Official synopsis for Purpose in the Machine:
“Fitz and the team enlist the aid of an Asgardian to unlock the secrets of the ancient monolith that swallowed Simmons, and Agent May is at a crossroads in her personal and professional life.”
The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fan favorites have returned but now, what happens next? Simmons is back from what we assume was an alien planet – alien parasite anyone? – Grant Ward has a scheme in the works with Werner von Strucker, and my favorite secret keeper Agent May won’t open up about her absence from the team, even to her father! There have been complaints in earlier seasons of the series dragging out story lines. It seems like this won’t be an issue for season three, because they got right down to the question lingering in our minds all summer: when will we get Simmons back, and how?
Familiar faces seen in previous seasons came back this episode, from our favorite ex-husband Dr. Garner, to Professor Randolph (the Asgardian away from home). Randolph led Fitz, Bobbi, Coulson, Daisy, and Mack to a Frankenstein-like chamber where they concluded they could open the Kree monolith with Daisy’s quaking abilities.
Dr. Garner, shaping up to play a much larger role in the season, especially with the enrolment of Werner in his psyche class, provided some insight that he thinks Coulson is acting reckless. Coulson was always by the book and stuck with policy, but now the actions from the Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. are indeed reckless, and very much leading him into a major consequence later in the season. He saw the effects on Daisy when they were first figuring out how to open the portal, but still let her continue trying to open it.
Coulson has changed and we should expect this behavior to occur again this season. Dr. Garner’s observation was completely true, and when it happens again, it might not end so pleasantly.
The swift and simple ease Grant Ward had taking down Werner’s men makes him a formidable antagonist that I am looking forward to watching this season. Although I do believe they could have led his character into a more meaningful direction instead of labeling him as the “bad guy”, I am excited to see his ultimate end game this season. What’s he planning with having Werner join in Dr. Garner’s class? What would not be surprising is the possibility of seeing a similar dynamic to the one young Grant had with Garrett. The main difference, I believe, being that Ward won’t be manipulating Werner into doing anything he doesn’t want to. It seems that the evil gene runs in the von Strucker family after all. We’re just hoping to see a truly great arc with Ward this season. We know Brett Dalton can definitely deliver, but can the show provide him with the material he deserves?
Ward is reshaping Hydra to his vision and, knowing how precise he is, I think he’ll be hard to get rid of when the team finds him again. Now that Agent May has joined Hunter in his search for Ward, how long will it be until we see Hunter and Ward finally face-off?
Agent May’s return was nicely understaded. She truly made herself seem like she was “out” based on her conversation with her father and then Hunter. It was sweet seeing the little Mulan reunion between James Hong (who played Chi-Fu) and Ming-Na (who was the voice of Mulan). I am not at all surprised that it didn’t take much for Hunter to convince May to join his crusade. It was his implication of an ongoing threat to May’s family from Ward that sealed the deal and got May to join him on his hunt. They’re gunning for Ward, but can they really get to him? Their plan doesn’t seem very well thought out at the moment so we’ll have to wait and see. Besides, Ward’s already a couple steps ahead of them now that his newest ally is getting close to May’s ex-husband.
Let’s take it back to the very beginning of the episode for a minute though. What’s up with that the secret order of individuals meeting and deciding who to sacrifice to the mysterious world inside the Kree monolith? I am speculating a lot and I want to guess that maybe the people chasing after Simmons were those individuals. Are there more portals to be discovered? If you have any guesses on who they might be, please send me your theories. I’d love to hear them!
For now, let’s all rejoice that Simmons is back and I give praise for her dramatic return. My favorite part of the episode was when Fitz leaped into the portal to save Simmons as Mack and Bobbi held it together, while Daisy used her impressive Quake abilities to keep it open. I am expecting that Professor Randolph will provide some insight on the Inhumans, especially after witnessing Daisy’s abilities and his reaction to finding out what she was. I’m hoping he will play a larger role as the season progresses.
Now that Simmons is back, what effects did her mysterious time away have on her? Is it smart to accept her back with open arms immediately? What’s Wards endgame with the revamping of Hydra? I have this overwhelming feeling that the show will lose one of its main cast members at some point this season but that’s just my very early speculation. What were your thoughts on “Purpose in the Machine”?