Agents of SHIELD: Feelings And Identities Get Exposed

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel
Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin this week with a flashback. On the heels of last week’s revelation that Lash is Andrew Garner, the show runners seem to be tipping their hand as to how. The vacation that Andrew and Melinda took six months ago. A theory that had been floated ad nauseam, but we’ll come back to that later. New beginnings for Andrew and Melinda, or so they believed.

As it turns out the droves of fans that clung to the fish oils exposed to natural bodies of water theory just got squashed in the second scene. Andrew having just got off the phone with Coulson talking about the research he’ll be doing through Jiaying’s ‘things’, Andrew opens an old book and instantly coughs jumping back out of his chair. That wasn’t dust he inhaled. Moments later, Andrew is covered with the blackish coating that is all too familiar.

Coulson and Daisy argue over the events seen at Rosalind’s holding facility while Andrew walks behind them appearing to be bored with their conversation. Daisy believes everyone should have the opportunity to be who they are, even if that means being an Inhuman. Andrew doesn’t agree. He outlines scenarios where an out of control Inhuman is justifiably a risk. Then Coulson cuts in talking about what happens if putting a bullet in Lash’s head doesn’t do the trick. Essentially right in front of Lash.

The big news of the day is that Coulson will meet with the President of the United States under the cover of a consultant for the ATCU. He’d also like Daisy to try to convert Rosalind over to her side of the fence. In the meantime, they need an example of an Inhuman that isn’t on either side of the extreme. Andrew volunteers to re-evaluate one of their guests, Joey Gutierrez.

May and Bobbi sit in the cargo hold of a SHIELD plane and Bobbi is having a one way conversation while May dwells on what the first son of Hydra said as he died. The information that SHIELD has been tracking Lash is news to May and has new meaning now. May cuts through the pleasantries with Daisy in the hopes of finding Andrew before something happens.

Garner meets with Joey Gutierrez for that psych re-eval. Joey is learning to control his power and can now use it to create things. Andrew hears ‘control’ an snaps into a day-dream where he becomes Lash and robs Joey of his life force. He snaps out of it to hear Joey mention that he could be an asset to SHIELD but his fate is in Andrews hands. He has no idea how true that is. The evaluation continues and Joey’s optimism seems to slowly but surely anger Andrew. Then May burst through the door ordering the security detail to remove Joey.

Hunter walks into the ladies locker room as soon as he hears Bobbi is back. Bobbi lacks the matter of fact excitement that Hunter displays. Without waiting more than a moment, Hunter sees Bobbi and May’s success as a sign to turn up the heat on Ward. Bobbi quickly lets it be known that she doesn’t want either one of them focusing on revenge.

Fitz sits in the lab trying retrieve whatever data he can from Simmons’ old phone. The one she had on her alien planet hiatus. Everything seems to be working in Fitz’ favor when he finds the birthday video. Then he stumbles across the first photo of Jemma and Will. To this point, Fitz has done a good job disguising his anguish since Jemma told him everything.

Mack reluctantly meets with Lincoln at an undisclosed location. Lincoln has been trying to track down his friends. The result of that search is depressing. In Lincoln’s mind, everyone at SHIELD except Daisy and Mack are suspects. And only because Mack and Daisy fought with Lincoln a few episodes back against Lash. Lincoln knows Lash is inside SHIELD and only needs Mack’s help to prove it.

Daisy’s attempt to bring Rosalind over to the, ‘we don’t have to store them like comatose popsicles’ perspective is not going well. Just before Daisy storms off, Rosalind makes a decent point. “For every Daisy Johnson there is a Lash”.

With the security agents and Joey out of the room, May begins her subtle beat around the bush attempt to get Andrew to admit that he is Lash. She describes the terror on Alex Von Strucker’s face when he explained what Andrew turned into. Andrew walks away to get some distance between the two. She persists and Andrew yells for her to stop, then turns around and ices her before her questions brought Lash out.

Fitz is refocused when he discovers the first of Jemma’s recordings. A series of audio or video recordings of Jemma talking directly to Fitz as if he were on the other end of the line each time. The story of how they first met bring Fitz to talk back to the video as if she could hear him. Jemma’s continuing thoughts of Fitz in her time of need might just be enough to draw his focus away from the image of Will. Fitz watches with tears on his cheeks hanging on her every word. And even when she decides saving her phone battery takes priority over these recordings, she smiles into the camera asks a Fitz who is not there if it would be alright if she kept talking to him anyway, without the phone.

May wakes up chained to what looks like a very large propane tank. Andrew begins to explain with May still chained. He describes the hunger and need to be near Inhumans without knowing why. Even that he broke off their ‘new beginning’ as a way to protect May from Lash. But now that she knows, he makes clear that he is still in love with her and consequently, needs her help.

A second Quinjet request permission to doc with Coulson’s flying base. It’s Mack and Lincoln. The ledger that Andrew found was actually a log on Inhuman genealogy. That’s how Lash keeps finding Inhumans, he has a list of them. Daisy remembers May seeming upset. Combine that with the news that May and Andrew are missing, and its time to turn the plane around.

Andrew’s explanation combined with May’s weakness for him is creating an equation that might just end with May giving in. Andrew moves in to the still chained May for a nice but misplaced romantic moment when Phil walks in. Coulson stays calm, but informs Andrew that if things get ugly, he isn’t alone. The conversation actually goes as well as could be expected until Lincoln hears Andrews commentary through his coms. Andrew/Lash is compelled to separate the good Inhumans from the bad ones. Lincoln can’t sit on the sideline and makes his way to where Andrew is. Less than ten words from Lincoln triggers Andrew’s transition to Lash. And now we have an Inhuman v Inhuman fight.

Lash is able to get his hands on Lincoln, then knocks him unconscious. Before he can remove Lincoln’s life force, he gets shot repeatedly by Mack. Lash stands up and Mack gets the heck out of dodge. Mack circles back around taking a few more shots. Nothing slows Lash down. He almost takes Mack’s life when Coulson grabs Lashes dominant arm with his ‘replaced’ hand. As Lash overpowers Coulson, Rosalind has her men in position and they open fire.

Lash takes each man out one at a time. Then with the men down takes to Rosalind who emptied a clip in his chest and it did nothing. Lash grabs her by the neck, raises her up in choke slam fashion and tosses her over the edge. Headed for certain death, Daisy catches Rosalind with her power and brings her down gently.

Lincoln is conscious again and overhears what’s been happening. Daisy mentions to Coulson that they have to get Lash into the containment module. Lincoln, apparently thinking more clearly whispers into his coms that he will get Lash where they need him to go. Before Lincoln can lure him, May jumps in between them. She delivers a quality speech that reduces Lash back to Andrew. Andrew just didn’t notice that he was standing in front of the containment module when May shot him repeatedly, thrusting him back into the module.

Fitz believes he may have something, a loose connection that may bring light to how Will ended up through the portal and on an alien planet. His mission patch looks strikingly close to the image found at the church a few episodes earlier. Fitz is beginning to hypothesize that someone else was pulling the strings. Someone or something that is powerful enough to control NASA.

Lincoln agrees at least temporarily to stick with SHIELD. More importantly, May has a tough decision on her hands. Andrew is sedated, but what to do when he’s not. Stasis is the logical first choice. They can put him in stasis while he’s still in human form to delay the transformation. The hope being, this might buy them just enough time to create a cure. May turns to Daisy for advice. By the end, May decides to have Andrew put in stasis.

Fitz finds Jemma looking through one of the few windows on the base to watch the sunrise. Once again, Fitz won’t go so far as to promise anything but he tells her he thinks he’s got something that might help open the portal. Fitz also mentions that he saw and heard everything on the sim card. He begins to preface his thoughts by accepting that he knew she was dehydrated and might not have been thinking clearly when she recorded those things. She turns her head slowly to look at him when she says, “I was as clear-headed when I said those things as I’ve ever been”. Jemma, without turning her head this time asks, “what do you think we should do about it? This is where I start screaming at the television. Fitz also looking forward says, “for now, let’s just watch the sunrise”.

The show draws to a close with a flashback of both Melinda May and Andrew Garner enjoying the blissful joy that neither of them thought they’d ever have. The a Ward sighting. Ward meets with Malick and they discuss Von Strucker, revenge and a grander scheme. Ward plans to cut off the head of SHIELD. Malick’s phone rings. It’s Rosalind Price. She plans to deliver Coulson to Malick at a future date. Coulson emerges from around the corner. This is clearly the morning after. Even their on-screen kiss makes me nauseous.

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