Agents Of SHIELD Recap: The Obligatory Not Quite End Of Season Cliffhanger Episode
We open this week’s Agents of SHIELD in a juvie unit in Massachusetts. We’re going back in time to meet young Grant Ward being met by ageless John Garrett. Ward was a Troubled Youth and Garrett is intrigued by his capacity for evil, since it sounds like he tried to burn down his family house with his brother in it. He’s about to be tried as an adult for the whole burning the family house down, but John Garrett is here to rescue him and recruit him. Young Grant Ward looks thick as a brick and Younger John Garrett is way more whispery-menacing and aggressively smiley.
Ward agrees to Garrett’s probably evil plan, and Garrett busts him out.
The not-evil SHIELDies — at least the FitzSimmons and Skye part — are sequestered in a hotel room somewhere watching news reports of Deathlok Mike Peterson murdering a drug lord in Bogata. Coulson calls them into his room so that he can make them watch a presentation that he is giving on one of those 3M giant post-it note easel thingies you buy at OfficeMax.
Coulson has figured out that Cybertek is the central hub of all the conspiracies and it is because Garrett has been developing Centipede — remember Centipede? you probably forgot all about Centipede — and needs the GH325 super juice to regenerate the super soldiers.
Skye has a cool computer malware plan to map all of HYDRA’s systems but she didn’t finish installing it so now she needs to plug a thumb drive to one of their computers. We checked with actual computer people and this makes no sense whatsoever, but it will allow SHIELD a reason to sneak into something dangerous, which is their raison d’etre. They’re totally sneaking into some Cybertek facility. Also, too, Coulson is mad that Garrett took his plane and he wants it back.
Garrett and Ward are chatting about their cool Deathlok murder guy, but Ward just does not seem to be feeling it. Garrett just wants Ward to be happy that all of their evil plans are finally coming together. Raina (we have to look up her name every single time, dammit) has almost finished synthesizing the GH325 and they’re uploading all the data to some central servers blah blah blah all filler for the plan where SHIELD sneaks in.
Skye and Fitz and Coulson are planning the big deception that will get them into Cybertek, but Fitz is all sad panda because he loves him some Ward and doesn’t believe he is evil.
Trip comes in with a big suitcase full of ancient SHIELD spy stuff, including something that looks just like a hair dryer, and he and Coulson go nuts over it.
Back to Young Ward, who is still sullen and lumpy. Garrett is taking him on some sort of nature walk and explaining how he needs to kill his own food and make his own place to sleep and if he doesn’t like it, he can just go back to jail. Oh, and then he leaves him alone in the wilderness and tells him he’ll be back in a couple months. Sadly, we know they both survive.
Using fake names, but still billing themselves as ex-SHIELD scientists, May and Coulson have talked their way into a meeting with Cybertek while Skye hangs out in a car outside snooping via UHF except it isn’t working because she can’t find any digital signals or computers at all and FitzSimmons are basically Cyrano-ing for Coulson and May and why on earth wouldn’t you just send the actual factual scientists in and christ this is complicated. Also, Coulson and May are dressed like FitzSimmons, which is equal parts adorable and weird.
Skye has figured out that something is mysterious about the fourth floor, so Coulson and May handily dispatch their escort out of the building and head back up. They go to where they think a mainframe should be, but instead it is just row upon row of cabinets, because Cybertek keeps all of its evil plans in hard copy, apparently. Really??
Back on the plane, poor Mike Peterson is hassling Raina about how she is doing evil things all by her lonesome whereas he has a giant bomb embedded in his head that makes him do the evil, and then Raina sort of drifts off dreamily into talking about how she wants to know what is inside people and maybe she and Skye are the same inside because they are both special people.
Coulson and May are thumbing through the millions of pages of hard copies and handily find the Deathlok section and totally have time to thumb through it and find out that John Garrett his very own self was the first Deathlok. Since they can’t actually digitally transfer anything, they just pitch the file cabinet out the window and then Trip shoots an arrow — INTO A DROP CEILING — for May and Coulson to zipline down to the waiting truck. During all this, no one at this secure research facility seems to notice.
Back to the travails of Young Grant Ward, who is getting rained on in the wilderness and then we cut to present day Grant Ward, who is still mad that John Garrett keeps trying to kill him, basically. Garrett tells him how weak he is but then conveniently has some sort of chest pain or seizure or something with his Deathlok part and Ward has to stablize him.
Garrett started Deathlok back in 1990, our SHIELD friends tell us, and then they realize that Garrett wants the GH325 Super Jesus Juice for himself. This gives us yet another opportunity for Fitz to talk about how maybe Ward wasn’t born bad, he’s just drawn that way.
John Garrett is dying, he tells Ward in a raspy voice. He has a month or two left, so he needs to get that sweet sweet rejuvenation juice stat. So this is about Garrett wanting to live forever or super soldiers or we guess it can be both, but this was a lot more interesting when we thought it would be more hot hot HYDRA action.
Coulson has figured out that Garrett and Ward are in Cuba and oh look Ian Quinn is also there too. While Garrett gets a haircut. Ward goes back to talk to Raina because he hopes she’s synthesized the Keep Garrett Alive Forever drug, but she just wants to talk about the special things inside Skye instead. Raina tells the same story we heard many episodes ago about how he whole village housing infant Skye was destroyed by monsters but the twist now is that her parents were the monsters and we don’t even understand what is going on about that.
And we don’t get to find out for awhile because we’re back to Young Grant Ward, who has turned into super survival guy in the six months Garrett was gone. Garrett shows off what an awesome cool good shot he is and tells Ward that one day he can be that good also too.
Modern day Ward is not telling Garrett about Skye’s secret special insides that he learned about from Raina. Ooh, deceptive Modern Ward!
SHIELD has made it to Cuba, but they’ve split into two teams like they always do, because that works out so well for them every time. Coulson, May, Trip, and Skye are watching the barbershop headquarters beneath which Garrett has done much of his evil, while FitzSimmons are watching the plane, which they’ve easily located of course. FitzSimmons have been ordered not to engage but you know they’re going to sneak on the plane anyway while at the same time Skye is going to sneak into the into the computer that lives beneath the barbershop to plug in her ridiculous thumb drive but then oh look here is Grant Ward finding FitzSimmons. Problem.
Flinging ourselves back in time, we’re now only 10 years in Ward’s past, and now present-day Ward the actor gets to play Ward again, which was good because Young Ward was heavy-browed as fuck. Garrett is about to drop some truth bombs on Ward about how he stopped loving SHIELD when they abandoned him in Sarajevo, and he tells Ward all about how cool HYDRA is and recruits him.
Back on the plane, Today’s Ward has frogmarched FitzSimmons into the presence of John Garrett, but Fitz has retained one vintage piece of SHIELD tech that throws off an EMP, which short-circuits Garrett’s Deathlok bits. Ward is doing his very bestest to save him while Fitz takes another whack at telling Ward that deep down inside, he’s a good guy.
Back to Ward minus ten years with John Garrett congratulating him on getting into SHIELD and reminding him that he can never get attached to anything because he will be secret HYDRA inside SHIELD. Then Garrett tells Ward to murder the dog that has been his only companion for several years to show what a strong dude he is.
We don’t get to find out yet if Ward is a dog-murderer, because present-day Garrett is ordering present-day Ward to murder FitzSimmons ASAP instead of helping Garrett not die. Raina is left to help Garrett not die. He’s already got Centipede juice in his blood, but it is the only thing keeping him alive unless Raina will shoot him full of GH325.
Meanwhile Ward is chasing FitzSimmons around the plane, which gives Fitz ANOTHER opportunity to tell Ward he knows he is a good person. We also see that Ward didn’t murder the dog because he has some shred of humanity, except he does actually murder the dog later and he also shoves FitzSimmons out of the plane in a metal box to die.
We don’t even know what part of a plane that is that is some sort of airtight thing you can just eject?
Raina shoots Garrett full of GH325 and for a moment it looks like he is going to do that weird short-circuit/burn up from the inside thing that happens to the Centipede soldiers, but instead he just spasms and then is fine. Raina asks him what he’s feeling. “The universe,” he gasps. Really??
Coulson, Trip, May and Skye have just gotten themselves into the computer room beneath the secret barbershop lair, but they’re greeted by a whole bunch of Centipede soldiers, which seems bad.
Ian Quinn has oozed his way into a meeting with some generals to brag about how he got poor Mike Peterson to kill a drug lord in Bogata without any help, which is probably interesting to the military, since they would like to buy some super soldiers, especially because HYRDA is scary. Clever plan evil Ian Quinn!
Next week is the final episode of the season. Will this show have the balls to kill off a chunk of its cast, which would be the best way to get out of this year, or will everyone miraculously survive? We’re sadly voting the latter more likely. See you next week.