Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Among Us Hide… Review
Well, who saw that coming? I was questioning whether or not I should state Lash’s identity in this review but given that the episode don’t exactly make it that hard to guess, as well as the fact that the promos for the next episode are outright announcing it, I guess it’s pretty safe to call it a non-spoiler. So, Garner is out killing people… Outside of this little revelation, Among Us Hide… proves to be a nice follow up to 4,722 Hours. It doesn’t match the quality of that episode, but I was concerned there might be a significant drop in quality once the show returned to its Lash/Ward hunts. There is admittedly a drop in quality, but it isn’t nearly as significant as I feared it may be.
Of the storylines going on, Daisy’s attempts to investigate Banks constitute the weakest of the story threads. As I noted in the previous episode, he didn’t make sense as being the alter ego of Lash since he was on the train with Coulson and Hunter immediately before the first encounter with Lash. Hunter even references the encounter on the train, but none of the characters stop to question the peculiarity of that timeline. Hunter, in his standard angry Hunter way, ends abducting Banks and beats a blood sample out of him before leaving his unconscious body in his car. Unsurprisingly, the blood sample comes up negative for Inhuman markers. It seems to me that if the show wanted to set up a red herring, the least they could have done was make it a viable candidate. However, their wild Banks chase does end up leading them to the ATCU headquarters where they see what the ATCU’s plan for dealing with Inhumans consists of. This isn’t a great storyline, but it avoids falling into some of the pitfalls that I feared it might. Hunter’s impulsiveness and frustration at being taken off of the hunt for Ward avoid being insufferable, but only just barely. Rosalind’s method of dealing with Inhumans is probably going to serve as a point of contention between Daisy and Coulson in the coming episodes, which I am not really looking forward to, but we’ll see. Fortunately, Among Us Hide… doesn’t waste much time on that. Really, the most significant crippling blow that this story thread suffers from is that it ultimately feels superfluous since Banks is so clearly not Lash.
From the beginning of the episode, Garner was the most obvious candidate for being Lash. His explanation for his survival made some sense, but failed to explain the panic on Strucker’s face when he fled the building. The attempt made on his life inevitably spurs May to go on the warpath. Her first act is to go and pick a fight with Bobbi. The initial reason that she gives for picking a fight is that Bobbi was the reason that Hunter took the shot, but it couldn’t have been more apparent that she was testing Bobbi if she had handed her a #2 pencil beforehand. After showing that Bobbi is combat ready (Because of course she is), the pair go about tracking down Strucker. After his botched attempt to kill Garner, Strucker apparently went AWOL with both S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra trying to track him down. He reaches out to Gideon Malick, a former member of the World Security Council played by Powers Boothe. I only bring this aspect up because it’s nice to see Boothe getting involved in the show. The man has a voice that could make anything sound intimidating, and it’s nice to see him returning to the Marvel universe after his somewhat minor role in The Avengers. He hands Strucker over to Ward’s right hand man, Kebo. May and Bobbi show up and both Strucker and Kebo seemingly end up dying, but not before Strucker tells May the truth about how Garner survived.
Among Us Hide… is not a particularly subtle episode, but it remains enjoyable despite its shortcomings. Even if I found the reveal regarding Garner to be predictable, it was well executed, and at no point was I bored by the proceedings.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- Powers Boothe is best known for his role on Deadwood as Cy Tolliver, but he has also had notable roles in Sin City, Tombstone, Nashville, and 24 (And, of course, The Avengers).
- The reveal that the ATCU is keeping its Inhuman in a form of stasis is interesting, but doesn’t actually get explored much. Rosalind’s arguments make some sense, so it will be interesting to see how the subject gets dealt with. Coulson didn’t seem to be fully for or against the concept so I’m wondering how he will present it to Daisy. I also wonder if she will inform him of the fact that she was spying in on his tour of the facility.
- I already use “…” a bit too often in my writing, so having an episode titled Among Us Hide… just feels like overkill.
- While I don’t necessarily mind the route that they went with Lash, I am still slightly disappointed that this didn’t tie in more heavily with the Inhuman community.
Among Us Hide…, despite all its attempts at twists and turns, is a pretty straight-forward and fun episode, and there is nothing wrong with that. The reveal of Lash’s identity raises some intriguing new questions such as why he was committing those murders, but hopefully those will be answered in the next episode.