Episode 14 – Watchdogs
Agents of SHIELD continued their format flip with this family-centered and politically charged episode. In season 3, we’ve largely see characters develop from events, but in Watchdogs, we see character development fuel the plot. Such is the case for both Mack and Daisy. As Mack takes some time off to process his best friends departure, Daisy’s fight turns her on a rogue path.
And oh yeah, Shotgun Axe, finally!
We’ve learned. Lot about Mack throughout this season, about his faith, his political leanings, and potentially new love interest with Elena. In this episode, we delve into his family, and meet his younger brother Ruben, who is a stand-in for any millennial, or really any person who has been affected by the recession. He’s frustrated and wants change, but harbors blind anger, which can turn potentially violent.
Consequentially, this leads to the Watchdogs carrying out a siege on the Mackenzie family home after thinking Mack, or Alfie as his brother prodded, is an Inhuman. With Civil War a month away, the show is charging up on dividing and conquering. We see this between Mack and his brother, Daisy and Mack and even Coulson and Lincoln.
This episode bears a lot of resemblance to how the characters handled things in season one, especially for Daisy. As Skye, she contended with Coulson constantly because she wanted to do the right thing with the wrong execution. We see this when she makes a bad call in harassing a Watchdog and also leading a solo mission on the compound, which ends up getting Fitz hurt.
In the Secret Warriors comic by Brian Michael Bendis, we see the extent of what Daisy’s naivety can lead to, where Yo-Yo gets seriously injured on a mission. It causes Fury, which Coulson serves in this role on the show, to cull back Daisy and her fledgling team. It seems like the show will continue Daisy’s missteps for at least another episode given that preview of next week’s episode Spacetime.
There were more tie-ins to the MCU, and not just name-dropping the Avengers and Ultron. Agent Blake, who was felled by Deathlok in the first season, comes back in a villainous role. We learn Hydra is funneling him cash to take out the ATCU and Inhumans, citing their common enemy of SHIELD. In addition, the Watchdogs use Nitramene to implode the ATCU facility, which we saw in season 1 of Agent Carter, where Peggy has to diffuse the bomb in her bathroom. In addition, in the news segment, there is a scroll taking about gang violence in Hell’s Kitchen, a brief nod to Daredevil.
Serving the B storylines, Jemma and May, and Coulson and Lincoln each pair and have unique interactions. Jemma and May bring back the importance and overhang of Lash. While May is hellbent on taking her ex-husband out, Jemma thinks Andrew may be redeemable with the formula Fitz, Lincoln and her have been working on with Creel’s blood. May asks Jemma not to give her hope, reassuring us that May could possibly make the hard call.
For Coulson, bringing Lincoln on his small-ops mission is more than just interrogating his daughters new boyfriend, it’s checking out whether Lincoln is capable of getting past his poor assessment. Lincoln pulls through, and Coulson affirms that he can begin to trust him. This is important, as Coulson was very reliant on Ward, even with his bad assessment.
While Watchdogs was a fun episode, there is something missing. The show heavily leaned on promoting the season with the Secret Warriors, and we have still barely seen them. There wasn’t even a glimpse of the team in this episode. It’s slightly frustrating the show has dragged us this long, and with the impending shake-up of Civil War looming over the show, we hope the Secret Warriors storyline doesn’t get sidelined.
- Mack's fam
- Shotgun axe!!
- No Secret Warriors