Thursday, April 7, 2016

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3.13: "Parting Shot"

“I'd like a cheeseburger. Medium, with cheddar cheese, ketchup, mayo, lettuce, and tomato. And some curly fries. Crispy.”

“Parting Shot” served as a lovely send-off for Bobbi and Hunter, who are moving on to star in their own series, “Marvel’s Most Wanted,” next season. The episode takes place in Russia, where Bobbi and Hunter find themselves in a tough spot after following Gideon and Petrov there at the end of the previous episode. There’s plenty of spy intrigue in this episode, which I enjoyed. I wonder if the show is still going to have that spy caper tone when Bobbi and Hunter have departed, or if those sorts of adventures are going to be reserved for “Most Wanted.” I appreciated how Bobbi and Hunter (for the most part) kept their cool through very trying circumstances. I definitely get why they made the decision to leave S.H.I.E.L.D. life by the end of the episode, but I only wish they could have the relaxing happily ever after they say they want. Something tells me they won’t be out of the espionage game for long, even if it isn’t with S.H.I.E.L.D.

As the episode opens, Bobbi is being interrogated by Interpol is Moscow. She’s playing it cool, and when she is asked for information, she just gives her burger order (see the Quote of the Episode above). She is accused of having something to do with the murder of three Russians. Bobbi denies involvement, and the Interpol agent wonders incredulously what she was doing in Siberia. Thanks to a flashback to 34 hours ago, we viewers know what Bobbi was doing in Siberia. She and Hunter were tailing Gideon’s convoy. The rest of the team are following in the Zephyr. Bobbi and Hunter track the convoy to what looks like an abandoned power plant, and Hunter commandeers a truck so that they can continue to follow. Hunter, by the way, is also being interrogated. He claims that he and Bobbi were just on vacation picking mushrooms.

They weren’t picking mushrooms, though, of course. 31 hours ago, the team sees that Gideon appears to be bringing an Inhuman to the abandoned power plant. The sanctuary state, as you would expect, is probably going to be more like a prison camp. Bobbi and Hunter do some surveillance, and while they’re watching, they talk about how nice it would be to actually take a vacation. They’ve never taken a real vacation together before. Just as they’re about to move in a little closer, Bobbi and Hunter are discovered by armed guards. Bobbi and Hunter try to pretend they were just hunting mushrooms, but obviously the guards don’t buy it. Luckily, they are extracted from the situation by the Zephyr. After explaining what they’ve seen so far, it is decided that Bobbi will infiltrate the compound since she’s fluent in Russian, and Hunter will team up with May.

In the present day, Bobbi and Hunter are both being interrogated separately using a polygraph. Neither of them are giving up any information. Hunter in particular will only reveal his mushroom soup recipe (which I suddenly have an urge to try and cook this weekend). When Bobbi is shown a photo of one of the victims, she claims she didn’t kill him. She hesitates when asked if Hunter killed him, and the interrogator says he’s going to take that as a confession. Bobbi is extremely upset as he hears Hunter yelling from the other room, presumably being taken away to be turned over to Russian authorities. IN his yelling, he begs Bobbi not to tell the interrogator anything.

29 hours before the interrogation, Hunter and May approach the power plant, looking for the presumed Inhuman. Instead, they find the body, and the deceased was an attaché of the Russian Prime Minister. They decide they need to get the body to Coulson and Simmons. Speaking of Petrov, he explains to Gideon some of what is going on with the dead guy and all. The attaché was sent to Siberia to shut down Petrov’s plans for a “sanctuary.” General Androvich, the Minister of Defense, is the murderer. He just happens to be Inhuman. Petrov asks for Malick’s help with the Androvich problem, but Malick says that the issue is bigger than any one country. He believes that humans need to ally themselves with Inhumans to survive. Coulson is shocked to be watching the beginnings of a coup.

Bobbi still isn’t talking (except for asking why the Interpol officer hasn’t mentioned Gideon), so he brings her water and says she needs to say she’s working with S.H.I.E.L.D. and the American government or Hunter faces a firing squad. 28 hours earlier, after some close calls for our team, Simmons says that the attache was strangled, but the killer left no marks. May and Daisy notice that Gideon seems to be leaving the compound without Androvich, and Mack notices something strange in the corner of his eye. Coulson spots the Prime Minister arriving, and he orders the team to protect the Prime Minister above all else. The General can manifest a shadow of himself made of dark force, and his dark force attacks the team and knocks out Mack. Bobbi and Daisy are left to try to fight the shadow, although they know they need to ultimately take out the real General. The shadow then appears near Hunter and the Prime Minister, but before it can do much damage, Bobbi shoots the real General. She and Hunter are immediately arrested.

Bobbi and Hunter are reunited in an interrogation room (back in the present time). Meanwhile, the Interpol officer talks with Coulson, the Prime Minister, and the President of the United States. Coulson and the President basically work out a deal where Bobbi and Hunter will be freed as long as they disavow having worked for S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson explains later of the team that letting Bobbi and Hunter go was really his only option. He didn’t think that the Russians would appreciate knowing that S.H.I.E.L.D., and indirectly the United States government, was training a team of Inhumans for espionage. And he’s probably right about that! Throughout the episode, we also get the sense that Bobbi and Hunter, while they love kicking ass in the field, might be ready for something of a more conventional life where they could at least take a real vacation once in a while.

Having just been released, Bobbi and Hunter sit in a bar, discussing where they should take their first vacation now that they’re out of the spy game. All of a sudden, a waitress delivers a shot to their table. They see Simmons across the room, but she doesn’t say anything. It is clear, however, that the shot is from her. Bobbi says it’s a “spy’s goodbye.” Gradually, the rest of the team all appear around the bar, and more shots appear on Bobbi and Hunter’s table. Coulson has them all raise a glass in a toast, and Mack is the last one to leave before Bobbi and Hunter are truly alone. I was reasonably happy with this turn of events. I’m glad that it seems “S.H.I.E.L.D.” will be getting back to focusing on the core, original characters, and it was a nice sendoff for Bobbi and Hunter. At the very end of the episode, we meet Gideon’s daughter, who seems to also want to be in on Maveth’s world domination plans. I’m sure we’ll see more from her soon.

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