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TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 18 "The Singularity"

04.27.2016
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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.

action, Adventure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark Gregg, comic book, Fantasy, joss whedon, Marvel Studios, Ming-Na WenSuperhero, Welcome To Level 7

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).

action, Adventure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark Gregg, comic book, Fantasy, joss whedon, Marvel Studios, Ming-Na WenSuperhero, Welcome To Level 7

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.

action, Adventure, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Clark Gregg, comic book, Fantasy, joss whedon, Marvel Studios, Ming-Na WenSuperhero, Welcome To Level 7

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.

Source: JoBlo.com

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12:17PM on 04/27/2016
I feel like the news reports were perhaps this season's link to the MCU movies. Maybe the news report is referencing what will happen in Civil War with Zemo/Crossbones against Captain America, et al? Who knows? But I agree, the disconnect between movies and TV is doing this show a huge disservice. There's great potential for this series, but it seems like everything only goes so far so as not to impede on what's happening with the movie side.

On the flipside though, the Inhuman activity
I feel like the news reports were perhaps this season's link to the MCU movies. Maybe the news report is referencing what will happen in Civil War with Zemo/Crossbones against Captain America, et al? Who knows? But I agree, the disconnect between movies and TV is doing this show a huge disservice. There's great potential for this series, but it seems like everything only goes so far so as not to impede on what's happening with the movie side.

On the flipside though, the Inhuman activity seems to be happening on a lowkey scale. I don't think the Inhumans are public knowledge, at least not yet, so there might not be a need for the movies to NEED to reference the Inhuman conflicts. Think Jessica Jones, she keeps her powers a secret and Kilgrave seems to operate in complete secrecy as barely no one knew of his existence - so there's really no need for the MCU movies to NEED to reference that show. On AoS, they always seem to prevent these villains from creating a global catastrophe, in which case the events would not necessarily be widely known for the Avengers characters to need to mention it.
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1:34PM on 04/27/2016
While that's true, think about what these shows mean from a statistical perspective. There's nearly a dozen people with powers or masks in New York alone, not including the Avengers. Extrapolate that out globally, and we should have enhanced humans coming out of our ears, before even factoring in the inhumans!
While that's true, think about what these shows mean from a statistical perspective. There's nearly a dozen people with powers or masks in New York alone, not including the Avengers. Extrapolate that out globally, and we should have enhanced humans coming out of our ears, before even factoring in the inhumans!
11:53AM on 04/27/2016

With Baron Zemo and Crossbones in Civil War...

It feels premature to say HYDRA has been eliminated.
It feels premature to say HYDRA has been eliminated.
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1:30PM on 04/27/2016
That's the beauty of Hydra. You can get rid of it "completely" and it still finds a way to come back. The ultimate perpetual nemesis.
That's the beauty of Hydra. You can get rid of it "completely" and it still finds a way to come back. The ultimate perpetual nemesis.
7:07AM on 04/27/2016
Fitz notes Simmons' freezing hands before the two consummate their relationship. I wonder if the cold hands mean anything.
I liked this episode. It was suspenseful without getting too dark. I liked also how Season 3's denouement resembles Season 2's denouement, but it is not an exact copy. Once again, SHIELD must save Daisy from a misguided Inhuman puppetmaster who represents family. Once again, the Inhumans threaten the human world on a large scale. Once again, an MCU human villain aids in
Fitz notes Simmons' freezing hands before the two consummate their relationship. I wonder if the cold hands mean anything.
I liked this episode. It was suspenseful without getting too dark. I liked also how Season 3's denouement resembles Season 2's denouement, but it is not an exact copy. Once again, SHIELD must save Daisy from a misguided Inhuman puppetmaster who represents family. Once again, the Inhumans threaten the human world on a large scale. Once again, an MCU human villain aids in the chaos while also being a possible threat to the Inhumans' nefarious plans. Last season was Mr. Hyde. This season, we have Holden Radcliffe.
BTW, I am sure that the Cavalry was just thrilled that she was the one to kill another if Lincoln got out-of-control.
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6:20AM on 04/27/2016
Holden Radcliffe seems to be based on Herbert Edgar Wyndham, the High Evolutionary. [link]

EDIT: There is also a character Holden Radcliffe in the comics. [link]Earth-616)

"Herbert Edgar Wyndham was born in Manchester, England. While a student at Oxford in the 1930s, he took an interest in the work of genetic biologist Nathaniel Essex, and began experimenting with genetic manipulation, building a machine (that he called the genetic accelerator) with which he attempted to "evolve" the
Holden Radcliffe seems to be based on Herbert Edgar Wyndham, the High Evolutionary. [link]

EDIT: There is also a character Holden Radcliffe in the comics. [link]Earth-616)

"Herbert Edgar Wyndham was born in Manchester, England. While a student at Oxford in the 1930s, he took an interest in the work of genetic biologist Nathaniel Essex, and began experimenting with genetic manipulation, building a machine (that he called the genetic accelerator) with which he attempted to "evolve" the rats in his mother's London basement. While attending a genetics conference in Geneva, Wyndham was approached by a mysterious man (who was in truth the outcast Inhuman geneticist Phaeder) who handed to him papers containing blueprints for cracking the genetic code. With this information to bolster his experiments, Wyndham successfully developed a serum he dubbed "Isotope A."

"Although expelled from the university for his single-mindedness, he finally succeeded in evolving his pet Dalmatian Dempsey into a humanoid life form with the intelligence of a chimpanzee. However, Dempsey was shot by poachers and Wyndham realized that such creatures as he would create would have no place in the human world. In partnership with scientist Jonathan Drew (father of Jessica Drew), Wyndham moved his experiments to the seclusion of Wundagore Mountain in the small Balkan nation of Transia. Discovery of uranium on the land (inherited by Drew's wife) provided vast funding, and they bought more land from local baron Gregor Russoff.

"Assembling a "citadel of science" designed by German scientist Horace Grayson (father of the future Marvel Boy) and built by Moloid slaves supplied by Phaeder, the pair continued their experiment until Drew's daughter fell ill from uranium poisoning, and was placed into suspended animation to save her life. Subsequently, Drew's wife was attacked and killed by a werewolf (Russoff himself, victim of a family curse), and Drew left Wundagore. Wyndham, on the other hand, developed a suit of protective silver armor for himself and continued his work. Now joined in his work by research assistant Miles Warren (who would later become Jackal), Wyndham was able to make more and more radical breakthroughs, including the genetic acceleration of some local animals into the half-human, half-animal beings that he dubbed his "New Men"
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2:33AM on 04/27/2016
OHHHHHHH it must have been "I bought a WHOLE TOWN". I swear to god it sounded like Hive said "Hotel" and I was hopelessly confused.
I agree with your concerns near the end, re: the movies not acknowledging the TV stuff. We'll see what Civil War does, but even if you ignore the nearly impossible to ignore events of AoS, the Netflix sector clearly implies there's a whole world of 'gifted' humans out there cropping up left and right. Surely the film-side won't turn a blind eye to all of
OHHHHHHH it must have been "I bought a WHOLE TOWN". I swear to god it sounded like Hive said "Hotel" and I was hopelessly confused.
I agree with your concerns near the end, re: the movies not acknowledging the TV stuff. We'll see what Civil War does, but even if you ignore the nearly impossible to ignore events of AoS, the Netflix sector clearly implies there's a whole world of 'gifted' humans out there cropping up left and right. Surely the film-side won't turn a blind eye to all of it...?

Also, I can't believe the episode's title turned out to be a frickin innuendo. Amazing.
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