Written by: Jeffrey Bell
Directed by: Roxann Dawson
Plot: In the last episode before the epic season finale, Ward’s betrayal and Hydra’s shocking secrets are revealed as Coulson’s team goes undercover on a mission that leaves no one unscathed.
Review: Nothing like ramping up the narrative of a tv show then being the last few episodes in the home stretch. One might wonder if the show’s writers would have found their footing if the events of Captain America: The Winter Solider hadn’t happened.
When I saw the previews to this week’s episode, I was a bit worried about it because they made it seemed very Ward-centric. By making an episode that was all about Ward, I feared that it would slow the momentum that the show has done a great job maintaining.
Thankfully it didn’t, as elements exploring Wards backstory were treated as more of a B-Plot, but let’s come back to that later.
The main story was a ton of fun, as we got ourselves a good old fashion spy plot for Coulson’s team. Actually, good old fashioned is pretty appropriate as the gang uses some old S.H.I.E.L.D. tech (thanks to Tripplett’s grandma, who apparently has been holding to her husband’s Howling Commandos/ S.H.I.E.L.D. stuff) to sneak into Cybertek. I kinda love that they had to use the old spy gear in this episode, so we got fun tools like cigarettes that shoot lasers, tiny EMP devices and such. Seeing Coulson and Tripplett geeking out over the spy gear pretty much made my day.
Oh, and can I say how much do I love the interview scene with Coulson and May in cool hipster nerd gear. It only made it better when we found out that Fitz/Simmons was feeding them lines. I also laugh quite a bit at May and Coulson’s comment on how uncomfortable the sweaters are. Also, I really loved the moment they sent the filing cabinet flying out a window, with Skye assuming she was going to download a file.
The discovery that John Garrett was the first person to go through the Deathlok program is interesting, and definitely setting up the idea of him being the a HUGE physical threat in the season finale (especially now that he has the same formula that saved Coulson and Skye in his DNA.) Oh, and a big win goes to Fitz in this episode as he was able to drop a huge hit on Garrett, and prove that he can be a bit of a badass in his own way. It was something that he needed, too, since Fitz has been an emotional wreck these last few episodes.
Raina apparently knows a great deal about Skye’s DNA, and she of course frustratingly is only telling Ward (I.E. us) vague details. But apparently we got a pretty big detail out of the way…Skye’s parents were the monsters tearing up the village they found. Now, are they are being literal and Skye’s parents are monsters? Or were they just monstrous people? Well, we got one more episode to go, and if there was going to be a place to drop a big bomb of a reveal, the season finale would be the place.
Going back to Ward’s B-Plot, I personally found it to be pretty interesting backstory and definitely helped shape the Ward that we see today. I like seeing that it is a long process of Garrett shaping Ward into the man he needed Ward to be. The scene with the dog seems a bit easy at first, but it does give us the hint that, while Ward is still a bastard in my mind, he could still have a tiny bit of compassion in him, making him a touch more fully formed as a character. It’s easy to make him a 100% bad guy, but showing characterizations like this at least gives him some grey shades. I still maintain that I don’t want him to switch sides again, and I definitely didn’t forget he is a cold blooded killer, but at least he’s a character, not a cartoon villain.
Ok guys, next week is it. The season finale. Let’s finish this out.