Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Supergirl Season 2 'The Last Children of Supergirl' Review

Season 2 is faring greater with its super villains- Metallo and Catmus, as they cause a realistic threat to the last Kryptonians. It was incredibly endearing for an introduction to witness Supergirl and Superman teaming up to defeat the city's antagonists. 

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Reasonably, Superman's presence provided some engaging conflict between Kara and Alex, especially when Kara suggests she might move to Metropolis to feel more connected to who she is. From Alex's perspective, I understood her anger towards Kara, she has been the one who has taken care of her and kept anchored to humanity, whereas Superman abandoned Kara without explanation.

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Other major changes to the season include Cat deciding to leave Catco to venture onto new adventures. This feels a natural progression for her character as people in reality feel, when they acknowledge that they have achieved all they can and must move on. 

The main themes of the season are shaping up to be about change, evolution and personal discovery. A truthful development for the main characters has kept the narrative flowing and the conflict that has risen from uncertainty is a positive outlook for the show.  

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Superman and Hank's tense relationship is a welcomed causality that the writers has presented admirably. We want to recognise what their history is and try to determine who's argument is more favourable.

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Finally, the latest chapter in Supergirl's journey was brimming with charming family scenes. The added layer of conflict through exposition was very compelling, with tense action and Kara's adorable lack of insults contributed to her brilliant humour. The villains of this season still need to be developed to bring weight and truthful conflict to our heroes, but their new upgrade gave them a higher level of threat and texture to their individual characters.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Supergirl Season 2 "The Adventures of Supergirl" Review

Superheroes are everywhere; comics, film, television and radio. They inhabit our dreams and inspire our decisions. What does Supergirl in particular give to the audience? An honest, intelligent, witty, clumsy, strong and independent character who has more humility than the average person could ever possess.

Even though the main protagonist- Kara Danvers, was born on the planet Krypton, she possesses the essence of what a human being should be and expresses the potential of what we can achieve as a species.

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Last season’s story arc built up to a resolution for Kara where she discovered who she was and how she would fit into society. The climax to the first chapter of her story led the audience to ponder how she would develop as a person once she became comfortable in a familiar environment.

There was a nostalgic atmosphere to this opening episode, due to the aesthetically pleasing view of Supergirl and Superman fighting alongside to commit selfless acts of heroism. I pondered what Superman’s role would be and realised that his character would provide some inspiration and subtext to how Kara feels about leading a double life. Does she feel isolated because of her unique abilities? What psychological issues manifest themselves when a being with impossible strength and speed, has the power to cause so much destruction and save lives in disastrous situations?

Here the narrative focuses on at what point a person is supposed to know what they want to achieve with their life? Kara is given many career opportunities that she could explore and ultimately finds the person she has always loved. This presents new challenges with the narrative because the audience will be expecting conflict.

This is presented cleverly through the unpredictability of human fallibility.  Though she is not human, Kara’s wants vary and continue to shift back and forth. Throughout the last season, she was hoping James Olsen and herself would become a couple, when that event finally happens, Kara is confused as to what she truly wants.

Personally, I admired this change in the story because it was unexpected, truthful to human behaviour and brought Kara to a state of self-awareness where she asked herself what she truly desired.
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With every drama serial opener, there are high expectations of how fresh the narrative is truly going to be. The story doesn’t feature heavily on the antagonist; an unknown opponent who has been driven to utilising the latest drone technology to achieving his own goals of mutually assured destruction.

Having the protagonist reach a brick wall is a striking and ambitious but natural progression for their character arc because the audience becomes more invested with how that character deals with new challenges, ones we face everyday.

The protagonist  is beginning to learn that she has to evolve, take risks and let her decisions guide her to where she needs to go. What might it mean for the audience if the main character isn’t sure of where her fictional existence is heading towards? It makes it exciting and enables her character to evolve and challenge herself.

A nostalgic, meaningful, unpredictable and funny season opener for the most endearing superhero on mainstream television.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Review

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Genius Tim Burton returns with the film adaptation of Ransom Riggs best-selling novel. The creative influence of Mr Burton and Riggs imaginative narrative makes this film an immersive and joyful experience. 

Now I wanted to see the film because it was directed by Tim Burton but after viewing the film, it has prompted me to read all three books. The story is very peculiar indeed and that is what makes it so unique and stand out from other fantasy adventure films.

Jacob Portman is a very truthful representation of a teenager who doesn't know where he fits in the world and his part in it. The relationship between his Grandfather and himself is at the centre of the tale as Jacob feels like his Grandfather is the only one who respected him as an individual and wanted him to find wonder and adventure in his life. The Peculiar Children are strangely wonderful, charming and sweet. Their fantastical abilities provide excitement and a magical wonder of how mesmerising life could be if these powers actually existed.

Adding to this, the plot involves a fantastic opposing force called Hollows which consume the eyes of Peculiars to maintain their humanity so ultimately the leader- Mr Baron, can achieve immortality. They are brutal and savage villains with a striking and Gothic visual presence. 

It is the dedication and love that the children have for Miss Peregrine which motivates them to defeat the Hollows with an epic skeleton vs Hollow battle taking place at a funfair in Blackpool! This scene made me positively giddy with childish glee and is certainly a masterpiece in animation and stop motion.

The inclusion of visual effects to portray the time loops and the Hollows were breathtaking and everyone involved should be applauded for making this unique and fantastical world take its form in a beautiful, moving and weird way.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Agents of Shield Season 4 'Meet the New Boss' review

Meet the New Boss blends individual stories with an exciting fantasy idea that feels unique and layered with mystery. When a new series begins again and the first episode is out of the way, there is an uncertainty of whether the audience can begin to see how the story is going to be shaping out. Here, the writers had given us a psychological story arc that sets to resolve around how the ghost rider decides on who gets to live and who dies.

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Coulson is having to deal with the ramifications of his decision to step down as Director and in this episode he is clearly undecided as to whether it was the right decision when he is restricted from how May and Daisy are going to be handled.

Connecting with this, it was brilliant to witness May getting to tackle a really disturbing story with the 'ghost' infection causing her paranoia and an obsessive tendency to find whoever has been infecting people.

Ming-Na Wen excelled at the build up of tension and burst of anger and hopelessness. Daisy's journey is becoming more interesting as she feels compelled to repent after Lincoln's death by helping as many people as possible. The Ghost Rider's way of dealing with criminals, liars and murderers etc seems to intrigue her as she asks the question of whether powered people should have the right to decide who to punish and how.

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One geeky highlight was seeing Simmons and Fitz debate what the invisible technology is likely to be and the conflict between how Fitz feels towards Daisy and her departure was compelling because you're given a glimpse of how Fitz feels about her leaving and how this has affected him.

Lastly, as the ghosts multiply they became even more gripping to watch as they talk about a book and killing who caused them to become ghosts in the first place. With the reveal that the ghost rider was the one who caused their incorporeal state, the story has just been ripped open further as the audience asks more questions about who these people were and what they have done to cause the ghost rider to exact vengeance.

Season four continues to raise complex and compelling questions, complete with some adventurous action scenes and unique fantasy elements that make this series feel richer and darker.

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Agents of Shield Season 4 'The Ghost' Review

Finally, the fourth season for Marvel's Agents of Shield is here and the inclusion of Ghost Rider allows the darker tone to lift the series and its characters to fresh, complex and exciting avenues.

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The team has been divided which allows their own stories to breathe and explore what has been happening to each of them. The decision to move the show to a 10pm slot was a smart move as the darker and sometimes, disturbing aesthetic creates a raucous viewing experience.  

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Daisy introductions felt overtly strange to portray her sexuality in such an instance where there was no reason for it to be there as the show has perfectly shown Daisy is more than capable of showing her sexuality in a healthy and positive way. This felt quite forced as if the show was trying to make a statement about how the character has become darker, even though the audience can see this already.

Moving on, the darker themes have not only resided around Daisy but Shield itself feels weaker, almost ruptured in its absence of what the mission actually is anymore. Coulson and Mac are tracking Daisy but Yo-yo is feeding her information which is how Daisy has been able to be one step ahead.

It was comforting to see Simmons and Fitz again but even their relationship feels strained as Simmons has now been promoted to a more senior role. Personally, Radcliffe is a character who doesn't seem to have a role to play as it is clear that he cannot be trusted and his disturbing creation of a robot- AIDA which could be Shield's protector, or 'Shield' felt very suspicious, but it will be interesting to see whether Fitz decides to help him or tell Simmons. 

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It made me very happy to see that Shield is beginning to use virtual realities to aid them in their missions and it is hoped that May will be given an exciting and darker story this season. This may prove true with a mysterious box that was the home to a supposed ghost that passed through her. Also, it looked a lot like it was using zero matter to infect or subdue its victims. Could she be infected? 

Daisy's confrontation of the Ghost Rider was fueled with adrenaline and he seems to share similarities to Daisy. He has attachments and explains that the Ghost Rider decides who deserves to die, which are mainly people who manipulate, are  killers and liars and hold secrets. 

Conclusively, the opening to season four certainly achieved a statement that the show is heading down darker paths. The Ghost was compelling, bloody, disturbing and a whole lot darker. 

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Finding Dory review

Since Finding Nemo was released in 2003, the character of Dory was somewhat one of the most beloved. Here in 2016, she is given her own story. The basic synopsis follows Dory on a journey to find her parents, who she remembers, thanks to strands of memory. It's a year later since Merlin found Nemo, and now Dory finds herself taken to the Marine Life Institute, which is where she was born.

There is certainly bucket fulls of comedy, mainly from Dory, as her ramblings never seize to entertain! She meets a grumpy red octopus, called Hank who helps her in exchange for an orange tag that will take him to Cleveland, where he can live out his days in peace.

New characters; a whale shark and a beluga provide some fresh interactions between Dory as she uses them to navigate her way through the pipes of the establishment. For younger viewers, the twists and structure of the plot won't really mean much to them, but for the older viewer, there are definitely enough layers of story to keep you engaged. For example, the main basis of the plot is Dory wanting to find her family, but then she thinks they're dead, which we are led to believe. 

However, there was a heartwarming twist as she found them when she least expected it. Once she does find them, the story takes another turn as Dory has to now try and stop Merlin and Nemo from being taken to Cleveland, where they would never be released into the wild.

More so, the concluding chapter is incredibly funny as Hank the octopus finds himself driving the truck that is transporting all of the marine life. Animators of the film have to be applauded with their amazing skill at portraying an octopus' movements so authentically, in a rather unrealistic situation.

With most Pixar films, there is mostly a positive ending to their stories. Finding Dory's is rather more poignant as it brings the focus right back to Dory and how her short term memory lose affects her. She simply looks out into the vast ocean, and describes it as "Unforgettable".

Finding Dory is a moving, funny, full of adventure and twists. It certainly lives up to the quality of Finding Nemo!

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Alice through the Looking Glass review

The sequel to Alice in Wonderland definitely provides a more complex and layered story that explores the characters of Wonderland in a deeper context. Alice through the looking glass begins with a grand sea battle as Alice leads her team through the ocean, avoiding a collision with an huge rock.

It was wonderful to see Alice's character explored further, in terms of how determined she is to take the lead of her father's boat and wearing an awesome Chinese dress at a ball, even though she knew she would be looked at as strange being, was very inspiring due to the time period in which she would have lived.


This relatable streak to her character  is a very engaging asset that the film succeeds in. Alice's loyalty to Hatter as she travels through time to try and find Hatter's family, as he believes they survived. Hatter's little hat that he made as a child was found by older hatter which leads him to believe that his family is alive.

The introduction of time himself was really cool, particularly his costume and the whole setting of time headquarters was beautifully unique and weird. As the film goes on, it was a rather clever twist to his character that his motivation is revealed to be one of protection to save time. At the beginning, I felt his character was portrayed as a rather dangerous and scary opponent for Alice.

But there is another thread to the plot which involves the White and Red Queen that delves in an event that happened in their childhoods. Alice follows them and discovers that the White Queen ate the last jam tart, dropped some crumbs near her sister's bed and blamed it on her. 

For this fantastical universe, this idea to explore how the Red Queen became the horrible and selfish character that she has was a really quirky addition to the story. Essentially, the Red Queen simply asks why nobody loves her, her sister replies she does. It was a bittersweet moment for the two characters and their evolution was rather heartwarming and appreciated one.

More so, Danny Elfman brings such sparkling fluidity in his music with epic action sequences to the more emotional and intimate scenes, played beautifully with piano and flute to emphasis the magical quality that imbues this world.

Conclusively, Alice and the Hatter finds his family but time is running out and Alice doesn't manage to save it. However, there is one tiny spark that kick starts time again which wraps up the story elegantly and imaginatively.

This is an engaging, strange, magical and layered film with the most exquisite music, costumes, effects and animation that brings this world to life with grace and love.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 Absolution review

Absolution provides a strong and multi-layered finale to what has been an incredible season. 

Instantly, we are right in the middle of Shield's plan to defeating Hive. Shield and the Inhumans finally worked together to momentarily stop the warhead and contain Hive.


I really loved the layers and little twists to this story. The use of the jacket and necklace being laced around to keep us guessing who the fallen agent was very a literal way to keep us engaged.

Also, I think that Daisy's battle with the guilt and pain she feels was a way to keep her separate from the mission and I liked seeing the tormented side to her. It makes her decision to fulfill her so called destiny as a way of fixing her mistake.

Hive has been one of the most complex villains the show has had, as he believes that turning every human into primitives is somehow peace, which is kind if disturbing. It was a nice progression of events to see him experience all of his victims memories at once.

The siege of the base was a perilously tense and dramatic aspect to the finale as it allowed the team to be separated and it emphasized the terror of the primitives. 

Daisy asking Hive to infect her again gave me a new perspective on their connection as I'd never seen the infection being an addiction before. The fight between them was really dynamic, directed really creatively and was gripping. I could really see the desperation on Daisy's face.

I wasn't too sure who the fallen agent would be at first as I thought that Daisy sacrificing herself would have been too predictable and it certainly wouldn't have made sense for Mack to fall.

Therefore, I think it was the most logical and satisfying end to the season that Lincoln was the one to sacrifice himself. I wasn't really invested into his death in an emotional way but seeing him and Hive float contentedly that they were about to die was a moving sequence.

Fast forward six months later, Daisy is now Quake and got a cool makeover, Fitz is working with Ratcliff and Coulson has stepped down as Director. Maybe we'll see May sitting in the Director's chair in season four?

Season 3 has been full of new allies, aliens, farewells, reunions, deaths and major character developments. With Daisy now rogue and the team having a whole new dynamic, I look forward to fresh and engaging stories in season four!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 Emancipation review

It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to collectively bring the whole season to a tipping point, with a great twist and some old snippets from old episodes, making a prominent figure in the conclusion of this episode.

Hive's plan falls into place as Daisy is drained of blood. General Talbot gets a better understanding of what is actually happening with Hive as well as his persuasive action for the Inhumans to register, being a significant asset to the episode.

Daisy continued to lie in order to do Hive's will as she tricks Lincoln into coming to her. However, a sneaky plan was in operation as Lincoln that escaped is revealed to be Lash.

Lincoln believed that Lash was meant to kill Hive but in actual fact, he was meant to save Daisy by removing the infectious parasites from her brain. There was certainly a feeling of disappointment that Lash died, but the emotional impact just wasn't there.

I think there was a lot of mini fights going on which I think prevented this episode from feeling tense or gripping. The energy felt quite weak and after a while, I did find Talbot to be quite annoying as he kept on rubbing his head and his naivety made the pace feel slow.

However, I enjoyed seeing Hive's experiment take a new turn as the Watchdogs were turned into primitive Inhumans. Ratcliff is becoming a bit of a sour character too. Just stick up for yourself!

The resolution was enticing as Fitz revealed that Hive could turn a large population of the human race into the primitive Inhumans. I forgot about the warhead that he had collected earlier in the season, so it was nice to see those threads tied up.

Captain America-Civil War review

The third installment to the Captain America franchise is an explosion of action, tense and gripping emotional scenes and an accumulation of superheroes to make you salivate like a Newfoundland dog!

When I saw this film, I admit I had some quibbles and I wasn't that sure why at first. To me, it didn't feel like a Captain America movie because Iron Man featured so heavily in the narrative.

However, after some serious thought, I have come to the conclusion that I was in initial shock at Steve's actions. But that is a very positive and vital aspect that the film explores.

Captain America has always been the most reliable and morally confident out of the Avengers and that's why he's one of my favourite heroes. 

Except that he couldn't stay in the same place. He always have the same morals and beliefs that resided in the 1940's period. He had to show more flaws and layers.

This is what Civil War captures and channels brilliantly. The groundwork being that the new Avengers cause more damage but save the day and the government wants them and all super-powered individuals to be registered so that they work on a limited amount of power.

At first, I sided with Captain America as I didn't believe that any superhero should be tied down to the government or have to reveal their identities. Then as the film went on, I saw Iron Man's views and began to think that maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea to have the superheroes working within limits that would ensure precision in their outcomes.

But then, towards the end I changed my mind again when I saw most of the Avengers locked up because they stood up for their rights. I think to a degree if any superhero wanted to register then they should be able to but if others believe they should remain in the shadows, then that should be their choice also.

There was certainly a lot of multiple threads in this film and I didn't quite understand why Cap had such a dedication to his friend- Bucky.

I know that Bucky couldn't control what happened to him but to cause so much chaos just so that he could be frozen. It confused me a little. Also, when Bucky was revealed to be the assassin who killed Iron Man's parents, and Cap knew about it! I was very shocked at Cap's betrayal.

I certainly felt quite disappointed in Cap about his decision making. But these decisions and choices that Cap made in this film is exactly why it succeeds. Finally, we saw a hero who isn't a hero in retrospect.

He has done terrible things himself and put a lot of people's lives at risk to save his friend. I think Cap has always tried to do his best but that doesn't make him a hero, it makes him someone trying to do the best he can.

All of these heroes we have to come to know are so full of flaws which was evident here. Iron Man became quite hypocritical when he broke his own law to help Cap out.

I would've liked to have seen more of Black Widow as I feel like she was used more as sparring unity between Cap and Iron Man.

More so, I really loved Tom Holland as Spider-Man! He brings a lot of youth, an adorable intelligence but teenage embarrassment and verbal cues, 'You have a metal arm, that is so cool, dude'! being one of them.

Lest we not forget- the funeral of Peggy Carter! I was quite disappointed that she wasn't given more of a send-off. Peggy is such a formidable an important character to Cap and the Marvel universe.

To see that her last outing lasts for only a few minutes and receives a couple of words from her niece- Sharon Carter felt like she wasn't given the time she deserved. It felt like because she has such a strong connection with Steve that they had to feature her death in the film. But I don't think they should have used it for just that reason.

Overall, Civil War achieves some groundbreaking character development for all characters involved. Cap almost killed Iron Man and vice versa. The whole of the Avengers are either fugitives or feeling betrayed or lost.

The actions scene were mind-blowing, tense and brutal. Black Panther's introduction was definitely a highlight. I really think his history is really interesting and a great contrast for the Marvel universe to explore.

Who knows where this leaves the Avengers, but they're going to have to work out their differences if they are to defeat Thanos in infinity war!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Agents of Shield 'Failed Experiments' review

As we gear up for the two hour finale, Failed Experiments reveals Hive's plan to turn humans into Inhumans and we finally see the Kree make their way to Earth. 

I really liked seeing how Hive became an Inhuman and that they shows how the whole Inhuman history began, all those generations ago.

Firstly, I felt like Lincoln volunteering to be a host for the possible cure was just something to give his character something to do as I can't see him becoming a committed Shield agent after this season.

I did think that the explanation in the lab scenes with Radcliff went on for too long and didn't add much to the story.

He doesn't seem like he has much depth to him as his whole existence seems to be revolving around Daisy and there's no proof that he even loves her.

Additionally, I'm still very much compelled with how Daisy is evolving under Hive's infection. There is a complex notion to her character now as she wants to make her team mates understand by making them Inhumans.

I liked that there was a slice of comedy with May going undercover when trying to get information from Annihilation. I think using Mack as a catalyst to show that Daisy cannot be helped but needs to be stopped. I couldn't believe she was actually going to kill Mack!

The Kree reapers were an impressive addition and it really cemented the connection between this universe and the films. Their alien technology looked really cool. 

I completely forgot that Daisy had Kree blood running through her and I thought this was a solid end to the episode. 

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 "The Singularity" review

The Singularity is already another one of my favorites as Daisy's thrall is actually more complex than originally thought. She's biologically addicted to Hive because of the amount of Dopamine (which is a happy chemical in the brain) that Hive's infection has given her.

I found this development very compelling and refreshing to see rather than her stereo typically just being controlled and forced to take destructive action. Daisy still seems to be herself but is so consumed with having a family and being happy that she almost kills Fitz!

Also, the episode allowed some hidden conflict between Coulson and May to rise to the surface as May feels like he can make everyone else take the shot but views himself as clean. It was great to see May actually show a little emotion; we got a smile and I saw her eyes fill up with tears when she admitted she cares for Daisy.

Lincoln had an effective role as well as he almost killed an Inhuman when his rage nearly overloaded. I think Daisy is definitely his weakness seeing how much he needs her to keep stable.

I loved that Fitz and Simmons got their own mission to try and track down the one scientist that could find a cure for Daisy. Their relationship is so adorable, truthful and sweet and it felt a nice subplot to have running alongside the chaos and destruction. This was probably a signal that something terrible will happen..... again.

So now Hive has a cool looking Kree experiment contraption that will ultimately turn humankind into Inhumans. What I like about Hive is that he's always so calm and relaxed like he's so confident that he doesn't need to rush.

The threat is really starting to boil now to a point where I honestly don't know how the team can stop Hive. They haven't got the scientist to cure Daisy and they have no idea about the Kree technology.

Hopefully, they can retrieve the scientist.... somehow, but not without a sacrifice.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Agents of Shield Season 3 'The Team' review

Season 3 enters a groundbreaking and compelling four story finale as Hive plans to form an Inhuman army to destroy humankind. 

The Team is the beginning of the Secret Warriors and the end of them apparently. The takeover of this new team was really thrilling to watch as each character really kicked some Hydra butt with their cool powers.

Daisy has a great line,' For one reason or another, we were each given a gift, let's put them to good use' was a really heroic moment for the Shield agent.

With the Shield team saved, Fitz/Simmons begins examining the Inhuman with the eye paralyzing power who has Hive's parasites embedded in his brain. I loved seeing these two back in the science environment and being themselves again.

It was fascinating to learn more about Hive's powers but also gross. Applause for the production team for making him truly unique in his grotesque ability.

Coulson now has Malick in his custody and asks for his help in stopping Hive. He is then killed and Fitz and Simmons are blasted by a bomb that was left by his body. All of the Inhumans are in the frame.

I felt particularly disheveled when Coulson told Mac to shut down the base because of them had been infected by Hive. I think the conflict between Shield and the Secret Warriors was very relevant and complex within the Marvel Universe.

There was still room to explore Fitz and Simmons relationship. Simmons anguish at not being able to help her friends makes her even more amazing and I thought the progression of their relationship took a lovely and heartwarming turn as Simmons says, 'Too fast, Fitz it's been ten years'.

They are both magnificent and I hope that they can have some happiness but with the fallen agent phrase embedded in the four part finale, I can't see much happiness to come.

For a moment I thought that Hive's parasites were causing everyone to pull on each other's weaknesses. They were such a strong team and to see them being pulled apart was difficult. I certainly thought it strange for Daisy to try and escape with her team. 

However, it is revealed that she brings them to Coulson and Lincoln is the one infected. But the twists don't stop there, Daisy asks him to leave with her and I couldn't understand why at first, she didn't seem in love with him to strand her Shield team.

All is revealed- Daisy is actually the Inhuman who was infected by Hive. It happened at the Hydra base just before she makes her way back to the team. Also, she killed Malick, his blood dripping from his eye sockets and mouth. I was truly gobsmacked and thought this development was extremely smart and compelling.

Chloe Bennett's performance really engaged me with how she played on how she has felt different from the Shield team since her transformation and truly believes that what Hive is doing is beautiful. That word in itself is quite disturbing.

The drama didn't stop there though. She steals the Kree orb and all of the Terragin crystals, framing Lincoln and then crumbling the Shield base with her powers. I felt so betrayed by her but couldn't help but be fascinated as to what she and Hive will do next.