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TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Season 3 Episode 7 "Chaos Theory"

11.11.2015
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EPISODE 7: "Chaos Theory"

SYNOPSIS: As Daisy and the team fight to protect Inhumans, S.H.I.E.L.D. discovers the shocking truth about one of their foes; Fitz helps Simmons recover information that could lead them back through the portal.

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

After last week's suprising twist, this hour of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wraps up the Andrew Garner/Lash storyline with an effective and dramatic hour of programming. With the drama building towards the mid-season finale, questions continue to be raised as to what the true motivations of the ATCU are and just why the hell this show is still giving so much screen time to Grant Ward and his fledgling HYDRA reboot. But, first, we need to learn the origin of Lash and just how Andrew Garner came to have such destructive powers.

Six months prior to the current events, Andrew and Melinda May took a much needed vacation in Hawaii which allowed them to reconnect with each other and help calm themselves after the events of the last season. But, upon his return and studying of the Inhuman artifacts left over from Afterlife, Andrew is accidentally exposed to Terrigen Mist hidden in a ledger of Inhuman names and transforms into Lash. Feeling a need to be near Inhumans, Andrew used his power to determine which powered people should live and who should die. Despite professing he would never hurt Daisy, Andrew is drawn to Joey Guttierez, the Inhuman rescues in the season premiere, but May soon confronts him after learning the truth from Werner Von Strucker.

Andrew tranquilizes May and takes her to an abandoned building as he tries to explain that his powers serve a purpose, but Lincoln has put two and two together and informed S.H.I.E.L.D. who Lash's alter ego may be. Lincoln also reveals that the transformation Andrew has been going through is temporary as he adjusts to his new powers and will eventually cease to be his human self. Teaming with Rosalind and some ATCU soldiers, Coulson and the team descend on Andrew's location and try to talk him down from what he is doing. Lincoln attacks out of revenge for his fallen Inhuman friends. The team scuffles and Daisy discovers a new power as she saves Rosalind as she is thrown from the second floor by Lash. As they struggle to try and get Lash to the isolation cell on the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet, May steps in and pleads with her ex-husband whose emotions transform him back to human. May quickly shoots him, knocking him back into the cell where he turns back into Lash. Coulson asks how she knew that wouldn't kill him and she said she didn't.

May makes the decision to have Andrew put into stasis at the ATCU facility, with Daisy's blessing, until a cure could be found. Lincoln also decides to stay with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the brewing Secret Warriors team and things seem to be coming back to normal. But, with the Lash subplot wrapped up, what else is going on? Back at HQ, Fitz manages to fix Simmons' cell phone from her time on the alien planet as they try to find a way back to rescue Will. Fitz does discover that the supposed NASA logo on Will's suit matches a faded symbol from the castle where they pulled Simmons back, indicating there may be a secret organization at work since the 18th century to try and travel through the portal and obelisk to the other planet. 

With all of these elements going on, you would wonder how they could possibly throw any more plot into this hour, but the final couple of minutes of the show manages to throw a big curveball at the audience. After their stressful collaboration, Coulson and Rosalind are shown having just spent the night together. Clearly there has been a romantic relationship brewing despite not truly understanding the motives of the ATCU, but that hint came from the phone call Rosalind took moments before: from Grant Ward's HYDRA contact, Gideon Malick. From the sounds of it, the aborted meeting with the President that Rosalind and Coulson were heading to before Lash returned was actually going to end in the capture of Coulson. Is Rosalind HYDRA or is something else going on? Ward has said his endgame is to kill Coulson to finally put an end to S.H.I.E.L.D., but is that the master plan for this season?

I enjoyed this episode because it managed to tell a streamlined story with some great acting from Blair Underwood and a nice showcase for Ming-Na. Melinda May has remained one of the more intriguing characters on this show and forcing her to find love again only to have it torn from her was pretty rough. I am still not convinced that the Ward/HYDRA storyline is worth the time they have devoted to it this season, but those closing minutes definitely perked my attention and made me want to find out what comes next. Coulson is going to feel like an ass when he learns who Rosalind works for, but I hope he can then get back to being the badass he was for the first two seasons of the show.

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: No overt references this week aside from the return of Powers Boothe.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: Episode 8 "Many Heads, One Tale" airs November 17th - The S.H.I.E.L.D. team discovers dangerous truths about the ATCU, and Grant Ward’s (Brett Dalton) plans to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D. take a surprising twist.

Source: JoBlo.com

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9:36AM on 11/11/2015
I swear to god, Ward had better die this season. I get how the recreation of HYDRA is now fitting into this season. I guess it will work out in terms of the overall narrative for this season. But this show does not need to be Marvel's version of GI Joe where they face off against a pseudo-COBRA every year. Kill off Ward, put an end to this ridiculous HYDRA subplot on the show. Bring HYDRA back in future Captain America movies and let AOS develop some better plots for future seasons instead
I swear to god, Ward had better die this season. I get how the recreation of HYDRA is now fitting into this season. I guess it will work out in terms of the overall narrative for this season. But this show does not need to be Marvel's version of GI Joe where they face off against a pseudo-COBRA every year. Kill off Ward, put an end to this ridiculous HYDRA subplot on the show. Bring HYDRA back in future Captain America movies and let AOS develop some better plots for future seasons instead of the ongoing cat-and-mouse game between SHIELD and HYDRA. It's gotten really stale, really fast.
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6:54PM on 11/11/2015
So with you on getting rid of Ward and Hydra. And my hatred for Ward and Hydra aren't the OMG I HATE this bad guy because he is so great at being bad. Its OMG I'M BORED TO TEARS with this guy we've seen 10 times over over already. Just let it die already.
So with you on getting rid of Ward and Hydra. And my hatred for Ward and Hydra aren't the OMG I HATE this bad guy because he is so great at being bad. Its OMG I'M BORED TO TEARS with this guy we've seen 10 times over over already. Just let it die already.
5:01AM on 11/11/2015
This was really good.
This was really good.
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4:40AM on 11/11/2015
Coulson might be in the dark. Therefore, he might feel like an ass after feeling Rosalind's ass. Or, I thought that Coulson might be a "black widow" after viewing the preview for next week. Whedon and Marvel shows like to flip characters' gender roles. Therefore, Phil might have seduced Rosalind only to get information and betray her. Occasionally, James Bond pumps a hardcase femme fatale for intelligence. Phil Coulson is at least as cool as James Bond, right?
Coulson might be in the dark. Therefore, he might feel like an ass after feeling Rosalind's ass. Or, I thought that Coulson might be a "black widow" after viewing the preview for next week. Whedon and Marvel shows like to flip characters' gender roles. Therefore, Phil might have seduced Rosalind only to get information and betray her. Occasionally, James Bond pumps a hardcase femme fatale for intelligence. Phil Coulson is at least as cool as James Bond, right?
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3:43AM on 11/11/2015
Easily the best episode of the so far disjointed season. I'd give it a 9. This season as a whole hasn't been quite as good as last season in part because it doesn't know what it wants to be because its trying to tell too many stories at once. Tonight they finally hit a proper balance between them and the forks in the road finally converged with Lash, Lincoln coming back, ATCU/SHIELD working together (for now), and even the FitzSimmons interplanetary quest. If they can keep more focused this
Easily the best episode of the so far disjointed season. I'd give it a 9. This season as a whole hasn't been quite as good as last season in part because it doesn't know what it wants to be because its trying to tell too many stories at once. Tonight they finally hit a proper balance between them and the forks in the road finally converged with Lash, Lincoln coming back, ATCU/SHIELD working together (for now), and even the FitzSimmons interplanetary quest. If they can keep more focused this season is going to be something special. It could potentially become a great sci fi show this season if they really explore the other planet(s).

Lash effects have been movie quality without a doubt. A stellar combination of practical and digital blended perfectly. I don't think his angle is wrapped up though. Blair is still listed in next week and every episode till the finale. He is also a pretty big badass Inhuman character. He led a faction opposed to the King Black Bolt himself. So I tend to doubt this show will waste both Underwood's talents, and the most powerful Inhuman they have on the show by ending his angle so easily and neatly. My guess is the ATCU or Ward unleash him again. He was sorta faithful to the comics in that he did seek out other Inhumans and played judge jury and executioner to those he deemed unworthy of their newfound gift. Here they almost played it like he needed to feed off the unworthy.

I really hope they explore the Fitz trying to open the portal back up again. I actually loved that other planet episode and hope they revisit it. I'd be real interested in that figure really was Lady Death. That shadowy figure sure looked like it could be her.

Ward is still my least favorite thing on this show. Its kind of pointless and Hydra has been rehashed too many times. Thankfully he was relegated to stinger appearance only. I'm not looking forward to future appearances by him either. Sadly his stinger also coincided with Coulson finally getting some only to be getting said nookie with someone who is most likely conspiring to have him killed. Man lost a hand now he's gotta lose his head just to get some ass? Damn Whedon you're cold.

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2:11AM on 11/11/2015

Grant Ward....

My theory is that Grant Ward (the most hated man in the SHIELD universe... by just about everybody.... isnt playing Coulson at all.... Ward and Coulson might be in cahoots to nab Rosalind and the new HYDRA big bad that everybody is afraid of... you know.. that guys that showed up on last week's episode.
Ward might secretly be working for Coulson and still be playing on Team SHIELD to get at the heavy hitters of Hydra... after all, how do you reveal the identities of a secret organization
My theory is that Grant Ward (the most hated man in the SHIELD universe... by just about everybody.... isnt playing Coulson at all.... Ward and Coulson might be in cahoots to nab Rosalind and the new HYDRA big bad that everybody is afraid of... you know.. that guys that showed up on last week's episode.
Ward might secretly be working for Coulson and still be playing on Team SHIELD to get at the heavy hitters of Hydra... after all, how do you reveal the identities of a secret organization without going...undercover yourself?
Ward will have to look and act convincing to lure out the biggest of the baddest HYDRA agents they have to offer...
meanwhile, I'm glad that Lash is out of the picture but that really sucks for Andrew.
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3:41AM on 11/11/2015
I like your theory. But as much as I want to believe that your theory is true, at least a couple of things that don't line up for me. First would be the death of Agent 33 at the hands of Grant Ward. Whether he meant to kill 33 or Melinda, it doesn't seem like it's done in order to appear to look like he's being consistent and not blow his cover. Second would be him torturing Mockingbird. Not so much the torturing, actually, but rigging that Bobby booby trap. Yes, his methods are
I like your theory. But as much as I want to believe that your theory is true, at least a couple of things that don't line up for me. First would be the death of Agent 33 at the hands of Grant Ward. Whether he meant to kill 33 or Melinda, it doesn't seem like it's done in order to appear to look like he's being consistent and not blow his cover. Second would be him torturing Mockingbird. Not so much the torturing, actually, but rigging that Bobby booby trap. Yes, his methods are questionable and I did see a glimpse of redemption, but it's probably a lost cause at this point. He could still be a double agent, no doubt about it, and playing both sides.
11:19PM on 11/11/2015
At this point, Ward has done too many evil things to now say he was a double agent the whole time. He outright murdered Victoria Hand, and his own brother. Not to mention torturing Bobbi. Plus Coulson wants him dead just as much as anyone, he even told Hunter to take the shot if he ever had the opportunity.
At this point, Ward has done too many evil things to now say he was a double agent the whole time. He outright murdered Victoria Hand, and his own brother. Not to mention torturing Bobbi. Plus Coulson wants him dead just as much as anyone, he even told Hunter to take the shot if he ever had the opportunity.
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