8 May 2016

Agents of SHIELD S3E18 "The Singularity" review

It's no secret that the best part of Agents of SHIELD is and always has been the duo of Leopold Fitz and Jemma Simmons, collectively and affectionately known as Fitzsimmons. Their semi-romantic, will-they-won't-they friendship has been an important part of the show since the first season, and people genuinely care about them; something well-known by the shows writers, who take every opportunity they can to tear them apart, test their friendship, and break them in every way they know how. Fitzsimmons have been through a lot over the course of the last two seasons, so when an episode finally gives them the break that they deserve it feels both hugely satisfying and totally earned.

It is that which makes "The Singularity" such a good episode of Agents of SHIELD. The main story sees SHIELD dealing with the fallout left from last weeks "The Team" while also trying to get to various Inhumans that they know about before Hive can, but it is the side-plot that sees Fitzsimmons searching for someone who might have created a cure for Hive's mind control that really held my interest throughout.

"The Singularity" is smart enough to let this part of the episode breathe, allowing the set-up for later episodes that it contains to feel natural while also giving plenty of screen time to the now rapidly developing relationship that Fitzsimmons have found themselves in. As always it is the characters that are the best aspect of Agents of SHIELD, and by giving us time to just watch them talk to each other "The Singularity" bolsters what would have been an already strong episode with some great little character moments. Also worth mentioning is the shows surprisingly frank and mature approach to sex; obviously we don't see Fitzsimmons getting it on, but the shows willingness to talk about it as a natural part of any romantic relationship is refreshing.

But that's just one part of the episode, and the rest - which deals with SHIELD scrambling to contact known Inhumans before Hive can get to them while also dealing with loss of Daisy - is pretty great too. It results in not just one but two of the better action scenes that Agents of SHIELD has ever contained, and it also goes a long way towards making me like Lincoln more; he's finally got something to do, and even though he's still a little on the whiny side (OK, a lot on the whiny side), at least I can see why he might be acting the way he is now.

And I really like how these two stories end up overlapping. Agents of SHIELD has always been quite good at bringing several seemingly separate plots together under one roof, and that's true here too; I don't want to get in to details about how these stories end up interacting, but it's unexpected and exciting and leads into some of the episodes best moments. We already knew that Hive is creepy as hell, but they take that to the next level in "The Singularity" by showing us how easily he can mess with people by using the memories of the people he has absorbed against them. It's a hugely effective scene thanks to the relationship between Hive, the persons memories he is using, the persons face he is wearing and the person he is trying to mess with, and it's performed brilliantly by everyone involved.

But I think the best evidence of the quality of "The Singularity" is that despite having been two of my favourite characters, I don't really miss Hunter or Bobbi very much. It's proof that the show has managed to fill their absence well, a testament to the quality of the writing and how interesting the story has been over the last few episodes, and if that can be attributed to the show having less characters to juggle then ultimately, I'm glad they're gone... at least for now. Because "The Singularity" displays the level of focus and direction that I want from Agents of SHIELD, another episode that helps make me think that the third season may end up being the best so far.

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