Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Maveth
December 9, 2015 6:16 AM - Season 3, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Coulson, Fritz and Ward hang out on Tatoonie, the Power Rangers infiltrate the Hydra stronghold, Gemma shows off her knife tricks, someone learns they're bullet proof in a heart melting way, but May is the only person who really wants to be where they are.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (59 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Ward is dead! Something else is renting out his body! Someone give Coulson a hand! Landrew is on the loose! Fitz and Simmons are free to wait for another obstacle to their deep love!

A nice episode, but mostly plot driven, unsurprisingly. Still annoyed about Roselyn being dead. Can we keep Mack as Director for a while? 'Cause Coulson quitting so he could go do bad things and then retaking the mantel now that he's done them is all sorts of fuckedupness.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


A nice episode, but mostly plot driven, unsurprisingly.

I pretty much agree with that. I had been expecting Ward to become a vessel of some sorts for the Original Hydra Inhuman (O'HAI) not long into the episode, but will admit that I was surprised Will (was that his name?) was the skin suit first. I was starting to think he would simply be a Hydra agent (SURPRISE), but I guess, turned out he was simply Hydra literally.

Coulson's killing of Ward (out of the jurisdiction of all legal entities) was surprising in its intimacy - crushing his chest cavity. Owch! I will be curious if anything of Ward is still inside "Ward."

On the bright side, we can expect that the bad guy will end up doing something which will help spark the anti-inhuman backlash for Civil War. Hurray!
posted by Atreides at 7:20 AM on December 9, 2015


Coulson's killing of Ward (out of the jurisdiction of all legal entities) was surprising in its intimacy - crushing his chest cavity. Owch! I will be curious if anything of Ward is still inside "Ward.

I more anxious than usual about Coulson lingering to kill Ward (I feel like the time worked less than usual for television "you've got a minute"), but damn if that wasn't a way to kill somebody. That was shockingly brutal for something with so little physical motion.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:30 AM on December 9, 2015


Coulson broke Ward's heart.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:49 AM on December 9, 2015 [9 favorites]


Fitz and Simmons are free to wait for another obstacle to their deep love!

I am deeply worried that the heavy glance between Coulson and Fitz was a "we're not telling anyone exactly what happened" look in the long tradition of unnecessary secrets leading to bad drama in genre shows.
posted by humans are superior! at 7:59 AM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


I am deeply worried that the heavy glance between Coulson and Fitz was a "we're not telling anyone exactly what happened" look in the long tradition of unnecessary secrets leading to bad drama in genre shows.

Which makes no sense, as everyone wanted Ward dead, Coulson sanctioned it and obviously Will is dead. So what's to keep secret?

Am curious how Ward made it back with no one seeing him.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:10 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Coulson finishing off Ward by crushing his chest was a powerful moment, but why'd he leave his hand behind?

Am curious how Ward made it back with no one seeing him.

I figured It/Ward jumped through as the portal was closing and was hidden from detection by all the missiles raining down on the castle.
posted by dazed_one at 8:54 AM on December 9, 2015


Coulson finishing off Ward by crushing his chest was a powerful moment, but why'd he leave his hand behind?

He was...*puts sunglasses on*...washing his hand of him!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:04 AM on December 9, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm willing to bet a middling amount of money that the first episode when we return, and in fact, the first few minutes, will feature everyone's (including Sith Lord Ward) from the other planet. It'll be the exciting intro to the second half of the season.
posted by Atreides at 11:44 AM on December 9, 2015


I was surprisingly meh about this episode. Everything kinda went as expected, no real surprises. Coulson's killing of Ward was cold and nasty, but I didn't feel it was as earned/satsifying as if it had been Bobbi or May or Daisy or Fitz or Simmons or basically anyone else, really, who all have longer standing grudges and issues with Ward. But, of course, Coulson's girlfriend got fridged last week so therefore he's now a cold-blooded murder machine, which is how the men of comic book universes must react to fridgings.

I took the look Coulson shared with Fitz to indicate a couple of things things. A) Fitz won’t mention Coulson’s slow, torturous killing of Ward, Coulson won’t mention Fitz burning Will’s inhabited corpse. That they both died is fine, but the how it happened (for Ward) and the what happened after (Will being taken over by It) are off topic. B) Fitz is a little intimidated by what he saw of Coulson on the planet.

Looking forward to the Lash/It-Ward showdown at the end of this season!
posted by nubs at 11:47 AM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


For a moment I dared hope we would be rid of Ward, but alas. When the ooze came out of Will I knew it was going to get Ward, but I was really hoping it would just ooze through the portal and find a different host. Or better yet, just remain in ooze form and become a large blob. Poor self-hating ooze. I'd take a blob over more Ward at this point.
posted by homunculus at 12:02 PM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Reddit is speculating that IT-Ward is now Hive, which seems highly plausible.
posted by nicebookrack at 12:04 PM on December 9, 2015


Hive seems like a very silly sort of foe. Ward as Ward was much more interesting.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:12 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another vote for "no real surprises leading to a meh sort of episode" here.

I loved everything about invading the Hydra castle. The new team The snark. Mack in charge. Bobby just kicking ass. ("Are we supposed to follow her?") Even Lincoln thinking about the bigger picture - is it worth releasing some unspeakable evil in order to save two of their own?

Most everything on the blue planet was iffy. When Coulson saw Fitz, I wish he had just turned around and shot Ward in the head. It would have been infinitely more badass and satisfying. It would have made more sense. And the end result could have been largely the same.

Hoping we get a flashback to before the blue planet was destroyed, and how Hydra was involved with the monster.
posted by 2ht at 12:21 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


When Coulson saw Fitz, I wish he had just turned around and shot Ward in the head. It would have been infinitely more badass and satisfying. It would have made more sense. And the end result could have been largely the same.

Why was Coulson dragging him along? That just seemed all kinds of stupid for a revenge obsessed boyfriend.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:27 PM on December 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


When Coulson saw Fitz, I wish he had just turned around and shot Ward in the head. It would have been infinitely more badass and satisfying. It would have made more sense. And the end result could have been largely the same.

Was pretty much yelling this at the TV at that point, so yeah. A quick snap decision to kill Ward might have actually been more satisfying from Coulson.
posted by nubs at 12:57 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure the monster can access the minds of anyone it inhabits as it addressed Fitz directly and knew his name when inside Will.
posted by elr at 3:28 PM on December 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


So... over/under on monster-Ward falling in love with Skye/Daisy and that being its downfall?
posted by elr at 3:30 PM on December 9, 2015


I hope it falls in love with Fitz instead, which keeps him and Simmons apart yet again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 PM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


This was almost entirely predictable, but I enjoyed most of it anyway. Best scenes for me:

* This exchange:
Daisy: Watch out for the guy in the suit: he's telekinetic.
Joey: Is that 'reads minds' or 'moves stuff with his mind?'
Daisy: Moves stuff.
Joey: Good. I don't want anybody knowing what I'm thinking right now.
Lincoln: You mean like how you're not a hero? How you'd rather be anywhere but here? Don't worry, we're all thinking it.
May: *I'm* not.
Daisy: All of us are thinking it but May.

May remains my favorite, and Lincoln was downright likable during this episode.

* Joey not dying! I was ready to be so pissed if they killed him off. Having the bullets splatter was a fine choice. :)

* "I'll be damned: Tattoine."

On the bad side:
* Coulson still can't sell Angry Dead Girlfriend Guy.

* I was hoping for pretty much *anyone* but Ward as NotApocalypse.
posted by mordax at 5:18 PM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


I guess Alisha still hasn't recovered from getting Lashed. Or the writers excluded her because she would have over-powered the team. She could have taken the castle all by herselves.
posted by homunculus at 5:31 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I cheered when Ward died. I'm so irritated by Zombie!Ward.
posted by Jacqueline at 6:16 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just had a chance to watch this. Joining team "meh" -- homunculus wins the accurate-prediction award (as I suspected as soon as I read that prediction in last week's thread). Nothing really interesting happened here despite a couple of action set pieces.

I feel like this show's obsession with Ward-as-big-bad is making me want to not watch it, when S1 full of special!mopey!daisy couldn't quite pull it off.
posted by Alterscape at 8:10 PM on December 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I feel like this show's obsession with Ward-as-big-bad

Better ending: Ward dies on the planet. Fitz and Coulson go through the portal, but the last image we see is of ooze grabbing a ride on Coulson's boots.

Then we know IT came through, but we don't know who it might take over or what it might be doing. Far more entertaining as the 2nd half of the season basically becomes "The Thing".
posted by nubs at 8:17 PM on December 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


When Coulson saw Fitz, I wish he had just turned around and shot Ward in the head.


That would have played into the angry boyfriend getting revenge scenario much better. Also I would have cheered loudly.

Better ending: Ward dies on the planet. Fitz and Coulson go through the portal, but the last image we see is of ooze grabbing a ride on Coulson's boots.

This was also on my episode wish-list. The look in Coulson's eyes would have been a great cliffhanger ending and Ward's reveal would have been a much better post break reveal. Maybe IT wanted to see if there was someone evil to infect before jumping over? I mean, that's a dumb explanation but it feels better than the show just resurrecting Ward to be the consummate villain.

I'm not really sure what to make of this reaction but the age difference between Rosalind's age and the cellist played by Amy Acker really stood out to me in this episode. Maybe it's because they seem to be 10 to 15 years apart and that's quite an age range for Phil to consider dating. Then it could also just be that past a certain age Hollywood doesn't really cast women as romantic partners and the two actresses are on either side of that ageist line.

I was also rather meh about the episode as a whole. I am curious if Lash/Andrew is alive and where he went after killing the Inhumans. Apart from May hunting him down there's not a clear plot for him now (unless May hunting him down is a plot by itself??).

My Fits/Simmons prediction is that Fitz will have some weird sort of survivors guilt about Will dying when Jemma came back and being her only surviving love interest and that will drive a wedge between them while they don't talk about but get frustrated with each other.
posted by toomanycurls at 8:44 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not really sure what to make of this reaction but the age difference between Rosalind's age and the cellist played by Amy Acker really stood out to me in this episode.

This piqued my curiosity - turns out they're six years apart, and Clark Gregg is eight/fourteen years older than both of them. Which is interesting, but not in the usual way - Gregg looks younger than 53, I think.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:16 PM on December 9, 2015


I really appreciated that the show paired him with an age-appropriate love interest.
posted by Jacqueline at 12:00 AM on December 10, 2015 [6 favorites]


(Despite my weakness for Coulson/Skye fanfic.)
posted by Jacqueline at 12:00 AM on December 10, 2015


It may have been the blue planet lighting and/or the 2-day growth, but makeup sure seems to have been letting Clark Gregg look a bit older for the last couple episodes.
posted by klarck at 6:08 AM on December 10, 2015


I'm just disappointed that we didn't get to see more chest hair in the bed scene. :(
posted by Jacqueline at 6:26 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was really frustrated with Ros getting fridged and setting off the Coulson revenge arc because, as many people have pointed out, we have only recently been getting to know the Ros and Coulson relationship, and also, hasn't Ward killed enough people for just about anybody on the team to want him dead, without tragic new girlfriend death? ( I for one really, really liked the relationship - I liked her and I liked their sparring and I buy the moments of tenderness we see in his hallucination in the bed, but the beginning of the relationship and the end of the relationship were just too close together.)

It might have been more satisfying for me to see Jemma kill Ward, actually. And then not feel a bit of guilt about it.
posted by PussKillian at 8:36 AM on December 10, 2015 [4 favorites]


Back when Ward was caught after being revealed as a double agent, Gemma pointedly told him in front of everyone else that if she ever saw him she'd kill him.

Very disappointing to see that thread dropped.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Gemma made that threat, I think Fitz has also said something similar, and on and on...Pretty much everyone on the team has some very deep seated reasons to want Ward dead, and I still feel like fridging Roz to give Coulson the burning hate to kill Ward was no where near as satisfying as seeing anyone else do the deed would have been.

I keep thinking back to the moment in S2 when Skye gets the drop on him and wastes no breath before shooting him several times and then just walking out of the room like it was no biggie. That was a great moment and it showed something about her character and how she had changed. This could've been a similar moment for Gemma or Fitz, but instead it was all about Coulson's revenge and it just wasn't emotionally satisfying for a variety of reasons.
posted by nubs at 9:02 AM on December 10, 2015 [2 favorites]


Personally I don't think Ward's dead. I think it's likely that he died and "It" brought him back to life.

Consider that "It" knew who Fitz was from sight/memory. That means that he had access to Will's memories. It also said that it killed Will. We know It has access to Will's memories, because it has access to the memories of Ward, so it didn't just torture/interrogate Will for the info on Fitz and extrapolate when it was woken up.


Now that leads us four options.

(a) Will died and It infiltrated him and had access to its memories, but Will was permanently dead. I.e. It has no way to leave Will without Will returning to death.

(b) Will did not die and It infiltrated him and had access to its memories, It lied about Will having died. I.e. It had a way to leave Will without Will returning to death. Will actually died when Fitz burned him.

(c) Will was captured while alive and It infiltrated him and had access to its memories, but Will was not permanently dead. I.e. It has a way to leave Will without Will returning to death. Will actually died when Fitz burned him.

(d) Will was captured while alive and It infiltrated him and had access to its memories, but Will was permanently dead. I.e. It has no way to leave Will without Will returning to death.

Now, from a narrative standpoint, (b) is almost certainly what happened because it gives the writers the most options going forward.

Thus, my feeling is that next season ends or "Middle turns" with It being defeated, but natural Ward coming back.
posted by bswinburn at 9:31 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sigh, I meant Will did die in (b). Missed the edit window.
posted by bswinburn at 9:43 AM on December 10, 2015


(b) Will [did die] and It infiltrated him and had access to its memories, It lied about Will having died. I.e. It had a way to leave Will without Will returning to death. Will actually died when Fitz burned him.

The exposed tibia that gives It away doesn't leave much evidence that the original Will was still alive. It probably just zombifies a host body until the body decays naturally, but It gets the host's knowledge after eating its brain.

Nevertheless I think you're right, they will probably find a way to resurrect Grant Ward as a nice guy somehow (his brain was tragically altered by an alien being but miraculously all his memories are erased and now he's a good guy!) because for some reason the writers never seem able to get rid of him. (I prefer to think of him as Grand Wart for this reason.)

Perhaps Brett Dalton is just one of those actors who is really good to work with and so they can't bear to write him off the show.
posted by tempestuoso at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not going to invite anyone to step outside over this, but I don't think Roz's killing can qualify as a fridging in the traditional sense. Roz was an active participant, strong, competent, and part of the story. Part of the impact of her death, to me as an audience member, was that it was so stupid and pointless. In some circumstances I might consider that pro-fridging but it was very in line with the Ward modus operandi to hit folks on a personal level. So I think it's more than just an offing a woman to provide feels for a male character; we as audience members were bothered by her death and its method as well.

Nevertheless I think you're right, they will probably find a way to resurrect Grant Ward as a nice guy somehow

Eh, we were worried about this at the end of season one. They made it this far without being that thin, I don't see them doing it now.
posted by phearlez at 11:36 AM on December 10, 2015


Jemma's had a few chances now to show that she's a lot more steely than she appears to be, but Ward was such a giant evil smarmball towards her that I regret not having the deep satisfaction of seeing her shoot him and not even break stride.

I guess I would agree that Roz wasn't fridged if we had had her in the show for a little longer, and if the direct line hadn't been Coulson gets a girlfriend --> Coulson loses girlfriend to evil adversary --> Coulson goes rogue and seeks revenge. It's particularly strange since they've been riffing on it a little with Bobbi and Hunter, but really this should have been shown as more of a team thing. All of Coulson's actions are pretty believable (well, ok, maybe his method of murderation might not be) if he catches up to Ward even without Roz's death.
posted by PussKillian at 12:11 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Gotta admit I was really hoping there was going to be a Ward vs Fitz showdown on Tatooine where Ward would try to use his kung fu to take out Fitz but Fitz would beat him using SCIENCE! and drop a load of rocks on his head or feed him to a Sarlacc.
posted by dazed_one at 12:45 PM on December 10, 2015 [7 favorites]


So I think it's more than just an offing a woman to provide feels for a male character; we as audience members were bothered by her death and its method as well.
That's my impression too. The actual target of the "fridging" was not Coulson but us, the audience. Since the end of Season 1, people have been on the fence about what the show should do about Ward because he was such a fun, charismatic villain. Redemption, no redemption etc. After the "Closure" episode, there was a widespread feeling on internet forums that Beardy McTraitorson had overstayed his welcome and that he had to die.
posted by elgilito at 2:36 PM on December 10, 2015


Tell me again why It was holed up in Will's shelter, pretending to be Will, instead of whatever lair it usually occupies?
posted by GhostintheMachine at 2:54 PM on December 10, 2015


It killed Will, absorbed his memories and bet on Gemma coming back, based on her feelings.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:08 PM on December 10, 2015 [1 favorite]


Or sufficient perception/mobility to see them arrive and hole up in the shelter.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:12 PM on December 10, 2015


You know, I've been sick of seeing Ward's stupid pretty face since he went bad, but damned if he hasn't brought out the best in every other character on the show. He got Skye to pop 2 caps in him before he could even get out the words "but baby I...". He made Jemma turn stone cold badass and try to off him with a super shield kungfu star. Fitz is perma-dialed to Groundskeeper Willie level thanks to him. He's the reason for Lance's best adventures going cowboy. His tryst with Mae only made her meaner and more cynical. And finally, he got Coulsen to revert to full field-agent mode, jumping out of planes into portals and killing with his bare prosthetics. Some of the best in character growth is in direct response to Ward, but it's time for a new foil.
posted by klarck at 3:57 PM on December 10, 2015 [3 favorites]


Gemma pointedly told him in front of everyone else that if she ever saw him she'd kill him.

Hey, she tried.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:15 PM on December 10, 2015


I went from "wow, that's a really intense and intimate way to kill somebody" to "oh, fuck, they're doing it this way so they don't mar his pretty face because he's NOT FUCKING GOING AWAY" in about five seconds. Gah.
posted by restless_nomad at 11:23 AM on December 11, 2015 [3 favorites]


The more I think about it, the more I wish it had been a team effort to kill Ward, because, well, IT'S WARD. He fucked them all over, repeatedly. They all deserved a piece of him.

I'm gonna be annoyed if there's no repercussions for the Director of Shield going rogue. He should not be allowed to be the head of the licensed to kill secret spy agency without some serious therapy or something.

Here's hoping Gemma is too grieving to start another relationship, so Fitz falls in love with someone else. Maybe an Inhuman, who's a double agent for secret Inhuman group that's trying to infiltrate SHIELD because they think the agency is working with LASH. Hijinks ensue, but she's killed by Lash in the season finale, sending Fitz into a long mourning period, so Gemma falls in love with someone else...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:45 PM on December 11, 2015


Coulson finishing off Ward by crushing his chest was a powerful moment, but why'd he leave his hand behind?

He'd already beaten Ward - he was basically lying on the ground winded. He murdered Ward in cold blood, in a really vicious and painful way, and he felt gross about it.

I kind of wanted Coulson to punch a hole in his chest, but I'm pretty sick of Ward. The moment they saw Fitz and Will, Coulson should have shot Ward in the head and jogged to catch up with them.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:38 PM on December 11, 2015


PHIL LEFT BEHIND HIS MURDERIN' HAND

This led to my wife and I riffing on our Murder Hands for about two minutes. Murder Hands!
posted by Shepherd at 6:06 PM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


PHIL LEFT BEHIND HIS MURDERIN' HAND

"Welp, guess I need a new murderin' hand. This one 'aint fresh no more. Can't be doin' no murderin' with a stale hand, y'know? T'aint right. I gots my standards."

['Dueling Banjos' start playing as Coulson dives into the General Lee and races away into the Tantooine moonset]
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:34 PM on December 14, 2015 [1 favorite]


Not to mention the millions of dollars worth of R&D a fully-functional Star Wars-style prosthetic murderin' hand with strength enhancements and laser fingers (maybe) represents.

Fitz is going to be pissed.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:43 PM on December 15, 2015


Leave the hand, take the cannoli.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 5:58 AM on December 16, 2015 [2 favorites]


Tell me again why It was holed up in Will's shelter, pretending to be Will, instead of whatever lair it usually occupies?

I think it was living there because, hey, better than being stuck in a sandstorm all the time, right? And maybe becoming will made it be a little like will? Maybe becoming Ward will make it a little ward-like?
posted by rebent at 11:51 AM on December 17, 2015


I enjoyed this episode! I liked the Adventure on the Blue Planet, particularly the reveal of the city. And to me it's satisfying to see a plot mostly unfold the way you'd expect. Although I share the universal condemnation of bringing Ward back.

How did Coulson crush Ward's chest? He has a bionic hand, not a whole bionic arm. The force would need to come from the shoulder to do what was shown. I know, I know, don't question the show's technical plausibility. But it was such a powerful and personal murder, I would hope it would be physically plausible.
posted by Nelson at 4:44 PM on December 18, 2015


How did Coulson crush Ward's chest? He has a bionic hand, not a whole bionic arm. The force would need to come from the shoulder to do what was shown. I know, I know, don't question the show's technical plausibility. But it was such a powerful and personal murder, I would hope it would be physically plausible.

It was the same when he grabbed Lash's arm. They've been treating it as if he has a whole bionic arm for awhile.
posted by homunculus at 10:06 AM on December 19, 2015


With Cousin It/Ward now on this side of the portal, it's a good thing we have a super-powerful, inhuman-hating inhuman on the scene. Lash was born to take out It - or take It out - whatever.
posted by klarck at 4:08 PM on December 20, 2015


How did Coulson crush Ward's chest? He has a bionic hand, not a whole bionic arm.

Probably best to assume that when they implanted the interface with the bionic hand, they also put in some strength enhancements in the arm. Fitz is a magic tech wizard, and they do have all that Deathlok tech sitting around in a drawer, after all. I mean, they have a whole Deathlok tech installation machine sitting around somewhere, from the season 2 finale. Maybe Coulson just shoved his arm into it and it put a whole bunch of stuff in.

/fanwank
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:08 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Finally caught up to this one. "Killing Ward! Nice move, show." I thought. "Way to avoid having him hanging around for yet another season." And then.

all. I mean, they have a whole Dethklok tech installation machine sitting around somewhere

Brutal.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 PM on December 27, 2015




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