Chaos theory is the field of mathematics that deals with the “butterfly effect”. An interesting title choice considering Brett Dalton was in Until Dawn.
So we start up this week with another flashback to the six months ago. It feels like the show regrets picking up six months after season two and is now trying to fill in all the gaps. May and Andrew are on a date in Hawaii (or wherever they went on vacation) and are cute and coupley. Upon Andrew’s return, Coulson sends him Jiaying’s things to study and better understand Inhumans. Andrew opens her journal, which she somehow rigged with Terrigen mist, and Andrew starts entering his cocoon to become Lash. (Fun fact about this scene: We see the photo Andrew had on his desk was not a new wife or kids, but Melinda all along. Aaaw!)
In present day, Coulson is trying to get S.H.I.E.L.D. back on the map and back in everyone’s good books. As a result he’s meeting with the president and his council to discuss the Inhuman outbreak as a consultant to the A.T.C.U. in a event Rosalind set up. Daisy isn’t too keen on this (because she isn’t too keen on Rosalind), but they decide that they need a regular, well-adjusted Inhuman case to report – as Daisy and Lash are extreme cases on the opposite sides of the “adjustment” scale. They decide to send Andrew to reassess Joey.
On the Quinjet, Bobbi and May are chatting post-mission. It becomes apparent that May did not tell Bobbi what Baby von Strucker said regarding the Andrew/Lash situation. In fact, May doesn’t know who Lash is until Bobbi mentions this “Inhuman monster” they are hunting down.
Back at the base, May has little time to talk with Daisy and immediately starts digging up Andrew’s files. Medical, flight logs, everything. Bobbi pays Hunter a visit and tells him that she doesn’t want either of them to go after Ward anymore – it’s too dangerous and they’re putting innocent lives at danger.
In the lab, Simmons brings Fitz her phone. She thinks the data from the-planet-that-may-or-may-not-be-Ego might be able to be salvaged, and he gets to work. He uncovers a picture of Will and Jemma together (despite it being before they starting dating, based on her phone’s battery life timeline) and gets visibly upset.
On the Zephyr One, Daisy is giving Rosalind the grand tour. They immediately start arguing, and no one is strictly wrong. They are clearly speaking from their own experiences, and have different ideas on how to handle Inhumanity. Mack gets a mysterious phone call that seems to surprise him.
In some S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Andrew (who has recovered spectacularly, by the way) is reassessing Joey, who seems to be doing very well. He has learned to control his ability and is interested in joining The Secret Warriors. Andrew starts getting a little menacing and even imaging himself Lashing out (get it?) and killing Joey. May shows up, protocols be damned, and tries to escort Andrew somewhere they can talk. He Ices her. What a loving ex-husband!
In the lab, Fitz is filtering through audio messages and images and discovers that the symbol on Will’s coat is similar to a symbol in the old English monolith cult castle thing. Suspicious! He shows his findings to a supportive Bobbi and a skeptical Hunter. Hunter does, however, immediately call out Will on having a hog face. Because Hunter is a bro.
Mack meets up with his mystery caller and we realize – hey, it’s Lincoln! Welcome back! Lincoln has been doing some sleuthing on his own and realizes that Lash is working with S.H.I.E.L.D. – Mack and Lincoln pool their intelligence and realize that all the evidence points to Andrew; and the worst part is, “Andrew” is slipping and “Lash” is taking over. Coulson postpones his meet-and-greet with the president – they have a shrink to catch.
Andrew, meanwhile, has May chained up and attempts to explain his side of the story. His side of the story is, apparently, that he’s going crazy – because damn he’s going crazy. He sees his “work” as Lash as doing S.H.I.E.L.D. a favor, controlling the outbreak; they “deserved” it, anyway. Yikes.
Back in the Playground lab, our hearts are shattering into a million pieces. Fitz uncovers an interplanetary video message that we didn’t see in “4,722 Hours” – the really sad one where a dying Jemma confesses her feelings for Fitz, making Fitz cry, which made me cry. Dammit!
S.H.I.E.L.D., A.T.C.U. and Lincoln are going to take down Lash. A.T.C.U. is not to move forward until Rosalind says so, who is not to move forward until Coulson and his group of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents say so. None of this “tact” and “stealth” stuff matters to Lincoln, however, who literally tries to kill Lash with a kamehameha. The cage breaks loose and its basically like trying to neutralize a silverback gorilla with plasma beams that burst holes in your chest. Things go from real bad to worse when Lash drops Rosalind to her death.
Daisy, however, has seen the Flash, and saves her life by creating a pocket of air to slowly and gently lower her to the ground. Coulson didn’t know she could do that. DAISY didn’t know she could do that. Rosalind and Daisy, however, seem to be on slightly better terms now for some unknown reason.
In a heartbreaking callback to the “Cavalry” events of Bahrain in “Melinda”, May begs the Inhuman Andrew “you have to stop this”. Just like Bahrain, in probably the hardest decision May has made since then, she shoots Andrew into the extraction pod (“Welcome Wagon”?) and he re-emerges as an angry Lash, trying to escape. Coulson asks how she knew that wouldn’t kill him. She answered that she didn’t.
Fitz sees Simmons looking out the window and tells her that he thinks he may have made some progress. He then confronts her about the terrible, heartbreaking video message. He tries to dismiss it as her being dehydrated and dying, but she tells him that she meant every word of it and still does. Holy feels. And then, in what is sure to be one of the most quoted Fitzsimmons lines after they get together and tragically die in Whedon fashion, I paraphrase:
“What do we do about it?”
“For now? Let’s just watch the sunrise.”
This show, you guys.
On the Zephyr One or the Playground ‘cause I legitimately can’t tell the interior sets apart, May has to make the choice of what to do with Andrew. Based on Daisy’s newly rational input, she decides the A.T.C.U. stasis gel is – while not ideal – the best solution at the moment. Lincoln meanwhile decides to stick around, “but not because I want to or anything”.
And if you weren’t having confusing feelings enough, the episode caps with Coulson and Rosalind (Coulsalind) becomes official. Aaaw!
The stinger, of course, has Ward talking with big bad Gideon about how he’s planning on killing Phil Coulson and taking down S.H.I.E.L.D. from the head. Then Gideon gets a call from Rosalind, who apologizes for postponing with the president.
Well, that’s a twist. If she knows he’s HYDRA and is evil, I’m gonna be pissed!
Anyway, that’s another episode finished. It’s strange how this season seems to start and resolve plotlines so quickly, it reminds me very much of the old Avengers comics with two-issue arcs. This episode was another good one, with no complaints. We saw a bit of everyone, and it was more memorable than the last. I give it a solid 7/10.
I have some brewing, but I’m not ready to share them quite yet. Soon!