Games of cat and mouse have deadly consequences for more than one person on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 3×04, “Devils You Know.”
Sharks in the water
As Lash continues to murder Inhumans, Coulson and Rosalind Price pool their resources (more or less) to find the hedgehog-like killer — and Coulson continues to alienate Daisy in his willingness to work with the ATCU. But Daisy refuses to trust Price or her organization, and is increasingly suspicious of Coulson’s motives.
While it’s hard to say exactly what the Director’s long-term plans are, there is an undeniable charge in the air between Coulson and Price. Call it thespian chemistry, skilled manipulation, or straight-up verbal copulation, there is no question that something magnetic is going down between these two formidable people.
And as Coulson notes, their collaboration does produce results. When Daisy (who used to be a hacker — remember that?) finds an email virus sent to murdered Inhumans, Price and the ATCU are there to apprehend the culprit.
But Frye, a new Inhuman cursed with a rash and a headache around other Inhumans, is only a piece of Lash’s puzzle. The man is an Inhuman of the self-loathing variety, who actually approves of Lash’s methods. Frye believes that Lash is “just a guy trying to do the right thing.”
But Frye’s faith doesn’t save him from the brutal Inhuman. Lash attacks the ATCU transport and murders his “partner.”
“I’m not merciful,” he says, as Daisy watches, dazed from the crash. “I’m necessary.”
Daisy then collects a crucial clue as she watches Lash’s shadow transform into that of a normal man. As she tells a (mercifully okay) Mack, Lash could be absolutely anyone.
Call me crazy, but I somehow don’t think he’s just anyone.
The blind leading the blind
While all this is going on, Hunter is offered further work at Hydra. Though May seriously questions Hunter’s judgement, Hunter is hell-bent killing Ward.
In Hunter’s defense, his stupidity is inspired by more than just revenge. He can’t — and has no intention of — seeing Bobbi in the field again while Ward is still at large. In his mind, taking Ward out must be as close as he can come to rewinding the clock and saving Bobbi from torture in the first place.
Given that Bobbi spends the entire episode chomping at the bit to get into the field — and will soon have major impetuous to do so — also alleviates some of Hunter’s rash decision making. Still, Hunter is working with blinders on, so May returns to S.H.I.E.L.D. where she speaks to
her two husbands Coulson and Andrew in person for the first time in months.
(She also answers the question of “What is that ineffable something that’s been missing from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. this season?” because it turns out it’s Coulson and May having warm, “I miss you but I respect you,” scenes together.)
But May’s interaction with Andrew is less than warm. It turns out that the good doctor left her in Hawaii, though Andrew saw the decision as less permanent (and damning) than May did. It’s unclear exactly why he left
to go undercover at Hydra no wait that’s last season, but though Andrew is desperate to resume their relationship, May holds on to her anger.
Sinners and saints
As it turns out, May might not even have the chance to regret this decision. Ward may be crazy, violent, and weirdly obsessed with all things S.H.I.E.L.D. (he wants to be called “Director” — smooth, asshole!) but he is highly skilled at contingency plans.
That very evening, Hunter levels up in Hydra enough to come face-to-face with Ward — but his plan of shooting the “Director” in the face immediately fails. Ward and Hunter trade barbs and gunfire, but Ward lights up when May arrives as backup. He shows her a live feed of Andrew in a convenience store, and demands that unless she and Hunter surrender, Andrew will die.
You know, as revenge for what happened to Agent 33. Which was also Ward’s fault.
May is about to surrender, but Hunter can’t do it. May frantically tries to redirect Coulson’s backup to Andrew as the shootout continues. Hunter gets one good shot at Ward, but he and his goon escape, leaving May in the dark about Andrew’s fate.
The audience is left, potentially, with fewer questions. Werner von Strucker confronts Andrew in the store, along with a Hydra goon holding gasoline. Later, Andrew’s phone rings next to someone’s prone feet — and a pool of blood — but is cut off forever when the store explodes.
So we don’t know that Andrew is dead, okay? We don’t know. For sure.
One… sec… tissues…
Help me through
Elsewhere in the black mural of tragedy that is now Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Simmons continues to struggle with life on Earth. Andrew (sob) attempts to counsel her, but Simmons insists that she does not have PTSD.
…which almost sounds like a joke, but no one is laughing.
But Simmons also makes a few chilling confessions. Not only did she lose hope while stranded on the planet, but when Andrew reminds her that she is safe, she tells him, “You’re wrong.”
And in spite of her attempts to keep her plans for the portal a secret, Fitz soon confronts her with the evidence. Elizabeth Henstridge’s spectacular work this season hits a real high here, as she holds the drama at a minimum, but still keeps Simmons’ emotions remarkably transparent.
Fragile and empty, yet flooded with fear, rage, and grief, Simmons asks Fitz for his help in rebuilding the portal.
“Something happened to me on the other side,” she admits. “It’s time I told you the truth about everything.”
…NEXT WEEK ON AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.