SHIELD and the ATCU’s new partnership in the search for Inhumans may look good on paper, if not for the fact that they may have different views on what to do with them once they find them. However, it’s someone’s obsession with Ward that may change everything.
Trust and obsession both play a part in this week’s episode, as both groups try to look for, and maybe help, Inhumans, while Lash (Matthew Willig) is back looking for them, too. There’s also Lance trying to get closer to the top of HYDRA, and especially Ward, May and Dr. Garner (Blair Underwood) still conflicted over something that split them apart, and Simmons, afraid to tell anyone she wants to rebuild that portal that sent her to another planet.
It starts with Shane (Nick Eversman) and Lori (Alexi Wasser), a nice, normal couple preparing dinner, aside from him floating on air. Then Alisha (Alicia Vela-Bailey), the multiple girl from the second season finale, arrives to tell them the terrigen escaped, and they could be in danger. It turns out that Alisha is one of her copies while the “alpha one” is still with SHIELD. Lori talks about a strange e-mail she got. Lash arrives and kills all of them, and SHIELD gets there too late. Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) and her ATCU army gets there, too, and she gets upset Coulson didn’t tell her they were looking for the couple. She wants cooperation, but that doesn’t include telling him how the ATCU handles Inhumans. That’s why their partnership probably will be lucky to last past Halloween. Coulson is still hopeful, saying this is a means to an end, but Daisy wonders whose end.
They discover a guy named Dwight Frye (Chad Lindberg) who seems to be a divining rod to other Inhumans, but Daisy wonders why the ATCU didn’t know about him…unless they did and are using him to find other Inhumans. Both groups do find him (Rosalind before Coulson, actually), but he doesn’t talk until Coulson’s bionic hand (with LaserFinger) convinces him to talk. Frye says Lash told him to find them, and claims Lash has to “do the right thing.” The ATCU grabs Frye, and Mac and Daisy agree to tag along just to see how that group handles Inhumans. They don’t get the chance as Lash strikes, and grabs Frye. Frye prepares for his fate, hoping Lash can be merciful, “I’m not merciful,” he says, “I’m necessary.” Lash sees Daisy but leaves her alone, but she almost sees him change into something more human. The show hints maybe Rosalind may know more about Lash than we think. However, we still don’t know if Lash thinks he should be the only Inhuman, or part of the elite. He could be working for someone; it may Rosalind or someone else.
Lance, meanwhile, is getting a bit too focused in his efforts to have Kebo (Daz Crawford) lead him to Ward, who’s already planning something. He’s using what he’s learned in SHIELD to make sure this plan works. May wonders if Lance is taking too many risks, especially if it endangers innocent lives. He might, but he still remembers that Ward nearly killed Bobbi Morse. She’s so worried she goes back to Coulson. As he puts it, it’s as if she’s never left. Morse, meanwhile, is still frustrated that she hasn’t been cleared for active duty.
Garner is heavily involved in the episode, asking Coulson how he’s handling the Inhumans and the proposed Secret Warriors plan. He also has a tense meeting with May, and their efforts to have a life outside of SHIELD. It looks like he left, but we’re not sure why. She claims it’s her, but is it? Their relationship is an interesting contrast to Bobbi and Lance’s friendlier post-marraige relationship. He also talks to Simmons, and tries to get her to open up about her experiences in that blue planet. She admits to different taste experiences, but nothing much aside from admitting she had lost hope…and that she doesn’t feel safe.
She’s also afraid to let Fitz know she wants to restore the portal. When he sees her notes, she’s very upset. Eventually, she does admit her plan to Fitz, and is about to explain why.
The climax is Hunter’s confrontation with Ward. They exchange insults and gunfire, and soon May is there to help out. It looks like Ward is trapped, until he shows May through his smartphone that Garner is about to be ambushed by Alex, aka Werner Von Strucker (Spencer Treat Clark), and another HYDRA solider at a hardware store. While May hesitates, Lance does not. He does wound Ward, but he escapes. Meanwhile, Werner blows up the hardware store, but no sign that Garner was inside.
It seemed pretty likely the first attempt to stop Ward wouldn’t succeed, and that he’s learned from SHIELD very well. The battle will likely convince May to commit to SHIELD again, no matter how hurt Garner could be. It may be possible she’ll blame Lance for what happened, but he wanted to avenge a loved one. That reason could become her reason to return to SHIELD. Meanwhile, the SHIELD/ATCU partnership is getting shakier, especially with Daisy’s suspicions. At least next week, we’ll find out what happened to Simmons, and why she thinks she has to go back to that harsh blue world.