Official synopsis for The Inside Man:
“Coulson and General Talbot are forced to team up and attend a worldwide symposium on Inhumans, where they suspect Malick has an inside man. As the S.H.I.E.L.D. team gets closer to the truth, an unexpected traitor is revealed.”
The death of Grant Ward still shakes me up, but last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. with Hive’s revival is softening the blow. Hive now has a fully strengthened body and is hopefully ready for a little action. I’m dying to see a look at his powers, even more so to see his powers used against the agents, but clearly that’s going to have to wait. My anticipation is only heightened by the fear from Lucio, the Inhuman who can freeze with a look, as he realizes his powers have close to zero effect on Hive.
What are Hive and Malick really after? The end to the world? Death to all humans? Malick clearly has an agenda, especially with the government influences he’s cultivated. It became clear during The Inside Man that Malick was frustrated by what he perceived as Hive’s ongoing weakness. He finally suggests that an Inhuman be Hive’s next host, leading to the reveal that the host needs to be human. The next horrifying development is Hive demanding five humans be brought to him, proceeding to feed on them until they are skin and bones. Ouch.
In another highlight from last night’s episode, Coulson and Talbot had to work together. As the new head of the ATCU, Talbot was one of the major players at a political symposium to discuss the rapid spread of Inhumans with world delegates. Coulson meets him there and as they are preparing for the summit a familiar face returns: Carl Creel.
Carl Creel is apparently no longer under Hydra’s influence and is now Talbot’s bodyguard. I’m glad to see Creel back on the show, not only because his abilities are awesome to watch, but also Hunter hates him for good reason. It injects some much needed humor to see Hunter’s usual bickering antics aimed towards Creel. It makes me wonder how the show will handle losing Bobbi and Hunter if they don’t do double duty on their new show as well as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
During the summit, Talbot was revealed as a traitor, and the episode’s titular ‘Inside Man’. After Coulson makes a heroic speech about Inhumans, Talbot reveals Coulson’s true intentions, and that he was spying on the delegates. And it doesn’t stop there – in a jaw-dropping moment Malick walks into the room and points the finger at Coulson, “He’s the leader of Hydra.” For a moment I believed that Talbot was working for Malick, and I even caught myself cursing Talbot’s name, but it turns out, Malick was blackmailing Talbot with his captured son.
Eventually the team manage to escape the situation, even rescuing Talbot’s son from Malick, but there’s one significant message from this entire situation. Gideon Malick is powerful, and I’m not talking superpowers. He’s a master of misdirection, with the show setting him up as something of a puppeteer. Not only is he absurdly wealthy, but he also has influence and reach that goes beyond governments. It’s power that S.H.I.E.L.D. has difficulty matching.
Am I the only one who feels utterly indifferent to whether all Inhumans do live in a ‘sanctuary’ in Russia’s backyard? It seems oddly reminiscent of the now never mentioned Afterlife, a sanctuary set up for Inhumans by Inhumans in the mountains of China… This show has had moments showing a clear connection to the larger MCU, but there is still a question over the relevance of S.H.I.E.L.D. Inhumans in the wider universe. Could there still be a connection if the Inhumans do end up having to live in a sanctuary? Remember there is an Inhumans movie slated to arrive in theaters in 2019.
In another convenient reveal, Creel’s blood might actually be a way to stop Terrigenesis from happening. Again, what could this mean for the larger MCU if the team is successful with the vaccine?
The rest of the season has to maintain a solid momentum seen during The Inside Man. Revelations like Hive’s transformative change and an Inhuman vaccine changes things for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I’m just hoping the momentum sticks around throughout the rest of the season. What were your thoughts during “The Inside Man”? Any theories for the rest of season three? Comment below or chat with us on Twitter!