Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Season 4 Episode 5 Recap: “Lockup”


This week’s heart stopping episode of Agents of SHIELD had more zigs, zags, twists and turns than a Shonda Rimes series. Buckle up!

Very little was given away about this episode prior to airtime, and by the first commercial break, it was obvious why. There were more plot points covered in the cold open than some episodes of Mad Men do in three hours. In short order, we saw Joseph and Lucy at some point in the past discover the Darkhold. We then saw Joseph die from Lucy’s touch in present day, but not before he filled Coulson and Mack in that Lucy had been, gone, and would have the Darkhold once again by the time we hit the opening credits. She did indeed…but her ghost-like state meant that it no longer revealed its secrets to her touch.

"Coulson: May, wanna go to prison? Could be Taco Tuesday."

The teaming up of, well, the team also meant there was far less strands to follow this week. With the lone exception of Simmons, the entire cast made their way back at the lockup holding Robbie’s Uncle Eli, trying to get to him before Lucy and her ghost friends do. That means moving through a prison full of guards who have been infected and think everyone’s a demon, as well as Lucy’s ghost thugs who Robbie busts one by one.

Image via ABC

That would be bad enough. But then there’s the little matter of that other Watchdog plot coming into play. Apparently our good Senator’s money is going into recruiting the new members straight out of prison. Exactly how these dog tattoo’d idiots know that Coulson and Co marching through their hall are “SHIELD” or that “SHIELD protects those freaks” but that doesn’t matter. The point is to hit the maximum danger line dialogue-wise, before Lucy’s ghost materialized just long enough to open their cages and set them free.

"May: It was a death experience. I’m over it."

Meanwhile, our lone wolf, Simmons is stuck taking her lie detector test, a supposedly daily occurrence. The difference being now she’s been infected with things she needs to lie about. Awkward. One eye dart to the left indeed.

Image via ABC

Except……she’s not being pulled off her detector test for lying. She’s being called up to feed data to our new director Mace, as he goes live to debate the evil Senator Nadeer live on television (on ABC’s own George Stephanopoulos’ This Week, natch. Hey, turns out this episode’s set on a Sunday morning!) The segment is going swimmingly, until the good Senator brings up the ongoing crisis…at the prison where Eli Marrow is being held. How does she know it’s happening, when even Simmons didn’t? Let’s not ask, and let’s just not comment on whether or not SHIELD has the situation well in hand. At least this time, it’s the woman putting the men in refrigerators.

"Mace: Senator, I promise you I’m the man for the job. Because I’m not just a man. I’m an Inhuman"

But for all that “one wrong word” on the interview may take down everything SHIELD is working towards, by the end of the interview it’s not Simmons who has told him to say the wrong thing. Instead Mace has gone off the script all together and revealed to the world what we already knew: he too is an Inhuman. Stephanopoulos’ surprise seems genuine. But Simmons sees something else..micro expressions suggesting that Mace’s heroism story is all a big fat lie. Knowledge is power, and Simmons uses hers to get out of any further lie detector tests. Guess they really are a team that trusts now….

Image via ABC

In the end the adventure in the prison was for naught. Just as triumph is in hand, Robbie loses focus to take out the final member of the gang who crippled his brother. We get to conveniently learn that was a hit ordered by someone, which means that Robbie’s quest now takes a new turn…and with no eyes on Eli, Lucy makes off with him so she has someone to read the book for her.

"Lucy: What if in some way, it is reading us?"

But just when you thought the twists were over, the button this week holds one of it own. Nadeer shows up with images of not only Quake working with SHIELD in the prison to get to Morrow, but also images of the Ghostrider, en flagrante, as it were. She’s going to send them to ABC News (of course), unless Mace gives her what she wants.

Next: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Recap: “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire”

What exactly that is will wait until at least next week, if not the one after. The trailer for next week promises an hour focused on how Robbie became the way he is. Moreover, it won’t be long before dear little anti-Inhuman brother finds out his secret.