This week on Agents of SHIELD we got some new revelations, major confrontations, and even a possible death, all set up by last week’s “step forward” episode. This episode had a bit of everything, from Inhumans and the ATCU to the reappearance of Lash, to Hunter and May’s quest to stop Ward, to Simmons’ recovery and secret mission. We also have a couple of new mysteries to keep us guessing in the coming weeks! SHIELD is moving along at a pretty quick pace this season, but I think we’re still a little in the dark as to where the season is ultimately heading. But let’s see what we can discover in this week’s SHIELD, “Devils You Know,” written by Paul Zbyszewski and directed by Ron Underwood.
“Devils You Know” opened with another Lash attack, this time in the apartment of two Inhumans who escaped from Afterlife and on Alisha, another Inhuman whom you may remember from last season. Alisha tracked them down to encourage them to stick together, but she’s in the dark about the weird email the pair recently received. Before they can discuss it, Lash bursts in and their powers of levitation, fire, and duplication are no match for his chest-bursting wrath. It turns out Alisha was working with SHIELD all along, as her real body is safely aboard the new Bus with Coulson. The team is sent in, with Daisy and Mack tracking Lash and Bobbi and Fitz playing detective. They find a piece of Lash’s hair, and Fitz fusses at Bobbi for confusing the evidence organizational system he developed with Simmons (blue bags are for biological samples, not the clear ones!), but Bobbi would rather talk about Simmons and how she and Fitz are getting along. Before they can discuss it, they hear helicopters approaching and get out of there, taking the Inhumans’ laptop with them to see what they can find.
Daisy and Mack track Lash to an industrial park, but when Mack starts mumbling to himself about missing his garage and his espresso machine you know he thinks things are bad. He compares Lash to a shark, only interested in destruction. Instead of finding him, however, they run into Rosalind and her ATCU team, who have arrived to “contain the threat,” having been called by Coulson. Daisy’s not happy, but Coulson insists they’re merely a means to an end. Rosalind packs up the corpses of the Inhumans, but refuses to tell Coulson where she’s taking them. She correctly guesses that they were transformed before the fish oil incident, but Coulson isn’t giving up what he knows about the Inhumans, so they both retreat back to their bases to stew in frustration.
Favorite Quote: Mack: I was gonna say ‘make little baby sharks’ but Jaws was probably twenty years before you were born.
Bobbi and Fitz examine the hair, that seems to be deteriorating, while Daisy hacks the laptop and tracks the source of the mysterious emails, which contain a virus to track down the Inhumans. They reluctantly team up with Rosalind to hunt down Lash’s “IT guy,” and find a cowering Inhuman who has a painful reaction to Daisy’s presence, like an Inhuman diving rod. He’s been tracking people based on names Lash gives him, but insists that Lash is helping not hunting and is trying to do the right thing. The ATCU sedates him and Rosalind has him loaded on a truck to take him back to base, but Daisy insists to Coulson that she and Mack tag along and see the ATCU’s facilities. He eventually agrees and Rosalind gives in, but things don’t go the way they’d planned. Daisy and Mack start to suspect the truck is driving in circles, giving the ATCU time to clean things up before they get there and see something they shouldn’t. But Lash interrupts, killing one ATCU soldier and battling with Daisy, eventually flipping the truck, knocking her out. Lash drags his IT guy free, and when the man asks for mercy Lash tells him that it’s not merciful, it’s necessary, before killing him. As Daisy starts to come to, she watches Lash’s shadow walking away, and is shocked to see it transform into a normal human outline! At the emergency room, she tells this to Mack, but keeps it from Rosalind for now.
Favorite Quote: Coulson: I think the conspiracy nut in you had a few too many lattes this morning.
Meanwhile, Hunter is still on a quest for a face-to-face with Ward. He’s provided the new HYDRA with valuable guns and now they have a job for him, he just doesn’t know what it is. May’s not thrilled about being in the dark, and starts to worry when Hunter reveals how single-minded he is about bringing down Ward in order to protect Bobbi. This drives May back to Coulson, who is unable to provide her with the backup she needs even though Hunter has gone beyond his orders. Coulson thinks it feels like she never left, as they fit together just like old times (though without Coulson’s tie), but Andrew is looming like a cloud over SHIELD. Coulson tells her that he can replace Andrew but not May, but she’s not ready to come back.
Andrew, who was there to observe Joey Gutierrez, has been watching Alicia deal with the emotional fallout of Lash’s attack on her double and her friends, and is pissed that Coulson hasn’t been including him in more of the decisions. He knew nothing about Alicia’s involvement, and never gave his approval for her to be in the field. But more than that, he wants talk to May and explain why he left. They were both having a great time on their “vacation” and then he just disappeared without a word. He wants a chance to explain himself after his class the next day, saying he handled things wrong, but May’s not interested at the moment.
Hunter, meanwhile, is forced into the truck of a car by the HYDRA guys he meets and driven for hours to a secret base. Sooner than he could have imagined, he’s in the same room as Ward, and he quickly drops his pseudonym and goes to war. He takes out a handful of Ward’s goons, and ends up in a standoff against Ward and the rest, trading insults and twisting the knife of Kara’s death. It looks like he won’t be able to get to Ward but May arrives in the nick of time. They easily take out everyone but Ward and Kebo, but Ward has a trick up his sleeve. He makes a phone call and then slides his phone over to May, where she sees an image of Andrew in a convenience store. Ward says that unless they let him leave he’ll order Andrew killed, and young von Strucker is there to do the job and torch the building. May’s ready to surrender, but Hunter reminds her that a lot of people will die if Ward escapes, says he’s sorry, and steps out to fire at Ward. May backs him up, but Ward still manages to escape through a window, but not before being shot in the back by Hunter. We cut to the convenience store, where a body lies on the floor surrounded by blood. Gas spreads across the floor towards a small fire as von Strucker runs for it with a look of fear on his face, hiding behind a car just as the building explodes.
Favorite Quote: Coulson: Be careful, it’s got a laser finger.
So Andrew has to be Lash, right? I mean, not seeing Andrew’s body has to be a dead giveaway, right? When we learned that Lash can transform into a human, Ginny and I immediately started guessing who it could be. (She guessed Coulson, I thought maybe Daisy’s father Cal, we both suggested Rosalind.) But after the rest of the episode Lash has to be Andrew. His explanation of disappearing without a word from May and a vacation he was enjoying sounds like maybe ate some bad fish and turned into an Inhuman. Combine that with his attitudes towards Inhumans, his anger at Coulson for not telling him about Alisha, and his refusal to recommend anyone for duty sounds like it might mesh with Lash’s quest to take out Inhumans while thinking he’s doing the right thing. I hate to see May grieve over him when he’s most likely not dead, but I’m more interested in what she’ll do when she learns he’s alive. Will she join him? Will she fight him? Of course, this could all be a huge fakeout, Andrew could really be dead and Lash could be someone else (though probably still someone we know), but I’m betting it’s not.
We didn’t learn anything specifically new about Simmons this week, though we did get an excellent scene between her and Andrew. She talked about nothing tasting right or feeling right now that she’s back, which he attributed to imperfections in the nature of memory. She tried to dodge his diagnosis of PTSD, but he was smart enough to get her talking a bit. He mentioned that she’s not an Inhuman, which sounds like another hint at his secret identity, and then told a story of a stranded hiker whose faith kept him from losing hope. Simmons heartbreakingly confesses that she lost hope, but starts to get agitated when he presses her on it. He wisely backs off, saying she doesn’t have to talk, but reminds her she has friends and is safe. He says everything is over, but after he leaves she says he’s wrong. The other development was that Fitz found Jemma’s binder of notes on the portal fragments, which Bobbi refused to tell Fitz about out of loyalty to Simmons. Fitz finally confronts her about it, wondering why she wants to rebuild the portal. She tells him she has to go back, and she needs Fitz’s help to do it. She tells him that something happened while she was there, and it’s time she told him everything, setting us up for a huge episode next week!
I find it very interesting that Ward is using SHIELD lingo in his new HYDRA. He jokingly tells Kebo that certain information is only for those in Level 7, and Kebo refers to him as “director” when talking to Hunter. I’m not entirely sure what it means, if it means anything at all, but I feel like this is a theme that will keep cropping up. Perhaps Ward’s involvement in HYDRA is a way for him to recapture the feeling of being in SHIELD, something he seems to miss. We still don’t really know what he’s up to, although he’s amassing a lot of weapons, but maybe he wants to supplant SHIELD with his new HYDRA. He’s clearly 100% villain at this point, but I think he’s after more than just taking over the world or causing as much havoc as possible. I look forward to getting back inside Ward’s head once again to see where he’s at, and then seeing the whole team kick his ass.
I don’t like seeing Bobbi sidelined, but I do like seeing the character’s struggle to remain a part of the team despite her current limitations. It’s always interesting to watch someone so strong react to being weak for the first time, and I hope this gets explored more before she’s finally able to go back into the field. It’s a little heartbreaking to see her ready to go on a mission and be left behind again and again, and while she’s handled it well so far I can’t imagine she’ll keep putting up with this for long.
What do you think? Did you enjoy “Devils You Know”? Is Lash Andrew? If not, who is he? Is Andrew really dead? What happened when he left May so suddenly? What is Lash’s plan, and how is killing Inhumans the right thing to do? Are you enjoying the interplay between Coulson and Rosalind as much as I do? What about Mack’s muttering, which is my new favorite thing? Will May kick Hunter’s ass for refusing to follow orders? How will she react to Andrews (supposed) death? What is Ward really up to? And most importantly, what do you think happened to Simmons on that other world? What caused her to give up hope? Why does she need to go back? Do you think she’ll find a way? Is there any way Fitz doesn’t go with her when the time comes? Does Coulson really have a laser finger? Let me know in the comments!