Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Recap And Review – “Emancipation”


It’s the penultimate episode of Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD. How will everything get resolved in the next three hours of television? And how does Captain America: Civil War play into it all? Let’s dive in and see what happened this week! (Very minor spoilers for Civil War, by the way.)

Not-So-Short Summary: Hey, the Civil War references start right off the bat with a television talking about the Sokovia Accords with May and Coulson listening in. It’s a bad week for Coulson, with Captain America on the run and Peggy Carter passing away at the age of 95. He’s dealing with the government-side of things with Colonel Talbot. The President wants the Inhumans working with SHIELD to come out of the shadows and register. And Talbot wants to take in their base.

So Coulson brings in Elena Rodriguez to show off her stuff. There’s a good heart-to-heart between her and Mack as well, and it’s nice to see Mack’s spirits lifted. He’s had a rough couple of episodes.

Lincoln still pouts in his cell and whispers sweet nothings to Daisy, who happens to be listening and decides to let him know by hacking the screen in his bedroom. He professes his love in kind of a cute way which makes me wonder if he isn’t playing a long game. Their conversation is cut short as Coulson brings in Talbot to discuss the Sokovia Accords.

Turns out Lincoln wants to sign and register just to get the heck out of SHIELD. Daisy overhears and works on MacGyvering Lincoln out of his cell a little later in the episode.

Coulson has a heart-to-heart with Talbot as well, who was withholding the fact that he knew about Daisy and not-Grant Ward hiding out in the Plains States and just wanted to see if Coulson would like to his face. He and FitzSimmons lay everything out on the table: What Ward is now, what’s at stake, how dangerous it is for Inhumans, and how Hive has Daisy’s blood to use.

They want Talbot to trust them…but right after they say that, they discover the loop of Lincoln sleeping. Talbot is ticked. The rest of them lock down the base until Mack realizes she can just hack the quinjet and fly Lincoln out of there. He goes to intercept.

Mack can’t stop him. Lincoln flies away, under the impression that it will just be him and Daisy.

“Feels like everything is going to hell and we’re just slowing down the descent,” Fitz remarks early in this episode, and I feel the same. Every step SHIELD takes forward, they end up taking two steps back.

On the Hive-side of things, Daisy is getting drained of her blood while Radcliffe is ready to do his first round of tests. Hive has a great idea for their first test subjects: a group from the Watchdogs, who want to bring in an Inhuman to make a statement. They target Off-Brand Gambit, who corners them in an alley to bring them in.

Experiment Numero Uno: Overcooked. Severely weird looking and primitive, but Hive loves them just the same. He wants Radcliffe to make more. He then tells Daisy he needs all of her blood and that he’ll go greet Lincoln when he arrives.

But it isn’t Lincoln! SHIELD did a switcheroo! It’s Lash! I was excited for about five seconds before I realized he’s an Inhuman and can be controlled by Hive…right?

Turns out May and Lincoln had this whole “escape” planned for quite a while. They had to make it all seem real because they knew Daisy was listening.

“Every Inhuman is here for a reason,” Lincoln explains to Talbot. “I believe Lash’s purpose is to kill Hive.” It’s a voiceover that works so well as Hive attempts to shoot parasites at Lash and Lash deflects it with his blue Inhuman death ray. He even burns a huge hole in Hive’s chest!

After fighting off the primitive Inhumans, Lash fights off a weak Daisy earthquake and then takes the Hive parasites out of her and destroys them. “Now you’re free,” he says, and it’s actually a sweet moment…right until James stabs him through the chest. Daisy freaks out, shoots quakes at James, and flies back to SHIELD HQ.

Talbot wonders if she’s not playing a double-agent; the brain scan shows she’s clean. But there’s bad news, too. Hypothetically speaking, based on what Daisy told them about Radcliffe’s latest experiment, if he finds a way to disperse it high enough in the atmosphere, he can affect a large majority of the human race. But he doesn’t have a way, does it?

Oh but he does. Hive stole a warhead from the ATCU.

Post-Credits Stinger: Elena visits Mack in his room. Mack is still uncertain about whether they’ll win or not, but he’s willing to make a stand. She gives him her crucifix. Does this mean Mack is the one who dies?! If that’s the case, I’m done. Don’t do this to me, show!

Badass Moment of the Week: James using that chain was pretty awesome.

Best One Liner: “Rasta-Hulk is your husband?!” Talbot remarks about Lash.

I mean, there is a lot of talk about the Sokovia Accords in this episode, so much that I barely managed to write half of it down. This episode gets more political than any moment in Captain America: Civil War.

And I am quite serious. If Agents of SHIELD decides to kill off Mack in the finale, I will be extremely angry.

Lash’s death felt slightly lackluster. Sure, we saw the Andrew part of him shining through as he saved Daisy from Hive’s control and brought her back into the SHIELD fold, but Off-Brand Gambit stabbing him through the chest seems like a cop-out. Plus, Lash only gets a few good swipes in at Hive. Maybe it would have felt better if he had at least severely crippled him?

Next week is the two-hour season finale for Agents of SHIELD, and this show does some fun work with their finales. It’s relieving to know that we’re getting another season and don’t have to wait with bated breath for a renewal after the finale. We know we will get some sort of resolution in the fall… or not. Agents of SHIELD does like to toy with us.