Agents of SHIELD S3E9 ‘Closure’ recap

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Closure" - Ward's campaign for revenge brings the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to their knees, and Coulson proves he will do anything to settle the score, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Greg Gayne) NICK BLOOD

Agents of SHIELD is back after their Thanksgiving break and what a way to come back. In case you need a reminder, though, we last left the team as they realized that the ATCU, and Rosalind by association, has been inadvertently working for HYDRA and Malek. We also learned the true roots of HYDRA, which has, in one way or another, has existed for hundreds of years with the purpose of understanding how the monolith works and how to bring back an ancient leader of theirs.

This episode begins with a simple dinner with Rosalind and Coulson. They discuss their relationship and the current situation they find themselves in with their newfound knowledge over wine and cheeseburgers. The sound of broken glass causes Coulson to look over his shoulder to see a bullet hole in the window as he hears Rosalind gasping for breath as she clenches her bleeding neck. Coulson tries to save her, but instead watches her bleed out. Just as the shock begins to wear off, her phone rings. He picks it up to hear Ward say “Now you know what it feels like to watch someone you care about bleed out in front of you.” Coulson calls for back up and fights his way out of the building as Ward’s men try to kill him.

Word seems to have gotten back to the base and as Coulson walks in everyone stops and looks on in sympathy. We see Coulson walk upstairs to his office where the adrenaline of the fight fades and the anger of vengeance ignites. This is a new Coulson that we haven’t seen much of and certainly not for a while. He makes the hunt for Ward a priority and interviews the members of the original team for anything about Ward that may have missed. He recruits Bobbi to pilot him and Hunter to track Ward down and take him out. Leaving Mack in charge as Acting Director, Coulson says that he is going to have to cross some lines that the Director of SHIELD should not cross.

Meanwhile, after returning from his assignment, Ward is met by Malek as he chastises Ward for thinking only about revenge and nearly killing Coulson. Malek reveals the five pieces of the monolith that each head of HYDRA were in possession of, but now he holds. These stones, Malek says, are the keys to what HYDRA has been working towards and he urges Ward to look past revenge and to the bigger picture.

Banks joins the team at HQ and works with Fitz and Simmons to find the location of the Distant Star Program, the program that sent Will to the alien planet through the portal and the same program that is being funded by HYDRA and Malek. Things go awry when there is an ambush and Banks along with the strike team are killed and Fitz and Simmons are kidnapped by Malek’s men. They’re brought to the castle where SHIELD was able to open the monolith to rescue Simmons to be tortured into explaining how they brought her back.

Hunter turns out to be a god asset to have when you are going off book. He convinces Coulson to rob a bank, but not just any bank, the bank that Ward’s little brother works at and kidnap him to draw Ward out. The plan works, but not the way they planned. Bobbi puts a tracer on Ward’s phone when they call him to tell him that they have his brother. Ward calls back to say the usual threats only to be on the phone with his brother keeping him talking long enough to trace the call. Faced with no other option and Coulson barreling down on them, Ward takes matters into his own hands. He tortures Simmons until Fitz can’t take it and volunteers to help them go through the portal. Back at HQ, Director Mack is faced with the impossible decision of sending backup into an impossible fight or hold back. Of course, they mount up for the attack.

Back at the castle, Ward is met with some unsettling news. Malek decides that Ward is to lead the team on the other side of the portal. After some persuasion Ward agrees and takes a team, including Fitz, to the the other side of the portal. Coulson, Hunter and Bobbi are in the air approaching the castle when they see the infrared surveillance the team go through. Faced with the reality that Ward just got away again, Coulson grabs a chute and dives out of the plane leaving Bobbi and Hunter to get out of HYDRA airspace as they fire anti-aircraft missiles. Coulson dives down, but doesn’t open the chute, instead he dives right through the portal just before they close it. Landing on the other side is a bit rough. Coulson tumbles down a mountain landing on a rock that knocks him out.

With one episode left before the Winter finale, Agents of SHIELD is heating up. Next week’s episode is sure to leave us with more questions than answers, but the question we all share now is: will Coulson finally get his revenge on Ward? Fitz has stepped up in a big way this season in terms of his actions in the field and he has not only one ally (if he wakes up), but up to two with Will there as well. Everything points to one heck of a battle with both sides taking losses, but whose will be greater? We will have to wait till next week to find out.

Agents of SHIELD airs on ABC Tuesdays at 9|8c.

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