Lash's True Identity Endangers Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'
The inhuman targeting other inhumans is a threat to the team -- and to the TV show.
Spoilers ahead, obviously.
In “Among Us Hide…” Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returned to the narrative well that saved its first season by revealing Lash, the current season’s bad guy, to be Agent May’s boo Andrew Garner. While the internet had buzzed with that theory, I didn’t want it to be true. We have a clear idea where this season is going and we can predict basically all of the arc’s beats. Most of all, it possibly ruins Agent May.
One of the best characters in the show and arguably all of genre TV today, Agent May began this season on a sabbatical. The one-woman wrecking crew deserved to know a life outside of S.H.I.E.L.D., but she couldn’t when she lived in constant paranoia that Ward, the last turncoat, could strike again. She could barely enjoy a vacation with her estranged husband Andrew, and now she can’t even be near him because he’s a hulking alien with spikes poking out of his skin.
May might never know life outside S.H.I.E.L.D. if the people she always has relationships with (remember that May and Ward were fuck buddies) are actual monsters underneath their skin. The decision to have Andrew be Lash will be rich for May, who will suffer a more personal torment than when Ward turned out to be working for Hydra. But that poignancy comes at the cost of the season.
I can almost predict the beats for the season going forward. Now that May knows who Lash/Andrew is, she’ll have her initial confrontation (bet on “I loved you!” being screamed as tears flow), Lash’s escape for however many episodes, and then one finale showdown before the mid-season finale. It will only be after that could things get interesting — does Andrew/Lash live or die? If he lives, what does he do? Will May actually retire? — but until then, the rest of the season has switched to autopilot.
For May, what she does after the Andrew/Lash ordeal could make or break her character. She could “retire” for good because she’ll never live in peace until she’s away from S.H.I.E.L.D., but if she does the show is ruined. Let’s be real, she’s the best character in the whole damn show, and if she doesn’t (she comes back for the second time) then it’s cheap drama. Cheaper than Glenn staying alive in The Walking Dead.
At least Jemma’s love triangle between Fitz and space cave man Will could be interesting. That might be worth sticking around for.