Josh recaps Season 3 Episode 14 of Agents of SHIELD, titled Watchdogs, where we meet Mack’s little brother, Ruben, and a group called the Watchdogs attacks an ATCU building! Following the recap, check out both Josh’s and Violet’s thoughts about the episode!
- Violet’s thoughts on Agents of SHIELD Season Episode 14 Watchdogs
- Josh’s thoughts on this week’s Agents of SHIELD episode
Agents of SHIELD Season 3 Episode 14, Watchdogs Recap
This episode of Agents of SHIELD picks up after the farewell send off to Bobbi and Hunter that we saw last episode.
Mack, Daisy and Fitz’s Run-In with Watchdogs
Mack Spends Quality Time with his Brother
This episode looked like was going to be a very solo-centric episode, revolving around Mack, who is at home, visiting with his brother, Ruben. They both seem to have interests in motorcycles, and they are working on rebuilding a couple at their countryside home. The two talk about their work life, with Ruben recently losing his job, while Mack, who apparently has been telling Ruben he is an insurance claimer adjuster, tells Ruben how tough the job has been for him.
Watchdogs attack the ATCU, Forcing Mack to Investigate
Things seem to be going well between the two, until the villains of the episode show up—the Watchdogs. On TV, Mack sees a demonstration the Watchdogs are having, where they are ranting about the ATCU. Then we see that they are doing more than just talking—they implode the building. Mack gets a phone call from Coulson, who asks him to check into this, since he is the only close SHIELD agent at the moment.
Ruben had been hoping to grill some steaks with his brother, but Mack tells him he is having an emergency insurance claim he has to deal with. Coulson sends Daisy and Fitz are sent to catch up with Mack, and Daisy also provides some insight on the Watchdogs—they have been around since basically Avengers 1, and have been gaining momentum with the actions in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Only now have they become violent though.
Daisy and Fitz join the Investigation
At the now imploded ATCU building, Fitz and Simmons investigate, and Mack has also shown up. Fitz uses his science to figure out how the building was destroyed. A chemical developed by Howard Stark called “Nitromene” is to blame, but Mack adds that something had to have been added to this chemical in order for it to be weaponized in its gel form that was used for this attack. Luckily, Fitz has something that can neutralize Nitromene, which will probably come up later…
Reconvening with Coulson, Coulson seems to think he knows who might be involved with this Nitromene incident—Agent Blake, who we have met before in Agents of SHIELD. Previously, we had first seen Agent Blake in Season 1 Episode 6, F.Z.Z.T., and saw him again later that season in Episode 16, End of the Beginning.
- Agent Blake’s first appearance in the Agents of SHIELD
- Agent Blake in Season 1 Episode 16, End of the Beginning
So Mack, Fitz and Daisy try to work out their next move, and wonder if Agent Blake is actually involved. Daisy’s solution is to pick up a Watchdog member and interrogate him. Mack seems to take issue with this, as they don’t know if this specific person is that deeply involved with the attack, and it might seem like they are trampling on civil liberties. Daisy and Fitz decide to move forward with this plan while Mack excuses himself, saying he has to meet up with his brother.
Investigating A Watchdog’s Base
When Mack gets home, his brother is a bit drunk, and angry with Mack. They get into an argument, with Ruben feeling like Mack left him with a lot of their family’s problems, and complains about how the whole “system” works. Mack then realizes that Ruben is actually quoting the Watchdogs, and tries to warn his brother to stay away from that group.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Daisy confront a Watchdog sympathizer, with Daisy stopping the truck, and climbing inside. She freaks out the guy with her ability, while Fitz aims one of his guns at the man. The man gives her the location of a Watchdog meeting.
Mack meets up with Fitz and Simmons, and Fitz uses one of his drones to check out the area. Inside, they can hear Agent Blake’s voice. But things go awry when Ruben shows up on his loud motorcycle, and makes a commotion. This causes Mack and the team to have to take some SHIELD action, which really confuses Ruben. Daisy even uses her powers, which the Watchdogs think is actually Mack. Mack chases down Ruben, while Daisy decides to move in to capture Blake. In the scuffle, Fitz is hit with one of the nitromene rounds that imploded the ATCU building. Fitz tries to use his anti-nitromene antidote, but it is ineffective, which Fitz chalks it up to the Watchdogs altering the nitromene in some way.
Daisy takes in the Watchdog agent and Fitz, getting them into a containment chamber aboard the quinjet. Fitz comes up with an idea, and manages to help Daisy figure out how to “freeze” off the nitromene on his neck.
Mack Invents the Shotgun Axe
At home, Ruben and Mack get into it again, Ruben angry about Mack’s lying. Meanwhile, on the quinjet, the Watchdog member they have tells Daisy that Mack is a target since they think he is an Inhuman. Back over with Mack, he sees the Watchdogs have shown up. He grabs a shotgun, and makes a plan to escape out the back door. He takes down a few people, and makes it to the back door, but there are people waiting. He gets in a scuffle, and winds up shot, but ends up taking the Watchdogs down, while inventing the shotgun axe—taping a cleaver to the end of his shotgun.
Ruben is shaken, but Daisy reassures him that he will be okay.
Coulson and Lincoln Search for Agent Blake
As for Coulson, he has decided he is going to look for some of Blake’s not-so-secret safe houses. This is right after talking to Lincoln about his evaluation, in which he tells Lincoln that his evaluation seems show Lincoln is a part of the team more for Daisy than for Lincoln. But Coulson wants to give Lincoln a real-world shot, so he takes him on his mission to the safehouses.
The two find a safehouse in Atlanta, and move in, finding Blake waiting for them. Blake seems to be of the opinion that SHIELD never truly existed given HYDRA’s infiltration. He also seems to be of the opinion that he needs to save the world from these Inhumans. After Coulson figures out that Blake is just stalling, he tells Lincoln to kill him. Lincoln protests, but Coulson insists. Lincoln does as ordered, and it turns out Blake is just a hologram. Lincoln realizes that Coulson knew, and this was a test. Coulson also realizes that Lincoln purposely avoided a kill shot. This seemed to impress Coulson.
Coulson and Daisy Discuss the Watchdogs
Coulson then talks with Daisy, and Daisy says the ATCU attack was a diversion, and see that Malick stole something from the ATCU, and also find that HYDRA is funding the Watchdogs.
Then we see Blake, in a wheelchair, meeting with Giyera, asking for weapons to hunt down the Inhumans…
Agent May and Simmons Look For Lash
Regarding other team members, Agent Simmons seems to still be struggling with the death of Will, how Fitz was almost killed, and how she set Lash free. She seems to be letting loose some anger, as she is at the shooting range, doing some target practice. May tries to calm her down, telling her it is not her fault what happened.
May later asks for Simmons help on something, which turns out to be searching for Lash. Simmons seems to think she can figure out where to find him, thinking that Lash might be working off of his biological instincts. Simmons asks May about the plans for Andrew/Lash once he is found, and May says that she will kill him. Simmons tries to tell her that the vaccine they are working on from Creel’s blood might provide a cure, but May doesn’t want this false hope, and seems resolved to kill him.
Josh’s Thoughts: Agents of SHIELD, Season 3 Episode 14: Watchdogs
I thought this episode of Agents of SHIELD was going to strictly be an Agent Mack episode. He is one of the characters I really like on the show, in addition to Fitz and Simmons, and was looking forward to seeing him in his home environment. While we didn’t get a completely solo Mack episode, he was the main focus of the episode. It was interesting seeing him interact with his brother, and seeing how he tries to hide what he actually does. It sheds some light on how lonely and deceiving you can feel as a spy, or secret agent.
Another big deal this episode was civil liberties. Mack seemed very concerned about trampling on civil liberties while Daisy, on the other hand, didn’t have much of a problem detaining one man in order to save many others. It is a slippery slope though—how do you decide when it is okay to detain people you are not quite sure are involved? At what point is this detaining a bad thing, or a good thing?
As for Blake, he seems to be under some pretty false impressions, thinking Malick and his men are going to be able to help him take down the Inhumans. Apparently he doesn’t even realize he is doing business with one. It is pretty interesting turning this man into a enemy of Coulson now, although I have a feeling once things get straightened out, they will probably be friends again.
As for Agent May and Simmons, I am guessing they are going to eventually find Lash. I would also venture to say that May is likely not going to have the heart to kill him. Simmons will get a shot to use her cure on him, which I am curious to see if works. This will of course beg the question—are Inhumans something that should be cured? We already are wondering if a vaccine is right or wrong, but what happens to people already exhibiting powers?
I guess we will see what happens tonight on the next episode!
Violet’s Thoughts on Season 3 Episode 14 of Agents of SHIELD: Watchdogs
It seemed like this episode we had a lot of interactions of characters working together that we don’t often see working together: Daisy and Fitz, May and Simmons, Coulson and Lincoln. Of course, then there was Mack and his brother, who we’ve never even met before. I guess it is about time that we had a Mack episode, as we don’t really know a lot about his background. I don’t think I even knew he had a brother. I also hadn’t really considered the characters getting to go off on vacations to see their families. I suppose it’s because we always see the team working, it seems like they’re always together and doing SHIELD team stuff, so we don’t think about them having any sort of life outside of SHIELD.
It was really cool to see Gaius Charles (who played Ruben) on this episode. If you watched the TV show Friday Night Lights, you’ll recognize him as Smash. What are they going to do now that Ruben knows about SHIELD and Mack and the Inhumans and everything going on? Will Ruben be around longer than just this episode, or is it possible he might join the team? I’ll admit that I was getting a little worried about him there for awhile, thinking that he already was a member of the Watchdogs, and that there would be some additional family controversy that came up between Ruben and Mack.
I didn’t realize how much animosity that Coulson held toward Lincoln, or at least it appeared that he held toward him until the end of the episode. Recently, Coulson did ask Fitz what he thought about Lincoln, and Fitz gave a brief positive response before the subject was changed. Then this episode, Coulson seemed to really have something against Lincoln, which seemed a bit odd. Thankfully, Lincoln seemed to have gained Coulson’s approval by the end, so hopefully Coulson will treat him as a normal team member from here on out.
It felt like this episode was mainly a way for us to get to know Mack better, and to lay some groundwork for more exciting things to come in the overarching storyline this season, which I am looking forward to!