“Closure” – aired 12/1/15 – *****Stars
Written by Brent Fletcher
Directed by Kate Woods
*spoilers contained within*
In the last episode of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Many Heads, One Tale”, Coulson (Clark Gregg) finds out Rosalind (Constance Zimmer) is actually part of Hydra, reporting to Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe), the A.T.C.U. has been employing Inhumans, led by a man named Mr. Giyera (Mark Dacascos) to protect their facilities against outsiders and Malick owns pieces of Stone belonging to the monolith from the alien planet. With only one week left until the mid-season finale, the stakes are as high as ever on all sides to find out the truth about each other no matter what and by any means necessary.
“Closure” opens with Coulson and Rosalind sharing a nice candlelight dinner complete with wine and fast-food cheeseburgers. Despite, the events at the A.T.C.U. the two still managed to keep an interest in each other. Rosalind is telling Coulson how she wants to go back in to the A.T.C.U. to see what Malick is doing to it. Phil questions her but she insists on doing it. She is about to divulge her plan when she is shot and killed by a sniper, Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). Ward calls Coulson to tell him he had to kill Rosalind to stop her from compromising Malick and then sends in an assassination squad, but Coulson escapes with help from Mack (Henry Simmons). Coulson says nothing to the team back at the base and trashes an upstairs room in a fit of grief and anger. The team just stares at the staircase, but they know what happened. He is hellbent on finding and killing Ward so he interviews the team to get an insight on how Ward behaves based on their interactions with him. They don’t have much to offer but Daisey (Chloe Bennet) says he fell for her because they were able to relate to each other. They both came from broken homes and lived with no family structure or someone to help guide them. She did not forgive him for anything he had done but she sympathized with him. Coulson even gets to the point where he chokes Hunter (Nick Blood) for letting Ward get away but Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) steps in and says it wasn’t Hunter’s fault and Coulson started this by making Ward a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent in the first place.
Ward returns to Malick to tell him he killed Rosalind but Malick is not as enthused as Ward thought he would be. He wanted Coulson alive and says Ward made a mistake sending a team after him. Malick then shows Ward five stones carved from the monolith which belonged to five Hydra members that will ensure their plan is completed. Malick continues to say if Coulson were killed, the plan would have been put in jeopardy.
While Coulson concentrates on Ward, Mack, Fitz, (Iain de Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) meet with Rosalind’s right-hand man, Banks (Andrew Howard) concerning Project Distant Star, which sent Will through the portal to the same alien planet as Simmons. Banks says the project was not from NASA but from an independent contractor. They decide to investigate the facility for themselves but it will land them in very hot water. When they arrive at the facility, Mr. Giyera uses Banks’s gun to kill the S.W.A.T. unit they went in with then Banks himself. Giyera then appears from out of the shadows to take Fitz and Simmons hostage. Coulson takes Hunter and Bobbi on a mission to find Ward leaving Mack as acting director. When Coulson, finds out about Fitz and Simmons, he is sent into a rage. The team storms a bank where they find Thomas, Ward’s brother. They use him as collateral against Ward holding Fitz and Simmons. Thomas tells them everything about growing up with Ward and how abusive he was to everyone, eventually throwing Thomas down a well and killing their parents and brother Christian.
Bobbi suggests tracing Ward’s phone, but Hunter doesn’t believe it’s a good idea saying Ward will catch on to it. Ward calls back and Thomas says he’ll talk to Ward long enough to trace the call. The plan works as Ward is traced to southern England, the same location where Fitz and Simmons emerged from the monolith. Malick is using them to open the portal so Hydra can cross into the alien planet. Ward has Fitz and Simmons split up so one of them will tell everything they know about the portal. Fitz makes a deal after he can’t stand hearing Simmons scream at the hands of Giyera. The two are taken to the portal and Fitz says he made the deal because he couldn’t stand the thought of losing Simmons again. Before the portal is opened, Malick meets with Ward about leading the team through it.
Malick is giving Ward the opportunity to be a leader but Ward only wants to kill Coulson. Malick tells him to look beyond revenge and think of the new opportunities as leader of a team on a new planet. Ward is convinced and suits up to cross the portal. Meanwhile back at S.H.I.E.L.D., Mack is concerned with the logistics of the Hydra base. It has armor, men and weapons that S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t. May (Ming-Na Wen) assures him he will be fine and he knows what he has to do. Mack, along with Daisey, summon Inhumans Lincoln (Luke Mitchell) and Joey (Juan Pablo Raba) to be the first line of defense and take out Hydra’s men and weapons while the rest of the team breaches the facility.
The portal is opened and Ward sends his team in along with Fitz and himself. Coulson sees this from the plane and decides to jump early in an effort to save them. However, Malick closes the portal earlier than planned leaving Ward, Fitz and Hydra soldiers to fend for themselves. As they search the planet, a being falls from the sky, hitting the sand hard and rolling into a rock. It’s Coulson, who has managed to get through the portal unnoticed.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is the kind of show that has plenty of action, but also intrigue which the writers have done a great job having enough of it without leaving so many questions the viewer can’t keep track. The questions are gradually being answered and I’m optimistic the mid-season finale will tie up plenty of loose ends from this season and even the end of last season. I am very impressed with how S.H.I.E.L.D. is progressing and I hope it continues this way.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights on ABC at 8pm Eastern/7pm Central. Check your local listings.