Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.07: "Chaos Theory"

“Take Lash. If putting a bullet in that monster’s head doesn’t do the trick, then what?”

I finally had a chance to really start catching up on “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and man did this episode bring the feels. There was FitzSimmons, May and Andrew, Bobbi and Hunter, and Coulson and Rosalind all reaching turning points in their relationship. The developments with FitzSimmons and with May and Andrew were especially emotional. What happened with May and Andrew in this episode was especially devastating, but I think I had more of an emotional response to the FitzSimmons developments, mostly because I’m so invested in FitzSimmons. Simmons has been kind of terrible to Fitz over the course of the past couple seasons, but he loves her, and he’s adorable, so I want to see him get what he wants. And Simmons really does have feelings for him too, as we see in this episode. It was adorable and melancholy at the same time.

We begin the episode with a flashback to May and Andrew on their getaway to Hawaii six months ago. They are enjoying a lovely meal on the beach, and it looks like paradise. May says she won’t go back to S.H.I.E.L.D. right away, because she really wants to give their relationship a chance to succeed. And yes, they do want to try being in a relationship again. We next see Andrew back home, on the phone with Coulson, telling him to ask May when she’s wants to go back to work. He opens a book on his desk, and he gets infected with some sort of smoke. This is clearly what turned Andrew into Lash. In the present day, Daisy and Coulson are fighting over the ATCU containment matrix, with Andrew listening to the conversation. He is pro-containment matrix, by the way. Coulson and Rosalind have a meeting scheduled with the President, but before the meeting, Coulson wants Daisy to talk to Rosalind. Andrew also offers to do a reassessment of Joey Gutierrez to see if he’s a good candidate to be an example of a successfully transitioned Inhuman.

Fitz is still working on the portal, but Simmons has another task for him. The SIM card in the phone she had with her on the other side isn’t working, but she would like for Fitz to try and retrieve data from it. Fitz doesn’t seem thrilled by the idea (he’s expecting mementos of Will), but he says he’ll do it. Fitz starts looking at the data, and when he sees a picture of Simmons and Will, he gets angry and starts throwing things. When he’s about to leave the room, though, he hears a recording of Simmons telling him (Fitz) what she is going through. He starts listening to the recordings in earnest, including one about how Simmons imagined the two of them would settle down in a small town in Scotland. Fitz gets teary, and I would be lying if I said I didn’t, too.

On the flight home from Lisbon, May is understandably very quiet. Bobbi mentions that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been tracking Lash, but the tracking is difficult because of the transitions into human form. Back at HQ, May immediately starts looking up in formation in the computer about both Lash and Andrew. While she is there, she runs into Skye, who tells here Andrew is at an offsite training facility. May is alarmed and demands to know where. At the facility, Joey seems to be doing better. He can sculpt things, and he says he’s excited to have more control over his power. We see Andrew appear to lash out at Joey, but it’s all in Andrew’s head. May arrives on the scene, and she has Joey taken away by guards. She wants to talk to Andrew alone. Their confrontation erupts into a huge fight, and Andrew shoots May.

Unlike May and Andrew, Bobbi and Hunter have a rather sweet reunion. Bobbi tells Hunter that she doesn’t want either of them going after Ward anymore. She doesn’t want to be consumed by revenge and turn into a monster like Ward. Between the big Lash reveal and this conversation, there’s kind of a monster theme going on in this episode. At the same time, Mack’s been acting kind of sneaky in this episode, taking mysterious phone calls. He ends up meeting up with Lincoln, who called Mack because he didn’t want to put Daisy at risk. He says that he is fairly certain Lash is with S.H.I.E.L.D., and he want’s Mack’s help with revealing Lash’s true identity.

Daisy gives Rosalind a tour of the S.H.I.E.L.D. flying base, and while they do argue over what to do with the Inhumans, they seem to be gaining respect for each other. May, meanwhile, when she comes to after her big fight with Andrew, she finds herself chained up in what appears to be a building at Andrew’s university. Andrew apologies for his outburst and says he panicked. He tells May that he started to change when he was reading one of Jiaying’s books that was booby trapped with terrigen. Lincoln and Mack interrupt a conversation between Rosalind, Coulson, and Daisy to announce that they think Andrew is Lash. Lincoln thinks someone has been using Jiaying’s ledger to find Inhumans from Afterlife, and Andrew is the only person who had access. Coulson mentions he was just informed that May and Andrew are missing, so the group decides they need to find them. Lincoln warns them that Andrew won’t always be able to shift back to human form – eventually he will permanently be Lash.

Coulson and his team find Andrew pretty quickly, and Coulson confronts him. Everyone tells Lincoln to stand down, but he is angered by what Andrew is saying about an “outbreak” of Inhumans, so he goes in anyway. When Lincoln attacks, Andrew transforms into Lash. Lash is about to attack Lincoln, but Mack shoots and distracts him. Mack and Coulson both take their turns fighting Lash, but gunfire from the ATCU escalates the situation further. Eventually, Lash has Rosalind by the throat, and he tosses her out the window of the very tall building. Daisy manages to use her powers to slow Rosalind’s fall and save her. May gets between Lash and Lincoln, and as she talks to Lash, he starts shifting back to Andrew. Then she shoots him in the chest and he falls back into the containment unit, all Lashed-out again. This scene was just devastating.

After the Lash situation has subsided, Mack asks Lincoln if he’ll stick around with S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while, and Lincoln agrees. Rosaland also makes an offer to May – she can put Andrew in stasis to slow his transformation in the hope that a cure can be found. When presented with this choice, May asks Daisy what she would do. Daisy says she would do whatever it takes to save the person she loves. May agrees to have Andrew taken to the containment/stasis center. It is clearly one of the hardest decisions she has ever had to make, and it is heartbreaking. Near the end of the episode, we get another flashback of May and Andrew in Hawaii, and she tells Andrew she didn’t think she deserved the kind of happiness she feels when she’s with him. Poor may just can’t win for trying.

Back at HQ, Fitz is still doing research for Simmons, and he notices that the logo for Will’s NASA mission matches the symbol from the portal chamber door if you turn it upside down. He thinks it’s all a big conspiracy theory, and when he talks with Bobbi and Hunter about it, they think it’s worth checking out. Fitz goes to check on Simmons, and he finds her waiting to see the sunrise. He briefly mentions he might have had a breakthrough on the portal, but he’s more interested in talking to Simmons about what he saw and heard on the phone, including about settling down in Scotland. He tries to brush it off as Simmons being dehydrated or something, but Simmons says she was very clearheaded when she said those things. Fitz isn’t quite sure what to do about all this, but for now, he just wants to watch the sun rise with Simmons. And they’ve gone and made me teary again. I like that instead of staying super jealous of Will, Fitz used the opportunity he got with the phone to better understand what Simmons went through on the other planet.

In the episode’s tag, we see Ward and Gideon have a conversation. Gideon thinks that Ward’s torturing of Werner Von Strucker was stupid, and he believes Ward should be operating on a grander scale than simple revenge. Ward tries to defend himself by saying he wants to cut off the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Coulson) because it won’t grow back like Hydra can. In the middle of this conversation, Gideon takes a call from Rosalind. He an advisor to the President that Coulson was supposed to meet. Rosalind says she will bring Coulson to NORAD as soon as possible. This shouldn’t be too difficult, since apparently Coulson and Rosalind have stated sleeping together.

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