The following recap contains spoilers from both ABC’s TV show Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the new movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Read at your own risk.
I want to preface by saying what I just said above: this recap contains earth-shattering spoilers from both Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If you don’t want to know the outcome of both of these MCU installments, stop reading now. (Click here for our non-spoiler review of Captain America).
I’ll start with this: “Turn, Turn, Turn” is the best episode of the series. The episode’s contents presented itself as a season finale, which it is not, by tying up all the seemingly unimportant loose ends brought up in episodes 1-9, and it dropped a game changing bombshell at the very end of the episode. Regarding the loose ends, all he things such as the gravitonium and Dr. Franklin Hall in episode 3, the 0-8-4 in episode 2, and Donny’s weather machine from “Seeds” are all mentioned and worked into the story. And for the reveal, let’s just say there is a major betrayal by one of the characters we’ve met this season. Any guesses?
At the end of Captain America, it was revealed that Hydra, a Nazi-like organization that Cap (Chris Evans) took down in The First Avenger, was alive and well, and imbedded inside S.H.I.E.L.D. through sleeper agents. As Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) grew increasingly curious that something within S.H.I.E.L.D. was amiss, Hydra was forced to reveal themselves and kill off any agent who did not join their side, including Fury (as long as we’re giving spoilers, Fury’s not actually dead). To stop Hydra, Cap had to flush out all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s secrets, taking down both organizations. Now, Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team must navigate through the aftermath of this, with their plane now rerouted to the Hydra infested Hub by Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows).
After once again joining forces with John Garrett (Bill Paxton) after S.H.I.E.L.D. almost shot him out of the sky, Coulson, Skye (Chloe Bennet), and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) learn that Hydra has resurfaced, quoting their motto: “Cut off the head, two more will grow back.” Assuming that Hand is the true Clairvoyant, who until now was the team’s main target, Coulson frees Ward (Brett Dalton) and May (Ming-Na Wen) [still in handcuffs], in order to escape and take down Hand.
Meanwhile, after a quick dupe, Victoria Hand reveals to Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) and Garrett’s partner Agent Tripplet (B.J. Britt) that she is notHydra, and she suspects Coulson is. Simmons refuses to believe this, and that is the last we see of them of now.
Coulson, Fitz, May, and Garrett infiltrate The Hub’s control room, and after an altercation with some Hydra agents, Garrett tries to convince Coulson to find and kill Hand, still assuming she’s the Clairvoyant. Garret begins listing off and rambling all the things the Clairvoyant has done to the team, including putting Raina (Ruth Negga) under the same machine Coulson was put under. Coulson’s defenses go up when he remembers that he never told Garrett that, and it is revealed that S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent John Garrett is the elusive Clairvoyant they have been chasing.
With Skye and Ward fighting off other Hydra agents, and Coulson, May, and Fitz eventually taking down Garrett and another team of Hydra agents, the team and Agent Hand reclaim The Hub from Hydra, while the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. falls, as shown in Captain America 2. With the Clairvoyant in custody, Hand and two true S.H.I.E.L.D. agents transport Garrett to The Fridge, which is apparently super-secret S.H.I.E.L.D. jail. Ward asks to turn the key on Garrett’s cell, as Garrett was his supervising officer. Hand agrees, as she and Ward board a plan to The Fridge, while the rest of the team, with May still on it, plan to begin surviving in a S.H.I.E.L.D.-less world.
On the plane, Hand brings up Ward’s flub of shooting Thomas Nash (Brad Dourif), who turned out to be the red herring Clairvoyant. She offers Ward the opportunity to kill the real Clairvoyant. Angry at the betrayal, Ward stands to prep his gun and shoot Garrett. Instead, however, he shoots Hand’s two agents next to Garrett, and then shoots and kills Agent Hand. Garrett looks up and smiles at him, as Ward himself seems to be a Hydra sleeper agent.
Now I ask, is he? I’m not so sure. At first, I thought that Ward was a Hydra sleeper agent, but after some consideration (and remembering that kiss he and Skye finally shared), I’ve been wondering if maybe Coulson sent him in to be a double agent. The two had a conversation as Garrett was being taken away, which purposely went unheard as a music-only scene, and then shared a look before Ward got on the plane. This does seem cold and cruel, both coming from Coulson, and Ward’s killing 3 of the few remaining loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, but in this “new world” with Hydra on top and S.H.I.E.L.D. pretty much, but not completely non-existent, Coulson may have realized he needed Ward to do what needed to be done. Also, I do genuinely believe that Ward will, in some way, come back to help the team, as it is evident that he has feelings for Skye, as well as cares about the rest of the team…. unless that was an act too.
It’s a shame that the ratings have fallen as much as they have (last night’s episode [best episode of the series] set a series low in viewership/demo-rating), because the show simply keeps getting better and better. Be sure to catch the rerun of last night’s episode next Tuesday at 8, and a brand new Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. one hour later at 9 PM! Oh and by the way, “Hail Hydra.”
Episode Rating: 10 of 10
Written by: Brian Leary
*All Images Courtesy of Google Images