This week’s episode spins its wheels a bit, as HYDRA goes on the offensive, attacking the United Nations while General Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) is making a speech. The kicker is, they claim they’re S.H.I.E.L.D. and that gets all sorts of hostilities bubbling, particularly in a feisty Senator who goes by the name of Christian Ward (Tim DeKay). Yup. Ward. As in, brother of HYDRA stooge/S.H.I.E.L.D. traitor Grant Ward (Brett Dalton). Senator Ward wants to initiate a multinational task force to eliminate S.H.I.E.L.D. once and for all, but for a change, Talbot isn’t exactly on board with it. He doesn’t really think S.H.I.E.L.D. was behind the attack, but the Senator wants to wipe out S.H.I.E.L.D. before anyone can discover that his brother was a HYDRA terrorist. That wouldn’t look good in an election year. Or any year, really. When the Belgian representative to the U.N. (Michael Enright) opposes this plan, Coulson (Clark Gregg) goes all in and orders agents around the world to go dark and head for the safety of Brussels. Seems like he’d know that this was probably a trap of some sort. While a number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are on their way to an early grave, Coulson pays Senator Ward a visit and they reach an agreement: Ward backs down from hunting S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson turns over Grant. Seriously, Coulson makes some horrible strategic mistakes in this episode. But it’s all in service of giving us more excellent action sequences. In a last minute attempt to save the agents at the safehouse, May (Ming-Na Wen), Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), and Hunter (Nick Blood) swoop in and kick everyone’s asses. Not only do we get to see Bobbi and Hunter work like a well-oiled butt-kicking machine, we get another Agent May highlight reel as she takes on the lead HYDRA agent, Marcus Scarlotti (Falk Hentschel) — in the comics, he’s Whiplash, but that title’s already taken in the MCU, so instead he uses a chain knife to deadly effect. But May cannot be stopped. And you know who else can’t be stopped? Ward. He pulls the classic dislocating his thumb to get out of handcuffs trick, kills all of the guards overseeing his transfer from S.H.I.E.L.D. custody to whoever these jokers are Senator Ward sent to pick him up. That can’t bode well for brother dearest. The teaser this week leads us directly into the next episode, as a mysterious middle-aged dude shows up at a tattoo parlor ready to finish his ink. Which just happens to be the alien map TATTOOED ALL OVER HIS TORSO. I assume its elsewhere, too. He seems pretty dedicated. Which takes us to episode 2.07 “The Writing on the Wall.” In which we learn what happened to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who were experimented on with the T.A.H.I.T.I. Technique before Coulson. Long story short, they went batshit crazy until they had their minds rewritten and entirely new identities implanted in them. But guess what? They’re all still kind of obsessed with the alien writing/map. Luckily, most of them are living productive lives and the alien map just figures into their lives in tangential ways, like as recurring imagery in a painter’s work, or a massively intricate and obscenely complicated multi-level toy train track (imagine the Lego world behind the scenes in The Lego Movie, but as a train set). All of them, that is, except for the tattooed gentlemen we were introduced to at the end of last episode, Sebastian Derik (Brian Van Holt). He’s acting on something that Coulson says earlier in this episode; that the pieces he sees and carves are only part of the overall image. Derik’s traveling around, collecting the pieces of the map he’s missing. You know, by killing the other survivors of T.A.H.I.T.I. Meanwhile, the gang is trying to track down Ward, and honestly, they’re doing a decent job; it’s just that Ward knows they’re tracking them down and has conveniently turned himself into a living bomb with a dead-man’s switch, so what are they gonna do? Basically, hang back and see what he’s up to. Which turns out to be meeting up with HYDRA. But by the time our heroes show up, everybody’s dead except for Whitehall’s second-in-command, Bakshi (Simon Kassianides), left bound and gagged as a gift for Coulson. It seems that Ward is still trying to convince his old “pals” that he’s legitimately repentant and only wants what’s best for them — and Skye in particular. This all serves as fuel for the fire of those who are afraid Marvel is going to allow Ward to swoop in and find redemption, and possibly Twue Wuv with Skye, but I don’t buy it. Everyone is pretty adamant that Ward is a piece of shit and most of the team have sworn to kill him if they ever cross paths again. He’s not going to be redeemed, people. He may eventually end up dead, sacrificing himself for Skye, but that’s not going to redeem him. He’ll go to his fictional grave as a mass-murdering psychopath (with a heart of gold). But until that day comes, he’ll continue to be a creepy stalker and a thorn in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side. Back in the T.A.H.I.T.I. plot, Coulson tracks down the last surviving TAHITI patient, but not before Derik does, which leads to a less-than-thrilling action sequence, but ends with both Coulson and Derik losing their alien writing obsession when it is revealed that the patterns are actually a three-dimensional map of a mysterious ancient city. We’re talking really ancient. Like pre-dating the pyramids ancient. So now the race is on to find this weird lost city before HYDRA finds does. Damn, they pack a lot of story into each episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., don’t they? Agents of SHIELD 2.06 "A Fractured House" & 2.07 "The Writing on the Wall"Paul's Rating for "A Fractured House"Paul's Rating for "The Writing on the Wall"3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.