Is “Providence” The Promised Land For The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D?

Photo courtesy of ABC
Photo courtesy of ABC

Have you recovered from last week’s shocker yet Agents? Our team is in complete turmoil with traitors at every turn and the villainous HYDRA infiltrating S.H.I.E.L.D. itself. Questions swirl about Ward’s true loyalties, HYDRA’s plans, and whether Coulson’s team can simply keep surviving. Depending on your point of view, things could be looking up after this week or they could be worse than ever. At the very least, maybe our agents can find some solace in “Providence.”

What you need to know: 

SkyeWard is real: Raina is busted out of prison by Ward and given a silk dress courtesy of The Clairvoyant. Speaking of wardrobes, Ward’s leather jacket and stubble let us know he’s serious about this new bad boy image. He takes Raina to a barbershop to meet Garrett. Even though she’s disappointed he doesn’t have any real powers, she lets Garrett lower her via a barber chair into HYDRA’s secret lair. There she finds out she’s going to restart Project Centipede using the miracle drug from the T.A.H.I.T.I. facility and the external drive filled with data Skye gave Ward last week. We find out Ward legitimately likes Skye because he’s upset Garrett had Skye shot.

Agents of Nothing: FitzSimmons patches up the Bus, though Fitz is somewhat distracted by Simmons and Triplett’s growing connection. She even vouches to keep Trip on board, which Coulson reluctantly agrees to. With S.H.I.E.L.D. left with only four secure facilities, according to Skye, Colonel Glenn Talbot Skypes in to tell Coulson he’s sending in a peacekeeping force. Coulson sees this as his team’s cue to get out of Dodge before they’re forced into a legal or literal fight against the U.S. Government. Though the Bus manages to get in the air, it’s low on fuel and unable to avoid any detection. The only good news is they have Internet and Skye can erase the team from existence to make them Agents of Nothing. She also gives Ward a call to check in.

Finders, keepers: To stay stealthy, the agents all turn in their badges, which has the added benefit of Coulson noticing coordinates have been lit up on his. Even though this has all the makings of a trap, he’s convinced Fury sent the message. Later, May tearfully tries to convince Coulson of her concerns that his T.A.H.I.T.I. brain reboot may have made it possible for HYDRA to control his actions. This seems like a legitimately concern but Coulson reject it and her outright. My Phillinda feels continue to ache. The Bus lands in the snowy wilderness and the bundled up team follows Coulson without hesitation, despite Fitz’s scans showing absolutely nothing. They arrive at the coordinates, where Coulson drops the bomb that the Bus is out of fuel so they seriously need to find something helpful out here. “The world needs us,” he says, getting increasingly frantic. “HYDRA is out there! We cannot let them win! We cannot let them define us!” He throws his badge in frustration and a machine gun pops up to shoot it down. Found something!

Raiding the Fridge: At The Fridge, Ward presents Garrett as his prisoner but the guards won’t let him in without Agent Hand present. They change their mind when a helicopter starts shooting. Unfortunately, as soon as they’re safely in the elevator, Ward coldly shoots the two guards in the face. HYDRA quickly dispenses with any other S.H.I.E.L.D. guards and goes shopping for alien technology stored at the facility. Ward gleefully reunites with the Asgardian Beserker Staff from “The Well” and blasts a hole through the floor to reveal something that makes Garrett nearly giggle with delight. Back at their base, Raina reports Skye’s hard drive is rigged to erase data anyone other than her tries to access.

Surprises and reunions: Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt) welcomes the team to Providence. He reveals only to Coulson that Fury is alive but has gone completely dark. He tells everyone, The Fridge has been taken, prompting Skye to immediately call Ward. She gives him their location. Needing Skye’s password to access the data files, Ward is given 24 hours to get it or to kill the team and bring Skye to Garrett. To make his survival story more believable, Garrett gives him a beat down that has a little too much sadomasochism to it. Skye welcomes Ward into the Providence base and suggests they get that drink now. When she turns her back, Ward smiles malevolently. In the HYDRA base, Ian Quinn arrives pissed off Garrett put him in a tiny cell and let his assets get frozen. He’s done helping Garrett until he sees the special surprise Ward found: The Gravitonium.

Field Notes 

Fun facts about Agent Coulson: he was recruited out of high school and he plays Call of Duty!

Garrett mentions Johnny Horton, a man with lion paws, as the first person he put away in The Fridge. In the comics, Horton became known as the villain Griffin after being given a face and body similar to a lion as well as a spiked tail and wings as the result of experiments conducted on him by the Secret Empire.

Ward mentions to Raina that he owes Garrett “everything.” Knowing what we do about Ward’s past, specifically as concerns his brother and the well incident, what could this mean?

I would remind viewers: At the end of “The Asset,” Dr. Hart was trapped in the Gravitonium. Will we be seeing him again soon now?

Is anyone else seeing some parallels with Ward and Snape from Harry Potter? I especially saw this connection during Ward’s conversation with Garrett about Skye getting shot, which reminded me of Snape asking Voldemort to spare Lily. Maybe Ward’s love for Skye will ultimately make him choose S.H.I.E.L.D. over HYDRA.

Fitz is heartbroken when, in a line clearly meant to hint at his feelings for her, he tells Simmons he doesn’t want things to change and she replies, “It’s too late for that.”

In perhaps his biggest betrayal yet, Ward tipped of Garrett about The Cellist!

Last week there were questions about whether Ward was actually a triple agent. After his incredible callousness, especially in killing those S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, I almost hope he’s not. There are some things you can’t come back from, no matter the justification.

Next week, it’s one heartbreak after another with The Cellist aka Amy Acker and Skye maybe learning the truth about Ward.

Stephanie Coats