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Warning: spoilers for last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode are ahead!
So far on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, most of the obstacles the main characters have dealt with have been from the government, but another familiar threat returned last night in “Devils You Know.” After a two-episode absence, the mysterious Inhuman Lash (played by Matthew Willig) reappeared to continue his mission: killing other Inhumans. Daisy, Lincoln and Mack first encountered the monstrous man in the season premiere, but eluded being captured. As fans watched him continue killing his kind, we learned a big secret about his identity that could be related to another character on the show.
After Lash killed two Inhumans that the team had tried to seek assistance from, they discovered an email on the victims’ computer that had led Lash to their location. They tracked the virus back to Dwight Frye, a new Inhuman who develops headaches and rashes whenever he’s near another Inhuman, essentially making him a an Inhuman “divining rod.” As it turns out, Frye has willingly been helping Lash to find other Inhumans, believing that killing them is the only way to “help” them. Unfortunately for Frye, as S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU were transporting him away, Lash attacked the van and killed him. As Daisy regained consciousness in the overturned van (for some reason, Lash didn’t kill her), she groggily watched Lash’s shadow and saw him transform from a massive brute to a normal sized individual.
So now that we know Lash can appear normal, the big question is related to who he really is. Speculation is already running rampant online about his secret identity, and since it’s still early in the season, he may end up being someone fans haven't met yet. However, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that Lash might actually be a character that’s already been established. One theory that’s been popping up on social media is that the energy-manipulating Inhuman might be May’s ex-husband Dr. Andrew Garner (played by Blair Underwood).
Andrew has been doing some psychological assessments for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team this season, and last night’s episode had him talking with Simmons, who is still fresh from her months-long ordeal on the alien planet. Unfortunately, he met a grim fate not long after. When May and Hunter cornered Ward at his HYDRA hideout, Ward threatened Andrew if they didn’t let him escape. Hunter, too determined to carry out his revenge for what happened to Bobbi, opted to ignore Ward’s threat and continue shooting, managing to wound Ward during his getaway. In retaliation, Ward had new recruit Werner von Strucker and several other HYDRA grunts corner Andrew at a mini-mart to seemingly kill him, and adding insult to injury, they also blew up the mini-mart.
If this weren’t a sci-fi/fantasy based show, his fate would likely be sealed, but this is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and like most superhero stories, death isn’t always what it seems. Let’s be clear: so far there’s no evidence suggesting this is fact, but it’s certainly plausible. Although Andrew hasn’t demonstrated any special abilities, he could have been one of the many people around the planet who was inadvertently affected by the spread of Terrigen. Andrew has consistently demonstrated himself to be a good guy, but perhaps after becoming an Inhuman, his personality was radically altered. Despite his interest in helping the S.H.I.E.L.D. team with Inhumans on the surface, he believes the only way to truly help them or determine who is worthy to have such abilities (like his comic book counterpart) is by becoming Lash and dishing out his own form of judgement.
Okay, maybe all of this this is more about some fans not wanting to accept that Andrew might be dead, but it’s worth thinking about. Still, with next week’s episode looking to primarily consist of Simmons’ time on the alien planet, we may have to wait yet another week to find out what happened to Andrew and learn more about Lash. Tough break.
You can catch new episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.