Agents of SHIELD Post-Show Analysis Season 3, Episode 19: ‘Failed Experiments’
Welcome back to another Agents of S.O.M.E.T.H.I.N.G., where Comics Alliance’s Special Agents Chris Haley and Ziah Grace debrief you on all the things to like and complain about in this week’s episode of Disney’s ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.!
This week, Hive’s evil Inhumans hang out in an empty bar while Coulson and the Agents of SHIELD try to find a miracle cure! Also, some people get turned into jellyfish! “Failed Experiments” was directed by Wendey Stanzler and written by Brent Fletcher.
Note: Because the promotional images released for this episode were especially boring, we've chosen to illustrate this article with pictures of Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War.
Ziah: So, Chris, I’m back, and it looks like I didn’t miss much in the intervening episode. Jerky Australian guy’s got Gambit powers and Hive wants to turn the whole world into Inhumans (which doesn’t sound that bad to me, honestly). Did I miss anything? Oh, and everyone hates Lincoln but we knew that.
Chris: It’s good to have you back, buddy! Yeah, that’s about the run of it. When you say it like that it doesn’t sound like much happened, and you may be right, but I actually kinda liked this episode. It was certainly one of the more enjoyable viewing experiences for me as far as this show goes at the very least. We chatted a little bit about this beforehand, so I know we didn’t see eye to eye on it. Maybe we can get to the bottom of what worked for me and didn’t work for you, and come out the better for it on the other side.
Ziah: The other side… of the grave! But bad jokes aside, Lincoln continues to be the worst even when he thinks he’s not! I genuinely laughed when we found out that Lincoln’s medical hail mary didn’t work, but I don’t think I was meant to. Also, when do we find out that he wasn’t actually a doctor, because every single doctor-y thing he says is wrong.
Chris: Haha, once again I was actually starting to feel a little bad for him by the end of this episode. He’s irritating at the beginning, and he absolutely cannot follow orders, but he clearly loves Daisy and wants to do anything he can to try to help save her, even as some of the people who also care about her that surround him couldn’t care less if he dies. The guy’s in a rough spot, and I think my earlier theory about everyone only tolerating him because he’s Daisy’s boyfriend seems even more apparent here.
Ziah: Yeah, you nailed it with that one. That was a solid theory that’s only looking more and more true the more of this show we watch.
Chris: Part of him definitely knows that if they don’t get her back, he’s not long for the team or for this world, because Coulson is going to be straight up using him for a human shield (even though he already has an awesome hologram shield built into his robo-hand!) at the first chance he gets.
Ziah: It’s his true calling, Chris! Don’t get in the way of that!
Chris: I’ll never get in the way of him getting hit with things.
Ziah: But let’s not be too negative! I really liked May acting like a spy and weaseling information out of Faux-Gambit.
Chris: Oh absolutely! It was great seeing her: 1) Have to pretend to be nice. 2) Pretend she doesn’t know what’s going on. 3) Do some spy stuff that’s not just beating people up.
Ziah: Isn’t it great seeing these highly trained spies actually act like spies? The show should really do that more often.
Chris: They should really just pay us to sit in the room and give them good ideas or nod when they’ve had one.
Ziah: Somewhat surprisingly (to me, anyway), I actually really liked Mac’s talk with Hive-Tremors-Daisy-Skye, and thought it was a fairly well-written scene! What about you?
Chris: Yeah, both of them did a pretty compelling job in that scene as far as I’m concerned. It’s easy to question just what is really going on with Daisy and I think that’s actually a credit to both the writing and the acting. You can easily see it going both ways. Is she actually happy and at peace finally, or is it all just Hive’s influence? I honestly couldn’t tell you.
Ziah: Me neither! Which I think is a good touch. My version of your “There’s a big fight because no one will have a rational conversation” pet peeve is when mind control is broken because of the power of true love, so I liked that that didn’t happen here. Daisy was firmly on the side of Hive and making some pretty fair points about hers and Mac’s relationship to SHIELD.
Ziah: So, the Kree show up! And they sure are Kree-py.
Chris: ::long exasperated sigh::
Ziah: I really dug Daisy earthquake-shattering one of the Kree’s arms, legs, and spine to accomplish her goal. A nice way to show how ruthless she’s gotten with Hive’s parasite drugs in her system, but did you find his whole fight with the other Kree dumb too?
Chris: You know, when those Kree showed up in the flashback, I was like, “Oh wow, this actually looks more like something out of the movies and like we’re actually in a big comic universe!” But then they show up again later and have a little fist-fight in a room and in a church and it just deflates back to feeling like the same old, same old of this show.
I agree with your take on Daisy here, and seeing her use her powers like that was neat, but Daisy and Hive both kicked their asses so easily that it seemed pointless to build them up as some kind of badass threat to begin with.
Ziah: Yeah, you’d think they’d have a trick to fighting superpowered humanoids that isn’t just “punch them and stab them and maybe punch them again? IDK.”
Chris: Also, this isn’t really important, but if they’re such an advanced alien race, why does their ship just have to crash into where the homing beacon thing is? Can’t they just land?
Ziah: Maybe they’re drunk driving the space ship.
Chris: Now I’m just imagining those Kree Reapers as the drunk frat bro aliens from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. They’re both even blue too! Wow. This is officially canon now.
Ziah: I missed you, Chris. So, we get a new character: Piper, an anxious SHIELD agent with a big gun that all of the main characters know by name. What’re the odds of her dying in the next episode, or her being the dead body floating in space in the finale? Incalculable because that’s exactly what’s going to happen?
Chris: Hahaha, oh man, I didn’t even think of that, but I would not be surprised at all if you were right. Man, that would be so cheap, but it would also crack me up because it’s so cheap. Do you watch Supergirl?
Ziah: Only when I’m getting paid to! So, no. But that Flash episode was pretty great. Why?
Chris: Well, it’s better than this show, but the reason I ask is because they did something very similar on the next to last episode of the season where Jimmy Olsen, Supergirl’s best friend, Winn, and then some girl we’d never seen or heard of before but who suddenly had a name and was very important to Supergirl, were put in mortal danger and Supergirl was only able to save two of them. Can you guess which one didn’t make it???
Ziah: Haha, that’s hilarious. It really is such a cop out that I almost get excited when it happens. Wasn’t it lampooned on some comedy show or another? It feels like it happened once.
Ziah: RIP teleporting/multiple woman who died tragically while fighting a giant blue monster in a playground. Mourn you till we join you.
Chris: That was a very touching eulogy, Ziah. I’m sure our leader, the charismatic, Hive, could have said it no better. Now if the funeral parlor’s AV guy will please push play on the cassette I gave him we can all listen to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony’s “Tha Crossroads” in silence in her memory.
Hey, speaking of dying, shouldn’t Lincoln be dead after having his brain drilled into to get that tissue sample Jemma said she needed? At the least, shouldn’t he have a bandage somewhere on his head? Did I completely misread that scene or something?
Ziah: Yeah, that was hilarious that they didn’t even shave his head for the tissue sample. It’s like the show just decided, “Nah, we’re good.”
Chris: “No one will ever remember we said that. I mean, unless they’re paying attention, but who does that anymore?”
Ziah: Speaking of paying attention, remember when Grant Ward was the fun, charismatic d-bag of the show, and was our (maybe just my) favorite part? Hive is a booooooore. I’d say the actor’s sleepwalking through his scenes, but sometimes I’d tune out and forget to look at the screen, so I can’t really throw shade.
Chris: I get what you’re saying, but I also think I get what they’re going for with him, so I’m just going to have to leave this one a tie. He is kind of boring, but I think they want him to come across as having the calm and patience of being thousands of years old and having waited for so long for his deliverance from The Blue Zone.
Ziah: You say patience, I say boring, potato, tomato.
Chris: I don’t know why, but this made me think of something else I wanted to ask you about. Last week, Matt said from this one episode he figured Daisy was the main character on this show. Do you think that’s accurate?
Ziah: Yeah, I think so. She’s certainly the character given the most freedom to change and mold the plot. We’ve talked in the past about Coulson’s inability to get a real character arc, and I think that regardless of the problems we’ve had with this season, it’s pretty clear that they want to give Daisy some character growth. She’s the one who’s often got the right take on the situation, even if earlier episodes have shown her being ruled by her emotions and loyalties to the point that she needs to mature before she becomes a good leader and a decent spy. I mean, if it’s not her, who else is it? Coulson?
Chris: Yeah, I guess that’s who it feels like it should be by default, because he’s the only character that exists in the larger MCU, but Daisy really does seem to be the focus, and we certainly spend a lot of time talking about her. I guess there’s nothing left to do but see what happens next week.
Ziah: See you next week for the Civil War tie-in! I can’t wait to hear what kind of song Guns N Roses compose about this one!