Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Failed Experiments

On this week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hive basically unfurled his master plan... and became rather less scary in the process.

First of all, his plan seems so ad hoc, considering that he had untold centuries in isolation to work it out down to every possible contingency. He's doing an awful lot of improvising here.

Second, the fact that he didn't just kill the doctor and take his body (as he threatened to do) doesn't really make sense. Again, the realities of television and using actor Brett Dalton take precedence over logical storytelling. Which I understand... but then maybe don't have Hive point that out to the audience. (I guess maybe he got used to hanging with one host for a long time on the alien planet?)

Third, we learned that Hive doesn't exactly have encyclopedic knowledge of all the past hosts he's inhabited. It's in there somewhere, but at the end of the episode, Daisy had to remind him of a fact he already knew. Sure, sometimes I can't remember where I left my sunglasses, and I just have one lifetime of memories. I get it. But it does take a touch of menace out of Hive to portray him this way.

Fourth, Hive's master plan is to make everyone into an Inhuman. And while we can certainly understand why some characters might not want that -- particularly with the whole mind control aspect in play -- you have to admit that it would be a pretty cool thing for the show if a couple more characters came out of this with super powers, right? I mean, as audience members looking for maximum entertainment, shouldn't we now be rooting for Hive to succeed a little bit before the heroes take him down?

While I may have been a touch uncertain about the main plot developments this week, there were at least a few character accents on the side that landed well for me. I liked the material surrounding Fitz and Simmons trying to negotiate their new relationship. I appreciate that the writers didn't just go for instant drama that simply wouldn't have been realistic for these two very logical characters. Along similar lines of enjoying a cliche that the writers did not indulge, I was expecting a wholesale slaughter of those S.H.I.E.L.D. grunts the moment we saw them bickering over gear. But all of them made it out alive, and one even got a pithy line or two during the mission.

I enjoyed May's brief undercover stint, flirting to get the information she was after. The fight between Hive and the Kree was also kind of neat, for the way it was choreographed to show a very different fighting style for Hive. (Though why he wasted time with any of that before using his skin-flaying ability, I couldn't guess.)

All told, I'd give the episode a B. Not bad, but a bit of a step back from the last few.

No comments: