Friday, February 12, 2016

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.10: "Maveth"

“I’ll be damned. Tatooine.”

The fall season of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. certainly ended with a bang.Fitz and Coulson both end up on the planet at the other end of the portal, with Ward in play, too. Hydra’s end-game also becomes more widely known. Oh, and did I mention we also learn the fate of Will after Simmons was rescued from the other planet? This was a crazy, crazy way to end a half-season of television, and on the whole, I enjoyed it. Some of the events near the end of the episode were extremely frustrating, but I think it was all necessary to set up interesting plots for the second half of the season. Could we be done with Ward after this season, though, please? He’s grated on my last nerve for a long time now (pretty much since he first revealed he was Hydra), and I think/hope his current predicament will result in his demise sooner rather than later.

The episode opens with Ward, Fitz, and Ward’s team exploring the planet at the other end of the portal. Fitz is supposed to be calculating where the portal is going to open next, so that Ward can take the monster back to Earth and please his Hydra masters. It’s implied many times throughout the episode that Ward doesn’t intend for Fitz to survive the trip. Which makes me dislike Ward even more, because Fitz is adorable and under no circumstances should he be left on a death planet! Ward also threatens Fitz that if he doesn’t return safely to Earth, Simmons is going to be killed. Later, Coulson also regains consciousness and finds himself on the planet. Looking at the desolate landscape, he’s surprised how much it looks like Tatooine (yay for Marvel and Star Wars both being in the Disney family!).

When Bobbi and Hunter return to Zephyr One, they try to convince Mack that S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to attack the Castle (where the portal is located). Meanwhile, Daisy sees trucks full of Inhuman containment units pull up to the Castle. This is Hydra’s attempt at creating an army for the creature they want to bring back to lead. One of those Inhumans is probably Andrew, which immediately peaks May’s interest. Mack devises a plan that is designed both to recover their team and save the Inhumans (I think Lincoln would have straight up rebelled if the Inhuman rescuing hadn’t been part of it). They’re going to infiltrate the Castle using the aquaducts.

On the other planet, Fitz distracts Ward by mocking Hydra’s big plan, and when the opportunity presents itself, he opens one of Will’s hatches and dives in. Is it just me, or has “S.H.I.E.L.D.” gotten very “Lost”-like lately? Anyway, Fitz finds Will in the hatch (although the real Will is long gone, as we’ll soon find out). Fitz tries to convince Ward that they need Will to be their guide to the exit point. Despite Fitz’s protestations, Ward is pretty determined to kill Will until he sees the patch and “Distant Star” reference on his uniform. Will has a pretty serious leg wound, but everyone seems to think he can make it to the exit point.

Joey (who in this episode started to become one of my favorite characters – he was kind of an non-entity before) bends some grates around the Castle so that the team can enter the aquaducts. Daisy spots Mr. Giyara (yay for another appearance by the Chairman!), which can only spell trouble. May suggests they may have an easier time with their mission in darkness, so Lincoln kills the power. This has the added bonus of giving Simmons a chance to escape. Simmons manages to find herself by Andrew’s containment unit, and he begs her to let him out to help her escape. Simmons is reluctant to accept the offer at first, but when a bunch of Hydra soldiers arrive on the scene, she opens the door to the containment unit, Andrew turns into Lash, and he does his thing.

While they are traveling, Fitz tells Will more about what is going on and who exactly Ward is. He explains Hydra’s whole crazy plan. Will says he has an idea to help himself and Fitz break away from the goons. He’s going to lead the group through a very treacherous canyon in the middle of the “No Fly Zone.” A sandstorm starts to pick up as the group continues their journey and Fitz explains the whole Inhumans thing to Will. As the group takes cover to wait out the storm, Will knocks one soldier unconscious, and Fitz distracts the other long enough for Will to kill him. I think (hope, at least) that this is when Fitz starts to realize that things aren’t quite right with Will.

Back on Earth, lots of action happens at the Castle. Daisy and Giyera run into each other, and Giyera tries to shoot at Daisy, but Joey uses his powers to stop the bullets. I really hope we see more of Joey going forward. Lincoln attacks Giyera, but Daisy pulls him away before he can finish the job. Meanwhile, Simmons finds May, and she tells May about how she released Andrew. May doesn’t look very happy about this development. The team (minus May) ends up reuniting in the portal room. Hydra is trying to get to the portal, too, so Joey reinforces the doors to the room to slow them down. They realize may isn’t there and conclude she must have gone after Andrew. May, for her part, sees that Andrew has already killed a bunch of Inhumans.

Ward finds the dead soldiers, and the remaining two soldiers are shot to death. Coulson appears out of the shadows, clearly the originator of the shots. Coulson then demands that Ward help him find Fitz, so he can get back to the portal. As they march towards wherever they’re going, Ward tries to make the argument that Hydra has given him new purpose. Coulson just shoots him in the arm for his trouble. Coulson eventually sees Fitz and Will through a scope, and Ward shows him how little time they have left before the portal reopens. They pick up the pace (only Coulson voluntarily).

Hydra gets close to the portal room, and they begin to attack. This is where we begin to see what Mack is made of as Acting Director. He and Daisy are going to stay behind to try and retrieve Fitz and Coulson while the rest of the team is to go back to Zephyr One and be prepared to bomb the shit out of the Castle at the hint of something going wrong. After a bit of protest, they do as Mack says. Back on Zephyr One, May has Bobbi and Hunter train all the weapons on the Castle.

On the other planet, Fitz and Will are still making their way through the No Fly Zone. Will starts to give Fitz a rather detailed history lessons about the nine cities that used to thrive there, and Fitz realizes that Will knows a bit too much. It turns out Will died saving Simmons, and the creature has now inhabited his body. They begin fighting, while simultaneously, Ward and Coulson start fighting. Of course, that’s when the portal starts to open. Will tries to move towards the portal, and Fitz keeps shooting at him until it seems like he’s down. Then he runs for the portal. Coulson, however, is determined to get some more punches in before he runs. Yeah, Ward’s a douche, but I really wanted Coulson to just run. They were on borrowed time!

Like I said, I really wanted Coulson to run, because Daisy’s ability to hold the portal open was limited, and indeed she passes out pretty quickly. Mack gives the order for Zephyr One to start bombing, and bomb they do. Somehow, thought, Fitz and Coulson still make it through the portal safely, and the whole remaining team makes it back to Zephyr One. Daisy and Lincoln and Coulson and May have nice reunions, but the best reunion of all is FitzSimmons, of course. Simmons immediately knows something is wrong since Fitz didn’t bring Will back, and they just hug silently for a while. All is not well, though. As we see in the episode’s tag, Ward’s body now houses the creature, and he/it somehow made it through the portal, too.

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