This season of Agents of Shield has been a slow boil building to this point: Grant Ward and crew versus Phil Coulson and his crew. What happened in this week’s Wrestlemania-like Marvel’s Agents of Shield episode 309: Closure?[divider] Recap of Agents of SHIELD Episode 309: Closure [/divider]
Suddenly, Rosalind gets sniped. And after a long dramatic trace back, we see the sniper is Grant Ward, who then calls Coulson to rub it in. Coulson calls for backup just as Ward sends his people to kill him. Fists fights ensue, reminding us that Coulson is an agent after all, and now with a bionic hand.
The fight culminates with a product placement Febreeze bomb and Coulson leaping out a window into a Mack-driven SUV. And when Coulson gets back to SHIELD HQ, he has a breakdown, especially when he sees the matchbook from where he and Rosalind had their first date.
And everyone listens as Coulson vents his anger in tearing apart his office.
Coulson then sits with each of the original members of the team, quizzing them about their interactions with Ward, as he is looking for a weakness, something to help him gain the perspective he needs to take Ward out.
ATCU right hand man Banks is working with SHIELD to get Rosalind’s killer. He recognizes the logo and knows about their old lab, which was funded by Hydra guy Gideon Malick. Banks, Fitz and Simmons go to the base, where Fitz and Simmons have an argument about the danger of what may happen by opening the portal. At which point, a mind controlled Banks kills their crew and is then killed himself, when the Inhuman with the magnetic powers shows up and tells them they are going to meet Malick.
Earlier, Ward and Malick had a conversation about 5 stones which had been taken from the Monolith and put with a head of Hydra. Thanks to Ward’s work, they now have a full set, giving them a key to opening up the other world and with Fitz and Simmons, the minds to figure out how to make it all work.
Of course, Malick is fascinated because Simmons is the only one that has been there and come back. It turns out getting there isn’t a problem; it has always been the return trip that is the problem.
At Shield HQ, Coulson attacks Hunter because he didn’t kill Ward, before blaming himself for everything that has happened because he had picked Ward for the team. Coulson then decides he is taking Hunter and Morse and going off book, making Mack the acting director of SHIELD and not telling Mack the plan on how they are taking Ward out.
When Coulson gets the information that Fitz and Simmons have been kidnapped, he throws his phone. Mack is now going to have to do his own thing, with Daisy all in his ear about having to do something.
The magnetic Inhuman then goes about torturing Simmons while Ward works to psychologically work over Fitz. Fitz then has to sit and listen as Simmons is tortured, her screams covering the distance between them.
Hunter and Coulson then do their thing off book: they kidnap Ward’s younger brother, then make a phone call. Ward is giving a speech about how they aren’t that different and then Coulson proves it, with a quick video of the brother.
Thomas agrees to help them because he knows that his brother is very dangerous and psychotic, especially after the long forgotten push down the well. Thomas talks about overcoming his childhood, and then keeps Ward on the line long enough for them to trace his call, talking about how bad Ward has been to him.
Ward figures out too late that they have traced the call and takes out his anger on Jemma, as a desperate Fitz listens. Fitz eventually volunteers to be the one they send through the portal in exchange for Jemma being let free.
Mack and May start to dissect Coulson’s plan and decide that the options aren’t good. But Mack heroes up and they are going to be coming alongside Coulson…with Daisy’s Secret Warriors!
Malick and Ward then have a showdown: Ward wants to take out SHIELD and Malick wants Ward to lead the team on the other side of the portal. In the end, Ward can’t handle the reference to his mentor John Garrett, caves and decides to lead the team into the breech.
Jemma asks that Fitz do anything he can to make sure that the thing on that planet doesn’t come back to Earth, including letting them kill her. Fitz promises to do everything he can to bring back only one thing from that planet: Will.
Ward and Fitz and a team then go into the breech, as Coulson watches with a heat camera. Coulson then has a freakout, with Hunter and Morse having to follow as their aircraft is under attack. But Coulson never open his chute and goes straight through the portal and it closes immediately afterwards. And we see on the other side as Coulson has a hard landing and gets knocked out on a rock.[divider] Review of Agents of SHIELD Episode 309: Closure [/divider]
So, I have to say, this show is going all out and this is 9.5 out of 10 nerds. Next week’s mid-season finale is going to be amazing!
Some other thoughts:
It has been interesting how they have managed to merge the SHIELD and Hydra plotlines. What could have easily been a tangent about Simmons on the other planet was skillfully merged into the main plotline of what this show always seems to come back to: SHIELD versus Hydra. And because of the best episode of the season, Jemma on the planet solo, we are genuinely scared of the big bad on the other side.
It is hard to believe that I once believed in the redemption of Grant Ward. Even through much of season 2, there was a lingering hope that he would come around. With the death of his lady friend last year, he has gone completely and utterly off the deep end. It was a little disconcerting to see him come around to what Malick wanted him to be, and it played back into something May said earlier in the episode: Ward wants people to see him as a hero. So, is there still a chance? Is Ward the hero that gets Fitz and Will home?
- Seeing the original group get “interrogated” was a solid reminder of how far this show has come. Season one was rough, only gaining its footing after Captain America: Winter Soldier. But since then, this has seriously been one of the best shows on television.
- Mack’s director speech skills are pretty solid! The speech he gave to the Inhuman recruits was worthy of the fist bump Daisy gave him at the end.
- This was the strangest Febreeze product placement. It was clearly their product but it was used in such a unhealthy for consumers, especially dangerously.
- Well, one way to clear up all the factions is to rapidly shrink them. Done and done. ATCU folks were eliminated and the Inhumans are being brought into the main folds: SHIELD or Hydra. So shout out to whoever was in the writer’s room and said “What this show is really about is SHIELD and Hydra.”