This week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a nice scaled down continuation of last week's action packed and thrilling mid-season premiere. This was a different type of episode as we got a much smaller spy thriller-like tone here with S.H.I.E.L.D. attempting to gather intel from the symposium while weeding out a traitor in the midst of everything.
These are the types of episodes that I always enjoy from time to time as it gives audiences a break from the more spectacle heavy science-fiction elements of the series and dives into the more spy mission based tone of the S.H.I.E.L.D. universe. Watching Coulson and Talbot working together to find out which one of the leaders at the symposium is an inside man for Hydra was both fun to watch and interesting at the same time. The meeting itself was pretty fascinating on its own as we get a better idea of how the world has been responding to the Inhumans becoming a much bigger presence to the public and popularly seen as threats more than anything else.
However, it's the moment where Talbot gets up and betrays Coulson while revealing to be Malick's inside man that was the real highlight here as far as twists go. I especially enjoyed the way Malick basically manipulated the board in thinking Coulson was the director of Hydra and planning on exterminating the Inhuman population. Eventually, we find out that Malick essentially forced Talbot by using his son as insurance to get to Coulson while trapping both of them in a life threatening situation. Here enters Creel, who for me in past episodes, was one of the more dull yet interesting characters. I've always enjoyed watching Creel's abilities at work, but I never really felt any sort of connection to the character until now. We see a different side of Creel in this episode as he is now presented as Talbot's right hand Inhuman weapon.
Another great scene showcasing Creel's ability to improvise on the field
With Talbot and Coulson eventually patching things up in the end (to a degree of course), I was beginning to think about the potential of having Creel being a part of S.H.I.E.L.D. in some shape or form. Perhaps having him on Daisy's team of Inhumans would be amazing as his abilities can come as a great asset to the missions. Of course, there still lies the conflict between Creel and the team from their previous endeavors in the past. This week's episode may have just opened the door to future character development with the Creel character as well as more drama within the team itself. It wouldn't be an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode if everyone is in full agreement with each other in perfect harmony after all.
What knowledge is he gaining from those books and news footage?
Those of you who read my review on last week's episode knows that I feel a little mixed on Hydra's "god" being presented as a zombified version of Ward. However, I was happy to see how much they've been pushing the idea that what we're seeing is something alien, mysterious, and powerful that just so happened to look like a familiar face. The scenes where he'd stare at someone with the most lifeless of eyes was incredible (amazing performance by Brett Dalton). I also love the idea of Malick treating him like a god child in a sense as oppose to just another Inhuman pawn in his schemes (even though that's exactly how he would like to use him).
One of the best visual FX shots on the show so far
So far, they've been presenting this new villain to the series in a far better way than what they did with Slash in my opinion. The mystery element, the performance, and the visuals all perfectly blend together in introducing us to what may just be the biggest villain in the entire series so far. The way he interacts with the other Inhumans by easily bringing them to his control while showing some sign of understanding and care was pretty engaging to see especially during his scene with Lucio. There's almost a cult leader-like image being shown here and I'm enjoying every second of it as it brilliantly goes hand in hand with Hydra's lore on the show.
What is this Inhuman's end goal once he's finished feeding on the humans offered to him? One must wonder whether or not he'll decide to forego his own solo plans on taking over and building his own army of Inhumans despite Malick being something of a worshipper to him. The ending scene where he brutally demolishes a few Hydra soldiers in order to fully replenish his skin (or Ward's skin I suppose) was a visually brutal scene even though we only see the results and not the action taking place. It's an incredible presentation of what this creature is capable of doing and I look forward to seeing what it does in the future.
Zombie Ward watches Age of Ultron while waiting on his lunch
Overall, this might end up being one of the more forgettable episodes this season, but it did present some interesting character moments as well as opened the door to potentially amazing plot points in the near future.
1. Who Is On The Monitor?
I may have missed something, but who exactly did we see on the monitor behind Talbot?