At the same time we discovered that Gemma Simmons was trapped on a mysterious blue planet (which is filled with sandstorms and tentacle thingies and is also haunted apparently...nice place to vacation), sent there by the mysterious monolith that was in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s possession ever since Hydra was imbedded in the agency. On the planet, Simmons met the only other human there, an astronaut named Will. Of course, like any story where a man and woman are castaways, eventually they develop feelings for one another. At the same time, Leo Fitz, who obviously is in love with her this entire time, had been going insane trying to find a way to rescue her. He finally discovers a portal in an old Hydra castle in England, and the team saves her, Will is left behind, sacrificing himself so Gemma can get home. After weeks of awkwardness and trying to figure how to reopen the portal, they figure out a way.
Ward had all along been trying to reform Hydra, at first with the help (or more likely inheritance) of former Hydra commander Wolfgang Von Strucker’s (who was murdered by Ultron Banksy style, if you remember) son , Werner. But also we discovered former World Council member Gideon Malick was also eying the top job as Hydra leader. Malick had been already in Werner’s young head filling it with false promises of succeeding his father. Ward and Malick butt heads at first, but eventually come to an agreement. Especially after Malick reveals the true secret behind the Strucker vaults and why Werner was so important, and the real truth behind Hydra. The organization is actually centuries old, embedding itself within multiple societies and empires in secret, working towards one goal...world domination and unlocking the alien secrets of the monolith. At the same time, Fitz-Simmons figures out that Astronaut Will may not have been who he seemed. Was he sent by Hydra?
The team also discovers that the man Rosalind Price answers to? Malick! He’s the guy Ellis put in charge! And after capturing Lash, well, he was sent to the ATCU! Hydra had Lash, with every intention of using him. Turned out one of Hydra’s other schemes was not only capturing Inhumans but using the fish oil terrigen tablets to transform their agents into more. Clearly they are planning to build an army of superhumans this entire time. Fitz and Simmons would eventually be captured and Ward wanted Fitz’ help to open the portal to another world using another monolith piece found in the Strucker vault. This would also rescue Simmon’s astronaut, so it was a go! Rosalind Price, once proven to be on the side of good, with no knowledge of Malick being Hydra, was assassinated! Coulson was on a tear! His plan? Kill Ward. At any cost. With new members Lincoln Campbell/Sparkplug and Joey Gutierrez...who doesn’t have a cool codename yet (I wanna call him “Metal Melter”), Daisy’s Secret Warriors division is nearly complete. Fitz was to go into the portal along with Ward and his agents, but Coulson free falls into the castle and right into the portal as well! While on the blue planet, we discover that Will “seemed” to survive but was actually possessed by whatever creature haunted the planet, Coulson had the final showdown with Ward and crushed his ribcage with his bionic hand and they get back to Earth at the nick of time. But Ward somehow got through as well...and whatever was in control of Will’s body was steering Ward’s zombie-like carcass as well. After Lash escaped their clutches and murdered all the Inhumans they had, Hydra has a new monster at their disposal, and he’s a scary one!
Got all that? Good. This episode opens very ominously, as we are shown an event three months from now. Someone with a S.H.I.E.L.D. uniform guiding a burning shuttle in space, seemingly meeting their demise. We can only assume that a character will sacrifice his/herself heroically in space. Who is it? We are shown a cross necklace floating in zero gravity, which is a huge clue after watching this episode. More on that later.
We are brought to Colombia where a group of military police are attacked by an invisible (or really fast) superhuman, and guns are stolen. We can only assume a new Inhuman is up to no good. Meanwhile, at Rosalind Price’s apartment, a somber Coulson finally meets President Ellis, who apologizes about Malick, but says he cannot do anything about him. Malick is a very powerful and influential man in the global political scene, and removing him would be a diplomatic disaster (I call B.S. on this one, there’s gotta be more to this). He says the country needs S.H.I.E.L.D., but it must stay underground, with what happened in Captain America: Winter Soldier still fresh in the public’s mind. And he will not disband the ATCU, but Coulson will have full control of that agency. He also says that they are free to take out Malick quietly if they can. WOO-HOO!
Coulson is alerted about the situation in Columbia and he sends out The Secret Warriors and the team to investigate. While there Mack discovers a woman near the crime scene with damaged shoes, he goes to question her but she attacks him with what appears to be super speed or teleportation, it’s too difficult to see right away. She knocks him out and somehow captures him (Mack is a HUGE guy, how does this tiny little Columbian woman do that)?
When he wakes up he’s knocked out and tied up. She does have a young man as an accomplice, so maybe he helped capture Mack. He tries to figure her out, but she speaks little English. Along the way he discovers that she is indeed an Inhuman (although she thinks her powers are some sort of divine intervention), and her ability is to bounce back and forth at superhuman speed like a yo-yo. Her name is Elena Rodriguez and she claims she is not a villain. The police are crooked and she and her brother were simply trying to stop them by disarming them. Mack seems to fall for her plight, as Daisy and the team arrive to rescue him.
Yes, Yo-Yo is indeed a Marvel comic book character and was a Secret Warriors member. She is the daughter of the supervillain, The Griffin (all of the original Secret Warriors were kids of established heroes and villains...which is why Daisy was Hyde’s daughter) and her codename was Slingshot (which we may see used later in the series, but Mack will likely continue to call her Yo-Yo, since he likes his nicknames).
They send Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter to investigate the police...and yep, they are the bad guys indeed. Gun traffickers, and one of them is even an Inhuman. He attacks Bobbi before she can do her “Mockingbird” thing and he has the power to paralyze his victims with simply his stare, turning their skin grey like stone. Which character is this? I’m thinking Gorgon. Not the actual INHUMAN Gorgon, the member of Black Bolt’s royal family with the hooved feet, the one that first appeared in the awesome Wolverine: Enemy of the State storyline by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. Although he was Japanese in the comics and a mutant, he was involved with both The Hand and Hydra, with the goal of uniting the two organizations together, and the powers were EXACTLY the same. Besides The Grey Gargoyle (who actually had to make physical contact with his victims), who else turns people to stone? I personally loved this character’s comic incarnation, and I’m not too pleased with them changing him so drastically. I liked him as a samurai/ninja type. But he was heavily involved with the Secret Warriors comic and did something terrible to Yo-Yo Rodriguez (which I won’t spoil for anyone), so I get where they’re going with using him this way.
Anyway, the team teams up with Yo-Yo, with Lincoln and Joey along on their first mission to rescue the captured Bobbi and Hunter. We get to see a lot of great teamwork between the Inhuman members, and even Mack shows his worth on the squad with simply his very human fists. It was great to see! I didn’t get the overwhelming team-up “wow factor” I get from watching Legends of Tomorrow, but they are coming along nicely.
Meanwhile at the top secret Hydra base, Malick and his lackey Giyera, are trying to figure out what the hell happened to Ward, and if he’s even still inside this body. Nope. This is something else entirely. An alien creature called Hive (this is confirmed by the show’s producers). Hive was also a Secret Warriors villain, so it makes sense he’s being used. Interestingly enough, this character does not just use one body as a host, he is known to possess many others, operating as a (you guessed it) hive mind, even possessing Viper/Madame Hydra at one point. Interesting to see if they will go this route, since Ward’s body seems decaying and he’s eating gross raw meat like a zombie. I would hate to see them get rid of Brett Dalton, though. He’s been excellent this season.
Coulson, desperate to find Malick, has Fitz fire up the old T.A.H.I.T.I. machine and use it on Werner, to find out how he would contact Malick. WERNER! He’s alive, but in a coma (Ward had him beat and left for dead when he failed to kill Andrew Garner). Turns out there’s an old shop where you require a secret phrase and the store owner lets you into a dark room with only a table and a phone. This is Malick’s super secret direct line! It’s all similar to how Peggy Carter got into the lab where they turned Steve Rogers into Captain America in First Avenger, but y’know...more evil. Coulson and Malick have a conversation, with the whole “I’m gonna stop you” and “Oh yeah, we’ll see” deal. Nothing too original, but I’m really digging Coulson’s more badass demeanor lately. Hydra killed his woman. He means business.
Back in Colombia and the rescue! Yo-Yo tries to take on “Gorgon”, but he blasts her with his eyes and she wipes out. She wasn’t fast enough. Daisy orders Lincoln to melt his glasses to his face, and he does! Whoa! Harsh. The team thinks their job is done...but a chopper appears and captures Gorgon with a net! WHO IS THIS, Wile E. Coyote?! Nope. Hydra, of course! They are still collecting Inhumans, apparently. Them wascally Nazis.
Oh and I should mention, Gemma and Fitz finally shared a smooch. And it's about time! Sexy Astronaut Will is all but forgotten.
I actually really enjoyed this episode and it was really nice to see the show come back from hiatus. I genuinely missed it and the characters. After what I saw as a bit of a dismal season of Agent Carter, it’s good to get back to AoS and this season’s ongoing storyline.
I’m enthusiastic about the new Secret Warriors team and where it’s all going. Although, I actually think JUST recruiting Inhumans is a mistake. I think the team should be made up of all sorts of different types of superhumans, and the theme should be children of supervillains and heroes, like in the comics. It’s a much better concept, and gives them a whole slew of new villains and characters to deal with as well. And...I just want to see Phobos, Ares’ pint-sized son. I just wanna see that character, so sue me.
I like the addition of Yo-Yo Rodriguez a lot, especially her powers. They pulled them off REALLY well. I would have liked to see them compare her to Quicksilver, though. Or at least mention “the speedster that helped the Avengers in Sokovia” would have sufficed. Man, are they really not allowed to do that stuff anymore?! Lame. By the end of the episode, she decides to stay in Colombia but still connected to S.H.I.E.L.D. We can all but assume she will return, because remember that cross floating around in the opening sequence? She’s wearing it around her neck the WHOLE EPISODE! That doesn’t mean it’s her that is flying the shuttle, though! Mack clearly has a soft spot for Elena, and even mentions that he’s religious at one point. HMMM...
Great episode! Lots in store in the future with so many plots and new developments in store, and guess who’s back next week? Crusher Creel, The Absorbing Man! And all in the same week Daredevil Season 2 drops! Will we get a Battlin’ Jack Murdock reference? Let’s hope so!
That’s all for this week, tune into next week’s AoS review! Bleed out!