Snark Tank; Recap

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3, Episode 9: “Closure” Recap

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After a week away from SHIELD we return and INSTANTLY KILL OFF SOMEONE I LOVE

I’m calm, I’m calm. Okay, I’m not, this was a really crappy way to kill off a great new character, and it literally prove no kind of point. Ward is evil, we know, all fridging Rosalind did was provide Coulson with the manpain to finally take killing Ward seriously. As much as this show likes having complex female characters and a woman of colour as their lead they still continue to kill off woman to further men’s storylines and remind us Ward is bad.

I approve refusing to give Ward any kind of redemption storyline or bend on the fact he’s done terrible things, but if it’s at the expense of women, lesbians, and people of colour, you’re kind of contradicting yourself there guys.

After a nice phone call with Ward about seeing someone you love die before your eyes (sidenote: I thought Ward blamed May for that, not Coulson?) Phil escapes the apartment with the help of Mack and has a moment alone destroying his office before getting down to business. One by one he calls the members of the original team in for questioning, trying to track down any weakness Ward has that he missed.

Daisy, as expected, provides us with our answer. It’s nice to see Daisy draw a relation between her upbringing and Ward’s, since some fans seem to ignore her abusive childhood in favour of Ward’s own and completely miss the point the show is trying to make about choice. That being said I still have to roll my eyes at the line “it’s because he feels too much” which just continues to fuel the “Ward is a misunderstood puppy” argument.

Having discovered Thomas Ward is the only thing Grant might still care about, Coulson makes Mack acting Director of SHIELD and sets off to attack Hunter before recruiting him and Bobbi for the mission. I know Coulson has lost all logical thought just from this scene. He decides to leave Daisy and May at the base, takes Bobbi along to only play pilot, but trusting Hunter to help him take out Ward, It’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. That or Hunter has proven himself the only one willing to go along with terrible plans.

On the other side of SHIELD Rosalind’s old friend Banks recognises the symbol from Will’s uniform and takes Fitz and Simmons along to the base the portal experiments were conducted from. This is a trap, of course, and for a second I though Banks might be in on it himself until his own gun shoots him. Mr. Giyera strikes again, and Jemma and Fitz find themselves kidnapped.

Jemma shows no fear in the face of Hydra, months on a deadly alien planet will strengthen you against just about anything, and no amount of low-key sexism or torture is going to make her give away the secret of how to return through the portal.

WHEN DID WARD HAVE TIME TO WATCH MAD MAX?? This is NOT the film I expected to see on Hydra movie night.

WHEN DID WARD HAVE TIME TO WATCH MAD MAX?? This is NOT the film I expected to see on Hydra movie night.

No it’s Fitz who is the weak link here, and the sounds of Jemma’s suffering are enough to get him to work with Hydra in exchange for Jemma’s protection. On one hand I understand him and feel like I might even want to do the same in his situation, on the other Jemma has made her opinion of the matter clear and would rather die than let Hydra bring the entity from the planet back to earth.

But once again the writers fail to make me see him the way they want me to with the line “I lost you once, I can’t lose you again. I’m not strong enough to live in a world without you in it.” We get it Fitz, you’re weak, this wasn’t actually anything to do with Jemma’s suffering, just the way it made you feel.

After a call from Mack informing him of Fitz and Jemma’s capture Coulson powers forward with his plan to… kidnap Thomas? I suppose it’s excusable since the team seems to expect Thomas to be just like his brother, but I feel sorry for this guy that’s just trying to live his life and work a normal job. After finding Thomas working nine to five and his first words being “oh god, how did you find me,” they could have at least had a proper chat with him before holding a gun to his head to get Ward’s attention.

When they finally do listen to Thomas and realize he lives in constant fear of Ward he willingly helps them keep Ward on the phone long enough to trace the call. Seeing Thomas, the one person Ward claims to truly love, point out everything wrong Ward has done and state outright that growing up with abuse doesn’t excuse turning into a monster is a little on the nose, but at this point it’s exactly what’s needed for the fans of Ward that still expect redemption.

It didn’t convince them, but it was still needed.

Congratulations on being the good Ward, Thomas.

Congratulations on being the good Ward, Thomas.

Of course Coulson then decided to scrap any surprise attack they could try by making it very clear to Ward that they traced the call. I’m beginning to understand why he and Hunter work together.

With a live feed of Hydra’s base making it clear how out numbered Coulson and his team are going to be Mack makes his fist decision as Director and decides to do the actual smart thing: bring in Daisy, give her her Secret Warriors (finally!), and take an actual team of about twenty agents for an assault on the base. Why isn’t Mack always Director?

Back at Hydra Malick completely plays Ward into leading his men through the portal. Despite the fact Ward knows he’s being played all it takes is a few well placed words about Ward being a leader and the best thing that’s ever happened to Hydra and he falls right into the trap anyway. Once again Ward thinks he’s the smartest man in the room, but it’s thinking he’s the best thing ever that proves his downfall.

The portal is opened and Hydra’s team, including Ward and Fitz, descend into the portal as SHIELD’s plane is under attack above them. Malick orders the portal closed… but not before Coulson can do a perfectly timed dive from the plane directly down a castle turret into the tiny tiny tiny portal pool at the bottom.

It’s no surprise, despite the parachute (which seems kind of pointless anyway?) that the next time we see Coulson is unconscious at the other end of the portal after hitting his head on a rock, while Hydra’s team stumbles around in the raging storm.

Odds and Ends

  • Rosalind seems to have gotten over Coulson’s betrayal super quickly. NOT THAT IT MATTERS NOW.
  • May and Daisy were having a conversation and you didn’t let me hear it, this is unacceptable.
  • Retconning in Jemma having a crush on Ward while he was on the team, I am pulling out my hair. UNACCEPTABLE.
  • Thomas Ward made getting away from Shield and Hydra seem pretty simple if all he really did was move and change his name.
  • I’m really sad Mack didn’t make an axe/shotgun pun when Coulson said he was the only one that doesn’t have an axe to grind with Ward.
  • Honestly guys I’m kind of in denial that Rosalind is dead right now.

Status Report

Overall this episode gave us some good setup for next episode, but I’m still extremely angry about the way it came about and how much White Knight that’s going on this season at the expense of the female characters. Despite the big storyline for next episode I can’t help but be hesitant however, as I find it hard to believe any of the characters that went through the portal are going to die. Coulson certainly isn’t going to, Ward now stands as the most likely to be possessed by the entity (creating a storyline to once again try keep him relevant and on the show), and I find it very unlikely the show will kill off White Knight Fitz. With that in mind it seems like Will and the Hydra red shirts will be the only ones dying next episode.

That’s not to say I’m all about killing off characters, but it’s hard to buy into the stakes of the episode when you’re so sure the writers won’t actually hurt any of the characters present. But hey, they could surprise me! Lack of a threat or not, there’s sure to be a lot of action next week.

Badass of the Week: Jemma Simmons, Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken.

Scumbag of the Week: Grant Ward, after missing out on it for so long you won it two weeks in a row, good for you!

Slow clapping at: Thomas Ward telling his brother how it is.

I’m still in denial: Rosalind is still alive and there isn’t any threat of Joey or Andrew being killed next episode 🙂

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