Thursday, October 1, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Laws of Nature (3x01)

Ever since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s season 2, Marvel fans have been filled with questions. Season 2 was a gamechanger in many ways, so it's easy to wonder what comes next. What will season 3 look like now? How will Daisy Johnson grow now that she knows who she is? Will Ward ever see the light? And most importantly, what happened to Jemma?!

Today, we may find out the answers to some of these questions.


The episode begins with a disheveled apartment--a photo sits on a shelf next to spilled fish oil supplements and dripping liquid. The camera pans down to show us signs of black charred flesh--it’s reminiscent of what happens when a non-Inhuman touches the Obelisk or any sort of Inhuman object. (Poor Trip. Still not over it.)

The camera continues to take us through the apartment and out to the streets, where a helicopter is hovering and an explosion is raging. We see a man--I thought it was Ward at first--standing nearby, dodging falling poles and errant flames. He’s visibly shaken and runs into the road, startling a driver who honks at him. The man rests his hand on a metal pole (construction framing?) and the metal completely melts. The structure falls on a car as he barely manages to get out of the way. Passersby are startled and the man apologizes, saying he’s just trying to get to the hospital.

Suddenly a bunch of black SUVs pull up around him. Soldiers pile out, all dressed in black, and point their gun at the guy, who puts his hands up in surrender. The leader radios for backup and a woman radios back, saying to contain the subject with lethal force if necessary. The man says he doesn’t want trouble, but that he doesn’t know what’s happening to him and he needs help. One of the soldiers tells Metal Guy to turn around and put his hands on the hood of the car. (Bad idea.) Metal Guy obeys but melts the hood of the car in the process. Somehow, the soldiers’ guns melt too. The guy runs away, exploding some cars as he goes. The soldiers pursue him, shooting him. The man runs down an alley and hides, but the soldiers quickly locate him. However, they quickly get distracted because some kind of force is coming, blowing them out of the way and throwing a car through the air.

Who could it be?

We see Skye--aka Daisy--hands extended as she shoots out her quake-like powers. She’s dressed in an all black suit, and her hair’s much shorter now. She looks badass. I got chills, and my internal monologue was something like: OH MY GOSH. IT’S DAISY FRICKING JOHNSON IN ALL HER GLORY.

She’s followed by a team--which includes Mack--and she asks Metal Guy what his name is. It’s Joey. Skye--I mean Daisy--tells him that she’s with S.H.I.E.L.D. and they’re here to protect him. Her team starts setting down weird metal things as Mack says that there are more bad guys coming. Daisy tells Joey that she knows he’s scared, but that she can help. Joey panics because he realizes Daisy was the one who moved all those people… and that car. Hunter appears and says that Joey will want to stand clear. Moments later, a white square thing with a door in the middle of it (a glorified TARDIS?) lands on the ground. Daisy puts the man in the canister and it takes off to who-knows-where. (How is the canister not melting?)

The soldiers approach where the S.H.IE.L.D. team was, but they’re gone, following the glorified TARDIS in a quinjet.

From the quinjet, Mack radios Joey and reassures him, then the canister attaches itself to a… well, what is it? It’s like the Bus on steroids. Or the Bus mixed with a helicarrier.

An SUV pulls up where the soldiers are, and the window rolls down to reveal a woman. The lead guy tells her that their target has escaped, but the woman says the target didn’t escape, he was extracted. Lead Soldier Dude says they’ll secure the area, but she wants this to go unnoticed--it’s getting harder to hide this kind of thing.

Secretly, Coulson snaps a photo of her before she rolls her window up.

Then cut to the new and fabulously blue credits sequence.

Daisy goes to talk to Joey in the canister. He asks if S.H.I.E.L.D. did this to him, but Daisy tries to reassure him.

“We try to protect people like you from the world, and from yourself, unless we have to defend the world against you.”

She says he’s undergoing a transition and that he will survive this. He asks if they can cure him, but Daisy shakes her head.

“We just learn to live with it. It may feel like your life has ended, but it just got more interesting.”

Joey freaks out, saying that he’s literally a catastrophic meltdown. Then he asks the same question I have--why isn’t the box he’s in liquefying? And for that matter, why isn’t the plane liquefying? Daisy explains that it’s polytechtic adaptive materials that are customizable. Daisy tries to reassure him.

“I’m not safe. I feel like my skin is crawling and my organs are shifting…”

Daisy tells him to take a rest; he’ll feel better after some sleep. He thanks her by name, and Daisy asks if he takes vitamins every day--like fish oil. Joey says “Not… every day.”

Daisy leaves him to rest and meets up with Coulson, who asks how Joey’s doing. She says he’s okay for now, and then they discuss the Inhumans. Joey is the third incident this month, and they’re lucky they found him. The amount of new cases like this is increasing, and Daisy worries that a new Inhuman could emerge anywhere at anytime. Coulson says they’re only having U.S. cases right now. In addition to that, their new fancy aircraft can stay in the air much longer than the old one. (See? The Bus on steroids. It’s practically a Helicarrier.)

“You love your new toy, don’t you?”
“I very much love my new toy.”

The problem is that every time a new Inhuman appears, they disappear just as fast. Coulson and Daisy don’t know who’s taking them, but they’ve taken at least five. Coulson leads Daisy over to some screens which display the picture he took of that woman. He says he has every possible piece of technology trying to figure out who she is.

We switch to the halls of a hospital, where Lead Soldier Guy and The Woman are walking down the halls. They are also trying to figure out who is taking the Inuumans from them.

She leads Lead Soldier Guy to a window, where they look in on an operating room. And the audience probably wishes they hadn’t because inside are the five stolen Inhumans that are being operated on. And one of them has a hole where their heart should be.

Wouldn’t this be a great time for a commercial break?

The Upgraded Bus lands somewhere and Joey’s canister is taken to an all-white room where Bobbi Morse is waiting to greet him, looking oddly clinical with a white coat and a clipboard.

Joey: “Who the hell are you?”
Bobbi: “My name’s Bobbi. The name’s usually short for Robert, but mine’s Barbara, which seems worse.”

For those that don’t know, Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, has an extensive comic book history.

Bobbi tells Joey to make himself at home and that the screen will run him through a series of medical tests. Joey doesn’t take this well--who would, after having your whole life change and then being whisked away by S.H.I.E.L.D.? (Wait, actually, that is my life’s dream.)

Joey says Bobbi can’t say she knows anything about him, but Bobbi surprises him by rattling off a series of facts. She stalked his Facebook page.
“I did see enough to know that you’re generally more concerned for others than you are for yourself.”
Joey asks if he hurt anyone. You can see the depth in Bobbi’s eyes as she answers that he probably did, but there haven’t been any reported fatalities.

Bobbie tells him that Daisy will be coming in later, but that for now, he’s safe. Then she leaves.

Hunter and Coulson walk through a hall, and Hunter says the people taking the Inhumans aren’t HYDRA. HYDRA has gone… well, eerily silent. (Not happy about this, I’m sure they’ll show up for a midseason cliffhanger finale.)

They’ve found the woman, who has a history with the CIA, MI6, and CEC. They wonder where to find her, and Coulson tells Hunter to bring the hardware they snagged down to the lab for testing. Hunter vehemently says no--he’s not going anywhere near Bobbi. Coulson says he’ll take it to Bobbi himself.

Coulson: “Wouldn’t want to make you do anything that would make you feel uncomfortable.”

Then he pops off his prosthetic arm, which is indeed as technological and perfect as I imagined. YASSSS.

Hunter: “Yeah, I know that’s sarcasm, and I’m choosing to accept your thoughtfulness at face value.”

Coulson tells Mack to go check in with Daisy but slips up by calling her Skye. (I feel you, Son of Coul. It does take some getting used to.) He then picks up a clipboard with Joey’s information on it, and asks what the scoop is. Joey can liquefy metal, which we already knew.

Mack: “...understandably, that development has scared the living crap out of him.”

We transition back to the all-white room. Daisy and Mack walk in for that talk Bobbi promised Joey. Daisy introduces Mack, who intimidates Joey.

Joey: “So, she’s the greeting party and you’re the muscle, huh?”
Mack: “Believe me. She’s the muscle.”
Daisy: “He looks big and intimidating, but on the inside, he’s just a soft little fluffy little teddy bear.”
Joey: “Yay.”

Daisy starts telling him about the phenomenon that changed him, but Joey stops her and tells her to just be blunt with him. Daisy explains the Inhumans. There’s a small percentage of the population with a dormant alien gene. When exposed to the right chemicals, unnatural abilities surface.

Joey: So… I’m an alien?
Daisy: Part alien. Welcome to the club. We call ourselves Inhumans.

Joey just starts laughing hysterically at this, and Daisy slightly chuckles while Mack looks worried. Joey says that at least this will make a good story to tell his friends, but Mack tells him that he’s going to have to wait on that. Daisy tells him they can’t let him leave until they know he has his abilities under control. And even then, Mack adds, he has to be stable enough that he won’t use his powers unless absolutely necessary.

Then Daisy drops a bombshell: they can’t let Joey go back to his old life.

“I’m so sorry… it’s just the reality.”
“Wait, wait, you’re not saying I can’t go and have a beer anytime soon, you’re saying I can’t go back to my life, ever?”

Joey doesn’t take this well. He loves his life and it’s taken him a long time to get to a place where he’s happy. He insists that he wants to go back to his life right now, but someone flips on the TV. A montage of news clips plays, showing Joey how terrified everyone is of his alien abilities.

Daisy: “The world’s been a little twitchy since Sokovia fell out of the sky.”

Because of this, his apartment is being torn apart and his relatives are being questioned. Mack and Daisy insist that S.H.I.E.L.D. is the best place for Joey right now. Joey doesn’t agree, though, and starts arguing with Daisy, demanding that they let him out. Joey gets so heated that he totally melts the clipboard Mack was holding, which Mack drops with surprise. Things get so escalated that Daisy ends up having to force him against the wall with her earthquake powers, which makes the entirety of S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters shake.

In the lab, Coulson talks to Bobbi about the monolith, the object that swallowed up Jemma last season. There are no new readings, and no one’s gone in there much since Jemma disappeared.

Last season, the terrigen crystals fell into the ocean and contaminated a bunch of sea life, which led to contaminating a bunch of fish oil supplements. They confirm that Joey’s transformation was due to the fish oil--while S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to pull the product, they can’t track down every single bottle. Not only that, but the crystal’s chemicals have spread to the ecosystem. Bobbi and Fitz are working to figure out how bad it is. Bobbi isn’t happy about being stuck in the lab.

Coulson: “I get it. Rehab’s a bitch. At least you’re not hoping your knee will grow back.”
Bobbi: “Sorry.”

Coulson gives her a gun they got from the scene earlier and tells Bobbi to have Fitz look into it so that they can maybe track down the mystery girl--that is, Coulson corrects, mystery woman. Then he asks the question I’m wondering as well--where exactly is Fitz?

Bobbi says he’s at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Archives, chasing one last lead on the monolith. Coulson says Fitz has had a lot of last leads. Bobbi replies that she knows, but that with him she just tries to… She doesn’t finish her sentence, but it’s implied that Bobbi, as well as the rest of the team, try to leave Fitz be. He’s had a rough couple of months. Poor baby.

Coulson: “I’d rather have him with his head in the game than banging it against a wall.”

Bobbi says she’ll call Fitz in, and Coulson walks away. Bobbi picks up her phone and calls Fitz, who’s riding in a car with some pretty rad sunglasses on.

Fitz says Bobbi can take care of researching the weaponry, but Bobbi says she can’t cover for him anymore. She’ll start, but they need Fitz back. He says he’ll be back as soon as he’s done checking one last thing.

We see the exterior of the car he’s in, and text along the bottom of the screen tells us that he’s in Tangier, Morocco. He hangs up with Bobbi and then looks contemplatively out the window as he says, “Just one last thing.”

When we return from the commercial break, we see Fitz’s car pulling to a stop. His driver tells him “She’ll be down that way,” but says that “A man like you” shouldn’t go there alone. Fitz tells the driver to just stay close, then takes off down an alley. Before he can get much farther, two men stop him. Fitz tells them in Arabic that he wants to speak with the man in charge. (Okay, I had no idea he could speak Arabic. When did Fitz learn all these James-Bond-like skills?)

The guards aren’t easily swayed.

“We speak English, my friend, but you do not speak Arabic.”

Fitz asks if Yusef Hadad is there and says that Yusef will want what’s in the case. One of the guards tries to have a look, but Fitz says he wants to see Yusef himself. The guard says “Suit yourself,” and then a bag goes down over Fitz’s head.

Mack goes to talk to Bobbi in the lab, saying that they’ve lost Fitz again. It’s revealed that at some point Mack locked up the rock (the monolith) so no one would go near it, including Fitz.

“Fitz wouldn’t go in there. He’s not that irrational.”

Bobbi says that digging for answers is the way Fitz copes, but Mack’s opinion is that it keeps him from coping.

Mack: “Look, I love the fact that he won’t give up hope, I do. But the man’s a scientist, and… evidence is pointing one way.”
Bobbi: “I know, but… I’m not gonna have this talk with him. Are you? So, let him dig.”

Bobbi shows a hint of her badassness by firing at a block of ballistics gel, starting her research on the gun Coulson gave her. She and Mack discuss it, flinging lots of jargon back and forth. Mack throws out a theory, which Bobbi says she agrees with. They decide to look into it. Mack suggests enlisting Hunter’s help, but Bobbi shuts that down.

Bobbi: “Hunter’s not talking to me.”
Mack: “You know why?”
Bobbi: “I do.”
Mack: “I hope you know what you’re doing, and this doesn’t end in complete disaster. Team’s falling apart enough as it is. We can’t afford any more trouble.”

How mysterious.

Back in Morocco, the guards drag Fitz into a room, where Yusef asks him to open the case. Fitz says he’ll give what’s in the case to Yusef but only in exchange for something else. Yusef says he’ll exchange it for Fitz’s life, and one of the guards punches him and holds him at knifepoint.

Fitz: “No deal.”
Yusef: “A man with nothing to lose!”
Fitz: “Okay, listen, cuz I’m only gonna say this once. I’ve already lost a friend.”

Fitz says that to get Jemma back, he needs a piece of parchment that explains the monolith, and he’s 90% sure that Yusef has it--in that very room, no less.

“You can either hand it over in exchange for what’s in there, or you can spill my guts in the sand and use that briefcase as a booster seat. It’s totally your call.”
Fitz! What happened to you?

Yusef retrieves the parchment and shows it to Fitz, then tells him to open the case. They untie Fitz and he opens it with a code. Yusef opens it and inside there are splinter bombs.

Yusef: “This woman [...] you love her, yeah?”
Fitz: “Yeah.”
Yusef: “Only love can make a man so stupid.”

Yusef sets off the splinter bomb and a huge flash of light sweeps through the room. Somehow, Fitz lives, and in the confusion he snatches the parchment and runs out. They chase him, but Fitz steals the car he was in and drives away. Aha! The splinter bombs were all a ruse. Smart.

Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Daisy tells Mack and Coulson that Joey, aka Metal Guy, is having a tough time with his transformation.

Daisy: “The change is hard enough physically, but emotionally it’s a whole other thing. I tried talking him down, but I blew it in there. And Mack is not exactly coming off as a teddy bear.”
Mack: “You just told the guy I’m a teddy bear.”
Daisy: “And then you told him best case scenario was his head blown off.”

Daisy says she needs help, implying that she wants to bring Lincoln in on this case. Not only does he understand a lot about the Inhumans, he’s a doctor, which means he can help them on the medical side (which they’re clueless about).

I have to pause to interject something: as they walk down the hall, COULSON HAS A GRUMPY CAT MUG.

Coulson is dubious, since last time Lincoln didn’t go for the idea. He asks Mack his opinion, and Mack says that he hasn’t been at ease with Lincoln roaming free. While he’d gladly drag Lincoln in under duress, he thinks that it could do some good if Daisy can talk Lincoln into coming willingly.

Coulson says for both Daisy and Mack to go try to bring him in. As Coulson walks by the lab, Bobbi beckons him in. She says that they checked video surveillance at multiple facilities and that they found the Mystery Woman.

“Tell me there’s a window where we can get to her.”
“There’s a small one.”

Bobbi details how Mystery Woman is only alone on the 9:35 train, where she drinks her coffee and checks her emails. We transition into a shot of her sitting on said train, and in the background, Coulson and Hunter approach.

Coulson: “You’re not an easy person to pin down.”
Mystery Woman: “Really? Because you were no trouble at all.”

All the people on the train suddenly draw their guns and take Coulson’s and Hunter’s weapons. Coulson smiles (for some reason), and we go to a commercial break as the Mystery Woman looks at them, a slight smile on her face as well.

When we return, things are still pretty bad, and Hunter knows it.

Hunter: “So, I have trouble counting without using my fingers, but I think there’s more of them than us.”

Coulson and the Mystery Woman banter a bit, and she tells him to call her Rosalind. They discuss her history with both NASA and the Department of Defense. Coulson mentions how she tends to vanish and then appear in a rival agency.

Coulson: “I feel like I’m talking to a ghost.”
Rosalind: “Whereas I’m talking to a corpse. You’re not the only one who did your homework.”
Coulson: “I guess not.”
Rosalind: “In the eyes of the public, S.H.I.E.L.D. no longer exists. And you were killed long before the agency you worked for was pronounced dead. Yet somehow, you both rise from the ashes. If I wasn’t so intrigued, I’d be terrified.”

They continue to banter, and it’s not quite sure what Rosalind plans to do with Coulson and Hunter, but she knows a lot about him.

Coulson: “I haven’t spent as much time as you working with Russian counterintelligence.”
Rosalind: “And I haven’t spent any much time in Tahiti, though I hear it’s a magical place.”

Her Lead Soldier Dude, who also tried to bring in Joey, mentions that a team is waiting for them at an upcoming stop.

Hunter: “That’s one team for each of us. Again, killing it with the math.”

Rosalind says she’d love to ask him some questions in a more intimate setting, but Coulson insists that he’ll answer anything she wants now. So she stands up and gets a little closer, then asks where he’s hiding “them.”

Next shot takes us to a hospital, where Dr. Lincoln banters with a nurse and then goes to check on a patient. When he pulls the curtain aside, Daisy is sitting on the hospital table, and Mack is there as well.

Lincoln isn’t pleased about this; he told them to leave him alone. He says he doesn’t know anything about the monolith, but Daisy says this isn’t about that--they found a new Inhuman, and there will be more. She says they need Lincoln to help them transition the Inhumans.

Daisy insists that the Inhuman abilities are a gift, but Lincoln says that it’s a curse. Daisy reminds him that he used to think it was a gift, but Lincoln insists it was a lie they shoved down his throat. (It’s interesting how both of them are now on opposite sides than they were last season.) He’s trying to build a normal life, so he wants them to stay out of it.

Daisy: “But… our heritage--”
Lincoln: “Let it die.”
Mack: “You’re not walking out of here until my partner’s said her piece.”
Lincoln: “I think I made it pretty clear, I’m not taking orders from anyone anymore.”

We shift back to the train, where Rosalind tells Coulson that the Inhumans are a threat, and she’s in charge of neutralizing them. Coulson asks her who she answers to, but she insists that people answer only to her.

Rosalind: “The laws of nature have changed, and until the laws of man change to reflect that, we can only do what we feel is right.”

Rosalind isn’t happy about all the Inhumans that she thinks Coulson has taken. She tells him she won’t hold the dead ones against him, but it’s the ones he’s sheltering that she’s worried about. Coulson asks her what she means by “the dead ones”--he explains that they’ve lost a few Inhumans before they could get to them, but they haven’t killed anyone. Rosalind asks him how they can explain the carcasses they’ve found that were blasted by some energy weapon.

Coulson: “That’s not us.”
Rosalind: “It’s not us either.”
Coulson: “Wait, is this still cagey banter or are we being honest all of a sudden?
Rosalind: “If you’re not killing these individuals, then who is?”

We go back to the hospital, where Mack and Lincoln are arguing. Mack isn’t a fan of Lincoln, due to the fact that he fought them at one point--he saw the men that Lincoln took down, and they barely recovered. Lincoln says that because of this, Mack knows what he’s capable of. Mack isn’t scared of him, but Lincoln steps closer and says he should be.

Suddenly, the lights in the building start flickering. Daisy tells Lincoln to calm down, but he says it isn’t him doing this.

They hear screaming and run out into the hall, where they see something through the doorway. A large hand picks up a guard, putting a hand in his chest. Mist (or energy?) circles his hand.
“Tell me where to find the Inhuman.”

The man doesn’t know. This creature kills the man and steps out of the shadows, then his gaze lands on Lincoln, Daisy, and Mack.
“Never mind.”

Cut to a commercial break. In case you were wondering, this guy is named Lash, and here’s what he’s capable of.

When we return, Lincoln and Lash are duking it out in the hospital. Daisy and Mack start helping with their quake powers and a gun. It doesn’t phase Lash, who cuts a hole in the wall with his finger and disappears through it.

Daisy: “We need to hit this thing with everything we’ve got.”
Mack: “Might need a bigger gun, I guess. Or my axe. Maybe a shotgun-axe combination of some sort.”

They follow Lash through the hole in the wall, and right before Lincoln goes, he sees the nurse he was talking to calling 911. She’s looking at him with a shocked expression, so I guess she saw the whole thing involving lightning coming out of Lincoln’s hands. Bye-bye, normal life.

Back on the train, both Rosalind and Coulson’s phones start ringing. Coulson says that if they’re both getting a call like this, then they both know what it’s about. Rosalind excuses herself to another train car to take the call. Coulson talks to Lead Soldier Dude and says that if he doesn’t take the phone out of his pocket, it’s just going to keep ringing. Fortunately for us, Lead Soldier Dude falls for it, and Coulson gets out of the handcuffs by detaching his prosthetic arm. (NICE.)

A fight ensues between Hunter and Coulson and the rest of the guys. In the other train car, Rosalind gets word of Lash’s attack on the hospital. Suddenly the train jostles. She goes back into the other train car, which now has a gaping hole in it and the carnage left behind by Coulson and Hunter, who have disappeared.

Back at the hospital, Mack, Daisy, and Lincoln are trying to locate Lash. Mack discovers some blood on the doorframe, and when he opens the door, Lash appears through another hole in the wall and attacks Mack. Daisy and Lincoln both attack Lash with their quake-and-lightning combination. He falls to the ground but then gets up, walking towards them. Daisy makes a hole in the floor with her powers and Lash falls through. When they get to the floor below, Lash has escaped through yet another hole in the wall, out to the city. The three of them hear police sirens and a police officer tells his comrades to use lethal force if necessary. Daisy turns to Lincoln.

Daisy: “Come with us. We’ll keep you safe. Your life is in danger.”
Lincoln: “My life is in ruins.”

He runs down a hall and Daisy tries to pursue him, but Mack stops her, saying that the police are hunting her, too, and that they need to get out of there.

We go back to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s base, where Hunter has returned and is putting away his stuff in his locker. Bobbi is sitting in the same room, and you could cut the tension in the room with a butter knife.

Bobbi asks him why he’s not speaking to her. Hunter sits down next to her and says it’s because he’s not supposed to see the bride on the wedding day. He gives her a wedding ring, which she puts on her pointer finger. She says she asked for the ring back because she paid for it, not as some kind of meaningful gesture.

Bobbi: “But thanks, oh great master of melodrama.”
Hunter: “What, because it wasn’t at all melodramatic when you whispered on your deathbed, ‘I can’t do this anymore’?”

He did an impression of her American accent and everything. It was perfection. Please give me more of Hunter doing an American accent.

Bobbi insists that while she does love Hunter, she doesn’t think they should make the tragic mistake of getting married again. Hunter says that she’s got her ring back and they’re sleeping together, so the only thing missing is a piece of paper. Bobbi adds that they’re also missing Hunter’s ring--not that he knows where it is. Hunter does know where it is, but… he’ll need scuba diving equipment to return it. Bobbi smiles.

Okay, these two are adorable.

Hunter then realizes she doesn’t care about the money, since the ring is cheap. Bobbi says she wants something to hold onto, if Hunter’s really made up his mind. About what, you may ask? Hunter’s going after Grant Ward. Bobbi can’t come, even though she’s been pushing herself to get better so she can come with him, but Hunter insists he’ll be better without her. Bobbi reaches for his hand right before Mack comes around the corner, announcing that “it’s on.”

We see the President of the United States (same guy as in Iron Man 3, hooray for continuity!) addressing the nation. He’s discussing the alien threats to the nation, like the catastrophes in New York, London, and Sokovia. The agency, S.H.I.E.L.D., that protected them brought airships raining down in the nation’s capital before dissolving completely.

As he keeps talking, we see a montage of scenes. An agent helps Mack bring a simulation of Lash to life, and Mack says they need to make it bigger. Rosalind walks through the hospital, observing the wreckage left by Lash (and on a lesser scale, the Inhumans). The president says that he’s created a new team to address these threats: the Advanced Threat Containment Unit, aka ATCU. It becomes clear that this is who Rosalind works for. Simultaneously, we see that the nurse has identified Lincoln to Rosalind and her crew, which makes him a target.

Coulson watches the President’s address, and the President quotes what Rosalind said earlier: “The laws of nature have changed, and until the laws of man change to reflect that, we must do what we feel is right.” Coulson realizes that people really do answer to Rosalind and that she’s probably behind all of this.

A reporter asks what the President thinks about reports about this incident being connected to an alien contagion. The President dismisses these as rumors. Meanwhile, Coulson watches Bobbi’s Terrigen Crystal simulation, which shows that the Terrigen crystals have spread to almost the entire world.

In his cell, Joey watches the press conference. Daisy offers him a beer and sits down next to him. Joey says that he’s lived with a secret before (as evidenced by a reference earlier in the episode to his ex-boyfriend), and that he was miserable until he came out with it. Daisy tells him that this secret, the world’s not ready to hear.

Coulson finds Fitz in the lab, where Fitz is getting ready to look at the parchment. Coulson is skeptical that this is the answer, since Fitz has thought he had the answer many times. At one point, he thought Jemma was trapped inside the monolith; however, every scan has shown it to be solid rock. (We know this isn’t true, of course.) After he heard about the events involving Pym Technologies (Ant-Man reference), Fitz even thought that Jemma had been reduced to a microscopic level. No evidence has supported any of Fitz’s theories. But now, Fitz knows: it’s a black hole. He holds up the parchment and insists that it will tell them what the monolith is. He opens it and unwraps the parchment, which has Hebrew symbols on it. It’s one Hebrew word. It means… death.

Fitz looks at the back of the parchment, looking for something else, but it seems to be a dead end. (No pun intended?) Coulson tells Fitz that he’s going to go tell Jemma’s family that she’s MIA.

“They need to move on, and so do we. You’ve shown so much heart, never giving up on Simmons, and I will always, always respect you for it. But look around. We need you. We need that big brain of yours, and that heart, here.”

Coulson continues, saying he’s having a hard time with it too. He’s on his third hand, because nothing feels normal and nothing ever will. May took off for vacation and never returned, so he lost his right hand too. But they have to accept it and say goodbye. Jemma would want them to do that.

Fitz has tears in his eyes, but he agrees. He drops the parchment and walks out of the lab, leaving that method of finding Simmons seemingly behind.

He then walks down a hall, then loads a gun and goes into the room with the monolith. He shoots off the lock and opens the door, then walks straight up to the monolith and yells for Jemma to say something, anything, then goes berserk, punching the monolith and screaming at it. He's not okay, and it hurts so badly. (But dang, Iain DeCaestecker can act. Major props.)

After the commercial break, we see Jemma running across a mysterious landscape, trekking across mountains. It seems like she’s running from something, but...

She hides behind a wall, looking dirty and beaten up. She digs through the sand, then puts some on the cut on her head. She looks around her, seeing planets in the sky, and we see her panicked face before she presumably takes off running again and the screen goes black.

In conclusion...

Daisy is awesome, we’re getting Lash, the character dynamics are on point, Fitzsimmons’ lives are getting worse, and oh! We still don’t know what really happened to Jemma. Or May, for that matter!

However, this was a solid opening for the series, and I’m excited to see where this goes. Coming up, we see where Ward is (hint: he wants to rebuild HYDRA, oh joy), and hopefully catch a glimpse of May as well!

Last season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. kept me guessing and shocked me. Here’s to another season of being confused and yet enjoying every second of it.

Have you seen the season 3 premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? What did you think of it? (And where the heck is Jemma?)

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