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TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 4 "Devils You Know"

10.21.2015
100%

EPISODE 4: "Devils You Know"

SYNOPSIS: Having reluctantly agreed to share information with Rosalind and the ATCU, Coulson and the team go in search for the Inhuman who is killing off other Inhumans, and May feels that Hunter’s mission to take down Ward is getting too personal, .

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).

What is scarier than an Inhuman who is on a mission to kill all other Inhumans? Could it be the resurgence of HYDRA under the leadership of double agent Grant Ward? Or, even worse, could it be inter-agency cooperation between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU? Because, between those three options, you have the bulk of this week's episode. None of the three plots are all that interesting but the one that deserves to be given the most amount of screen time feels the least developed. What exactly the purpose of this season's story arc is remains to be understood but I am not convinced it is heading in the right direction. There are several interesting threads developing on this series but it continues to mine the wrong ones.

First off, the romantic quarrelling between agency leaders Rosalind and Phil Coulson feels like it is getting way too much attention. Yes, the ATCU seems like a shady organization that would be exactly what Coulson fights against, but the S.H.I.E.L.D. director keeps giving them access under the guise of it being a means to an end. Daisy asks Coulson directly whose end they are working toward and the director is unable to answer. The problem here is that both groups, like the split S.H.I.E.L.D. last season, are fighting for the same thing but both in different ways. I am not sure how long that can go one before it undermines the entire arc of the show.

The two groups are on the trail of an Inhuman named Lash who is killing others like him. We learn through the episode that he views himself as a necessary evil but his methods of dealing death are not going to be accepted by anyone. Still, Daisy manages to find something good in the monster as she theorizes that he can transform into a human which, I guess, makes all of his murderous actions acceptable? Daisy's blatant acceptance of Inhumans seems a bit misguided and overly idealistic and is bound to get someone killed. I want to know more about Lash and who he is but that seems to be everyone's focus this season and yet we know barely more now that we did four episodes ago.

We also have a lot of attention to Ward and his new HYDRA. I have said it before and I will continue to say that no one really cares about Ward on this show and his purpose as a character has overstayed his welcome by a full season. The new HYDRA "director" seems to be doing everything right to bring his organization back to prominence and yet somehow they easily let Hunter infiltrate them. May, who returned to S.H.I.E.L.D. to warn Coulson about Hunter being clouded by revenge on Ward for shooting Bobbi last season, somehow managed to return to his side in time for a showdown with the former S.H.I.E.L.D. teammate. May also had a contentious argument with ex-husband Andrew before rejoining Hunter, which should have clued everyone in to what was coming next. Ward revealed he had a live feed of Andrew and that if Hunter and May didn't stand down, he would have Werner Von Strucker kill him. May told Hunter to stand down, but Hunter shot at Ward anyway. The scene finished with the leg of someone who looked like Andrew just before the building he was in explodes in flames. Did Hunter just get May's ex killed?

What comes next for Melinda May will be interesting to say the least, but the most interesting plot this season has been what happened to Simmons when she was on the alien planet. She was rescued two episodes ago but has shown signs of PTSD since coming back. She confided to Bobbi last week that she felt she needed to get back to the alien planet but we still do not know why. Fitz discovers some of Simmons' research this week which sends her off angrily despite Bobbi showing both scientists why they are so perfect for each other. The episode ends with Simmons finally telling Fitz she will reveal what happened to her on the alien world. But, we have to wait until next week to find out.

Ultimately, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has found itself in a lull and we are only four episodes in. After two good episodes to start the season, we have had two weak entries in a row. With twenty hours ahead of us, next week's Simmons-centric episode looks like the most exciting of Season Three and that, unfortunately, is because it won't have anything to do with the plots revealed so far. The pattern for this series over the two previous seasons was that the second half has always been better than the first, so here is hoping they find a way to get there sooner this year.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: No overt references this week.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Episode 5 "4,722 Hours" airs October 27th - After her dramatic rescue from another planet, Simmons is still reeling from her ordeal and reveals how she had to fight for her life in a harsh new world.

Source: JoBlo.com

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5:33AM on 10/23/2015

Somewhat Correct but Over-Critical

Considering the length of a season and the time it takes to get things rolling that are of any real significance a lot of the criticisms of the various storylines they're trying to juggle at this moment seem premature. Don't know, people can certainly have their opinions but walking away from this review the impression is more that you don't dig being assigned to review it than anything about the show itself.

Please don't generalize the audience of the show as having a specific collective
Considering the length of a season and the time it takes to get things rolling that are of any real significance a lot of the criticisms of the various storylines they're trying to juggle at this moment seem premature. Don't know, people can certainly have their opinions but walking away from this review the impression is more that you don't dig being assigned to review it than anything about the show itself.

Please don't generalize the audience of the show as having a specific collective opinion about any given character or plot line. Whether or not Ward may be a favorite or even liked by you or many people his role is more to keep Hydra alive and rejuvenate it, I'd imagine the introduction of a Von Strucker to the party is to open the door to lines that could transition Ward in the future if they choose to.

Just with a season as long as they have to deal with they need to get a number of balls in the air early on to have things to grab onto (and let some slip away inevitably) as things begin to play out through the stretch. You're all over things that are in their infancy, what's the point? For the first 30 - 40 minutes The Avengers was a mess and worried the hell out of me, it wasn't until about half-way through that it got its $#!t together and turned out to be great. Being critical and pointing out weaknesses is one thing but the scope of your comments reads as overly dramatic, Chicken Little "the sky is falling". It was a "future plot foundation builder" episode, they could have done better but it was a bit on the disjointed side, and it isn't clear with all of the storylines that they have a good idea of where they want to go with them just yet. We'll wait and see I suppose.
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5:16PM on 10/21/2015

To many writers ??

Seems like they have 3 or 4 writers who write their own story arcs and then they try to shove them all together for an hour show.
Seems like they have 3 or 4 writers who write their own story arcs and then they try to shove them all together for an hour show.
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4:16PM on 10/21/2015

SPOILER

i say "spoiler" just in case some folks haven't seen the episode yet.

Okay....

....With that out of the way....

That shadowy transformation sequence: I'm gonna call it right now. Lash will turn out to be either Rosalind (and that will be the explanation for how she seems to know where the Inhumans are at all times) or Simmons suffering from ill effects of her time on the planet (and that's why she wants to go back so badly). Of the two, I think the first may be more likely,
i say "spoiler" just in case some folks haven't seen the episode yet.

Okay....

....With that out of the way....

That shadowy transformation sequence: I'm gonna call it right now. Lash will turn out to be either Rosalind (and that will be the explanation for how she seems to know where the Inhumans are at all times) or Simmons suffering from ill effects of her time on the planet (and that's why she wants to go back so badly). Of the two, I think the first may be more likely, because Lash was wandering around knocking off Inhumans before Simmons was recovered.
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1:55PM on 10/21/2015

They've screwed up Ward.....

If they were going to keep going to the well, they should have let him run around being a badass for the entire season, then be forced to treat him as a real nemesis. Instead they found him in 2 episodes, he was hanging out in a crappy warehouse, and had no plan in case SHIELD showed up. It made him look like amateur hour (all the way to escaping wounded in the back of a pickup truck).

He was actually kind of cool as a psychopathic villain, but they're undercutting his ability to appear
If they were going to keep going to the well, they should have let him run around being a badass for the entire season, then be forced to treat him as a real nemesis. Instead they found him in 2 episodes, he was hanging out in a crappy warehouse, and had no plan in case SHIELD showed up. It made him look like amateur hour (all the way to escaping wounded in the back of a pickup truck).

He was actually kind of cool as a psychopathic villain, but they're undercutting his ability to appear as a serious threat. The only thing cool happening on the show is Lash and Simmons' planet (plus Fitz turning into a badass all of the sudden).
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12:54PM on 10/21/2015
I have serious doubts about Andrew being dead. Notice how only one man was shown to make it out of the building. That tells me the others were dead
I have serious doubts about Andrew being dead. Notice how only one man was shown to make it out of the building. That tells me the others were dead
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4:20AM on 10/21/2015
Yeah, they have to kill off Ward this season. I suspect that Brett Dalton got a three season deal. I imagine all six of them did. But they need to kill off Ward this season because that seems to be all anyone wants to do.

Oh and Hunter did not get Andrew killed: Ward did not know May was coming. It was just a coincidence that May showed up just as Werner was going to kill Andrew.
Yeah, they have to kill off Ward this season. I suspect that Brett Dalton got a three season deal. I imagine all six of them did. But they need to kill off Ward this season because that seems to be all anyone wants to do.

Oh and Hunter did not get Andrew killed: Ward did not know May was coming. It was just a coincidence that May showed up just as Werner was going to kill Andrew.
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2:58AM on 10/21/2015
I won't give this episode a bad rating, I liked it sort of, but it wasn't strong either. It felt like an episode that didn't know what it wanted to be, something akin to a season 1 episode. I love the Inhumans story line and the Simmons off world story. I could care absolutely ZERO for ward and the Hydra story line, his character is a waste, and we as an audience have had 3 years of Hydra which is enough. I also hated the tale of two Shields story line last year, and I hate it just as much this
I won't give this episode a bad rating, I liked it sort of, but it wasn't strong either. It felt like an episode that didn't know what it wanted to be, something akin to a season 1 episode. I love the Inhumans story line and the Simmons off world story. I could care absolutely ZERO for ward and the Hydra story line, his character is a waste, and we as an audience have had 3 years of Hydra which is enough. I also hated the tale of two Shields story line last year, and I hate it just as much this year even if Coulson gets some ass out of it. This episode was definitely going in the wrong direction that's for sure. Too many story arcs, the show needs to get more focused.
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