It was a little touch and go there, but Coulson is back to normal and the team pulled out a big win this week on Agents of SHIELD. Plus Ward is officially out of the basement for good and I seriously could not be happier about it–who else was getting really bored of his awkward chats with Skye?
“The Writing on the Wall” began in the same gruesome manner I’ve come to expect from Agents of SHIELD as of late. The mysterious man with the alien glyphs tattooed onto his body ritually murdered a woman who couldn’t help but feel the two knew each other. Turns out, they did – both of them were former SHIELD agents who were injected with the GH serum or, as they say, went to “TAHITI”
Coulson, whose compulsion to carve out the glyphs was getting stronger by the day, realized that the only way to solve the mystery was to use the memory machine Raina subjected him to back in season one. Skye and Simmons rejected the idea, but Coulson insisted, with Mac on hand to hold him down if he became violent. What came next was shocking.
It turns out that the GH serum was used on six different SHIELD agents before it was ever used on Coulson. At first it worked out great– people were healthy and happy. That is, until they all started to go insane, carving glyphs and tearing their hair out. Coulson decided that the only solution was to erase their memories and implant new names and identities for them. What got me was the reason for their insanity: they were imprinted with the memory of the GH serum “host,” a.k.a. the Kree alien they used to create it. Which, to me, is a big hint that Skye must be part Kree, if she’s immune to the serum’s effects.
Marvel trivia time: Which comic book superhero is part Kree, part human? Captain Marvel, a.k.a. Carol Danvers. Does the name sound familiar? It should–just last month Marvel announced a Captain Marvel film slated for release in 2018. There’s already a ton of speculation about who will be cast as Carol Danvers, but what if it’s Skye? After all, like her father said, “Skye” isn’t her real name. How cool would that be?
Ahem, anyway…while part of the team was investigating the glyphs back at HQ, May led Trip, Hunter and Bobbi on a manhunt for Ward, who slipped out of federal custody and is now on the run. Trip found him at an airport, but couldn’t approach on account of the bomb strapped to Ward’s chest. Ward is many things, but he is definitely not subtle. They tracked him to a bus station where, after he evaded Bobbi with another bomb threat, Hunter managed to follow him all the way to Boston. Just as the team was about to swoop in, Hydra beat them to the punch, led by Whitehall’s right hand man, Bakshi. Ward called him in to explain why he was MIA and offered a chance to meet with Coulson face to face.
Back at HQ, using the information Coulson remembered about the TAHITI patients, they discovered that of the six agents that received new identities, only two were alive – the killer, Sebastian, and his next target, Hank Thompson. Desperate to solve the mystery of the glyphs, Coulson trapped Skye in Ward’s old cell and went out on his own to find the killer and get the answers.
While it first seemed like Thompson had no knowledge about the glyphs, he turned out to be the key to the mystery. As Coulson and Sebastian fought in his garage, Coulson realized that what was supposed to be an elaborate train model was actually a 3D rendering of the glyphs, which were blueprints for a city. Whether or not it’s a city that already exists is something the team still has to figure out. Comic book fans may be speculating that the city is connected to a future Inhumans storyline in the Marvel universe, but I’ll leave it at that for now to avoid possible spoilers.
Speaking of mysteries, in a twist that no one saw coming, Ward turned on Hydra and delivered Bakshi to SHIELD with a bow on top, giving the team a major advantage here on out. In the final scene of the episode, we saw Ward (finally) shave off the beard and give Skye a call, telling her that he plans on dropping off more “gifts” in the future. Did I mention that I love this new storyline for Ward? I can’t wait to see what he does now that he’s out there on his own – after he pays a visit to his brother, of course.
Some favourite highlights from last night’s Agents of SHIELD episode:
“I like my bosses unjumbled at all times.” Between this and how “awesome” his exes are, Mac’s one-liners are one of the best parts of the season.
Did you catch the Captain America memorabilia near the end of the episode? I’m glad they’re keeping Coulson’s Steve Rogers obsession alive and well.
Hunter used a cowboy hat as a disguise and it actually worked. Or so he thought.
It was hard to follow Mac and Fitz’s serious conversation about Coulson while they spoke over beer and video games, yet somehow I found it charming.
Did you enjoy the mystery of tonight’s episode? Are you excited to see what Ward will do with his new found freedom? Sound off in the comments below. Meanwhile, in next week’s episode SHIELD faces off against Hydra and Ward comes face to face with his brother.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on ABC and CTV.
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.