TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 18 "The Singularity"
EPISODE 18: "The Singularity"
SYNOPSIS: 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.
REVIEW: An episode that features two main characters finally having sex and the downfall of HYDRA should have felt a bit more momentous, but tonight's new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. somehow buries those big events next to the progression of the Hive threat to Earth. It is becoming more and more apparent that the cancellation of the INHUMANS movie was due to the developing storyline on this series which, tonight, took a pretty significant turn towards an ending that could open up this series to continue exploring the concept of Marvel's alien/mutant powered beings for years to come. Whether that is the right choice for this series that was initially designed to follow the human side of the MCU has yet to be determined.
Reeling from Daisy's destructive exit last week, Coulson and the team are determined to track down their comrade and rescue her from Hive's control. Tests show that only Daisy was infected by the Inhuman alien but they are not going to take any risks with Lincoln. Coulson gives him an explosive vest as a contingency plan if he should be taken over by Hive. Lincoln reluctantly agrees as they head after Alisha Whitley, an Inhuman who can clone herself. When Lincoln and May find Alisha, they learn she has already been turned by Hive and is willing to kill her own clones in his service. With the main Alisha alongside Daisy and Hive, they head to James' trailer where they use the Terrigen crystals Daisy stole to turn him into Hellfire and retrieve another ancient artifact, one that Hive claims is the only thing that can stop him (boy, isn't that convenient).
While Daisy chats with Hive about his memories of Grant Ward and the feeling of connectivity the two of them share, Fitz and Simmons are also on a mission. Heading undercover to a club for transhumans (people modifying themselves to be more than human), the pair are tasked with finding Dr. Radcliffe, a scientist who may be able to help them find a cure for Hive's powers. With Mack as backup, the pair of star-crossed nerds debate whether they should consumate their burgeoning romance by using metaphors comparing their carnal desire to the singularity and event horizon. Yeah, it is pretty lame. Nevertheless, the two truly are showing their skills as both S.H.I.E.L.D. agents as they infiltrate the club and find Dr. Radcliffe. The only problem is Hive is there as well.
Culminating in a big showdown between humans and Inhumans, Daisy goes toe to toe with Fitz who pleads with her to fight against Hive's powers. With tears in her eyes, Daisy proclaims she doesn't want her S.H.I.E.L.D. family any longer. As she chokes Fitz, she tells him the next time she sees him, she will kill him. In the bar, Mack battles Hellfire who uses his new flame powers to keep everyone at bay while Hive talks one on one with Simmons. Channeling the memories of Will, Hive tells Simmons that he doesn't want her to become like him but she doesn't believe him. As Hive gets closer, Simmons unloads her gun into his body which gives her enough time to escape and doesn't seem to do any damage to him at all. Back at the rendezvous point, Mack realizes Fitz and Simmons have a thing going and gives his blessing. Alone, Fitz and Simmons find each other and decide to have sex. Yay, I guess.
The biggest moments in this episode come at the end. After Talbot pleaded with Coulson earlier to take action against HYDRA using Malick's intel, Coulson initially refused and didn't tell the General about Daisy's defection. With May alongside him, Coulson watches as Talbot commands ATCU forces in a globally coordinated effort which destroys HYDRA once and for all. Coulson says it best that this should have been a good day but was lessened by Hive the absence of Daisy. As a viewer, it feels very underwhelming to see the threat as powerful as HYDRA dispatched off screen. But, for this series it makes sense. Hive explained earlier in this episode that he doesn't want an army but rather to change every human into an Inhuman to enslave them all. At episode's end, he has bought an entire town where he will enact his master plan.
A few really good scenes in this episode saved it from falling into mediocrity, but it is hard to forgive the entire destruction of HYDRA being handled off screen. HYDRA was such a massive threat in two CAPTAIN AMERICA movies as well as AGE OF ULTRON that it seems anticlimactic for them to be gone with some stock military footage and a voice over. Based on that alone, it makes me wonder whether such a momentous event will be referenced in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. Not to mention how they can avoid mentioning this massive Inhuman influx in any Marvel feature films. The absence of the connection between big and small screen is a disservice to the narrative on this series and truly undermines just how grave these events are. Hopefully this season can stick the landing because what is about to happen should change the MCU forever.
MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There was nothing overt this week.
NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Failed Experiments" airs May 3rd - Coulson and his team race to combat Hive's control over theInhumans, as their enemy's deadly plan for the human race is revealed.