Snark Tank; Recap
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 7: “Chaos Theory” Recap
This week on SHIELD, rather surprisingly, we spend a lot of time dealing with the reveal of last episode. I don’t even mean that sarcastically, by the way, it’s been genuinely surprising how quickly this season is dealing with it’s cliff hangers and mysteries. While it’s refreshing I also have to wonder what exactly is going to take up the rest of the season.
Most of the plots this episode all lead back to Lash, so we’ll tackle the leftovers at the end and stay focused, shall we?
A flashback to Maui six months ago lets us in on where May’s mind was at the time and how she was considering not going back to SHIELD in order to give her and Andrew a second chance. It’s nice to see May happy and moving forward after we found out more about her past last season, it seems she really could have gotten back the life she lost to her grief some years ago, if not for Andrew (flash forward to him at home, in his office) being exposed to a Terrigen crystal, triggered when he opened a book that once belonged to Jiaying.
Cut from Andrew in his Inhuman cocoon to Daisy arguing the Inhuman’s aren’t monsters after seeing Rosalind’s suspended animation chambers last episode. Coulson actually seems to have the neutral ground I take on this problem, but Daisy continues to see this as nothing but terrible. Andrew is there, to point out Daisy’s own experiences make her slightly biased, and Coulson drops the bomb that he’s meeting with the president about the recent Inhuman problem. This and a few other small things this season seem like the start of set up for Captain America: Civil War.
Coulson wants Daisy and Rosalind to talk before the meeting, and the group agree Joey would be a good candidate to prove not all Inhuman’s need to be put on ice until a cure is found.
May, meanwhile, is still dealing with her discovery about Andrew. She finds her way to the training facility where Andrew is re-evaluating Joey and his quickly progressing powers. It’s nice to see the show’s only gay character back after only seeing him for one episode, and it’s even better to see May enter in time to stop him being killed for the sake of drama.
Andrew tries to keep up the denial as long as he can but the accusations build until he shoots May with an icer gun. I’m not sure how Andrew gets her out of a SHIELD facility with no questions asked but the next time May wakes up she’s chained up in Andrew’s office. He claims everything that’s happening is instinct he can’t control, we get a terrible line to explain his name (“I LASHed out”), and Andrew asks for her help.
Meanwhile, on the plane, Daisy gives Rosalind a tour to try prove that they can help Inhumans and Rosalind has no problem admitting she’s scared of people with powers. It’s safe to say the two still aren’t seeing eye-to-eye, but Rosalind still seemed to admire Daisy.
The fun is interrupted by Lincoln and Mack, and Lincoln catches the rest of the team up on the big Lash reveal. He also drops a second bombshell, Inhumans can’t change form and the only reason Andrew can is because his transformation into Lash, permanently, isn’t complete.
As Coulson stands up the president to come to May’s aid, May is listening to Andrew compare what he is doing to May having to kill a child. It’s clear Lash is warping his view of things, he’s still himself enough to claim he would never hurt Daisy, but he sees what he’s doing as for the greater good.
Coulson gets a repeat of this speech when he arrives, and the rest of the team are listening in on the conversation as they surround the building. Since Lincoln can’t keep his temper in check we’re treated to a full on Lash-attack, but Sparky doesn’t last very long before being knocked out and almost killed.
This is all a really great fight scene for the show. We get to see some powers at play as well as how powerful Coulson’s robotic hand is. Even Mack and Rosalind aren’t scared of firing a few rounds into Lash, resulting in Rosalind being strangled and almost dropped a few floors of the building only to be saved by Daisy’s powers. Maybe now Rosalind will start to rethink her stance a little?
Lincoln, back on his feet, leads Lash out into the open only to have May step between them. She manages to get Andrew back to his human form by saying she won’t give up on him… only to fire on him four times and shove him into one of SHIELD’s containment chambers where he’s gassed. When Coulson asks how she knew it wouldn’t kill him we learn that she didn’t.
We end the ordeal with Rosalind offering to put Andrew into stasis, something that will slow his transformation, and Daisy apparently softening to the idea after everything she’s just seen happen.
May remembers more of the trip to Maui while on the plane, and it’s really heartbreaking to see the happiness she was finally accepting she deserved be crushed once again.
Overall the staging of the fight and the development for Daisy and Rosalind was great, but it’s disappointing to see one of the shows prominent PoC characters out of commission for the timing being. As progressive as this show can be compared to the rest of the MCU it still has a problem with killing off women and people of colour while White Guy With Stubble Grant Ward is still alive.
Odds and Ends
- One of the things the show does continue to drag out is Fitz’s manpain over Jemma.
- Jemma tells Andrew that she’s starting to think she shouldn’t have told Fitz everything that happened on her alien planet, and that says enough to me about why this relationship is all about making Fitz happy.
- A recording of Jemma talking about what they could have been and how they should move into a cottage together in Scotland continues to be completely out of character to me after everything we saw last season, but I’m bored of bringing this up every episode.
- Fitz does at least find a (ridculous) clue that may help them get Will back, but it’s Fitz so it’s going to be correct.
- A hug and run? That’s the May and Daisy reunion I get!?
- Bobbi finally called out Hunter for treating her like glass and using her as an excuse to be reckless!
- She also doesn’t want to turn into a monster like Ward, and I apologize for underestimating her control last episode.
- When did Rosalind and Coulson go from the flirting to the kissing? Explain!
- The show couldn’t let me be happy and leave Hydra Dad out of the episode.
- I don’t buy that Rosalind knows she’s working with Hydra for a second, sorry SHIELD.
This isn’t SHIELD’s best episode and mostly it’s left me wondering exactly what’s next, but the episode still does a good job of juggling many characters with a fair amount of screen time, and we get some great performances here from a lot of the cast.
Badass of the Week: Melinda May, she makes some hard choices here and she deserves some recognition.
Scumbag of the Week: Lincoln Campbell, even in an episode about one of the team turning into a giant killing machine he manages to come out looking like the whiny baby.
Slow clapping at: “I’ve really gotta commit to that Shotgun/Axe idea” is it an axe tied to a shotgun or a shotgun that fires axes? Either way, yes.