So “maveth” is supposedly the Hebrew word for “death (by punishment)”. It’s also the nickname of the evil planet. This can’t go well.
This episode starts on the titular planet, as Fitz, Ward and company are trying to navigate. Fitz argues with an impatient Ward over the limited data and resources they have, being on an alien planet and all, and Ward tells him to “just make it work”. Fitz almost instinctly reaches for Ward’s gun, then Ward punches him down a dune. Fitz’ is cracked open (“It” can smell blood!), and then, after threatening Jemma’s life, Ward looks over into the distance. He sees a giant ancient HYDRA logo buried in the sand. For possibly the first time, he exclaims “Hail HYDRA.”
Back at the Playground, Mack is in full director mode. Somebody get this man an eyepatch! After questioning Bobbi and Hunter over what the hell just happened, he assembles the team and starts a battle plan to storm the HYDRA castle and take control of the alien portal, free Jemma and rescue some Inhumans that are being held there in stasis. Joey is enthusiastic but confused as hell as to what the actual mission is. I love Joey. They assemble into teams of Season Two Regulars (Hunter, Mack and Bobbi) and Secret Warriors + May, and decide to sneak in the aqueducts to avoid getting Coulson’s precious Zephyr One blown up.
At Castle HYDRAstein, Giyera and Gideon (getting good use of that “villain G”, even with Grant gone) are discussing evil plans and how long the portal will stay open. Simmons calls out Gideon’s calculations for being off because he doesn’t know a damn thing about the portal. Spicy! He thanks her and she points out she’s doing it for Fitz. Malick states that Fitz is merely an offering, to show It the way.
Well, that’s ominous.
On the planet, Fitz is making fun of Ward for trying to summon a world-destroying hell beast that can smell blood, because that’s a ridiculous idea. Ward is trying to ignore him and failing. Fitz notices a familiar sand rift due to Jemma’s calculations, and finds the entrance to Will’s makeshift bunker. Before Ward can stop him, he jumps in and wakes up a sleeping Will, who recognizes him from Jemma’s video. This could get awkward. But then an angry Ward jumps down and threatens Fitz, before noticing Will. He decides the smart thing to do is go to kill the guy who lives on the planet and was just announced as your guide. Fitz convinced Ward to spare Will, and Ward realizes he was who kept Jemma company on the planet and asks Fitz if he wants to pull the trigger. He ultimately decides to let him leave after realizing that he was attacked by “It”…which means he knows how to find it. Fitz tells Will he’s taking him home.
Meanwhile, back in Rosalind’s bed, Coulson and Rosalind share a tender moment before she tells him he needs to wake up. So he does, knocked out on the planet, next to a skeleton. He cocks his gun and goes off in search of Ward and Fitz.
At the HYDRA castle, Joey melts the grate and they sneak into the castle via aqueduct. As they get into position, Simmons is escaping her handcuffs a few rooms away. From their tiny outpost, Daisy warns the Secret Warriors to stay away from Giyera, because he’s telekinetic. Joey questions if telekinetic is moving objects with your mind or reading your mind, because he doesn’t want anyone reading his mind. Lincoln reassures him that they’re all terrified and don’t want to be here. May corrects him.
May, you’re my hero.
On Maveth, as Coulson follows their fairly destructive trail, Fitz explains HYDRA’s plan to Will and basically what led up to this point. They bond a little. After noting that they’re both bleeding, Fitz tells him when he pictured them meeting, there was a lot more blood. Will tells him he can see why Jemma loves him. Will stops and tells them they just gotta make it through the canyon. They proceed.
As Simmons is escaping, she makes her way through the Inhuman containment room, and runs face to face with Andrew. He uses his psychologist skills to convince Simmons to free him, which Simmons is hesitant to do because he’s been, in her words, “misbehaving”. That’s one way to refer to a serial killer’s actions. She decides to free him and he immediately turns into Lash and kills some soldiers.
Okay, so now Lash is on the loose. Again. That’s not good. I would have put more thought into that plan, Jemma.
In the castle, Mack, Bobbi and Hunter are in place – but can’t tell where they are on Mack’s heat-signature iPad map. Hunter waves to confirm it’s them. Good ol’ Hunter. As Mack tries to organize a covert battle plan, Bobbi walks in and single-handedly kicks everyone’s ass. This is why they’re getting a spin-off, folks!
On Maveth, there is a sandstorm going on. Not good. Sandstorm means “It”. Will uses the cover of the storm to take out a few HYDRA goons, and Fitz and Will run off.
In the castle, Daisy walks into a room and blasts two HYDRA nobodies with her seismic abilities. As she’s looking around for something of use, Giyera sneaks in and uses his telekinesis to pick up an assault rifle and fire at her. Joey dives in front her, taking the bullets – but he uses his abilities to melt them before the hit him, splattering on his shirt. Lincoln takes the moment of confusion as an opportunity to use his abilities to fry Giyera with a blast of lightning. An excited Joey happily exclaims that he’s bulletproof. I LOVE JOEY.
And people said there weren’t enough superpowers on the show.
On the planet, Ward realizes Fitz and Will escaped in the dust storm and tells his goons to find them, before they are all shot (including Ward) by Coulson. Ward is the only one he leaves alive, and he makes him lead the way. Ward talks about how enlightened he is now, how he feels like he has a higher purpose. Coulson makes him shut up and keep walking. After spotting Fitz and Will through a mix between binoculars and a telescope (are monoculars a thing?) and checking Ward’s watch timer, they decide to move faster.
Outside the castle, a guard catches Simmons before May takes him out. Simmons tells her Lash is loose. She takes Simmons to the team and they regroup in the portal chamber. They barricade the doors and prepare for the first wave of the HYDRA onslaught. Simmons tells them HYDRA’s plan of bringing back “It”, and then they realize May went back to find Andrew. In the Inhuman chamber, May finds dead guards and lots of dead Inhumans from the containment cells – but no Lash. In the portal chamber, they discuss what they should do if “It” comes back instead of Fitz and Coulson. They decide they can’t leave the Inhumans behind – before May informed them Lash killed them all. This doesn’t appear to sit well on Jemma’s conscience. Malick orders them to breach the chamber and take back the portal for HYDRA in the next fifteen minutes.
As our S.H.I.E.L.D. team is getting everything barricaded, Mack orders everyone to leave. He is the captain, and he will go down with the ship. He delivers a kick-ass speech about how he can’t afford to lose all their best agents in one fell swoop. If he doesn’t make it out, May is the director. Daisy stays because she can open the portal; everyone else leaves. On Zephyr One, May orders them to arm all weapons systems and take the plane up to 20,000 feet.
As Fitz and Will make their way to the portal site, they stumble across an ancient destroyed city. Will tells him there were several ancient cities before the civilization went to war and got themselves killed.
But how could Will know…?
As Fitz inspects Will’s injured leg and realizes it is decomposing, Will tells him that the REAL Will died saving Jemma. Then he attacks Fitz. Coulson sees It about to bash Fitz’ head in with a rock, so he shoots him. Ward takes this opportunity to tackle Coulson off the ridge. The start fist fighting as the portal opens (which gives Daisy a headache and nosebleed. Oh yeah, forgot about that.) Daisy and Mack grab machine guns and prepare to shoot anything that isn’t Coulson or Fitz coming out of the portal.
On Maveth, the “It” Will zombie starts walking towards the portal. Fitz shoots it a few times.
On Zephyr One, May gets prepared to blow the castle.
On Maveth, Coulson starts kicking the living hell out of Ward, asking him how many people he’s killed.
As Fitz helplessly waits, he notices ZombieWill getting up and walking towards the portal again. He shoots him in the back with a flare in a moment of excellent cinematography, lighting him on fire.
In the base, A nosebleeding Daisy tells Mack they are out of time, and then passes out.
As Fitz screams to Coulson that the portal is closing, Coulson looks down at Ward and sees Rosalind. He uses his robot hand to slowly crush Wards ribcage like cracking an egg. He takes off his hand and leaves its next to Ward.
After three seasons, Grant Ward is dead.
A tentacle thing starts oozing out of the mouth of Will’s flaming corpse as Fitz and Coulson run to the portal. Mack calls for May to blow the castle, and she fires the missiles.
Then the extraction pod fires into to air, as Mack exclaims that he’s bringing them in. Everyone looks dumbfounded and relieved and Simmons can barely contain her excitement.
As the team claps, Daisy walks out of the pod and kisses Lincoln. Mack walks out of the pod and Bobbi hugs him. Fitz walks out. Coulson walks out and May hugs him. Jemma anxiously walks up the pod door and…
Will isn’t there. She is crushed. I am crushed.
Never have I shed a tear at the sinking of a rival ship.
As a heartbroken Jemma hugs Fitz, Fitz and Coulson share a knowing look.
OH MY GOD.
But it’s not!
The post-credits scene!
As Malick is driving, he is stopped on the road by someone in fatigues holding a robot hand,
As Malick proclaims “I’ll be damned…” we see a zombie Ward, with something crawling in his face, holding the hand.
THE REAL END.
Oh God. Oh my GOD.
WARD IS STILL AROUND. AND HYDRA ACHIEVED THEIR GOAL. If you don’t think that’s a big deal, go read my post about HYDRA.
IT’S A BIG DEAL.
So this episode was insane. Alien planets, a team of superheroes, explosions, castles, deaths, ZOMBIES. Brett Dalton basically gets to play a completely different character every season. This episode is one of the greats, and is another 10/10 for this season. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for what’s in store.
THEORIES AND SPECULATION
So what the hell possessed Will and Ward? In the comics, there is a creature HYDRA creates called “The Hive”, which is intended to be the physical embodiment of HYDRA. It is a humanoid mass of tentacles, and it has the ability to possess and effectively reanimate the dead. Could this be an adaptation of The Hive, where it is a creature they worship instead of one they created? Is the HYDRA logo really an octopus, or just a skull with tentacles coming out?
So Lash is still on the loose…and now we have “It”, which is an ancient Inhuman. I hardly feel Lash will deem “It” worthy. Now that could be a battle worth watching!