Wow! That’s how you come back from a week off! This should be a given but this review is full of spoilers. So beware!
Things started off on the up and up as Coulson and Rosalind were having a candle light dinner enjoying their favorite burger with a glass of wine. Looks like sending in some spies to the ATCU didn’t put a halt to their relationship, but good things never last as “it” hit the proverbial fan real quick. With the fateful sound of a snipers bullet hitting the glass and the slow pan over to Rosalind my jaw hit the floor as we saw her bleeding out from the neck. Coulson in shock and devastated (as was I) desperately tries anything he can to save her even though he knows it’s hopeless. Then add fuel to the fire as Ward calls him up to gloat and plant more seeds of deception.
Freaking Grant Ward. I have never hated that character more. You know if my last review where I said some people love to hate Ward and I just love to love him…yeah, I’m now in the ‘I love to hate Ward’ camp. He’s a fantastic and despicable villain and even though he’s done some terrible things since we’ve found out he’s HYDRA I don’t ever remember him doing any one thing that made me hate him more than killing Rosalind Price. Speaking of Rosalind Price I just have to take this time to praise Constance Zimmer one last time as she was fantastic on this show. She started off as the “dragon lady” as Daisy called her to becoming an extremely likeable character. She and Clark Gregg chewed up every scene that they were in together. Constance was a great, albeit brief, addition to Agents of SHIELD. She will be missed. Damn you Ward!
Coulson and Mack arrive back at HQ with Coulson covered in Rosalind’s blood and full of rage. He going to stop at nothing to take Ward down. Not only was this tough for the other characters but it was tough to watch Coulson breakdown and fly into spurts of rage. Those brief moments at the beginning to the episode showed us that even with everything else going just how happy he and Rosalind were together. To have it ripped away so sudden was heartbreaking. I just re-watched that opening scene and it’s tough to watch after she gets shot. Then they had to twist the knife even more when Coulson picked up the matches from the Half Moon Pub where he and Rosalind had their first drink together. Ugh. Right in the feels! Thanks a lot Marvel!
With Coulson desperate to find Ward he is going back to square one reevaluating every piece of info that they have on Ward and that includes having intimated discussions with every member of the original team. This was another intense scene as Coulson presses for every little detail that May, Daisy, Fitz and Simmons can remember about Ward. He never makes it uncomfortable and he asks the hard questions and they are all willing to answer as they understand how important it is to catch Ward. The most important piece of information Coulson discerned from these little talks was what Daisy told him. It’s not that Ward feels nothing. He feels too much.
Mack, Fitz and Simmons with the help of Banks find out more about the space program that Will was a part of and where they might be able to find some more information. We also learned that the organization was indeed separate from NASA and was funded by Gideon Malick. Malick is continuing to look for a way to bring someone or something back through an open portal.
Back at SHIELD HQ Coulson flies off on Hunter, pinning him against the wall, for not finishing Ward when he had the chance. I get that Coulson is pissed but this really didn’t make any sense. He had already calmed down (somewhat) enough to have conversations with each of his original team. It’s not like he just walked off the Quinjet and headed straight for Hunter. It felt like it was more to just show us how far Coulson was willing to go and put the he, Hunter and Bobbi in a scene together so he could tell them about his mission. It wasn’t that big of a deal but the “attack” on Hunter just felt off and didn’t really make sense given when it happened.
Meanwhile Fitz and Simmons went with Banks and some of his men to check out an old facility where that space program operated from. I thought we may see more of Banks now that Rosalind was gone. Nope. That Inhuman working for HYDRA made quick work of Banks and his men. The ATCU members are dropping like flies! It turns out this was all part of Ward and Malick’s plan to capture Fitz and Simmons. I had wondered why Ward mentioned to Coulson that Malick was trying to open more portals. That’s not something that SHIELD already knew, and because everyone (mainly Coulson) was so gung ho to go after Ward that no one stopped to consider why Ward let that slip.
With Coulson, Hunter and Bobbi tracking down Ward, Coulson has left Mack as acting director. That’s actually pretty freaking cool except that Coulson’s on the warpath and isn’t telling Mack (or anyone for that matter) what his ultimate plans are. Mack ways seems to get the crap jobs. Not that acting director of SHIELD is a bad gig but at this point in time there’s a lot to deal with and Coulson is providing much to go on.
Coulson, Hunter and Bobbi decide to strike Ward where it hurts most which ironically is his family, something that Ward also has great disdain for. But he still cares for his younger brother Thomas in his own twisted way. Speaking of Ward, if killing Rosalind wasn’t bad enough those scenes between he and Gemma and Fitz were intense. He has evolved into a full on villain and not just some misguided lost boy. He twists and uses his past relationships to torture the two of them in completely different ways. Ward would never hurt Simmons but he doesn’t have a problem letting someone else do it. Then he tortures Fitz psychologically by preying on Fitz’s affection for Gemma and keeping where he can hear Simmons’ screams. That was brutal.
The episode concludes setting up what I expect to be a thrilling mid-season finale. Coulson and team was able to track Ward’s location by keeping him on the phone long enough with his brother, Fitz has agreed to go through the portal to keep Simmons safe and Mack has assemble Daisy, Lincoln and Joey to help with the assault on the HYDRA base. All the groups are converging on HYDRA’s location to rescue Fitz and Simmons, stop Ward and keep HYDRA from bringing back something terrible through the portal. Seeing all of that was exciting in itself but then we see Coulson jump out of the back of the Quinjet and thread the needle by going through the portal after Fitz and Ward. How about that?! That was incredible!
This season continues to impress and this episode was no different. This may not only be my favorite episode of the season but it may be one of it not my favorite of the entire series. It began and ended with two jaw dropping moments and had solid scenes all throughout all while advancing the story. I can’t wait to see what happens on the other side of the portal and the assault on the HYDRA base by the Secret Warriors (can we call them that yet?)!!!
Make sure to keep checking back for more updates — right here on GeekNation.
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