Warning: Spoiler Alert
Out of the gate, we get a glimpse of how Hydra is turning assets. Maybe, just maybe this is a precursor to the ‘why’ pertaining to Simmons. Then we see Simmons in her happy gleeful way. Just getting ready in the morning. However, it feels like the first scene that put Steve Rogers in present day in the Marvel Universe. Almost too perfect to be real. Then she arrives in her lab and only one other detail matters. The large Hydra logo on the wall.
Hydra is not content with Simmons (as it seems thus far). They are recruiting assets, whether they come willingly or not.
Coulson is waiting inside Simmons’ apartment. Let me cut through the week-long dramatic anticipation. Simmons is running a typical double agent inside Hydra. And she is openly giving him all the intel she has. Even to the point of suggesting she make friends in Hydra to advance further and get more sensitive intel. During the briefing on the bus, Fitz looks focused and not pleased. I think he knows Jemma is the source on the inside.
While Jemma tries to make friends, her presence is required upstairs to deal with a security issue. This entire scene just makes me want to scream obscenities to the high-ranking Hydra agent. She’s a double agent trying to navigate away from the concern at hand. So naturally he’s barking up the right tree, but still, he’s Hydra.
Hydra keeps trying to break ‘agent 33′, but so far to no avail. However, it does give a little insight into their methods.
Meanwhile as Coulson, May, Skye, and Hunter venture out to retrieve Donnie Gill (a kid turned asset from the Academy from the middle of season 1) before Hydra does. This leaves Mack and Fitz with the night off. Mack is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. He is making every effort possible to aid Fitz in his recovery. To the point of legitimately trying to befriend him. The good news is that Fitz just spit out five or six coherent sentences in a row to create a logical string of thoughts. The first time since the escape in the season 1 finale. The bigger problem is that Fitz senses that they are keeping things from him even if it’s for his own good. The angel and devil on Fitz’ shoulders are battling and the devil is winning.
Fitz is hallucinating Simmons again. All that matters is that 1) he can control it and acknowledge that she is not actually there and 2) she says, “I don’t think you should go in there”. Now it appears that she’s referring to the lab. But in half an instant you realize its not the lab. Then you see him walk down stairs. And then…I literally screamed at the TV. He went downstairs to see Skye’s asset. Skye’s asset is Ward. In Fitz current state, there is no good that can come from standing face to face with Ward.
I may be overselling it, but this is maybe the best acting performance by Fitz to date. And that’s saying something because I still have the FZZT episode from season one just to relive the scene where Fitz screams “JEEMMMMMMMAA” after she jumps from the bus mid-flight to save the rest of the team. While what we are watching is an almost broken Fitz, he goes somewhere dark yet justifiable. Ward makes the mistake of saying that he gave Fitz and Simmons a fighting chance. Which allows Fitz to ‘show’ Ward what he did for Fitz. Depriving Ward of oxygen and explaining his own affliction, Fitz makes his point quite nicely. Even though it’s a Fitz devoid of innocence. In the end, Fitz slips up and says Donnie’s name. Which gets Ward’s attention. Ward’s demeanor and sense of urgency ramps up immediately. He yells out, “They have no idea what they are walking into”.
Simmons is able to at least get Donnie to listen. He asks what side she fell on, but she can’t really answer that as Hydra agents are in her ear.
Fitz, after hearing what Ward had to say, urgently informs Mack that they need to talk to the bus. Donnie was already recruited by Hydra. He didn’t escape the Sandbox, he took the Sandbox for Hydra. And if they can get close enough, they will kick-start his programming. “Nice work Fitz”, three words we haven’t heard in a while.
The team finds Donnie talking to Jemma. Coulson’s orders are to stop that conversation immediately. Hunter has his scope on Simmons’ back. More specifically on the Hydra logo. May sees this and shoots a distraction. Which snaps Donnie out of the ‘kick start’ and they disperse. Bakshi, Simmons’ Hydra boss as far as we’re concerned, steps in the way of Donnie and begins the commentary again. This is the same dialogue that was given to Creole in the last story line. It works and Donnie is “Happy to comply”. The next order is to ensure no one leaves this tanker alive. Which would include May, Skye and Hunter.
Outside, Donnie begins to ‘Iceman’ the entire tanker from outside to in. Then Skye wearing a hood, shoots Donnie knocking him overboard and sinking in the icy water he created 15 TV minutes earlier. They were able to secure a healthy amount of Hydra tech from the tanker.
Once the team is safely back on the Bus, two different but incredibly important short scenes take place. The first is May trying her best to empathize and comfort Skye. At this point Skye seems to have developed a way to translate May. The other is Coulson talking to Fitz. Reaffirming that Fitz is making progress and is an integral part of this team. But more pressing, that as Director, yes Coulson is keeping things from Fitz as he will probably do with everyone. And lastly that Simmons is on a critically important mission. And that her absence has nothing (or so we think to this point) to do with Fitz.
Bakshi requests permission to promote Simmons as her talents are currently being wasted. He further explains that if he’s wrong about her and her allegiance they will simply, “make her comply”.