By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)
WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD.
After a half season of teasing the Secret Warriors, we are finally seeing this team come together. It wasn’t that long ago that this show tried to tell a story in the MCU without having any superhero characters. Those days are long gone now as the writers add more Inhumans. The addition of Yo-Yo Rodriguez, aka Slingshot, to the cast is a big move. Other than Daisy, she’s the first character from the Secret Warriors to be introduced. While Lincoln and Joey are great characters themselves, Slingshot makes it feel like the Secret Warriors are really happening now.
The big question after tonight’s episode is how the team will work. Rather than having a fully formed group, the Secret Warriors ended this episode in a somewhat fractured state. Yo-Yo is here now, but she’s not really here. Joey is going away for a while too. Obviously, the writers are saving the Secret Warriors for later. It’s easy to feel a little disappointed by this, but let’s keep a few things in mind. The writers are taking their time developing this part of the story, and that’s alright. No one complained when it took Marvel Studios five films before giving us The Avengers and we shouldn’t complain if it takes a full season to develop the Secret Warriors. The writers are juggling plenty of storylines right now, and they’re doing a wonderful job at it. If the Secret Warriors don’t happen until the end of the season, I can live with that.
The body of Ward is back and it’s being occupied by Hive. This is one of the stranger characters from the comics, and that’s really saying something. As we saw during the first half of the season, Hive is a parasite that can occupy a host body while retaining many of the characteristics of the body like the voice and memories. In the comics, Hive was created by Hydra, but it’s an Inhuman on the show. It embodies the ideals of Hydra so much to the point that Baron von Strucker made it one of the heads of the organization.
What does that mean for Agents of SHIELD? It means that Hydra isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. There were times throughout this season and last that it looked like the Hydra story was coming to an end. Then the arc got new life when the writers re-introduced Gideon Malick and completely re-wrote Hydra’s history to make it a centuries old organization that never really dies but gets reborn again and again. Ward’s story throughout the series has been an allegory for Hydra. He keeps changing, and just when you think his time is done, he reemerges as something new and more vicious than he was before. Even Coulson literally killing him did nothing to finish him off. It’s fitting that he’s now Hive because he really is the physical embodiment of Hydra.
I honestly don’t care if Coulson never throws another punch on this show. Clark Gregg just needs to stand in a room and speak a few lines and I’m satisfied. His scene with the president and his phone call to Malick may get lost in the shuffle of all the action for some, but they were highlights for me. Whatever his role on the show is, I’m glad the writers continue to use Coulson as a mouthpiece.
This was a really strong episode from beginning to end, but the raid on the police station stood out for me not because of the action, but because of the larger things it represented. It was like a changing of the guard for this show. In the past, that would have been handled by May, Bobbi, and Hunter. Now it was an all-Inhuman team that got to see action. It was very symbolic of just how much Agents of SHIELD has evolved over time into a bona fide superhero show.
Thanks for reading!