This week’s episode focuses on how the team handles the revelation that their friend (or is that acquaintance) Andrew is in fact the big bad smurf known as Lash. Other than a brief subplot relating to Fitz recovering the memory from Simmons’ phone, the entire installment revolves around how the various characters deal with the fallout. This singular focus allows for a strong episode, particularly in highlighting the complicated relationship between May and Andrew.
‘Chaos Theory’ is bookended with a scene highlighting Andrew and May in happier times, showcasing the idyllic life they could lead if not for SHIELD. Ming-Na Wen puts in a very strong performance as May this week, presenting a very real reaction to the fact that her lover is turning into a monster. Their relationship takes on a very Beauty and the Beast-like quality, with May seemingly being the only one who can pull him back from being Lash. Throw in the fact that one day Andrew will be trapped in his Lash form and the metaphor only requires a ‘true love’s kiss’ clause to be complete.Daisy is used as a representative that not all Inhumans are bad, a point which is hammered home through numerous conversations with Coulson and Rosalind. Carrying over from the other revelation of last week (that the ATCU are storing Inhumans in stasis until a cure can be found), Daisy is adamant that a cure shouldn’t be forced on her people while Coulson sides with Rosalind in his belief that some Inhumans may want or need to be controlled. While I was expecting Rosalind’s mind to be changed through a heroic gesture from Daisy, which does happen, the kicker that Daisy agrees that Lash requires the ATCU’s containment was a good twist. Both sides are still viewing it as too much of a black and white situation, and I imagine the debate isn’t exactly buried.
The FitzSimmons subplot this week is slight, essentially revolving around Fitz recovering the photos and memos that Jemma made on the alien world. It does serve to display the complicated emotions the two are going through, highlighting their strong bond even in spite of the presence of the other man Jemma cares for. Two scenes highlight the sadness of their current situation; first as Fitz cries while watching Jemma’s memo and in a quieter moment as they watch the sunset together. The storyline doesn’t have an easy solution and it will be interesting to see how they plan to resolve things.
‘Chaos Theory’ is another strong installment for Agents of SHIELD and hopefully the show won’t lose momentum in the week’s ahead.