T.V. Series Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 3

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 3 Trailer

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 3 Summary

Season 3, Episode 1: Laws of Nature

After developing metal-bending abilities, Joey Gutierrez is saved from the hostile Advanced Threat Containment Unit (ATCU)—President Matthew Ellis’s replacement for the underground S.H.I.E.L.D.—by S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. When Agent Daisy Johnson struggles to explain to Gutierrez their Inhuman heritage, activated by exposure to the recently released compound Terrigen, she seeks the help of Lincoln Campbell, who taught her but now wants to live a normal life. S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Phil Coulson finds the leader of the ATCU, Rosalind Price, and the two realize that there is a third party interested in new Inhumans: the monstrous Inhuman Lash, who attacks Daisy and Campbell. The subsequent arrival of the ATCU causes both Lash and Campbell to flee; the organization begins hunting them. Agent Leo Fitz acquires an ancient Hebrew scroll describing the Kree Monolith—that consumed his partner Jemma Simmons—as “Death” (Hebrew: מות‎), which Fitz is unable to accept. Simmons, meanwhile, is on a desolate alien planet.

Season 3, Episode 2: Purpose in the Machine

Dr. Andrew Garner evaluates Gutierrez and deems him not yet ready to join the Secret Warriors, Daisy’s potential team of Inhumans. Grant Ward, looking to rebuild Hydra, recruits Werner von Strucker, son of previous leader Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. Tasked with hunting down and killing Ward, Agent Lance Hunter tracks down Garner’s ex-wife Agent Melinda May, who has been on leave from S.H.I.E.L.D. for six months. May is convinced not to run from her life despite difficulties in her relationships with Garner and Coulson, and eventually agrees to join Hunter in his mission. Fitz realizes that the Monolith is a portal, and S.H.I.E.L.D. enlists Asgardian Elliot Randolph. Randolph takes them to an old English castle where a now-deteriorated machine was constructed to open the Monolith using vibrations. Daisy is able to replicate this effect with her abilities and Fitz sends a flare through, before entering the portal himself. He finds Simmons and is able to bring her back just as Daisy’s power destroys the Monolith.

Season 3, Episode 3: A Wanted (Inhu)man

The ATCU closes in on Campbell, who is betrayed by an old friend when the ATCU asks for public help in capturing the “alien”. He calls Daisy for help. Coulson meets with Price, asking her to let S.H.I.E.L.D. take Campbell instead, but realizes that they know of Daisy too, and that to keep her safe he must let the ATCU take Campbell. Unaware of this, Daisy finds Campbell, but is followed by the ATCU. Campbell attacks them and escapes, so they try to take Daisy instead. To save her, Coulson agrees to work with Price to capture the Inhumans together. Hunter and May meet with a contact Hunter has in Hydra, who takes them to the new initiation system: Hunter must fight to the death to prove himself worthy of Hydra. Hunter fights his contact, kills him, and is accepted into Hydra’s ranks. Fitz attempts to help Simmons acclimatize to her old life, but she is struggling with both the different physics of Earth, and mental trauma. Later, Agent Bobbi Morse finds Simmons wanting to reopen the portal and return to the planet.

Season 3, Episode 4: Devils You Know

Daisy discovers an encoded email at the scene of a Lash attack and traces it to Dwight Frye, an Inhuman who is negatively affected by the presence of other Inhumans that Lash has been using to find targets. May visits S.H.I.E.L.D. to warn Coulson that Hunter’s mission is becoming too personal and reckless, but refuses to talk to Garner, who had left her while they were trying to rekindle their relationship. The ATCU takes Frye, with Daisy and Agent Alphonso Mackenzie allowed to go with them to see their base and Inhuman facilities. However, Lash ambushes their van, kills Frye, and injures Mack, but spares Daisy, who witnesses him transforming into an ordinary human afterward. Hunter is brought in on a mission with Hydra, but is seen by Ward and attacks him. May arrives to help, but Ward reveals Strucker is prepared to kill Garner unless Hunter and May allow him to escape. May, unable to sacrifice Garner, is willing to back off, but Hunter attacks Ward, shooting him in the shoulder as he flees. In retaliation, Strucker seemingly kills Garner.

Season 3, Episode 5: 4,722 Hours

Simmons agrees to tell Fitz of her six months on the planet. After being dragged through the portal, she found herself on an apparently sun-less, deserted planet, where she came across a pool of water and an alien life form inhabiting it, allowing her to sustain herself until she met stranded astronaut Will Daniels. Daniels had traveled through the portal with a team of scientists in 2001, when the monolith was in the possession of NASA, but over time they had been driven mad by the planet and an evil entity upon it, each eventually dying. Simmons realized that the opening of the portal can be predicted by studying the stars and alignment of the planet’s moons, and over months they were able to anticipate the next opening of the portal. When they missed it, Simmons lost hope, but found solace with Daniels and fell in love with him. When they saw Fitz’s flare, Simmons was able to make it to him while Daniels distracted the entity. Now, Simmons wants to reopen the portal so they can return to save Daniels, which Fitz agrees to help with.

Season 3, Episode 6: Among Us Hide…

S.H.I.E.L.D. finds Garner alive after Strucker fled the scene. Hunter is replaced by Morse on the Ward mission; she and May begin tracking Strucker. Since Daisy and Mack never made it to the ATCU facility, Coulson visits it himself, while Daisy, Mack, and Hunter believe that Price’s right-hand man, Luther Banks, may be Lash. They find Banks, knock him out, take some of his blood, and sneak a camera into the facility to which he was headed. As an analysis proves that Banks is not an Inhuman, they realize that they are at the ATCU facility and witness Coulson seeing a captured Inhuman arrive in suspended animation. Price tells Coulson that she wants to ‘cure’ the Inhumans because she could not help her husband, who died of cancer. May and Morse trace Strucker to the apartment of Gideon Malick, with whom Strucker sought sanctuary. Malick, instead, turned him over to Hydra in exchange for a future favor. As Morse fights off the Hydra members, Strucker tells May that Garner survived his attack because Garner is Lash.

Season 3, Episode 7: Chaos Theory

May confronts Garner, who explains that, while researching for S.H.I.E.L.D., he opened a ledger of known Inhumans belonging to Daisy’s late mother which was booby trapped to release Terrigen on its reader. Inhuman abilities within Garner were unlocked and, when Garner was subsequently drawn to an ‘unworthy’ Inhuman, transformed into Lash, and killed him, Garner broke things off with May. Coulson joins Price for a meeting with the President about the outbreak of enhanced people, but is interrupted en route by Campbell, who has deduced that Lash must have access to the ledger. S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU track down Garner and May, the latter being held hostage, and Coulson tries to talk down Garner. Garner’s Lash instincts want him to kill Campbell and, after the latter attacks Lash, only May is able to calm him down and return him to his human form. Campbell warns that the Lash form will soon be permanent, so May has the ATCU put Garner in stasis until their cure is complete. Coulson then spends the night with Price.

Season 3, Episode 8: Many Heads, One Tale

Malick knows that Ward wants access to one of Baron Strucker’s vaults—said to contain the true power of Hydra, which he wishes to use to kill Coulson—so he sends men to kill Ward. Ward defeats them and tortures the vault’s location from them. Hunter and Morse enter the ATCU, disguised as FBI agents investigating a security breach triggered by Garner’s containment module. Morse discovers that the ATCU is keeping the Inhumans offsite, and is trying to make more instead of curing them. Coulson confronts Price, but she was unaware of this because her long-time business partner, Malick, had been running that side. Ward breaks into the vault and is confronted by an impressed Malick. As Fitz and Simmons realize that Daniels was sent through the portal by Hydra as a sacrifice to the entity, Malick explains to Ward that it is an ancient Inhuman, Hive (from Latin: Alveus), who was banished through the portal, and Hydra was founded to return it to Earth. If Ward helps Hydra with this, then Malick will help Ward take down S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season 3, Episode 9: Closure

At dinner with Coulson, Price reveals plans to confront Malick, before being abruptly sniped by Ward and dying in Coulson’s arms. Promoting Mack to interim director of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson sets out for revenge, and goes off-book with Hunter and Morse to kidnap Ward’s younger brother, Thomas. Fitz and Simmons go with Banks to investigate the ATCU, but Banks is killed and the two are captured by Hydra. Simmons is tortured until Fitz agrees to help Hydra return Hive to Earth, while Coulson uses a phone call between the Ward brothers, where Grant attempts to justify himself and his past actions to Thomas, to locate Hydra: they have set up base at the English castle. Mack clears Gutierrez and Campbell for field duty and mobilizes the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a rescue mission. Hydra reopens the portal, and Malick convinces Ward to lead Hydra through it with Fitz and return with Hive, promising that Coulson will die when they return. Determined to kill Ward, Coulson manages to enter the portal as well.

Season 3, Episode 10: Maveth

Fitz finds Daniels and convinces Ward that they will need him to find the exit point. Mack sends May and the Secret Warriors (Daisy, Campbell, and Gutierrez) to find Simmons while he, Morse, and Hunter infiltrate the castle and secure the portal room. Simmons escapes herself after Campbell shuts down Hydra’s power, and discovers several Inhumans that Malick has gathered as an army, including Garner. Simmons agrees to unleash Lash on Hydra before making her way to the others. Fitz and Daniels lead Ward to the ruins of an ancient civilization where they manage to get away, while Coulson catches up to Ward and overpowers him, forcing him to follow them. At the exit, Daniels attacks Fitz: Hive had killed Daniels as Simmons escaped, and now inhabits his body. Ward attacks Coulson when he is distracted by Fitz, but Coulson uses his prosthetic hand to kill Ward, while Fitz uses a flare to destroy Daniels’ body. Fitz and Coulson return to Earth, but Hive secretly does as well, now inhabiting Ward’s body.

Season 3, Episode 11: Bouncing Back

S.H.I.E.L.D. agents arrive in Bogotá to investigate an Inhuman who stole weapons from the police. The woman, Elena Rodriguez, is apprehended despite her super speed (with the limitation of returning to where she began moving from after one heartbeat) and reveals that she was destroying the weapons to prevent their misuse by corrupt police officers. Coulson uses the machine that restored his memories on Strucker—who is in a vegetative state following brutal treatment by Malick’s men—and discovers where he contacted Malick. Coulson uses the phone there to find many of Malick’s facilities, which are promptly shut down by Malick. The police kidnap Morse and Hunter using their own Inhuman, Lucio, who can temporarily petrify anyone using eye contact. Rodriguez aids S.H.I.E.L.D. in rescuing the pair, and though Lucio is captured by Hydra, Rodriguez agrees to join the Secret Warriors; she remains in Colombia, on call. Ellis informs Coulson that the new head of the ATCU will be Glenn Talbot, who will report directly to Coulson.

Season 3: Episode 12: The Inside Man

Talbot and Coulson meet with delegates from several countries to discuss Inhumans, accompanied by Carl Creel—a human who survived terrigenesis thanks to Hydra experimentation and whose blood Simmons believes could be used to “cure” Inhumans who have not yet transitioned. Coulson suspects that one of the delegates is an inside man for Malick and sends Hunter, Morse, and May to find out who it is. Hunter, seeing Creel acting suspiciously, discovers Talbot’s son in ATCU stasis. They also discover that the Australian government has captured an Inhuman, Eden Fesi, for experimentation. Talbot turns on Coulson when Malick arrives, the latter convincing the delegates that Coulson is Hydra and that they should carry out their plans—the building of an Inhuman sanctuary—with Malick instead. May saves Talbot’s son, allowing him to leave with Coulson without fear for his family. Hunter and Morse follow Malick to Russia, S.H.I.E.L.D. agents rescue Fesi, and Hive restores Ward’s corpse to full strength by sacrificing several humans.

Season 3, Episode 13: Parting Shot

Hunter and Morse follow Malick to a decommissioned facility in Siberia, where Russian delegate Anton Petrov wishes to build the sanctuary against the wishes of Russian Prime Minister Dimitri Olshenko. Olshenko sends his attaché to shut down the operation, but he is murdered by General Androvich, an opposition minister and Inhuman whose shadow is made of sentient darkforce. Malick suggests that the Prime Minister be invited to the facility himself and that Androvich be unleashed upon him. Hunter kills Petrov to protect Olshenko, while Morse kills Androvich to destroy his shadow. Olshenko, unaware of the attempt on his life, has the two arrested. Their Interpol interrogator threatens to turn them over to the Russians for execution unless they confirm that S.H.I.E.L.D. still exists, but Morse and Hunter refuse. Ellis intervenes with Coulson; they save the pair’s lives on the condition that they never work for the U.S. government again. With the option of working in secret out of the field, Morse and Hunter instead choose to leave S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season 3, Episode 14: Watchdogs

Mack, struggling with the departure of Morse and Hunter, takes time off to be with his brother Ruben. When an online hate group called the Watchdogs uses Howard Stark-developed nitramene bombs to perform a terrorist attack on an ATCU facility, Coulson suspects that former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Felix Blake—who had been committed to the advancement of nitramene technology and has been missing since having his back broken by Deathlok—has taken over the group. Ruben becomes disillusioned with Mack when he leaves to investigate a Watchdog base and accidentally reveals his S.H.I.E.L.D. agent status, but Mack is able to improve their relationship when he fends off a group of the terrorists that attack the brothers. Coulson takes Campbell to search Blake’s known safe houses, and the two are confronted by Blake in one via hologram; he reveals that Hydra is backing him and the Watchdogs in their crusade to kill all Inhumans, and S.H.I.E.L.D. realizes that the attack was a cover for Hydra to steal something from the ATCU.

Season 3, Episode 15: Spacetime

S.H.I.E.L.D. picks up an emergency call about Daisy, and finds the caller, who was shown a vision of his death by the Inhuman Charles Hinton, in time for him to learn Daisy’s name before being murdered by Hydra, who capture Hinton. Daisy is able to touch Hinton first, giving her a vision of his death. Hive promises to reward Malick with “true power” for sending Ward through the portal; they use Hinton to obtain a powerful exoskeleton from a private corporation. Desperate to prove that fate is not fixed, S.H.I.E.L.D. seeks to stop Daisy’s vision from playing out by sending May to find Hinton instead of Daisy, as the vision showed, but at the last minute Garner arrives, stating that he wants to say goodbye to May before he transforms into Lash for good. Subsequently, Daisy goes to the corporation, where S.H.I.E.L.D. has tracked Hydra and Hinton, and faces Malick and his exoskeleton. Hinton saves Daisy by distracting Malick, giving them both visions—hers of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent dying in space—before dying himself.

Season 3, Episode 16: Paradise Lost

Malick’s father died in 1970, leaving him and his brother Nathaniel to lead the “religious” side of Hydra, including periodically sending a sacrificial “traveler”—chosen at random from Hydra’s inner circle—through the portal for Hive to inhabit until his return. Discovering that their father used a trick to never be chosen as the traveler, Gideon does the same and Nathaniel is chosen. In the present, Gideon tells his daughter Stephanie of his vision: he believes he saw his own death at the hands of Hive. Daisy and Campbell track down J.T. James, an untransitioned Inhuman with knowledge of Hive who gives them an ancient Kree device. The rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. captures Giyera, Gideon’s right-hand man who is now loyal to Hive; a telekinetic Inhuman, Giyera takes control of their plane and directs it to a Hydra base with most of S.H.I.E.L.D. as his prisoners. Hive comes to the Malicks’ house and reveals to Gideon that he has Nathaniel’s memories. As punishment for Gideon’s betrayal of Nathaniel, Hive murders Stephanie in front of him.

Season 3, Episode 17: The Team

Daisy and Campbell unite with Gutierrez and Rodriguez as the Secret Warriors and infiltrate the Hydra base to free S.H.I.E.L.D. Gutierrez kills Lucio in the process, while Campbell captures Malick. During questioning, Malick explains to Coulson that Hive can infect the minds of Inhumans, warning him against trusting any of the Secret Warriors. Simmons confirms from an autopsy of Lucio that Hive parasites infected his brain, and the same could have happened to any of the Secret Warriors. When Malick is found dead, the human agents trap the Inhumans in quarantine and search their belongings. They discover the Kree device in Campbell’s possession rather than in asset lockup; Campbell protests, but the other three are released. That night, Daisy visits Campbell and offers to break him out. Campbell refuses when he realizes that Hive is controlling Daisy, and used her to murder Malick and frame Campbell. Daisy leaves on her own, creating an earthquake to destroy the S.H.I.E.L.D. base with everyone inside.

Season 3, Episode 18: The Singularity

Escaping the base mostly unharmed, S.H.I.E.L.D. know that Daisy could have killed them all, and believe there is hope of freeing her from Hive. Fitz and Simmons seek out transhumanist Holden Radcliffe, who believes in the improvement of humanity through enhancement, and whose studies of parasites could help with counteracting Hive’s abilities. Hive turns Alisha Whitley (a duplicating Inhuman ally of S.H.I.E.L.D.) and James (after first giving him terrigen which allows him to imbue objects with fire) to his cause, and takes this fledgling army to interrupt Fitz and Simmons: Daisy warns Fitz of her vision; Hive’s memories of Daniels petition Simmons to move on with her romantic life; and the others kidnap Radcliffe, taking him to a town that Hive bought with Malick’s remaining fortune, where he intends to recreate the original Kree experiments that made the first Inhumans. Talbot and the ATCU use Malick’s final intel to completely dismantle Hydra’s remaining infrastructure, and Fitz and Simmons finally consummate their relationship.

Season 3, Episode 19: Failed Experiments

Radcliffe’s first attempt to turn humans into Inhumans fails, as he requires Kree blood. Fitz and Simmons attempt to combine their potential Inhuman cure with what they know of Radcliffe’s research, but require an Inhuman test subject; Campbell volunteers himself, severely compromising his immune system and seemingly proving that the cure cannot free the Inhumans of Hive’s connection. S.H.I.E.L.D. locates Hive’s town and Mack and May lead a team to hopefully free the others by simply killing Hive. The latter activates the Kree artifact, a beacon which calls two Kree reapers to the town. They promptly murder Whitley. Daisy and Hive each confront a reaper, with Daisy managing to begin harvesting hers’ blood until the process is sabotaged by Mack. Hive, not realizing this, destroys the other reaper. Daisy attacks Mack, nearly killing him, but is interrupted by May, who helps Mack retreat with the rest of their team. Daisy then offers her own blood as an alternative for Radcliffe’s experiment, as it was recently infused with Kree blood.

Season 3, Episode 20: Emancipation

Following the signing of the Sokovia Accords, Talbot and Coulson discuss registering the Inhuman agents, with Coulson taking Talbot to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base to introduce him to Rodriguez and Lash, explain the Hive situation, and show him the need to keep the Secret Warriors anonymous. Hive captures several Watchdogs for Radcliffe’s next experiment attempt; they are horrifically mutated into primitive Inhumans, but do fall under Hive’s sway, prompting him to proceed with his ultimate plan—to use a warhead (which was stolen from the ATCU) to spread Radcliffe’s new pathogen around the world and transform all humans into these primitives. Campbell contacts Daisy and convinces her that he wants to be with her. Hacking into S.H.I.E.L.D.’s systems as her blood is drained, Daisy helps him escape the S.H.I.E.L.D. base in a quinjet. However, this was a ruse on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s part, with Lash arriving instead of Campbell. Lash uses his abilities to free Daisy from Hive’s sway, but is killed by James. Daisy escapes back to S.H.I.E.L.D.

Season 3, Episode 21: Absolution

S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps Daisy in containment while she is showing withdrawal symptoms after losing her connection with Hive, but her intel allows them to find the base from which Hive is attempting to launch the warhead. With Talbot’s military contacts, S.H.I.E.L.D. is able to disable the rocket while a team of agents infiltrates the base, captures Hive, and extracts Radcliffe, with the latter agreeing to cooperate with S.H.I.E.L.D. and revealing that the Primitive process is irreversible. Giyera and James steal the warhead and, while S.H.I.E.L.D. is focused on locating it, they detonate a bomb that they had smuggled into the S.H.I.E.L.D. hangar, releasing some of Radcliffe’s pathogen. Several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents transform into Primitives, freeing Hive from his containment, and he proceeds to steal Zephyr One, S.H.I.E.L.D.’s airborne mobile command that could take the warhead high enough for the pathogen to transform a large portion of humanity. Daisy escapes and confronts Hive, begging him to connect with her again.

Season 3, Episode 22: Ascension

Hive realizes that Lash has made Daisy impervious to his influence so, instead, he overpowers and abducts her. Giyera and James bring him the warhead, while many of the Primitives remain to kill the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. May and Fitz infiltrate Zephyr One and free Daisy. Fitz kills Giyera, while Coulson and the others evade the Primitives and escape the base in a quinjet, boarding Zephyr One. Coulson plans to send the warhead into space in the quinjet to detonate safely, and Daisy believes that she must go with it to atone for her actions under Hive’s sway and fulfill her vision. She enters the quinjet, where she is confronted by Hive, but Campbell throws her out and fries the jet’s manual controls, ascending to space, where the warhead detonates and kills both him and Hive, thus fulfilling Daisy’s vision. Six months later, Daisy has left S.H.I.E.L.D. and is operating as the vigilante “Quake”, evading Coulson, who is no longer director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Radcliffe uploads his artificial intelligence AIDA into a Life Model Decoy.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Season 3 Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The show got far more interesting in this season with Daisy/Skye learning about her identity and powers. Jemma and Fritz’s relationship is getting good too.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

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