TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 15 "Spacetime"
EPISODE 15: "Spacetime"
SYNOPSIS: When Daisy gets a horrifying glimpse of the future, S.H.I.E.L.D.races to prove that fate is not fixed.
REVIEW: We have finally gotten ourselves a good episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after several weeks of mediocre stories! Tonight's episode gives all of our main characters some quality drama and development while also introducing the idea of spacetime into the mix. Bridging the world of real science with fantasy scifi gives this hour a different gravity as Coulson and his time finally come face to face with the seemingly resurrected Grant Ward. All together, this is an exciting story that propels everyone towards the rapidly approaching third season finale. With the show already renewed for a fourth run, the question will be which of our main cast will survive to see the next year.
As Lincoln explains to Coulson during this episode, Inhumans were created by design and seem to fill the gaps in humanity by providing powers that serve an absent need. This makes for a very handy plot device as the writers of this series can concoct whatever powers they want to move the narrative of the story forward. In this case, that power belongs to Charles Hinton, a man who is able to show those who touch him their future. Bringing Daisy and the team into the mix, Hinton is quickly captured by HYDRA but not before giving Daisy a vision of the future in which she sees Lincoln covered in blood and Coulson seemingly shooting her. It is a worrisome vision and one that prompts a mission to try and change the future. While Fitz and Simmons differ on their scientific analysis of whether spacetime can be altered, Coulson decides to keep Daisy at headquarters while May heads out to find HYDRA.
Training for their mission, Daisy tries to prepare May to take down HYDRA without relying on powers. Things don't go well, but May is persistent and they reach a point where it is time to launch. Preparing to depart, guess who makes a return appearance? Andrew aka Lash! Feeling confident that his next transformation will be his last, Andrew came back to say goodbye to May. Coulson encourages May to stay behind while Daisy takes her place on the mission as she tries to save Hinton. Bits and pieces of her vision are coming true but she seems to be the only person who can try and change her vision. May and Andrew have a nice heart to heart about their relationship, but before long, May watches as Andrew heads into a containment unit and leaves forever to be replaced by Lash. It is a bittersweet farewell, but you never know with Marvel as they could find a way to reverse the effects of the Terregenesis. Remember, Fitz and Simmons were working on a "cure".
What also makes this episode monumental is the progression of Hive. Reinvigorated in Ward's body, Hive and Gideon Malick have a conversation about what Malick wants. The answer is power, so Hive takes him to Transia Technologies. Malick buys the company and Hive wipes out the board of directors using his sand-like powers. Transia was responsible for technology within Coulson's prosthetic hand and also has an exoskeleton weapon which Hive provides to Malick, allowing him the strength to kill indiscriminately and feel the power in his own hands. As Coulson and team look on via security footage, they spot Grant Ward and descend on the building to back up Daisy. As Lincoln and Coulson track Hive, Daisy heads to the roof where she is attacked by Malick. On the brink of death, Hinton touches Malick and provides him a look at his own future. When he regains himself, Malick crushes Hinton and Daisy is able to use her powers to disable his suit. Laying on the roof, Daisy thanks Hinton for saving her. Daisy promises to look after Hinton's daughter, but before he dies he gives her a final vision that shows us the plummetting spacecraft from the mid-season premiere.
At the episode's close, we have our heroes scattered across the Transia building with May back at HQ with Lash. There was no appearance from Mac this week, but it feels like the return of Grant Ward's spectre will refocus the team to stop HYDRA's master plan. What that plan is involves some sort of technology which Hive directs Giyera to obtain for him. Giyera receives a phone call from Malick who demands his security chief back, but Giyera declines and stays with Hive. When Hive asks how Malick sounded, Giyera said he was afraid. Malick chugs some whisky as his vision clearly impacted him with where his actions will lead HYDRA and humanity over the coming episodes.
This was a pretty intense episode despite not living up to the hype in the trailers since last week. I was anticipating Daisy's visions to take on more of a "What If" format and give us a parallel or dystopian view of the future, but maybe that was just my perspective being skewed since seeing the "Knightmare" sequence in BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE. Even so, this episode introduced the MCU concept of time travel but in such a way that doesn't deliver a lot of continuity concerns that comic books have been plagued with whenever the ability to move back and forth can cause. Still, despite his MATRIX-esque attire, this episode drives home just how powerful Hive is and puts him at the top of the ranks of the MCU villains we have seen, big screen or small. Time will tell if he is able to deliver on that status, but we all know that Marvel has a pretty big villain problem. I cannot believe I am saying this, but maybe Grant Ward will be the highlight of this series after all.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: The company Gideon Malick purchases, Transia, shares the same name with a fictional European company within Marvel Comics.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Paradise Lost" airs April 12th - S.H.I.E.L.D. hunts for information on their dangerous new enemy, and a shameful secret from Malick's past is exposed, threatening to destroy his HYDRA legacy.