Tonight we witnessed one of the most exhilarating episodes of Agents of SHIELD that we’ve ever seen. There was a lot of hype online about the scale of the episode, and boy, did it not disappoint. Our recap is filled with spoilers, so tread lightly.
If you’ve read any of my previous recaps, you know I’m a huge fan of Rosalind Price. I’ve seen the wonderful Constance Zimmer on House of Cards and new immediately she would be a great addition to the cast. Unfortunately, Roz met her demise tonight with a bullet through the neck from Ward, as she and Coulson were about to sit down for a romantic dinner with wine and greasy cheeseburgers. It was sad, and if my parents weren’t in the room watching with me, I probably would’ve ugly cried. It’s sad for Coulson to have seen her get killed so violently right in front of him. Coulson fights his way through Ward’s Hydra thugs where Mack is ready for his safe extraction back to SHIELD HQ.
If there was a doubt in my mind as to the possibility for Ward to be redeemed, it’s out the window. I don’t want Ward to be redeemed. I want Ward to pay, and I completely understand Coulson’s rage and anger.
Our distraught director enters HQ and he’s visibly broken. He’s wearing his heart on his sleeve and Rosalind’s blood on his shirt, and all of our favorite agents see Coulson and how he’s dealing with what just happened. It’s a powerful sequence that plays on the emotions of the characters we’ve come to know so well.
Coulson decides to talk to each member of the original team about his or her experiences in dealing with Ward. It’s interesting to be taken on mental flashbacks as each one recalls different memories with Ward – Ward jumping out of the Bus to save Simmons, Ward and Fitz’s brother-like relationship, and the way the Ward and Daisy were able to relate to each other with their troubled backgrounds. It’s in this time where Coulson realizes one of Ward’s untapped weaknesses – his brother, Thomas.
Coulson decides that with Bobbi and Hunter, he’s going to get Thomas and use him as leverage to get back at Ward. In an unexpectedly welcome move, Coulson leaves Mack in charge as Acting Director, feeling that, at this point, May is still too emotionally compromised from the events surrounding her husband to lead SHIELD in his absence.
While Coulson, Bobbi, and Hunter are out trying to get to Ward, FitzSimmons are working with Rosalind’s right hand man – Banks – to do some digging into the Distant Star facility, which they realize is connected to the ever-growing Hydra threat. While in the facility, they’re ambushed by the telekinetic inhuman Mr. Giyera (Mark Dacascos), who manipulates Banks into killing their security detail and eventually Banks himself. He takes FitzSimmons to Malick and Ward, who want to use the knowledge that FitzSimmons has to open up the portal again and bring back Hydra’s inhuman on the other side of the portal.
Of course, FItzSimmons refuses to cooperate, and Ward and Malick refuse to play nicely. Ward splits them up to question them separately, and Fitz continues to break everyone’s heart with his facial expressions alone when he hears Simmons screaming in pain while being tortured by Mr. Giyera. Simmons doesn’t cooperate even though Will is still on the distant planet because she’s well aware of the capability of the Hydra inhuman and she knows the threat it poses to the world. Fitz, however, can’t stand to hear the cries of Simmons any longer and agrees that he will be the one that goes through the portal with the Hydra team.
Newly appointed Director Mack and Agent May decide to go against Coulson’s previous orders and provide back up to Coulson at the castle where Hydra is held up when they find out that Hydra has FitzSimmons. As Acting Director, Mack gives Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) and Lincoln the all clear for fieldwork under the direction of Daisy and May. As a team, they head out to provide tactical back up.
— Agents of SHIELD (@AgentsofSHIELD) December 2, 2015
Coulson is made aware of the kidnapping of FitzSimmons and decides to use Thomas against Ward. Thomas reveals more about his past with Ward and how he basically wants nothing to do with him anymore, and stays on the phone with Ward long enough to help Bobbi get a lock on Ward’s location. It’s telling that even Ward’s own brother Thomas feels that Ward’s evil. Thomas says, “Just because you grow up in a family of abusive monsters doesn’t mean you have to become one.” Thomas later says that they better “finish him off.” If anything, Brett Dalton has done an amazing job at making me feel bad for Ward and I hate it. In the scene where Thomas tells Ward that he changed his identity to hide from him, the brokenness that Ward shows on his face is tragic. I almost feel bad for him again until I remind myself that he killed Rosalind (and countless others).
The events of the episode finally come to a head when Malick says that he wants Ward to lead the team through the portal and Ward reluctantly agrees to do it. Using pieces of the monolith, Malick and his team of baddies recreate the same vibrations and frequencies that Daisy did and open the portal once more, and the Hydra team goes into the portal – Ward and Fitz included.
Up above the castle, the anti-air defense missiles are firing upon Coulson, Bobbi, and Hunter when Coulson decides to pull a Captain America and jump out of the jet. He dives. Out of the jet. Dives. Directly into the portal right before it closes. Coulson, ladies and gentlemen, is on a mission, but we’ll have to wait until the midseason finale of Agents of SHIELD next Tuesday to find out if he’s able to exact his revenge on Ward.
- Rosalind Price, I’m going to miss you. Big props to the amazing Constance Zimmer for portraying a character that could hold her own against the director of SHIELD. Roz, you’ll be missed.
- One of my favorite scenes in tonight’s episode is when Ward says that Simmons has a “Furiosa vibe,” to her during the interrogation. Apparently, Ward is a fan of Mad Max and the Imperator.
- Looks like we’re finally starting to see Daisy’s Secret Warriors team take shape, with Lincoln and Joey being the first members. Hopefully the team gets to use their powers to beat up some Hydra thugs in next week’s episode.
- Rosalind’s death was unexpected, Banks’ death was kind of forgettable, but can we please have a moment of silence for all of the phones that we lost in tonight’s episode?
“Maveth” – S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra go head-to-head in a battle that will change Coulson’s world forever. While Daisy and her team of Inhumans fight to keep Hydra at bay, Coulson and Fitz take the ultimate risk, in the epic winter finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” Tuesday, December 8th on ABC.