The plot thickens as a villain dies, a new villain is introduced, and another villain has his identity revealed! What does this mean for our intrepid heroes?!
Pretty strong episode, though kind of a come down after last episode’s zenith. Good to get fast development of existing plots while establishing threads to pay off later down the line.
The title, by the way, is a reference to the Inhumans first meeting with the fantastic four.
Spoiler-light Recap: Garner is dead! Or is he? Lash has a secret identity! Or does he? Werner von Strucker will be a major threat later! Or will he? So many contradictory answers…
On with the Comics Connection
First thing first: Garner is alive! Yes, after the fake-out of two episodes back and no mention last episode, we learn Garner is not as dead as he first appeared to be. Of course, in comic books (and many genre series) death isn’t death until you see the body (and oftentimes not even then). Already in the MCU, death doesn’t mean what it should, and since Garner technically wasn’t dead, his “resurrection” is more of a fake out for the audience than anything else.
Of course, we eventually learn that he lived (as some commenters suggested) because Garner is Lash! That’s right, the evil Inhuman killer is the same person as the benign therapist to wayward Inhumans. Imagine that, a psychologist that turns to evil! Well, other than DC’s Hugo Strange, and Harley Quinn, and Marvel’s Moonstone, and Dr. Faustus, and… you know what, skip the list. It happens, move on. In the comics, Lash’s pre-Terrigenesis name isn’t that important because he was raised in an isolated Inhuman community. He is very unlikely to have a doctorate in anything.
We’re getting ahead of ourselves, however. Before May learns any of that, she has to deal with Hunter who is seeming more and more like a loose cannon. His brashness (however justified) put Garner in danger, and even when “benched” he brazenly attacks ATCU attack dog Luther Banks, then randomly punches him to get a “blood sample.” Remember, unlike everyone else on the team, Hunter was a mercenary first, and was never really academy material. Speaking of excessive force, did you know Marvel has a “hero” called the Crippler? His whole gimmick is that he wantonly and violently tortures anyone he thinks is guilty, up-to-and-including permanent bodily damage, cooking someone alive, dragging behind motor vehicles, and hot irons. He’s actually been on a super-team alongside one of Captain America’s former partners!
On the flipside, May may be angry at Hunter, but she expects more from Bobbi. While Lance was out getting revenge for what happened to her, Bobbi was letting the trauma of torture hold her back. To prove Bobbi can be a stronger person, May attacks her; the fight ends with Bobbi holding a bar to May’s forehead. Similar moves have been used in fights between heroes before, often when one has something to prove over the other.
Bobbi and May set out after Garner’s student, “Alexander Braun,” who they soon realize is Werner von Strucker. Young Werner has been globetrotting, both to avoid Garner/Lash and to avoid the wrath of Ward, whom he may have displeased. His travels take him to the doorstep of a strange unidentified man that savvy viewers will recognize as Gideon Malick, a member of the World Security Council that wanted to nuke New York in the Avengers movie. Malick secretly turns Werner’s location over to Ward for “redemption” and a favor to be named later.
Using the aliases Katelin Frayer and Shu Wong, Bobbi and May travel to the Cayman Islands to peak into Werner’s records. Things don’t go as planned, complicated by Bobbi’s hesitation to fight, but eventually their leads bear fruit. They find him just as Ward’s people are torturing him to death, and with his last breaths, tells May the truth about Garner.
Meanwhile, Mack, Daisy (whom Mack still calls “Tremors”), and Hunter use SHIELD’s handy HTS Home Theater van as cover while they get background on Banks, who they learn was kicked out of the marines and was part of an elite anti-alien task force after the Battle of New York (aka, the first Avengers movie). As mentioned, Lance takes out Banks with an ICEr gun (designed by Fitz way back in episode 1). They soon follow a lead to Endotex Lab (spelling?) where they discover what seems to be the secret ATCU facility! Exploring the place with a DWARF 2.0 (the first version having also appeared in episode 1), they learn someone is already there…
Earlier in the episode, and in previous episodes, Daisy has been intimating that Rosalind might be just the kind of woman Coulson would like, so he better not start liking her. Of course, even if he wasn’t thinking that before, he is now. Coulson goes to Roz’s house where there has apparently been a break in (that seems suspiciously staged). Phil learns Roz has an obsession with Margaret “The Iron Lady” Thatcher, a baseball bat signed by the Yankees, and either loves DJ’s Burgers or knows that it’s Coulson’s favorite fast food joint. She reluctantly agrees to show him what her team does to Inhumans and the answer is much less lethal, but no less creepy, than the team was expecting. The ATCU puts Inhumans into stasis until they can be “cured.” Curing mutant or Inhuman conditions has long been an obsession of those somewhat involved with such matters, but is patently considered impossible (at least in any lasting sense). Learning Roz’s husband died from cancer, Coulson realizes she is human too, “fully human” in fact (seemingly putting the kibosh on theories she could be Abigail Brand).
Seeing all this, Daisy isn’t sure she can trust Coulson, and certainly hates Roz more.
Meanwhile, back at the Playground, Fitz is still trying to help Simmons save Will (from last episode), despite advice from Hunter that he not get involved with helping Simmons’ other lovers. Fitz wouldn’t let a man die over jealousy, but he has been secretly reading up on Pathfinder astronaut Will Daniels.
As the episode closes, we see Daisy talking with Lincoln on the phone, but he hangs up before the call can be traced (is that still a thing?). As the call ends, Daisy talks with Garner who really, really wants to know where Lincoln is.
Duhn, duhn, duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuhn!
Next time: Someone’s getting a lashing!