Spy shenanigans, physical and psychological rehabilitation, loving monologues, and fistfight tryouts. A lot happened this week on “Agents of SHIELD” and all in all it made for a pretty entertaining episode. While this week sadly left us wanting in terms of the psychotic Grant Ward and his hair-brained schemes, we at least got some Hydra action in the form of Lance Hunter finding his “in” for the evil agency as he begins his undercover mission. Nick Blood certainly earned his name this episode, as Lance had to compete in a Hydra fight club(!) to gain an audience with higher-ups and be welcomed into the fold.
Chicken with a Ferrari, aimless torture until the subject pushes back, fight clubs…you have to admire Ward’s gloriously cartoonish recruitment/loyalty-testing tactics. May they never end! Naturally, Hunter got the gig and scored a meeting with one of Ward’s lieutenants. Here’s hoping his movement within Hydra is a little less painful for him than his entrance exam. May also scored another fine moment, wailing on some horny would-be Hydra goons in a backroom at the fight location. It’s always a pleasure to watch Ming Na-Wen wail on a bunch of deserving scumbags.
Moving on, Simmons’ psychological recovery is still on-going, much like Fitz’s was in the first season. Thankfully the writing has improved since then, so this subplot isn’t nearly as tedious. It also helps that her trauma arose from being stranded on an alien world, as opposed to oxygen deprivation at the bottom of the sea. Her desire to return to said unknown alien world makes for an interesting wrinkle. I just hope that they don’t drop the ball on that notion and don’t hold back on the weird when the time comes to explore the alien locale.
The core story this weekend involved the ATCU hunting down Lincoln and Daisy’s efforts to help him, despite his hesitance at the thought of trusting SHIELD again. Almost being turned over to the ATCU by Coulson certainly didn’t help matters. Even with Daisy professing her true feelings to him, it’s probably going to take a lot more than a kiss to persuade Lincoln to help SHIELD the next time they track him down.
Speaking of the ATCU, I’m still not quite sure what to make of this particular arc. Their head, Rosalind Price, isn’t a particular interesting character, so the inter-agency cooperation and antagonism isn’t nearly as entertaining here as it was with General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) in Season 1 and Director Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) in Season 2. If I have a big complaint about this season so far, it’s that the ATCU is a pretty bland roadblock for Coulson & Co. to be facing on a weekly basis. Here’s hoping that changes in the weeks to come.