Hot damn that was a fun episode. There was so much going on, it felt like Ocean’s Eleven. If there is anything to take away from this episode (and there is a LOT), it’s that Ward is one of the best villains in the MCU at this point. He still lags behind Loki (come on it’s not even fair) but he’s got to be top three. Loki - Ward/Pierce. It’s a tie. I guess you could say top four if you count Winter Soldier, but he was never really a villain. Winter Soldier was more like a tool for Pierce to use.
1. I so called it last week. Last episode we saw Price make a phone call to Malick of the old World Council, and she expressed regret that she couldn’t meet him at NORAD and deliver “him.” We all assumed it was Coulson she was delivering, because she was eeeevil. Seems like Coulson thought so, too. But last week, I figured she wouldn’t be Hydra, but rather part of the non-Hydra aspect of that secret NASA group that sent Hogface as a sacrifice (HARSH). I also figured that Malick was keeping his two hobbies mostly separate, and that he was using the ATCU to build a Hydra army of Inhumans. Nailed it.
2. Back to Ward. Holy hell he’s a good villain. He isn’t troubled, or flawed, or on the fence about what he’s doing. He’s a man with a plan and ain’t no pretty stewardess going to get in his way. That opening fight scene was brutal, and he showed (almost) no mercy. Scrappy Ward is amazing to watch. He had fun stabbing that dude. And of course, you have to incorporate what you love into your work. Sadly for Hydra redshirts one, two, and three, Ward loves him some fire and pain.
And holy shit, the way he sweet talked that stewardess right before ejecting himself from the plane. Fly Hydra: It’s not about where you’re going - it’s about what you’re willing to do to get there. And you’ll probably not make it there, either.
Ward isn’t on top of the food chain. Yet.
3. I love how right up until Coulson revealed project Spotlight (which sounded a little too close to Insight to me, but I’ll give him a pass. He wasn’t necessarily around when Insight began), Mack was super skeptical. When Price put her hand on Coulson’s shoulder as they watched the ATCU ship Andrew away, Mack totally gave them the stink eye. Go back and watch. It was subtle but one of my favorite parts of the episode.
Also, Mack standing in Coulson’s office, inspecting the Axe while he waited, was super intimidating. If I were Coulson and I saw that, I probably would have got the hell out of dodge before Mack even realized I opened the door. NOPE.
Bonus: Coulson, when trying to calm Mack, said “Easy, Mack.” It made me hungry.
4. Speaking of Ocean’s Eleven, Spotlight was a lot of fun. I knew Coulson is a man with a plan. He IS the best Avenger, and is unflappable. AIN’T NO PRETTY LADY GON’ GET IN HIS HEAD. The plan was fun to watch unfold, and I felt legitimately anxious for Mockingbird and Hunter deep in the lion’s den. It was cool seeing Daisy coach Hacker Hunter (one of the better variants of the Hunter line) through logging in to that terminal. And the way Mockingbird just waltzed into the lab with Daisy’s help was priceless. Open Sesame indeed.
I laughed out loud when Hunter corrected the ATCU liaison. “Redcoats, actually.” He would.
And Lincoln. Holy shit we can’t forget about Lincoln. Lincoln shit a brick when May volunteered him to go with her for the extraction end of Spotlight. My ass clenched for him. That had to be the worst few hours of his life, just waiting for May to do something. That look on his face when she summoned him as they left Daisy and Mack in the computer room. TOTAL deer in headlights. Please let May drive the Quinjet more often. That dismount from Zephyr one was glorious. Lincoln probably didn’t think so, but hey, I didn’t try to kill her husband.
May is legitimately hurt, and despite Lincoln’s ass-clenching and will making, just wanted to apologize to him. She feels responsible for Andrew because she should have seen it earlier. May will learn soon (at the pace of this show, maybe in three weeks’ time) that she couldn’t have seen it. Just like she is a great agent, Andrew is a master of psychology, and used what he knew to hide his secret from everyone. That, coupled with her not having any reason to dig, and the fact that she was gone playing golf for most of the time, shows that it wasn’t May’s fault.
But she’s hurt worse than Bahrain, and just like Rousey, she’ll come back stronger.
5. FitzSimmons. GOD DAMN YOU UNIVERSE, LET THEM BE. These people deserve each other, and the tension between them with Fitz helping Simmons bring back the man she fell in love with was thick. People put the first season of this show on blast because of how slow it was up until Winter Soldier dropped, but that time was used to establish actual characters and connections between them. Would FitzSimmons feel so real if they hadn’t had that time to develop their friendship? Nope. We are completely invested in these two, thanks to those early developmental episodes. TAKE THE TIME.
But I digress. Of course Fitz is mad and hurt that he’s helping the woman he loves rescue the man he loves. We’ve all been there. And Simmons is frustrated because Fitz is so helpful and always there despite her not reciprocating the feelings (yet). Hogface was there for Simmons when she needed it, and helped get her home. He gave her hope. And Fitz did jump through a hole in the universe for her. They seem cursed, indeed.
But despite all that, they still make a wonderful team. Despite their “fight,” they still managed to figure out that Hydra was involved with the monolith and the sacrifices all along.
6. Earlier, I mentioned that after last episode, we all assumed Price was going to deliver Coulson to Malick. We were all wrong. Malick really wanted Lash, and it looks like he’s going to be making his own trip to Hell and back. Something to think about during our extra week between episodes: When they do send Lash through the portal (lets be honest: Ward will figure out how to trigger Lash without Andrew’s consent, and he will be sent to that planet) he will be in that SHIELD containment unit. Also remember: That containment unit sends out a powerful GPS signal and tries to locate wifi wherever it goes. I’m calling it: When they send Lash to that planet, SHIELD (specifically, FitzSimmons because they rock) is going to be able to pinpoint where in the universe that planet is, and it will help them figure out how to bring Hogface back.
7. That Hydra-Inhuman fellow who could control metal (that’s what it looked like - like he has powers similar to Joey and a lot more control) was pretty sweet. Even sweeter? MOCKINBIRD AND HER BADASS BOOMERANG BATONS. I cheered. At 11:15 last night, in my dark living room because this show must be viewed as if it is being shown in a theater because otherwise there is a lot to miss, I cheered when she started whoopin’ ass with those bad mama jammas. Coulson needs to put Mockingbird into the field more. I love watching her fight. Hot damn.
8. Did Ward ride that chunk of cement down? Nooice.
9. So Malick has a chunk of the Monolith in a safe in podunk Germany, I used to think the Monolith was Eldrac, an Inhuman, and thought so because of the face on that stone. I was wrong. But now we know those were samples taken by Hydra (probably) over the centuries. My question: We saw one sample; there were five cutouts on the Monolith. That means that somewhere, someone has four more of those little shits. I wonder where they are?
10. While I was perusing the intergoogle last night, I stumbled upon this thread on Reddit, which posits that Red Skull was trying to get the Tesseract not only to make weapons, but as an alternative to the Monolith. The Tesseract allows its users to travel to anywhere in space. Maybe Red Skull wanted the Tesseract because he didn’t have the Monolith. Go read that thread, it’s an interesting idea, and a pretty solid reverse-canoning Red Skull’s motivations.
Also think about what Malick said. Hydra has many heads, and it is entirely possible that each has the same overall goal, while at the same time are completely in the dark about the others’. Malick’s head was focused on the Monolith. Red Skull and Pierce wanted to rule the world. Ward wants revenge. Strucker wanted enhanced soldiers (much like Malick). I wonder what Zemo (if he’s attached to Hydra), wants.
Speaking of, Malick said he was building an army for the true leader of Hydra (who they assume is on that planet) when it returns to Earth. Since the Kree originally created the Inhumans as a weapon, could Hydra be an ancient cult built to worship the Kree? The Kree were the original masters of the Inhumans. Maybe the leader Hydra looks up to is an ancient Kree, or maybe even a Kree faction that is still bent on using the Inhumans?
It’s totally not Thanos, though, right? He used the Kree (Ronan mostly) for his own ends, but I don’t think he was involved with Kree for very much before that. He saw a zealot in Ronan, and used it for his own advantage. I wonder if the Kree or faction of Kree that Hydra is preparing for is the same one that Ronan came from? How freaking awesome would it be if we got a reference to Guardians of the Galaxy by a visiting Kree in the near future? THE POSSIBILITIES!
11. So we’re off next week, only to return December 1. Agent Carter picks up January 5, and SHIELD comes back March 8. This was episode 8 of 24. We will be through episode 12 by the time Carter comes back, leaving 12 for the second half of the season. Assuming no breaks, that means there are only 8 episodes between its return and Civil War, meaning we have at least 4 episodes that take place after and deal with whatever happens in Civil War. THINK OF THE REFERENCES AND CAMEOS!!!