Agents of SHIELD Coulson Ward Planet

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Portal Combat

This week on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the gloves came off when a brutal assassination hit very close to home for a team member. Meanwhile, Ward reunited with some old “friends” in the course of helping Malick solve his portal problem.

Season 3A’s penultimate episode opened quietly enough, with Coulson and Rosalind rebounding, and quite well at that, from the professional drama of the week prior. (Heck, she even kept a matchbook from where they first went for drinks!) Alas, as they get to discussing Malick’s agenda and the danger in Ros  reporting for work at the ATCU, a bullet zings through the dining room window and punctures Price in the throat.

As Coulson fruitlessly tends to his felled sweetheart, Ward phones to taunt his former boss, about how it feels to see someone close to you bleed out. Ward’s goon squad then comes after Coulson, but he fends them off with exploding air freshener and such. Coulson makes his way back to the Bus physically unscathed but full of fury. After throwing things around a bit on his office, he switches into tactical mode, grilling all of the original team members about Ward and anything they know about him (which, for those who barely engaged in pillow talk, isn’t all that much). But Daisy perhaps steers Coulson in the right direction by observing that Ward kills “not because he feels nothing, but because he feels too much,” trying as hard as he does to “replace something missing” from his life. As in his last bit of family.

At HYDRA, Malick blasts Ward for nearly killing Coulson, for putting at jeopardy everything that their sinister organization has built toward over all these years — retrieving that Inhuman from the planet Maveth — in the name of silly “closure.”

Back on the Bus, Coulson tears into Hunter AKA he who failed to take out Ward a few weeks back, before recruiting the hot head and Bobbi for an “off-book” op, leaving Mack begrudgingly in charge as he sets out to “cross some lines.” Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons have accompanied Banks to the Distant Star facility, where the metal-controlling Inhuman forces Banks to gun down his back-up and then take his own life. Fitz and Simmons are then led away to meet Malick — and see their old friend Grant.

Simmons impresses Ward with her “Furiosa” vibe, then is quick to surmise that Malick needs them because while he has no problem finding and opening the portal to Maveth, he doesn’t know how to bring things back. Jemma refuses to give up the secret formula, so Ward leaves Fitz to listen to his partner’s screams as she is tortured. (For good measure, Ward also taunts Fitz about taking too long to make his move on Simmons.)

Meanwhile, Coulson, Hunter and Bobbie stage a bank robbery in the name of getting their hands on Grant’s younger brother, Thomas (played by Tyler Ritter). Coulson then interrupts Ward’s interrogation of FitzSimmons with a phone call to reveal whom he has abducted — as well as the fact that stone-cold Hunter is in charge of pain infliction. After Coulson hangs up on Ward, he realizes that there is zero love lost between the brothers,  that Thomas would very much prefer they “finish [Ward] off” if they have a chance. When Ward calls back, Thomas talks up his bro long enough for Bobbie to trace the call to the castle in England where they first encountered the portal.

There at the castle, Malick tasks Ward with leading their team on “the other side,” on the planet’s surface. When Ward rebuffs the idea, seeing as it’d rob him of putting Coulson down once and for all, Malick beseeches “the finest soldier we ever made” to put a pin in his bloodthirst and instead see that his faith in HYDRA was “never misplaced,” by making this bold journey on behalf of the organization’s age-old mission. Because once that Inhuman is brought to Earth, “We’ll be able to do whatever the hell we want.”

Fitz meanwhile promises Jemma that the only thing he’ll bring back from Maveth is Will, before he is nudged to take the leap into the portal behind Ward’s platoon. Ward himself then enters the portal… followed by Coulson, who after declaring, “I’m ending this,” impetuously parachuted down from the QuinnJet and straight into the circle of goo.

In the coda, we see Ward and his team start to drag Fitz around in the sandstorm, while Coulson sustains a hard landing, tumbling down a hill and cracking his head against a rock, no one there aware that he tagged along for the ride….

What did you think of “Closure”? And has there ever been a more succinct put-down than “You really are the king idiot”?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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46 Comments
  1. laurelnev says:

    Well, Ros, we hardly knew you, and just when we started to like you…BOOM! Any woman even thinking about hooking up with Coulson needs to realize Coulson’s GFs have a higher mortality rate than keyboardists for the Grateful Dead. Might as well just wear a red shirt from the 1st date. In fact. that could be said for anyone considering joining up. Bobbi and Hunter actually have the healthiest relationship of anyone in the group. *speaking of which, where is Lash in all of this. Any plans to rescue him?)

    Nice to see Ward still has SOME sort of heart, although I can’t blame bro for hiding. Somehow, I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him!

    And enough picking on the science nerds! As they say, pick on someone your own size, or at least with similar training. Guess now Fitz has Coulson on the other side, at least he has a chance. Hope Coulson and Fitz make it back, but leave Ward on the other side. They can bring Will, but the rest of them can just rot on the sunless planet. I have a feeling it’s going to be a LONG winter break until we see how this all plays out!

  2. ndixit says:

    Am I reading too much into this article or is ‘Hell’ capitalized on purpose as a hint.

    • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

      Nah, I just always make that mistake. Two ABC shows can’t have portals and Hell!

      • ndixit says:

        I must be incredibly dim but what would be the other show be. OUAT?

        • tyranthraxus says:

          At least this time they cast an actor who sorta looks like Brett Dalton. The other one did not.

          I found Ward great this episode. Still a Villain and chaffing at being second in Command. I dont think hes gonna come back from the mission.

          • KatsMom says:

            Why do siblings have to look alike? I have cousins who are sisters and look nothing alike. One has features from her mother’s side of the family and the other has features from my uncle’s side of the family. When they’re standing together, there’s nothing about them that says “sisters.” It happens.

          • tyranthraxus says:

            Generally children of the same mother and father share some physical characteristics.

          • With all this talk about who will pick up the mantle for the James Bond role going on elsewhere, I think Brett Dalton, if he can manage a British accent, would be terrific.

  3. Jimmy says:

    I’m ready for Ward to go away. We need a new villain.

    • Mary says:

      Agreed. He’s one note and boring.

    • KatsMom says:

      I’ll third…or 4th?…that. So tired of him, but I think everyone here is correct and he’s going to get left behind on the planet. Sadly, that means he can figure out how to get back and pop up again though, so he’ll continue to be a dark cloud hanging over this show.

    • ABC says:

      Long overdue. Brett Dalton is easy on the eyes for sure, bullet in Ward’s brain was in order by episode 3 in season 2. Enough already! Send him to “Quantico” for season 2 — where being pretty is the only prerequisite for being a FBI recruit.

  4. Kevin Fowler says:

    Poor Coulson, I was hoping Roslin would stick around for a while. What is strange is on IMDB it says she was supposed to be 20 episodes this season.

  5. James D says:

    Poor Coulson the dude just doesn’t have good luck with the ladies. Argh Ward I’m so conflicted I want him to die so badly but Bret Dalton is so dang good in the role I’d miss him if he were gone. I love this show. can’t wait to see what happens next.

    • tyranthraxus says:

      If they dont want to kill him, they could just leave him there. Its been done before on tv.. abandoning a character in another realm/island/place.

      That way when they want to they can bring him back.

      I kinda have a feeling its gonna be a countdown to the last second kinda thing and it will be Coulson to leave him behind.

  6. Carla Krae says:

    Hey – read on another site that Agent Carter is now delayed to Jan. 19. True?

  7. Holly says:

    That was the most intense episode of television I’ve ever seen, and very well done. I’m still reeling. It made the Flarrow crossover right before seem like an episode of Little Einsteins.

    • Jenna says:

      Yeah, Flarrow was really good, but this blew my socks off. Every second I was on the edge of my seat. Every single episode this season (with the exception of maybe episode 3, which was likely the weakest link) has played like a season finale. I’m very scared for what the writers have in store for the ACTUAL midseason finale next week. No matter what happens, we will probably not see a second of it coming. *applauds the AoS writers for blowing my mind-again.* I feel bad for the people who quit this show and still think it’s no good, these past two seasons have been such a massive payoff to the loyal Marvel fans who stuck it out through the Rough beginnings of season 1.

  8. dbaker says:

    As much as I am fan of Ward and Brett Dalton. It’s pretty safe to pencil Ward in as the co-lead that is being killed off in the blind item then?

  9. blah says:

    Good Episode. But Why was Mac put in charge? Skye has pretty much been Shield’s 2IC all year, including being the leader in field when mac is out there. If Anyone on AoS has proven to be able to be objective on a mission its her. (S1 Ward, S2 Her parents S3 Other Inhumans) ect

    • Carla Krae says:

      Like Coulson said, Mack is the only one without a beef against Ward, meaning he can be levelheaded. All the rest of the team has personal grudges.

    • Mila says:

      Also you need to think Mac has been with SHIELD way longer than Daisy has. She does not think things through in general. I thought Mac was a good choice. Gave him some purpose.

      • blah says:

        I guess Mac has always bothered me in a Lori Grimes, Skylar White Type way. He’s portrayed as sensible but usually just ends up as a wet blanket while all the other heroes go and save the day.

        I get that it gives him something to do. however the objectivity argument was poor, as mac has hardly ever been objective when it came to the inhumans. Especially Lincoln. Who is basically 2IC of the Inhuman department at shield after Daisy. In general the whole handling of this situation was poorly justified. Hopefully it leads to some good payoffs

  10. Sarah says:

    Man..what an intense episode and I’m kinda afraid of what’s coming next week..
    Coulson went all crazy mode after Ward and poor Fitzsimmons..i hope they get the hell away from that planet.
    Didn’t nobody think that maybe Will is the Inhuman? I just got a feeling he is not has innocent has he appears. Maybe they would kill Ward next week and bring him has the next big bad?
    Can’t wait to see the next episode!!

    • Mike says:

      Yeah I’m right there with u. We’re the monster and Will ever on screen together? No. And the whole sole survivor schtick? Cmon. Plus it defuses the love triangle…waaaaay too neat a way to tie everything off.

    • cobalt says:

      I don’t think Will was the Inhuman when Simmons found him, but after that sandstorm where she escaped and it seemed like he shot the thing and then walked away when the dust cleared….I fear the monster took over him or took on his shape….

  11. partisan says:

    Join my voice to those that are just tired of Ward.
    I get it, the producers pulled off a very clever, did not see it coming twist back in season one. Kudos. But since then the contortions they have gone through to keep Brett on the show and to try to keep his character relevant have gotten repetitive and tedious. How many time do we need to watch Wards smug, smirking villain act? He’s more whiny, entitled brat than super villain. I really hope that Ward bites the dust in the next episode but my bet is that the big bad on the planet possesses him and comes back to earth riding Ward like a show pony. Just my opinion.

  12. Gaia says:

    Ros got Whedon’ed.

  13. lariet50 says:

    The best Christmas gift Agents of SHIELD could give us next week is to FINALLY freaking kill Ward.

  14. number42is1 says:

    I REALLY REALLY REALLY hate to be “THAT GUY” but….

    if this is what Hydra has been working towards for centuries and it is about to become reality I think that the Avengers would be called in, no?

    don’t get me wrong i am loving this season but they took SUCH a huge bad guy and put him into a show when then probably could have used him for a movie.

  15. Dj says:

    I hated to see Ros fridged. But this might have been one of the best episodes of the season. Ward should be put down it comes to a point where a characters storylines has to end in their death and Ward is there now. Really hope next week Coulson kills him or leaves him on that planet.

  16. colig says:

    I kept thinking Ward was gonna push Malick in the portal at the last second.I really didn’t see him going thru with no guarantee of return.

  17. Walkie says:

    That’s one hell of an airplane jump. Ridiculous.

  18. The Inhuman they want to retrieve from the planet Maveth,can that be Red Skull?? didn’t actually se him die in Captain america first avenger. And HYDRA have tried to bring the Inhuman back all the way back to the time Red Skull died