Tread carefully, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans: Here be monsters.
I like giving credit where credit is due, and I can safely say that, as someone who has been a fan and viewer since season 1, tonight’s game-changing reveal was on par with the great “Ward is Hydra” turn of 2014. I didn’t see it coming, and maybe I’m alone in that. But when a show can blindside me completely with a narrative that is interesting and unsuspecting, I have to give it props.
Before we get to those big moments, though, let’s start with something important: Andrew Garner is alive. Not only that, he’s alive enough to talk and give May and Coulson the rundown on what happened when Werner von Strucker tried to kill him. He tells them about the men who followed him, who Coulson correctly calls out as being Hydra. Turns out that Coulson had his own S.H.I.E.L.D. agents tailing Garner, which is how he got lucky: The agents gave him time to find cover, but just barely. (The way this scene was shot, with May watching the medics work on her husband, was incredibly reminiscent of Black Widow, Cap, and Maria Hill watching a dying Nick Fury in Winter Solider…at least for me.)
May’s still pissed at Hunter for putting Garner’s life in danger, and her anger’s not unwarranted. Unsurprisingly, Coulson pulls Hunter off the assignment while May puts herself on, because now she’s going after Ward, hell or high water. At least there’s one positive thing that comes out of Garner’s near-death experience: May’s back. I mean, really back. She’s got the Hunter “out for blood” thing going and takes it to the next level by “recruiting” Bobbi to help her in the way only S.H.I.E.L.D. agents can: by forcing her into a sparring session. As much as I enjoyed Scientist Bobbi Morse, I cannot express how happy I am to see my favorite character back in the field, kicking butt, and being an active part of the team again. (And those fight scenes in this week’s episode just proved that. Give me an entire episode of Bobbi and May undercover, please.)
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Meanwhile, there’s a lot of frustration and anger happening on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ward is trying to figure out what happened to his protégé, and he’s pissed at Kebo for letting S.H.I.E.L.D. find him. Kebo, in turn, is pissed at Ward for letting Werner take on such an intense job because, if he’s alive, he’s now most likely on the run with dangerous information, which makes him a liability. Skye is pissed because of Lash’s recent attack and has realized that his shapeshifting alter ego is definitely someone working within the ATCU. Oh, and she’s also pissed because Coulson is getting a little too cozy with Rosalind. The two are off on their own for most of the episode, with the intention of exploring Rosalind’s home base (even though Coulson still won’t tell her where S.H.I.E.L.D.’s home base is), but their day is interrupted by an emergency. Coulson calls her out for her hypocritical views on secrecy and refuses to leave, so Rosalind takes him home to her apartment, which they find out has been broken into. He does his obligatory spying (a lot of art posters, brand new furniture, and a LOT of biographies of Margaret Thatcher) before Rosalind tries to appeal to him by offering burgers from his favorite restaurant. The gesture has the opposite effect: Coulson believes she staged a break-in, and Rosalind accuses Coulson of using his own guys to do the job. So many trust issues! Fed up, Rosalind finally relents, bringing Coulson to the facility.
NEXT: My name is Lance Hunter, and I have anger issues