The Agents of SHIELD will get their mid-season break after “Maveth.” This is a very busy episode with a lot going on, some surprises, and a few twists I certainly didn’t see coming. At least one of the characters will quite literally never be the same. That gets said a lot, but it’s true this time out.
On Hell-world, Ward is leading his team of Hydra agents, plus Fitz. Fitz is in a real rough spot- stuck with a man who has already tried to kill him, looking for both a monster that might wreak havoc back on Earth and the man who’s his rival for Simmons’ affections. I feel bad for him. He makes an attempt for one of Ward’s weapons, and that goes about as well as you’d expect, lab rat vs. trained killer. They also find what looks like a giant version of the Hydra symbol.
Back on Earth, the rest of SHIELD links up to make a new plan. Mac is not happy with his outing as Director, and I can’t really blame him. This is a bad time to be the boss. Maybe that’s part of why Coulson jumped out of a plane? They come up with a new plan, utilizing their agents plus, as Mac calls them, the Power Rangers. Nice to see Daisy is finally getting some backup for her supposed team, which so far has been, well, her.
Malick has a few scenes of being creepy, usually gloating to Simmons. He’s also very cavalier about the fate of the Inhumans that have been brought in, calling them toys for “their friend.” Why the creature would prefer Inhumans to regular humans, I’m not sure. Maybe they taste better?
Fitz manages to find Will, and convince Ward not to kill him. Fitz has talked his former teammate into accepting Will as a guide. Will is badly injured, having been attacked by the creature when Simmons escaped.
Elsewhere, Coulson finally wakes up from his dramatic transit to this cursed planet, after a sort of sad dream/vision of Roz. Coulson looks around at the wastes, and says, “I’ll be damned. Tatooine.” Ah, the advantages of being a subsidiary of Disney/Marvel/Star Wars. Coulson is a man on a mission, and he’s off to find Ward and rescue Fitz, probably in that order at this point.
Simmons, being the resourceful type she is, manages to escape from Hydra. While hiding among the Inhuman cages, she finds Andrew. After they argue for a bit, Simmons realizes she’s pretty much out of options, and frees Andrew, who promptly starts killing Hydra agents. No big loss there. It’s what he does later that proves, to me at least, that he really is irredeemable.
There’s a lot of combat back at the castle and on the grounds. Bobbi and Hunter make Mac look tired, which is a funny scene. There’s also a good scene of Joey expanding on his powers and being thrilled that he’s being useful. There’s a lot of potential for him down the road.
Back on Hell-world, a lot happens. Fitz and Will escape from Hydra, striking off on their own. Ward finds their guards, only to lose his own men as Coulson catches up and shoots them. Coulson is really not messing around at this point, and takes a bit of petty revenge on Ward a few times, not that I really blame him.
The rest of SHIELD manages to get back together, and then debates a new issue. Lincoln is scared of the exiled creature Hydra wants back. While I don’t blame him, I’m not sure how he learned so much about it. Someone must have given him a crash course. Lincoln votes for destroying the portal now, just to be safe. Daisy gets the news that Andrew/Lash is here, free, and has already killed all the captive Inhumans. Someone needs to end him, soon.
Fitting for a mid-season finale, there are a lot of surprises along the way. In the interests of not doing spoilers, I’m going to skip a lot of detail here. Not everyone comes back from Hell-world for one thing. Malick gets a surprise as he tries to escape. There are some reunions, and some that don’t happen. They leave quite a few things up in the air for the break.
What I liked: Bobbi is working her way towards one of my favorite characters, especially now that her seemingly-eternal rehab is apparently over. She’s like a better balanced May, not that May isn’t awesome. I liked that both Fitz and Simmons had a part to play in their own attempts to escape, they weren’t just sitting around waiting for rescue. Joey’s reactions were perfect for someone not used to this world, and I liked his enthusiasm for his new use for his power.
What I didn’t: I didn’t like Dark Coulson. His reactions made sense and were perfectly in keeping with what he went through, but I like him a lot better as the somewhat sarcastic, slightly distant leader than the vengeance-crazed gunman. It’s a damn shame that Lash managed to slaughter all those prisoners. Who knows what potential allies SHIELD could have gained, not to mention the loss of life. I would have liked SHIELD’s victory to be a bit clearer cut.
I’ll give this one a high 3.5 out of 5. It was a good blend of action and character. Agents of SHIELD will be back next year, after a slightly longer than usual break. In between now and then, Agent Carter will have another run of episodes.