Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×1 Review: “Laws of Nature”
They’re not hiding anymore: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is very much a comic series. Gone are the attempts to make this show a procedural – it’s all about the action and superpowers at this point, and I love it… mostly. This episode was missing several significant characters, which is to be expected because there are just so many of them now, but it was still a little disappointing. But they did make up for it by introducing the first LGBTQ+ character (it’s about time).
The first two seasons of this show chronicled Daisy Johnson’s (formally known as Skye) superhero origin story, but in this episode there’s no more set-up left. Daisy Johnson is very much a superhero – they even gave her a slow motion entry with wind machine to make sure you got the point. They were even sure to remind us of her new name several times, even making a joke out of it when Coulson called her Skye. It’s not that hard to remember the change… except it kind of is.
Actually I’m surprised by how easily I accepted the name change in this episode, but the writers did a reasonable job of enforcing the concept without pissing me off. It helped that Daisy looks different from Skye. The haircut, the costume, the attitude. She’s still very much the character I fell in love with but she’s also someone new – she’s definitely Daisy Johnson now. That said, I’m a little worried about her actual agency in the episode. I loved seeing her using her powers and talking to the new recruit, but I was less fussed on her hunt for Lincoln – he’s the new Lance Hunter.
Speaking of Lance Hunter, he didn’t annoy me as much as usual but I’m still bummed that he’s taking time away from my faves (like the mysteriously absent Agent May or the wonderfully evil Ward). But whatever, we’re stuck with him now so I’m trying to make the best of it. We can only hope that he gives some of his screen time to the newest Inhuman on the block – Joey Gutierrez – because not only is he the first openly queer character in the MCU but he had an incredibly relatable freakout when learning about his powers.
The other Inhuman introduction was the very alien-looking Lash, a character I know nothing about who doesn’t really intrigue me all that much. He seems like your basic bad guy with issues, and let’s be real, you probably would have issues if you looked like the love child of a smurf crossed with a porcupine. Anyway, he’s there to remind everyone that powers are dangerous so we can all continue on our trajectory towards Captain America: Civil War.
It’s pretty clear that there’s going to be A LOT of Civil War set up in this season. Inhumans are on the loose and they keep mentioning the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron and the other MCU movies. The president even gave a very relevant speech. “The laws of nature have changed,” he says. “Until the laws of man have changed to reflect that, we must do what we feel is right.” Clearly this is all heading in a very specific direction but until then we have a new big bad to keep us busy.
Constance Zimmer is Rosalind Price, the head of that task force the President was on about. She’s all about containing the alien threat by any means necessary and she appears to be fairly good at her job. I have no doubt she’ll be a worthy adversary but to be honest I’m not really interested.
I am however interested in how they’re negotiating Mack’s prejudice against Inhumans. I LOVED that they teamed him up with Daisy to help capture the newly transformed, and that they managed to do it without watering down his beliefs. It’s not that I agree with his views, but he has his reasons and it wouldn’t make any sense for him to just drop them and suddenly be team superhuman. But he still clearly likes Daisy, while at the same time as being terrified of her, and I can’t wait to watch that dilemma play out this season (I really hope they delve into it further).
The best part of the episode was the last five minutes. As fun as it was to watch Fitz go all badass trying to track down a way to prove that Simmons is still alive, Iain De Caestecker is at his best when he’s having a breakdown – and that’s exactly what he does when he finally begins to give up hope. Seriously the best thing this show did was realize that they should break Fitz as often and as terribly as possible.
And Jemma Simmons is not actually dead! (Did anyone really think she was?) She finally appears in the tag at the end of the episode. She’s on what appears to be an alien planet and she’s running for her life. I liked the episode. It was exciting. But that last five minutes got me more excited for this series than I’ve been since the end of Season 1.
Author: Undie Girl
Undie Girl (aka Von) has a BA (Hons) Major in Cultural Studies. The title of her honours thesis was “It’s just gay and porn”: Power, Identity and the Fangirl’s Gaze. She’s currently pursuing a Masters of Media Practice at University of Sydney. Von’s a former contributor The Backlot’s column The Shipping News and a current co-host of The Geekiary’s monthly webcast FEELINGS… with The Geekiary.
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