After an uneven premiere of the season, Agents of Shield actually didn’t go full throttle this go round. In fact, it went arguably just as slow. However, the result was much more even.
This episode truly focused on three storylines, “Where is Ward?”, “Where is May?”, and “Where is Simmons?”
The “Where is Ward?” storyline was very interesting, as we saw Ward slowly begin to rebuild that which is known as Hydra. But in his own way, and by that I mean the brutal force that is reminiscent of how they should be remembered. Not unlike in Jonathan Hickman’s Secret Warrior run where they gave Fury and the Warriors all they could handle and more. Ward is a force on screen with his “survival of the meanest” and “you must earn it” mentality. The twist though was that he was recruiting Baron Von Struckers son. Did not see that coming. But it was a worthy twist, one that’ll hopefully pay off very soon. Also, “I brought tacos”, love it.
“Where is May?” was the true shocker here, as May went back to her father (played by James Wong, oh my gosh) to try and live a “normal” life. Though it was clear not only was that not the case, but it wasn’t likely to happen for numerous reasons. Wong was amazing as May’s dad, as he noted numerous times how she acted like her mother, and that though he was never a spy he “picked up things”. He’s a classic through and through, and seeing him show such kindness and compassion in a way that got May to open up was beautiful.
This interaction led to her teaming up with Hunter on his revenge mission to find and kill Ward. Can’t wait to see that happen.
Finally, “Where is Simmons?” got to the heart of the matter of where she was…more or less…and the attempt to get her out. I liked how they brought back Randolph the Asgardian to help find and understand what was going on with the Monolith, and how to “unlock the portal” in it. What made this truly work was that Randolph had apparently been studying portals ever since his trip to Earth, so that he could avoid them and not be sent back to Asgard. His interactions were incredibly funny throughout.
What easily could’ve been the biggest misstep turned into a “oh thank goodness” moment. As it appeared that Fitz and Simmons would be pulled apart at the last second of the rescue. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and thank goodness, cause that’s WAY too cliche. Now that she’s back though, and clearly affected still by the experience, I look forward to seeing what happens with her next.
“Purpose in the Machine” hit many right notes. Sure, there was some oddities, but overall it was another strong premiere. With the pieces now all lined up, lets see where it all goes.