This review contains spoilers.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is such a weird goddamn show. Despite being a serialized prime time drama, the show is structured more like a sitcom with a consistent cast of characters being thrust into a new situation each week, often with little to no bearing on the events of the week prior. One week Coulson can appear to be descending into super villainy, while the next week he’s a level headed voice of reason. One episode establishes a team of Secret Warriors only to have them disbursed by the end of the hour, while another sets up a discussion over Inhuman powers that mirrors the abortion debate only to have the follow-up episode drop the Inhumans angle almost entirely to do a Cold War throwback espionage thriller.
That’s where we are this week with an episode devoted to Bobbi ‘Mockingbird’ Morse and Lance Hunter. This episode is odd for a number of reasons, not the least of which is its non-linear format in which the separate interrogations of Bobbi and Hunter by an Interpol agent are intercut with the failed mission that led to their capture. The mission in question is a continuation of the weirdly tacked-on stinger to last week’s episode with Bobbi and Hunter following one of the delegates from the Inhuman summit back to Russia. You’ll recall that this particular delegate put forth a plan to create a ‘sanctuary state’ for Inhumans to live separate from the rest of humanity, and when S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives on the scene, they realize that this ‘sanctuary state’ is more work camp than reservation. But none of that actually matters this week. The Inhumans stuff is essentially flavor text that has no real bearing on the plot, Gideon Malick’s role in this is basically non-existent, and the other agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have what amounts to little more than cameo appearances. That’s because this episode isn’t about Inhumans or HYDRA or even about S.H.I.E.L.D.; it’s about Bobbi and Hunter.