After our complaint last week that we wanted more focus on the Inhuman storylines this season, our wish was granted, mostly.
The primary focus of “A Wanted (In)Human” was S.H.I.E.L.D.’s struggle to bring in on-off ally Lincoln Campbell (Luke Mitchell) a (now former) doctor who previously helped Daisy (Chloe Bennett)through her Terrigen transformation back at her mother’s Inhuman refuge last season. Clean-cut and handsome, Lincoln has been added to the roster of new regulars this year and is seemingly the perfect romantic entanglement for Daisy except, well, he’s a bit dull – and for a guy with electricity powers that’s all manner of disappointing! In this episode, the writers try to layer him with a dark alcoholic past but it just doesn’t ring true – his eventual kiss with Daisy also feels forced and their characters haven’t earned that moment yet, not by a long shot.
What was far more interesting in this episode was once more watching Coulson and Rosalind verbally spar off each other – his admiration of her car was met perfectly with her response “Hey, eyes up here.” Rosalind is a perfect foil for Coulson and the fact that the ATCU represent a more extreme arm of the President’s administration raises interesting questions of which side is actually morally right when dealing with the Inhuman crisis: S.H.I.E.L.D.’s mandate of harness them for a good cause and risk potential danger is a perfect counter to the ATCU’s orders of wipe them out at all costs but possibly leave us all defenseless.
Coulson’s personal weakness has always been his fatherly affection for Daisy and Rosalind exploits this perfectly; his choice to give up Lincoln to Rosalind’s team in exchange for not having the ATCU apprehend Daisy felt real from a character perspective and sets up what is sure to be very interesting repercussions. Everything about the conflicting approach to the Inhuman problem lays the foundations for a very exciting season, which is a shame that at times the “Wanted” has to move away from it, to more exasperating territory….
Elsewhere, May and Hunter have began to execute their plan to infiltrate HYDRA from the very bottom in order to work their way up to Ward – resulting in a baffling fight club-esque scenario whereby Hunter is forced into fighting (and accidentally killing) his old merc-buddy in order to secure a meeting with one of Wards men. Everything about this approach is terrible – the fact that between them they, a world class S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and a top-level mercenary with the best tech money can buy, can’t just track Ward and execute him from afar seems ridiculous; and what’s even worse is that by “working their way up the chain” they’ve already succeeded in getting close to Ward after one fight.
It may seem too easy and it is, maybe that’s because HYDRA is now a tiny organisation and only comprises of a handful of groups – but that’s us being very generous to the clunkily assembled plot. Once again – this feels like proof that the Ward story has run its course. However, May and Hunter are a fresh pairing, and they play off each other well – his laidback swagger at odds with her poised, no-nonsense demeanor.
Coulson and Rosalind are worth two stars alone, but what gives this episode its third star is the beautiful relationship between Fitz and Simmons. After Simmons helped Fitz through his hypoxia recovery last season, he now returns the favor as he attempts to rehabilitate her to the world after her traumatic rescue last week – finally taking her to the restaurant table he has kept reserved every night for three months in the hope of her eventual return.
The adorable interplay between them is tragically but brilliantly undercut by the episodes final scene where it is revealed that Simmons actually wants to return to the hostile alien planet that the Monolith transported her to. Thank goodness, the Monolith story hasn’t been abandoned and that revelation alone will ensure we return for next weeks installment.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 is airing on E4, 9pm, Sundays.