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Last week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., HYDRA was ready to bring some sort of nasty Inhuman beast through the alien portal in an effort to fill the world with death and destruction. After losing Rosalind to a bullet from Ward, Coulson went on the rampage, desperate to kill his nemesis once and for all. Meanwhile, team S.H.I.E.L.D. figured out where HYDRA had set up shop and went after them. The bad guys were using Fitz and Simmons to find out a way to get their weird alien “god” back and S.H.I.E.L.D. needed to stop them before it was too late. And while HYDRA did manage to get their team through the portal, it wasn’t too late for Coulson to jump through as well, ensuring that they’d at least have a little competition to deal with. This week, S.H.I.E.L.D. tries to figure out how to rescue their teammates while still stopping HYDRA from executing their doomsday plan. ‘Maveth’ is the big mid-season finale, although it really doesn’t feel too big by the end of 42 minutes.

We begin with Ward and the rest of them roaming about the alien planet, looking for their lost deity, when they stumble upon something rather extravagant – a giant, temple-like building shaped like the HYDRA logo. We then head quickly back to Earth, where Hunter, Bobbi and Mack are making plans on the best way to go about rescuing their comrades from both the HYDRA compound and the portal. It’s then that they make a discovery – that HYDRA has all the frozen Inhumans right there on the base, waiting for something no doubt sinister.

After figuring out a secret way into the base, Mack, May and the Inhuman squad make their way through the compound, fighting bad guys and eventually seizing the portal. Along the way, Lincoln blows the power and inadvertently gives Simmons the chance she needs to escape. She ends up wandering into the frozen Inhuman storage yard and there runs into Andrew. Desperate to avoid capture, she lets him loose on the HYDRA thugs. Unfortunately, he ends up leaving a trail of dead Inhumans in his wake.

ward

Once all the crew has reassembled in the portal room, they discover what HYDRA is up to. So then the debate starts over whether they should sit around waiting for Coulson and Fitz to show up or just let the portal die and make sure that world-killing Inhuman beast from the other side never makes it through. There isn’t enough time to make a solid decision, however, so Mack sends everyone on their way except for him and Daisy. Together, they wait for their comrades.

As all this goes down, there’s drama on the alien planet. Fitz guides Ward’s group to Will under the pretense that he’ll be able to take them to the alien monster. When they get a little time, Fitz lets Will know what’s really going on. When the time is right, Will gets murderous and he and Fitz escape from Ward’s grasp. About that time, Coulson shows up and puts bullets into Ward’s remaining allies. Then he marches him off into the waste, searching for Fitz and the portal that will take them home.

When they finally do make it to the portal, Fitz discovers something very unnerving – that Will is and has been the creature all along. The real Will perished some time ago and the evil what-the-fuck is using his body in an attempt to make an escape from the blasted planet.

Then the race against time commences. Coulson is trying to rescue Fitz, Mack and Daisy are defending against a HYDRA assault, Fitz is shooting wildly at the Will-demon and the portal is quickly closing. Luckily, Fitz and Coulson manage to make it out, though not before S.H.I.E.L.D.’s director concludes some unfinished business with Ward. Of course, as the episode winds up, we find HYDRA-head Malik attempting to flee and stumbling upon Ward. The demon-creature is in possession of that body now and things aren’t likely to get any easier for S.H.I.E.L.D. once the series returns for the second half of season 3.

team at portal

Overall, this episode wasn’t anything too outstanding. It was a solid entry that served as a 42-minute climax to the set-up done last week. We saw a steady pacing (which S.H.I.E.L.D. is always good at) and a little bit of action and a few twists and turns, but overall it really acted as a cliffhanger for the second half of the season and little more. Nothing amazing happened aside from the “Ward incident” and even that lost its gravity once the final reveal was made.

Was it a bad episode? By no means. It certainly wasn’t, however, one of the better ones. But if S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to make episodes like this as their weaker entries, we have nothing to worry about as we move forward toward season 4.

So now for a little speculation (another thing that S.H.I.E.L.D. wholeheartedly encourages in its viewers) – Who else out there sees the world-devastating Ward-demon-Inhuman-thing being set up against Lash, the Inhuman who likes to murder other Inhumans? In the meanwhile, S.H.I.E.L.D., the ATCU and every other living, breathing thing will have to work together to ensure that humanity doesn’t get eradicated in the process. If it weren’t for S.H.I.E.L.D.’s connection to the movie-based Marvel Cinematic Universe, I’d say this was a perfect opportunity to lay waste to the planet and create some truly crazy story arcs. Unfortunately, the writers will have to dial it back a notch so that Civil War, Doctor Strange and all the rest of the new flicks don’t get overshadowed by the smoking crater that was once New York City (or the entire USA, for that matter).

coulson

Still, it should be interesting to see these two face off against each other. We may see a little redemption thrown Andrew’s way as well. Or we may see May acting as his guide, trying to steer him in the direction of the baddie while keeping him off the backs of other Inhumans. Or the bad guy could be so powerful that S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to back Lash, despite his record of atrocity, in their efforts to save the planet.

Ah yes… speculation. But in the end we’ll just have to wait until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns in March to find out the truth of it. Hopefully they’ll have a few surprises in store for us to make it even more interesting.

Until then, Nerd Readers, I wish you pleasant dreams. See you in March!

Category: reviews, TV

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