Man, THAT was a jam-packed episode of Shield. The show has kept its actors separated in many plotlines this season, but it was excellent to see them kept (mostly) together this week, giving real weight to the stakes at hand. And already Ward (aka Hive) is proving himself to be the most fascinating and thrilling villain Shield has ever had. Let’s break it down.
Daisy took center stage this week and, for the most part, pulled it off nicely. Chloe Bennett has developed Daisy into a fully dynamic and realized character with nuance and depth. That being said, sometimes Daisy is saddled with too many hot-headed storylines, and this felt a bit like that after a bit. Daisy sometimes just isn’t really a person as much as a 2-D comic book protagonist, and the TV show version of Daisy could use a bit more humanity.
However, this week gave us a lot of comic book Daisy, and it was still pretty fun to watch, particularly in the last 10 minutes as the action really took over. The episode revolved around a man named Charles Hinton, who can show others a future death when he touches them. The first sequence this week took place outside of a grocery store, where Shield goes to find this man, only to lose him to Hydra, but not before he shows Daisy a glimpse of the future.
This, of course, led to a discussion of the future and “Spacetime”, hence the episode’s name. I’m hesitant to compare Shield and The Flash, but The Flash has simply been playing with time so much recently that it’s difficult not to. Frankly, this probably wasn’t a neccessary aspect of the episode. Fitz’s explanation was pretty difficult, particularly for a primetime casual audience, and wasn’t as accessible as the explanations on The Flash. Plus, while it personally left me thinking a bit about whether they changed the future or not at the end of the episode, it also didn’t really matter in the scheme of things. At least, not in the way things do when time is played with on The Flash.
One fun result of Daisy seeing the future, however, is her training May to execute the fight scene she saw in her visions. The entire team comes together to help May perform it perfectly, and it created some nice action on screen while also bringing the cast together, even Fitz and Simmons. It takes some time for May to nail it, but getting to watch real training in action and the ensuing growth was effective.
Unfortunately, their plans of sending May in go awry when Andrew shows up and tells them all that Lash is about to take over for the last time, and that Andrew came to say goodbye. Thus, May stays behind with Andrew and Daisy heads in. The conversation between May and Andrew was nice and affirmative of their relationship, and Blair Underwood sells his performance here. One piece of dialogue that seemed to stick out was that Andrew wanted Lash in the hands of Shield, as he felt Lash was still doing things “for a reason”.
Throughout all of this, we get plenty of Ward and Malick. The big takeaway? Ward as Hive is a terrifying badass and Malick is losing his grip over him, which is completely unsurprising. Hive takes Malick to meet with the board of an exoskeleton company to purchase the company from them. Hive forces the purchase by making Charles touch the president and show him his own death. They sign over the company, and Hive kills them anyway. Brutally. Then he tells Malick to put on the exoskeleton and crush a man’s head, telling him that THAT is true power.
Brett Dalton is delivering at peak performance as Hive. His character is checking off all of the evil villain boxes: mastermind, powerful, dark and withdrawn. It’s a pure joy to watch his character every time he enters the screen. The highlight of the entire episode (tied with the ending) was when Coulson, Lincoln, Fitz, and Simmons see Ward on the security camera feed for the first time. Their silence and their faces were hilarious, accurate, and terrifying, validating the fear Hive invokes within the show.
Let’s get to that ending: Daisy gets the award for best action sequence this week, elevated by the training sequences we saw earlier with May. Unfortunately, Malick blindsides her on the roof, beating her nearly to death with his exoskeleton. This was a visual feast as the billboard above them (which read “Moving You Forward”) burned into ash. Thankfully, Charles comes to the rescue, touching Malick and giving Daisy a chance to hit Malick with a well-placed Quake blast. As Charles dies, Daisy and he talk about his daughter, Robin, and Daisy promises to protect her. Sweet.
In the end, we see Malick isn’t dead but, rather, afraid of what he may have wrought on the Earth. If this is the direction things are going with Hive on the scene, Shield has a shot at really taking things to the next level of excellence as they “move us forward” towards a climactic finale and a civil war. Make sure to check back next week for another review of Marvel’s Agents of Shield!
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Marvel’s Agents of Shield airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC