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After facing my fear over 3x06 and coming to terms with the direction the show has gone, I went into 3x07 highly dubious because I was worried about how they were going to handle everything. As per usual with shows like this, all my faves don't get to be happy at the same time. Ugh, having to write suspenseful television that draws you into the next episode so that means someone's gonna have to suffer must be the worst. Perhaps this is why I'm not yet a quality writer; I'm no good at making characters suffer. Also, I discovered a shocking revelation: Agents of SHIELD may create a love triangle I don't...hate? That I might end up actively...liking?


Andrew and Melinda silhouetted by a setting sun.

I'm impressed with how tightly this season is holding together so far, with all the different story lines each episode coming together while also tying back to previous episodes. The episode opens in the most heartbreaking way possible, with Melinda and Andrew on a beach and super happy together, and then cuts to how Andrew's Inhuman gene got triggered, which ties all the Inhuman deaths that happened previously up into a neat bow. Back in the present, Daisy and Coulson are arguing about the ATCU and what they're doing to Inhumans. The politics of it all aren't exactly clear yet; do they put everyone into stasis? Daisy's feeling is that it's wholesale wrong, a particularly naive opinion that Rosalind later calls her on by citing Lash.

Joey Gutierrez sitting on a couch

Meanwhile, Melinda has totally busted Andrew. She checks his flight logs, his medical history, and then goes to confront him. Too bad he's doing an assessment of Joey Gutierrez off-site! Even though I know the Marvel writers couldn't be that dumb to wipe Joey out after him barely being on the show given the character background they've given him, they sure wanted us to know he was in some serious peril. Thanks a lot for that heart attack, writers. I was relieved when Melinda broke in to their consult and had Joey taken far away, but Andrew has totally run off the rails.

Lincoln and Mack talking

I was worried about this choice to push Andrew's character arc in this direction for obvious reasons, but luckily they pulled it off. Not only did Andrew get a solid emotional arc that pulled in the gentle man we originally met, Melinda also got to go through a full emotional arc from her own perspective. Ming-Na Wen is one of my favorite actors on this show because she does so much without speaking a word. Even when Melinda is chained up and facing a monster who used to be her husband, I don't worry about her physically, but emotionally I'm a complete wreck for her. There's no sympathy for Andrew here, given how many people he killed, but there's no pure condemnation, either — and they put the final choice in Melinda's hands when she steps in to protect Lincoln from Lash/Andrew.

Melinda confronting Andrew.

Another nice piece of plotting was explaining how Andrew turned and what gave him access to any already existing Inhuman he wanted; Jiaying's ledger booby-trapped with terrigen. I'm curious if he found everyone or if that ledger is going to come back into play as things progress now that Lash is safely out of the picture. Although, whose idea was it to bring emotionally unstable Inhuman to the fight with the unstable Inhuman killer? That was always going to go horribly wrong. I guess he's back, though, which means Daisy has two potentially Inhuman allies, plus any that have been on the show and come back. Is it time for a revival of her Inhuman team?

Melinda protecting Lincoln.

Given Daisy and Rosalind's relationship (or lack thereof due to Daisy's antipathy), the save Daisy pulled off when Lash hurled Rosalind off the balcony was amazing. I continue to be here for Daisy getting to save the day with her cool powers. The quality in the way this ATCU cure/Andrew is Lash wrapped up was great; I highly enjoyed it. And Melinda, of course, after saving Andrew, put the decision on whether or not to put Andrew in stasis on Daisy, who was most vehemently against the mere idea of the whole endeavor. The situation is complicated, but the show didn't punish Daisy for taking Rosalind's words to heart or changing her mind once it was someone she cared about on the line. I love that the writers give Daisy space to grow and learn. It's so neat to see a woman get this type of narrative space in a story that's often given to men with superpowers. Especially because Agents of SHIELD is an ensemble show; I'd expect them to center Daisy less than they have been this whole time, leading me to completely buy into KJ's theory that Agents of SHIELD was always, in part, meant to be Daisy's origin story.

Melinda asking Daisy for advice while Coulson stands and watches.

Back in the B-side of the episode, Bobbi has convinced Lance it's not worth it to go after Ward and become terrible monsters for the sake of revenge. It was a sweet moment. To offset the sweetness, Jemma asks Fitz to fix her phone to get the data, which opens up all her photos and recordings for him to torture himself (and us) with. When they come together at the end of the show, Jemma rolls out the red carpet for the love triangle by telling Fitz she knew what she was saying in those recordings then, and she still means it now. They don't mention Will, but he's there in the sunrise they're watching together, and it's heartbreaking. Presumably, now that Fitz has a lead on how to gain access to the planet, this will get even worse when Will comes back. I'm dubiously looking forward to the emotional wringer that will be when it rolls around.

Melinda on a plane while the sunset comes in through the window.

ALSO ROSALIND AND COULSON FINALLY HOOKED UP. MY DREAMS ARE REALIZED! And almost immediately the show crushed them by showing that Rosalind might be in cahoots with a Hydra agent placed high in the US government — and capturing Lash derailed her plans to deliver Coulson to creepy Hydra dude who is now taking meetings with Ward. Ward, predictably, is still on the revenge train full steam ahead. Does Rosalind know she's helping Hydra? Is she just a pawn unwittingly helping carry out a plot to kill, or at the least, incapacitate Coulson? I love Ward as a villain, though. Good job Brett Dalton on playing a creepy killer! It suits you. But I can't believe the show spoiled my Rosalind/Coulson afterglow with that. HOW DARE YOU, SHOW?

Rosalind and Coulson kiss.

One thing I noticed about this episode, driven home by Joey's barely-there appearance was that it was very het-couple heavy. Melinda/Andrew, Bobbi/Lance, (Will/)Jemma/Fitz, and Rosalind/Coulson. It wasn't explicit, but Daisy/Lincoln was there, too. I'm all for relationships and drama but really? Joey better be hooking up with Mack by the end of the season or something, because this is ridiculous.

Everyone who knows what happens in future episodes are shaking their heads at me. I know, I know, I'm destined to be let down by the Mainstream Superhero Show that has to keep ratings up among people terrified of THE GAY. But I can have dreams! And my dreams are for us to eventually get a canonical queer romance on this show.


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