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TV Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.14 “Watchdogs”
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Agents Of SHIELD 3.14

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Season 3 Episode 14: “Watchdogs”
Directed by Jesse Bochco
Written by Drew Z. Greenberg
Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Starring Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, Titus Welliver, Mark Dacascos, Gaius Charles, Trenton Rostedt, Justin Morck, Jonathan Camp, D. Elliot Woods
ABC
Air Date: Tuesday, March 29, 2016, 9pm

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 3.14 formally introduces the Watchdogs, an anti-Inhuman group that has now turned to terrorism to further their cause. In this installment of the Marvel series, we also meet Mack’s (Henry Simmons) brother, Ruben (Gaius Charles).

Read on below for a recap of the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Watchdogs.”

Mack and Ruben are the main focus this week, and while we get to know their personal relationship, their interactions also reflect the varying states of public opinion on the Inhuman crisis. Mack has actually grown to more of a place of understanding that Inhumans are just people (some are bad and some are good), but Ruben feels differently. Life is pushing down on Ruben, from a defaulting mortgage to taking care of his parents alone to being laid off from his job. He’s been following the Watchdogs online, and even when the group shows themselves imploding a government building (likely with people inside) on LIVE TV, he seems to think it’s “awesome.” Of course, Mack is horrified.

Although arguing on different issues, Mack is also at odds with Daisy on how to handle the Watchdogs. Daisy (Chloe Bennet) wants to interrogate (with the use of force) a possible recruit for the Watchdogs in order to get intel, but Mack disagrees. Daisy does what she wants, of course, because she always does what she wants. She terrifies the heck out the recruit, and while she does get her information, she reinforces the idea that Inhumans are scary, harmful, and not to be trusted. Furthermore, in a confrontation with a group of Watchdogs, she ignores orders from Coulson (Clark Gregg) and Mack to retreat, she insists on fighting, which results in Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) getting shot with the imploding substance (modified Nitramine). Thankfully, they are able to freeze it off, but it’s clear by the end that Daisy learned her lesson. She knows that she needs to be a team player and have her team’s back.

In the end, Ruben finds out what Mack really does and there is a confrontation. They are disagreeing and arguing when the Watchdogs show up at the house. After the organization saw Ruben earlier (who followed Mack and company) and then saw Daisy’s powers, they mistakenly thought Ruben was the Inhuman. Mack instructs Ruben as they fight back and escape. Ruben, a civilian with no combat experience, is understandably shaken by the encounter and also awestruck and proud of his brother’s bravery. This is certainly a happy ending to this story, but where would Ruben be had it not been for a loving and courageous family member like Mack? He could have become a Watchdog or a terrorist. Sadly, I think this is a small window into some of the troubling things that are happening in the world right now.

Most importantly, Coulson and S.H.I.E.L.D. realize that Malick (Powers Boothe) is the architect of this “distraction” and that there is something much bigger going on. Unfortunately, the protagonists seem to be at least one step behind…or maybe several.

S.H.I.E.L.D.ed Observations:

– May (Ming-Na Wen) finds Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) practicing her shooting, quickly gathering that Simmons is suffering from guilt over the death of Will, Fitz’ past injuries, and Andrew’s disappearance. It turns out that May, too, is feeling guilty over Andrew as well, allowing for the two to connect in a way they haven’t been able to in quite some time.

– When Mack is messing up the Watchdogs, he attaches a meat cleaver to the end of his shotgun. In one of the greatest lines ever spoken on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Mack matter-of-factly proclaims, “Shotgun-Axe.”

– Coulson isn’t happy with Lincoln’s (Luke Mitchell) performance evaluation — mainly due to his overly violent actions — so he takes him on a mission to find Blake. Unbeknownst to Lincoln, Coulson realizes that Blake is a simply a hologram (a Blakogram?), and demands that Lincoln kill him. Lincoln hesitates, but then obliges, making Coulson a very happy commanding officer. But nothing Lincoln does can save him from being extremely boring.

Videos

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×14 Promo “Watchdogs”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×14 Sneak Peek “Watchdogs”

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