Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Thoughts: Season 3, Episode 2 “Purpose in the Machine”


By: Casey Johnston (@DarthHockey)

WARNING: There are spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Agents of SHIELD.


This was mostly a Fitz episode, and like last week’s premiere, the character stood out in a great way. On one hand, I’m glad the Simmons storyline didn’t get dragged out for multiple weeks, but I’m a little disappointed that we won’t get to see just how mad Fitz can get. He loves Simmons, and his singular focus drove him to do things I couldn’t have imagined him doing before. Yes, he’s a SHIELD agent, but we know he’s way more comfortable in a lab than he is in the field. Finding her forced him to do dangerous things, and he persevered. Now that’s she’s back, I hope his development stays on this track because it makes for a far more interesting character.


I am exceedingly excited to find out where Simmons has been all this time. As far as we can tell, she’s been on a desolate planet, but we saw her running from something unseen last week, she sleeps with a weapon, and she obviously found some form of nourishment. For a show that started off grounded firmly in our world, it’s really begun to open up to the larger Marvel Cosmic Universe in the past dozen episodes. Now we will possibly add more alien life to go along with the Asgardians, Inhumans, and Kree that we’ve already seen. This also opens up new directions for Simmons’ character to go. How did she survive her time on that planet? I really hope these answers come quickly because I love the pace that the show is moving at now.

May and Hunter

We got our first look at May tonight, and she’s apparently a bad golfer (aren’t we all?). It’s always fun to see her out of her element, and this was no exception. I said this plenty of times last season, but the writers are doing a great job of softening her character. Every week, she becomes a little less robotic. I love the way Ming-Na Wen is able to play the deadly agent searching for a normal life.

Or course, this is all changing now that Hunter has found her. Focusing on one goal is a major theme for the characters this season. Fitz had Simmons, Daisy has her team, and Hunter has Ward. Now May also has Ward. I’m dying to see where her character goes from here. We know how she feels about Ward, but we’ve also seen her grasping for a life outside of SHIELD. I hate to think this, but could May’s story be coming to an end?


We’ve waited a week for the return of Grant Ward, and we were not disappointed. Just like the SHIELD agents, Ward has a singular focus and it’s rebuilding Hydra. He took a significant step towards that goal when he found Werner von Strucker, the son of Baron Wolfgang von Strucker. This was an exciting development. In the comics, Werner took over Hydra after the death of this father, and we may get to see that storyline play out in the show. The episode ended with Werner meeting May’s ex-husband, Dr. Garner.

Like May, I feel like we’re reaching the end of Ward’s story on the show (but I’ve thought that several times before). Hydra was decimated by SHIELD last season, and now it’s reduced to the couple of dozen people Ward has been able to recruit. Now May and Hunter are on his trail, and Ward probably made it a little easier for them by getting close to Dr. Garner. It think that we’re in the endgame now, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Ward didn’t survive the first half of this season.


There wasn’t much going on with the Inhumans this week, but the look on Dr. Randolph’s face when Coulson told him what Daisy is already has me excited for next week. For all we’ve seen of the Inhumans the past dozen episodes, we’ve still barely scratched the surface. The writers are taking their time building their mythology, and that’s fine. I think we’re going to see the Inhumans be the centerpiece of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and it’s starting here.

Thanks for reading!