SPOILER WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING REVIEW:This review will contain spoilers for the episode discussed, please make sure to watch the episode and then check out this recap, unless spoilers are your thing.
This was a fantastic episode of S.H.I.E.L.D.! Daisy gets a glimpse into the 4th dimension (its deadly) from the touch of a new Inhuman homeless Charles, who possess the ability to glimpse into the future, and always sees horrible results. The team is faced with the conundrum of fighting space-time knowing what’s going to happen and trying to fight predestination in preventing further horrors and death at the hands of Malick and the evil dead Ward. After a couple of episodes that felt rather transitional, it was great to see S.H.I.E.L.D. come back with a fun, beautifully shot, and ever intriguing episode.
I love that the beginning of this episode, with the elegant shot of the wooden robin and the fiery embers flying around it, foreshadows where the end of this episode concludes as we are introduced to homeless Charles. Being rather resourceful he is making art supplies from trash and putting the finishing touches on his wood carved robin piece as local business owner Edwin Abbott comes out to usher homeless Charles away. But feeling a little empathy, Edwin offers Charles some money for a nice breakfast and accidentally makes the mistake of making contact. Whenever a person touches Charles’ skin they and Charles are treated to a little vision of the future, but it’s a vision that always ends in a tragic death. This vision makes Edwin see some particularly interesting events, mainly concerning Daisy, Hydra and how he is going die.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is tipped off to Edwin’s 911 call following his vision by listening into the scatter feeds all across the country. Daisy, who Edwin is a complete stranger to, needs to figure out how this man got her name, and especially how Hydra connects into this. The team heads off to New York to investigate and as Daisy interrogates Edwin things become a little clearer to her. Homeless Charles didn’t curse Edwin as he claims, Edwin just got a taste of his precognitive Inhuman abilities and as this dawns on Daisy Hydra appears in the sky. We get a wonderfully choreographed action sequence with the Hydra copter raining down fire and killing Edwin, as he already knew would happen. Daisy races to save homeless Charles as the Hydra claw machine snatches him up, but not before he grasps Daisy’s hand and gives her a mixture of haunting images that will soon come to pass.
Even though they have yet to call him this by name, I’m going to start referring to Squidward, Evil Dead Ward, or whatever name you know want to use for the Inhuman god that is living inside Grant Ward’s dead body, as Hive from now on. We’ve gotten confirmation from the show creators that Hive is indeed this character, or is at least tweaked a bit and made to be S.H.I.E.L.D.’s version of Hive (as they have done before with Daisy’s dad Mister Hyde). And damn does Hive look cool walking slow motion with his billowy Neo-esque jacket, I’m totally on board with this menacing newly formed Hive and have to give credit where credit is due to Bret Dalton who has really been showing some great range as an actor on this show. He’s played dependable and boring Agent Ward, traitorous psychopath Ward, and now he is bringing us a whole new character to play around with as Hive’s current body sack. The dynamics between Malick and Hive are shifting and this dinner scene was a great way to show how power is trading hands and a human’s touch may not be required for much longer. The two characters have a great back and forth between each other over a fancy dinner as Hive ponders and pokes at Malick to tell him what an influential billionaire like himself wants with an alien god. When it comes down to it, Malick wants true power, the kind of power Giyera, homeless Charles, and Hive possess. Hive says he’ll give this to him, while placing Coulson’s abandoned murder weapon left hand on the table, he tells them it is time to go above ground.
A crying woman (1), FitzSimmons holding hands in the snow (2), Lincoln sporting a bloody face (3), Daisy taking on numerous assailants inside a security room (4), Coulson shooting her (5), and homeless Charles on the roof of a building saying he thought she could help (6). Daisy informs the team of every little detail she saw in her vision, and she knows someone dies at the end. She is in official I will save this man mode and alter the ending of this glimpse into the future, when Fitz has to put some things into perspective. I loved how he attempts to explain the 4th dimension and space-time and mathematics (which would all go way over my head) to the other agents and has to hammer home the main and important point: time is an illusion; you can glimpse the 4th dimension (the future) but you are only seeing what will happen, you cannot change it. Coulson makes the call to instead send May in, and for the rest of the team to stay on base. Daisy, who is in full swing I will save this man mode, is not happy about it.
Malick and his team of evilness arrive at their above ground location, the Transia Corp. building, home of the company that created part of the transplant tech that Fitz used to make Coulson’s murder hand. Malick has called for a meeting with the big wigs, and makes the proposal to buy out the company. The head CEO, Rowan Hamilton, is laughing at first, but informs Malick he doesn’t like when his time get wasted, and refuses Malick’s offer. That is why any self-respecting business man today knows, you have to bring in your Inhuman associates if you want your corporate negotiations to go just as you’d like. Hive instructs homeless Charles to touch Rowan and show him what will happen and he is treated to a very graphic scene of the skin of his associates being decomposed off in the most horrific way. Rowan agrees to anything Malick and Hive want, signing over the company, and begs them to go. But as Hive reminds him, he said he would show them what will happen as he unleashes his spores/dust/particles on Rowan’s associates and killing them instantly (or at least I hope it was instant, for their sake).
Hive brought Malick to Transia Corp. for a special exoskeleton prototype suit that was the company’s leading patient. Hive instructs Malick to put the suit on and feel real power like he and other Inhumans possess. Malick is a bit hesitant at first but gets the suit on and has some fun breaking vases and flipping tables. But the true power that Hive wanted to show Malick could only be felt if he takes another man’s life. Malick wants to know what purpose that will have, killing Rowan, but Hive doesn’t need a purpose, he wants Malick to murder simply to feel the power from the act.
Back at SHIELD base, facial recognition software has found Charles identity and they are able to bring in his wife for questioning. Daisy gets the story of how poor Charles discovered his new abilities and how it affected everything in his life. He would try and try again to prevent the deaths he saw in every vision, but was powerless to do anything. In the end, he abandoned home, his wife and his little 18 months old daughter, from the pain of never being able to touch anyone again. It is when Daisy asks about the wooden robin Charles carved that she sees part of her vision come true. Charles’ wife begins to cry (1) as she tells Daisy that Robin is their daughters’ name. Given the order to stay on base is not sitting too well with Daisy, and May knows a way to make her feel useful. The team has a situation room set up where Daisy will walk May through so she can make it on time to save homeless Charles on the roof. I loved (I know, I loved a lot of things about this episode) these scenes of the team coming together and working through the fight that is fast coming up in the near future. May having to tell Simmons to fall down, she’s dead, was great. But as Fitz again reiterates, he wonders what is going to happen to prevent May from going because he knows Daisy will go in the end. May gets her timing down perfect and a location of the building all this will go down is found, Transia Corp. May is amping up to go as the security alarms are triggered by an intruder on base. Dr. Andrew Garner is back, surrendering himself because he feels the next time he turns into Lash he may not come back.
May is out and Daisy is back in on the rescue mission to save Charles. It would be cruel to force May, even though she still wants to go, to continue with the mission when her ex-husband could be gone forever very soon. If only Daisy goes on the mission that could alter the visions she had enough to change the outcome and as Coulson sends Daisy off, and calling her Skye again which made me smile a little, Fitz and Simmons work on hacking into the security feed for Transia. As the monitors come to life the team sees Giyera speaking to unidentified person and we get a quick shot of Hive slowly turning around before the camera feed cuts out. Coulson, Lincoln, Fitz and Simmons can’t believe what they just saw, and what could Daisy be possible walking into. It looks like Daisy going in alone is out of the equation.
Daisy infiltrates the building pretty easily, dispatches of all the security guards (4) as foretold to her, and takes a second to understand that she is looking into a one-way mirror as she sees Coulson come in and shooting it up (5), taking out a guard behind it that was about to gun Daisy down. Coulson tells her to get to the roof as Hydra is moving homeless Charles there now. Daisy asks what he is going to do and Coulson says he is going to find Grant Ward. To which Daisy doesn’t have time to ask the appropriate amount of questions for that reveal, but just gives him a huge WTF face and heads off to save homeless Charles.
Lincoln searches for Hive as he comes across Giyera, who in almost classic slap stick fashion, telekinesises a fire hydrant into Lincoln’s head, giving him a pretty bad head wound with blood gushing everywhere (3). Daisy gets to the roof just in time to save Charles but there is someone else up there that the vision didn’t mention. Malick, suited up in his powered exoskeleton get-up, roughs the unsuspecting Daisy up really good, diverting her vibrational powers to hit a sign on the roof and causing smoking embers. Malick is having the time of his life beating up on Daisy, feeling powerful and mighty. Malick would have probably gotten away with kicking and hitting Daisy to death if it wasn’t for Charles appearing to save day. He touches Malick and gives him a vision we the audience are not clued in on, but this distraction gives Daisy enough time to vibrate Malick away as he chokes Charles. Malick is thrown like a rag doll and the power of his exoskeleton suit gets cut out. Daisy lies there next to the dying Charles (6) as he tells her his fear of what will happen to his daughter if she is an Inhuman like him. Daisy promises to protect her as Charles loses his grip on life and passes away, but before he passes completely Daisy touches his hand one last time and is given another terrifying vision. And anyone who has watched Bouncing Back will instantly recognize this scene as the one that opened the episode with a THREE MONTHS FROM NOW tag. I was glad to see this scene get more context, even though it is still huge mystery. Below on the ground floor, FitzSimmons looks up and sees not snow, but ash as it falls on their faces. Simmons takes the opportunity to grab Fitz’s hand (2) and tells him maybe somethings are inevitable.
May and Andrew have a well needed, therapist recommended, talk as Andrew is being given the Inhuman vaccine Simmons has been working on. With everything that has been going on moving the story forward in this later half of season 3, Lash and Andrew’s story was pushed a little to the back of my mind. But seeing Andrew make this return reminded me how much I enjoyed him as May’s lost love on the show. It hurt when it was revealed Lash was Andrew and that pain is seen all over May’s face in these scenes. Andrew tells her that he still feels like Lash is doing something he is meant to do, that there is more to the current situation that maybe they do not all understand. But May is in the business of saving lives, not taking them as Lash does. The last thing May wanted was hope, and seeing Andrew for what may be the last time hit her in the feels probably as hard as she’s ever been hit physically before (and May is one tough woman). Andrew is able to get himself into the containment pod as he transforms into Lash, the verdict on if Simmon’s vaccine will work is still in question.
Our closing scene has Hive telling Giyera that the exoskeleton suit technology is not what they are after as Malick gives them a ring. He obviously was able to make an escape in his helicopter before S.H.I.E.L.D got to the roof, and is not happy that Giyera, his head of security, was not with him at all times like he should be. Giyera informs Malick that that is not his job anymore, and he is right where he is supposed to be, at Hive’s side. Hive inquires if the old man is okay, and Giyera tells him he sounded strange, he sounded as if he was afraid, which is something I’m sure that Malick usually never feels.
Photo credited to: ABCTV/SHIELD