Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has just started season 3, but it’s already been filled with plot twists, feels, and many, many questions. Will we find out the answers to our questions in the latest episode? Let’s find out!
Spoilers! Content warning for PG-13 level violence.
The episode begins with a couple we’ve never seen before. They’re in their apartment bantering about whether they’ve cooked the chicken all the way through. There’s a knock at the door, something they weren’t expecting. The guy looks through the peephole and sees that it’s that redheaded girl with creepy clone powers from season 2. Her name is Misha, and she knows them. She tells them about the Terrigen and how it’s spreading. The couple says they knew something was up but didn’t realize it was that bad. Misha says that the Inhumans that happened before the outbreak should stick together. The couple asks if she’s the one who sent them a mysterious email with a similar message. Misha says no and asks if she can see it, but before she can, Lash suddenly busts through the door. Misha prepares to attack and so do the couple, who have Inhuman powers of their own. (The girl looks like she has those Extremis powers from Iron Man 3, and the guy can fly, I guess.) They attack, but Lash knocks them both down. Misha attacks Lash, and he puts her hands on his stomach and shocks her.
In a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane, another version of Misha sits, her eyes white and glazed over. (It’s kind of freaky.) Coulson stands nearby and asks what’s happening. He tells Mack and Daisy, who are apparently at the scene, to move in. (They’re working with Misha, a villain from last season? A lot has happened since the last episode.)
Daisy and Mack find all three Inhumans dead, and there’s a hole in the wall where Lash escaped. Mack radios for backup, but Daisy goes through the hole in the wall by herself, and Mack reluctantly follows her.
On the plane, Coulson talks to Misha. Well, actually, he calls her Alisha. So instead of being one person with the ability to create projections of herself (like Loki), I guess Misha is actually three people? (Which is surprisingly less cool. And poor Misha is a real person, supposedly Alisha’s sister or something, who is now dead. Depressing.)
Coulson asks if Alisha can hear him. She turns to him.
Alisha: “He’s here. He’s here to kill us. And you can’t stop him.”
Cue opening credits.
At the apartment where Lash attacked, Coulson and Bobbi have appeared on the scene. Bobbi reassures some citizens in the hallway, who are understandably freaked out that there were three murders in their apartment building. Coulson calls Bobbi “Detective,” pretending to be law enforcement. (I guess S.H.I.E.L.D. being covert now kind of complicates things and requires an occasional lie or two.)
Bobbi wonders aloud if the citizens bought their charade, and Fitz appears with a witty joke. Coulson tells them to gather as much information as they can before the real police show up. It’s like an episode of CSI.
Coulson says he wasn’t expecting this attack at all. Bobbi asks how Alisha is doing; she’s in shock (and understandably so).
They remember the couple mentioning the mysterious email, so Coulson has Fitz try to find it. Bobbi mentions that Daisy and Mack need backup on their pursuit after the attacker and offers to go, but Coulson says she’s not ready to be back in the field yet.
Daisy and Mack are in pursuit of Lash. They talk as they walk through a dark hallway with flashlights. Mack hypothesizes that Lash is killing out of instinct like a great white shark, then cracks a joke about how Jaws is older than Daisy is.
Meanwhile, Bobbi finds hair from Lash at the crime scene. (See? Seriously. CSI: S.H.I.E.L.D. edition.) Fitz tries to talk to Bobbi like he would to Jemma, then gets annoyed that Bobbi doesn’t understand. Bobbi says they could use Jemma on the investigation, but Fitz isn’t sure if Jemma’s ready to help out yet. Bobbi mentions the fact that Fitzsimmons went out to dinner, wondering how it went. Fitz says that Jemma didn’t open up to him, then asks if Jemma has said anything to Bobbi. Bobbi lies and says no. They hear the sound of helicopters, which means the actual law enforcement has arrived. They quickly pack up.
|Daisy's boots are the bomb.|
Daisy: “Ours or theirs?”
Lash is watching them from the shadows.
Rosalind says to bag everything on the crime scene, and they take the victims somewhere. Coulson asks where, and Rosalind says it’s classified, which obviously isn’t what Coulson wanted to hear.
Rosalind: “Oh, it’s not fun when it’s you, right? Can’t believe I just said that to the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.”
(I have to admit, when she said “the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” I wondered where Nick Fury was, forgetting all that’s happened in the past two seasons of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I am ashamed.)
Rosalind and Coulson talk, and Rosalind is upset that Coulson didn’t contact her immediately. Coulson says he did contact her as soon as the hostile (Lash) got involved. She wonders why they didn’t contact her before that. She realizes that this wasn’t an Inhuman transforming and that this was a recruitment mission. She wants to know how he found them. Coulson says he found them via friends of a friend.
Rosalind: “You mean Daisy’s friends.”
He asks if she’ll help with Lash and she responds, “I like it when you get all tough.” (Is there a ship forming?)
Rosalind’s lead henchman shows up, and Rosalind says the ATCU will take it from here. She knows they have other evildoers to catch.
The scene switches to a shot of Ward and Kebo looking at guns. (Aha, I see what you did there.) Kebo tells Ward that a new recruit brought them. His name is Sam Booker, but we all know it’s actually Lance Hunter. Kebo says that the new guy might be helpful on their next mission, but Ward says that the mission is level 7.
Kebo questions him about this, and Ward goes on a monologue about how there are a few things S.H.I.E.L.D. got right--in particular, the things they valued, like patience and attention to detail. Both of these things are what Ward’s operation require. Ward says that it’s almost a shame he’s going to bring it all down. (He’s juxtaposed in front of a HYDRA logo as he says this, which is either really heavy-handed or very creative, I’m not sure which.)
Elsewhere, May asks Hunter what he knows about Ward and the operation Ward will be attempting. Hunter says he knows nothing, and May tells him he needs to find out more. Hunter says at least he’s moving up the food chain. May says Hunter is being sloppy and wonders about potential outcomes--such as what will happen if Ward sees Hunter’s face. May mentions there are lives at risk, but Hunter brushes her off.
Hunter: “There’s always lives at risk!”
Then it comes to light: the reason Hunter’s so angry at Ward is because of what happened to Bobbi, which Ward was directly behind. He’s determined to kill Ward before Bobbi gets back in the field. May says that Ward’s life isn’t worth Hunter or Bobbi’s lives. She tells him to call her when he has more info. Hunter replies, “Yes, Mum.”
Dr. Andrew Garner is back on base, and he looks in on Alisha, who’s in a white containment unit similar to the one we saw Joey in back in episode 1. Alisha doesn’t look so good.
In Coulson’s office, Daisy and Coulson chat. Daisy doesn’t understand why Lash would kill his own kind when he understands how hard being an Inhuman is. She doesn’t like Mack’s shark theory. Coulson and Daisy hypothesize why he might be doing it instead. Daisy brings up the mysterious email and says that it contained a virus that wrecked the couple’s computer. It was designed to track their location. Daisy has already checked with Joey, their resident Inhuman expert, but he didn’t get an email like this. Coulson tells Daisy to share information about the virus with the ATCU. Daisy argues that they don’t have to, since Bobbi found the laptop on the scene before the ATCU showed up. Coulson says the ATCU may have come across the virus before, so telling them may help matters. Daisy says she wants the ATCU to share how many Inhumans they’ve found and where they take them. Coulson says to start by telling the ATCU about the virus.
Jemma talks with Dr. Garner about how she’s recovering. Dr. Garner throws out symptoms of PTSD that she might be feeling, but Jemma assures him that she’s fine. Garner says it’s okay to struggle and feel uncomfortable in your own skin. Jemma insists that she’s not one of his Inhuman patients. (I may detect a bit of disdain in her tone when she says this.) Garner says he knows she’s not, but survivor stories fascinate him. He mentions a Chilean miner who never gave up hope. Jemma says that she gave up hope. Garner asks if there was a particular moment, but Jemma says she’d rather look forward than back. (Is she referring to focusing on reopening the portal? Because that’s still kind of focusing on the past.) Garner reassures her that she has friends here and that she’s safe. Jemma says he’s wrong. Garner’s expression changes to one of confusion and concern.
Coulson walks through the halls with Garner, saying he’s worried about Jemma. Garner says he’s right to be worried since Jemma’s not opening up. Coulson asks if Garner made any progress, but Garner says it’s important not to rush her. Garner says he’d be happy to give Coulson a recommendation but only if Coulson listens to him this time. Coulson asks what he means. Garner says that he never met Misha/Alisha or cleared her to be in the field. Coulson says that Misha/Alisha came to them herself because she was worried about her friends. (Ah. That explains it.) Garner asks how many more Inhumans they’re hiding, but Coulson insists that’s not what they’re doing. Garner says that Inhumans have problems and he’s not going to just casually rubberstamp Coulson’s new team. Coulson says he’s not asking him to, then says that Misha/Alisha wanted to go on this recruitment mission and nobody saw the attack coming. Garner asks if Coulson is trying to justify that to Garner, or to himself.
Before Coulson can respond, May shows up--she’s back on base! She asks if she’s interrupting something. Garner bows out and Coulson and May walk through the halls. Coulson can’t believe Hunter contacted May since he told the team not to bother her while she was on vacation. They both agree that Hunter is desperate and potentially dangerous (and/or in danger). May says Ward knows Hunter’s face so he needs backup--more than May can provide. However, most of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s manpower is focused on the “manhunt… monster hunt” for Lash. May says she doesn’t know when Hunter is going in, but he’s in too deep, and it’s affecting his judgment. Coulson smiles and says it’s like May never left.
May: “But I did.”Coulson apologizes that Garner is there, but May says it’s fine--they’re all professionals. Coulson says they are, but they’re also friends. (Side note: My friend and fellow TFI contributor Izzy has typed Coulson as an INFP, and wanting peace and harmony is a very INFP trait.) Coulson asks if May left base because of Garner. She says no. Coulson offers to find someone else to be their counselor, but May insists that Garner is really good at what he does and they need him. Coulson says he can replace Garner--May not so much. Coulson asks what happened between May and Garner. May says that the reason they split up wasn’t because of S.H.I.E.L.D.--it’s about her and always has been. Coulson says she’s too hard on herself. May points out that he’s not wearing a tie. Coulson holds up his bionic arm and says he’s still practicing. She says he looks better without the tie. Coulson thanks her, and May says she’ll call him as soon as Hunter reaches out. It’s kind of a sweet, potentially-romantic moment. (I feel like Coulson is being subtly shipped with everyone this episode.)
In the lab, Bobbi tells Fitz that the hairs from Lash are deteriorating. Fitz asks if she did everything right, but Bobbi says anything is possible with Inhuman DNA. Fitz glares at her, and Bobbi says she’ll check her process again. (Sassy Fitz is sassy.)
While Bobbi double checks everything, Fitz finds a binder on the table and picks it up. It’s info about the monolith, and it’s in Simmons’ handwriting. Jemma somehow senses he’s found it and runs in. She’s not pleased he has the binder and tries to grab it back. The papers scatter everywhere, putting all of her information out of order. Jemma asks what Bobbi told Fitz, but Bobbi says they’re just analyzing Lash’s DNA. Fitz asks Jemma what all the data in the binder is for. Jemma tells him to stay away from her things and walks out. Fitz asks, “What just happened?” (Same, Fitz. Same.)
He asks if Jemma has said anything to Bobbi. Bobbi says, “It should come from her.”
On her way out of S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, May runs into Garner, who was waiting for her and wants to talk. May is reluctant to discuss this, but begrudgingly agrees to chat. She tells him that they went on a vacation to see what their relationship would be like outside of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Garner didn’t like what he saw. Garner says that’s not true and that he enjoyed it. May is mad that he didn’t contact her. Garner asks if they can meet after his class tomorrow, but May says no. Garner says he shouldn’t have walked away like he did. May says she did the same thing to him--now they’re even.
Daisy reports to Coulson, saying that the ATCU found the virus on the computers of the Inhumans they’ve found--they just didn’t spot it right away. The ATCU couldn’t trace it, but Daisy did… to a man named Dwight Frye.
(Wait, wrong Dwight Frye.)
Daisy thinks that the ATCU might be the ones in charge of Frye. She also thinks that Coulson is defending Rosalind. Coulson says they’ll go talk to Frye and see what he has to say.
S.H.I.E.L.D. and the ATCU both show up at Frye’s house. Coulson, Daisy, and Mack meet up with Rosalind, and they all agree they’d like to see each other’s bases sometime. They all bust into the apartment. Daisy finds dismembered, rocky body parts on the floor (like what happens when someone comes in contact with Terrigen).
They hear a noise from the closet. It’s a crying man--Dwight Frye--who tells Daisy to get out. He charges at Daisy, who then blasts him. Mack comes in and asks if Daisy’s okay. (This is either the best OTP or the best BROTP, and I’m totally okay with either.) The ATCU follow. They don’t know what’s wrong with Frye, but Daisy thinks he’s not guilty. Frye says, “She’s killing me, get her out of here.” Apparently the problem is Daisy, whom they kick out so they can talk to Frye. Frye says he’s an Inhuman and gets a migraine every time he gets close to a fellow Inhuman. They ask him indirectly who he works for. Rather than answer, Frye tries to run, but Coulson stops him and holds him above the ground with his ultra-powerful bionic arm.
Rosalind smirks at this, then prompts Frye for more info. Frye says Lash gave him the names of the people--all he did was track them down. Frye doesn’t know where Lash is but says that they should help Lash, not hunt him. He also says that Lash doesn’t enjoy what he’s doing. Frye goes on to say how he personally feels miserable.
Frye: “I didn’t want this… and I know I’m not the only one.”
He indicates that Lash is killing the Inhumans out of mercy. Coulson says that Lash is no angel of mercy, which Frye agrees with, saying Lash is just a guy trying to do the right thing.
The ATCU takes Frye, which Daisy disagrees with. Mack and Daisy also disagree about who would be the best person to go back to the ATCU’s base to gather intel. Coulson negotiates to get his team on the truck, though Rosalind isn’t happy about it. Daisy and Mack apprehensively load onto the truck, leaving Rosalind and Coulson to banter in an adorable way, as they always do.
Rosalind: “Do you really have a laser finger?”
Coulson: “Sorry. It’s classified.”
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Bobbi is working out, still trying to get stronger so she can get back in the field. Jemma shows up and asks how Bobbi’s rehab is going, and Bobbi doesn’t feel it’s going well. Jemma understands--she read up on Bobbi’s surgeries. Two on the knee, three in the lung.
Bobbi: “What’s left of it.”
Jemma reassures her that she’ll be back in the field in no time and apologizes for snapping. Bobbi says it’s fine and firmly tells her to stop apologizing. Bobbi feels bad for complaining after what Jemma has been through. She then asks if Jemma has told anyone else about how she needs to get back to the blue planet, saying that Jemma should tell people about it.
Bobbi: “There’s someone in particular who’s really worried about you.”
Bobbi jokes about Fitz driving her nuts with his system, which Jemma quotes back with ease, reminding us of what Fitzsimmons used to be. (I’m not crying, you're crying.) Bobbi changes the subject, saying that it’s more than Fitz. She has a familiar feeling in her gut… a feeling like Hunter’s in trouble.
We then see Hunter, who could very well be in trouble because he’s gearing up to go on a mission with Kebo. Kebo frisks Hunter, then puts him in the trunk--or “the boot,” as Hunter calls it. (Hunter isn’t happy about this.)
Elsewhere, Mack and Daisy are in the ATCU’s truck. Frye is uncomfortable, and Mack and Daisy feel like they’re going in circles. They wonder if ATCU’s employee, Banks, went back to base to clean up anything they didn’t want S.H.I.E.L.D. to see. Mack says he could also be prepping a cell for Daisy.
Daisy: “It’s his funeral.”
We see Lash standing on an overpass. The next second he cuts a hole in the ceiling of the truck. Mack and Lash go at it, and Mack is unsuccessful and falls to the ground. Daisy blasts Lash with her earthquake powers, which flips the truck over onto its side.
Outside the truck, Lash confronts Frye, angry that Frye sold him out to S.H.I.E.L.D. Lash kills Frye, saying that Lash himself is necessary, not merciful. Daisy watches as Lash walks away, and his shadow turns from a terrifying creature to a man-sized shadow. Like Frye said, Lash really is a normal guy… but whether he’s doing the right thing is still dubious.
Mack wakes up in a hospital bed, and Daisy tells him they went to a local ER to get checked out. She says he has a concussion and a shoulder injury, but he fared better than Frye did. Mack notices that Daisy is holding something back, so she tells him about seeing Lash’s shadow. She says Lash could actually be anyone. Fittingly, Rosalind suddenly yanks the curtain back and steps in, asking where Coulson is. They tell her Coulson is searching for a human now, a different mission entirely that isn’t something she needs to be involved in.
Back at base, Coulson is loading up to go be backup for May and Hunter. Bobbi shows up, and Coulson gets on the plane without talking to her. Bobbi asks Fitz what’s going on, who starts to tell her how dodgy the situation with Ward sounds, until he realizes that they didn’t tell Bobbi what was going on. Fitz apologizes, saying it’s hard when people keep things from you. (Fitz, don’t think I didn’t understand that barely-veiled reference to Jemma.)
At Hydra’s headquarters, Kebo’s car pulls in, and Kebo gets Hunter out of the trunk. He shows Hunter around, then takes him to meet the boss, introducing him as “Richie.” Hunter stands with his face obscured, and Ward asks why he’s being so shy. Hunter turns around.
“My name isn’t Richie, Director.”
He starts shooting, and the whole warehouse erupts in a firefight. Somehow, Ward and Hunter find time to angrily banter back and forth. May suddenly shows up and kicks butt, as always.
May: “I’ve taken out 5.”
Hunter: “Slow day.”
May and Hunter desperately need backup, but Coulson is still twenty minutes away.
In order to try to get them to surrender, Ward shows May a live feed of Garner, showing that Ward has found him and can kill him at a moment’s notice. Garner is at a pharmacy, and Von Strucker is there with gasoline and a lighter. Ward says if they don’t back up in 30 seconds, Garner’s a dead man. May looks at Hunter and tells him it’s definitely Garner. Hunter apologizes to her and makes his decision... he starts shooting again. He manages to shoot Ward’s shoulder before Ward and Kebo get away. May looks at Hunter, utterly betrayed, and Hunter looks shocked at what just happened.
We see blood. Andrew’s feet. Then the convenience store explodes, leaving behind no evidence. Garner is dead. I’m a mess about this.
In the short pre-credits scene, Fitz confronts Jemma in her room and asks her about the portal. Jemma turns to face him and says that it’s time… time to tell him everything.
This episode was a doozy. With the many plot lines, such as Lash, the ATCU, Fitzsimmons, and Hunter and May’s manhunt, things never got boring. This was one of the strongest episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet. And just in case we needed reminding, the showrunners reminded us with Garner’s death that the stakes are still high, and no one is safe.
I do regret that they chose to kill off Garner. He was an incredibly strong character. (Also, the fact that he’s the second person of color to die on this show doesn’t exactly sit well with me.) However, I hope his death isn’t pointless. We’ll see as time goes on. Obviously, this will wreck May more than ever, and her relationship with Hunter will most likely never be the same. It really hurts.
I’ve been seeing theories online that Garner isn’t actually dead, which would actually make a lot of sense. We didn’t see if he was actually dead, and several people on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Facebook page have noticed how scared Von Strucker looked in the last scene, indicating things might not have gone as well as he planned. (I had chalked it up to him being shocked at killing someone, but on second thought, maybe not.) It’s also been theorized that Andrew himself is Lash, especially because he disappeared on May for a couple of weeks. That’s something I can really get behind, and if this is what happens, I will not be surprised.
On another note, this is also the second time Ward has gotten shot by a former teammate and (supposedly) lived. I’m sure we’ll see the aftermath of that. Hopefully it’ll stall his plans to rebuild Hydra for a little while.
Next week’s preview indicates that the next episode will show us what exactly Jemma went through on the blue planet. I’m excited. With Jemma’s story, relationship dynamics, and the lingering plotlines of Lash and the ATCU, it’s shaping up to be an awesome season.
Have you seen “Devils You Know”? What did you think of it? Are you as annoyed/shocked/saddened by Garner’s death as I am?