AOS – Season III – Ep. 5 “Lockup”: A Review

Posted: 10/28/2016 in Uncategorized

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Yet again, AOS demonstrates that one can shift the focus of a show drastically, introduce new characters fluidly and still present a superior product. Ghost Rider,  a prison riot, a reunited team and subversive political hijinx present a great mixture in this week’s run.  This show continues to be good. Robbie Reyes/Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna), however, continues to steal the show with a haunted, edgy portrayal. Happily, I press on to my review.

An intro segment shows us what Lucy (Lilli Birdsell) looked like before her current corpse like incarnation. We meet her and her husband as they discover the “Darkhold” and glimpse its power. A demonstration of the book’s ability to “communicate” with its readers in their mother tongue is put forth. A present day sequence shows her husband just coming out of a coma after her “assisting” him last week. Coulson (Clark Gregg) attempts to convince him to do the right thing, but he is already contaminated by his wife’s touch so he sees those trying to help him as demons. Coulson and crew do manage to get some of Lucy’s plans out of him before it is too late. Her efforts to access the book fail as she is now no longer able to read it due to her current corrupted state.

Her situation pushes her path to intersect with that of  S.H.I.E.L.D.’s. The team then opts to meet with and free Eli Morrow (Jose Zuniga) as he has intel on the work being done by the scientists led by Lucy. Truthfully he is the only surviving member of the Momentum crew who didn’t become a ghost-y presence. He saw what happened to his fellow scientists as they dabbled in forces they could not hope to control and violently beat Joe, putting him a coma and himself in jail for attempted manslaughter.

When Coulson’s efforts get him nowhere with Morrow, he tasks his nephew Robbie with reaching him. Upon the team of May, Coulson, Daisy (Chloe Bennett), Mac (Henry Simmons), Fitz (Ian DeCaestecker) and Robbie entering the prison to free Morrow, things go pretty much as expected with  some stellar fight sequences and some equally fantastic “spirit of vengeance” moments. The core group of S.H.I.E.L.D. is steadily reforming which it honestly has to with the rising threats ahead.

Jemma (Elisabeth Hentsridge) faces her own hurdles as she must undergo an operational lie detector test which she knows she cannot pass with all the recent knowledge she has gained, including her working with fugitive “Quake” and the fact Dr. Radcliffe (John Hannah) has created an unsanctioned A.I. Enter Jeffrey Mace (Jason O’Mara) who takes her aside to help him with a press conference/debate with Senator Rota Nadeer (Parminder Nagra). He asks Jemma to guide him with scientific information on Inhumans via his ear piece as he attempts to stem the tide of Nadeer’s anti-Inhuman agenda. Mace is an interesting character. One isn’t quite sure about his motivations but he seems to be a force of good. The action he eventually takes against the Senator by outing himself as an Inhuman heading S.H.I.E.L.D. pushes us to believe this. He is corny in his sayings but seems moral and incorruptible.  An end sequence meeting takes some of the lustre of his character though it might be a play as ultimately AOS is a show about spies and their ongoing ploys. Jemma’s standing up to him and earning his backing to exempt her from future “testing” was a cool moment, showing how far Simmons has evolved since the show’s first season.

Via May (Ming-Na Wen) Daisy makes a slow climb back to returning to the fold. May pushes her into accepting that ultimately Coulson will never let her down and that her team is her family. May speaking about how great a heart he has, along with the revelation that his was the face she saw when she died via her “reboot cure”, intimates that the Coulson/May dynamic may change this season. This wouldn’t be a bad thing. There have been subtle hints and such a glacial progression that should a relationship occur, it would be organic and more importantly, earned.

Daisy’s sacrifice play in the prison, after Lucy’s nasty move, led to some excellent fight sequences, nearly May level. The revelation that the prison is populated with “Watchdogs” ties in some story arcs as well.  All of Robbie’s moments in the prison are top shelf. One can see him grow more and more agitated as he is in a place housing bad people while he contains the “spirit of vengeance” within. His meeting with a member of the gang who crippled his brother could only go one way. The moments leading to the encounter- however –worked perfectly with Luna continuing to deliver. The CGI effects are used effectively and sparingly-giving them more oomph. Honestly, the scene in which he walks the halls and prisoners return to their cells, locking themselves away from him, were just superior.

The Darkhold arc gains traction in this run and sets the stage for the back story of Ghost Rider in the episode(s) to come. Again the show runners presented a well paced, action filled and energy laden segment. “Lockup” proves once more that AOS is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

 

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