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Agents of Shield recap S3,Ep. 8

This season, SHIELD has effectively merged the more superheroic aspects of the Marvel universe with the Inhumans storyline and its own spy vs. spy realm. The result has been a fascinating season that only got better in this penultimate episode before the fall finale that was Agents of SHIELD at its best.

After spending the night at Rosalind’s it’s only gentlemanly for Coulson to do the same. Granted his home is more of the secret organization type than a posh penthouse, but what can you do?

Despite Mack’s concerns of Coulson sleeping with the enemy, Coulson actually has a plan. While he’s cozing up to Roz, he’s deploying an infiltration team to get as much intel as possible on the ACTU’s plan for the Inhumans. I get that poor Phil has severe trust issues at this point, but man does this plan seem cold. This should pretty much kill any chances for a second date.

I love when Shield goes into its Mission Impossible spy mode and this week had some great moments. Mack revealed his hidden talent as a smiley IT rep while Hunter and Bobbi went undercover as an FBI agent and a hacker investigating an alert at the ACTU with Daisy feeding Hunter hacker lingo.

ADRIANNE PALICKI, NICK BLOODMay brought Lincoln along with her so she could apologize for Andrew killing his friends. I still haven’t warmed up to Lincoln yet as he’s more a cool power than an interesting character, but at least now he’s getting involved in the action.

After separating from the group, Bobbi learns the hidden agenda going on in the ACTU science wing — fish oil pills. I really wrote that off last season, but the Terrigen crystals getting into the water really has become a significant plot point in creating this new generation of Inhumans. Bobbi revealed her latest tech upgrade — magnetic batons — just in time to meet an ACTU agent with the ability to manipulate metal.

Coulson confronts Roz on Shield’s findings. I’ve enjoyed Clark Gregg and Constance Zimmer’s interactions all season and this was a significant moment of broken trust with Coulson and Rosalind as both felt betrayed.

Coulson has been shaken since she dropped that casual Tahiti reference that only SHIELD or a Hydra agent could know. Rosalind at Coulson’s inference that her interest was faked to sucker him in.  after a little verbal sparring, Roz realizes she’s been played and has Banks help get Bobbi and Hunter to safety.

CLARK GREGG, CONSTANCE ZIMMERThe only part I didn’t enjoy was the Fitz and Simmons romance drama as it felt out of place with the rest of the episode’s pacing. When they weren’t debating their feelings, their efforts to bring Will back, which has felt like a completely disconnected operation and a distraction for two of Coulson’s best, finally tied in.

Turns out there’s been a cult that has been sending victims through to the portal for decades and this cult has ties to both NASA … and Hydra in Gideon Malick. Some posters are speculating that Will is a Hydra agent, but that would be way too easy a cop-out of handling the tricky Will/Fitz/Simmons love triangle.

Meanwhile, Ward meets with Malick about the plans for Hydra’s future. It makes perfect sense that Hydra would also infiltrate the World Council originally seen in The Avengers and also why Malick wasn’t among the WC members chewing out Alexander Pierce in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Recognizing a potential threat, Malick sics his men on Ward, who quickly takes them out and threatens to use an acetylene torch to get the location of this secret Hydra vault. I can’t stress enough how dramatic Ward’s turn has been from the Season 1 straight-laced bore to Season 3’s most unpredictable and enjoyable guilty pleasure.

Agents of SHIELD - Many Heads, One Tale - WardAfter getting the vault location and parachuting out a commercial plane flying over it, Ward confronts Malick. Impressed at Ward’s determination, Malick reasons he was looking at him as a threat when he should have considered him a valuable ally.

Hydra was aligned with the most powerful Inhuman, who was dispatched to this portal. Now, Malick is building an Inhuman army for him and wants Ward helping in learning how Shield was able to get someone back.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

AOS is comfortable and assured in its direction and the series has matured into must-see TV each week especially as Hydra’s agenda unfolds.