‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ 3.04 Recap: “Point, Shoot, Repeat As Necessary”

While it no doubt frustrates many fans to see Bobbi sidelined this season, I have to give ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ credit for acknowledging that the injuries she suffered would take considerable time and effort to recover from. Most comic book shows (or even most TV shows in general – I’m looking at you, ‘Castle’) would have a character in her position fully back on her feet within two episodes. I certainly don’t expect (or get) much realism from a series like this, but a small token like this goes a long way.

That said, she’s still recovering much faster than a real person would – if a real person could recover from such severe injuries at all.

Anyway, with that happening in the margins, episode ‘Devils You Know’ is split among three tracks.

The Spirit of Cooperation

In an apartment in North Hollywood, three longtime Inhumans meet to discuss the threats to their race. Each of them thinks that the other sent an email asking for the meeting, but none of them actually sent it. Suddenly, that burly porcupine monster thing from earlier in the season busts down their door and attacks them. One of the Inhumans is Alisha, the girl from Season 2 with the power to split off multiple copies of herself. She’s working for S.H.I.E.L.D. now. As one clone battles the monster, another sits with Coulson and tells him what’s happening.

A S.H.I.E.L.D. team arrives at the apartment too late. The monster is gone and all three Inhumans (including the clone) are dead. Mack and Daisy run off in pursuit of the beast while Bobbi stays behind to collect hair samples from the scene.

Instead of the monster, Mack and Daisy run into Rosalind and the ATCU. Coulson is there as well. He tipped them off to the attack, but the relationship between the two agencies is strained.

With the physical trail lost, Daisy concentrates on the mysterious email. She finds a virus in it, and tracks its origins to an IT guy named Dwight Frye who works for the Social Security Administration. Daisy and a team race to his apartment and find the ATCU already there. Dwight has a reaction to Daisy being in the room. It seems that he’s allergic to other Inhumans. That makes him something of a “divining rod” for the race. He’s been helping the monster find and wipe out Inhumans. He says that the monster’s name is Lash, and that he’s just “a guy trying to do the right thing.”

The ATCU take Dwight into custody. Daisy doesn’t trust them and insists on going along to see their facility. Coulson agrees and sends Mack as well.

On the way, Lash attacks the ATCU truck and causes it to crash. He kills Dwight. Daisy is too disoriented from the crash to stop him, but catches a glimpse of what looks like Lash transforming into a normal human form.

Undercover Blues

As Ward plots to bring S.H.I.E.L.D. down, Lance is determined to stop and kill him before Bobbi ever gets back in the field. May is concerned that he’s being reckless in his obsession, and returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. to ask Coulson for backup. Coulson doesn’t have much to spare at the moment. Bobbi feels frustrated that she’s being kept out of the loop regarding Ward’s current status.

Undercover as “Richie,” Lance is brought to HYDRA’s temporary headquarters much sooner than he anticipated. His cover is blown as soon as Ward sees him. A big shootout ensues. Lance assumes that he’s on his own, but May shows up to assist. Together, they take out most of the HYDRA goons.

As they get close, Ward tosses May a cell phone with a live video feed of her ex-husband Andrew (Blair Underwood). Posing as one of Andrew’s students, Werner von Strucker has stalked him to a convenience store. Ward informs May that if she and Lance don’t back off, Werner and some HYDRA thugs will kill Andrew. May is conflicted. Lance believes that it’s a bluff and won’t back down. He charges in after Ward, guns blazing. He manages to hit Ward in the back with one shot, but Ward jumps through a window and gets away with his right-hand guy. May is furious.

At the convenience store, we see a dead body on the ground. Werner runs outside looking scared just before the store blows up. The obvious implication here is that Andrew is dead, but we pointedly do not actually get to see the dead body’s face. My assumption is that Andrew is still alive and one of the HYDRA henchmen was on the floor.

Worlds Apart

Fitz discovers Jemma’s notes on rebuilding the portal to the planet where she had been trapped. He asks what she’s up to, but she can’t vocalize it and just wants to be left alone. Later, he asks again and she says that she needs his help. The episode ends with Jemma just about to tell him the truth about everything. We leave off on that as a cliffhanger for next week.

I’m surprised to see Lance’s undercover mission wrap up so quickly. I expected that to drag on a bit as he worked his way up through the ranks of HYDRA before finally confronting Ward. Instead, we’re already done with all that. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

This season has gotten off to a slow start. This episode lays some groundwork for at least three potentially major storylines: Ward’s vendetta against S.H.I.E.L.D., the Inhuman hunter(s), and Jemma’s adventures on an alien planet. At this point, I’m not sure that any of them is really as compelling as last season’s HYDRA or Inhuman arcs. We’ll have to wait and see where they go.

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