Agents of SHIELD: 317 “The Team” Review
Reviewed by Ollie Gregory.
In the space of literally three minutes, The Team had managed to already have me pumped and ready for what was about to happen. Reminded of last week’s plane crash, the episode begins with Daisy and Lincoln gathering Joey and Yo-Yo and forming the Secret Warriors. Said team are then tasked with finding and rescuing the rest of the team from the evil clutch of HYDRA.
I thoroughly enjoyed the gathering of the team, with both Joey and Yo-Yo ditching their friends as they received a distress call, which felt incredibly heroic. The opening felt more like a superhero TV show than a spy show, and that is exactly how the Secret Warriors should feel. The actual action sequence at the beginning of the episode was very good too. I liked the fact Lincoln used his electrical powers to hurl people, with it looking significantly cooler than him just blasting people. Daisy’s powers were pretty cool as well, as was the teamwork between Joey and Yo-Yo. There was a quickness to the action, and it was powered individuals taking on powered individuals. Safe to say, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D got the Secret Warrior’s first assignment very right.
After all the cool superhero hijinks were over, and the rest of the team was saved, they all headed back to the ship. As often is the case when an episode ends on a huge cliffhanger, it did feel a little anticlimactic. After a week of us fearing for the team, the whole situation was sorted out in less than ten minutes. The action was cool while it lasted, but as soon as it ended it did leave you with a sort of emptiness.
There was one game changer though, and that was that the team had successfully captured Gideon Malick, the head of HYDRA.
This episode, Powers Boothe absolutely owned the role. During all the interrogation scenes, he managed to make it clear how afraid he was, and how affected he was by his daughter’s death, but he didn’t let his fear make him look weak. Even though he was both captured and frightened, he came across as a man of power. After the show delved into his character last week, and then made me love him this week, I was a little bit disappointed when we learnt that we weren’t going to be seeing much more of him – because, y’know, someone blew him up.
After a bit of what one could only describe as treading water, with the Secret Warriors celebrating their victory and being shown round the base, Malick said something rather interesting to Coulson with regard to Hive’s abilities.
Malick mentioned that Hive has able to effectively control anyone who is an Inhuman. Although not previously specifically stated, this makes a lot of sense, with Mr Giyera and Medusa Eyes (Curse that Hugo Strange doppleganger!) being incredibly quick to ditch someone they’ve been working under for a while, and instantly become slaves to some weird alien monster skin absorber. As soon as Coulson learns of this, he instantly realises that Hive has likely taken control of one of the Inhumans on his ship. Suddenly Hive’s sentence about having someone onboard the S.H.I.E.L.D ship (I can’t remember the exact quote) becomes a lot more foreboding.
And thus the episode enters a new, very tense phase, where Coulson has to figure out a way to make sure the affected Inhuman, or Inhumans, can’t cause too much damage.
Suddenly there’s a Humans vs Inhumans dynamic amongst the S.H.I.E.L.D team, with everyone being suspicious of one another. Mack makes a comment about everyone seeming suspicious if you watch them close enough (I can’t remember the exact quote, again) and it proves very true. We see a lot of Daisy, Lincoln and Yo-Yo, and they all have odd little outbursts. Not too odd, but odd enough to make you think. Even more suspicious though, is how little we see of Joey. They’re hinting so hard at each of the other three, that surely that means it’s Joey? During the episode I was begging it not to be Joey, but it seemed so clear that it was.
And then it was revealed who it was under Hive’s control. Daisy had lead the four Inhumans into a chamber, as she knew that one of them was being controlled, making them extremely dangerous. Coulson then walked in, explaining that he’d found that weird alien grifball from Halo in Lincoln’s locker. Daisy then explains that Lincoln encountered Hive when they were rescuing Charles and Lincoln, as he’s known to do, loses his temper. Eventually Daisy knocks Lincoln out with a blast, so the team can keep him in containment while they work on a cure for Lincoln, so they can get rid of Hive’s influence over him.
The Secret Warriors then disband, with both Yo-Yo and Joey being annoyed that less than twenty four hours after agreeing to help S.H.I.E.L.D the team tried to ice them and put them in containment. So with one half of the team gone, and a quarter locked down after throwing a tantrum, Daisy is left disappointed that her big scheme of a team lasted less than an episode.
But wait, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D wasn’t done yet…
In one of the most fantastic twists I’ve seen yet, it was revealed that it had actually been Daisy who was under Hive’s influence, as he’d managed to get inside her head during the fight scene at the start of the episode. She was the one who had switched off the lights and brutally murdered Gideon, fulfilling his glimpse of the future. Easily capable of getting past the security, since she’d programmed it, she breaks out and goes to free Lincoln, who it is made clear was never under Hive’s influence at all.
While the twist itself was good, the final sequence was absolutely terrific. As Daisy escapes she decides to bring the base down with. Finally properly earning her name, she causes a huge earthquake in the base, and as tech and rubble fall from the sealing we’re shown scenes of Coulson slamming his fist on a door with anger and Fitzsimmons’ date being ruined. It’s honestly one of the most beautiful ending scenes I’ve ever seen, succeeding in reminding me of how powerful film can be (Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but it felt incredible nevertheless!).
The vast majority of this episode was very good, with solid performances from the whole cast, and the building of tension working superbly. While some characters seemed to make stupid decisions in order for the tension to develop, I was more than willing to ignore such things due to the fantastic (from the audience’s perspective) repercussions. Hidden amongst the tension, we got some endearing moments between characters, including the developing relationship of Fitzsimmons (That’s how you do romance! Not this Shake and Bake nonsense!) and the friendship between Mack and Yo-Yo.
Unlike last week, this episode doesn’t get bogged down in the multiple plot threads, and proves once again, that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D is, simply put, very well made television.
P.S. The moment where Fitz apologised to Simmons for kissing her was absolute gold, and made him so much more relatable than Lincoln (for me especially).