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Agents of SHIELD Recap: “The Writing on the Wall”


It’s all Inhumans all the time from here on out on Agents of SHIELD!

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But before we get into all that, let’s talk about a few other episodic things of import. “The Writing on the Wall” almost didn’t feel like an episode of SHIELD – and I mean that in the best way possible. Much in the same way that the K.Tanch-directed May-vs-May episode had its own sense of style and personality, this week’s episode was far darker than any offering from SHIELD we’ve seen to date.

Mack, our new audience stand-in, is not down (and can we talk quickly about how Mack and Fitz were too engrossed in bro-time video gaming to notice Skye waving for help? Gemma totally hates them.)


To break up the darkness of the episode, we have a few solid Bobbi/Hunter moments (which I am living for as of late):


Some awesome guest stars in the form of Brian Van Holt and Joel Gretsch:


And the writers are continuing to impress me by leaving Ward ambiguously-but-still-mostly-totally evil. Brett Dalton has been so much more interesting on the show since they changed up his character, and the worst thing they could do at this point is pull a traditional TV retcon and have him back to being one of the team. Though he’s clearly not in Hydra’s pocket anymore, I’m loving his vigilante-style moral uncertainty. But I will miss his beard.


But the rest of the episode wrapped up Coulson’s alien writing storyline (and not a moment too soon, frankly). When Coulson discovers a former TAHITI patient is killing the rest of them off slowly in order to discover their secrets, kinda, he has to dig into his own hidden memories – the not-very-pleasant kind.


The episode ends with the reveal that all of the crazy scribblings are actually a blueprint of a city. For Marvel fans, this can only mean one thing: Attilan, the ancestral home of the Inhumans. But given that Attilan was at one point moved to the moon, I’m far more inclined to believe that our Agents are actually searching for New Attilan. Seen as recently as a few weeks ago in comics land in the latest issue of Ms. Marvel, New Attilan is actually located in the Hudson river – a lot more explainable and TV-budget-friendly than THE ACTUAL MOON, no?


This all fits with everyone’s current theory that SHIELD is setting up a major Inhumans plotline to introduce mutants into an otherwise mutant-free (by necessity of rights) Marvel Cinematic Universe. If that’s the case, then the Obelisk (or Diviner, or whatever the heck that metal death stick is being called lately) is likely the MCU’s version of a Terrigen Bomb, which will release a Terrigen Mist, granting everyone with Inhumany-ness inside of them mutant-style powers (like what happened to Kamala Khan in the first issue of her story). If Skye really is half-alien – which would explain why she didn’t go all writing-nuts like Coulson – she would gain some wacky powers, too.

What do you guys think of the Inhumans set up? Are you hoping for more evil!Ward? Let us know in the comments!

Previously in SHIELD

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Sam Maggs
Sam Maggs is a writer and televisioner, currently hailing from the Kingdom of the North (Toronto). Her first book, THE FANGIRL'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY will be out soon from Quirk Books. Sam’s parents saw Star Wars: A New Hope 24 times when it first came out, so none of this is really her fault.

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