Bobbi and Hunter’s mission lands them in an interrogation at an Interpol black site. The episode bounces back and forth between the events that transpired on their mission and the interrogation room where Bobbi and Hunter are trying to talk their way out of it.
When they land in Russia, Malick leads them to a facility that Coulson suspects is connected to Malick building an Inhuman army. Coulson makes it clear that any act of aggression by them would be considered an act of war. Because of that, their only instructions are to surveil and report. They wait around and beat up some soldiers until Mack, Daisy and May arrive to back them up. The report that there’s probably already an Inhuman being brought in to the compound. They decide to infiltrate the facility, with Bobby being the mole since she’s the only one that speaks Russian (come on guys, pick up the slack). When they get inside, they find several Russian officials already dead and things go farther down hill from there. When they get surveillance up on the meeting, they realize that this entire meeting has turned into a set-up to facilitate the assassination of the prime minister.
The Russians happen to have a general (and minister of defense) who’s also an Inhuman. When the Prime Minister’s attache arrived and expressed some less than favorable opinions about Inhumans, the general killed him. Malick’s solution is to let the general loose and send him after the Prime Minister. The General’s power seems to be the ability to separate his shadow from his body and use the apparition to attack people. Fitz-Simmons tells them that there’s no way to permanently destroy the shadow. They’re having a hard enough time stopping it from taking them out one-by-one. When the shadow comes for the PM, Hunter is the only one left in its way. In order to save both of them, Bobbi walks out in plain sight and shoots the general in the head.
All of this leads to Bobby and Hunter being put through a lengthy interrogation. Interpol is accusing them of assassinating the Russian officers while working for SHIELD, which would be an international incident as well as one or both of their deaths. The Russian PM believes that SHIELD is working for the US Government to get ahead of the Russians in the Inhuman-arms race. After hours of Bobby and Hunter standing up to the interrogation Coulson intervenes. He gives them the chance to escape with new identities, but they chose another option. At the beginning of the episode, Hunter had already expressed that he was growing weary of the spy life and all the sacrifices and compromises that they’d made in the line of duty. It’s a theme that pervaded conversations throughout the episode. Bobby and Hunter chose to take the fall on behalf of SHIELD and to have themselves disavowed as spies. This means that they are removed from the world of espionage and can no longer work for SHIELD. Without admitting any wrong doing, Coulson thanks them for their service in front of the Russian PM and acknowledges that they are owed a great debt for what they did to save him.
The team is understandably upset when Coulson returns without Bobbi and Hunter. The sudden end of their careers as spies comes as a shock to the team. The episode ends with a “spies’ goodbye”. While Bobbi and Hunter are at a bar contemplating their next move, they start to receive shots from different bar patrons. They look around the room to see all the members of their SHIELD team in different locations of the bar. Unable to speak or acknowledge them, they all make eye contact and raise their glasses together to take a goodbye shot. Each member of the team then leaves individually, with Mack being the last one to go and giving his friends a tearful goodbye look.
Not wanting to leave the episode on too somber a note, there is one more scene. We see Malick shooting skeet with a woman and discussing who knows about Hive and his future plans. Their conversation reveals that this woman is Malick’s daughter.
- Culinary interrogation
Bobbi wants a cheeseburger and Hunter wants to talk about mushroom soup. I suppose there are worse things to try to talk about during an interrogation.
- I don’t read Cyrillic…yet.
It’s these little moments that make SHIELD a fun show. Even in a super-tense situation, there’s time for a little wry humor.
- A Spies’ Goodbye
Agents of SHIELD doesn’t have a lot of big emotional moments, but this was one of them and it was done perfectly. Having the entire team be able to say goodbye to Bobbi and Hunter while still not actually being able to say goodbye was a really powerful scene, and it was anchored by Mack’s big puppy-dog tears.
Clearly I haven’t been showing the news about this show closely enough, because I had no idea that Bobbi and Hunter were getting pulled from the show. The nice thing about that was that it really allowed me to get into the moments in the show when it happened. In retrospect, the episode did do a lot to set up their departure. There was a lot of Hunter and Bobbi showing that they were starting to feel differently about their job as spies. They also allowed for them to have some nice moments with their teammates in the field. Bobbi got to fight alongside Daisy and Mack and Hunter got to make up (kind of) with May. The entire thing was pretty well executed. The one thing that they could’ve done better is explaining the whole “disavowed” thing. I suppose that long-and-short of it is that them holding up their lie stopped SHIELD from being exposed, but I’m still not clear on how that got Bobbi and Hunter off the hook. It’s pretty clear that everyone in the room knew what was really going on, so I’m not too determined to poke holes in this part of the story. In a funny way, this episode reminded me that the SHIELD agents are actually spies. So much of the stuff that they do is so big, explosive and out in the open that it’s easy to forget that no one is actually supposed to know who they are or that they exist.
These episodes are also always a little extra sad because you realize that the actors are saying goodbye to each other, to a degree, in real life. Granted, Bobbi and Hunter aren’t dead they’ve just been exposed. I suppose that leaves the door open for them, somehow, being drawn back into the fray. I know that there was talk of the duo getting their own spinoff series, but that ship never set sail. Part of me wonders if this was always planned as their send-off regardless of how the plans for that show turned out. It would make sense considering that Agents of SHIELD has struggled with having a large cast. To be fair, this cast is large for any TV show, save something like Game of Thrones. Because of that, I think getting rid of two characters might actually make things better. I just wish it’d happened before I got attached to them.