Declassified: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Purpose In The Machine”

Just in case the whole Fitz/Simmons fiasco didn’t pull at your heart strings enough, this week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. probably ripped them out completely. As a whole, the episode might have left you scratching your head at points and feeling underwhelmed at other; but the final arc of this episode was quite possibly the most nerve-wracking emotional rollercoaster ride we’ve ever seen on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

So let’s take a look back at this episode and explain some of the finer points while also giving another fond remembrance of THOSE moments – you know the one(s).

Episode Meaning – “Purpose In The Machine” & Episode:

There was a lot going on in this episode, yet not all of it was as important and gripping as the others. Whereas Fitz’s mission to bring back Simmons took central importance, there was “Purpose in the” rest of the episode as well. So why title it “Purpose In The Machine”? Well the straightforward answer to that is literally how Coulson and the gang found the “Purpose” of the old castle secret room – as well as the monolith itself. The monolith’s secret purpose might have been destroyed along with it, but the machine’s purpose to activate it’s teleportation properties was revealed. It is through the “Purpose in [that] machine” that Fitz and Simmons were reunited. But that’s not the only purpose of this episode.

Agents of Shield Purpose In The Machine 2

As I mentioned earlier, there were some other things going on in this episode but nothing as important as the mission to rescue Jemma. Though in a sense, you can also view the episode as a whole as a ‘machine’ itself. So what was its purpose besides bring back Jemma? Simple, it was to bring all the chess pieces back on the board. We now know what’s been going on with May and she’s joined Hunter in tracking down Ward. Ward is back on the map with a new Hydra forming around him. We now have all the starting pieces we need and the rest of the season can move forward making good use of all the pieces already on the board.

Being A Mother’s Daughter – A Returning Theme?

This episode showed us what’s been going on in May’s life post Second Honeymoon. It seems as though things didn’t work out as nicely between Melinda and Andrew as they’d hopped and it seems May still has some things she wants to take care of. Although it’s not just eliminating Ward so he can’t go after her family – since she is partly responsible for killing his girlfriend – that May is worried about. While speaking with her father we keep hearing how she’s “Just like her mother” and there’s something about that phrase May seems to despise.

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) JAMES HONG

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)
JAMES HONG

We still don’t know all the facts about May’s mom; but this isn’t the first time we’ve seen someone with Mommy issues. Daisy started to experienced these a bit last season as well; but not to this extent. Does this foretell that if left unchecked, Daisy might start to crack under the pressure of leadership like her mother. This could be what Andrew was warning her about. And I’m sure she’ll be fine; but this is definitely a theme to keep an eye on.

THOSE Moments – Fitz & Simmons Reunited At Last:

Now it’s time to talk about the whole Fitz/Simmons rescue. For starters, we all knew Fitz was going to dive into the pool of Monolith to find Jemma. A stupid idea to be sure; but thankfully the flare Fitz shot on their first attempt is what drew Jemma to the area in the first place. Though it was after this that our hearts really started racing. Cosidering all these two have been through – and our happy ending getting dragged away last season finale – the push and pull of the rescue was unbearable. It seemed as though Fitz would get pulled back too soon to save Jemma.

Agents of Shield Purpose In The Machine 4

But this suspense was all purposeful as the two were finally reunited and Fitz returned holding Jemma in his arms. Though the biggest sigh of relief didn’t come until the follow up scene where Jemma awakes from her sleep. We were all out of breath as it was; and as a nod to the audience to reward all that we just went through, we were given a touching shot of Jemma crawling out of bed and rest her head on Fitz’s lap. I’m not even going to lie, but this panda teared up a bit. And no, I’m not even slightly ashamed. #FitzSimmonsForever

Excelsior – Easter Eggs, References & Other Important Points:

  • We still have no idea what planet Jemma was on, but it’s old. Unbelievably old. Or as Doctor Who would put it, “Impossibly Old”
  • If you don’t remember Professor Randolph then go back and rewatch Season 1 right now! Kidding, but seriously. Randolph was the Asgardian-in-hiding professor who helped Coulson and the team recover the Berserker Staff.
  • If May’s father sounded familiar to you that’s because you’ve probably heard him and Min-Na Wen go at it before in Mulan. Yes, that was James Hong (aka Chi Fu, the Emperor’s pompous Council Member from Mulan) playing William May
  • I love how quickly Hunter backpedalled his accusation of May going through a “midlife crisis” to “early midlife crisis”
  • I see every way climbing the ranks of Hydra can end badly; but they just might have to since Ward is already eying Andrew.
  • If Ward gets his hands on Andrew it wont just be to punish May; but it could also grant Ward – pun not intended – access to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Inhuman recruit files and cause problems for the team.
  • Because what’s Hydra without a Von Strucker.
  • So the obelisk represents “Death by punishment”; but punishment for and by what?
  • Coulson – “Sometimes I cant help myself with the cool!”
  • It’ll be interesting to see when/if Joey joins the team. His powers are definitely unique and there’s no telling if they are his only powers or the tip of the iceberg

Next week we’ll return to check in on Lincoln and the growing Government Task Force. With Hydra and Lash still out there as well, there’s no telling who else will show up! So stay tuned for next week’s Declassified!

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