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May 03 2016

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3x19 "Failed Experiments". The episode was written by Brent Fletcher and directed by Wendey Stanzler.

Howdy everyone !
Hey everybody hopefully you don't get interrupted tonight. If the projections are right, come November, some of you might have moved up where I am!
Tonight, politics is even weirder than scifi, so I almost don't mind?

No, that's a lie. There's no Fitzsimmons in politics.
I'm here but might not be able to comment much. My cat isn't feeling well and she's taken the place of my laptop tonight.

Curious: If you had to choose one of the characters from AoS to run for President, which one would it be?
So, where would you recommend for future ex pats, Dusk?

Another episode, another primary. It's not on the east coast, but they will probably interrupt again for Trump at the beginning, just to piss us off. We may not get interruption for the Democratic primary if Bernie wins. (Let's hope there are no interruptions!)
That's easy, NYPinTA.

Melinda May for president!
Eww, Melty.
Not about Melinda May. Melty people creep me out.
Well, that didn't work! Whoops.

Parenthetically, it's always good to see John Hannah.
Depends on what weather you want: Mild go to British Columbia. If you want hot and cold and the most going on-join me in Ontario.

I feel sort of bad for human Hive.

Movie references!

So Hydra is super-dead now.
Dusk, what line did I miss re: Hydra?

Loved the Civil War references. At least we know we're still in the same 'verse.
I'll be pissed if Mack dies.
Handsome, but dead host.... heh
Do not kill Mack, show. Also not Daisy. And if you kill May, Fitz, or Simmons, I'm picketing. In Times Square.

Well that's one way to cut to commercial!
So... Lincoln or Coulson? Fine, either way.
Hive wants to make all humans into Inhumans. Three Hydra escapees turned to literal hot goo.
He's so obnoxious I think I like him! So weird.
Agreed, NYPinTA.
He'd be an obnoxiously good replacement for Hunter.

[ edited by garyyager on 2016-05-04 02:34 ]
Nice entrance.

I kind of want James to stick around just to annoy May next year.

I might be warming up to Lincoln a bit. Its no like Fitz obeyed Coulson to give up looking for Simmons.

[ edited by Dusk on 2016-05-04 02:35 ]
So, Coulson needs to die.
Coulson really needs to train his people to follow orders occasionally.
I love at least the James ACTOR.

Lincoln ... if the word "callow" stopped coming into my mind every time he had a scene, that would help. Even though he just did something crazy brave.

Who was the adorable scared "Aliens!" soldier?
You know, Coulson's team isn't so great at following orders.
So glad there have been no interruptions tonight.
I wonder why they haven't tried calling Deathlock to help them with this crisis.
There was a scroll on my screen that beeped long enough to interrupt some dialogue. Just to tell me news I read online before the show. Grr.
When did Lincoln stop sounding like someone who used to be a physician.

[ edited by Numfar PTB on 2016-05-04 02:55 ]
Stay tuned for more Marvel... Preview of Civil War!
Lincoln's gone pretty crazy-eyed this episode. That dramatic syringe stabbing also seemed counter to best practice.
Definitely relevant, weird for those of us who already seen it.
Good question, Numfar. It seems like they forgot that detail about him.
Say hi to
At least I get to see the movie on Thursday, when it opens here.
Dammit, every freaking year! Canada gets ripped off for the movie preview. Last thing I saw was Daisy saying to drain her for Kree blood, commercials, then the promo for next week's SHIELD episode with the "1 Episode Away, Who Will die!'

What I miss?
@Dusk: Lots of fighting between Sam Wilson, Black Panther, Black Widow, and some other guy. Can't really give much in the way of detail, though.
You missed a headache-inducing shaky-cam fight scene with Black Widow and Falcon in some Middle Eastern looking place.

Hey, the two SHIELD redshirts survived the episode! I did not expect that.

This constant harping on "Who will DIEEEEE?" combined with the apparent demise of Agent Carter and Marvel's Most Wanted makes me think Marvel is really losing confidence in its television presence.

Also, R.I.P. Alisha.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2016-05-04 03:08 ]
Wait... Did ABC cancel Agent Carter?
I dunno, the SOMEONE WILL DIE reminds me of Marvel in the 80s. Always leading up to some BIG EVENT. Things look dire for the other two shows though, I admit.
@Nebula1400 Not officially, but news coming out indicates it and most wanted are dead. To be fair, a few days ago news coming out indicated Most Wanted was a lock, so who knows. We'll find out in two weeks.
Thanks Andrew and Nebula,

Not sure Alisha is dead, that still might not be her original.

Still refuse to believe Carter's dead until I see something official. Not sold on Most Wanted though so I wouldn't mind them coming back to the main show.
I doubt they'll have anything better to replace it.

I wish we knew who the folk are who came up with the Who. Will. Die? thing, so we can haunt them everywhere with that phrase till they can't stand it. Hearing it once was too much for me.
Great episode tonight.I really thought Mack was going to be killed tonight.I realize the death has been hyped for the finale but that does not mean they can't kill someone else a epiasode or two early.
I'm getting to the point where whenever I hear the "Who will die?!" nonsense I think "Fine, do it already, I don't care."
Sean Bean will play a Shield recruit named Sean Bean in the last 5 mins of the last episode and then explode for no reason. In space.
I'm pretty sure Alisha is dead. We only saw one clone in this episode, which means that she can't replace the ones she loses. The reaper killed her last clone, then Alisha rushed him and got killed herself.

This whole Who Will Die thing makes me suspect this gimmick was imposed on the writers from above.
I'm sure that's the case, AndrewC.
She's had at least 4 clones deaths this year (Lash, herself, Coulson, Kree tonight), I don't know if we know her max number. You'd think they would have said or shown this was her original.
The fact that she only had one clone hanging around, when she could have used many more suggests that was all she had left.
Yes, but theirs still reasonable doubt for me. She just lost two others maybe she wasn't back up to full strength yet.

[ edited by Dusk on 2016-05-04 04:52 ]
Heck, if I can be smart enough to keep a clone in reserve at all times, certainly Alisha must have thought of that principle as well.
I'm assuming that it is the original Alisha who rushed the Kree after the death of the clone, since she reacted to that first death... I don't think the other clones reacted to the deaths of each other, only the original felt the death of a clone. ETA: I was bothered by the idea that the original would rush in to certain death (seeing how easily the Kree had dispatched the clone), but if that really was the last possible clone that Alisha could ever produce, then maybe she felt that there wasn't any point in going on... suicide by Kree.

I honestly thought that Daisy would succeed in killing Mack in this ep, if only to set up a guilt motivator for whenever FitzSimmons eventually cure her of the Hive infection. And I'm still glad that I watch on Hulu+ and don't have to suffer through the promotional junk.

So Hive's infecting swarm is capable of dissolving Kree flesh? I wonder how he knew that in advance with no way to test it. And if HiveWard was originally some poor tribal hunter from 1000 years ago, what was the wormy parasite thing that we saw on Maveth?

[ edited by tomg on 2016-05-04 16:21 ]
I think that hunter was more like 5000 years ago. He might have been a pal of Sineya's...

My guess is that the Kree turned the hunter into an Inhuman with the ability to generate those wormlike parasites, and that those parasites can then travel into any dead human body to animate it as a new host. Then each new host also gets retrofitted with the ability to support those worms and produce more. And he can also transform the body into a mass of those wormlike things, as he demonstrated to the Hydra bosses. (And as he appears in the comics.)

It's a pretty farfetched set of abilities, but then again he was the first and was intended to rule over the rest on behalf of the Kree. So he got the deluxe package.
I really wish Coulson would come up with a good plan for once. Simmons literally just shot Hive in the last episode, and it had no effect whatsoever--why does Coulson think that sending five people to shoot him, with bigger guns, will succeed? All the evidence they have suggests GUNS DON'T KILL HIM, so when guns don't kill him, this really shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone.

I feel like the show keeps telling us that Coulson's good at his job, but what we actually see, in episode after episode, is:

1. Coulson comes up with a reckless plan that's unlikely to work
2. At least one of his agents disobeys a direct order
3. Somehow everyone survives!

Seriously, just put May in charge already. Or maybe Simmons. The two of them are more level-headed than the rest of the team put together.

The confrontation between Daisy and Mack was great, though. And I like this version of mind control: Daisy retains all her memories, her personality, etc., but when push comes to shove, doing what Hive wants is her priority. To the point that she'll kill her friends, and not feel the slightest guilt or remorse. It's creepy and insidious.

Also, I really like the new agent girl, Piper. She instantly pinged my queer-dar, so in my headcanon she is bi or lesbian until proven otherwise. (This show has yet to introduce a queer girl character, so I'll make the most of what I can get.) MORE PIPER PLZ.
If I have it right, Hive was that tribal hunter. Then the Kree turned him into an Inhuman, so he was physically altered to that wormy parasite thing. Or rather, having those wormy parasite things to carry his memories to the next host. His own body was probably his first host.

I'm curious for how long the Kree used him on Earth before he and the other Inhumans revolted and he was sent to Maveth. Were all the Inhumans sent? (Or as many as the Kree could round up, since clearly there were some left...) And how did the original members of Hydra know enough to form a group to worship him and send through sacrifices since they were all just human? Were there some humans in on the revolt against the Kree? I'm more curious about how all of that came about then I am with "who is going to die!"

I like Lincoln. Well, I don't have a problem with him, is more accurate. But it is a little bothersome that everyone else just really seems so dismissive of him, or mean, or uses him as a punching bag because they're worried about Daisy. Yeah, sure, they've known her longer. So what? People don't have dibs on how much someone means to them. And the way Coulson was so ready to sacrifice Lincoln if he got infected but sent a whole team on a mission on the off chance they might find a cure for Daisy. If that was supposed to be endearing, the lengths he would go to get Daisy back, it really wasn't. Mack's willingness to get punched a lot in his attempt was. (Even if he wasn't following orders...) But he did destroy the Kree, so his deviation was a good thing.
@erendis I am in completely agreement on Coulson. He used to be smarter with his plans. Even when it seemed they were going south and we were fooled into thinking he was outwitted, he'd do something and you'd realize it was part of the plan. I miss that. I can't even recall the last time it happened... maybe a little when he took Lincoln with him and tried to order him to kill a guy?

I instantly liked Piper too.
NYPinYA-Hive said humans and Inhumans working together banished him. The Kree pulled out on all Inhumans, not just Hive. After that both both types of people were probably scared of Hive and somehow forced him to the other planet. Some humans admired him though and wanted him back and became the Hydra branch.
I thought for sure Piper and O'Brien would be leaving us quickly... they had "redshirts" written all over them.

O'Brien we've actually seen before... he was part of the same team as May in Bahrain. Which is why he got to call her "the Cavalry" to her face without getting the stare of death.

"I feel sort of bad for human Hive."

I'm not sure I do. Kinda envious of him, to be honest. Yes, initially, his agency was taken away and he suffered horribly and I felt pity for the scared totally-human Hive (shades of The First Slayer), but the end result is that he essentially became immortal and that's not a bad consolation prize for essentially getting DNA-raped (still a lot of questions surrounding that -- like would his original body have lasted if it hadn't been killed or banished to a world with little nourishment, or does he only achieve immortality because of his ability to body jump?). He got to watch a lot of history unfold before some ancient humans and/or fellow Inhumans transported him to Maveth (would be great to find out the "how" on that, like how they managed to get the Kree's black monolith/portal-stone).

His power wouldn't make him turn out the way he has, but on the other hand, that level of power always seems to corrupt those who possess it in fantasy & sci-fi storytelling. There are few benevolent characters of Hive's kind. Then again, just by nature of him basically having been turned into an infection, maybe form does dictate function and there was no situation in which he would have co-existed peacefully with Inhumans and humans -- maybe he's driven to infect/connect and take over. Maybe his motivations are sound. He's still a villain to us, though, because we value independance and drug-free brains. He's sort of a combo Illyria/Jasmine villain (if we're talking Angel comparisons) and there was room for sympathy with both, much as they were horrifying dangers to the human populations in those arcs.

AndrewCrossett, wow, amazing catch on O'Brian being in May's Bahrain flashback episode -- how did you even catch that ? Great memory for faces, you IMDB some of the guest cast each week, or did you see it mentioned on another site ?

Is John Hannah's transhumanist doctor character someone from the comics ?

That Hive origin story was a huge tease, for me. Really only whet my appetite. I understand that there'd probably be no justification for showing his full backstory (his growing in power and influence and before the humans and Inhumans revolted and banished him), but I love the history & mythology in these's what had me loving the bulk of the Tales of The Slayer graphic novel/comic book anthology back in the day. It really colors in these worlds and makes them feel more lived in and believable. The first Cap film, Agent Carter, all the Hydra and Jiaying flashbacks, the bit of the early viking, Asgardian, and Frost Giant wars in the first Thor that we got to see...Benecio Del Toro's history lesson in Guardians...all that stuff, I eat it up when it's done well.

[ edited by Kris on 2016-05-04 20:13 ]
AndrewCrossett, wow, amazing catch on O'Brian being in May's Bahrain flashback episode -- how did you even catch that ? Great memory for faces, you IMDB some of the guest cast each week, or did you see it mentioned on another site ?

I actually caught it while updating my universal Jossverse character guide:

Is John Hannah's transhumanist doctor character someone from the comics ?

Yep, Holden Radcliffe was a villain in the Machine Teen miniseries years ago.
Dusk, thanks. Somehow I missed all that. I saw the flashback sequence. Maybe I was distracted by how much it reminded me of Stargate and Buffy at the same time and lost track of the exposition...
After many backs and forths over the seasons, especially this one, I realized and/or decided during this episode that clearly I no longer care one whit about anything that's happening or anyone it's happening to. Also, Hive is really really really boring. I'll finish out the season but I'm probably out after that.
"Hive is really really really boring."

True story.
There are far more boring characters than Hive. I kind of like his understated reading of the character, because he borders on good and evil, rather than being a completelt despicable character. Check out any of the series currently running opposite AOS, and you'll see what I mean.

I get the sense that Joss isn't even reading the scripts anymore. The show is still very watchable, and still one of the better shows on TV, despite its flaws.
I don't think Joss has been involved for some time now - certainly not this season, and I doubt he was involved last year while making Ultron. If I were to guess early on he helped with character creation and early season arc design and then handed it off

Of the three seasons I'd say last half of Season 1 through first half Season 2 were strongest, but the Inhuman storyline has been a bit of a slog. I like FitzSimmons and Daisy quite a bit, Bobbi when she was on, and Mack continues to grow on me. I don't think Coulson has ever been given a consistent persona, and I'm kinda hoping he's the one who is lost - it would give the show a real shot to retool and finally decide what it wants to be

To be clear, I enjoy it, but the quality seems to vary from episode to episode more than any other series I follow
So - Daisy says "Drain me" while offering her blood to her beloved.
Something familiar about that interaction.
"beloved" is stretching this a bit, I'd say. :)
I've been trying hard to like Lincoln because I feel bad for Luke Campbell that his character isn't popular. I gave up on that after this episode. Also, while I've been hoping for a Lash/Hive showdown, now I'd love to see the Agents Koenig take down Hive instead (or at least help out). I miss those guys.
I also find myself kind of hoping that Coulson is the one to go. I loved him in the Avengers, and CG is great, but his character is written so inconsistently. The attempt to balance quippy and grim, hard-assed and soft-hearted, pragmatic and completely irrational is just not working for me. And the plan to kill Hive this week was SO ridiculous. I'm not usually very picky about plot if I like the characters (and I really like most of these characters), but the idea that they wanted to go kill Hive with guns was just too absurd.

I like Hive, though. I love how he has the memories (and the feelings?) of all of his hosts.

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