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Upping the Ante with Agents of SHIELD’s Inside Man

by on March 16, 2016
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Episode 12 – The Inside Man

The Inside Man was a straight to the letter spy episode. With some surprising twists, fun new gadgets and interesting plot developments, The Inside Man managed to inch forward plot, yet also offer poignant dialogue at the issues on hand. In short, this episode had some major Civil War tones, but instead of the Avengers splitting, it looks like the cracks have begun to cleave for the Agents of Shield.

Let’s start in reverse and discuss perhaps the biggest shocker. Hive murdering five ‘innocents’ and essentially have a rebirth. Gone is the caved chest and handprint silhouette on ghostly white pallor. Hive is back to looking like human perfection award, and has amped up the creep factor. While the visual change is stunning, it is the directional choice that really nails in the terrifying factor. Brett Dalton nails it here, and in the scene where he is covered in human goop. His dead stare straight into the lens while he says about his human sacrifices, “Yes, they are innocents, but they will serve the greater good,” is chilling. Coupled with the nails on the chalkboard score by Bear McCreary, it is one of the simplest, yet impactful scenes of the series.

talbot what

We learned a lot about this incarnation of Hive, how it can only inhabit dead humans, and not Inhumans. Hive, also refers to itself in plural pronouns, and shows that while it controls Inhumans, such as Giyera and Lucio (the medusa eyes guy from last episode), the people still have their own emotions. Watch again how Giyera and Lucio react to the screaming when Hive imbibes the human sacrifices. It is also a wonder if this control will grow over time or remain at this level.

 

With Talbot and Coulson having to team up for a symposium on what to do with Inhumans, their journey follows the classic trope of two people who are stuck working together against their wills. Mostly Talbot’s will, but we do learn the heartbreaking reason he let Malick manipulate him. Malick swooped up Talbot’s son as soon as he was appointed to the ATCU. While Talbot holds up his end of the deal, Malick double crosses him as a Hydra boss would. In the end, it works out for Talbot, but not before Malick gets away with a deal from Russia to create an Inhuman sanctuary.

coulson may talbot

Inhumans are mostly seen but not used this episode. With Joey and Elena back in their homes (and Mack was missing too this episode!), Daisy and Lincoln didn’t have much to do. After Jemma needing a doctor to look over some test results breaks up a steamy sparring session, Lincoln expresses his desire for a vaccine. This plot draws parallels to X-Men: The Last Stand, but in no way does this diminish its poignancy. Both sides made valid arguments for and against a cure. Daisy argues that if a cure is developed, the government will make sure no one has a choice, and they will likely make a registry out of this (see also: Civil War). Lincoln takes on the Rogue route of the argument. Rogue, of course is a mutant whose touch can literally kill a person, and Lincoln stands by this in saying what if more people don’t want their powers such as Andrew. Later in the episode, Lincoln talks about being at war with his own powers, and the show has dropped nice little hints along the way of him either loosing control or activating his powers without wanting to. This argument all stems from Fitzsimmons discovering Carl Creel’s blood dissolves Terrigenesis.

carl creel

There were at least two major drops in the episode aside from what we already talked about. The first one being Daisy name-dropping the Internet hate group the Watchdogs. Later this month there is an episode with the same name, so it looks like the agents will be confronting this group of people that want to eliminate every Inhuman.

 

Secondly, as Bobbi searches the Australian delegate’s hotel room, she comes across an Inhuman file on someone named Eden Fesi. In Marvel comics, Fesi is actually a mutant named Manifold. He is of Aboriginal descent and has the powers of a teleporter. We will have to take a closer look to see if Marvel and Sony’s agreement allows Marvel to use mutants if they’re not actually mutants. If so, that can open a whole new ballpark of characters and storylines.

eden fest manifold aos

In addition, it looks like the show may be gearing up to set up Marvel’s Most Wanted. The show will center on Mockingbird and Hunter, and we got plenty of action of the ex-married but still in love couple. They even hitch a ride of Malick’s plane at the end to pull off their own mission in Russia. Bobbi continued to kick ass by scaling the building effortlessly and sliding across a table to deliver a knock-out kick. Hunter had some great scenes this episode, especially with his questioning of Creel. Creel, if you remember, is responsible for murdering Hunter’s mercenary mates Izzy and Idaho. Yeah, the dude who killed Lucy Lawless. May, whose writing was airtight had some of the best lines bouncing off him. For such a serious character, her stoic manner does humor so well.

may hunter aos 12

This episode was chock full of humor, creepiness and intriguing plot development. The graphics have never looked better, music was on point, and fight choreography was sharp and visually engaging. The pacing was a bit slow for the beginning half of the episode, but once the wheel got turning it was a ride worth the wait.

 

 

Positives

- Creepy as hell Hive
- Coulson/Talbot team-up
- Lots of spy fun

Negatives

- No Mack
- Pacing is awkward at times

Editor Rating
 
Cast
91%

 
Sound
91%

 
Visual
93%

 
Writing
92%

Author Score
92%

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