What an episode! This has been one of my favorite episodes of Agents of SHIELD this season. The whole episode was filled with amazing dynamics in relationships, new information, a few old characters brought back, and so many great story lines leading into the rest of the season. I loved this episode a lot. From Coulson and Talbot’s time together, Bobbi being a bad ass as usual, May stepping up as always, a possible vaccine for terragenesis, and so much more! It was full of action and crosses and double crosses. It was exciting and I can’t wait for more episodes! Here are my top 5 moments from “The Inside Man.”
- Parting Shots
Let’s start with the very end of the episode. Coulson starts to think that Malick may not be the “head” of Hydra, that he’s reporting to someone even more powerful and probably even more evil. That’s about all that’s said, but Coulson is at least starting to suspect that there’s something more at work than just Malick and his plans. Hopefully Coulson’s hunch will ensure that SHIELD is prepared to battle Hive, although I don’t know if they’d ever be prepared to see Ward’s face again.
The last shot we get to see in this episode is Malick on a private plane with one of the delegates of the Inhuman symposium. Malick is persuading him to believe that the Inhumans should be rounded up and given a safe place to be, which he believes is away from Coulson. As this conversation continues, the camera pans down to the “belly of the beast,” the storage place on that plane, and we see Bobbi and Hunter hiding out. How did they get on that plane? Where are they being taken? Why are they there? This could get pretty intense pretty quickly. I’m excited to see how this plays out.
- Lincoln and Daisy
Their relationship has been a strange little piece of the puzzle for a while now. We know that they are a thing, but we hardly get to see it and when we get to see their little moments, it somehow feels a little bit forced or just doesn’t quite fit right. It was nice in this episode to see them get to spend some time together and we got to see their relationship become a little more real. They took some time to train together. They got to argue about what should be done about the Inhumans and the possibility of a vaccine of sorts. Daisy got to say some mean things to Lincoln, he snapped back. Later, she stepped up and apologized. Their relationship seemed far more real in this episode that at any point in the series thus far.
I also want to mention an interesting moment, when Daisy was apologizing. Lincoln mentions that he’s jealous of Daisy. He’s seen her use and channel her powers. He’s jealous that she’s so Zen when she’s using them, she finds peace in it. Lincoln says that when he’s using his powers, it’s like a war in his head. He doesn’t like being out in the field, as he’s scared that he’ll lose control.
While we didn’t actually see much of him this episode, I think we learned a lot about whatever this thing is. Malick introduces the Medusa guy from last episode (Lucio) to the new Ward, aka Hive. Hive wants to see Lucio’s eyes. The people holding him uncover them and Lucio paralyzes them with his eyes. He then tries it on Hive, but it doesn’t work. He is able to step out of it and a sort of apparition is left standing there. Does this mean that Inhumans’ powers don’t work on this creature?
Later, Malick is concerned that Ward’s body isn’t healing quickly enough and asks if he wants a new host. We learn that the host must be dead and that he will not possess the body of an Inhuman. “We cannot feed on our own kind.” Instead, Hive asks for 5 live humans.
Up until this point, Ward’s body has looked rather gaunt; eyes very dark and heavy, ribs sticking out, his skin looking scarred in places and bruised. When the 5 live humans are brought to Hive, he uses his sand trick and spreads to these 5 humans around him. We see a shot later that these humans have been reduced to bones, and Ward’s body looks healed and more healthy, although he’s covered in some gross goo. It appears that this creature has a host that is back to full strength.
- Coulson and Talbot
This episode was a huge rollercoaster for Coulson and Talbot. I was extremely nervous of Talbot being appointed as the head of the ATCU, reporting to Coulson. First we find out that Talbot hasn’t been returning Coulson’s calls or e-mails or communicating with him at all. He didn’t want the job as the head of the ATCU in the first place. Then we find out that Talbot is using Creel as a bodyguard, but Coulson takes a leap of faith and trusts Talbot and trusts Creel to be at the Symposium on Alien Contagion Summit with him.
Coulson and Talbot at the reception to this Symposium are absolutely hilarious and I love the dynamic of these two and the stark differences between them that we see in this interaction. Talbot dons the typical garb of the locals. He hates it. They believe that Malick has an Inside Man within the delegates at the Symposium. Talbot manages to suspect every single person there for ridiculous reasons and it’s quite hilarious.
While in the Symposium, Talbot gets up to stop a vote from happening. He declares that there’s a traitor in the mix. He reveals Coulson, who he is actually is, that he works for SHIELD, that he and his agents have been into the delegates rooms. At this point, Malick walks into the room. Malick addresses the delegates and pins his plan on Coulson. He makes Coulson and SHIELD out to be the bad guys. He tells the delegates that SHIELD wants to round up the Inhumans and eliminate them. Because of Malick’s reputation, and because SHIELD has been spying on their rooms and Coulson lied about his identity, it appears that the delegates believe Malick.
Malick has Coulson locked up. Talbot comes to confront Malick. It turns out that Talbot only betrayed Coulson because Malick was blackmailing him. Talbot’s son is an Inhuman, and Malick has him in a gel matrix. Because Malick is the head of Hydra and completely evil, despite Talbot keeping his end of the bargain, Malick has him locked up and will be keeping Talbot’s son for his army.
After Coulson learns Talbot’s motivation behind the betrayal, and after realizes that Hydra is….Hydra, they team up and work together to escape their confinement. They get Talbot’s son back. They declare themselves partners. They have gained a lot of respect for each other throughout the events of this episode. Hopefully this means that they will be working together to squash Malick, Hydra, and their plans.
- The Fate of the Inhumans
So much happened in this episode that pertains to the future of the Inhumans and I have a lot of thoughts and feelings on this, but I will try to keep it concise.
First is the Symposium that Coulson and Talbot attend. Other world leaders are reacting quite differently to the Inhumans and their powers, but mostly they are nervous and paranoid and defensive about it. They call them aliens. They are scared by the Inhumans powers. They want these Inhumans to be stopped. One wants to round them up and give them a safe haven in which to dwell. Is getting them together a good idea? Ellen King, an Australian delegate, seems to think that getting them together is the worst idea. It gives them a chance to work together and ban together against humans. Coulson tries to be more reasonable about it. He tries to help them understand the Inhumans and make the delegates feel a little more compassion to them. As in real life, paranoia and fear win over logic and compassion.
Secondly, Malick seems to have turned these world delegates against Coulson and SHIELD. This could spell trouble for the future endeavors of SHIELD and could play right into Malick’s hand, allowing him to gather all the Inhumans himself.
Thirdly, Jemma and Lincoln analyze blood samples of Daisy and Creel. They have a blood sample of Daisy’s before her exposure to the terrigen. When exposed to terrigen, they can actively see the terragenesis take place. When Creel’s blood is added and again exposed to terrigen, terragenesis begins, but Creel’s blood stops it from finishing and it actually reverses it as well. This could mean a cure or vaccine for Inhumans, at least those that haven’t been exposed to terrigen yet.
Lastly, Lincoln and Daisy have a standoff about the cure/vaccine. Even Inhumans themselves can’t agree on what should be done with it. They certainly don’t want it in the hands of the government. Should Inhumans have a choice in the matter of going through terragenesis? Should they develop the cure/vaccine? How should it be handled and administered?
Honorable mention – Hunter calling Daisy and Lincoln “Shake and Bake.” Silly, but quite hilarious.