“Closure” has a few surprises for the Agents of SHIELD. Some are early enough that I’m trying to figure out how to do this without spoilers. There’s enough going on that it could have been the mid-season finale, but that apparently is next week. It’s certainly an action-packed episode.
Roz and Coulson have dinner together that is an entertaining mix of classy and common. Burgers to go by candlelight with wine. They spar, in a friendly way, about recent developments between the ATCU and SHIELD, with last week’s Hydra revelations. Dinner gets interrupted in a way that effects the rest of the episode. Coulson deals with Ward’s taunts on the phone while fighting off a squad of Hydra agents. This is not a good development for a candle-lit dinner.
Coulson continues to be a bad-ass and MacGyver’s a way out of the mess. He gets away with some help from Mac, and returns to SHIELD’s base. He’s clearly in a foul mood, and has some mess from the fight all over him. Everyone else looks worried. Hell, I would be, too.
After this latest attack, Coulson goes over everything they know about Ward. He rechecks the files and talks to everyone from the original team, going over everything they remember about him, looking for anything he can use. As he does this, Mac and Roz’s right hand man Banks compare notes.
Malick and Ward are at the Distant Star Return base, planning and arguing. Malick mocks the idea of closure and tells Ward he’s letting his emotions compromise the mission. They have a plan that isn’t looking good for SHIELD, or the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for that matter. Malick is both intrigued and frustrated that SHIELD has managed something Hydra never has: getting someone back from the portal.
Coulson is going a bit off the deep end. After choking Hunter for not killing Ward earlier, Coulson makes a few changes. He appoints Mac as Acting Director, grabs Hunter and Bobbi, and takes off to deal with Ward once and for all. Fitz, Simmons, and Banks go to dig into Distant Star, which ends spectacularly badly.
Eventually, Fitz and Simmons end up with Malick and Ward, which isn’t a place you want to be. There is interrogation, torture, and taunting. Ward is an evil son of a bitch, but he knows how to get results, you have to give him that.
Coulson has arguably crossed over to the Dark Side, at least a bit. His first stop is getting some leverage over Ward in a very unexpected way. Ward says a few times that he and Coulson have a lot in common, and I have to admit, I can see it tonight. They both can be ruthless. Coulson actually gets some unexpected help in his mission.
Malick and Ward set up back at the castle where Fitz managed to save Simmons. Shouldn’t they have kept an eye on that place if it’s so important? I guess that’s what happens with SHIELD being a shadow of its former self.
At the end of the episode, a surprising group goes through the portal to Hellword, as I’m calling it until they name it. Who went, and how, was something I didn’t see coming. Malick got a surprise, too. With some folks through the portal, there’s also a big confrontation about to happen between the rest of SHIELD and Hydra.
What I liked: Coulson has been a figurehead a few times this season. It’s nice to see him back in action. The surprises with Coulson’s leverage over Ward were nicely done and believable. Ward, while I don’t like him, is an effective villain with some levels to him. The surprise at the beginning of the show was shocking and I didn’t see it coming.
What I didn’t: I’m still bemused that Hydra can’t figure out how SHIELD got someone back. Unless I’m mis-remembering, it was a combination of Daisy’s power keeping it open and Fitz using a glorified piece of string to find his way back. Shades of Theseus and the Minotaur.
I’ll give this one a 4 out of 5. They did some great work on this episode.