In many ways this episode represents Agents of SHIELD firing on all cylinders. ‘Absolution’ begins with the team working to prevent Hive from unleashing his mist around the world, turning all humans into Primitives. Meanwhile Daisy is being quarantined for the team’s safety, as part of protocols put in place for brainwashing.
The mission against Hive is tense, exciting and actually a little fun. Yo-Yo and Mack get a chance to reconnect, while May kicks butt against a few of the Primitives and Lincoln… basically serving as a battery but is at least doing something I suppose. Meanwhile Talbot works with Fitz and Coulson to help them receive codes to shut down the missile. Seeing May fight is always a delight with her easily beating back the powerful Primitives. The scenes with Talbot and Fitz have a slightly madcap vibe, which also helps to offset the tension of the mission.
The plan to hurt Hive is quite well thought out, making use of an old device to wound the immortal creature in a different way than expected. Surprisingly the assault actually has a lasting effect on Hive and it will be interesting to see how it affects him going into the finale next week.The scenes with Daisy this week are very good, going a long way towards re-humanising the character after her brainwashed betrayal. Her scene with Coulson reaffirms their father/daughter style bond, while her scenes with Mack reestablish their close relationship as he forgives her for nearly killing him. The different ways the team explain Daisy’s condition is interesting, Coulson comparing it to withdrawal from the drug-like effects of Hive’s control but Mack is able to see that Daisy hates herself for what she has done.
The ominous vision of Daisy’s is still hanging over the team; we know someone will die next week with the previously on reminding the audience of the gold cross shown in her vision. This cross becomes a foreshadowing tool throughout the episode, being passed through various members of the team in an odd but surprisingly effective way to create tension. I imagine this will continue into next week’s episode as I’m still none the wiser over who will be killed.
The climax of the episode is incredibly exciting, setting up a full on showdown with Hive and placing the team in a dangerous situation. Can they defeat the immortal villain? Can Daisy be saved? And who will die? It’s a shame we’ll have to wait a week to find out because I am truly psyched for the outcome.