Warning: This recap for the “Closure” episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. contains spoilers.
The writing was already on the wall — and not the mysterious Kree diagram kind either. We knew Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wouldn’t just let Coulson be happy, which meant Rosalind Price had to die. What Agents has become particularly good at is giving us what we expected in a completely unexpected way. And boy, was that unexpected.
Coulson and Rosalind are finally sitting down to enjoy their DJ’s Burgers when Ward’s sniper bullet kills her minutes into the episode. An enraged Coulson brings Lance and Bobbi on a black ops mission to get back at Ward, while at the same time, Ward lures Fitz and Simmons into the grip of Hydra.
Coulson kidnaps Ward’s brother, uses him to track down Ward, and launches an impromptu assault on the British castle where Hydra is reopening the portal. Fitz and Ward are sent through to retrieve the creature on the other side, and Coulson dives through the portal with them.
Ward, You Jerk
The first two seasons were very up and down with this show, but one of the things you would miss if you started watching with Season 3 is all the history Ward and S.H.I.E.L.D. have with each other. If you remember the bland pretty boy from the pilot and recall how you rolled your eyes as Skye began to fall for him, then it makes the cold-blooded murder of Rosalind and his line, “I just wanted to hear the panic in your voice before you die,” so much more gut-wrenching.
This episode dredges up those old relationships as Coulson searches for a weakness, and Brett Dalton gets to play some of that weakness on the phone with his brother, which is a fantastic contrast to the awfulness he displays the rest of the episode.
Fitz and Simmons, Together Again… and Apart Again (Ward, You Jerk, Part 2)
Speaking of Ward’s awfulness: Of course he would instantly know how to break Fitz and Simmons. You see them reaching for the pliers to torture Simmons, and you think, “Well, that’s not going to work,” then you see Ward sit down with Fitz and just listen to her scream and realize just how devious the Hydra head is. That, followed by Fitz’s apology, “I’m not strong enough to live in a world that doesn’t have you in it”? A case is slowly being built for Ward being one of Marvel’s best live-action villains — an award for which there’s significant competition.
Someone Other Than Ward Is Also a Jerk
For a moment there, it looks like Banks is turning on S.H.I.E.L.D., but like Rosalind, he also is being manipulated by Hydra — in this case, Hydra’s Inhuman telekinetic, Mr. Giyera (but who will always be Iron Chef America’s Chairman in our heart and “TK Guy” in our notes).
If you’ve already seen Jessica Jones over on Netflix, you may experience some PTSD when you see Banks’s own weapon turned against him; it’s almost like Kilgrave’s mind control. In just two episodes, Agents has turned Giyera into a top-shelf villain, displaying a ruthless efficiency and cunning that is terrifying to watch. The show doesn’t have much in the way of recurring supervillains, so it’d be great to see him come back after the conclusion of this arc.
* Shades of Bruce Willis in Die Hard as Coulson takes down half a dozen Hydra soldiers and improvises a bomb out of air freshener and candles. It’s always great when Clark Gregg gets to play the action hero.
* How about bringing on Mr. Giyera as a nemesis for Lance and Bobbi once they get their own show?
* Mack is kind of a natural when it comes to directing S.H.I.E.L.D. Maybe this is Coulson’s chance to get out in the field a bit more.
* “You’re such a Luddite.” “You know I have a flying car, right?” Just a reminder that this is the last wonderful bout of repartee we’re going to get from #Coulsalind. Not that we would wish Project T.A.H.I.T.I. on anyone… but does the Marvel Cinematic Universe have a less painful way to bring her back?
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on ABC.