"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D" finally aired its 13th episode for season 3 and just as we predicted when the promotional photos were released on March 7, the last episode titled "Parting Shot" really did become the turning point for Agent Barbara "Bobbi" Morse and Agent Lance Hunter.
If you have not seen "Parting Shot" yet, be aware that there will be spoilers below. An Inhuman with the power to affect tear ducts may or may not use their power on you at the end of the episode.
We already know from "The Inside Man" that the two agents stowed away in Gideon Malick's private plane, which was heading to Russia to discuss plans for the "sanctuary state" for Inhumans, but episode 13 opens in medias res when Bobbi and Hunter are already detained and being questioned separately for the assassination of Russian cabinet members.
After a cheeky answer to the Interpol Officer's question to Bobbi if she has anything to say – she answers with an order of cheeseburger and curly fries, crispy – the audience is taken back to the continuation of the last episode, after they alight from the jet.
The entire episode switches between two timelines: the first is during the questioning of Bobbi and Hunter, and the second shows the events that unfolded after Bobbi and Hunter followed Gideon's convoy. The two quickly make contact with S.H.I.E.L.D. as they tag the convoy and the agency determines where the convoy is headed.
Hunter is not too happy about Phil Coulson's order, which is to just keep surveilling Gideon even if they could get their hands on him, and he also notes that he and Bobbi never had a proper vacation because all their travels together were for a mission. Of course, Bobbi, being the exceptional agent she is – she is Mockingbird, after all – talks about sacrificing for the job.
They are caught by the roving guards of the facility and they try to convince the men that they just got lost. Hunter insists they were just in the Siberian woods picking mushrooms in the dead of winter even when he is being questioned by the Interpol Officer.
Bobbi, who seems to be the only one who did the "learn a language" part of being an agent, reveals that Cabinet members are involved. They infiltrate the decommissioned power plant and learn that the cabinet members who gathered all want the sanctuary to exist and that one of them, General Androvich, happens to be an Inhuman. Gideon convinces them to stage a coup d'état and release the General to assassinate the Prime Minister, and they are apparently very suggestible because they do as Gideon suggests.
With the knowledge of the assassination plot, Coulson changes the mission and has the agents focus on protecting the Russian Prime Minister Olshenko (Endre Hules) from his own cabinet members, human and Inhuman.
The agents stage a diversion and Hunter grabs the Prime Minister while the others fight or chase after General Androvich whose shadow is not a shadow but "a sentient dark force able to shift its density at will and operates independently from him" – thanks, Fitz and Simmons!
Basically, dark force Androvich gets the upper hand because Daisy's powers don't affect him and none of the blows that Bobbi and Mack deal make contact. When dark force Androvich knocks Daisy out cold and escapes to where Hunter is, Mack tells Bobbi to end it. Instead of going to where Hunter is, Bobbi hunts down corporeal Androvich and shoots him dead, and this causes dark force Androvich to disappear.
Bobbi surrenders after killing the General. Since Hunter is with the Prime Minister, he gets arrested too. Unfortunately for them, instead of being grateful for saving his life, he has them detained and questioned in hopes that they will admit that the United States is still allowing S.H.I.E.L.D. to operate, in spite of intervention from President Ellis (William Sadler) and Coulson.
Coulson gets a chance to talk to them, disrupting recording signals so he could discuss with them privately and offer them an escape once he gives the signal to Fitz, but both Bobbi and Hunter refuse. They tell him they will take the bullet for S.H.I.E.L.D. and that disavowal seems a better option than to put the team in danger. Coulson reluctantly agrees but had some things to say to the Prime Minister to let the government release the two no-longer-agents.
It ends, of course, with the parting shot. A spy's goodbye at a bar where Bobbi and Hunter stayed for beer and received several shots from anonymous people, but they know the shots came from Simmons, Fitz, Daisy, May, Coulson and Mack.
The episode is not even hiding the fact that Bobbi and Hunter are 99.9% leaving the show before the credits roll with all the discussion about missed opportunities together, taking a break from the chaos, Hunter finally coming to terms with what it means to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, patching things up with Agent May and, of course, being told that they are each other's only weaknesses. Yes, we get it, this series is wrapping up the Bobbi and Hunter storyline so they can fly off the coop and on to their own spin-off show, "Marvel's Most Wanted."
But kudos to the nice way their presence in the show was concluded. That bar scene was really bittersweet, especially with Mack, the person they both have known the longest, waiting for everyone to finish and leave before they get a private toast of their own.