Warning: this review contains spoilers. You can find all of my Agents of SHIELD reviews here.
After the game-changing events of last week, “The Singularity” was more of a setup episode—which is not at all a bad thing. For most shows, this would be an opportunity to have a “downtime” episode (see: this week’s The Flash and Arrow), a quieter installment focusing on the fallout from recent major shakeups. And though “The Singularity” did feature Coulson and the team dealing with the consequences of Daisy’s betrayal, it also kept the plot moving forward on multiple fronts. And it grounded all of those elements by focusing on Fitz and Simmons, Agents of SHIELD‘s current emotional center.
It’s a bit funny that the episode’s name, which initially brought to mind sci-fi imagery, turned out to be a reference to Fitz and Simmons having sex. And yet it’s also kind of sweet, especially after watching Fitz use an overly scientific explanation to basically state that his relationship with Jemma was about to change for good. But it was a change that was a long time coming, which made the episode’s ending incredibly satisfying. But, as I mentioned last week, I’m so used to FitzSimmons being “cursed” that I’m kind of nervous about the future. For now, though, it’s a well-earned happy moment.
A far less heartwarming pairing in “The Singularity” was that of Daisy and Hive. The explanation that Hive’s “mind control” was like an addiction that enhanced pre-existing key feelings was a good way to not only distance Hive from other similar mind controlling villains but also to have Daisy retain some personality while under his sway. It made her mostly the same character as before, allowing us to remain interested in following her and able to empathize with her to a degree. A good proof of that was her confrontation with Fitz, in which she clearly displayed genuine caring for him, even as she threatened to end his life.
Meanwhile, we saw more evidence of Hive retaining not just the memories but traces of the personalities of his former hosts. If not for Will’s influence, I’m sure Simmons would not have survived meeting Hive. Instead, we got a strong scene in which Brett Dalton channeled Will and tried to reach out to Jemma, but she had none of it. And as I mentioned last week, Hive likely took on Ward’s fixation on Daisy as well, as evidenced by that oh so creepy arm he placed around her shoulder. What a twisted way to pay off on the romantic tension between Ward and Skye back in Season 1.
Another of Agents of SHIELD‘s strong (if non-romantic) pairings is Coulson and May, and “The Singularity” was another great example of their unique relationship. I loved seeing May pretty aggressively call out Coulson on his recent callous tactics, especially compared to his protectiveness of Daisy. He was willing to outright kill Lincoln if compromised yet wanted to protect Daisy at all costs. It was sweet when he referred to her as the closest thing he had to a daughter, but May was right. Pull yourself together, Phil.
A lot of other things happened this week. Hive obtained two Kree artefacts that are the only thing that could destroy him (a Chekov’s gun if I ever saw one) and kidnapped Dr. Radcliffe to continue the work of the ancient Kree who created the Inhumans. James, who has quickly become a particularly entertaining character, got his explosive powers and was revealed to be comic book Secret Warrior Hellfire before promptly being infected by Hive. Oh, and Hydra was finally defeated.
In fact, Hydra’s defeat was the one thing I didn’t think was handled well. Although I don’t mind that it was finally eradicated (it had become perhaps too much of a recurring villain) and I liked that it was thanks to Malick’s intel, it took place mostly offscreen and far too quickly, not exactly the epic ending SHIELD’s biggest enemy deserves. Maybe Marvel had mandated Hydra to be shuffled off quickly in time for Civil War? In any case, I feel like the “cut off one head, to more shall take its place” motto is enough to leave the door open in case the Hydra thread gets picked up again in the future, although I hope it doesn’t happen soon.
Rating: 4/5 (Great)
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