TV Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3 Episode 19 “Failed Experiments”

Last Updated on August 2, 2021

EPISODE 19: "Failed Experiments"

SYNOPSIS: Coulson and his team race to combat Hive's control over the Inhumans, as their enemy's deadly plan for the human race is revealed.

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REVIEW: As the season begins to wind down, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is building towards a climax that will include the death of at least one character. You will note that I did not say major character as I have a feeling that the marketing folks over at ABC are going to tease us and then reveal that it is someone who doesn't really matter anyway. Still, tonight's episode, the last before the debut of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR, introduces an alien race not seen in the flesh since GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: The Kree. That's right, the blue-skinned creators of the Inhumans appear in tonight's episode and help drive the Hive storyline towards the inevitable climax. But, the core of this episode still remains Daisy and her split allegiance which, by episode's end, seems pretty well defined in a particular direction.

As the team begins the search for Daisy, Coulson is determined to treat the mission as an assault to kill Hive rather than the rescue mission that Mack and Lincoln are hoping for. Having seen what Hive can do, Coulson feels that Daisy may be too far gone and the only hope for humanity would be to stop the Inhuman dictator controlling his burgeoning army. Hive's plan involves recreating the experiment that created him and we see in flashback as an ancient human who was taken aboard a Kree vessel and injected with their blood, triggering his evolution. We also learn from Hive's story that when they learned of his power, he was removed from Earth but is now back to transform everyone in his image. But, the experiment fails as it turns out they actually need blood from a living Kree for the experiment to work.

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Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons put together a potential anti-toxin that could help free Daisy but they are not on the same page as to whether it will actually work. Lincoln wants to test it but they refuse. So, the always dickheaded Lincoln decides to take the initiative and injects himself anyway. The force on his body not only knocks him out but it also fries the servers in the room. Lincoln suffers and refuses the antidote as he wants the injection to run it's course to try and prove it can save Daisy. In the end, it fails and the entire subplot serves no purpose but to waste Fitz, Simmons, and Lincoln's time this hour while also driving home why Lincoln may be the worst character this series has. He never listens and he always ends up doing more harm than good. Something tells me he may be the one who dies this season and I could not be more happy about that prospect.

But, the real drama this hour comes from the fact that Hive uses that mysterious device he retrieved over the last couple of episodes and reveals it is a transmitter that summons Kree reapers that have been in statis above the Earth for thousands of years. For as much budget as this series has gotten, the Kree somehow look very cheap compared to their appearance in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. The pair of relentless hunters look like rejects from an early episode of Star Trek but their strength is clear as they battle not only the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents but also Hive and Daisy. The fight sequence is pretty well executed and in the end, Hive manages to retrieve the heart of one of the reapers while Daisy barely makes it out alive. She and Mack show down and she barely leaves him alive as May unloads her weapon on Hive which barely makes any impact.

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By hour's end, the S.H.I.E.L.D. mission has failed miserably. Daisy was not saved, Hive was not destroyed, and the antitoxin doesn't work. The team is left with no choice but to try and battle again. But, Daisy's waffling love for her friends is killed once and for all. Daisy reveals that she no longer harbors any feelings for S.H.I.E.L.D. and is fully invested in Hive and his Inhuman mission. She also tells Hive that Coulson injected her with Kree blood back in season one which makes her the key to completing the experiment. She raises her arms and offers to be drained to make it a reality.

There was good and bad in this week's episode. The heavy-handed CIVIL WAR references were a bit much but the fact that the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents didn't save the day and may have to face with a stinging loss and the death of one of their own injects some gravity that is often missing from this series. I am still shocked that the potential genocide on the horizon is still so low key that it would take a back seat to the Captain America versus Iron Man event hitting between this episode and the next. Overall, what is happening on this show should be big news for the movie universe but I am thinking it won't even register in this weekend's new release. Still, this show is building to something bigger than it has done in either previous season but can it live up to the hype it has set for itself?

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES: There are multiple allusions to Tony Stark and Steve Rogers and not so veiled references to "civil war".

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: "Emancipation" airs May 10th – With only two episodes left before S.H.I.E.L.D. loses one of their own, Daisy's prophecy ticks closer towards a major loss, as the aftermath of the events of CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR force S.H.I.E.L.D. to register the Inhumans.


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Alex Maidy has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. A Rotten Tomatoes-approved critic and a member of Chicago Indie Critics, Alex has been's primary TV critic and ran columns including Top Ten and The UnPopular Opinion. When not riling up fans with his hot takes, Alex is an avid reader and aspiring novelist.