“Emancipation” is episode twenty of season three of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The previous episode, “Failed Experiments”, had, as the title stated, a number of failed experiments. Fitz and Simmons’ cure for Hive’s ability to control Inhumans was not successful. Doctor Radcliffe’s experiment to turn normal humans into Inhumans, recreating the original Kree experiment, failed, simply turning the experimented-upon into mush, apparently because he had living Kree DNA. Hive used the artefacts that James had to summon two Kree Reapers, who were then defeated, for their DNA. S.H.I.E.L.D.’s attempt to kill Hive also failed, although they did manage to destroy the living Kree DNA. However, Daisy – who really thinks she hasn’t been brainwashed by Hive’s Sway, and has now essentially lost any belief in S.H.I.E.L.D. it seems – then stated that she had Kree DNA in her, from being healed the same way that Coulson was, and that they could use that. I wonder why she didn’t suggest that to start with? It’s not the sort of thing you forget.
This episode opens in a bar, where there is a news report on the television about the Sokovia Accords and the ensuing events of Captain America: Civil War. Coulson and May are in the bar, talking about not letting the Accords hamstring them, as they require the registration of all enhanced people, such as the Inhumans. Coulson is actually meeting General Talbot in the bar, who has been sent by the President to find out what is going on. Coulson agrees to show Talbot the base, and tell him what’s going on – and the base itself is beneath the bar. Yoyo is back at the base, and Coulson introduces her to Talbot.
Coulson is against the idea of a list, as he says eventually they get compromised and people get hurt. A group of armed men has managed to get the name of someone on the list, and is planning to kill the Inhuman to send a message.
Daisy, who is looking very pale and is being drained of blood, is also hacking into S.H.I.E.L.D. and Fitz is constantly having to keep her out. Which means that he isn’t really accomplishing anything else, so May tells him and Simmons that they need to change tactics. Mack, who was injured by Daisy’s attack on him, also seems to have taken damage psychologically as well.
Radcliffe is, with Daisy’s blood, planning a new experiment, but he needs new test subjects. Hive says that he’s arranged for some volunteers. Of course, they aren’t actually volunteers.
Lincoln is being kept locked up due to the damage to his immune system done by the failed antitoxin, but he’s also trying to talk to Daisy. Daisy manages to speak to him whilst hacking the computers, and he says he wants to be with her and her alone – no Hive, no S.H.I.E.L.D. – and she says she can arrange his escape. Even for someone who is utterly infatuated, something seems a little off here. Daisy also cannot be trusted, whilst she’s under Hive’s Sway.