Review: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 1 "Laws of Nature" [Season Premiere]


When Coulson and the team discover a new Inhuman, S.H.I.E.L.D. comes face to face with another organization searching for powered people. And still reeling from Simmons’ dramatic disappearance, Fitz goes to extreme lengths to try to learn how to get her back.

AIRED: September 29, 2015

RATING: 2 ★★✩✩✩ Good!

FISH OIL AND THE SPREAD OF NEW INHUMANS - The Fish Oil vitamins that were contaminated by the Terrigen is activating the latent alien DNA in some humans causing them to develop uncontrollable powers. Within 17 months and 21 days, the Terrigen dispersal will cover the entire planet. Daisy, Mack, and Hunter contain a young man who can melt metal at touch; it's the third incident this month and the rate of new cases is increasing. But Inhumans are also disappearing. There is a military group rounding up all the Inhumans that awaken. This group is later revealed at the ATCU, the Advanced Threat Containment Unit. It's interesting that there are so many people with latent alien DNA. The powers that these people develop are pretty cool too. The young man that Daisy and the others helped, Joey, can melt metal. If he had control of that power it could be very useful. But because he doesn't it's more of an inconvenience. I really want to know what's happening to the Inhumans that have gone missing. That seems like a more pressing matter than the increase of Inhumans being awakened.

THE ATCU, THE GOVERNMENT'S ANSWER TO THE NEW THREAT - The ATCU has taken 5 Inhumans that SHIELD knows of. So who is the woman in charge? Coulson learns that she's worked for a number of government agencies under numerous identities. Coulson and Hunter corner her on the subway, but she has her own people in place and the tables are turned. The woman introduces herself as Rosalind and demands to know where SHIELD is hiding "them." She's the one in charge of neutralizing the threat the Inhumans pose. She also reveals that there is a trail of dead Inhumans and believes that SHIELD is responsible. It was funny how while Coulson was investigating who Rosalind was, she was having her team do the same exact thing. It seems that the ATCU and SHIELD are both questioning what's happening to the Inhumans. Some are missing while others are turning up dead. I want to know what the ATCU is doing with the Inhumans that they capture. The President has given them permission to use whatever means necessary to contain them. 

DAISY, LINCOLN, AND THE CREATURE HUNTING INHUMANS - Daisy wants to get Lincoln's help with the intake of Inhumans. He's a doctor and understands physical change. Coulson sends her and Mac to find him. Lincoln is working at a hospital, living a normal life, when he goes to check on a patient and finds Daisy and Mack. He wants them to leave him alone. He no longer believes that being an Inhuman is a gift. He believes that it's a curse. After Lincoln leaves them, a creature attacks the hospital demanding to know where the Inhuman is. After blasting a whole in a guard's chest, the creature turns on Lincoln and Daisy and attacks them. They manage to evade the creature and leave before the authorities arrive. I never would have expected Lincoln to be the one to believe that being an Inhuman is a curse. But I guess after everything that happened he became disillusioned. I can see why he would want to stay under the radar and try to live a normal life. It shouldn't be hard for him since he has control of his powers. But as long as he does have powers, someone will always be after him. I think it's safe to say that this creature is responsible for all the dead and missing Inhumans. Especially with the huge hole it blasted through that guard. I'm wondering why it's hunting them down. 

FITZ, SIMMONS, AND THE MONOLITH - There have been no new reading on the monolith since Simmons was swallowed up by it and no one has stepped foot in the room since. Fitz goes to Tangier, Morocco, looking for a parchment that is supposed to have information about the monolith. When he returns to SHIELD headquarters and he opens the scroll it only contains one word in Hebrew that translates to the word "Death." Coulson tells Fitz that he needs to start accepting that Simmons is gone and they all need to say goodbye. Fitz goes to the room with the monolith and shoots the lock off the case. He enters the encasement and shouts that the monolith to "DO SOMETHING!!!!" but nothing happens. In another scene, we see that Simmons is on some kind of desolate planet running from something. Fitz's desperation to find a way to save Simmons is so heartbreaking, especially when it turns out that all his hard work may have been for nothing. When he went into the room with the monolith just screaming for it to do something, my heart just broke for him. Coulson believes that Simmons is just gone and there's no way to get her back, but we see that Simmons is very much alive. But it may not be for much longer if whatever she's running from gets her.


Review: Once Upon A Time Season 5 Episode 1 "The Dark Swan" [Season Premiere]


Immediately after becoming the Dark One, Emma disappears and the heroes must band together to save her, but first they have to find her, which will require the help of an unlikely ally. Meanwhile, in the Enchanted Forest, Emma struggles to resist her dark urges as she searches for Merlin in the hope that he can stop her transformation. Along the way to Camelot, she gets help from the plucky and brave warrior princess Merida, as well as King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.

AIRED: September 27, 2015

RATING: 4 ★★★★✩ Excellent!

THE SWORD AND THE STONE - In 1989, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Emma goes to the theaters to see The Swords and the Stone. An usher catches her stealing a candy bar, but he's not there to punish her for stealing. He's there to give her a warning. "Don't. Don't do it." He tells her that when she does something she's not supposed to do, even for the right reasons, bad things will happen. One day, she'll have the opportunity to pull Excalibur from its stone. He warns her not to do it. She needs to leave the sword alone. Now, this usher appears and disappears out of thin air. Even when she was a child, Emma has had interactions with those from her homeland. Who this is, I'm not sure, but he knows a lot about Emma's future. So who is this mysterious man?

ARTHUR AND EXCALIBUR - Arthur, Lancelot and another knight ride to the stone where Excalibur is encased. Sir Kay is already there and tries to pull the sword from the stone himself, not wanting to follow a king like Arthur, but he turned to dust when he touched the sword. Arthur pulls the sword from the stone with a triumphant look, but then he sees that half of the sword is missing. He conspires with his knights to keep this fact from the people, stating that all the people need to know is that they have a new king. The twist is that the other half of Excalibur is the Dark One's dagger! This was a tidbit that I was not expecting. This will make it interesting, since there's no way that Emma and the others will give up the dagger. What would happen if the two pieces were put together? Would whoever has the completed Excalibur be able to control the Dark One? And what about Arthur. Hiding such a thing from his people, starting his reign in deceit, doesn't seem like the honorable and just king that we are used to.

FINDING EMMA AND PORTALING TO THE ENCHANTED FOREST - After taking the dagger and becoming the Dark One, Emma goes missing after being sucked up by a "vortex of evil." Killian tries to use the dagger to command her back to them, but it doesn't work. "Put that thing down before you hurt yourself, Guyliner." Regina concludes that Emma isn't in this world. So they visit the Apprentice and his gives them his wand, in it is all light magic. So they need someone with dark magic to open a portal. Regina is unable to do it, because she's been doing too much good lately. "Enough. You're going to embarrass yourself and waste our time." Killian states that they need someone Wicked. Zelena tells them that she can do it, but not with the bracelet on that inhibits her magic. Regina refuses to remove the bracelet. Zelena tells Killian that she may be the only one who can help them find Emma. So we have Emma stranded somewhere in the Enchanted Forest, having just become the Dark One, and the only one who can help them create the portal they need to get there is Zelena. Quite honestly, I agree with Regina. Zelena would never help them out of the kindness of her heart. She has to have some kind of plan to suit her own needs. So it would be a very bad idea to take the magic inhibitor off.

ZELENA OUTSMARTS KILLIAN AND MAKES HER ESCAPE - Killian approaches Henry and asks him as the Author to write the Darkness out of Emma, but when he learns that Henry broke the quill, he gets Henry to help him break out the Wicked Witch. While Henry distracts the nurse, Killian sneaks into Zelena's room. Wanting assurances before removing the bracelet, Killian uses a potion that Regina gave him long ago to rip out her heart. But Zelena protected her heart long ago and his plan backfires. Zelena takes Killian's knife and cuts her arm off just above the bracelet, then reattaches it once the bracelet is removed. Her parting shot is that he should have listened to her sister. I don't know why Killian thought that he could control Zelena. She's a powerful witch and with her family's penchant for stealing hearts it's easy to assume that she would have protected hers. The way that Zelena removed the bracelet was a bit gruesome, but it was effective.

ROBIN IS TAKEN HOSTAGE AND THE PORTAL IS OPENED - Zelena disguises herself as Regina and goes to see Robin. When he kisses her he realizes that it's not Regina but Zelena and asks what she wants. She wants him because he's the key to everything for her. Regina and the others meet Zelena in the middle of town, where Zelena wants to trade Robin for the Apprentice's Wand. She wants to return to Oz so that they can't take her baby from her. Regina makes the trade and Zelena opens the portal. But Regina knew that it would weaken her and when Zelena is vulnerable, she puts the bracelet back on her. Regina plans to use the open portal to take them to Emma. They gather at Granny's and Regina uses Emma's baby blanket to guide the portal to Emma. Granny's is uprooted and they are transported to the Enchanted Forest. I loved how Regina outsmarted Zelena. Zelena thought that she was going to be out of there and back in Oz in no time, but her sister got the upper hand. Zelena's plan completely backfired on her. You would think that Zelena would know that she would be weak after opening the portal, and therefore vulnerable. But it seemed like she was so desperate to leave that she didn't think of all the possibilities.

EMMA AND RUMPELSTILTSKIN IN THE ENCHANTED FOREST - Emma appears out of the well that all Dark Ones emerge from in the Enchanted Forest. The voice of the Dark One's power in her head takes on the form of Rumpelstiltskin. He's her guide to embracing her powers as the Dark One. But Emma plans to search for Merlin so that he can destroy the Darkness in her. On her journey, Emma unknowingly and at times is tricked by Rumpelstiltskin into using her dark magic. Rumpelstiltskin eventually tells Emma of a way to find Merlin without using dark magic. She needs to catch a Will-o-the-Wisp. While chasing the Wisp, a woman crosses Emma's path and catches the Wisp instead. Emma uses her magic to stop her. So far, Emma doesn't look like you would expect a Dark One to look. And we see that even though Emma is trying not to use her magic, she uses it unconsciously. Then there are the times that Rumpelstiltskin tricks her into using her magic. I don't know how she could be tricked so easily. He said that he was there to help her embrace her powers, so it's obvious that he's not going to help her without getting her to use her magic. Emma is on a slippery slope where her magic is concerned.

MERIDA AND THE WILL-O-THE-WISP - The woman that caught the Wisp tells Emma that she needs the Wisp for her kingdom and family. She's willing to fight for it if need be, but Emma refuses to fight her and give in to the Darkness, so she tells the woman to leave with the Wisp. She thanks Emma and introduces herself as Merida. Merida offers to help Emma and tells her that the Wisps are born in a magical place called the Hill of Stones. They answer your question when you bring them home. Merida offers to give Emma the Wisp once she's done with it. Merida then shares with Emma that her brothers have been kidnapped by the United Clans of her country, because they don't believe that she can lead them as their queen.  They make camp after travelling for a while, but Emma can't sleep since Dark One's don't need to sleep. (Rumpelstiltskin tells Emma that she needs a hobby.) He then reveals the truth to Emma about the Wisp. The person who whispers to it becomes its owner forever. Merida overhears Emma talking to Rumpelstiltskin about betraying her and she's gone by morning. We finally meet Merida, who is searching for her brothers who have been kidnapped. She's pretty "Brave" to cross a Dark One. Although I don't think she realizes that Emma is the Dark One quite yet. I really like Merida and her go get 'em attitude. The Wisp is very important but I wonder what Merida would have done if they had reached the Hill of Stone and the truth of the Wisp was revealed. Travelling with someone you lied to about the very thing they are desperate for is not a smart idea. I'm wondering what Emma's "hobby" will be. Rumpelstiltskin spun straw into gold, so what will Emma do? Now that Merida is gone, Emma looks like she's ready to do just about anything to get that Wisp from her.

STANDOFF AT THE HILL OF STONES - When Emma returns to their campsite to find Merida gone, she asks Rumpelstiltskin what the Hill of Stones looks like so that she can teleport there. He looks real giddy about the fact that Emma wants to willingly use her dark magic. Emma arrives at the Hill of Stones just as Merida finished whispering to it. Emma is outraged and Rumpelstiltskin goads her to kill Merida. Merida hears Emma telling Rumpelstiltskin that she's not going to kill Merida, Merida states that she's got that right and fires an arrow at her, but Emma catches it. This happens multiple times and eventually Emma orders Merida to stop and uses her magic to bring Merida to her. She then takes Merida's heart, but just as she's about to crush it, Killian appears to stop her along with everyone else. The standoff at the Hill of Stone was a really exciting scene. We see Merida shooting arrow after arrow at Emma to none effect because she catches every one. Then we see Emma using her dark magic to get Merida's heart. She looked like she was completely possessed by her dark magic. She was wielding it like a true Dark One. If Killian and the others hadn't arrived when they did, I have no doubt that Emma probably would have killed Merida. That's how much of a hold her magic had on her at that time. And there may still be a chance that she'll crush Merida's heart, if Killian can't talk her down.

MERIDA'S HEART AND KILLIAN'S ENTREATY - Mary Margaret wants to use the dagger to order Emma to stand down, but Killian states that Emma needs to make the choice, they can't make it for her. Rumpelstiltskin is still whispering in Emma's ear, while she's still holding Merida's heart in her hand, and she repeats everything he says as if she's in a trance. Killian tries to get through to Emma, telling her that they'll find another way together. "Look at us. Heroes and Villains standing together for you. Because of you. And if we can overcome our demons, then so can you." Emma returns Merida's heart and hugs Killian. Merida thanks Emma for showing her the Darkness within her, reminding her that she has Darkness in herself too. She had been planning to kill those who took her brothers, but maybe she'll show them mercy instead. She then leaves to follow the Wisp. It's a tense situation with Emma on the verge of crushing Merida's heart. It doesn't help that Rumpelstiltskin is in her ear all the time. She looked like she was almost gone to the dark power. I honestly don't think anyone but Killian would have been able to talk her down. I absolutely loved seeing Killian trying and succeeding in talking Emma away from the Darkness. I also really liked that Merida and Emma left each other on good terms. Merida seems to be a pretty forgiving person, especially if she can forgive someone who just had her heart in their hand.

THE DARK ONE'S DAGGER AND MEETING KING ARTHUR - Mary Margaret offers Emma the dagger, believing that she is able to control herself. Emma notices Rumpelstiltskin has returned and refuses to take it. Her control has just begun and it's too much power. Someone needs to watch her. This is when Emma takes the dagger and gives it to Regina. "I saved you. Now save me. If you can't save me, do what no one else will willingly do. You are the only one who will get past their feeling and do what it necessary. Destroy me." Emma asks how they all got there and Killian tells her that it would be easier to show her, leading her to Granny's where everyone comes out to greet them. Emma then hears horses approaching. It's King Arthur of Camelot. He and his knights came to find them, Merlin's prophecy having foretold their arrival. Emma asks where Merlin is, that they've heard that he's missing. Arthur confirms that, but states that that won't be for much longer. According to Merlin's prophecy, they are destined to reunite him with them. They all return to Camelot together. I loved seeing the trust that Emma has in Regina. Their relationship has grown so much and I really love seeing it continue to grow. Emma puts her safety and very life in Regina's hands by giving her the dagger. Why do I feel like King Arthur finding them isn't necessarily a good thing? I don't know, but this King Arthur just doesn't seem as good as he should. I have to admit that Camelot looks pretty impressive though.

SIX WEEKS LATER - A couple of the dwarves are cruising around in the Sheriff's car when a flash of light signals the other's return. They go to Granny's to see why they've returned. Everyone wakes up only remembering having just walked into Camelot. Sneezy informs them that they've been gone for six weeks. David realizes that their memories are gone again. When Hook notices that Emma is missing, he demands to know where she is. "Relax, I'm right here." Emma is now completely the Dark One. Henry asks his mother what happened to her. "Isn't it obvious? You went to Camelot to get the Darkness out of me and you failed." At that moment, Sneezy sneezes and Emma looks at him asking, "what the hell are you supposed to be?" before turning him to stone. "There's not Savior in this town anymore." When Regina tries to stop her by using the dagger, she finds it missing. Regina doesn't have the dagger, Emma does. "Nobody's going to touch this dagger but me. And now, for what you all did to me, you're about to be punished." Killian asks her why she's doing all this and before she leaves she states that it's "Because...I am the Dark One." I think that this last part of the episode is my favorite. Why does no one have any memory of their time in Camelot? What happened to cause Emma to give in to the Darkness and fully become the Dark One? Emma just seems to menacing and like she just doesn't care about any of them. Mary Margaret's reaction when Emma touched her cheek was a moment of realization that Emma isn't the same anymore. Emma also has a lot of great quotes at the end of this episode, which is why I just couldn't help sharing them. This scene is just one huge revelation that things aren't the same anymore. That Emma may be lost to them forever. And that they now have a powerful Dark One on their hands. They still very much love Emma, but they are also very wary of her too, not knowing what she has up her sleeve. It's going to be an interesting season.


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