Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 4: “Devils You Know”
Directed by Ron Underwood
Written by Paul Zbyszewski
Created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Starring Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, Powers Boothe, Spencer Treat Clark, Daz Crawford, Blair Underwood, Matthew Willig, Constance Zimmer ABC
Air Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015, 9pm
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 is in full swing with tensions rising amongst most of the main characters. In the first few episodes, due to ideological differences, we’ve seen Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) verbally clash with his protege, Daisy (Chloe Bennet), over how to deal with the Inhuman crisis. Daisy then tried to coerce her Inhuman pal, Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), over to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side with an awkward kiss; Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) has joined up with Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) in hopes of infiltrating Grant Ward’s (Brett Dalton) new Hydra group and exacting revenge, only to have Hunter go a bit too far with his initiation; and Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) rescued Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) from an alien planet and all Simmons wants to do is go back to the alien planet! What’s in store for the agents this week?
In the first scene of the new episode, “Devils You Know,” we are introduced to a normal couple preparing a meal together in their Northern Hollywood apartment. At least they seem normal until we notice the man is floating around the kitchen (with no hover board, mind you)! A girl knocks on the door, and although they are wary, they see she is a friend through the peephole and let her in. She tells them that the terrigen got out. They know Lincoln and say they need to stick together. ACTION TIME! The creature knocks down the door and attacks the three Inhumans. Unfortunately, crazy hair monster guy that we’ve been seeing this season kills them, but the redhead’s body is just a double, and she is actually in a trance on the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane. Mack (Henry Simmons) and Daisy are outside the apartment waiting because they were going to try to recruit the Inhumans, and meanwhile on the plane, Alisha the redheaded Inhuman says to Coulson, “You can’t stop him.”
Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) wants to get back into the field badly, as evidenced by her desire to help with multiple missions this episode. Still, she’s not ready and although she is helping Fitz in the lab, they are driving each other a little crazy. There are “systems” in place that Fitz and Simmons just understand, and it’s not the same when they work with other people. Aside from their banter, noticeably absent is Bobbi’s explanation of the truth about what Simmons wants to do (which is to go back to the alien planet), and we later find out that this is because she feels it should come from Gemma. Fair point. Gemma is clearly acting oddly, and not admitting what she went through even to Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood), although she does let it slip to him that she gave up all hope while on the planet. We are strung along throughout the episode, but finally, at the end, when backed into a figurative corner because Fitz has figured out her plan to rebuild the portal, Gemma says, “I have to get back there and I need you to help me. Something happened to me, Fitz, on the other side. It’s time i told you the truth.” FINALLY. And according to the promo for next week, we are going to see some sweet flashbacks to the planet.
Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) and Coulson continue their sexual-frustration-fueled partnership this week. For instance, is anyone else skeeved out with Rosalind’s question: “Do you really have a laser finger?” and his response, “Sorry, it’s classified.” Anything, no matter how innocent, said in the way these two talk like, suddenly becomes risqué. The relationship is mutually professionally beneficial: it’s sort of a keep-your-friends-close-keep-your-enemies-closer situation, and Coulson knows that they can get important intel from the ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit). Still, Rosalind is no dummy and is obviously doing the same thing. Although Coulson describes the unlikely alliance as “a means to an end,” Daisy replies, “Ours or theirs?” I’m sure that the benefits as well as the repercussions of these decisions will be explored this season. Although the groups question each other, especially Mack and Daisy (good old Skye will NEVER miss an opportunity to speak her mind!), they work together to look for the killer. Originally, they think it might be “IT guy” Dwight Frye, but it appears he is just a pawn for the real killer, Lash. When the ATCU (with Mack and Daisy) tries to take Frye in, Lash cuts a hole in the roof of the armored vehicle and beats up a bunch of people, but is after Frye. Clearly weak and in pain, Frye pleads that all he told them was that Lash is “merciful,” to which Lash replies, “I’m not merciful; I’m necessary.” He kills Frye and then walks away from the scene, proving that his choices are calculated. In the most haunting sequence of the episode, Daisy looks up to see Lash’s shadow transform from a beast to a man.
Ward’s back and he’s just awful. Beyond his perpetually perfect five-o’clock shadow (what a mystery!), he is leading a band of nasty looking goons out of what appears to be the new Hydra. It most certainly looks more bare-bones than the old Hydra, and Ward has instituted some of the qualities he admired about S.H.I.E.L.D. like accountability, patience, and attention to detail — but not the bureaucracy. To me, this just means that Ward wants to be able to kill and torture people and do whatever he wants all the time without the red tape. Regardless, he has them call him “Director” because he’s so full of himself it’s disgusting.
Let’s talk about Andrew, May, Bobbi, and Hunter. Bobbi has a bad, “familiar feeling” that Hunter is in trouble. And Hunter is in trouble. He’s going guns blazing into Ward’s camp to take out the man who tortured and tried to kill the woman he loves. He’s letting his emotions dictate all of his decisions. We find out that Andrew left May this time, and did not call or text or write. When they see each other at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, though, Andrew’s face shows a different story as he gazes sadly but longingly at Melinda. He apologizes and says “I shouldn’t have walked away like I did,” but May shuts him down. “I did the same to you. Now we’re even,” she retorts, explaining in her few words that she has no interest in talking about the relationship. But her real feelings for him are tested when she arrives at Ward’s warehouse to back up Hunter and Ward reveals a video feed of his men closing in on Andrew. “Dr. Garner is on his way to teach a class right now — Psych 301, I believe,” Ward says ominously. The look on May’s face shows she knows this is not a bluff. Hunter, in all of his juiced-up-adrenaline-rush fury, is convinced it’s not real, but truly, he’s just thinking about his shot to get at Ward. At this point, May has taken down five of Ward’s men, and there are six left, including Ward. May’s heart takes over and she begins to surrender when trigger-happy Hunter starts shooting at Ward and his men. May is forced to join in and help at this point, and although Hunter manages to shoot Ward in the shoulder, the new Hydra Director makes a graceful leap out the window and flees to safety.
In typical Whedon fashion, a tragic scene unfolds. We don’t see the body, but we see (presumably Andrew’s) blood, legs and shoes, as well as gasoline on the floor of the gas station in which he was previously standing. Then, Alexander von Strucker (Spencer Treat Clark) lights it and jumps away from the explosion, looking shocked yet invigorated.
I really don’t have much to say in response to this, except that I had a feeling it was going to happen. Heavy stuff this week, folks. This is sure to affect May’s friendship and working relationship with Hunter, and it will definitely be a catalyst for some character development for her.
– Is anyone else still having hard time calling Sk…I mean Daisy, Daisy?
– What the heck is going on with Mack?!?! Seriously, every scene he’s in it’s all, “No, Coulson you’re wrong. I agree with Daisy,” or, “No Daisy, you’re wrong. I agree with Coulson.” The dude can’t make up his mind, but it’s clear the writers just don’t have anything important for him to do.