Mitch Haaseth/ABC
April 20, 2018 at 10:00 PM EDT

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

TV Show
Current Status
In Season
run date
Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet
Action Adventure
We gave it a B

Poor Ruby Hale. Dove Cameron’s character was a vision of a superpowered child soldier, someone who had been raised apart from civilization by a psychotic supervillain of a mother and thus came to believe passionately in Hydra’s ideals of violence and conquering without ever taking stock of what those things actually felt like. Well, now she knows.

But first, coming out of last week’s cliffhanger, we see Talbot is a man on a mission, and that mission is to kidnap Robin Hinton. With Hydra’s commands inside his head, Talbot infiltrates Robin’s room and examines her drawings. He notices a lot of crimson crayon and makes a “Redrum” reference, which is good news because any nod to The Shining is a good way to hook me (this is the main reason I enjoyed Ready Player One). When Robin can’t explain the drawings, Talbot knocks out her mother and kidnaps the girl. Robin reacts in characteristic fashion when Talbot informs her of his kidnapping intentions: “I know.”

Luckily, Coulson and Mack soon notice a glitch in the video feeds for Robin’s room. When they go to investigate, Coulson realizes that Talbot’s six months in Hydra prison really did a number on him. As a friend, Coulson doesn’t want to hurt Talbot, but he’s also not afraid of using the programming against him. Using his knowledge of Hydra commands, Coulson gets Talbot to surrender, freeing Robin.

Speaking of Coulson and Mack, one thing I’m enjoying about these recent episodes is the focus on character relationships. There’s a particularly funny moment this week when Deke asks Coulson and Mack for advice about his Daisy crush — but considering Mack’s last interaction with his girlfriend was her locking him in a cell and Coulson’s less-than-ideal reaction to May’s love confession, they don’t have many romantic tips to give. Meanwhile, FitzSimmons are currently repairing the Gravitonium infuser (and thus endangering the world) in order to safeguard each other from Ruby. As they work, FitzSimmons continue to warn Ruby that the operation isn’t a good idea, that they still don’t know enough about Gravitonium to understand what the effects will be. Raised to be a confident assassin by her mother, Ruby ignores them and goes through with the procedure  — much to her later chagrin. (Recap continues on next page)

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