Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Chaos Theory Review
See, Garner was, uh, killing the, uh, the Inhumans because… because he was driven to do so by his, well, his his instinct. You see, THAT is Chaos Theory. While I had some issues with how Agents dealt with the issue of Garner’s reasons for killing his victims, it could have been far worse, and despite some issues, Chaos Theory proves to be one of the stronger episodes from this season. That being said, I do question the relatively clean nature with which the episode was resolved. In the end, an enemy is safely contained, and S.H.I.E.L.D. has a new Inhuman ally. It feels like not that much has changed since this storyline started. I guess you could argue that Lash’s presence was needed to drive the tensions between S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU, but even then it feels a bit disconnected. Despite those reservations regarding its overall placement in the series, Chaos Theory provides a strong showdown between Lash and S.H.I.E.L.D. as well as some nice bridge building between Rosalind Price and Daisy.
The reveal that Lash is actually Andrew Garner doesn’t take too long to work its way throughout the team. May keeps Strucker’s statement to herself (Apparently, he is still alive, but comatose), but upon returning to the base, she checks Garner’s flight records, thus confirming his statement. She confronts him during a session with Joey, but Garner loses his head and knocks her out. It would appear that Garner was introduced to the Terrigen while going through Jaiying’s records, and it was through those records that he was able to track down many of his targets. Furthermore, his reasons for killing Inhumans is apparently grounded mainly in instinct, though Garner tries to apply some weak justification that involves culling the bad ones. My issue with this is that, since Lash isn’t actually involved with any of the stuff going on with the ATCU, the portal, or with Hydra, now that we have a complete understanding of his motives and identity this whole subplot feels divorced from everything else going on. By the time Andrew is subdued, there has really only been one major shift in the team, and that is the fact that Lincoln has joined the team. It doesn’t help that, if Lash hadn’t shown up, that might have happened back when the season began. I guess you could argue that May has a new reason to be angry… but that’s pretty much more of the same. The end result is an episode that is quite enjoyable on its own, but, in the context of the season as a whole, it feels like the end to a side-story that, at the moment, still feels pretty pointless.
In fact, the plot reveal that feels most significant comes at the very end of the episode. We learn a bit more about the driving force behind the ATCU, and how it might be tied to Hydra. This admittedly doesn’t mean that Rosalind is in on this particular conspiracy, and the fact that the show is trying to suggest that she is is almost certainly misdirection. But that’s not the big news. Coulson and Price are sleeping together!!!… I considered feigning the enthusiasm of a gossiping schoolgirl, but in truth, this revelation didn’t really interest me that much. While I certainly don’t dislike the pairing, I haven’t felt particularly invested in whether or not they form a relationship. Maybe, once we are provided with an answer to the question of where her loyalties lie, I’ll be able to invest myself in their relationship, but, as of now, I find myself rather disinterested.
Before I wrap up, a few Notes and Nitpicks:
- It was cool to see how Joey’s powers are developing. It looks like he’s becoming a heck of a Hispanic Magneto. I’m hoping we get to see more of him soon.
- Fitz and Simmons are continuing to look into the possibility of reopening the portal, but that story remains nestled safely in the background.
- “I’ve really got to commit to that shotgun-axe idea.” Mack, you are a magnificent bastard.
- Sorry this review wasn’t up sooner. It actually sat around on my computer for about a week before I got a chance to format and submit it.
Based on my previous statements I might seem rather critical of this episode, but as I stated before, I found Chaos Theory to be a really enjoyable episode. The majority of my problems lie in how it connects to the rest of the season. As a result, many of those criticisms are targeted not at the quality of this particular episode, but at the uneven quality of this season so far. When it comes down to it, Chaos Theory is a really enjoyable episode that doesn’t quite seem to fit in with the larger puzzle around it.