Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t slow down for anyone does it? Only two episodes in, and we’re treated to another action-packed episode. Episode 2, titled “Purpose in the Machine”, reintroduced us to some major players while also introducing new plot threads that could cause some interesting complications for our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. As always:

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THE MONOLITH…IS ALREADY GONE!

The main plot point for this episode consisted of Coulson finally deciding to join Fitz on his unrelenting quest to save Jemma from whatever the Monolith did to her. It’s better that he helps Fitz, rather than allowing Fitz to go off on his own and probably get himself killed, which is pretty evident early on when Fitz is shooting the Monolith with a shotgun from point blank range. Yeah, bad idea. Except, shooting the Monolith resulted in Fitz finding sand coming off of it. Sand that wasn’t there before. So where did it come from? Well because the monolith isn’t just a giant alien rock, it’s a portal! Since our agents are only lowly humans without knowledge of the inner working of inter-planetary portal hopping, they needed to recruit someone who was. Who might you ask?

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Janosz Poha, head of the Manhattan Museum of Art’s restoration department! Wait…I mean:

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Professor Elliot Randolph, undercover Asgardian!

After breaking Prof. Randolph out a jail, in a rather funny, very Whedon-esque scene. Coulson and the gang head to an old 19th century English castle to uncover the secret of the Monolith. led by Prof. Randolph, the team uncovers a hidden laboratory that was once used to unlock the Monolith, giving access to the portal. Fitz and Mac soon realize that this Frankenstein era equipment hasn’t really stood the test of time, but discover that essentially it’s one huge amplifier. Cue their very own pocket-Inhuman, Daisy Johnson who, now in full control of her powers, amplifies the sound waves directly into the monolith, opening the portal, giving Fitz an opportunity to dive head first into it to save Jemma.

This is the part of the episode that I really had to praise. Fitz, now in this weird blue dessert, calls out to Jemma who hears him. In one of the more tense moments of the show, Fitz grabs Jemma’s hand and the portal closes. Close in on the rubble of the monolith. Fitz is there. But where’s Jemma?

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She’s safe! I’m really happy they tied up this whole “Where is Jemma?’ plot thread early on this season. The old AOS would’ve dragged this on over a dozen episodes, but I’m glad we already have the team back together. Now the focus can return to helping the Inhuman cause, and maybe discovering where the Monolith’s portal led to along the way. Speaking of bringing back old teammates…

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CUT OFF ONE HEAD…

Ward you sick, sick man. After last season, most of HYDRA’s leaders are off the board- and by off the board I mean they were all vaporized or killed in some other way. Ex-leader Baron von Strucker is dead at the beginning of Avengers: Age of Ultron and most of HYDRA was revealed and destroyed during Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Well, cut off one head and two more will take its place. At the end of Season 2, we see that Ward realizes that there’s going to be a power vacuum in HYDRA, and in this episode we get to see his plan start to fall together. Ward has already amassed quite a following of HYDRA agents. Using them, he’s looking to trim the fat from their ranks killing off any weak or greedy agents that aren’t true to the cause. One such target appears to be some preppy frat boy hanging out with bikini models on his rich yacht. Ward kidnaps this unknown agent, and forces him through some extensive torture, but suddenly the tables turn.

MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "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, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, OCTOBER 6 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) SPENCER TREAT CLARK

The tortured agent manages to get the better of his torturer, and kills him. This proves his worth to Ward. He wasn’t some prissy, pampered rich kid. In fact he’s much more than that. His name is Werner Von Strucker, son of Baron Von Strucker, ex-leader of HYDRA and now he is aiming to prove that he is more like his father than people could have thought. Could this also be an indication that Von Strucker’s other children might be alive and well in the MCU? A Swordsman perhaps? Either way, HYDRA is back and they are making some really big moves.

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A couple of other things happened on tonight’s episode as well. Hunter visited May to try to recruit her to join him in his crusade against Ward. May responded with her usual reluctance to get back into the field. I feel like the show just needs May to embrace who she really is. This will-she-won’t-she attitude towards being a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is starting to get old now.

Resident S.H.I.E.L.D. psychiatrist, Andrew Garner also returned to evaluate the new Inhuman, Joey, who is strangely absent from this episode. Daisy complains that Garner never okays any of the Inhumans they save to join the team, to which Garner responds by denying Joey’s admission to join the team.

The “after the credits” stinger shows that the newly re-recruited HYDRA agent, Werner Von Strucker has now enrolled into college. That in itself isn’t exciting, but we find out that he’s actually using college to get closer to Garner showing that Ward’s vendetta against May might not be over just yet, and he’ll use the ones she loves to hurt her.

Join me next week for Episode 3: “A Wanted (Inhu)man”.

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