‘Agents of SHIELD’ Post-Show Analysis: Season 3, Episode 6: ‘Among Us Hide…’
Welcome back to another Agents of S.O.M.E.T.H.I.N.G., where we talk about all the things to like and complain about in this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. This week, we’re back from the blue planet, secrets are revealed, Bobbi and May are back in action, and Coulson continues to smirk through it all. ‘Among Us Hide...’ was directed by Dwight Little and written by Drew Z. Greenberg.
Chris: Nothing but spoilers ahead, so consider yourself warned! Okay, we’ve got a lot to get through this week, so let’s get into it! First things first, Dr. Andrew isn’t as dead as he seemed and now we know why. We’ll get to some of the other early moments shortly, but how about that reveal, Ziah?
Ziah: Well, first things first: Commenters, you won’t hear this anywhere else on the site, but you were right. Andrew is Lash, Lash is Andrew, and both of them are still alive and present in the new episode. I still don’t like Lash --- the eternal reasoning will always and forever be that he looks stupid --- but mostly I’m just glad it’s going somewhere, which means that the end is in sight.
Chris: I remember you saying something in one of our earlier installments about fans theorizing that Andrew was going to be Lash. I couldn’t imagine what would make them think that at the time, and still can’t really, but here we are. (Fans: How did you know?! Tell us in the comments!)
Once again, we’ve got a subplot that could have been dragged out the whole season, but mercifully, was not, which begs the question: where are they going with this?
Ziah: Well, May’s found out that Andrew’s hiding a…. monstrous secret so hopefully they deal with it next week. For once, I’m actually really satisfied with the pacing this week; characters learn things and accomplish a goal, viewers got actually necessary information, and almost none of the characters were treading water by not telling people things that they should have.
On the other hand, a thing I’m not okay with is Fitz getting tempted not to save Astronaut Will. Because even as a fakeout, as I’m sure it is, that’s kind of some messed-up thinking. To borrow Hunter’s metaphor, that’s not buying your girl’s ex a plane ticket to visit, that is leaving your girl’s ex on a desert island to die just because you can’t be mature enough to deal with some grit in your relationship. I was not a fan of that subplot. Chris, how about you?
Chris: Yeah, I think Fitz is going to keep trying his best to do the right thing. I mean, from what I can tell, that’s the kind of guy he is. I think it would have been silly to not address the idea that he’d think about not trying to get him back though. I mean, he’s only human… isn’t he?
Also, it may just be leftover goodwill from last week’s super-focused episode, but even though this week got back to trying to juggle all the different threads and characters, I didn’t really feel as bothered by it.
Ziah: No, it was actually a good episode. Your eyes did not deceive you. It even let moments breathe the way I’ve been complaining about since forever; Bobbi and May in the vault, with Bobbi trying to talk her way out of it while May’s resisting the urge to just take them all down was great.
Chris: This week we got two “returns”, with May deciding in her finest John Wick impression, “Yeah, I’m back”, and Bobbi suiting back up in her Mockingbird gear to get back in the field with May. May’s hellbent on being mad at everyone and going after Ward for hurting Andrew, and Bobbi’s nervous to really put her recuperation to the test even though all she’s been saying since this season started was how she couldn’t wait to get back in the field. What’s your take on AoS’ take on the Birds of Prey? (Fitz even gets to play Oracle.)
Ziah: I didn’t even pick up on the Birds of Prey riff, but you’re definitely right. I think it makes for a better team than Hunter and May (even if I actually liked that team) just because they have a clear rapport and better chemistry than Munter. Hay? Either way.
Despite our previous complaints of pacing on the show, waiting six episodes to bring Bobbi back for a longer fight scene did give the episode a shot in the arm, so hopefully the writers are done treading water. Speaking of, did the action scenes seem a bit off to you in the finale? Something about the way they were edited made them seem really hard to follow, but I couldn’t put my finger on why it was disorienting.
Chris: Yes. I thought so too. I couldn’t tell if it was the way they were shot or the editing, but something felt a little off and kept those final fights from having the punch they could have. Also, when Bobbi electrocuted that guy in the pool, that was some Ed Wood level bad electrocution acting. I was embarrassed for that guy.
Ziah: The most shocking thing was how bad his acting was. Zing.
Chris: Speaking of dynamic duos, we got a little more development in the Coulson/Rosalind relationship as well as finally learning what the ATCU is doing with the Inhumans they’ve… caught? Found? Helped? We’re getting into a kind of heavy philosophical area with what the best way to help people who could be a danger to themselves and their loved ones is. It obviously looked really bad on the surface, but Rosalind’s explanation and personal connection to losing someone she cared about softened it up… for Phil at least. How’d you feel about it? How do you think Daisy-Skye-Tremors-Quake is going to take Coulson’s explanation?
Ziah: Well, they’re using Inhumans because they can’t use mutants, right? Despite what Marvel’s been saying, I think we can all accept that the Inhumans’ rise to prominence is because of the mutant snafu between them and Fox. The problem is that when you bring up a cure for mutants, it’s got the baggage of mutants being in a comic that, not always successfully, is using the group as a stand-in for civil rights struggles. The Inhumans that we’ve seen are pretty miserable. Curing them seems like a very, very good move. Maybe it’s because we didn’t see season 2 and the Inhuman base there, but the ones we’ve seen in season 3 would probably be stoked to get coma-ed until there’s a cure.
Also, Mac calling Daisy “Tremors” is super cute. I enjoy them together, even if his role is usually just saying, “Hey, maybe we should think about things for more than a few seconds before we assume the worst.”
Chris: Hunter was this episode’s MVP (or MVAoS) for me, bouncing around to all the different “departments” and subplots and adding his two cents or just trying to get involved. Besides just adding a little levity throughout, I think maybe his jumping around may have helped to keep all the individual threads feeling connected as part of a larger, single story. Plus, him just walking up and shooting that jerk ATCU guy cracked me up.
Ziah: That moment was perfect, especially when he just looks back and gives the a-okay sign. It works wonders for an ensemble cast that actually hasn’t hung out together very much to interact with a kind of annoying, pissed off spy in different ways. May wants to kick the crap out of him, Fitz just gets annoyed, Daisy and Mac let him tag along.
I liked that he’s dealing with his guilt over making arguably the right call with the wrong result in signing Andrew’s (counterfeit) death warrant, and just needs to be helpful somewhere. Mixing up the teams and giving character moments per episode is really all I’ve been asking the show to do since the beginning. I didn’t even get mad at any fast talking this week!
Chris: Yeah, if there was any fast-talking this week, I didn’t really notice. I felt like May basically did the entire episode with her jaw wired shut, but that was the only notable dialogue quirk to speak of as far as I could tell.
This was the show’s 50th episode, and since comics and TV shows both love meaningless milestones, how do you think this episode did?
Ziah: Well, I enjoyed it without too much compunction. I even made a pie last night to celebrate! I know we were both nervous about getting back to the main cast this week and thinking that there’d be a dip in quality again, but if the show keeps up this pace, I might stop being such a curmudgeon. All the characters had character, there were jokes that were funny, information was learned, and there was even a fight scene. Maybe… Maybe Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has finally hit its stride. Chris… Is this what optimism feels like?
Chris: Good.. good… let the optimism flow through you. This episode was definitely a thumbs up for me, but a couple of good episodes in a row is usually how TV shows butter you up to keep watching when there’s going to be crappy episodes on either side, so next week could be telling. I guess we’ll find out then!