A/N: If you would like to catchup with the Season 2 Finale, you can find that here.
SO, we begin another wild year at the helm of everyone’s favorite Marvel Universe team. Last season left a lot of uncertainty about how the spread of the Terrigen Mists across the world would impact the world, with the sudden outburst of Inhumans without the ability to control or understand their new transformation. But, this year we hit the ground running with a fully formed S.H.I.E.L.D. rescue unit, lead by a confident and commanding Dasiy (Skye). It seems we will seeing some incarnation of the “Secret Warriors” team from the comics sooner rather than later, and that kind of pacing change and confidence in the audience to be onboard with everything that has happened so far in the series is a testament to how far it has come since the early days of “monster of the week” one-offs. So, lets get into it, a team of black ops soldiers is pursuing Jose “Joey” Gutierrez, a man who has suddenly found himself with the power to melt metal, unconsciously melting everything around him. Daisy, Mack, and Hunter rescue him, and together they escape aboard Zephyr One, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s brand new Harrier Command Jet.
Daisy tries to assuage Joey’s fears. He is one of an increasing number of people who have undergone a transformation caused by ingesting fish oil tainted with Terrigen. Having become comfortable as an Inhuman, Daisy tries to assure his fears by explaining her familiarity with the transition. Daisy tells Joey it’s unsafe for him to return to his old life, after he was publicly identified in the chaos in Seattle. S.H.I.E.L.D. is his best option for survival. Joey refuses. Daisy and Mack seek out the one person who can help him transition to a new life…Lincoln.
Meanwhile, Director Coulson discovers that the leader of the black ops team is Rosalind Price, a mysterious woman with many aliases. Who is she, and why is she pursuing Inhumans? Constance Zimmer does a fantastic job at portraying a determined, level headed and determined foil to Coulson. She is able to match him wit for wit, and we see that she is just as capable at leading an organization like S.H.I.E.L.D., though her motivations (and true identity, as Rosalind Price is just one of her many aliases) remain a mystery.
Back at HQ, Bobbi grows frustrated with lab work. She was sidelined from combat duty after sacrificing herself, nearly dying to save Hunter from Ward’s trap. And for some reason, Hunter isn’t speaking to Bobbi. Meanwhile, Fitz travels to Marrakech, Morocco to broker a deal with Yusef Hadad, a black market artifacts dealer. Yusef has a scroll that may help Fitz understand how to bring Simmons back. Yusef threatens to kill Fitz, and the deal falls apart but Fitz manages to escape with the scroll in hand. We are seeing some of the coolest scenes in the series so far with Fitz’s no-holds barred, Bond/Indiana Jones crusade to find any way to bring Simmons back. He has had more development in this scene than in the last two seasons combined, having mostly overcome his physical and mental injuries from last season but becoming obsessed with the Kree artifact that swallowed Simmons up.
Daisy and Mack find Lincoln at a Cincinnati hospital and plead with him to join S.H.I.E.L.D.’s effort. He says he’s done with S.H.I.E.L.D. and refuses to give up the normal life of a doctor he’s built.
Coulson and Hunter stealthily corner Rosalind on a train to extract intel, but they’re not alone. Big surprise (as Hunter puts it) It’s a trap! Rosalind surrounds them with her armed guards. Rosalind explains to Coulson that her job is to neutralize the Inhuman threat to humanity. She suspects Coulson is responsible for the trail of Inhuman bodies her people found, but when they discover that is both of their goals, it begs the question, if S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t kill them, who did?
Daisy, Mack, and Lincoln find out: a massive beast of a man attacks the hospital, wreaking havoc. This monstrosity is Lash, and he’s out to find and kill Inhumans. Mack, Daisy, and Lincoln spring into action to stop Lash. Lincoln uses his powers, thus blowing his cover as an average doctor. The trio staves off Lash’s attack, but the monster escapes. This was an extremely disappointing reveal for a relatively new and cool character for the comics, Lash looked like an oldschool 90’s Power Rangers villain in a rubber suit. I know its TV, but if he is meant to become the physical threat the new Inhumans recruited by S.H.I.E.L.D. are going to have to contend with, I would hope they would put a little more budget into his costume and effects. I just hope it was because it is a relatively short appearance, and when he is on screen for a longer time, they will try harder, but we will see soon.
Rosalind’s black ops team arrives at the hospital. Daisy warns Lincoln that S.H.I.E.L.D. is the only place he’ll be safe. Lincoln refuses to join and goes his own way. Mack and Daisy escape back to HQ and rendezvous with Coulson and Hunter.
Back at HQ, we find out that Hunter and Bobbi are very much still together with Hunter returning her wedding ring. Hunter wants her to know he loves her and that he is going into the field to exact revenge on Grant Ward. I get it, we are supposed to care for the Hunter/Bobbi relationship, especially because the spin-off show formed around the two of them is supposedly in development,…. But there is nothing that I care less about in this show. I like Bobbi, because she kicks ass and has pathos but Hunter is just a cookie-cutter quip man and their “will-they-won’t they” is bland and uninspired.
The team watches the TV as the President (played by William Sadler, returning from Iron Man 3 and Captain America: Winter Soldier) announces the formation of the ATCU, the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, a task force with full authority to deal with alien threats. With the recent events in Washington, London, and Sokovia (referring to the events of Captian America: Winter Soldier, Thor: The Dark World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron respectively), Coulson recognizes Rosalind’s influence at work, as the President repeats an exact phrase about dealing with the Inhuman threat she stated earlier. Coulson realizes she has way more influence than he realized, and really she doesn’t work for anybody,.. lots of higher-ups (like the President) work for her.
Fitz finally returns to HQ, and Coulson tells him that it’s time to accept that Simmons is gone, after the scroll he worked so hard for, hoping it would have information to help, only reads “Death”. Fitz agrees…but later he breaks into the chamber containing the monolith, screaming at it, daring it to swallow him as it did Simmons. This was without a doubt one of the most impactful moments in the entire series so far, finally seeing Fitz snap and scream at a rock for what it did to Simmons. Ever since the incident with Ward we have seen him wither and fray, trying to deal with the extent of his injuries and his gradual separation from Jemma. But with his last hope shattered, Iain de Caestecker does an amazing job portraying just how broken he is, and it is a brilliant bit of acting. Hopefully we can see him recover and come into his own soon enough.
In the final stinger, we find Simmons, clothing in tatters, fleeing across a dark landscape with two moons in the sky. Simmons is on another planet! What and where this could be, is really up for debate. It could be one of the Asgardian realms, maybe the Kree homeworld Hala, or really any other place the writers feel inclined to introduce. With Guardians Of The Galaxy expanding the MCU into the reaches of space, there is no telling what might happen. SO overall, this was an interesting and compelling opener to the season. We got a good look at what kind of direction they plan on going in with the Inhuman recruitment and got an interesting antagonist in Rosalind Price, though I really with the effects and situation were better for the fight with Lash and Daisy/Lincoln, but let’s hope they are saving their budget for some great season finales.