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TV Review: Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.17 “The Team”
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Agents Of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 17 Cover

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Season 3 Episode 17: “The Team”
Directed by Elodie Keene
Written by DJ Doyle
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, Juan Pablo Raba, Powers Boothe, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Mark Dacascos, Gabriel Salvador
ABC
Air Date: Tuesday, April 19, 2016, 9pm

This may come as a shock, but I didn’t actually hate “The Team,” Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.17. It wasn’t all great, but there were some genuine character moments and decent plot developments. This episode was all about trust — and while a budding trust between multiple characters was quickly shattered by forces out of their control, my trust for the show began a path to renewal.

Spoilers ahead!

In this episode, we see Daisy (Chloe Bennet) and Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) right where we left them last week: on a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet summoning Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) and Yo-Yo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley) on a mission to rescue their team from Hive’s Hydra base. The plan goes fairly smoothly — or so we think — with only a couple of hiccups (Lincoln being frozen by Medusa-Man and Joey killing Medusa-Man). But in the process of saving their friends, the team is also able to kidnap Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe).

Back on the jet, Coulson (Clark Gregg) convinces Malick to tell him about Hive, and what he learns becomes the driving force of the episode. Hive is able to control other Inhumans, causing them to blindly follow him like a god. This happened to those who previously worked for Malick, and he’s suggesting that Hive most likely infected at least one of Coulson’s team members.

Not completely positive that Malick is telling the truth, but also paranoid that he is, Coulson orders a lockdown of the base, and for his non-Inhuman agents to find out who has been unwillingly corrupted. When a grenade goes off in Malick’s cell, leaving him dead, Daisy, Lincoln, Joey, and Yo-Yo dissolve under the pressure and blame one another for the event. Finally forced into contamination, Coulson reveals to the four that Lincoln is under Hive’s control. Denying the accusation, Lincoln fights his short-lived team members before Daisy finally knocks him out.

In the final scene of the episode, Daisy goes to Lincoln’s cell and it is revealed that she is, in fact, infected by Hive. She was the one who killed Malick and then set Lincoln up. She leaves the base, but not before using her powers to cause an earthquake inside, bringing the whole place down.

“The Team” worked because of two factors: the writer’s choice to use the simple human trait of trust and have it broken on many levels; and the actors pulling off incredible chemistry that hasn’t been on display all season. S.H.I.E.L.D. built relationships with Joey and Yo-Yo in the past and finally had to call on them for help, but the trust on both sides was destroyed because of Hive’s intervention; Mack (Henry Simmons) and Yo-Yo had a real connection the last time they were together, but Mack had to protect S.H.I.E.L.D. at the expense of his friendship (or blossoming romance) with Yo-Yo; and Daisy was the one who’d been trying to form the group of Inhumans, but she shattered the whole thing when she gave into Hive’s parasitic infection, destroying relationships both new and old.

Joey and Yo-Yo had great chemistry — the newbies trying to fit in and having fun testing out their abilities together. But I hurt for them when they were accused of being traitors, especially Joey, who had accidentally killed Medusa-Man, the crushing realization that he’d taken a life all over his face.

A smile grew across my face every time Mack and Yo-Yo were onscreen together because they complimented each other beautifully; but I felt Mack’s heartbreak when she walked by him, escorted by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, coldly replying to his desperate plea of “Yo-Yo” with “My name is Elena.”

And finally, after all the hate I’ve had for these two in the past, I was affected by Lincoln and Daisy’s final scene. Lincoln made me believe that he’d truly felt betrayed by Daisy. The anger that he put forth was authentic and the glazed over, drugged-out expression that Daisy had on her face as she explained her new “bond” to Hive was some fine — and creepy — acting. This was the first time in the past two seasons that I watched the two characters and experienced their emotions with them. Well done, writers. Well done.

Like I said, the episode wasn’t all good. It still felt like there was too much going on and that I had to focus extremely hard to catch everything; however, overall, I was impressed. Keep it coming.

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

– Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) were talking about helping and protecting their friends and they finally kissed! Their progression over the past three years has been the most natural part of this show. I’d watch a Fitz-Simmons spin-off.

– May (Ming-Na Wen) asks Mack, “What the hell is going on, Mack?” Mack replies, “Too damn much.” My sentiments exactly.

“Fallen Agent” is the title for next week’s episode, and just like the comics, Marvel is telling us someone is going to die instead of letting the event actually come as a shock. They must be hoping for better ratings.

Videos

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×17 Promo “The Team”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×17 Sneak Peek #1 “The Team”

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×17 Sneak Peek #2 “The Team”

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