“Agents of SHIELD” returns with another episode to up the ante. At this point you’re either onboard or not, so if you’re enjoying the ride let’s keep it going. With last week’s massive prisoner breakout at the Fridge — including Marcus Daniels (Patrick Brennan), who has the ability to absorb energy in all its forms — Coulson and the gang have their hands full.
Back at the team’s swanky new secret HQ, the traitorous Ward has rejoined the group and is being patched up. His friends are appy to have him back, especially Fitz, who is becoming increasingly jealous of Simmons and Triplett’s growing friendship. Meanwhile, agent Eric Koening (Patton Oswalt) informs the team that they will be taking the ultimate lie detector test in order to prove their loyalty. Skye is the first to pass, and is assigned to investigate the Fridge break-out. Every one else passes, too, including Trip, who we learn is the grandson of a Howling Commando. My guess is, good ol Gabe Jones had a daughter who married a man named Triplett. But geek moment aside, the Fridge issue is bad. Coulson asks about Daniels, and immediately sets after the escapee.
You see, some time ago when Daniels first got his powers, he became obsessed with a cellist named Audrey (Whedon regular Amy Acker), and it was agent Coulson and SHIELD that saved her. Yes she’s THAT cellist. So Coulson takes the team of Fitz/Simmons and Triplett to stop Daniels a second time. Meanwhile, secret bad guy Ward is squirming in the lie detector chair. This is where a paranoid agent would have gone with their intuition and shot Ward, but Koening decides to pass Ward instead.
Meanwhile, the team arrives in Portland just in time to save Audrey, but somehow manages to lose Daniels. Audrey believes Coulson is still dead, so it’s up to Simmons and Trip to take point. While explaining who they are, the rest of the team hears about Coulson and Audrey’s tragic romance. Later, Fitz figures out a way to stop Daniels, but they will have to use Audrey as bait, to which Coulson reluctantly agrees. Back at base, May has decided to leave after her very unproductive talk with Coulson. Ward uses May’s exit as the perfect time to strike, killing Koening, then seducing Skye. While the two are getting close, Ward discovers that he has Koenig’s blood on him. When Ward goes to clean himself, Skye uses Koening’s tablet to track him down. She discovers his body and makes the correct assumption that Ward is…dum de dum dum DUM Hydra.
Back in Portland, the team uses modified stage lights with technology based on Bruce Banner’s designs in an attempt to stop Daniels. When he shows up and they hit with the lights, I couldn’t help but think of “Ghostbusters.” Daniels uses his powers to knock the team back, forcing Coulson to reveal himself by grabbing one of the lights and, with Triplett’s help, finally overloads Daniels and blows him up. The explosion also knocks Audrey out briefly, and Coulson uses the opportunity to tell her he is still watching over her, though she believes it was all just a figment of her imagination. When the team finally returns to the base, they find it empty, Skye and Ward gone, and the Bus missing. Meanwhile, Skye is on the Bus with Ward, who tells her that it’s her mission to decrypt the hard drive that Hydra wants. Meanwhile in Canada, May meets up with some family to discuss more secrets.
At this point, the team is broken not just physically, but emotionally as well. The mistrust that Hydra’s invasion has sewn, along with internal strife are tearing them apart. Coulson’s anger with May and Fitz’s jealousy are about to boil over, but at least Coulson realizes what’s happening and plans to make amends. Fitz, however, seems to be incapable of admitting his feeling for Simmons. With the show’s first season winding down, there’s a lot left to be resolved within the team and with SHIELD as a whole, but it’s looking promising all around.
Until next week. HAIL HYDRA!!