SHIELD 3 castAn explosion at a building kills many people. A mysterious group claims responsibility and says they’re battling a government that’s hiding the truth from the public. Then, some people call radio shows, and say they want to take their country back.

That’s part of this week’s episode where a terrorist group is trying to attack Inhumans with the help of an ex-SHIELD agent, but it’s also something that sounds very familiar in the real world.

At the center of all of this is Alfonso MacKenzie, who we still call Mack, not Alfie as his brother Ruben (Gaius Charles) does. His vacation has to be cut short after the Watchdogs, the group that’s against Inhumans (and the Avengers), attacks an ATCU facility in South Bend with the help of nitramene, a weapon that makes things implode. Fans of Agent Carter may remember it from last year.SHIELD Watchdogs A

What’s interesting is how everyone is responding to all this. Daisy says she’ll go to any lengths to protect her kind, although Mack says she shouldn’t sink down to the Watchdogs’ level. To be fair, her style of getting info from a wannabe named Dallas (Tenton Rostedt) was just breaking a couple of his truck’s windows. She showed restraint compared to the bomb they used. There is the fear she’ll go too far, but we know Daisy won’t go far unless events force her.

However, it’s not that difficult for the Watchdogs to get members. They have Ruben’s attention, mainly because he’s been laid off and may not be able to pay the mortgage on the house. He also resents that fact that Mack hasn’t been around more often because of this “insurance” job. With all that on Reuben’s head, he has to blame someone, and the Watchdogs give him someone, the Inhumans.

The Watchdogs also have the support of former SHIELD agent Felix Blake (Titus Welliver). He thinks he’s protecting the world from alien forces, especially Inhumans, but his reasons are very flawed. He’s also mad at the Avengers because they brought the Chitauri and one of them invented Ultron. He even thinks Coulson is an Inhuman because of how he was brought back from the dead, but that’s a stretch. Blake’s anger over how all of this affected him made him a natural recruit. He’s been able to turn nitramene into a weapon, and even a liquid bomb that’s shot at Fitz’s neck after he and Daisy locate a Watchdog meeting near Ruben’s house. They’re able to diffuse it thanks to liquid nitrogen.

SHIELD Watchdogs EThe presence of Inhumans have affected the other agents in different ways. Simmons is practicing her shooting skills so she’d be less helpless. She blames herself for letting Lash/Andrew Garner escape and kill other Inhumans, but May says she should not. She really wants Simmons to help her find Lash, and most likely kill him. Simmons, however, says maybe Creel’s anti-terrigen blood might cure Lash, but May won’t hear of it. She doesn’t want hope, because it’ll affect her job. The man she once loved is a monster, and she can’t afford to see him as anything else. This will be on her mind for some time.

It’s also affecting Coulson’s relationship with Lincoln. Although he’s there because Daisy is there, Coulson is worried Lincoln could get out of control, as he did with Lash and Creel. The test arrives when they seem to track Blake to a safe house in Atlanta. Coulson tells Lincoln to kill Blake, but Lincoln hesitates. He does fire at Blake, but it’s actually a hologram. Besides, his electric beam would have only wounded him if he really was there. That proves a lot to Coulson, and to anyone else who should know what Inhumans really are.

Not to the Watchdogs, though. Their real plan was to capture and kill an Inhuman, and thanks to Mack being just SHIELD Watchdogs Coutside their meeting, they think it’s him. It also means Reuben now knows what his brother really does for a living. They wind up being the hunted, but they’re barely able to overcome the Watchdogs. It did help when Mack invents the “shotgun axe” by adding a meat cleaver to a shotgun.  The situation changes Ruben’s mind about Inhumans, especially after meeting one in Daisy. This is a good lesson.

However, Blake still hasn’t learned. It turns out the attack was backed by Malick and HYDRA. This connects with the comics version of the Watchdogs and who funded them. Blake. who is actually confined to a wheelchair, says he wants troops and weapons to wipe out Inhumans. However, he’s relying on Giyera (Mark Dacascos) for what he needs, and he’s an Inhuman and with Malick. This may wind up being a lesson Blake, and the rest of us, may not survive.

The episode was a chance for fans to recover from the loss of Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse and get a lesson on tolerance especially after the events of Brussels. The war continues next week, though, as the crew learns that Ward is now a new man–unfortunately.

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