‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Season Premiere Review: ‘Laws of Nature’ Is a Blockbuster
Recap and review of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Season 3 Premiere – Laws of Nature:
It feels like Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is finally becoming the show a lot of people wanted it to be when it started: a pulp comic book show that serves as a Marvel movie for the small screen. “Laws of Nature” isn’t too far removed from where Season 2 ended, but that’s for the better, because the development of the characters is allowed to continue unabated. I really enjoyed this hour, and I’m optimistic for the season ahead.
The story feels like a setup for this coming summer’s Captain America: Civil War, as the government is getting involved in the whole superhuman business. In particular, the president has commissioned a special task force related to tracking down Inhumans. Led by Rosalind Price (Constance Zimmer), the group is only one of several that Coulson (Clark Gregg) and company have to contend with, as the story feels larger than ever, even as its scope shrinks to focus on particular characters. For instance, Skye (Chloe Bennet) now prefers to be called Daisy, a change that Coulson is still having a hard time getting used to (he’s having just as much of an issue with his new robotic hand). The change from Skye to Daisy seems to represent her acceptance of her powers, and her responsibilities as a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, as she manages to track down a newly manifested Inhuman who lacks control (or even belief in) his powers. After all, with the terragen making its way into the ecosystem, a LOT more people are going to be developing powers, and it’s this narrative device that proves to be the most promising for the season. A new alien, monster of the week could make for compelling television, with a focus on the weekly struggle between weeding out the good people who’ve been changed into something grotesque without their knowledge, and the bad people who’ve been made worse/more powerful by the alien particles. That could be something awesome as the season moves ahead.
That said, I wasn’t at all disappointed with what we got, since it shows signs that this season is likely to be more action-packed than ever. Case in point, the arrival of Lash (Matthew Willig) is one of the biggest moments of the premiere, if not THE biggest. He’s perhaps the most terrifying villain the show has ever created, a supernatural hulk of a man, who even Daisy and Lincoln can’t defeat. On the subject of Lincoln, it appears he views his powers as a curse now, and is trying to reclaim some sort of normal life. But that’s way easier said than done, especially when you have superhumans out for your ass. Still, he refuses to join S.H.I.E.L.D., even when Daisy makes the point that they need the help, and that he could be vital in helping transition the newly-turned into accepting and controlling their abilities. It’s a fitting character conflict, since it makes Lincoln feel like more than a two-dimensional exposition machine about what the Inhumans are. It’s also a bit of a role reversal from Season 2, since now Daisy is the one trying to convince Lincoln not to run, to simply embrace who he is. I know she catches a lot of hell, but Chloe Bennet is great at marking Daisy’s development as a character, going from someone in a near-constant state of disbelief, to someone who’s not only a believer, but active in representing the Inhuman community.
Of course, the premiere doesn’t really answer the issue of what, exactly, happened to Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge). Instead, we have Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) adventuring through Morocco in an attempt to obtain an artifact that might lead him to Gemma. Sadly, it doesn’t work, but we do get to see that Simmons is trapped, somehow, in what appears to be a sort of alien desert. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t intrigued, since I would still argue that the FitzSimmons relationship is the series’ strongest, even more so than the father-daughter type bond that Coulson/Daisy share. Ultimately, the Fitz story is a lot more successful (and surprisingly action-packed) than the stuff with Hunter (Nick Blood) and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki). I know they’re just trying to extend the “Will they get together?” / “Won’t they get together?” dynamic of these two for just a little longer, but I’m kind of over the arguments for why they shouldn’t be a couple. In much the same way, I hope the show has more for Ward (Brett Dalton) to do this season than last, particularly now that he seems deeply entrenched in the resurrection of Hydra. His could be a potentially fascinating story, and I hope that’s not just a pipe dream on my end.
Ultimately, “Laws of Nature” is a promising premiere for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, and I’m anxious to see what’s ahead, as this show seems more and more Marvel movie-esque. And, considering how much I’ve loved their oeuvre, that can only be a good thing, in my opinion.
But what did you think of the Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 premiere, “Laws of Nature”? Sound off in the comments!
And for more on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., watch the hilarious Season 2 blooper reel here!