Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.18: "The Singularity"

“It’s time we took back this planet. Made a home Inhumans have always deserved.”

For the most part “The Singularity” felt like it was kind of marking time between the big reveal that Daisy has been infected by Hive at the end of the last episode and whatever the season’s endgame is (the defeat of Hive, presumably). All of the characters had to deal with the fallout of what happened to Daisy, and some handle it better than others. They also, of course, want to try and save Daisy from Hive ASAP. The thing is, though, Daisy doesn’t want to be saved. There’s something about the parasites that comprise Hive that make hosts addicted and euphoric. He’s making Daisy feel complete and like she has a family for the first time (although I thought her fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and Inhumans made her feel that way), and she doesn’t want to go back. One plot that did really progress in this episode was FitzSimmons exploring a romantic relationship. They “crossed the event horizon” as they would put it, and while the timing was kind of weird, I’m happy they’re happy.

The episode begins in the aftermath of Daisy’s attack on and escape from S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. The damage isn’t as bad as originally feared. Lincoln is able to reboot the computer system quickly. Coulson has a serious leg injury (compound fracture), but he’s powering through. He informs everyone that Daisy was the only Secret Warrior infected by Hive, and he orders everyone into Zephyr One. Mack is briefly concerned that the hangar doors can only open half-way at the moment, but Coulson and May have other ideas. May turns the Zephyr on its side and pilots it out that way. Once they are turned around the right way, FitzSimmons explain to Coulson that they think what Hive does to Inhumans is kind of like addition. The parasites stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. They want to try and find a Dr. Radcliffe, who was fired by the agrochemical company right before Hive took it over. He’s been conducting experiments in the realm of Transhumanism, and he is believed to be in Romania. FitzSimmons and Mack are given permission to go after him. As FitzSimmons get ready to leave, they start dancing around talking about how to appropriately separate their personal and professional lives.

Hive and Daisy talk in an area near where Daisy used to park her hacking van back in her Skye days. Hive calls her Skye, which Daisy isn’t too thrilled about. She still offers her opinion on whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. might come after her, and she finds herself opening up more and more to Hive. Hive tells Daisy they are one organism now, and he also shares his plans for the future. He wants a world where Inhumans are in charge and everything is perfect.

Mack and his agents have traced Dr. Radcliffe to a Transhumanist black market in Bucharest. FitzSimmons have come to Romania prepared with some eye technology very similar to Deakthlok’s, and they are going to use it to essentially bribe Dr. Radcliffe into helping them. They are going to make their presence known at a Transhumanist party, and they dress up for the occasion. FitzSimmons enter the party and start asking around about Radcliffe. They are quickly approached by a mysterious woman named Anon who offers to take their eye tech to Radcliffe. Anon consults something implanted in her arm and tells FitzSimmons to wait at the bar. While they are waiting, they go off comms and try to have more of a conversation about their relationship. I was glad to see FitzSimmons finally address the elephant in the room, and this is where Simmons also compares their having sex to crossing the event horizon. She also says she’s not afraid of it, even though it will change everything.

Coulson takes a team to retrieve Alisha, the multiplying Inhuman we have seen in a previous episode. Lincoln in allowed to join in the mission only if he wears an explosive vest that will be detonated if he demonstrates signs of being infected by Hive. May calls Coulson on being on being willing to sacrifice Lincoln but not Daisy. Lincoln finds Alisha, and she says she hasn’t seen Daisy. It’s quickly apparent that Alisha has already been infected by Hive, however, and she attacks. May joins in the fight, but one of Alisha’s doubles takes her gun. Lincoln threatens to electrocute the other double, but the double with the gun shoots her first. Coulson then dispatches the double with the gun.

Having already recruited Alisha, Daisy and Hive are now after James. They arrive at his house, and Daisy introduces Hive as the ancient Inhuman he had been talking about. While Hive and James are talking about the Kree orb, Daisy drops the Terragen crystal, and James starts to transform. Alisha, who is waiting outside James’ house, feels the pain from her doubles being killed as all of this is going on. His Terragenesis complete, James starts exploding everything he touches. Hive immediately infects him and starts controlling him. James then tells Hive where he buried the other Kree artifact, and Daisy goes and digs it up. Hive informs the group that the artifact is the only thing that can kill him.

Lincoln is upset about what happened to Alisha, and Couson decides to take him out of the field until FitzSimmons can find a cure for Hive infection. Coulson then finds May and apologizes to her for their earlier conversation about Lincoln and Daisy. They talk about Daisy and Coulson’s father/daughter-like relationship, but they are interrupted by a report of seismic activity in South Dakota. Coulson (even though he is on crutches) and his team move in on James’ compound, but they don’t find much of anything left. A large area under the house has been excavated. May and Coulson investigate, and Coulson quickly realizes that the place is rigged with explosives.

FitzSimmons are finally rejoined by Anon, who takes them in an off-the-grid elevator that leads them to an operating room. Anon instructs FitzSimmons to implant their eye tech into the waiting patient to prove that it works. FitzSimmons decide to do the surgery, but Simmons ends up stabbing the patient’s eye with a syringe because she recognizes it as synthetic. The patient is actually Dr. Radcliffe, and he waxes poetic about science and art as he examines their tech. FitzSimmons reveal themselves as S.H.I.E.L.D., and Anon immediately freaks out and calls for reinforcements. FitzSimmons try to quickly explain that Inhumans are real, but Simmons is taken away. Coulson manages to protect everyone by using a light shield Fitz installed in his prosthetic arm. Talbot calls, and the team returns to the Zephyr to watch the ATCU take out all of Hive’s infrastructure.

While Fitz is still trying to talk to Radcliffe, Daisy bursts in and Hive kills the guard who took Simmons. James wreaks some havoc by making glasses explode in the bar upstairs. Daisy hands Radcliffe off to Alisha, then she knocks Fitz down. Hive, meanwhile, channels Will in an attempt to connect with Simmons, and he tells her that he’s glad she made it back to Fitz. Daisy and Hive then give identical warnings to Fitz and Simmons respectively that they should back down, because they won’t survive their next meeting. Simmons shoots Hive in the chest (with a gun given to her by May) and runs. Simmons meets Mack back at the rendezvous point, and she’s pretty upset that Fitz isn’t already there. Mack can tell something is going on between them because Bobbi and Hunter used to play the “comms are down” trick on him all the time. When Fitz does eventually make it back, he and Simmons only briefly argue before kissing and heading for the bed. FitzSimmons have officially crossed the event horizon, people! In less important news, we learn at the very end of the episode that Hive has created a whole town for his Inhumans to live in. Because of course he did.

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