Episode three of Marvel’s Agents of Shield, A Wanted (Inhu)Man, begins and ends with Jemma. The scenes in between are just filler, moving our characters from point A to point B. Daisy and Mack track down Lincoln, he’s currently being pursued by Price’s ATCU unit. Agent May and Hunter get a lead in finding Ward. Fitz and Simmons have their first date-which ends in tears. “You know how complicated these things are…affairs of the heart,” says Hunter to Agent May. This episode did contain some heartfelt moments, and scenes manipulating personal relationships to complicate SHIELD business. I just wish that these moments weren’t surrounded by so much exposition, set up, and repeating character beats, already hit on during the previous two episodes.
Technically, the episode began with Lincoln, as he’s shown running through the wilderness, while ATCU pursues their manhunt. But do we really care? The second episode did not contain, nor mention Lincoln, and I can’t say that I missed him too much. After first appearing in season two’s second half, briefly showing up in the third season’s premiere, has this character earned this much attention? Nope. In comparison to episode two, where the main plot line revolves around our team saving Simmons, the manhunt for Lincoln doesn’t carry the same amount of urgency, or weight. The kiss he shares with Daisy, before the ATCU unit come in to take him away, felt forced. “You gave me hope…a place to belong,” explains Daisy. I understand why I should care about his relationship with Daisy, but it’s too obligatory to further her story line into becoming an inhuman leader. She provides purpose to not just new inhumans, but to the man who gave her hope; it’s too neat and tidy to be interesting.
One redeeming part of Lincoln’s manhunt story line was the inclusion of Rosalind Price. While, Lincoln and daisy find comfort in one another; Coulson and Price meet face to face again to admire each other’s strengths. Now Price has been using footage from the hospital to make her hunt for inhumans a more public effort…she needs results fast. Remember, Lincoln was not the only inhuman at the hospital in the first episode. Daisy was there too. In exchange for Daisy’s protection Coulson sacrifices Lincoln, and then ultimately himself. A father always protects his daughter. The writers continue to subtly incorporate this relationship beat into episode, not forced, but well earned after two seasons. I wonder if there’s potential for a rift to occur between Coulson and Daisy around the midseason finale break? She’s certainly not too happy after Lincoln escapes both her and the ATCU extraction unit. Then Coulson informs Daisy that they’ll be working with Price’s ATCU team on any future inhuman extraction missions.
“Forget about the things that used to matter to her and give her something to look forward to.”- Bobbi
The Fitz/Simmons story line throughout this episode gets results-some very surprising ones. In the beginning, we see the team discuss Simmons’ current state of health. This discussion is spliced together with shots of Simmons staring at herself in the mirror. The team is focusing on how her body’s adjusting to being back on Earth, while they struggle to help her with PTSD. Did anyone call Dr. Garner? Then we observe Fitz and Bobbi showing her around the lab. Jemma’s perspective shot were effectively used during this sequence. Later on, while talking with Daisy, she jumps at the sound of a cell phone. We’ve seen her perspective, so we understand how a world with so many distractions can be scary. “I’m not accustomed to so many distractions…my curiosity faded when the fear set in,” explains Jemma. Then Fitz removes these unwanted distractions and takes Jemma out on their first date. In a very genuine moment Jemma breaks down into tears at the restaurant, and Fitz simply pulls up a chair next to her…and holds her. I’ am still waiting for a Jemma flashback heavy episode, what exactly happened on that planet? Jemma may feel lost on Earth now, but she’s certain of one thing,“I have to go back.”