Fittingly, in an episode whose main thrust is a focus on May and Andrew’s relationship, and her struggle to accept the truth, here we have an episode which addresses relationships and the trust that goes with them throughout the whole cast.
Opening with a flashback to ‘that’ holiday, May and Andrew seem content and as happy as it is possible to be as they stare into each other’s eyes, before we are pulled back to the present, and May fretting about what exactly she should do. Clearly, she’s having trouble believing what Von Strucker jnr (comatose rather than dead, we learn) told her, and in true May fashion, she elects to pursue the truth alone. They don’t call her the Cavalry for nothing.
Elsewhere, we have a touching moment between Bobbi and Hunter, the latter determined to have another pop at Ward with Coulson’s attention elsewhere. Bobbi refuses, and though it’s a tender moment between the pair of them, and in spite of her win last week, I can’t help but wonder if there’s more to Bobbi’s refusal here. She may be back in the field, but clearly the thought of going against Ward again has her rattled.
Then there’s Fitz and Simmons. For it seems that no longer can we call them Fitzsimmons while this whole bizarre love triangle goes on. Gemma asks Fitz to have a look at the phone she had with her on the alien planet and see if he can recover the data. He does, and initial distress at a picture of Gemma in the arms of Will turns to something else as he watches back the videos of her talking to Fitz when she was alone. A touching story of how they met and her feelings towards him brings tears to his eyes, and there’s a nice moment of them together towards the end of the episode, watching the sunrise together. Maybe there’s hope for Fitzsimmons yet?
Daisy and Rosalind get to work on their issues as the former gives the latter a guided tour of the Bus, as they travel to a meeting with the President (Coulson going as a consultant to ATCU). They don’t warm to each other too much, but we do seem to see a softer side to Rosalind again, as she admits to Coulson later that perhaps she ‘crossed a line’ with Daisy. Later, in the middle of a battle to capture Lash, the two share an unexpected interaction – for either of them – which seems to indicate the beginning of a thaw.
And speaking of Rosalind, there seems to be a lot more than thawing going on between her and Coulson. Could it be that their interest in each other is – as Daisy has previously jokingly surmised – more than professional?
Trip to the president cut short by the arrival of Lincoln and his identification of who Lash is, the team rush to confront him and save May, held hostage by him. We come full circle, as scenes between Andrew and May focus on their relationship, and how it has changed. Lash isn’t the one-dimensional killer we may have expected, and the writers do a nice job of explaining exactly what he is and how that relates to who he was. When May finally manages to capture him, it’s by talking him down and appealing to the man that he was, before rather brutally shooting him and locking him in a containment pod. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Rosalind goes one step further on her journey towards being a sympathetic character as she sympathises with May and offers a solution which even Daisy grudgingly accepts might be best for now, and all seems to be going wonderfully smoothly, which means that you know it can’t last.
In one of the better end tags of the series to date, Ward is in conversation with the mysterious HYDRA member who gave him Von Strucker jnr, when the mystery man pauses to take a phone call. And the plot thickens in more ways than one.
Verdict: Now it’s getting good. The intrigue that was a staple of previous seasons is building nicely, and the feeling that literally anything could happen (in a good way) keeps the viewer interested and on their toes. Inspiring stuff. 8/10
Greg D. Smith