Wow does that episode title have more significance than you’d think. It’s a HYDRA episode!
This episode starts with Ward and Gideon talking evil HYDRA business. As the only remaining former head of HYDRA (that we know about), Gideon is a bad dude. Remember when the World Security Council decides to blow up Manhattan during the alien invasion in The Avengers, and Fury elects to ignore their “stupid-ass decision”? That was Gideon Malick who reported their decision. No, really, look it up.
Gideon tells Ward to stop chasing after the von Strucker family vault, because it doesn’t exist. Ward doesn’t believe him – which is probably a good idea, because as soon as Gideon leaves the room Ward is assaulted by a bunch of Gideon’s men in a super-cool fight scene. He then proceeds to torture the information out of the HYDRA goons like Marvel’s answer to Mr. Blonde, getting them to only reveal information he pretended he already knew. Crafty!
Mack, Coulson, Rosalind and a withdrawn May are overseeing Andrew’s extraction by the A.T.C.U., where Rosalind ensures us that he will be safe. To continue their game of trading secrets, Coulson allows Rosalind to visit their secret base, The Playground. Mack isn’t too keen on this idea, and confronts Coulson about getting too close to Ros. That’s why we love you, Mack.
Coulson is Coulson, however, and has an ace up up his sleeve – Operation Spotlight. He thinks Rosalind finally trusts him, so they are going to use her trust to secretly infiltrate the A.T.C.U. and see what they are up to once and for all. Daisy and Mack will be the eyes in the sky (Skye?), May and Lincoln will be the wheels on the ground, and Hunter and Bobbi get to wear the suit!
Fitzsimmons, a team again at last, are working together to try and figure out what the ram’s head symbol that was used by the monolith cult and Will’s NASA division means. They get distracted sympathizing with a morose May, who we follow into another scene with Daisy and Lincoln talking about Lincoln’s new accomodations and also that time they kissed. Oh yeah. Lincoln is also a little scared of May, thinking she blames him somehow for Andrew, and is concerned that she requested he go on the mission with her.
Coulson welcomes Rosalind to the Playground, but they are playing her from the moment she steps on the base. They re-activate and scan her phone for bugs, and secretly broadcast the information to Daisy and Mack on the Zephyr One to use as their trump card. Daisy engineers Andrew’s containment unit to send out a packet attack, which makes the A.T.C.U. servers hiccup, causing the Mr. Robot-loving IT guy to panic and call the FBI.
Mack poses as a FBI dispatcher answering the phone, and claims the attacks were sent from them to other agency’s servers (which makes no sense but television) and he’s sending in two agents; cue Bobbi and Hunter.
Bobbi is undercover as no-nonsense FBI Agent Phillips, calling back to her undercover HYDRA days, and Hunter is the sarcastic Mr. Robot-inspired anti-American hacker Dane.
They really like Mr. Robot – makes sense, really; Brett Dalton starred in Until Dawn with Rami Malek.
“Phillips” and “Dane” make the IT guy realize that Andrew’s containment unit set off the security blip, so he calls Ros. Rosalind asks Coulson if it was the containment unit, he confirms this, and they go on their merry way.
Meanwhile Simmons and Fitz aren’t making much headway in finding Will – they know this cult is ancient and performs blood sacrifices, but they can’t tie it back to NASA – mainly because Simmons doesn’t like what she’s finding and is stalling. She snaps on Fitz for being too nice and helpful.
In a pretty messed up scene, Ward hijacks a plane and parachutes to Struckers vault. Back at the playground, Coulson and Rosalind are geeking out over old stuff. They actually have a lot in common.
That tender moment is shattered by the Operation Spotlight. As May and Lincoln get in position, Daisy is walking Hunter through logging into the computer to get them remote access; however, “Dane” is a hilariously slow typer for a hacker. “Phillips” steps away to report to her superiors, but actually is sneaking away to the unit where they are containing Inhumans.Time to uncover some secrets!
Oh, no – here comes the scene.
Back in the Playground lab, Fitz confronts Simmons. She’s upset that he’s not angry about her and Will; he loses it. Of COURSE he’s angry! He goes on a huge and fairly convincing rant about how the universe itself is trying to keep them from dating. He asks Simmons if she loves Will, and she confirms it. He’s not surprised – he tried so hard to find “dirt” on Will, but there’s nothing; he’s perfect. They argue. Simmons makes the point that Fitz dove through a whole in the universe to rescue her….
…and he kisses her.
Then she kisses him back.
MY SHIP. IT HURTS. THIS CAN’T END WELL.
Polls are now open on which of these two characters the Whedons will kill first.
Fitz says “We’re cursed”, and then walks away. Simmons notices something in the book she knocked on the floor.
Back at the A.T.C.U., Bobbi opens the specimen containment unit doors and we see Andrew. He is approached by…woah, that’s not Bobbi. Gideon’s there. And…Bobbi isn’t. I’m assuming Andrew was not where he was supposed to be. Then how did his containment unit set off the A.T.C.U. security? Don’t poke holes in a really good episode!
Gideon talks with Andrew about how no one even asked if he wants to be cured. It seems he’s recruiting him for something. Lash working with HYDRA cannot end well.
At the ACTUAL A.T.C.U., Bobbi confirms that there are just fish oil samples and bits of Terrigen cocoons – the A.T.C.U. isn’t containing or curing Inhumans, they are trying to make as many as they can. Hunter sees Banks, and fears they are compromised – he runs to fetch Bobbi.
On the quinjet, Lincoln finally confronts May about why she’s giving him the cold shoulder. She apologizes that Andrew killed Lincoln’s friends.
During the tour of the Playground, Coulson locks Rosalind in a pretty fancy cell. He refuses to let her out until she tells him who she works for and how, if she has no S.H.I.E.L.D. contacts, she knew about the T.A.H.I.T.I. protocol. Ros is pretty upset – if she didn’t actually care about Coulson, she’s a good actress. She insists she doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Coulson reveals what Bobbi and Hunter found at her base and she feigns ignorance. She said no one is allowed on that floor for risk of infection…Gideon’s orders.
Well, that explains that.
As Ros tries to convince Coulson that she had no idea she’s working with HYDRA and needs to call her men, The A.T.C.U./HYDRA new security chief Giyera shows up to play. It’s Giyera’s magnetism powers (budget Magneto!) vs. Bobbi’s new battle staves that return to her gauntlets when she throws them. They have a pretty cool fight before Hunter knocks out Giyera. Banks then shows up to help them escape.
As May and Lincoln extract Bobbi and Hunter, Ward breaks into the von Strucker family vault, only to find Gideon already there. He decides to tell Ward a little history lesson – why HYDRA was created and what their ultimate goal is.
Now, this reveal is so big and has such a huge retroactive impact on the Marvel Cinematic Universe that next week’s post will literally be exploring the ramifications of this reveal in it’s entirety. I will touch on it briefly here.
As Gideon is explaining the history of HYDRA to Ward, Fitz and Simmons are explaining their findings to Coulson and Rosalind. It turns out they have a bit in common.
HYDRA was not created in World War II – that is simply when it got it’s name HYDRA. It was created thousands and thousands of years before. The most powerful Inhuman in the world was banished through the Monolith to another planet, and ever since, HYDRA has been around – trying to aid in it’s return and build an army for it to command when it does. While the Monolith is destroyed, the von Strucker family vault still contains small chunks that were cut from the larger rock (Miniliths?), and GIdeon wants Ward to help him find out how S.H.I.E.L.D. was able to bring someone back. We also see Andrew all geared up to go through the portal, and Ward tries to make him “Lash” out.
That HYDRA thing is so big guys, you have no idea! I will make you all understand next week.
This episode was full of shocking twists and enough heartbreaking moments to make a grown man have “fangirl OTP feels”. It was fantastic and this season is really knocking it out of the park. 9/10 for this episode.
THEORIES AND SPECULATION:
The ancient Inhuman that was sent through the Monolith is presumably “It”, the creature on the other planet. Is this Inhuman the comic character “The Unspoken”, the ancient powerful Inhuman king banished by Black Bolt? Not only do their powers match up (considering the Unspoken can do anything), Black Bolt would be able to open the Monolith acoustically using his voice.
So, Will is HYDRA. The question is, does he know he’s HYDRA? Maybe the ancient powerful Inhuman isn’t “It” at all…maybe it’s actually a secretly evil Will?