It’s hard out there for a Hydra head. Or even if you want to become a Hydra head. Tonight’s episode acted as a “history lesson” of sorts in that we finally got a little more information on what Ward’s grand plan is, and why Gideon (Powers Boothe) has been brought into the fold. But more exciting than a history lesson, we got a payoff that most fans have been waiting for since the first season: a real FitzSimmons kiss. (And technically, more than one kiss!)
We start with octopus (no, I mean, a real octopus that Gideon is serving Ward as sort of a “last supper” type thing.) But it also works out that the octopus is the symbol of Hydra, so Gideon gets a bit of power play into the conversation. We find out that the reason Ward wanted the von Strucker kid was because he’s searching for the von Strucker family vault, which holds Hydra’s greatest power. Every single time we’ve seen Ward with Gideon, Ward has played his game the same way: cool, collected, unyielding. Gideon’s not budging, though. Basically, he’s got plans, and Ward doesn’t fit into those plans. “You’re a smart predator, but you don’t live on top of the food chain,” says Gideon, before leaving Ward in peace — and waiting to be attacked by his men. If you thought he wouldn’t fight back…well, you clearly don’t know Grant Ward. And he is really intent on finding that vault.
After taking the rest of Gideon’s men hostage, Ward uses torture methods of — what else? — fire in order to get them to talk. (Nice throwback to Ward’s past with the line “I was a bit of a pyro when I was a kid.” If you remember, Ward was imprisoned some years ago for setting fire to his parents’ home.) The gas gun has its intended effect, and Ward eventually gets his information. Turns out no one really knows where the vault is because there are different ones and different people used all the time when someone has to travel there. But there IS a vault in Germany, and of course it’s Germany, because this is Hydra we’re talking about. Ward is smart: He knew there were different vaults… he just didn’t know where he needed to go.
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Meanwhile, the group is preparing to bring Garner to the ATCU facility, so he can be put in stasis. Rosalind promises that they’re doing everything they can to find a cure, but nothing will be more depressing than watching poor May’s face as her husband is taken away like a rabid animal.
Lincoln is no longer running, but Daisy reminds him that Coulson doesn’t just let people stay at the base. He’ll have to work for his accommodations. Lincoln’s more concerned about the fact that things will be weird between them now that they’re spending time together again. Because, y’know, they kissed and all, and apparently never talked about that in between killer Inhumans and shady government people. Good thing Daisy’s playing hard to get. What’s being in S.H.I.E.L.D. without a little angst in a relationship?
That’s a question that should probably be asked of FitzSimmons, who, for multiple weeks running, managed to be the high point of the entire episode. Leo Fitz is trying SO HARD, you guys. That intense dedication will eventually take its toll on his partner, but for now, we’re afforded a tense moment when Simmons hands over the tablet she’s been holding… which has a picture of her and Will on it. Cause that’s not awkward.
Speaking of awkward… Mack corners Coulson and point blank asks if he’s becoming a little too close with Rosalind. Coulson’s offended he would even think he’d put his personal life above the job — he claims he’s being honest with her to “make sure she’s the real deal.” He then meets his team and tells them they’re launching “Operation Spotlight,” a.k.a., “It’s time to spy on the ATCU.” Coulson wants to know everything from how many Inhumans they’re holding to how close they are to a cure. Fortunately, there’s an app for that! And that app is Garner, because the container that they sent over will help them get inside. Mack’s still not convinced that Coulson’s motives are legitimate, but he’s going to have to suck it up for now.
NEXT: The truth about T.A.H.I.T.I. … again