Agents of SHIELD: 320 “Emancipation” Review
Reviewed by Ollie Gregory.
Okay Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D, if you dropped the ball last week then this week you picked it back up and threw it so high it’s as if you never even dropped it in the first place, if that makes sense, which I’m fairly sure it doesn’t…?
Emancipation is the episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D which directly ties into Captain America: Civil War (there’s a review on this site but unfortunately it isn’t written by me. I know, I’m sorry) and when I say directly ties in, I mean it mentions the Sokovia Accords a couple of times and references the movie every so often. Okay, so it isn’t groundbreaking stuff, and it certainly doesn’t have as big an effect as Captain America: Winter Soldier, but it’s still nice to be reminded that all the shows and movies do indeed take place in the same Universe.
Anyways, the story goes that General ‘I have the worst hair on television’ Talbot is coming to inspect the S.H.I.E.L.D base because it has been decided that much like the Avengers, Inhumans are required to sign themselves over to the government. Phil Coulson, being the absolute Captain America fanboy that we all know and love, isn’t particularly keen on the idea of the Accords, so decides to take Talbot into the base and try and convince him that he doesn’t need to sign his team over.
One of the fantastic things about this episode is that every character steals the show. I know that’s contradictory but if you’ve seen the episode you should understand what I mean. There’s a couple of moments where I was certain that that this episode belonged to Glenn Talbot. This guy is absolutely savage when it comes to dissing the S.H.I.E.L.D squad and he’s just the perfect person to put opposite Coulson. The two of them work together incredibly well, bringing the very best out of each other and making every interaction they have with each other fantastic. There’s some fantastic squabbling between the pair. However, if I had to pick a favourite this episode it would have to be Talbot, because he says “Why on God’s crusty pie?”.
I also thoroughly enjoyed Fitz this episode. Watching him get all flustered and annoyed at Daisy was pretty great, and his general high level of stress was a lot of fun. Mack was great as well, and although the whole thing about faith felt a little bit shoehorned in and unnecessary, I really enjoyed his interactions with Yo-Yo. Mack and Fitz being great is nothing new however, as they’ve been easily my favourite characters for the entirety of Season 3.
Melinda May was the best she’s ever been (This may be wrong as I do have the memory of a goldfish – 3 months) coming off as a cool secret agent rather than the unhappy moody teenager she normally portrays. John Hannah was also superb this episode, as Holden Radcliffe, the mad scientist guy. His absolute look of disgust when he saw the monsters he made was golden, as was his reaction to Hive’s (Not in all caps) threatening look.
Speaking of the bad guys, how terrific were they this week? Of course you’ve got the aforementioned Holden Radcliffe, and the always terrific Hive (Not in all caps), but there were some real star performances this week. Hellfire truly became Hellfire, grabbing a metal chain and annihilating some Watchdogs (Is it just me or do their masks look significantly less stupid), and it was quite a sight to behold. I’ve got a soft spot for Australians, and that guy is just the personification of everything I love about them. Even Daisy seemed to put in an extra good performance this week.
My biggest gripe this week was that Lincoln was an absolute idiot. The show is trying to get us to like and respect Lincoln, yet for some reason decided to make him a moron who lets love cloud their judgement, and will let someone they know is under mind control manipulate them. Sure, the heist bit was cool, but was it really worth…
Oh my goodness that twist! I was sitting down, scribbling on my notepad (Yes, I am that cool) about how ridiculous it was that Lincoln would be so easily controlled and how much I hated him, and then the show pulled the rug out from under me, kicked me in the stomach a couple of time, and walked away sniggering to its friends about what an idiot I was. “You didn’t really think we were that stupid did you Ollie? We are well clever than you!”. Alright S.H.I.E.L.D, you are.
Then, if it hadn’t already rubbed enough salt in my wounds, they tricked me into thinking they’d stupidly sent Yo-Yo after Hive (Not in all caps), when in reality they’d sent Lash!!!
Everything after the moment Lash stepped off of the quintet until the very end of the episode I watched with a massive grin on my face. The Hive (Not in all caps) and Lash fight was remarkably satisfying, as was watching Lash toss the Putty Patrollers around the room as if they were made rag dolls. It was superb, and then to cap it all off, Lash rescued Daisy, only to be killed by none other then Hellfire!
There’s not a lot I can say about Emancipation, other than the fact I absolutely loved it. It was fun and exciting, yet was serious enough to advance the plot and have some emotive moments.
So what’s next? Well, the season finale’s just around the corner, and someone on the S.H.I.E.L.D squad is dying. The end credits scene pushed Mack too hard, so I think he’s safe, but neither Fitz nor Simmons is (don’t do this to me show!). There’s also the possibility that it is going to be Coulson, and I honestly don’t think poor little me can take that.
Regardless of who dies next episode, if this episode is anything to go by, the writers have a terrific resolution lined up that will both be shocking and satisfying. Fingers crossed my suspicions are true. I have faith in you Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.