AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: PURPOSE IN THE MACHINE – AFJ REVIEW

By Roshawn Rochester

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Two for two! The action continues on this weeks’ episode. Building on the Monoliths’ history while progressing the season and its characters proved to be a task that the writers were ready for. There was so much action, character, and plot development that the hour seemed to go by faster than usual.

The episode started with a flashback to an earlier time when the Monoliths’ secrets were still trying to be discovered. Quickly ramping into a continuation of last weeks’ episode, the focus shifted to Fitz and his breakdown in the containment room housing the alien artifact. As the team quickly came to his aide, it was then that the team finally got a break. Sand. Sand that came out of the Monolith finally proved Fitz’s theory that it was, in fact, a portal to another world.

Before we get to looking for Simmons though, let’s cut to former Agent Ward speeding through a warehouse like a James Bond driving stunt with a man on the hood. Proving he is definitely out to bring Hydra back to its former glory, he reveals that he’s ready to pull out all of the stops to get information on a boy. Back to Team Coulson who figured they needed to pick up someone who may know more about the Monolith than anyone else on Earth. Queue the Asgardian, Professor Elliot Randolph. In a brief re-introduction scene, he was now along for the ride. Cutting to a really quick intro to the underlying B story of Agent Mae’s story, the scene quickly shifted back to Ward and his in-progress kidnapping of a young man.

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Immediately after the break we are greeted by Agent Mae’s former husband, Dr. Andrew Garner, who is giving Daisy a psych eval and playing her up to being a leader. Like I said in my summary of last week’s episode, Daisy is becoming a full-on leader and that plot is pushing along nicely. Heading back to the Monolith storyline, a breakthrough has been made! The teams’ discovery of a secret room has given them a breakthrough with finding a machine to control the artifact. Switching nicely back to Mae’s storyline, Hunter is trying to recruit her into chasing down Ward with him. The story is moving at a fast but realistic pace.
Cutscene again and the team has cracked the Monolith case wide open. The machine works but it’s so old that it breaks within minutes of being activated. But one of the members seems to have a unique relationship with the artifact. Daisy. She passed out while the machine was on and, go figure, we come to find out it’s because the pulsating sound from the vibrations was in tune with her body. Daisy is once again at the ready to do what needs to be done.

Ward reveals that the boy is Werner Von Strucker, the son of the late Baron Von Stucker and that he wants to bring Hydra back to its former glory in a short, but insightful, scene. Back to the meat and potatoes, Daisy is now resonating at the right frequency to open the portal. In a quick turn of events, Fitz jumps into the portal. He almost immediately finds Simmons but now the team is fighting to keep the portal open while Fitz is busy trying to grasp on to Simmons. In a tense scene, the portal blows up and Fitz is brought back. Under the rubble lies Simmons. The team pulls off a miracle!

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The good Dr. Garner calls Mae and lets him know that Simmons is back and, in true Mae fashion, she brushes it off only to complete the scene by showing her with Hunter. She’s back on the team and helping track down Ward. Of course, though, nothing will ever be the same. Another cutscene shows Simmons is having a hard time sleeping due to the horrors of the world she left. And to not deviate from the usual episodes, the last scene before the credits shows the newly revealed Strucker talking to Dr. Garner about taking one of his classes. Ward is back and his plans to take out his old teams’ loved ones is about to begin.

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