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That is the question we were left with at the end of episode 2 last week. I remember watching this weeks promo and wanting to Hulk-smash my television screen. How on earth could Simmons be Hydra!?!? After the jarring effects of Fitz’s brian injury and the heartbreaking betrayal of Agent Ward, I was simply not ready to lose another member of Team Coulson to Hydra.
This was my emotional state going into last night’s episode. Frankly I was terrified for Simmons. I knew in my heart that it could be a double-blind–that Simmons could be undercover–but what if she wasn’t! I was distressed thinking about it all week.
We open this episode with Dr. Whitehall brainwashing Agent 33, and Simmons going to “work” in a lab in an office somewhere. Turns out it’s a Hydra lab. Oh dear. Why Simmons? Why are you skipping to work like you’re in a rom-com, when you’re working for Hydra!
Her supervisor lets it leak that she’s actually testing samples from Donnie–aka Blizzard–and that they are tracking him. Turns out he escaped from the Sandbox and is hiding out, and freezing guys, in Morocco. Later on that evening Simmons returns to her apartment. Upon hearing a noise in her kitchen, she pulls a gun…on no other than DIRECTOR COULSON!
DEEP BREATH – This is the moment of truth. “Did you think I wouldn’t find out?” Coulson retorts…. Find out what? That Simmons is Hyrda? NO – that the only items in her fridge are sriracha and beer! AH! Coulson has apparently not come to grill his former scientist on her defection to Hydra, but to cook her dinner. DINNER. Like the Dad that he is.
This is where I lost it. I started crying big, weepy, tears. Papa Phil, coming to cook for his ‘daughter’ Jemma. He came to check up on her, to see if she was okay, to feed her, and to love on her–the way only Papa Phil can.
The episode could have ended right here for me, but it kept going and kept getting better!
We soon find out that Hyrda wants Gill, that they’re starting to trust Jemma, and that #TeamShield and #TeamHydra are about to have a showdown in Casablanca over our Blizzard man–Donnie Gill. I guess the cold never bothered him anyway 😉
It’s while the team is away in Morocco that Fitz decides to check out who really is in the vault. Who is the mysterious asset they keep locked away down there? It’s Ward. Ward–who locked Fitz and Jemma in the airtight container that he jettisoned into the ocean. Ward–who is the cause of Fitz’s brain damage. You could see the shock on Fitz’s face right away. He instantly started manifesting a trauma trigger. Fitz couldn’t breathe, he had to sit down–all very normal reactions when someone sees the person who damaged them. I started crying at this point too. Iain De Caestecker stole the episode during this scene–crying and experiencing the emotional shock and trauma of seeing Ward.
Ward tried to tell Fitz that he did what he did to save his life, not take it. But Fitz can’t hear him. All Fitz can hear is the rage in his head, the sounds of anger and pain and blame. In this moment he puts all of his trauma on Ward and begins starving him of oxygen. The only thing that that saved Ward was his knowledge of Donnie and what really happened to him at the Sandbox. I love how later, when Coulson talks to Fitz, he doesn’t blame him for trying to kill Ward–he admits that he can’t even look at him.
By the end of the episode Simmons’ cover remains intact, Agent 33 has been completely brainwashed by Dr. Whitehall, Fitz is starting to regain some verbal skills (with the help of Mack), Ward knows where Skye’s father is, and Donnie is presumably dead–although we know no one stays dead in this world.
Personally, I thought this was the best episode of the season, and potentially one of the best episodes of the series. I thought the “is Simmons Hydra” set up paid off really well, and that Fitz’s emotional breakdown in front of Ward was incredible.
Next week we get to go dancing with Melinda and Phil–in true Mr. and Mrs. Smith style– undercover and looking good! I hope you’re enjoying Agents of Shield as much as I am. It remains one of my favorite shows on television.
What do you think about this season so far?
Agents of Shield airs Tuesdays @ 9pm on ABC.