Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 3, episode 21
WRITERS: CHRIS DINGNESS and DREW Z. GREENBERG
DIRECTOR: Billy Gierhart
AIR DATE: May 17 2016
"Absolution" moves towards the end of the season for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., with the team racing to prevent the ultimate plans of Hive (Brett Dalton), who’d like to turn the bulk of the planet’s inhabitants into those ugly Alpha Primitives, while the Inhumans themselves would just naturally fall under his sway. This serves as the first half of the season ender, and starts off a bit of trickery leaving the audience wondering which of the regular cast members are going to end up being the dead agent that’s been referred to in visions of the near future - floating in space in a S.H.I.E.L.D. jet, with the world at their feet.
Daisy Johnson (Chloe Bennet) finds herself in containment by the team, and in withdrawal. She’s been freed of the influence of Hive, but is struggling with that, not to mention guilt over what she did while under his influence. She is nonetheless able to direct the team towards Hive’s objective, a rocket that might allow him to launch his warhead and the pathogen. Things appear to go well for the team - Hive contained, Radcliffe freed and brought on board- but things aren’t as they might appear.
There’s some bait and switch going on between the agents and Hive and his minions as things go along, and a wild card thrown into the mix when some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are transformed into Alpha Primitives (not the regular cast, mind you, just the red shirts, to borrow a Star Trek phrase).
It’s Daisy who provides the emotional grounding of the episode, though, and Bennet plays to that, giving us a mixture of someone going through a very different kind of withdrawal as well as someone who’s anguished by guilt and shame over actions she undertook. It’s something that’s going to come back into play in the second half of the season finale, and drive the character into other directions, much of which involve despair.
Fitz and Talbot