Failed Experiments

Agents of SHIELD 3×19 ‘Failed Experiments’ Review

Keyla Alves Teixeira Agents of SHIELD Leave a Comment

[ABC media]

Official synopsis for Failed Experiments:

“Coulson and his team race to combat Hive’s control over the Inhumans, as their enemy’s deadly plan for the human race is revealed.”


During the last few weeks Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been working hard to tie all their storylines together. They’re leading us toward the season finale’s big character death, but I’m left wondering if all this build up will be worth the hype when we reach the end.

In this episode we caught up with our favorite science duo after “doing the deed” and learned that they were still working towards that cure they’d hoped would take down Hive. Elsewhere, we found May and Mack teaming up for the first time as the pair embarked on a mission to try to take down the villainous parasite with brute force. Meanwhile, Hive’s team was working towards recreating the experiments that the Kree did on him centuries ago. You’d think that, after being stranded for so long on a desolate planet, Hive would have a much more concrete plan. However, since Hydra has been out of the picture, this season’s “endgame” is starting to feel less exciting the closer we get to the finale.

Usually the show focuses on their main cast with a few random SHIELD agents as window dressing in the background, but this episode was handled rather differently. Mack and May went to take down Hive with a team of agents we’ve never even met. This was actually exciting to watch because it suggested that the show was finally building their own universe within the MCU, with new characters that we could eventually grow to love. I’d like it if they did this more often and not wait this long to introduce agents that Coulson could trust on such an important mission.

In the midst of Dr. Radcliffe trying to recreate the Inhuman experiments that made Hive, the Kree came gracefully crashing down to Earth. I only say “gracefully” because they got up really fast and unharmed after what appeared to be a messy crash. To be fair, they didn’t look too formidable at first glance although, somewhat surprisingly, we found that they were able to hold their own in a fight when Hive went up against one of them (How many jokes have there been about Hive meeting his Kree-ator after this episode? Tell the truth now!). Anyway, a lot of Hive’s plan was riding on getting Kree blood for the experiment so luring them to his location was the point after all. Hilariously, Mack and May somehow got caught up in the middle of this unexpected fight.

May and the other SHIELD agents obviously failed at stopping Hive, and Mack failed at stopping Daisy, while also failing to convince her to come back to the team. Fitzsimmons found themselves failing at finding a cure to stop the evil Inhuman, while Hive’s experiments failed at recreating his experiment and I’m just failing at keeping up with everything that is currently going on at this point. I frequently find myself not understanding their character progression on this show, and questioning the choices made by the people currently in charge of it. Why they think that all of this is a good idea for their story is beyond me.

What I don’t understand is Hive’s character progression on the show as a whole. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. successfully set up Hive as a villain during the first half of this arc, when he was still a mystery, but the longer he’s been around, the less I can take him seriously.

I had imagined that Hive would have a rock solid plan to take over the world once he came back to Earth. At first, that seemed to be his goal. After Hydra was eliminated, Hive and his team of Inhumans have gone on a rogue mission to recreate an experiment that would make those who survived Inhuman too. But what happens after that? Is Hive trying to create a utopian society on earth? Does he want to control every Inhuman he creates? And if so, for what purpose? The character has already said he doesn’t have a thirst for war, he seemingly believes in “free will” and he doesn’t actually want to “take over the world” either. At this point, Hive sounds like a better presidential candidate than the ones we currently have out here in the real world. If I’m supposed to be in waiting in anticipation for a payoff, I’m sad to say that I feel I’m going to be left disappointed when the final two hours of the season wrap up in a couple weeks.

Another character whose purpose I don’t understand on this show is Lincoln. This is a character that has been trying to find his place on the team, but no one on the team even seems to like him. What purpose does he have amongst them, or on the show itself? While he was at Afterlife, Lincoln had a few mysterious qualities that made him sort of intriguing, or he at least had the potential to be interesting. He was at Jiaying’s right hand with Gordon, giving the impression that he was extremely powerful. However, this season he’s stated that he has no control over his own powers, saying that Daisy has more control despite having had her powers for a substantially less amount of time. Wasn’t he supposed to be the one helping her transition? What happened to all that experience with controlling his power between last season and this current season that we are watching?  I guess it’s true when they say that girls develop faster than boys after all.

This week, Lincoln wanted to be a lab rat for Fitzsimmons, hoping they could use him to create an anti-toxin for the Hive-controlling-parasite problem that has been plaguing them the last couple episodes. What he did to himself, without permission from Fitzsimmons, proved to be ineffective and pointless, kind of like his character’s entire arc. Unfortunately, nearly killing himself has caused his body to now have a faulty immune system. Way to go, Lincoln! Your stupidity has now made you terminal.

Hellfire and Daisy had a very normal human moment playing pinball together in this episode and you can sense a small amount of chemistry between them, even if it didn’t feel romantic at all. Still, I’m left asking myself why the show would introduce yet another possible love interest for Daisy. Lincoln is her current boyfriend unless the show plans to kill him off at the end of the season. If that’s the case, then that would mean that he was just a colossal waste of time on this show. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just loves to intertwine so many storylines that somehow always involve Daisy. You’d think she was more the lead of the series than even Coulson is. It also hasn’t gone unnoticed that since she’s been with Hive, Daisy has talked more about Grant Ward in these last two episodes than she has in the last two seasons. And now she’s offered herself up to be Hive’s meat bag so that he can use her blood for the experiments, since the show recently remembered that Kree blood once saved her life.

I can’t say that I am still anticipating the finale with the same amount of fervor as before because of multiple factors, and that’s a problem. We’ve been getting teased so much with the death at the end of the season that I feel I’ve become desensitized to it. They hyped up the Secret Warriors in a similar fashion and look how quickly that whole storyline was dissolved. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done an okay job at keeping fans engaged from episode to episode but the ultimate payoff is looking to be far from exciting. Let’s hope that Hive’s mission to recreate the inhuman experiments leads to an awesome season finale even if this latest episode that was supposed to hype us up for it, didn’t do so.

The biggest highlight of this episode was by far Brett Dalton’s performance as Hive. Each episode, his creepy yet terrifying demeanor reaches new heights. I hold onto hope that the show will give his character a stronger footing before the season’s end because I do want to keep watching Dalton’s amazing performance.

Mack and Daisy’s fight was also a great moment. Daisy’s skill set has gotten a lot better under Hive’s control and during most of the fight she seemed to be holding back. Daisy could easily have ended Mack’s life before the fight even began but the beating she gave him just dragged on. If May hadn’t swooped in to save him, then Mack would most certainly be dead. All things considered, Hive is doing a phenomenal job at making Daisy the most powerful that she’s ever been and I’m guessing that Grant Ward’s memories of his training sessions with her from the start of the series might have something to do with that.

Failed Experiments had its notable moments and you can see that the show is trying to win us back. They’re trying to keep us engaged each episode but the overall storyline for the season might end up falling short of greatness. Hopefully, these last few episodes tie up all the loose ends resulting in an exciting season finale that is worth the hype. What did you think of this latest episode? Are you still excited for the season finale? Let us know what you think by commenting below or find us on Twitter.

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