OK, that just happened. We now know how The Winter Soldier put a big dent into the storyline of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
We have intrigue and subterfuge throughout the episode. We don’t know how to trust, even at the very last moment of the show.
First, we see that John Garrett is in a pinch being chased by drones sent from the Hub by Victoria Hand. Hand believes that there are dirty agents all over the place once the events of the Winter Soldier start to grind into motion. Garrett gets out of the ‘pinch’ but the threat continues…
Then we jump back to the Bus where the stand off with May extended into this next week’s episode. Guns are trained on May but she still won’t reveal much of the plan to monitor Coulson. She does reveal that Fury is her contact who has been laying low (we now know that Fury sniffed out the Hydra months before these events). As the conflict heats up, the Bus riders start to question each other as the factions became more and more fractious. What ultimately happens with this arch is that the Bus riders realize that May isn’t their biggest nor most immediate threat. May gets iced as they discuss what could happen once at the Hub. where the Hand is intent on eliminating those on the Bus she believes to be duplicitous.
Simmons and Tripplett (Simmlett) are still at the Hub investigating Skye’s blood, which Simmons reluctantly reveals. Simmlett now are playing their own cat and mouse to test each other’s loyalties, this dance carries into their interaction with the Hand who shows up to test their loyalties herself. Just when we think the Hand is dirty…..
Garrett gets on the Bus after more trouble in the sky. The Bus finally gets back to the Hub where they are met with hostility: S.H.I.E.L.D agents shooting out the windows of the Bus and blowing the hatch open to expose the belly of the ship. Ward and Skye are sent off the blow up….something, while May, Coulson, Fitz, and Garrett work to disable….something. Ultimately, we find that during a standoff with armed agents, Garrett isn’t (or is) who we thought he was.
That’s not the end though, in a moment I had been dreading Skye and Ward express feels to one another and share a kiss. Ward is questioning himself because he killed Thomas Nash and also expressing that he did it for Skye because he cares. He then exits a closet and dispatches about 8 other SHIELD grunts before coming back to Skye who finally acknowledges that he is not ‘boring’ (wink, wink).
When Skye and Ward blow up the whatever, that kills the lights and May and Coulson take advantage of Garrett’s monologuing to get the jump on his stooges. The fight continues as May wins while Coulson struggles with Garrett. Fitz shoots a guy and then gives Coulson a night-night stick that EMPs Garrett. The battle is won.
The Hand observes that Captain America has downed three Hellicarriers in DC and SHIELD has suppressed HYDRA for the time being. She notes that they have lost East Africa and ‘The Treehouse” and she appears uncertain of what comes next as HYDRA and SHIELD may no longer be active. We get a silent scene of the Bus riders observe the fallout as many SHIELD agents and employees are in custody. Ward appears to be devastated that his former S.O. is in custody while Tripplett is screaming about trust as Garrett is walked out in chains.
That is it..right? No, the tag for the episode show that the Hand is transporting Garrett to the deepest, darkest hole when Hand asks Ward if he wants to put Garrett in an even deeper and darker hole…a grave. I thought he would say no and say that the Fridge would be enough, but Ward did not do that. He stood, shot the guards to Garrett’s left and right, and then proceeds to give the Hand a gut shot with 2 more shots in the head to finish her. Brutal, much like the Winter Soldier.
Garrett smiles at Ward and Ward nods back with a smirk…whew!
A few thoughts:
1. We still do not have any non-scientific mysticism: Garrett proved to be the ‘Clairvoyant’ and no magic was involved.
2. Ward will make an interesting bad guy for the crew, but is he really a bad guy, he never said Hail Hydra? Does Ward have some of the Beserker in him, like Lorelei told him in Yes Men.
3. The Hand grew on me and now she is gone!!!! I wanted H.A.M.M.E.R.
4. Was the Index lost or publicized when the Widow open sourced SHIELD’s private information.
5. WINTER SOLDIER SPOILER: We know that Strucker is experimenting on people with Loki’s Chitauri staff and producing “special” people, so we won’t have mutants, but what will we have and how that play out on MOAS?
6. Will we eventually lose the Bus? The episode was somewhat cathartic in its destruction of the Bus, and a preview has been released showing that the Bus riders will have a new hangout somewhere that also holds Patton Oswalt.
7. Will the new McGuffin for the rest of the season be HYDRA or Ward trying to gather the 0-8-4s that were on the Bus?