Agents of SHIELD Review: “Lockup”

Previously, On Oz

The melding of supernatural and sci-fi continued on this weeks Agents of SHIELD. The science ghosts kept on the search for The Darkhold, and Daisy donned he SHIELD uniform for the first time. “Lockup” kept things pretty contained, but the larger implications of not only Robbie’s assistance, but SHIELD Director being an inhuman started to ripple out into the rest of the world. The devils spark is set to light a huge fire. 

Can I just start out by saying that Agents of SHIELD has been doing a bang up job acting as an audience vessel. Calling out the ridiculousness of a given situation, or in the case of “Lockup”, pointing just how bad an idea it is to bring the Spirit of Vengeance into a maximum security prison. Well, bad for them. We got some well done action sequences out of the ordeal.

“Lockup” had the most action we’ve gotten since the season premiere a few weeks back. The scope was a bit smaller, no cars were hit with RPG’s or anything, but the closed quarters combat was tight, and exhausting to watch. Agents of SHIELD has quietly had some of the best fight choreography on TV, and this episode was no different. Given that two of the most adept fighters on the team (three when Bobbie was around) are smaller women, they do a fantastic job of showing how their size and speed can overcome most attackers. It’s about precise, crushing blows instead of brute force. Unless we’re talking about Mack, of course. The fight scenes sprawled throughout the prison set, with the prisoners loose, and holding a grudge against the inhuman lovers. Not exactly sure what they expected when picking a fight with government agents that have superpowers but hey, we got some damn fine fightin’ out of it.

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Outside of the prison, Simmons was taking her polygraph, the one she was certain to fail until Deus Ex Director swooped on in at the last moment, needing some PR training for an interview about inhuman registration. Sidenote, Supergirl and Agents of SHIELD are both running stories about bigotry, xenophobia and unconstitutional registration of citizens under the guise of American safety. The stories are playing out fairly similarly, and I hope that there is more divergence has the seasons play out. As of right now, both have high ranking officials for and against inhumans/aliens, some “out” and some hiding their true identity to gain favor. In the case of SHIELD, Director Mace outed himself as inhuman during his interview as a counterpoint to Senator Rota Nadeer, who herself is either inhuman or has direct ties to them given what we’ve seen of her private life. As with Supergirl, we are no longer sure we’re supposed to trust a high ranking ally (from the character perspective), which is surely setting up the 2nd act for both shows.

“Lockup” moved the plot forward for the science ghosts, and showed that Robbie likely doesn’t have as much control over The Rider as he let on. In his quest for personal vengeance, he allowed his uncle to be kidnapped and became the scapegoat for anti-inhuman propaganda. A tool that could be used against SHIELD in a big way going forward. Clearly, this was a shaky alliance to begin with, but with a very powerful player whose ties to inhumans is flimsy at best, he’s acting mostly on self interest. Something they’ll definitely have to address. Especially now that he knows the shooting that turned him into the rider and paralyzed his brother may have been intentional. Business is picking up, and that’s not even including the fact that May says she saw Coulson on the other side when she died. I’m interested to see where this is all going.

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