‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season 3 Episode 19 Review: The Kree Arrive — For a Bit
Recap and review of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3 Episode 19 – Failed Experiments:
Well, this Inhuman storyline had to escalate eventually. “Failed Experiments” reminds me a lot of the episode where Ward (Brett Dalton) first betrayed the team back in Season 1 of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which I suppose is a good thing. In a lot of ways, this felt like a seismic shift in the narrative, as the S.H.I.E.L.D. team could be looking at a major reconfiguration in the weeks to come, at least if this episode is any indication.
One of the big strengths of “Failed Experiments” is that, much like when Ward initially betrayed the team in Season 1, we’re left wondering just how much of this is really Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and how much of this is some sort of brainwashed version of the character. With Ward, it was somewhat believable he would turn, since his cold-blooded efficiency suggested a darker personality beneath. But Daisy has been so gung-ho about S.H.I.E.L.D. that it almost seems unfathomable that she would willingly remain with Hive if she weren’t being brainwashed. And yet, this episode gives off every appearance that Daisy’s decisions aren’t being influenced by outside forces. She’s choosing to be with Hive. She’s choosing to betray her former S.H.I.E.L.D. team. Hell, she’s choosing to try and turn Mack (Henry Simmons) into an Inhuman. It’s a credit to Chloe Bennet that this turn feels plausible. Sure, she’s probably still being mind-controlled by Hive, but a lot of what Daisy says feels genuine to her character. After all, S.H.I.E.L.D. did take a hacker and turn her into a soldier, essentially putting her in harm’s way at every opportunity to serve the goals of one director. Granted, we know the situation is more complex than that. I mean, hey, they tried to keep Daisy away from field duty, and it wasn’t until she actively pursued fight training that she got added responsibilities. But it says a lot about S.H.I.E.L.D. that the narrative can be so easily twisted to make the organization look no better than Hydra. So it kind of made sense why Daisy would turn her back on S.H.I.E.L.D., even if it doesn’t make sense that she’d willingly go along with Hive’s plan to use Kree blood to create more Inhumans. But then, that’s what the mind control explanation is for!
In all seriousness, this was some pretty compelling stuff, as Hive summons Kree reapers to Earth as part of a trap to obtain blood from a living specimen. This story direction results in some solid action scenes, such as Daisy showing how far she’s come as a warrior by killing one of the most feared creatures in the universe. We also get to see Hive’s unique fighting style, as he adopts a monk-like approach by dodging attacks. He basically lets the Kree beat the hell out of him until he sees his opening, revealing that he was basically toying with the alien. It’s a chilling reminder of what a formidable force Hive is, and this is without even mentioning the flashback we get that explains his backstory as a tribal warrior abducted by a Kree patrol a thousand years ago. Hive is an alien harboring a serious grudge, and it can’t possibly end well if someone with that kind of malevolence has the power to create an Inhuman army. The narrative initially teases that Hive’s plan won’t succeed, since Mack destroys the Kree body they’d planned to use as a specimen for the serum. But it turns out Daisy has Kree blood pumping through her veins, so she offers her body to be drained, once again illustrating just how far gone she is. Granted, we didn’t need her offering up her veins to see this isn’t our Daisy anymore, as she comes perilously close to killing Mack.
Although it’s a partnership that hasn’t gotten as much development as I’d have liked, Mack refusing to fight back against Daisy is poignant stuff that leads to an interesting response from Daisy. When Mack asserts that the team is still a family, and they all still care about her, Daisy responds by taking offense that the team feels the need to save her once again. It’s a surprising reaction if we’re operating under the theory that Hive’s brainwashing brings certain hidden feelings to the surface, mostly because it never seemed as though Daisy had a chip on her shoulder about her privileged position with Coulson (Clark Gregg). And yet, here we are, as she nearly quakes Mack to death before getting shot by May (Ming-Na Wen), an act which should only further place her on Team Hive. And all this, despite Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) nearly getting himself killed by testing out a potential cure for Daisy — against Coulson’s order. While Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) believed it might have worked, Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is under no such optimistic delusions, and quarantines Lincoln to prevent him from dying as the result of a simple sneeze, since the serum ended up destroying his immune system. I’m not entirely convinced that it won’t be revealed later on that the serum worked after all, but for now, keeping Lincoln locked up is as good a spot for him as any. While I like Lincoln well enough, he seems pretty aimless as a character without Daisy. It’s a problem, to be sure. But I’m not exactly sure how to solve it right now, beyond having him be the one to lead the charge to rescue Daisy. And would S.H.I.E.L.D. even trust him with that responsibility? This team is falling apart, so it should be intriguing to see how they pull this anti-Hive/rescue Daisy mission together, if they even can at this point. But for now, I’m cool with more episodes like “Failed Experiments”, as Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. inches closer to judgment day for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
But what did you think of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 19, “Failed Experiments”? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., read our review of last week’s compelling episode, “The Singularity”!