Agents of SHIELD: Failed Experiments


Company from way out of town

“Failed Experiments,” begins in distant past. We get to see Hive’s origin, when he was what looks like some kind of Indian who was captured by the Kree and experimented on. It doesn’t look like it was an enjoyable process, that’s for sure. When they return the story to the present, Hive talks about how those early experiments were the first Inhumans, and now he intends to start converting humans, beginning with the few members  of the Hydra ruling council he has left with him.

There’s a lot going on over at SHIELD’s base. As an aside, so much of their stuff has cool names, why doesn’t the base? Seems like they should have one for it. Anyway… there are several different topics of discussion going on among the agents. May and Lincoln are worried about Daisy, although May is also very mad at Lincoln. Fitz and Simmons, meanwhile, are trying to come up with a cure for Hive’s control of Inhumans. They have a promising lead… if you don’t mind killing the Inhumans in the process. Lincoln, feeling lost and desperate to help, offers to be their guinea pig. Coulson, meanwhile, is in his office pouring over facial recognition footage trying to find any sign of Daisy.

Hive brings Daisy down the street of their new base, the small town he bought with Malik’s money. Hive gets very philosophical about mankind in general and Coulson in particular. Let’s just say he’s not a fan of either. While Dr. Radcliff is working on the Hydra board, Hive makes a passing reference to Iron Man and Captain America, and hints at Civil War, which is nice product placement and continuity at the same time. Radcliff’s experiments don’t exactly go well.

Mac and May brief a team of agents who are going to go do their best to kill Hive. Mac isn’t pleased that Coulson isn’t making saving Daisy a priority, although I see Coulson’s point on that one. May gets annoyed after hearing both Mac and Lincoln whine about the mess with Daisy, and wonders why everyone is making this about themselves. Simmons, Fitz, and Lincoln end up bringing the cure idea to Coulson, who vetoes it since it has so many elements of uncertainty. Fitz sort of plays a middle of the road position in this discussion, allowing that both Simmons and Lincoln have decent points.

Back at Hive-town, or whatever we’re calling the place, Hive’s Inhumans are relaxing in the town’s bar. Alicia, James, and Daisy are hanging out. James gets a bit self-reflective, which was a surprise. There may still be some hope for Daisy, since she both misses Lincoln and defends SHIELD to James. Daisy wants to make SHIELD understand how wonderful Hive is, by using the process Radcliff has the Hydra board undergoing. Yeah… about that… Radcliff gives Hive the excuse that the procedure didn’t work because he needs living Kree blood, and Hive is technically dead. Of course, Hive’s body is also Ward’s, so I’m not sure where the Kree part would have come in at all.

The SHIELD team gets briefed just before they go in. Most of the agents seem like generic cannon fodder, but one of them is pretty entertaining. Her standing out made me wonder if she would be the token red shirt, which would have annoyed me a lot. The team is told clearly to avoid the Inhumans, try to kill Hive, and then get out. As that’s happening, Simmons and Fitz share tea while Fitz indulges in his new hobby of over-analyzing their relationship. Fitz’s brooding gets interrupted when they catch Lincoln experimenting on himself despite Simmons’ suggestion and Coulson’s orders. It’s a really impressive display.

May manages to bluff her way into the bar, and talk with James the recently made Inhuman. She gets a good bit of information out of him, which Coulson hears over coms. No one is pleased about the “turn everyone into Inhumans” plan. They’d be even less happy if they saw how it worked out for the Hyrdra folks.

Daisy and Hive have another chat about her need to be able to fight SHIELD down the road. She really wants to save her former team, but she’s sure that she will have no problems if it comes down to combat. Hive, after hearing what Radcliff needs for his experiment to work, makes a fairly desperate choice that is going to complicate everyone’s night. He’s set off the distress beacon for the Kree “reapers” that have been in stasis at the edge of the solar system in case the Kree’s Inhuman experiment got out of hand. I’d say were at that point, but Hive wants them to harvest blood from.

A lot of the rest of the episode boils down to various fights. The Kree are loose in town. Hive fights a Kree. Daisy fights a Kree and then fights Mac, who disobeys orders to try and save her, whether she wants to go or not. In the comics, I don’t remember Kree being so hard to fight as a general rule, but they seem to be tough opponents this time around.

By the end of all this, SHIELD learns that Daisy doesn’t want to leave, they don’t have anything in their toy chest that seems like it’s going to injure, let alone kill, Hive, and that Daisy isn’t pulling her punches anymore. One of the team ends up in serious condition after Daisy cuts loose with her powers while fighting them.

Lincoln, now in isolation after his self-experimentation, gets some news from Simmons which isn’t at all what he wanted to hear. Daisy tells Hive something he does want to hear as far as another source for Kree blood, since SHIELD managed to kill at least one of the Kree that came to town. All in all, things aren’t looking great for any of the good guys by the end of the episode.

What I liked: Fitz and Simmons are entertaining together when they (usually Fitz) aren’t trying to talk things to death. The new female agent was funny. Hive is definitely not one to hesitate when he decides on a course of action. Daisy is getting more and more ruthless as time passes, so she is getting to be like Coulson after all.

What I didn’t: They’ve build up Hive so much at this point I’m really wondering how they are going to stop him short of calling in the Avengers, which isn’t going to happen for a tv show. Lincoln seems to be on the verge of becoming the show’s resident bad idea guy.

I sort of wonder if another part of the Kree Empire is going to find out that their reapers got called in to Earth, and what that would mean for the planet. This episode wasn’t a great outing for the heroes, and we still have the “Someone’s going to die!” promise/threat hanging over us. I’ll give this one a 3.5 out of 5.


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