While Iron Man and Captain America lead a divided Avengers in Captain America: Civil War, the agency at the center of Marvel’s TV side is also dealing some internal strife.
On Tuesday night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the secret organization charged with protecting the world tries to resolve its own problems revolving around the fact that Daisy (Chloe Bennet) is under the control of Inhuman, Hive (Brett Dalton). The biggest problem is that her feelings toward Hive are getting more real with every passing episode. When S.H.I.E.L.D. leads a strike against Hive, it backfires. Fortunately, it makes one of the better episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
When S.H.I.E.L.D. flags Daisy using a unique surveillance system that she herself made, S.H.I.E.L.D. plans a Seal Team Six-like operation to kill Hive once and for all. But the plan derails when two Kree mercenaries (Remember Guardians of the Galaxy? They’re the blue aliens) also hunt for Hive, who is luring them out for his ultimate experiment — turning humans into Inhumans — that requires the blood of live Kree.
Exceptionally paced and well-plotted, “Failed Experiments” is a real win for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It only makes cute references to the ongoing Civil War instead of involving itself too much like the series has done in the past. It is a bummer knowing how disconnected Marvel’s TV and movies are, but it’s also to the benefit of its viewers they don’t need to keep up with the increasingly complicated MCU to simply enjoy the stakes in S.H.I.E.L.D.
The question going forward is Daisy and her allegiance. It’s unclear where her heart lies. Hive’s control, similar to that of Kilgrave’s in Jessica Jones or Loki’s scepter in 2012’s The Avengers, compels the victim to want to believe instead of zombifying them. It’s cult-like, and there’s no conceivable way S.H.I.E.LD. can reverse the effects. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) barely had something in the works, but following Lincoln’s (Luke Mitchell) hasty and eager self-experimenting, they’re back at square one. Chloe Bennet gives a convincing performance, making it hard to tell if Daisy believes in Hive or if she’s internally calling for help. As the hero of the series one could be pessimistic and decide she’ll come back eventually, but until then Bennet is doing a hell of a job keeping viewers guessing.