One of the issues Agents of SHIELD had early on was an extremely slow pace. At this point, the show seems to be resolving its issues far too quickly. Not only did we just find out that Lash had a secret identity three episodes ago, who he actually was last week, but now we have him defeated and detained seven episodes into the season. It begs the question; what happens next?
May’s manner of reacting to the news from Werner von Strucker (Who is apparently still alive?! What a trooper,) was perfect for her. Ming Na-Wen’s performance has always had issues considering that she plays a character who keeps their emotions so deep under lock and key, that seeing her have such an emotional dilemma is a radical change of pace. Watching the gears in her head click from every answer she got to her questions getting faster and faster, until she was already there confronting him. Andrew’s realization that the gig was up was interesting as he clearly hadn’t even considered the possibility before this moment. Panicking and shooting May showed how even though she knew the danger she was in, she still had her guard down because of her feelings for him.
Having him come clean about his nature, and opening up to her gave us the insight we needed as far as his motivations, and it’s hard to know if it was truly enough. The way he described his attraction toward the other Inhumans, and his urge to kill them (illustrated with his imagined murder of Joey Gutierrez) makes him come off as some sort of vampire figure. While it’s understandable that some changes from the source material stick out, it doesn’t quite track with what has been seen on the show so far. In the comics, Lash was the last Inhuman to go through the proper selection toward being exposed to the Terrigen Mists before the mass populace was. After the outbreak, he set out to murder all new Inhumans who did not go through the process. This seemed to be hinted with his comment earlier that he was “necessary.” I take it we’re supposed to interpret that as him killing Inhumans who were a “threat,” but then why did he kill Frye a few weeks back?
With May not sharing her plan with anyone else, their way of discovering the situation was from a surprise return from Lincoln. His reveal that Lash’s victims were all on Jiaying’s list was smart, and we have to wonder how they didn’t think of this until now. With Andrew being the only one with access to that list, the list of potential suspects was precisely one all along. Lincoln’s presence was appreciated though, and seeing him taking out his frustration at his place in life on Lash was excellent. Having him be the one to take the offense first rather than the ATCU and SHIELD, and Joey’s progress at controlling his powers were the first steps toward the creation of the Secret Warriors, now that Andrew can’t stall the program any longer.
Despite the fast-paced hunt for Lash, there was still time for some good scenes for the rest of the cast. Daisy using her powers to save Rosalind after her accusation that her powers could kill her was a bit on the nose, though effective at showing the mutual understanding between the ATCU and SHIELD develop. Rosalind and Coulson also had their own mutual understanding develop, if you know what I’m saying. Fitz had a strong scene with Simmons, and they were able to somewhat clear the air of romantic tension between them. Simmons acknowledging that she was truly sure of her feelings for him was a punch to the gut. Guy truly cannot catch a break.
As I said though; what next? I assume more Hydra-focused content now that Lash is out of the picture, and we likely won’t see the Secret Warriors formed until after the mid-season break. At a point where most other shows are ramping the tension and stakes up, Agents of SHIELD seems to be calming down. Hopefully it pays off in them for the long run.