The presence of Inhumans seems to be front and center this season on Agents of SHIELD. Everyone is either afraid of them, trying to control them or trying to make them a positive force. All three of those forces emerged this week, with Ward/HIVE finding a drastic way to become healthier.
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Coulson also has to deal with being the boss of the new head of the ATCU, General Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar), as they head to a symposium in Taiwan to discuss what to do with them. Talbot is not too happy about it, but not for the reason you’d expect. He even has Carl Creel, the Absorbing Man (Brian Patrick Wade), as a bodyguard, mainly so that Talbot can claim he has an Inhuman of his own. This could be as ill-advised as Peggy Carter asking Dottie Underwood to help out on an SSR mission. Just ask Hunter, who knows Creel killed two agents last season. Anyway, Coulson suspects Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) may have an “inside man” to influence the outcome.
Speaking of Malick, he still wonders what Ward/HIVE has in mind. His health hasn’t improved, but his determination to take over the world is still there. Malick still sees him as the general of the HYDRA-Inhuman army. They just got a new member in Lucio (Gabriel Salvador), the cop with the deadly stare from Bogota that HYDRA grabbed last week .
Coulson gets in the symposium posing as a biologist. He also tries to be the voice of reason by pointing out Inhumans are quite human overall, aside from the gene that gives them powers. Petrov (Ravil Isyanov), representing Russia, thinks the Inhumans should have their own state, sort of like Afterlife, while others say certain countries may want to use their powers for one reason or another. It’s an interesting discussion, actually, and might lead to a connection to the issues that will be part of Captain America: Civil War.
It would be natural that Lincoln and Daisy (aka “Shake and Bake”) should be included in the discussion, but they’re being left behind. They also discuss how being an Inhuman affected them both. She has embraced her powers, but he admits he has problems controlling his electrical powers. They’re both surprised to learn Creel’s blood actually protects him from terrigenesis. That could mean a vaccine, which Daisy does not like at all. While her powers, and those already infected, would be preserved, she’s worried the government will use it to phase out Inhumans by possibly forcing a cure. Maybe she should have been in that meeting.
Back in Taiwan, the crew uses some special gloves to break into the hotel rooms where the symposium’s being held. They hope to find out who Malick’s hidden ally is. They may have better luck than Talbot, who suspects everyone. When the group seems to support giving Inhumans their own state, Talbot says they should postpone the vote, because he says Coulson is a traitor. Then someone shows up to back up Talbot’s claims….none other than Malick. He uses his reputation (not unlike Alexander Pierce) to convince the group Coulson actually heads HYDRA.
However, there is a reason for all this: Malick grabbed Talbot’s son, because he has the Inhuman gene. Surprisingly, Creel actually winds up saving the day and helps Talbot and Coulson. (If that’s possible, Dottie could join the SSR on the next season of Agent Carter, if there is one.) As for the general’s son, May is able to find him. So, it looks like the Coulson/Talbot partnership could work. However, if Talbot does learn about Creel’s blood, it could lead to a very interesting debate.
While all of this is happening, Ward/HIVE wants five humans brought before him. He expels spores from his body that melt them. He absorbs the, er, liquified remains and looks like he just emerged from a vat of caramel, but ends up looking more like his old self. That’s not good news. (By the way, TV Line has a story about Brett Dalton being in that goo.)
What about Bobbi and Lance? They’re following Malick and Petrov, hoping to find out if Malick is serving someone else while he’s claiming to care about the “unfortunate” Inhumans. This could be the start of events leading to the proposed SHIELD’s Most Wanted spinoff. It’ll also be interesting if they find out what really happened to Ward.
Their mission continues next week, while another Inhuman arrives that may cause major hurt for the crew.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on ABC.