In an episode that pulls the threads on a few of the plot lines set up by the first two episodes, and has at least one cringe-worthy moment, Simmons (played by Elizabeth Henstridge) takes center stage. Though we don’t get to find out exactly what happened to her while she was on that alien planet for months, we do know that she has been changed by it. Having survived on her own (we’re not sure yet how) for so long, she is no longer interested in her work. This is perhaps best captured when she tells Fitz that she lost interest in studying the planet she was on when the fear set in. All we know about her time on the planet (besides the sciency mumbo-jumbo about the difference in gravity and atmosphere) is that she was being “hunted,” and that she desperately needs to go back. When I heard her say “I have to go back,” all I could think of was Lost. I hope this storyline has a more satisfying conclusion than Lost’s did.
In contrast, Fitz loses all of his edge in this episode. Now that he has rescued Simmons, he has gone back to being a timid and understanding (for the most part) shoulder for Simmons to lean on. I hope that this is only temporary – I already miss Fitz in full James Bond mode. Fitz seems eager to pick up where he left off with Simmons. He even held their original dinner reservation the entire time she was missing. With any luck, this storyline will divert elsewhere, and leave the whole romance subplot in the dust. I would much rather spend screen time learning about where Simmons was than seeing the two of them awkwardly flirt with each other.
The storyline that the episode gets its name from follows Lincoln on the run from the government task force. He’s angry that the life he built for himself is now in ruins, and he doesn’t want anything to do with Daisy or S.H.I.E.L.D. at all. Of course, the problem was that Lincoln didn’t really have a dark past or formative event, besides his experience with the Inhumans. Thus, the writers of the show decided to give him one, in a cringe-worthy scene. He kills his friend on accident when he shocks him with lightning, then fails to revive him. The entire scene was cliche and totally absurd. We have seen Lincoln in clear and full control of his powers, and yet he can’t control them enough to avoid giving someone a heart attack? Not to mention the fact that the premise of the whole scene is just to give him something to brood about. This is even worse than the backstory they created for Grant Ward, which I thought was boring and cliche.
They didn’t stop there, though. After Lincoln calls Daisy in a move that surprised no one, she and Mack arrive on the scene. Daisy shows up first, of course, so the two of them can have a moment alone to …. make out. That’s right. Lincoln, who ran away from the Inhumans, from S.H.I.E.L.D., and even the government, swearing up and down that he’s done with all of them, was motivated to return to the fold through the power of love. Cliche, motivationless, whitebread love. I almost turned off the TV right then and there.
The third storyline of the episode was about Lance and May’s further adventures infiltrating Hydra. It went pretty much as expected: Lance went through an initiation to get into the gang, and they climbed one step further up the ladder towards Ward. There were some decent character moments, but the whole “find Ward” storyline is still too boring to care about.
You might not believe me when I say this, but I love Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., I really do! That’s why it sucks to be writing such a negative review. There were some good moments in this episode, but they didn’t even come close to outweighing the groan-worthy moments. Simmons shines in this episode, but she’s about the only character who does. Hopefully Agents forgets about all their flawed romantic subplots and gets on with the story we’re all here for: super humans and super spies, shooting stuff and looking cool.