Cut off the head, and two more takes its place. That’s been the motto of HYDRA, the evil secret society stemming from occult Nazis in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But under Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) watch, HYDRA is no more. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. unceremoniously eliminated its most enduring threat that’s risen to power since Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Solider. But there’s no celebrating. It was a chore just to get to the real threat: Hive (Brett Dalton), who is ushering in the Kree invasion.
“The Singularity” continues the fallout of Daisy (Chloe Bennet) defecting to Hive’s side. It isn’t a devastating loss — she’s under his dopamine-induced mind control — but it will suck when the fight happens and she’s pitted against her friends. With Daisy gone, the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. go in hot pursuit to a) find a way to get her back and b) find a way to reverse Hive’s “control” (they call it “infection”, like a disease).
What would be a smash-and-bash pursuit instead becomes a meditative pause (with a few punches and kicks, natch) in which Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) discuss their new relationship while everyone else just works. It’s kind of unfair: Those two kids have sex while everyone else does their job? Yeah, it’s Agents of S.H.I.E.D. pandering to fandom shippers, and even I’ve been wanting those two to finally go at it. At least it’s finally out of their system.
The pursuit in “The Singularity” ultimately amounts to nothing this week, except for Coulson brandishing a nifty, literal shield (“I thought it’d be good for the head of S.H.I.E.L.D. to have a shield,” and of course it looks like Captain America’s) to protect Agent May (Ming-Na Wen). Meanwhile, the “potential Inhuman” James (Axle Whitehead) unlocks his superpowers during a hostile visit from Daisy and Hive, making him Hellfire from Brian Michael Bendis and Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warriors (whose name was J.T. Slade in the comics). Fitz, Simmons, and Mack (Henry Simmons) try to find a reclusive transhumanist scientist, Holden Radcliffe (also from the comics) to reverse Hive’s control, but Hive arrives and takes Radcliffe to his side.
Though full of reveals and advances fan-favorites Fitz and Simmons’ relationship, “The Singularity” would be ann almost a pointless filler if not for the necessary set-ups that we’ll see played out next week, when the series lines up with Marvel’s game-changing Captain America: Civil War. The Marvel heroes aren’t the only ones going to war. I just wish I was more excited for it.