Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 3, episode 12
"The Inside Man"
WRITER: CRAIG TITLEY
DIRECTOR: JOHN TERLESKY
AIR DATE: March 15 2016
"The Inside Man" picks up where the previous episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. left off, in an episode that features intrigue, more skulduggery between the agency and Hydra on an international level, more development of the Ward situation, and a bit of double-crossing as things go along. All in a setting involving an international conference looking into what to do about the Inhuman situation that’s been growing in recent months.
Coulson (Clark Gregg) finds himself working with Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar), who earlier in the series was something of an antagonist and reluctant ally to S.H.I.E.L.D., much to his own dislike (one wonders if he ever thought of yoga to cure that perennial sense of irritation he carries around). There’s something off about Talbot from the start, dealing with domestic issues in his private life. He’s also got himself a bodyguard, and it’s someone we’ve seen before - Carl Creel (Brian Patrick Wade). Coulson and his agents are reluctant to work with someone they’ve gone up against, but the Absorbing Man, it seems, is on their side.
Coulson and Talbot’s task is to attend a conference - a rather swanky one at that - where the question of the Inhumans is being discussed. Talbot’s going as himself, while Coulson - still officially off the books in terms of government status is concerned - is undercover. Coulson goes into it all believing that Malick (Powers Boothe) has a mole inside the conference, and wants to determine who that might be. The twists and turns where the two characters go from there occupy their time the rest of the episode.
The other field agents are occupied with other things - first, working with Creel, and second, finding out some startling secrets along the way. One of those is a bit of leverage Malick has, while the other happens to be the discovery of another Inhuman, one familiar to comics readers.
And lest we forget, the former Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). One wonders how much of him is left at this point, aside from the shell that is his body. He’s currently the host to the entity Hive, and the episode finds Hive needing a bit of sustenance. The only issue in this case is that it requires humans to be sacrificed to him. Yes, it’s that icky. Still, one wonders... how long can the show keep this status quo? Not for long; I can’t see the Hive status surviving past the end of the season. Unless we’re going to have Ward’s corpse trotted out a la Weekend At Bernie’s, where can you take the character from here?
Coulson, May, and Talbot