This episode was the funniest of the season so far, with one liner after one liner. It also started to bring together the characters and story lines somewhat. It appears that there is a master plan for this season.
Now we have three major plot points: 1) The Watchdogs- the inhuman hating terrorists, 2) The ghosts and the mysterious book that Robbie’s uncle is somehow tied into, and 3) Aida’s existence.
The characters were all split up at the beginning of the episode and brought together at the end. Initially, Coulson and Mack went to interrogate Robbie’s uncle about the mysterious explosion that caused the ghost creature. Not getting anything out of him, they started to leave when they noticed Robbie pull up. What happened after was an epic car chase between two ridiculous vehicles- a red 1962 Corvette and a black muscle car. It ended with one of the hilariously unexpected moments Agents of SHIELD is so good with- Robbie crashing into the invisible SHIELD jet. Why Coulson left it parked there, I have no idea.
Coulson and Mack convince Robbie to work with them (force under pain of getting thrown out the quinjet is more accurate). Robbie gets the information about the lab accident out of his uncle, including intel about a mysterious book of knowledge. But before they can follow that lead, they get sidetracked by Daisy and Simmon’s story line.
Daisy, who’s been shot, tricked Simmons into coming to an open house for an apartment. Simmons, in one of her wonderful fiery speeches for which she is becoming known, told Daisy off for running away and only coming back when she needed them. Given how scary Simmons can be, Daisy understandably lets Simmons come along on her quest to find out how The Watchdogs got the list of inhumans and their trackers. Their search leads them to James (Hellfire) who turns out to be working with The Watchdogs. That part was fairly obvious- James has never been one of the good guys. However, I fully expected his reasons for joining The Watchdogs to be for money or power or security. It turns out, after his experience being mind-controlled by Hive, he hates himself and other inhumans so much that he wants them all to die. This is another way Agents of SHIELD has gotten a lot darker this season.
The Watchdogs and James attack Daisy and Simmons. With Daisy injured and Simmons armed only with a few bullets, they try to hide but are tracked by James. As he’s about to kill them with a flaming chain (Hellfire’s signature comic book weapon), Robbie comes in, grabs the chain, and proceeds to beat the crap out of James. It was beautiful. The beauty also came from the fact that they both, of course, fell into James’s fireworks business (as Daisy said whoever thought that was a good idea should be fired – haha fired). There was a dazzling display out of which Robbie dragged the unconscious, but alive, James.
Throughout all of this, May is being kept for observation by Fitz, Radcliffe, and Aida who has finally been let out of her closet pod thing. Fitz flipped out of course (Iain de Caestecker’s reactions as Fitz are one of the things that make this show worth watching throughout all of the ups and downs). However, Fitz still lied about Aida to May to protect the Android. Aida later questions why Fitz lied and Radcliffe explains that not all lies are bad and that he did it to save her life. Both the elements of this AI being told lying is sometimes ok and that she is alive are going to bring up moral quandaries later in the season, I’m sure.
When the whole group comes together at the end, Simmons and Coulson go to see May. Simmons, being the smartest person in the room as usual, immediately notices that Aida is an Android. This will make taking her lie detector test potentially very difficult.
All in all, it’s nice that the family is back together (plus Robbie). It’s also nice to see that the plot lines are being solidified and woven together. I’m looking forward to seeing the chase for this mysterious book that holds all knowledge.