This week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was as heavy on intrigue as it was on sexual tension between Coulson and Rosalind. Between the formation of the Secret Warriors, the shaky alliance with the A.T.C.U., Hunter’s mission to take down Ward, and whatever the hell is going on with Simmons, it’s honestly a little surprising that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s third season doesn’t already feel bloated. So, with so much going on in the season so far, let’s break down the biggest moments from this week’s episode:

1) Lash Powers Down

This week, Lash finally gets a name, and more than one scene. However, the biggest moment from him this episode didn’t come from the Inhumans he killed, or the fact that he has an IT Guy (who was also an Inhuman), or even the ominous look he gave Daisy when he decided not to kill her (although, yeah, what was up with that?). Instead, the biggest moment for the Great White Shark (as Mack calls him) came as he pulled a reverse Hulk and transformed into a regular looking guy.

As Daisy explained, this could have huge implications for fighting Lash in the future. Aside from being a physical threat, Lash is now also terrifying for a psychological reason: he could be someone they know. Some fans are speculating that he could in fact be Andrew, but I’m not sure that theory holds much weight. If we’ve seen Lash, I doubt he’s a main member of the main team, or anyone who’s been around for a long time. I don’t think Lash has Skrull-like powers, taking over the identities of anyone he chooses. However, it is possible that he’s used his mild-mannered alter-ego to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D. or, more likely, the A.T.C.U. If that’s the case, he could be anyone, from a random background soldier, to Rosalind’s second in command. Hell, even Ros herself isn’t totally out of the realm of possibility.

Keep an eye on any previously quiet character who starts getting more screen time in the next few episodes, especially if they’re someone in the A.T.C.U.

2) Andrew’s Down…But Is He Out?

The emotional climax of the episode, for once, had nothing to do with twisting the knife deeper into the heart of every person who just wants FitzSimmons to be happy. Instead, it involved twisting the knife deeper into the heart of every person who just wants May to be happy. As revenge for tricking him into killing his girlfriend last season, Ward decides to kill Andrew on camera for May to watch if she doesn’t surrender. Before she has the chance, of course, Hunter charges Ward, guns blazing. As Ward makes his escape, we’re left to believe that Werner Von Strucker killed Andrew in a convenience store, and torched the place to destroy his body.

So, if there’s one thing about Andrew’s death I’m almost certain of, it’s that Andrew isn’t dead–since we neither saw him get killed, nor did we see his body afterwards (yes, we saw a body, but there’s no proof that it was his), and the explosion will make it impossible to confirm whether or not it was him. It’s much more likely that Strucker killed one of the other Hydra agents to leave a body for S.H.I.E.L.D. to find, and kidnapped Andrew for Ward to use as an ace up his sleeve. After all, Ward had an entire speech this episode about the virtue of patience: he’s not going to let his revenge be so quick and painless. Andrew is likely part of a much larger plan that Ward has to take revenge against May and bring S.H.I.E.L.D. down.

Not that any of this matters for the next few episodes, of course. Until May finds out that Andrew isn’t dead, she’ll have a whole lot of anger to deal with, and not all of it will be directed at Ward. Just when I was beginning to like Hunter and May as a team, it looks like she’s about to make his life very unpleasant for the next few weeks.

3) Simmons…Might Be A Vampire?


You know, about two minutes before this episode ended, I actually thought that this would be the first episode of season 3 that didn’t end with a dramatic reveal from Jemma. Not that I don’t like the alien planet plot, I really do, but just for a change of pace I thought it would be nice to write an article without coming up with crazy theories about what the hell is going on with Simmons. Fortunately, this week, I don’t have to come up with one, because someone else did it for me.

The episode’s coda has Simmons telling Fitz that something “happened to her” on the alien planet, and it’s time she tells him the truth. Ever since Season 2’s finale, people have been speculating that Simmons may be turned into an Inhuman, but /u/atbowman posted this theory on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. subreddit that makes…an uncomfortable amount of sense.

For those of you who can’t read atbowman’s post, here are their main points, plus a few of my own based on what we saw this week:

  • Rumors have been swirling about for a while now about a possible appearance of Blade in the MCU. Such an appearance would necessitate the introduction of vampires.

  • In the first episode, when Jemma is still on the alien planet, she has some sort of cut that she quickly covers up with dirt. She clearly doesn’t want her blood out in the open air.

  • Back on Earth, when she and Fitz have dinner, Simmons’ breakdown seems to be triggered by the sight of red wine, a blood-like liquid.

  • The only other people we know for certain who have gone through the portal to the alien planet were creepy European dudes who live in a castle and perform black magic.

  • When Simmons returns to Earth, she seems especially sensitive to light. The bright fluorescents in the lab really bothered her, and we’ve never seen her outside since she returned.

  • The Inhumans were absolutely terrified of the portal, so whatever’s on the other side must be pretty powerful.

  • In her medical tests, Simmons is found to have a deficiency in vitamin-D, which you get from exposure to sunlight, and in the sneak peak for next week’s episode, it appears that there’s little, if any, sunlight on the alien planet.

  • At the end of episode 2, once Simmons is back on Earth, she wakes up from a nightmare brandishing something to protect herself, which looks an awful lot like a wooden stake.

  • During a Q&A at New York Comic Con, Jeph Loeb implied that Simmons may be something other than human.

/u/atbowman’s theory, as insane as it sounds, is that the cult experimenting with the portal that we saw earlier in the season were either vampires or vampire-worshippers, and that the alien planet is either some sort of stronghold or even a safe haven for vampires. As a dark planet that’s otherwise mostly Earth-like, away from humans and other threats, it could be the perfect place for an ancient Vampire race to escape to and thrive. If Simmons has been turned into a vampire, she may feel that she has to go back to the ~~alien~~ Vampire planet because she’s no longer safe on Earth, and if she stays she may wind up hurting her friends.

Is it insane? Absolutely. Is it true? Probably not. But is there any evidence against it? Not yet.

Well that’s enough crazy for one week, check back next week for another breakdown, and probably another insane theory. In the mean time, make sure to follow us on Twitter for all MCU related news and speculation.