Warning: Spoiler Alert
In this week’s episode, the assumption is that Hydra will step up their efforts to turn everyone against SHIELD, publicly. The news is just coming down of an attack on the UN where the assailants are masquerading around as if they are SHIELD agents when they are so absolutely not.
Side note. Bobbi Morse is wearing a strategically tight-fitting ‘Star Wars’ shirt. Which I believe needs a mention. Not because of the fit (although I am certainly not complaining) but because Disney recently bought the rights to Star Wars (and of course owns Marvel) and has been in production for a third trilogy for a little while now. Lovely product placement.
Following the attack on the UN, Talbot meets with a Senator who not only has a brother we should be concerned with, but also thinks he can “put SHIELD into the ground for good”. Also, it may have slid under the radar, but Talbot did say that he doesn’t think this attack was SHIELD. Following the break we learn that the Senator’s brother is Grant Ward. Wonder how Ward feels about that. If memory serves, Ward was so easily manipulated because of the abuse he received from his family.
The Bobbi/Hunter thing is getting very awkward, but in an entertaining way. While I have enjoyed every interaction that involves Hunter talking about his ex or Hunter and his ex (Bobbi) talking to one another, their body language just suggested that there actually is a real issue they will have to work through at some point.
Speaking of relationships either former or yet to be realized, Fitz and Simmons have a moment. It’s not the moment you might be hoping for. Simmons is reaching out. Fitz is trying to resist. He’s trying to not care, but he’s tipping his hand that he still does. And the most telling part is the banter. Before they could finish each others sentences. With Fitz’ current situation she’s trying to guess and is doing so incorrectly. She’s just now starting to get what Fitz has been going through.
Just as I predicted, Ward’s impulse when asked about his brother was almost fear. This was the same brother that threw him down a well. His brother always has an angle and Ward knows that. He was also very much afraid that his brother knows of his whereabouts.
May, Bobbi, and Hunter all head out to Okinawa to meet up with a contact Bobbi has that may shed some light on the UN attach. Watching her do here thing is clearly upsetting to Hunter but he hides it well. Meanwhile, this source is the creator of the weapons used in the attack. And as he put it, he “hopes it was enough to earn his way in to work on the Diviner”, which is a reference to the Obelisk Diviner. The alien 0-8-4 that Whitehall has been chasing and now has.
The Fitz and Simmons moment we’ve been waiting for has come. Just didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Fitz has a mild explosion at Simmons for leaving. But instead of working through it, she said that she didn’t leave for the reasons Fitz thinks. Then she decides she can’t handle it and walks.
Coulson pays a visit to the elder Ward brother. Senator Ward paints a different picture of what went on in the past compared to how Grant Ward tells it. Coulson and Senator Ward strike a deal. It’s a deal Grant Ward will not like. Coulson is going to turn Grant Ward over to Senator Ward and in return, Senator Ward will change his position on treating SHIELD like a terrorist group.
Ward: Listen to me, you can’t trust him.
Coulson: Three and a half weeks. I sat in this chair everyday for three and a half weeks and you never said a thing. But now you want to talk. Well its too late.
Ward: Everything I told Skye was true, you know that. I have not given you one bad piece of intel. Is that worth nothing?
Coulson: You will never see Skye again.
Ward: I thought we were rebuilding trust Coulson. I can help you. I’m still a part of your team.
Coulson: My team? You th– (Coulson is so angry he actually cut himself off mid sentence). You are not nor will you ever be on my team. You dropped FitzSimmons out of a plane. You murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig. You betrayed every one of us you deluded Son of a BITCH. The only reason you are alive is because you were of use. And the only reason you are being transferred is because your brother is of more use.
Earlier, the Belgium Government offered safe haven to SHIELD agents. It’s at this point in the timeline where Coulson discovers that is not the case. It was a setup to get SHIELD agents in one place. Coulson tries to get the word out but it is too late for 6 SHIELD agents. It was a beautiful scene.
Hunter walks in to the safe house overtaken by Hydra. Offers beer and acts very Hunter-like nonchalant. Offers to get them closer to high up the ladder SHIELD agents as said SHIELD agents bust through the windows. What follows is a lovely fight sequence. May chases down the head guy and fights him one on one. Hunter and Bobbi take on everyone else in tandem. And I really do appreciate how Bobbi’s fighting style and choice of weapon is direct throwback to her role as Mockingbird in the comics.
Before I even go into this, it is essential that I express my sense about two people going forward. Of the top 10-15 recurring characters on SHIELD. I have a certain regard for half of that more above the others. Since day one, Fitz and Simmons were key. They continue to be key. I’ve always liked Skye but I’m skeptical of what her long-term involvement is. I love Hunter’s character. From the accent to the personality makeup. I’ve like Tripp since the moment I knew he wasn’t in Hydra’s pocket. This leaves us with Mack. Mack is easily the character whose worth to me has grown the fastest in this season. He’s an ideal team member in every way. But most importantly, he is key to the progress of Fitz. I need two things to absolutely happen. 1) Fitz and Simmons need to not only return to their previous working relationship, but they also need to escalate the as of yet not realized romantic relationship. 2) Mack needs to be for Fitz the male friend equivalent of what Simmons was to Fitz minus any romantic implications. Mack needs the be the guy Fitz can BS with. Tell stories too. Be a bro, essentially. Which will help bring Fitz along and remove some of the burden from Simmons to be both.
Simmons: This is where we used to keep the hazardous biologic materials.
Mack: Guess not everything changes. What can I do for you?
Simmons: I just wanted to thank you. For helping Fitz. Well, for being his friend.
Mack: I don’t help him. He doesn’t need any. You know that guy you wish he could be? I never met him. I only know this guy. And uh, he’s a little weird, but I like him.
Simmons: I don’t want him to be anyone but himself.
Mack: You sure about that?
Mack: Because I heard he told you how he felt and you bailed.
Simmons: That’s not what happened.
Mack: I know you two have a past. But from what can see, the only thing that makes him worse, is you.
Simmons (with tears in her eyes): I know. Why do you think I left?
You’d think I might be disappointed. This is the most satisfying scene of season two in my opinion. Any guy, would have to really enjoy Mack sticking up for Fitz. Maybe it wasn’t necessary, but from Mack’s perspective, Simmons is counterproductive for Fitz. And saying it the way he did, very matter of factually, speaks to where that friendship should be headed. Simmons’ responses also tell a story. One that we don’t fully grasp yet. Is she emotional because she shares the feelings for Fitz that Fitz confessed to her? Or is it simpler. Maybe she doesn’t (in which case she should be punished until she does), and she can see how her presence adversely affect Fitz. And the last thing here I’ll mention. Simmons is making an effort in a hugely awkward situation. But the interesting fact is that when Fitz speaks to Simmons, it’s difficult. He can’t find the words. He gets flustered. And even her gaze throws him off. Yet on the same day, when Fitz talks to Mack, he is as clear as he was before the escape pod situation.
The transfer of Grant Ward begins without a hitch. They handcuff him and march him out as if he were Hannibal Lecter. Under the circumstances, not a horrible analogy. As they march him through the halls, he makes eye contact and calls out for Skye. Simmons steps in front of her and say, if I ever see you again, I’ll kill you. During this, the audio is of the Senator changing his views on SHIELD and confessing his brother’s involvement in Hydra. And the creepiest turn of events, General Talbot being gracious and even shaking May’s hand. To steal a line from Toby Ziegler of the West Wing, “…and you know how crazy that makes me. So that can stop as soon as possible.” Coulson gives the security team explicit instructions to not give Ward an inch. Shortly thereafter, Ward dislocates his own wrist to free one of his hands and fight his way out.
The final tease, is a familiar man walking into a tattoo parlor. Familiar as an actor not as a character on the show. Familiar actors normally indicate at least a recurring role. He takes his shirt off and shoulders to hips are covered with tattoos resembling the alien writing that Coulson keeps carving. He claims the pain helps him remember.