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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode 3.2, “Purpose of the Machine”, had the team divided, but together. And while the whole team might have been in this episode, the significant emotional distance between them left the episode feeling very disconnected. Even so, that doesn’t mean the episode didn’t have its shining moments.
When I first turned on the episode, I thought I was watching the wrong show, but it turns out we were getting a little history lesson concerning the monolith, aka the thing that absorbed Simmons. Turns out no one has ever come back from getting sucked up by it. That statement might have placed doubts in some minds, but not in mine. The major history lesson simply meant that a big chunk of the episode focused on learning how to get Simmons back, thank goodness. Fitz is back on his A game, which we haven’t seen since season one, so maybe Simmons’s brief absence was a blessing in disguise? With the help of half the team they figure out that the monolith is a portal and they are able to save Simmons with the most intense scene, possibly in the series’ history. That image of Fitz and Simmons holding onto each other for dear life made me hold my breath. The rescue mission, however, also destroyed the portal, so we still don’t know where the heck Simmons was for the past few months and how she survived. Maybe time worked differently there? Hopefully Simmons will have some answers for us next episode.
Outside of the great monolith drama, we also got to see what May has been up to the past few months. Apparently she’s been kicking it with her dad in Arizona, thinking that Ward was targeting her loved ones. Hunter goes to ask her to join him on the hunt for Ward, but she refuses and then changes her mind. I’m not sure why we had to see her spend so much time with her father. While it’s interesting to see a glimpse of her past, it just didn’t add much to the plot of the show. I guess not every plot point can be as compelling as saving someone from a mysterious portal.
We really got the gang back this episode with a look at what our last team member has been up to . . . that is if people are still considering Ward to be part of the team. Turns out he’s been doing his best to rebuild Hydra. His first member is a rich kid on a boat (see above), which leads to an epic yacht fight. Again I wasn’t really interested in this storyline of Ward being Ward. I think I’ve finally given up on him coming back to S.H.I.E.L.D., though I’m still confused at why he wants to reform Hydra. He could just wash his hands of all of this insanity and disappear, but apparently he wants to continue fighting SHIELD for some as-yet-unknown reason. I just hope this means another
Skye Daisy/Ward face off. (I wonder what he thinks of her name change.) With her new powers, she might just have a shot. I am also interested to see what a new generation of Hydra agents would look like. It might be difficult to keep telling all these teams apart.
Andrew, May’s ex-husband, also returned this episode. He is trying to build a team of Inhumans for a “special project”, but none of them are mentally (or physically) up for the task. There are mixed opinions about what they should actually do with the Inhumans that they find. Daisy seems to be trying to find the balance between what SHIELD was able to do for her and the organization of Inhumans her father helped create. Either way, they’re going to need more backup, Daisy is still new to this so hopefully some more experienced Inhumans will come out of the woodwork, or her plan will never become a reality.
While this episode was an improvement from the premiere, there’s still a disconnect this season. It doesn’t seem to have a clear vision of what’s coming next. This episode just served as an excuse to get everyone back on the same page, so hopefully we can start getting into the real issues at hand, like what is SHIELD going to do about the influx of Inhumans and what does Rosalind Price want with them?
This episode still deserves a high rating just because of that Fitz/Simmons reunion. I really wasn’t sure what was going to happen there, but I’m so glad Simmons is back. It looks like it’s going to be a bumpy transition back to the real world, but at least she’s in the same dimension now. Fitz and Simmons having been through enough, I’m ready to see them working in the lab (witty banter included).
I am also happy to announce that some of the sass and snark was back this episode and it made all the difference. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.