Review: ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’ S03E12 – “The Inside Man”

By March 16, 2016

On this week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD Coulson and Talbot attend a summit to discuss the Inhumans, Daisy and Lincoln have a moment or two, and Ward has a few guests over for dinner. Let’s take a look at ‘The Inside Man!”

I’ve been a fan of Adrian Pasdar ever since I first saw him on Heroes all those years ago. It’s great to see him and Clark Gregg on screen together as they are always butting heads even if they are technically on the same side. As acting Director of the ATCU, I expect to see more of him throughout the rest of the season.

His character of General Talbot has always been this no nonsense, by the book type of guy but from the very beginning if this episode I could tell something was off. His wife was leaving and the fact that he had to report to Coulson was not sitting well with him. That I expected, but everything else seem to get him more than I thought it would for a seasoned General, especially with what we know of the character.

Talbot seemed very uncomfortable at the summit. Sure, part of it was the outfit that he was wearing but it was more than that. He was instantly judging everyone thinking that they we Malick’s inside man. Not only was we jumping to conclusions but it was based on not much more than their name or where they came from. Talk about profiling. That was very odd as we had never seen him act that way before. He seemed more out of his element than what you would expect for a General.

Then we got the reveal. Talbot was the inside man working for Gideon Malick. Wait? What?! I have to admit I did not see that one coming. I was shocked and confused all at the same time. How could the guy that we introduced to last season who was so hell-bent on taking down HYDRA and bringing in the remaining SHIELD agents be working for Malick?! That’s one long con. I started to wonder if this was done just for shock value of there was a greater plan. Before I was able to question that decision much further we learned what was really going on. Malick had kidnapped Talbot’s son and threatened to kill him if he did not play ball. Whew, ok. I can buy that. General Talbot’s character is still intact and it wasn’t blown to smithereens just for the sake of a twist.

‘The Inside Man’ also gave us the return of Carl Creel aka The Absorbing Man. That was a throwback. I didn’t expect to see him again (I didn’t realize that was him in the commercial for this episode). We haven’t seen him since the very beginning of season two. I actually don’t even remember the particulars of what happened to him. Apparently Talbot required him and was able to free Creel of HYDRA’s brainwashing. That was a nice little twist, having a character is a villain in the comics be working for the good guys under his own volition.

Creel may now be free of HYDRA control but the team still find it hard to trust him, especially Hunter. Creel killed his friends way back at the beginning of season two. I still think that was a waste of Lucy Lawless but what can you do. Hunter almost blows the whole operation when he goes after Creel when he thinks he has betrayed them. At first it seems that Hunter was right but as we learned, Talbot has an inside man of his own as Creel is truly his guy.

Back at SHIELD HQ Daisy and Lincoln have a few moments of their own while Fitz and Simmons are taking another look at Creel’s blood sample as he was able to survive an encounter with the obelisk. I could have honestly cared less about most of the scenes between Daisy and Lincoln. We get that they are into each other so there was really no point to their “training” sequence other than to show off how far Daisy has come in her training (which we knew already) and the Lincoln was making progress.

What I did find interesting and what also helped progress the story was Fitz and Simmons discovery that Creel’s blood actually fights off the terrigenesis reversing the effects of the terrigen mist. It could potentially be used as a vaccine for those who have not fully transformed. I found myself mostly siding with Lincoln’s position though Daisy had a few good points.

Terrigenesis should be a choice. Not everyone wants these abilities or wants to deal with the fallout of gaining powers. He referenced Dr. Garner, I’m sure he would have liked to have had a choice. And I would guess that Raina probably would have preferred a choice after what happened to her. Plus, there are some people out there who probably shouldn’t have powers. I also didn’t really care for how Daisy through Lincoln’s experience and expertise back in his face. He does know a tad bit more about this than her. She did make a very valid point that governments or some other group could force this potential vaccine on everyone, totally removing choice from the equation.

Over at HYDRA base, Ward (I’m still calling him that to I hear a different name) continues to learn about the world while patiently waiting for what he sees as the right time to act. He now has two Inhumans that he has gained control of (mostly through fear). We learn that he cannot feed on Inhumans so he sends them out to find him a few humans. I had a feeling that he needed a power up by sucking away the life-force of living humans but that was graphic. I expected to see and empty room or a pile of dust of those poor people. Nope. We got charred, oozing skeletal remains of his victims as we see Ward is now back to top physical form. I’m anxious to see what this brand new Ward brings to the table and how our favorite SHIELD agents are going to respond to his presence.

Talbot is now free of Malick’s control, Hunter and Bobbi have stowed away on Gidieon’s plane and now there is an Inhuman “sanctuary” in the works. Fitz and Simmons didn’t have much to do this week as they spent their time analyzing Creel’s blood. May once again didn’t have much to do this week although she was able to retrieve Talbot’s son. That would have been nice to see but the fact that it was so nonchalant that she showed up with his son that it kind of reaffirms how much of a badass she is. Also, where in the world was Mack?! He was the only one of the main cast that didn’t show up at all this week. Was there a line that I missed regarding is whereabouts? He’s one of my favorite characters and we didn’t see him at all.

All in all this was a solid episode. Ward is now ready to become a legitimate threat, we’ve learned there is a potential vaccine for emerging Inhumans and now HYDRA has orchestrated the creation of community for the Inhumans.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesday nights on ABC.

Make sure to check back for all of your Agents of SHIELD – right here at GeekNation!

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Christopher Skalicky
Chris, a film and television junkie, grew up on Star Wars, all things Disney, Stargate SG-1 and a healthy dose of John Wayne. When not thinking about movies he is busy being an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. He will also argue that Surf Ninjas is the greatest movie about surfing ninjas ever made. Tweet him at @Schlick51