Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D Marvel Television

Agents of SHIELD 3×13 – Parting Shots

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Time to say goodbye to two fan favorites.

This episode starts with Bobbi being interrogated in an Interpol Black Site in Moscow. This can’t go good. The interrogator is quick to tell us of the crimes her and Hunter are accused of – murdering three Russian government officials at a secret military base. He gives Bobbi the chance to defend herself, but she just asks for a cheeseburger. He then asks what she is doing in Siberia.

We flashback to 34 hours earlier, as Hunter and Bobbi are running through the Siberian wilderness. As they make it to the roadside, Bobbi pings a convoy of vehicles with a GPS tracker and sends it to Simmons, Fitz, Mack, Daisy and Coulson on the Zephyr One. Fitz confirms that they received the signal and instructs them to find transport – but Hunter is one step ahead of them, taking out a guard from a military vehicle.

Back in the Black Site, the interrogator praises Hunter’s ability to spout nonsense, but Hunter adamantly defends his story as the truth – him and Bobbi were vacationing in the woods of Siberia to pick elusive jumbo chaga mushrooms. The interrogator reiterates the seriousness of the crimes, but Hunter states that they were dragged into this by armed guards and just tried to get out of it. He then gives his secret for a good mushroom soup: dried porchini mushrooms.

31 hours earlier, Hunter and Bobbi make their way through the wilderness to the base (and Hunter steps on a mushroom). As they observe the base from their vantage point, Fitz mentions that they have a visual on it but can’t find schematics or any other information – that Petrov and Malick are hiding something there. Hunter and Fitz get sidetracked and start talking about a documentary Hunter recommended for Fitz and Simmons’ date, but Coulson snaps them back on track. He says a back-up team is on the way, and Hunter asks for the go-ahead to kill Malick. Coulson gives him an absolutely-not, as they are on Russian soil and it would be considered an act of war – they are to observe Malick’s activity and return.

As they continue to spy on the base looking for an “in”, Hunter points out that this is sort of nice, as they haven’t had a vacation in recent memory. Bobbi says that this is the job – they have to make sacrifices, like free time. Hunter reveals his frustration with the job – that they had to do a mission with Creel, who killed their friends; Bobbi had to do a mission with Ward, who tortured her nearly to death; and now they have to simply do surveillance duty on the big head of HYDRA. He says he just needs a break. Bobbi asks if he means a vacation or something else, when he spots them loading an Inhuman into the facility. As they decide to tell Coulson, they are accosted by Russian soldiers.

That’s one way to infiltrate the premises.

As the guards try to bring Bobbi and Hunter in, Hunter makes the claim that they were mushroom picking and got lost. One guard remarks in Russian that Bobbi and Hunter must think they’re idiots – Bobbi responds in Russian that they just think they’re a bit slow. They take out the guards as a S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjet arrives with backup. Hunter and Bobbi board the ship (and Hunter stows away some mushrooms for soup later), while Bobbi briefs May, Mack and Daisy on the mission – they overheard on the guard’s radio that Malick and Petrov are meeting with Russian cabinet ministers, and they have an Inhuman. Bobbi gauges everyone’s Russian, and while Bobbi is fluent and May is passable, no one else can speak it. May sends Mack and Daisy with Bobbi and assigns Hunter to herself.

In the Black Site, the interrogator hooks Hunter up to a lie detector and asks his name to establish a baseline. He claims his name is Amadeus Ravenclaw Hunter. This starts off a montage of him asking Bobbi and Hunter questions – Bobbi is cooperating, while Hunter is reciting the recipe for mushroom soup (the secret is chicken bouillon). He asks Bobbi about the first victim, and why she killed him – she claims she didn’t. The Interpol agent takes this as a confession that Hunter killed him, and starts to leave to turn Hunter over to the authorities. He points out that all this time he was looking for their weakness – when it’s each other. They drag Hunter kicking and screaming out of his interrogation room.

29 hours earlier, May and Hunter are tracking down the Inhuman that was taken into the facility and duck for cover when a patrol passes by. Hunter offers to take them out, but May scolds him for not knowing the meaning of low-profile. They find a body wrapped up in a tarp, and May identifies him as the Russian prime minister’s personal attaché (and viewers paying attention may recognize him as the “first victim” from the photograph the interrogator was showing Bobbi and Hunter).

As Bobbi, Mack, and Daisy take out a guard, Mack agrees that Hunter and Bobbi need a vacation – they never even took a honeymoon, to Daisy’s surprise. Daisy starts trying to hack into the security system, but is having some difficulty as she does not read Cyrillic. Bobbi puts on the guard’s uniform.

Petrov and Malick are discussing creating reservations for Inhumans, as a disguised Bobbi beams the audio feed up to Fitz and Coulson on the Zephyr. Petrov tells Malick that the prime minister is opposed to the idea, because his opponents are for it – including the cabinet ministers. Petrov informs Malick that the prime minister’s attaché is dead – killed by minister of defense and former KGB assassin General Androvich. He found the attaché’s position offensive, as he himself is an Inhuman – Hunter realizes that Androvich was the restrained Inhuman they saw earlier. Malick proposes setting Androvich loose to kill the Russian prime minister, and Coulson realizes that this isn’t about establishing a sanctuary – Malick’s staging a coup.

At Interpol, the interrogator reveals to Bobbi that he knows S.H.I.E.L.D. still exists and tries to get her to admit she’s working with them. She claims that they don’t, and that Malick is the real threat – though he suspiciously hasn’t been mentioned. The interrogator says that cooperating is all that will save Hunter from a firing squad.

28 hours earlier, Hunter and May are still waiting for the guards to go away. Hunter comments that the attaché’s snapped neck doesn’t seem like the work on an Inhuman, like Andrew burning holes in people’s chest. May subtly threatens to snap his neck, so he points out that she could have teamed up with Mack. She didn’t because she trusts Mack – they’re not friends because friends don’t put other people’s lives at risk for selfish reasons. Hunter says that would take a bullet for any one agent – not for S.H.I.E.L.D., for the people. May points out that he was willing to let Andrew die to get revenge, and Hunter points out that S.H.I.E.L.D. is about the mission, not the person next to you. May tries to argue the point further, but I wonder if she realizes that Hunter is being more of a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent than she is – letting her feelings get it the way. The mission was to assassinate Ward at all costs. Hunter apologizes anyway.

Meanwhile, Bobbi is trailing Malick, when she is stopped by a higher-up for not wearing a tie with her uniform. She knocks him out and tries to catch up with the group, but the door is locked. As Daisy works on getting the door unlocked from the security room, Mack points out they are letting the general go free. On Zephyr One, Fitz and Simmons examine the autopsy reports on the attaché, and find he was strangled without being touched.

The Force!

From the shadows, May and Hunter watch Malick preparing to leave without General Androvich. They wonder what his angle is – sowing the seeds of a coup and then leaving. Daisy succeeds in getting Bobbi through the door, and Mack guides her to the general. Then Mack notices Androvich’s shadow move independently of him and asks Daisy to roll back the security feed.

Fitz notices some helicopters on the radar, and Coulson recognizes them as belonging to the prime minister and party; Malick isn’t taking Androvich because the prime minister is coming there. He tells the team to do whatever they can to prevent this assassination, as a shadow near Bobbi “listens in”.

Malick is leaving, but Coulson denies May and Hunter’s request to pursue – there are bigger problems at hand. The whole gang makes their way to the meeting room, where the prime minister is. Coulson tasks May and Hunter with keeping him safe, and the others with restraining Androvich. Hunter forms a plan, that – to May’s delight – involves her hitting people. As Petrov tells Olshenko, the prime minister, that his attaché refused to see “the error of his ways” and Olshenko accuses them of being traitors, a smoke bomb interrupts the tension. May starts beating up guards as Hunter and Bobbi escort Olshenko and Androvich separate ways, respectively.

As Bobbi, Mack and Daisy warn the general to comply, his shadow suddenly tears from the wall (a shadow in the shape of Stannis Baratheon!) and beats up Mack, while their weapons appear to have no effect on it. The general escapes.

Fitz and Simmons explain that Androvich appears to be able to manifest his shadow into a being of sentient Darkforce like a stand from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and can control it independently of himself.

What did I tell you, guys? Darkforce/Zero Matter is going to be big! It’s already happening!

As Hunter is escorting Olshenko away, he shoots Petrov as he gets in the way. (Victim two.)

Simmons explains that there is no way to defeat the Darkforce Androvich; the only way to kill it is to kill Androvich himself. Bobbi and Daisy then lose a really cool fight against the shadow creature, and Daisy is knocked out as Mack recovers.

As Hunter is trying to protect the prime minister from the Darkforce stand, Mack helps extract Daisy and Bobbi runs to help. Hunter tries to hold his own against the creature, as Bobbi makes her way to where the general is giving orders, shoots him dead and surrenders. Hunter is arrested as well.

Wow, these two are Most Wanted!

Too soon?

In the Interpol facility, Hunter is brought into Bobbi’s interrogation room. They talk about the direness of the situation, and don’t see a way out where everyone wins.

As President Ellis and Prime Minister Olshenko watch the interrogations, Olshenko states that he believes they are working for the U.S. government as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but Ellis denies the existence of S.H.I.E.L.D., saying it was dismantled. Olshenko doesn’t buy it. Ellis points out that he should be grateful that these two stopped an assassination attempt, but Olshenko is more concerned with how it will look when he makes it public that three of his government officials are dead. Coulson points out that two were trying to kill him, and Ellis introduces him as an advisor to the A.T.C.U. agency. Olshenko says that in order to keep hostilities unescalated, someone will need to pay – and it won’t be him.

In the interrogation room, Coulson introduces himself to Bobbi and Hunter. He goes to ask them a few questions, and then disables the cameras for 90 seconds. Coulson explains the extraction plan, but Bobbi and Hunter refuse, saying the team and entire country is in danger – and decide to take the bullet for the team. Coulson sadly disavows them as agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and the cameras come back on.

The inspector continues to interrogate Bobbi and Hunter, asking if they work for S.H.I.E.L.D., and they claim (truthfully this time) that they do not. Coulson thanks them both for their bravery and sacrifice; whether anyone admits it or not, they saved the prime minister’s life. I’m getting Metal Gear Solid 3 vibes here.

On the Zephyr One, Coulson tells the rest of the team that Bobbi and Hunter are not coming back. He reveals they never cracked under questioning, but they were disavowed to prevent another Cold War. It was their choice, and he will miss them too. Mack is not okay with this decision.

Now get your tissues ready. Parting shots is right.

In a bar, Bobbi and Hunter are deciding where to go next, as an international agent not-so-secretly watches them. As they get ready to pay their tab, the waitress brings them a shot from a secret admirer. They look around and spot Simmons at a booth, and Hunter realizes she can’t come over and talk without implicating herself. The waitress delivers another shot and comments that they must be popular, as Hunter notices Fitz in the bar as well. Bobbi recognizes it as a “Spy’s Goodbye”. Shots keep coming and they look around and see other agents around the bar – Daisy, May, Coulson, Mack. Coulson raises his shotglass, and all the other agents do around the bar. They share one final shot with Bobbi and Hunter, in secret, and leave one by one. Coulson goes to leave after all his agents are gone, and notices one hasn’t left – Mack is still there, holding his shotglass, trying his damn hardest not to cry. Bobbi and Hunter toast a last shot to him and he downs it and leaves, as Bobbi and Mack smile at each other and start to cry; Hunter stares on in bewilderment.

They were so close. When Mack cries, the whole world cries.

After the credits, Gideon Malick is shooting clay pigeons when a young woman who is apparently his daughter shows up. They talk Russia, S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hive, and how they are going to change the world.

This episode is admittedly not the best, as the last two episodes almost felt like a too quick wrap-up of Bobbi and Hunter’s arc so they could leave to film the Most Wanted pilot, but you have to do what you have to do. I’m excited to see a show where we can focus on them and give them the fleshing out they deserve. Normally I would give this episode a 7/10, but the goodbye actually made me tear up, so I will raise it to 7.5/10. Hopefully with a thinner cast we can focus the attention more evenly to our remaining players. Hey, Lincoln might even get a personality!

Crackpot Theories and Speculation

I have none for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I do have some for Most Wanted. Veteran comic character Dominic Fortune was cast in the show alongside his niece Christina Santos, as sort-of-allies to Bobbi and Hunter – however, Oded Fehr was cast in an announced villainous role who is from the comics. While fans seem to think Taskmaster is on the books, I’m personally hoping for Jacques Duquesne – the Swordsman himself.

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