I was very tempted to use the line “This just went from bad to really, really bad” as the headline to this week’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ recap. Truth be told, the episode is actually an improvement over last week – even despite having very little notable action.
The episode title, ‘A Wanted (Inhu)Man’, is probably the lamest thing I’ve ever read, however.
The wanted Inhuman in question is Lincoln, who was last seen in the season premiere going on the run. He wants nothing to do with S.H.I.E.L.D. or any “Enhanced” people. Sadly, his former life isn’t quite done with him. He opens the episode being chased by the ATCU (the shadowy and less sympathetic successor to S.H.I.E.L.D.) and barely gets away. Coulson wants to bring him in for his own safety, and Mack reveals that he secretly planted a tracker under Lincoln’s skin a while back. However, Daisy insists that Lincoln needs to come willingly. She believes she can talk some sense into him. Unfortunately, he fries the tracker and refuses to listen to anyone, even after the ATCU plasters his face all over television as a dangerous alien fugitive.
Lincoln gets taken in by an old friend named John, who apparently doesn’t watch TV until times most convenient to the show’s plot. As Lincoln crashes on his couch, John finally sees one of the announcements and calls to turn his friend in. When Lincoln realizes what’s happening, he has to give John a light zap with his electrical power to get away, but doing so accidentally triggers a heart attack that kills the man. With nowhere else to turn, Lincoln calls Daisy for help.
Meanwhile, Coulson meets with Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer) and tries to negotiate a deal to let S.H.I.E.L.D. bring Lincoln in rather than the ATCU. Price doesn’t go for it. In fact, she makes an ultimatum. Either the ATCU takes Lincoln, or they take Daisy. Coulson reluctantly gives up Lincoln. When the ATCU agents storm into the apartment and Mack breaks this news, Lincoln blasts them all and gets away again. If the ATCU can’t get Lincoln, they want to take Daisy instead.
Eventually, Coulson barters another deal where he offers himself as a consultant in exchange for leaving Daisy alone. I’m not clear on how this fits the ATCU’s interests, but Price agrees. Coulson explains to Daisy that he’s tired of the petty squabbling between rival agencies, and it’s time for them all to work together for the common good (i.e. stopping another alien invasion).
The First Rule of Fight Club
Lance and May go undercover as gun-runners, hoping to infiltrate HYDRA. As a first step, Lance meets up with an old contact while in character as some sort of soccer hooligan. His mate informs him that he’ll need to prove himself in an underground fight club.
When they get there, his buddy turns on Lance and challenges him to a fight in the ring. Lance takes a terrible beating (some of this intentional, so as not to tip off who he really is), but eventually slips on a pair of brass knuckles and wallops the friend, apparently killing him.
May, meanwhile, has to beat the hell out of three thugs who threaten to gang-rape her!
At the end of all this, Lance successfully makes an inroad into the first level of HYDRA.
Simmons is still completely out of whack since her time on the alien planet. All of her senses are overstimulated and she has obvious PTSD. Fitz tries to ease her back to her old life, and very sweetly takes her out to dinner at the restaurant where they were supposed to have their first date. The night ends in crying, unfortunately.
Bobbi later finds Simmons in the lab, analyzing debris from the destroyed monolith. When Bobbi asks what she’s doing, Simmon insists that she needs to find a way back to the alien planet. What did she find or leave behind there?
Quite honestly, I still don’t care about Lincoln, either as a character or a plot device. However, I appreciate that storyline’s attempt to put Coulson in a difficult position where he’s forced to make a compromise he doesn’t want to make. Normally, the heroes on shows like this have much more clear-cut victories.
The Lance and Jemma storylines are still in early stages, so it’s difficult to judge them just yet. I’ll be glad to see more of the alien planet, though, because I felt that was given short-shrift previously.
This isn’t one of my favorite episodes, but it’s solid and certainly better than the last one.