Posing as S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra agents storm the United Nations and start killing with this cool disc – a splinter bomb – that turns victims into dust. Literally. Coulson sees this as Whitehall’s handiwork, meant to turn the world against S.H.I.E.L.D. Funny… I thought the world was already against S.H.I.E.L.D. Senator Christian Ward (Grant Ward’s older, allegedly abusive brother) takes to the television, trying to institute an anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. law, labeling the group as terrorists and giving nations cart blanche to hunt them down. Belgium prime minister Beckers is not on board with this plan, which is good because S.H.I.E.L.D. has safe houses in Belgium.
Bobbi thinks this is the technology belonging to a man named Toshiro in Okinawa. She travels there with May and Hunter to talk to them. Bobbi has a pre-existing relationship with Toshiro, as a Hydra agent, and goes in under that cover. It turns out that the two are occasional lovers. Toshiro’s men are tipped off that Bobbi is actually part of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hunter and May enter and shoot everyone before they can shoot Bobbi. Before he died, Toshiro had mentioned that the remainder of the splinter bombs were shipped off to Beckers – yup, that Beckers.
Skye goes to Ward for basic info on his older brother. Ward warns her that he gets joy from hurting people and probably thinks that S.H.I.E.L.D. can lead the elder Ward to his brother. He turns the conversation back to Skye’s father. Skye is mad that he failed to mention her father was a murderer. Coulson shuts it down, annoyed that Skye is off track.
Coulson is waiting for the senator when he returns to his office. He wants to clear the air: the attack was Hydra, posing as S.H.I.E.L.D. He makes veiled threats about revealing his brother’s involvement in Hydra to the press, and then grabs the senator’s attention by announcing he has his brother in his basement. The senator is concerned about Grant’s well-being, which surprises Coulson and leads Christian to tell his side of the “abusive brother” story. As kids, the Ward parents were always gone, and the three brothers would spend their days by the creek. Christian knew he could never leave Grant with their youngest brother, Thomas. One day he found Grant standing over Thomas with a screwdriver in his hand. Christian “saw something” behind Grant’s eyes, but then it was gone. “I have spent too much of my life trying to unravel his lies.” Coulson may have a plan that will benefit both of them.
While Coulson speaks with the senator, Skye goes back to Ward. The cameras are off. Ward insists that everything his brother says is a manipulation. “I know what I am. My brother is worse.” He promises, for the umpteenth time, that he has never lied to Skye – he just never got a chance to tell her about her father. He shares what he knows about that fateful day in the Hunan Province: Hydra was after her and her mother. Skye’s mother was killed, and by the time her father arrived, his family was torn apart. So he tore apart the village. “He cracked,” Ward says. Skye thanks him, then reveals that Ward is being transferred into his brother’s custody. S.H.I.E.L.D. will turn over Grant Ward to his brother so that he can prosecute him for treason and acts of terror, thereby boost his appeal in the coming elections. In return, the senator will rescind the anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. legislation he had been pushing.
Somehow, the team didn’t put together the fact that Beckers was the bad guy until around this time in the episode, when Fitz – with the help of Mack – discovers that Beckers’s grandfather was a member of Hydra. All the prime minister’s posturing about protecting S.H.I.E.L.D. was a ploy to lure them into a false sense of security. Coulson reroutes May’s team to the Bruges safe house. May, Bobbi, and Hunter bust in on the safe house, and some crazy fighting ensues. Beckers escapes, but Talbot later informs May that they picked him up at a border crossing. The two shake hands, and an uneasy alliance becomes a little stronger.
The senator gives a press conference, admitting that his brother is a Hydra agent, and insists that S.H.I.E.L.D. are the good guys, Hydra are the bad. He promises that the younger Ward will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Except that, while Ward is being transferred, he dislocates his thumb, slips from his handcuffs, and starts beating the hell out of the armed guards who are transporting him.
Also: Tensions are high between Fitz and Simmons. Fitz feels abandoned, and Simmons doesn’t want to admit that she left because she thinks Fitz does better without her.
Finally, in the “tag” to this episode, a man goes into a tattoo shop, lousy with cash and determined to get his tattoo finished. He removes his shirt, and reveals and entire chest and back piece made up of the alien etchings. He has a drawing with him and doesn’t care how much it will hurt: “The pain helps me remember.”
In addition, you can check out the promo for episode 2.07 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the player below. Titled “The Writing on the Wall,” the episode is officially described as follows:
“The team discovers murder victims with the alien glyphs on them that Coulson’s been etching. All of Coulson’s secrets and lies come to a head.”
Written by Craig Titley and directed by Vincent Misiano, “The Writing on the Wall” is set to air November 11. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs Tuesdays at 9 PM on ABC.