We got to meet Mack’s brother Ruben this week, who happens to live just a short distance away in Naperville, Ill. The entire episode, I was thinking, I could go help them out, let me go hop on the Metra! Ha.
Mack is taking some vacation time to properly deal with Bobbi and Hunter leaving SHIELD. And rightfully so. The guy definitely deserves some downtime after everything. So, he visits his brother, who is living in their childhood home, and the two try to chill out together, work on their motorcycles, and chat very vaguely about Mack’s “job” as an insurance agent. (At least the agent part is right.) Unfortunately, the trip is short-lived since a somewhat new formerly online mercenary Inhuman hate-group called the Watchdogs just blew up — or rather imploded — an ATCU facility in South Bend, Indiana. (Everything happening so nearby! This is only exciting because all superhero stuff is generally relegated to NYC or LA. So, thanks, SHIELD, for thinking of the Midwest sometimes.)
Coulson calls Mack to check out the scene with Daisy and Fitz. They discover these Watchdogs are using Howard Stark technology called nitromene (if you watch Agent Carter, this should all be very familiar to you), a substance that implodes rather than explodes and is very volatile. Coulson suspects that former SHIELD agent Felix Blake could be behind the attacks since studying nitromene technology was his specialty. So, he takes Lincoln with him on a separate mission both to track down Blake and to test his ability to follow orders.
To track down the Watchdogs’ base of operations, Daisy gets a little…creative, basically giving these guys what they expect out of an Inhuman and using her power to scare them into talking — with Fitz as her somewhat unwilling assistant in the matter. Mack was totally against this tactic, but if we had powers, whose to say we wouldn’t track down an online troll? Heh. But it definitely brought an issue that’s clear in things like Daredevil and Jessica Jones to the fore — and will likely lead right into the big Civil War debate. What happens when powers are used not so much for good? Or is hurting bad people for the greater good okay? Where can people like Daisy draw the line when serving as an agent? She has powers, so she shouldn’t she use them if it helps the overall mission?
(Speaking of Daredevil, there was a fun reference to a vigilante of Hell’s Kitchen on the scroll during the initial report about the facility implosion.)
Inhumans like Lincoln don’t seem to have much of a line to draw, or an ability to listen to orders, anyway. Coulson made his feelings about him pretty clear, although I wonder how much of that is simply because he’s not a fan of his and his surrogate daughter’s relationship. Definitely being a protective papa through much of this test. They track down Blake, who reveals he’s a plant for HYDRA. And that Malick led the Watchdogs to the ATCU facility. When Coulson orders Lincoln to zap him dead, he finally hesitates with his power. Still can’t follow orders! Ha. When he finally does, however, it’s revealed that Blake was just a hologram all along and the real Blake is chillin’ with Malick and co.
When Daisy gets the information she needs, Mack comes back to join her and Fitz on storming the base. Or DWARFing the base for info at first. Poor Mack can’t catch a break because mini-Mack was hot on his trail and reveals their hiding spot to all the Watchdogs. GREAT! They then assume that since Daisy is just a cute, sweet little girl (HA), Mack is obviously the Inhuman they wanted to catch and follow him and his brother back to their home.
They battle the Watchdogs together (aww), and Mack finally gets to make SHOTGUN-AXE a thing. Such a good callback. He gets shot in the arm fighting the Watchdogs and protecting his bro. In the end, his brother is very forgiving for all the lies, finally understanding the importance of his job.
Alfie works for SHIELD.”
“He’s one of the best — did you just call him ‘Alfie?’ Wow, thank you. I cannot wait for him to get back from recovery now.”
Some other things of note: May and Simmons bond over some shooting range practice and a potential cure for Andrew using Creel’s blood. If his transformation into Lash is still not fully complete, there may be hope to stop it still. May doesn’t want to hope though.
Fitz got caught in the crossfire and had a nitromene bomb stuck to his neck. Kind of ironic that one of Stark’s (both Howard & Tony) biggest fans was almost killed by one of Howard’s (greatly altered) creations. That’s the price you pay in the science bros club, I guess. Of which Simmons is obviously a member, too.