TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 17 "The Team"
EPISODE 18: "The Team"
SYNOPSIS: Agent Daisy Johnson must call upon the Secret Warriors for an inaugural mission that will leave no member unscathed, andS.H.I.E.L.D. learns more about Hive's powers, forcing them to question everyone they trust.
REVIEW: At San Diego Comic Con last year, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. teased the debut of the Secret Warriors this season. After eighteen episodes of waiting, the team is finally assembled, only to be disassembled by the end of the hour. While unlikely a permanent disbanding, this was an unconventional debut for the comic book squad of Inhumans in a plot reminiscent of Agatha Christie but with a twist that I did not see coming. It also has proven that the season long development of Hive as a villain has transformed the Inhuman alien into one hell of a bad guy. It also presents a character redirection reminiscent of the Grant Ward reveal from season one.
Picking up from the events from last week, Skye assembles the Secret Warriors to help rescue the rest of her team from the clutches of HYDRA and Hive. Joey Gutierrez has to abandon his date while Yo-yo is about to board a bus while practicing her English (later revealed to be for communicating with Mac). The quartet embark on their first mission which results in rescuing the team and also capturing Gideon Malick. Giyera gives Hive the news but he is okay with having one of their own inside of S.H.I.E.L.D. Who could it be? Back at the base, Mac shows Yo-yo around while Joey deals with having killed Lucio during their escape. Skye and Lincoln confront one another regarding Lincoln's use of the Terrigen crystal to retrieve the sphere. Malick even reveals to Coulson that Hive/Alveus is able to take over Inhumans which prompts Coulson to lock down the base. As the lock down begins, Malick is killed and a grenade detonates to cover up his wounds, sending Coulson and the team to find the Inhumans.
This could have easily devolved this episode into another racism metaphor of humans distrusting Inhumans, but instead it forces the four Secret Warriors to question each other. They question Yo-yo's mysterious wound she doesn't recall getting and Joey's reluctance to stay in quarantine. Daisy even distrusts Lincoln's willingness to stay in quarantine and trust Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D.. The difficulty in executing an episode like this is making the tension feel real, but it works well here. Anchored by the characteristics we have come to know about these four characters, their distrust plays out through terse exchanges that delve into their isolation from humanity while also severing their connection to each other and to S.H.I.E.L.D. as a whole. As they plot their escape, Daisy leads them directly into an isolation unit where Coulson is waiting to explain what Hive did to one of them during the rescue mission.
Investigating Lucio's corpse, Fitz and Simmons discover Hive's parasitic infection inside his brain and try to figure out a way to help test them to see who is the traitor. In the quarantine, Coulson confronts Lincoln and reveals they know he is the one who was turned and claim it happened last episode when they were in Transia and first saw that Ward/Hive was there. The Warriors use their powers on each other which seals the damage being done. Yo-yo leaves in a huff while Joey gets his test done quickly. Coulson chats with Daisy and apologizes but says he must disband the Secret Warriors. Fitz and Simmons cuddle and lament that everyone their team encounters seems to be evil, but they then embrace and kiss to enjoy their time while they can. May and Mac discuss how hard it will be to deal with Hive. It is then that Daisy sneaks out of her unit to talk to Lincoln.
By this point, the twist seemed pretty obvious, but a flashback shows that Hive infected Daisy during the rescue attempt and she was the one who killed Malick and planted the sphere on Lincoln. Daisy tells Lincoln to come with her, but he rejects her and what Hive has done to her. Daisy leaves, taking the Alveus sphere and all of the Terrigen crystals. As she leaves the base, she uses her powers to destroy the planes and airstrips while also locking the rest of the team within the underground facility. Coulson is seen banging on the door and silently screaming Daisy's name as the ceiling comes crumbling down on top of them. Daisy leaves to join forces with Hive.
Without the major reveal at the end, this could have been a very weak episode. With all of the build-up for the Secret Warriors, they barely made any impact as a unit. Still, the purpose of this episode was to drive home the power of Hive while also turning Daisy against the team. While Ward knowingly turned on Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. back in season one, this is against Daisy's control which makes it all the more bittersweet. Can Daisy be turned back or will the team have to continue without their central character. Coulson has always been the star of the show, but last year was all about Skye/Daisy discovering her powers. This season has struck a balance between the two. It could be one hell of a reset for the show to keep Hive as a villain past this season with Daisy by his side. With less than five episodes to go, there is a lot of room to twist this narrative even further.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There was a subtle reference to Thor when Coulson mentioned he had met a god before.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: "The Singularity" airs April 26th - The S.H.I.E.L.D. team is left reeling and decimated as Hivecontinues to sway Inhumans to his side. But there is a sliver of hope as Agents Fitz and Simmons follow a lead that may be able to stop the maniacal Inhuman once and for all.