Talk about starting things with an uncomfortable quietness punctuated by an unexpected bang. Granted I knew something bad would happen, but I didn’t expect it to go in that direction. Bravo! We now have a motivated Coulson who is pissed the hell off and ready to take the fight to the enemy. Mistakes happen when actions are carried out without fought, but that makes for good drama.
Now that the ATCU has been revealed as a Hyrda puppet organization, the shit has hit the fan. Coulson’s trustworhy ATCU contacts are dead and SHIELD realizes that they don’t have the resources to mount a proper assault on Hydra, which is now under the control of Gideon Malick. Grant Ward isn’t too happy that he’s not running the show with Hydra, but it turns out he never really was. His Wile E. Coyote-esque tactics have actually been more of a hindrance to the real Hydra and he is none too pleased about now having to play second fiddle to Malick.
This week was basically all about setting up the dominoes that will be knocked over on next week’s mid-season finale. The ATCU is now kaput. Hydra sends Ward, some goons, and a captured Fitz & Simmons through the alien portal to retrieve the ancient evil Inhuman on the other side. Coulson follows, via a death-defying halo jump. Mac is now temporarily in charge of SHIELD. Everything is shot to hell.
It was an enjoyable episode, but one primarily composed of monologues and arguments. As a lay up episode, it absolutely did its job. Let’s just hope that the mid-season finale next week follows through with a swish. This show has improved as it has gone on, especially this season, but I’m still not fully confident that they will stick every landing that they set themselves up for. I want to believe, but at the back of my mind I still remember how bad the first two seasons were overall.
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