Snark Tank; Recap
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 12:” The Inside Man” Recap
On this episode of Shield we welcome back some new faces and see very different sides of their character, as well as revisiting some running conflicts with our main cast.
We start with a quick recap of Ward’s last memory, as well as a flash through the rest of his life. Points for reminding me Ward is finally dead and this is just a creepy alien in his body, points taken away for making me watch Ward and Daisy kiss again.
Sidenote: The show confuses me with it’s view of Skyward a lot of the time, with the show itself completely damning it while also continuing to lead on it’s shippers with references to their romance and a “never say never” attitude in some of the marketing, but I guess that’s just how publicity goes.
It’s clear the being is continuing to absorb information, with multiple televisions running constantly, and books scattered across the floor.
Despite it’s preparation, Not!Ward and Malick have a conversation about Ward as a host. Malick seems to doubt the fact the monster can become stronger while in Ward’s badly injured dead body, but the being claims he’s the perfect host. Hydra seems to be bringing Inhumans before It in hopes of It transferring hosts, and our Medusa like Inhuman from last episode, Lucio, is brought to Not!Ward.
He is unable to petrify It before being… absorbed, I would guess? The effect here actually looks great, with It’s body stepping backwards to leave a ghost of itself floating in the air, almost like a snake skin. When Malick next enters the room Lucio is still there, but he does seem different and like he is perhaps under the being’s control. That or seeing how creepy this thing can be is enough to make anyone fall in line.
After trying and failing to convince the alien to transfer to a new host Malick leaves once again. He’s clearly having doubts about this Inhuman monster and the strength it is meant to bring to Hydra. He orders his men to keep an eye on It, but is quickly undermined when the alien demands five humans be brought to him, alive.
By the end of the episode we see It send out the er… sand skin(?) we’ve seen being used a few times before, but this time the humans are completely skinned and left as nothing but skeletons as Ward’s body is restored back to it’s state before death. It finally seems to be powerful again, though why it’s waited this long to fix itself is a mystery to me.
Shake ‘n’ Bake
Elsewhere this episode Talbot has an argument with his wife at the airport as she leaves to who knows where. Coulson appears and we find out the two will soon be heading to a”Symposium on the Alien Contagion” being held in Taiwan to decide how to deal with the appearance of inhumans.
Daisy isn’t happy about the choice of words right away, she argues she’s only part alien and really hates the idea that what has happened to her is some kind of disease. We’ve seen this kind of reaction from her before, though Daisy was extremely scared of her powers to begin with she’s completely changed her opinion on them since getting them under control and any mention of a “cure” quickly makes her angry. This has always been an interesting debate, and it comes to a head again in this episode. Still on base Lincoln and Daisy’s boring flirt-training soon descends into an actual fight when Creel (we’ll get back to him later) seems like he could provide a cure to stop latent Inhuman’s from going through terrigenesis.
While Daisy’s intentions are good, she doesn’t want to see the Inhuman’s powers being stripped from them by governments and hate groups, she also doesn’t seem willing to accept that some people don’t want to deal with the change. Her struggled with controlling her powers had a happy ending and now she sees it as a birthright. Lincoln has a different view of maintaining the balance he mentioned last episode, especially if it means stopping people like Andrew being forced into becoming Lash.
After their argument blows out of control we get a quieter moment between Lincoln and Daisy later, where Lincoln admits he still struggles to accept his powers, something Daisy has done relativity quickly. The two have some good moments this episode when they’re debating the nature of inhumans, and it’s a lot better development than we’ve seen in their relationship since the beginning. Too bad they ruin it by somehow finding an excuse to turn it into foreplay for sex.
The Inhuman Debate
Back at the airport Coulson and Talbot are under attack by an old friend from the beginning of last season, Carl “Crusher” Creel. Coulson throws Talbot into his car and The Absorbing Man goes head to head with Lincoln, getting beaten rather quickly before Talbot has a chance to reveal that Creel is actually there for his protection, a big change since Creel was once sent to capture him for Hydra.
Jemma seems very interested in studying Creel, since he is the only human to ever touch a terrigan obelisk and live. Hunter however doesn’t want him anywhere near the team, which is understandable since Creel is responsible for the deaths of his friends, but Talbot argues he was brainwashed by Hydra and won’t go to Taiwan without him. Coulson’s finally choice is to allow Creel on the mission, and Daisy is left behind thanks to the meeting’s “no aliens” rule. All in all no one is happy with these decisions.
On the jet to Taiwan Coulson briefs the team on the Symposium, making it clear that one of the representatives at the meeting is most likely an inside man for Malick, thanks to his connections and recent obsession with Inhumans. While Talbot and Coulson meet with the members it’s up to the rest of the team to find any information on foreign Inhumans and identify Malick’s inside man (or woman)
While Coulson, pretending to be a doctor, tries to school the meeting on how to treat Inhumans, the rest of the team searches the building and plants cameras. Trigger Happy Hunter goes after Creel after seeing him leave his post, leaving Bobbi to sneak into the room he’s meant to be searching when the Australian representative looks like the insider.
All these suspicions turn out to be a goose chase however, Talbot is Malick’s inside man. Creel knocks out Hunter just after he discovers someone in an ATCU stasis pod, and Talbot reveals Coulson as Hydra to the Symposium, using the hidden cameras the team just planted against him. Malick appears just in time for a dramatic reveal, throwing more “evidence” on the table, and Hunter wakes up just in time to tell us Talbot isn’t completely to blame. The body in the goo is apparently Talbot’s son, how Hunter recognized him his anyone’s guess but lets keep this convenient for the sake of moving the story forward.
Since people still continue not to learn their lessons in this show, Talbot is double-crossed by Hydra and locked up alongside Coulson. Luckily Creel really does seem to be reformed, and comes to the rescue before Coulson and Talbot can be killed. Bobbi proves bringing staves to a gun fight isn’t so bad, and Creel saves Hunter’s life, but May is the one, as usual, that gets the job done and arrives with Talbot’s son safely in hand (or van).
By the end of the episode Coulson seems to have gotten the hint that the alien being they faced on Marveth might actually have made it to earth, and his answer to this seems to be stowing Bobbi and Hunter in the belly of the beast, hidden away in Malick’s plane.
Odds and Ends
- I feel like this episode is going to launch a bunch of Coulson and Talbot shipping/meme art
- Where the hell was Mack? They didn’t even mention the guy, when was the last time Daisy spent this much time away from her bro?
- Considering Joey wasn’t here either I guess my hopes that he would be around more are already dashed.
- The only thing I will ever thank Hunter for is giving Daisy and Lincoln the name Shake ‘n’ Bake.
- May really lays into Hunter about not actually caring about Shield and just being there because of Bobbi, and I appreciate that.
- Jemma’s awkwardness at interrupting Daisy and Lincoln is enough for my Skimmons shipping to continue.
- I actually really like Creel, guys.
- Talbot is casually racist a lot in a way I genuinely believe of a guy like him but that I’m also not sure I’m okay seeing?
I actually thought this episode was pretty light on content on my first viewing, but a lot of information and plot progression actually happens here, it’s just not all presented in the flashiest way. Which is fine, not all episodes can be the high point of the season, and this episode was solid for what it is.
That being said Bobbi and Hunter’s departure from the show is being sign posted in big neon lights and while I’m happy to leave Hunter behind I’m not happy with the idea of losing Bobbi for half a season before their spin-off is even brought to air.