Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 3 Episode 10: “Maveth”
Directed by Vincent Misiano
Written by Jeffrey Bell
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, Blaire Underwood, Constance Zimmer, Juan Pablo Raba, Powers Boothe, Mark Dacascos ABC
Air Date: Tuesday, December 8, 2015, 9pm
Tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. marks the end of the first half of season 3, with the show going on hiatus until March 8. And boy is it a big episode! This season in general has been full of surprises, action, and character growth, and the winter finale did not disappoint on any level.
Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), Ward (Brett Dalton), and some Hydra agents walk along the alien planet (no this is not a joke), in search of the creature that will guide Hydra into a new role on Earth. Trading verbal jabs — because in this way, Fitz can easily hold his own — Fitz tries to distract Ward and grab his gun, but it doesn’t work and he gets punched in the face, causing him to roll down a sandy hill. Before moving on, Fitz tells Ward the only reason Malick (Powers Boothe) sent him was because he’s expendable, and by the look on Ward’s face (and his lack of a retort), Ward does not disagree. Looking over a ridge, just before continuing on, they see a large, ancient looking Hydra sculpture, and boy is it pretty creepy.
After some wandering and more back and forth verbal jousting, Fitz falls directly into the same hole in the ground that Simmons had fallen into months before when she was on the planet. He immediately sees Will (Dillion Casey) and is just as quickly apprehended by Ward and his men. Ward wants to kill Will, but Fitz convinces him that he can’t, that they need him to find what they’re looking for. Will had apparently been attacked after Jemma (Elizabeth Henstridge) left, his leg is bloodied and bandaged. Fitz brings Will up to speed, including that the men they’re with are Hydra and that when they’re through with the mission, he and Will will be killed. Soon after, Will tells Fitz to follow his lead, and he explains to the group that they need to take a path through a canyon. The canyon, of course, leads them to the “no fly zone” and a sand storm erupts. Will begins taking out Hydra agents one by one with Fitz’ help distracting them. As they’re trekking to the portal, Fitz sees an ancient, destroyed city. Will — explaining to Fitz that the alien race had died off due to warring amongst themselves — falls over due to his injury. Fitz tries to help fix Will’s bandage and sees that there is no skin under the bandage — just some old, grimy bone. Will tells Fitz that he was there. “You’re not Will,” Fitz says, looking up at him with fear in his eyes. “No,” Not Will says. “Will died saving Jemma…from me.” Not Will and Fitz have a wrestling match that would have made their high school coaches proud, and Fitz does fairly well, but unfortunately, his good fortune doesn’t last too long. Not Will is about to kill Fitz when…patience. I’ll get there!
It’s a good thing that Disney owns the rights to both Marvel and Star Wars, otherwise we might not have gotten such a brilliant line from Coulson (Clark Gregg) as “I’ll be damned, Tatooine.” Coulson dreams of waking up in bed with Rosalind (Constance Zimmer), who tells him that “they” need him, and he needs to wake up. He listens, because her voice is comforting, soothing, and honest. Coulson wakes up on the alien planet, looks around at the dusty hills and the dark blue skies to see two moons, making him think of Tatooine. Because if anything can help you to stop thinking of your deceased loved one, it’s Star Wars.
Coulson begins to follow the tracks of Fitz and Ward. Once he catches up with them, Ward is off by himself, so Coulson takes advantage and shoots him in the shoulder. He points His gun at Ward and tells him he’s going to lead the way to Fitz. On their way, Ward talks a lot about his past and his future, and mostly, nonsense. “I chose Hydra for a father figure, for vengeance, for closure,” he says. But on this planet, he’s finding a new beginning, and this is all meant to be — he’s part of a greater plan, and that is clear to him now that Coulson has come to find him. Coulson responds by saying, “I honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.” Neither do I, Coulson. Neither do I. As they continue their trek, Coulson finally sees Fitz, about to be bludgeoned by Not Will. Coulson shoots Not Will before he can hurt Fitz, but Ward takes the opportunity to attack. Coulson and Ward brawl and it’s a pretty even fight until Coulson gets the upper hand.
Further down the sand hills, Not Will gets up, Fitz shoots him multiple times until he falls over again. He gets up again and Fitz shoots him with a flare gun, burning Not Will alive? Dead? I’m not sure exactly. He yells to Coulson to leave Ward because the portal is closing. Coulson remembers Rosalind’s face once more, kneels down, places his gloved hand on Ward’s body, and caves in Ward’s chest, killing him instantly as Fitz looks on, stunned. Coulson takes off his hand, drops it by Ward’s body, and runs with Fitz to the portal.
Back on Earth, Mack (Henry Simmons) sets up the teams for an infiltration mission of the England castle. Mack, Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), and Hunter (Nick Blood) make up one team, heading through the aqueducts and taking out Hydra agents on their way to the portal room. Daisy (Chloe Bennet), Lincoln (Luke Mitchell), and Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) make their way into the castle via another route, and encounter the telekinetic Inhuman from previous episodes. With their combined abilities, they are easily able to neutralize the threat. May (Ming-Na Wen) finds Simmons, who had recently escaped with the help of an also escaped Andrew/Lash (Blaire Underwood). The two catch up with everyone else and barricade themselves in the room with the portal. Joey barricades the door using his metal bending abilities. Mack tells them all to leave and that he’ll stay there until the last second to wait for Coulson and Fitz. They all try to come up with a new plan, but Mack yells at them, because he’s the director and he can and he’s awesome. Daisy stays with Mack to wait for Coulson and Fitz.
On the S.H.I.E.L.D. jet, May and Bobbi monitor the castle, when Mack gives the order to destroy it. They do, and a containment pod shoots into the air out of the burning wreckage, straight for the jet. The whole team comes out of the pod in slow motion: Daisy and Lincoln awkwardly embrace, May and Coulson tenderly hug, and Fitz and Jemma look at each other. She knows that Will is gone, and in tears, she runs into Fitz’ arms. While hugging the women, Fitz and Coulson look at each other with knowing eyes and Coulson does not look himself.
In the final scene of the episode, Malick is in a car on his way to an airport after what he considers to be a failed mission, when he’s stopped by a man in the road. As the camera pans upward, we see that it is a sickly, zombie-esque looking Ward, or should I say, NOT WARD!
For a ruthless, no-nonsense killer like Ward, I was a bit surprised that he just went along with Fitz’ objections to killing Will upon their first meeting. I mean, he’d never heard of the guy before, and Fitz didn’t mention him at all, so why would he suddenly believe that Fitz would be telling the truth? If I were Ward, I would have killed him on the spot, but I’m not Ward, because I’m not a coldblooded murderer — but apparently he isn’t in this moment either.
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