control, but she does have a point. SHIELD is a shady, shady organization. They’ve been home to Hydra for decades. They’ve built a deterrent weapon with the firepower to kill hundreds of thousands of people at a time. Lord knows they’ve used less than legal and moral means to obtain their desired results countless times. I’m wondering if this will kick off an even more anti-establishment, anti-organized government trend within the show and within SHIELD itself. It’s ironic that Daisy is the one bringing this up since, earlier this season, she was the one using SHIELD’s shady power to get information from the Watchdogs.
The faceoff comes down to Daisy trying to crack all of the bones in Mack’s body with her Quake powers while he valiantly (I’m sure he thinks so) won’t fight back. The whole thing reeks of Captain America and Bucky’s final showdown in The Winter Soldier. The only way to save Mack is for May, now arriving with the rest of their team, to shoot Daisy off of him. They grab Mack, hop in a flying Inhuman container, and jet off while May watches Hive cradle Daisy in his creepy but beautiful arms. I saw someone parallel this scene with May’s Cavalry moment, back when she was forced to kill the young powered girl. “I couldn’t save her. She didn’t understand.” Yeah, I’m crying. Don’t pretend you’re not.
Daisy wasn’t hurt too badly, though. In fact, she has enough energy to promise Hive that, since their Kree guests have both been disintegrated (one by Mack, one by Hive himself), they can just drain her blood. She still has real Kree DNA running through her veins since Coulson used the T.A.H.I.T.I. project to save her life way back when (yeah, I kind of forgot, too). Daisy is all in now–no saving SHIELD, only taking over the world. She’s coming into her own as Hive’s beautiful right hand super villain, and I’ve got to say, it’s exciting. You can tell she’s evil now too because the scratch on her face isn’t healing.
But it’ll all be okay, right? Because the cure that Lincoln idiotically injected himself with works, right? Nope. It doesn’t. Thanks for nothing, Lincoln. Simmons is just about as done with him as I am, and frustrated that they have no viable way to help Daisy. Honestly, I have no idea how they are going to save Daisy or bounce back from this season finale. Coming up next week: James doing some really cool stuff with a chain, the Watchdogs getting whooped by Inhumans, General Talbot being totally out of his depth, and an unconvincing whiny plea from Lincoln to Daisy. Oh, also: WHO. WILL. DIE. It better be Lincoln. Otherwise, the finale is going to rip my heart out. As discussed.