Welcome to the Winter Finale of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap for Season 3, Episode 10, "Maveth" (original airdate December 8, 2015), where S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra go head-to-head in battle -- while Daisy and her team of Inhumans fight to keep Hydra at bay, Coulson and Fitz take the ultimate risk.
Taking Back the Castle
Picking up right where the last episode left off, Ward marches Fitz and a Hydra entourage through the barren landscape of Maveth. Fitz tries to escape, but his new field skills are still no match for Ward’s. Back on Zephyr One, Mack and the S.H.I.E.L.D. team regroup. After Hydra kidnapped Fitz and Simmons, and Ward took Fitz through the portal to Maveth, prompting Coulson to jump through and follow them in, Mack -- now acting S.H.I.E.L.D. Director -- has a lot on his plate already. Bobbi and Hunter give him the lowdown, and together with the rest of the crew, they assess the situation. As Hunter puts it, "This is the part where the plan turns to rubbish":
But the crazy plan works: Daisy, Joey, Lincoln, and May storm the Hydra encampment. Lincoln shuts off the power, thus enabling Simmons to escape. As she escapes the encampment, she notices that Hydra brought modules of the trapped Inhumans -- and she finds Andrew among them. Soon she finds herself surrounded by Hydra soldiers, and left with no choice, she frees Andrew. He transforms into Lash and kills the Hydra troops, while Simmons escapes. So the team is reunited, but Lash is back on the loose.
Maveth and the Ultimate Evil
Back on Maveth, Fitz and Hydra encounter Will. Will then leads Fitz, Ward, and the Hydra troops through the place Will warned Simmons to never go -- the “No-Fly Zone." When they're hit by a sandstorm, Will uses it as a distraction and kills the Hydra troops and takes off with Fitz in the direction of the portal. Moments later, Coulson arrives, shooting and wounding Ward. As Coulson and Ward traverse Maveth looking for Fitz and the portal, Ward stops to wax poetic about his purpose in life. Ward explains that after seeing the creature that lives there on Maveth, he knows now that he is part of something bigger, that his whole life has been leading up to this moment. Ward now feels that revenge is a petty motivation. Coulson responds by shooting him:
But is Ward right? Is there any way to stop this corrupting evil?
Fitz Comes Face to Face with "It"
As Fitz walks with Will after slipping away from Ward and Hydra, they discover ruins of an old city, and Will seems to know an awful lot about it. Fitz soon learns that Will died getting Simmons to the portal when she was on Maveth, and Will's body has been possessed by "It" -- the evil creature:
Fitz fights Will/It to the death! Coulson comes over a ridge just in time to see Fitz in peril, and Coulson shoots Will. Ward takes advantage and attacks Coulson. Fitz uses a flare gun to set Will ablaze before he can crawl to the portal, thus preventing "It" from escaping.
Coulson and Ward's Final Showdown
After Fitz subdues the creature, Coulson manages to get the upper hand on Ward, knocking him down and nearly out. As the portal from Maveth back to Earth threatens to close, Coulson must choose between running and finishing his goal of killing Ward. The image of Rosalind's face appears in Coulson's mind, and he makes his decision:
Ward has, at long last, been defeated. When it's over, Coulson leaves his prosthetic hand behind.
Denouement, and a Shocker
The S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet fires on the castle just as the containment unit holding the team -- including Fitz and Coulson, who narrowly escaped through the portal -- rockets back up to the ship. Everyone can breathe for a moment and reflect on their bittersweet victory, as Coulson has blood on his hands, and Fitz has to face Simmons without bringing back Will from Maveth.
Elsewhere, Gideon Malick (Powers Boothe) is on the run after being beaten at the castle by S.H.I.E.L.D. He's headed to the airport to escape, and he encounters something that seems to be completely implausible:
Is it really Grant Ward? Or is that..."It"? Malick certainly thinks it's the latter, meaning Hydra may have won after all.
And that, friends, is how the Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. winter finale comes to a close. You'll have to wait to find out what happens next as the team faces off against a possibly rejuvenated Hydra, as well as a newly escaped Lash.
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns TUESDAY MARCH 8 9|8c on ABC.