Right on the heels of “The Team,” Agents of SHIELD has to wade through the aftermath in “The Singularity.” After Daisy’s shocking defection to Hive’s side, the team has to literally dig themselves out of the ruins she made of the base. On the good side, no one died. On the bad side, Joey and Elena have both left (so much for that team), the hanger is sealed closed, and some of the team have been injured. A little detail like the hangar not quite working right won’t stop a pilot like May from getting the Zephyr in the air.
There’s a really creepy scene between Hive, as Ward’s being called now, and Daisy. Hive has Ward’s memories, and the exchange between them is just odd. While that goes on, Simmons talks about her finding on Hive’s powers, comparing the effect on “swayed” Inhumans to being addicted. Next stop- a Dr. Radcliff who has been doing black market work on human enhancement (think Deathlok) and parasites. Fitz has a pair of awkward conversations, for very different reasons, with Mac and then Simmons.
Coulson and Talbot have a video chat, wherein Talbot is really not happy about not knowing what Coulson is up to. That seems to be going around, since May has the same complaint. What Coulson does finally share is that they have Alicia, the “Ginger Ninja,” in a safe place and are going to go make sure she’s ok. Since she’s already worked for SHIELD, granted the “other” SHIELD, I kind of wonder why she hasn’t been part of Daisy’s team.
There are lots of bits of tension within the same sides on this episode. Hive seems to be set on the stereotype of “take over the world,” which Daisy has some doubts about. Fitz and Simmons are going undercover to find the elusive Dr. Radcliff, which has Mac worried. But most contentious of all is Coulson’s new demand. He’s so worried about Hive taking over Lincoln he wants the electrical Inhuman to wear a bomb vest that May will control. When even May thinks your plan is too extreme, you might want to rethink things. She and Coulson have the worst argument I’ve seen them have yet in this episode.
Instead of a fight over Alicia, we see Daisy and Hive show up at James’ trailer. James is the crazy potential Inhuman Daisy and Lincoln visited recently. Daisy and Hive recruit James, using some fairly extreme methods, is intercut with an unexpected fight for the team trying to secure Alicia. There are a lot of twists and turns in these two scenes.
Daisy and Hive accomplish two goals in their visit to James. One of them is definitely going to be problematic for SHIELD. The other I could see going either way. SHIELD is definitely coming from behind in the second half of their season, and they’re not catching a lot of breaks.
Fitz and Simmons do their infiltration mission, meeting a lot of the Dr. Radcliff’s subjects/patients/whatever you want to call them. They have an interesting variety of tech enhancements. While waiting for Dr. Radcliff, Fitz and Simmons have yet another discussion about their relationship. Guys, you’re talking this to death already. Quit it. Eventually, they see the doctor after passing a test or two.
There’s a lot of chaos as both teams face threats in their missions. Nothing goes even close to how either team was expecting. There are confrontations and conversations that take a lot of people by surprise. Hive ends up with a new ally, which is just what SHIELD needs. About the only two things that go well happen almost as afterthoughts. Fitz and Simmons stop talking about their relationship and finally do something about it. And, using information Malik gave them to get revenge for the death of his daughter, the majority of Hydra is shut down by a combination of ATCU and SHIELD raids. The show ends with another reveal about what Hive is up to now.
What I liked: Fitz and Simmons finally got out of the lab, and on a mission that made sense for them to be on. They finally did something about their long-simmering romance. Hive is a nasty villain, but he’s smart and doing things that make sense.
What I didn’t: Even with Hive’s influence, it seems like Daisy went bad way too quickly and easily. May made a few really dumb mistakes, especially considering how skilled she is supposed to be at combat. Coulson’s weirdness with the bomb vest for Lincoln seemed ruthlessly out of character to me.
They did a good job of raising the stakes overall this episode, even though I have some complaints about individual actions taken. I’ll give it a 3.5 out of 5.