Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Ep20 “Emancipation”

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On the heels of Captain America: Civil War’s release last week, this week’s Agents of SHIELD shows yet again that #ItsAllConnected. Now, to complicate their mission to save Daisy and take down Hive, the Sokovia Accords are giving the government oversight of enhanced persons–not only the Avengers, but any enhanced persons. Such as our Inhuman friends, for example. This can’t end well.


marvels-agents-of-shield---emancipation-182188General Talbot is back to pester Coulson about making SHIELD more transparent, but now he’s got the support of the Sokovia Accords, which require registration of all enhanced persons. This comes a lot closer to the original inspiration for the Accords in the comic books, though the registration of all enhanced persons wasn’t explicitly outlined in the CA:CW storyline. It makes sense, though. Talbot knows that Coulson’s got a few more-than-human members of his team, but Coulson is reluctant to bend to the powers that be (surprise, surprise). Talbot reminds him that the Accords were good enough for the Avengers, and Coulson, in true Team Cap style, reminds him back, “not all of them.” They also draw a comparison between the Accords and SHIELD’s Gifted Index that collected information on enhanced persons way back before SHIELD collapsed in on itself. Coulson learned back then how dangerous these kinds of lists can be in any hands.


Coulson plays nice with Talbot though, and invites him to take their secret amusement park ride down to the SHIELD base. Down there, he gives Talbot a tour of their Inhumans: the good (Elena), the bad (Lincoln), and the ugly (Lash). Talbot isn’t happy, especially when he finds out that Daisy is nowhere to be found.


But Daisy is somewhere to be found. In fact, Daisy is watching their every move, hacking into SHIELD’s surveillance from Hive’s warehouse-mad-scientist-lab where she’s being slowly drained of her own blood. Since Lincoln is still locked up for being a volatile fool, Daisy makes contact with him and convinces him to break out and run away with her. And Lincoln, being the complete idiot that he is, agrees–but only after telling Talbot that he’d like to register himself under the Accords. Lincoln, are you kidding me? I’m trying not to be a hater here, but you’re making it literally impossible.


Back there in Hive’s mad scientist lab, Dr. Frankinhuman is draining Daisy’s blood for its Kree DNA to prepare for Inhuman test number two. But who would volunteer for such a test? Well, just send James out to round up some douchebag Watchdogs with his fire chain whip and you’ve got your guys. (Side note: I know James is totally a bad guy and has been pretty much this whole time, but he’s just so freaking cool. Alright, I’m done.) That’s what you get when you mess with superhumans, dude. I almost wanted to say that the Watchdogs get what they deserve, being turned into the thing they hate, but what actually happens to them is super messed up.

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When Hive proposed his plan to turn all humans into Inhumans, I was pretty okay with it. Who wouldn’t want cool Inhuman powers? I mean, sure, they’d all be under his control, but they wouldn’t care. Plus, powers! But the Watchdogs do not become cool Inhumans with cool Inhuman powers. No, they becomes “primitives,” which are mindless, voiceless, powerless drones with nasty melty faces. Anyone can see they are a failed experiment, but Hive embraces them. All he wants are followers: what does he care how they look or act, as long as he controls them? Even Daisy is turned off when he tells her the primitives are like their children. Yeah, creep factor increasing at an alarming rate.


At SHIELD, Coulson is bringing Talbot up to speed on Hive, explaining that he is the source of many devil mythologies, which is a pretty accurate description. Hive gives his followers a sense of belonging, of pleasure, of power, but they are completely under his control. Sounds pretty devil-like to me. But of course, Lincoln takes this moment to launch his escape. I honestly don’t understand what Daisy sees in him (other than his cute face) because his first response is to zap his way out of the Inhuman-proof room he’s been locked in. That’s the whole point, dummy. Uhg.


So Lincoln gets to the Quinjet, which Daisy successful pilots out of the base and out to meet Hive. But, wait. Lincoln’s not on the Quinjet! You mean, he did something not totally foolhardy and stupid? A momentous occasion. That’s right, May and Lincoln played the long con on Daisy, since they knew she was watching them, and hatched a plan. Clearly it was May that did most of the planning, but Lincoln didn’t ruin it by trying to kill someone, which is pretty impressive for him. So if Lincoln wasn’t on the Quinjet, who was? It was… Rasta-Hulk! I mean, Lash!


I’ve got to hand it to them, this is a genius plan. While Hive is smugly waiting to welcome Lincoln into the fold, Lash is the ugly mug who greets him. The hope is that Lash may be able to actually kill Hive, since killing Inhumans is kind of his specialty and Lincoln believes it to be his purpose. The other hope is that Lash won’t kill Daisy, since he spared her before. So Lash and Hive (“who in tarnation names these things?”) duke it out, and it looks like Lash has the upper hand. He resists Hive’s parasite and burns a big ol’ hole in Ward’s chest, but poor Daisy is still defending her Inhuman overlord despite being drained of blood and energy. Lash turns on her and… cures her.


Unfortunately, James comes back with his fire chain whip of awesomeness and kills Lash with it. Daisy is already back on the Quinjet and halfway to safety, so she force pushes James and the primitives away and flies back to the SHIELD base. She’s coming home. When she arrives back at base, it’s not the warm welcome that one would expect. Daisy’s still sickly, she’s broken, and she wears her feelings of guilt on her face. Poor May has to mourn the loss of her husband yet again–now there’s really no getting him back. With his dying act, however, Andrew’s good heart broke through Lash’s violent nature to save Daisy’s life and set her free. Yeah, I cried.


Speaking of emotions, Mack and Elena are reunited this episode and they are seriously wonderful. Initially, Mack is still sore (literally and figuratively) from Daisy’s attack, and he’s lost hope that they can do anything to help her. But Elena is a beautiful goddess of wisdom and reminds him to have faith. She tells him that evil preys on the weak because it fears the strong. I can never get over how much I love the way Elena’s faith is portrayed. By the end of the episode, Mack has indeed gotten his faith back, thanks to Elena, and she rewards him by giving him her cross necklace. Wait. The cross necklace from the vision that Daisy has of one of their team members dying? That cross necklace?! Oh hell no.


Next week is the two episode finale of Agents of SHIELD season three, and I am really scared to find out WHO. WILL. DIE. Hive’s plan is coming to fruition now that he has the means to turn millions of humans into his Inhuman primitives with a freaking warhead. Obviously all hands will be on deck for this catastrophe, but I can’t help but think Coulson should call his dearest Captain to help him out. Hey, a girl can dream.


Tune in next week for the conclusion of Agents of SHIELD Season Three, Fallen Agent!


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