Agents of SHIELD Episode 309 recap and preview for next week
Coulson and Rosalind are sitting down for a date night consisting of bacon cheese burgers, wine, and candlelight. She is detailing her plans to go back to ATCU to find out what Malick is doing with the Inhumans when suddenly a bullet flies through the window and catches Rosalind right in the neck. It is almost immediately fatal. The bullet came from Ward, an almost impossible distance away. He calls a stunned Coulson because he “wanted to hear the panic in his voice” before he died. Coulson texts for an extraction as a steady flood of goons come in. Coulson fights his way out of the apartment and into a van driven by Mac. He asks about Rosalind; Coulson tells him to drive.
Back at HQ, Coulson doesn’t say a word to anyone. He goes into his office to take off his bloody clothes and trashes the place. He then interviews everyone who was on the team when Ward worked for them. He wants every detail, no matter how small or uncomfortable. The only one who offers anything useful is Daisy, who fell for him because there was “just something about him.” They bonded over their messed-up childhoods, and for whatever reason, he never lied to her – just held some things back. She theorizes that the reason Ward kills isn’t because he feels nothing; it’s because he feels too much.
Coulson decides the only way to handle Ward is to go off-book. Since Hunter has roughly the same rage towards Ward as Coulson now does, he recruits him to join his mission. Bobbi is told to come along as pilot, and she is not super-stoked about it. Coulson also decides that it is best if he isn’t the director during this little rampage, so he makes Mac the acting director. Mac is not comfortable with this role. “Step up and do the damn job,” Coulson orders.
Banks remembers the Distant Star Pathfinder project, suggested to NASA and funded by an independent contractor: Gideon Malick. He remembers they set up in a warehouse but cleared it out and ended the project two or three years ago. Even still, he and FitzSimmons go check it out, just in case there is anything left. At the warehouse, FitzSimmons’ squabbling over whether or not it is a good idea to open another portal is interrupted when Banks suddenly shoots the two armed guards that are with them. FitzSimmons freeze, terrified, and Banks turns around slowly, insisting it wasn’t him. The gun floats out of his hand, turns around, and shoots Banks in the head. Giyera reveals himself and collects FitzSimmons. “Mr. Malik is waiting.”
Malick is showing off his five monolith stones to Ward, but this seems to be more of a machismo thing, because he is pissed off that Ward sent guys in to kill Coulson. They need him alive. Ward assures him everything will go as they planned – he knows Coulson better than Coulson knows himself. FitzSimmons are brought in, and Malick informs them that they don’t need their help in opening the portal; they need their help to get back. Ward suggests splitting them up. Simmons is with Ward, and she maintains her cool. She isn’t rattled by him, and Ward promises he would never do anything to hurt her – but he can’t say the same about Giyera. He leaves them while he checks on Fitz, and taunts him with his hopeless puppy-dog love of Simmons, trying to get him to talk. Fitz won’t say anything, but Simmons’ screams are getting harder to ignore.
Hunter and Coulson pull off an armed robbery of a jewelry store. The only thing they take is a scared young man, hiding in the back. This is Thomas Ward, the youngest Ward brother. Coulson places a call to Ward, still trying to break Fitz mentally, to tell him they have Thomas. As proof, he sends Ward a video stream, and has Hunter hold a gun to Thomas’ head. Then Coulson hangs up.
Thomas is scared, but less about being a hostage, and more about his older brother. Thomas will help them, but only if they finish him off. Both parents were abusive, and Christian was much older than the other boys, so Grant and Thomas were best friends. Then, almost overnight, they weren’t. Grant changed the day he pushed Thomas down the well. Thomas hasn’t spoken to Grant since the day he burned down the family home. He offers to keep Ward on the phone long enough to get a trace, as long as SHIELD doesn’t turn him over to his brother.
Ward calls back, and Thomas takes the call. True to his word, he keeps Ward on long enough to track his location. Ward insists that he killed their parents to save the brothers, but Thomas was terrified of Grant and even changed his name so Ward couldn’t find him. As soon as they have a location for Ward, Coulson takes the phone and tells Ward they are on their way. Ward is pissed when he realizes it was all a setup. He is in the British castle where Fitz first went through the portal. They drop off Thomas, promising that a security detail has been ordered for him, and head to Britain.
Mac tells Daisy that FitzSimmons have been abducted. She wants to rush out and save them, but Mac doesn’t think that is the best idea. He calls Coulson, who is concerned but not about to change his own plan. Mac seeks May’s counsel. They are outmanned, outarmed, and Coulson told Ward that he was coming, so they are on alert. The only thing Mac can do is give Daisy the Inhuman team she has always wanted. Joey and Lincoln know they are being brought in because they are out of agents, but it is also because of their special powers. “Either step up and do the job, or let the bad guys win.” They step up.
Simmons is brought in to watch them open the portal. They may as well kill her, because she refuses to help them bring back the evil force on the other side of that portal. Ward assures her no one is going to hurt her anymore – because Fitz has volunteered to go through instead. Simmons begs Fitz not to do this, but Fitz is resolute. He lost her once; he can’t lose her again. She begs him to come back to her, and not to bring that “thing” with him. He promises to only bring back Will.
Malick tells Ward it is time, but Ward wants to get ready for an assault on SHIELD. Malick has other plans for Ward – he wants him to go through the portal, lead the team to bring back the great evil. “You will see your faith in Hydra was never misplaced.” He agrees, and FitzSimmons are both surprised to see Ward walk into the room in fatigues. They start up the machine and the portal opens. Several infantrymen jump in first. Malick tells Ward they will reopen the portal in twelve hours.
Coulson sees all this happening on the heat sensor map and he panics. He is ready to jump out, now. Hunter insists on going with him, but Hydra starts firing on the plane, and Coulson jumps out. He sails through the open roof of the castle and goes straight through the portal moments before it shuts down. Malick doesn’t see this. The team on the other planet has started to move out into a heavy sandstorm, but Coulson has hit his head on a rock and is knocked out.
Watch a preview for the Midseason finale, airing on December 8, in the player below!