Just when the team started building up again, it gets torn apart. Let’s find out about the Russian Inhuman’s secret power and where Mockingbird is going next!
This episode starts really strong, with sassy one-liners and great fight scenes, then builds to a creepy suspense story involving the episodes villain – but seems to fizzle a bit as the bad guys’ plots are quickly wrapped up and they add a bit too much cheese in the big send-off. Still, overall a great episode and it does hit the right heartbeats.
The Story Thus Far: Inhumans are popping up all over the globe, and while SHIELD knows more about them than seemingly any other agency, world governments are scrambling to collect them all! Bobbi and her ex-husband Hunter have snuck straight into the bear’s den to stop Russia and Hydra from joining forces to create an Inhuman army!
Comic Connections in “Parting Shot”
The episode jumps back and forth in the story over the course of two days, but let’s hit this chronologically.
Starting 34 hours before the key event of this story, Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse and Lance Hunter followed Malick to Siberia where they now tail his convoy to a top secret Russian site. The team on Zephyr One (which isn’t quite a Hellicarrier, but may be a Quincarrier) notes that in proposed “Inhuman refuge” is more likely to become a prison camp. When asked why they would do that in Siberia, Coulson says they wouldn’t build one in Malibu because of the “Not in My Backyard” syndrome. Several things to consider here. First, “Zephyr” refers to the wind, but it could also unintentionally reference a very little-known Flash Gordon (and thus Buck Rogers) rip off named Zephyr Jones at Marvel. In the comics, the primary Inhuman city of Attilan is also known as “The Great Refuge,” so that’s a nice touch. It’s interesting that Coulson says someone who wanted to get rid of threats wouldn’t build a prison in Malibu, because the Malibu-based Tony Stark is set to build a prison in Captain America: Civil War very soon, and it’ll likely be far from Malibu.
Three hours later, the pair are spying on a hidden nuclear power plant that’s blocked form imaging systems. After chatting with Fitz about an Amazon documentary, Hunter asks if he can assassinate Malick, but Coulson quickly points out that such an act at this point and time could lead to world war. Bobbi and Hunter reminisce about all of the time they haven’t spent alone together over the years, mentioning a stakeout mission in Rio de Janeiro, Bobbi’s mom in San Diego, and apparently Bobbi had a romantic time in Florence with someone, but it wasn’t Hunter – and later in the show Bobbi mentions that she was married more than once. While Bobbi’s known ex is Lance Hunter, it’s worth pointing out (again and again) that in the comics her ex-husband is Clint “Hawkeye” Barton! Maybe she and Clint were married prior to their current relationships in the MCU? What would it take to get Jeremy Renner to guest star on TV?
Bobbi and Hunter spot a prisoner restrained by strange tech, and fight off some guards who were only doing their job, which Hunter notes could also be said about Stalin. Bobbi, called “Rosetta Stone,” is the only member of the team that speaks fluent Russian. Just for fun, it should be noted that Josef Stalin – the tyrannical soviet premier – is also a villain in the Marvel Universe, even appearing in the modern day to fight the Avengers with his superpowers! Backing up though, Russian sites housing secret superhumans is (naturally) a thing in Marvel, as Epsilon Red lived a long time in Tyurattam, a Russian space center, and the Russian government monitoring and capturing superhumans is also a thing, as the Flagwatch program attempted to do to Colossus’ sister Illyana and the evil Soul Skinner. The original X-Factor team also liberated a Russian mutant prison camp early in that team’s run.
Two hours later, the team has infiltrated the plant, but discovers the body of the Russian prime minister’s personal attaché. Turns out, that even as Malick wants to help the Inhumans in the same way the US government helped Native Americans with the reservation system (because he’s evil, you see?), the PM doesn’t trust the plan; to reject the PM’s rejections, the Inhuman former-KGB assassin, General Androvich of the Ministry of Defense, killed the attaché with his ability to create a shadowy Darkforce double. While Androvich may share the name of some minor characters, his powers seem more akin to another famous Russian government agent, Darkstar. While there have been a few Darkstars over the years, they all had the ability to access and manipulate Darkforce. It’s also refreshing to hear them use the word “Darkforce,” as the entire time it appeared on Agent Carter, it was called Zero Matter. SHIELD first encountered the powerful substance when they fought Blackout.
You know, it’s too bad that when they had the opportunity for a superpowered high-ranking Russian soldier, then didn’t go with Ursa Major. Seriously Marvel: Russian werebear, get this into the MCU!
We’re now 28 hours before the big reveal, and all heck goes down. Bobbi calls Daisy “sestra” as they fight Androvich’s shadow, Hunter shoots Petrov (so much for that guy, seemed to have potential…), Mack gets thrown around a lot (Big dude getting beat up to show how tough the bad guy is? Seems like Mack’s role.), and eventually the team gets away while Bobbi and Hunter stay behind to save the Russian prime minister. This was just another example of Bobbi’s linguistic skills, but as Orphan Black Season 4 begins in a few weeks, it’s good to hear some early sestra talk.
The next day, Bobbi and Hunter are being politely interrogated in Moscow for the various deaths of Russian officials at the black site. It seems despite saving the PM’s life, someone has to take the fall for the debacle, and who better than an agent of the officially defunct SHIELD and a former mercenary? We learn a few more details about the pair, like Bobbi’s multiple marriages, Hunter’s alias (or could that actually be his real name?!) of “Amadeus Ravenclaw Hunter,” the fact that Hunter’s dad was a copper in Kent, and that the pair would rather sacrifice their own freedom than see all of their SHIELD comrades take the fall for this international incident. The prime minister, called Dimitri, meets with American President Ellis personally as the pair are questioned (man, this president really gets around unnoticed, huh?), and despite denials from Ellis and the “ATCU advisor” Phil Coulson, Dimitri pretty much knows what’s up, and Coulson fears a Cold War-style arms race could occur, with countries collecting Inhumans. The same thing happened in the Marvel Universe as soon as the Terrigen Cloud was released, spreading Inhumanity almost randomly across the globe, as both world governments and various Inhuman factions rushed to collect the “Nuhumans.”
The end result was a forgone conclusion: SHIELD remains active, but Bobbi and Hunter are forced to leave. Though they don’t have to face any legal punishment, they can’t be seen near their former comrades without exposing SHIELD’s existence. Afterwards they go to Teddy’s Bar to figure out where they’ll go next, and despite obvious spies watching their every move, all of the core SHIELD agents seat randomly in the bar sending drinks over to say goodbye without saying goodbye. The whole bit is rather poignant, but these are spies we’re talking about – they’ll eventually team up again when no one is looking. It’s not like they were injected with Kryptonite blood or something. Also, it’s odd they went to Teddy’s Bar, when the mid-season finale made a big point of spotlighting the Moon Pub. Seems like that’d be where they’d go, just for closure, no?
In the episode’s stinger, we meet Malick’s daughter who is an expert at shooting clay pigeons and knows everything about Malick’s dealings in Russia, the existence of SHIELD, and the latest updates with Ward/Hive. She isn’t obviously someone from the comics, but one assumes she’ll assume a role similar to Andrea von Strucker or Madame Hydra (one of the Madame Hydras is eventually altered by Hive).
Next Week: Who let the dogs out? (Who? Who? Who? Who?)