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Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki
Marvel Cinematic Universe Wiki

"Hell of a machine, Kebo. Built for precision, speed... designed to handle flawlessly under any conditions. But Carmine here bought it as a status symbol to show off. Never opened it up, denied it of its true purpose."
Grant Ward to Kebo[src]

Purpose in the Machine is the second episode of the third season of the television series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..


Fitz and the team enlist the aid of an Asgardian to unlock the secrets of the ancient Monolith that swallowed Simmons, and Agent May is at a crossroads in her personal and professional life.


In 1839 England, a meeting of lords and nobles were having a lottery; he who grabbed the white stone from the bag was to enter the room housing the Monolith. The chosen man was never seen again.

Presently, Daisy Johnson and Alphonso Mackenzie talk about their secret project when Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter run past telling them that Leo Fitz has entered the previously sealed room that contained the Monolith. They pull the screaming Fitz away from the Kree stone. Phil Coulson, interrupted from installing a new hand, berates Fitz for his emotional breakdown, citing that he cannot afford to lose him; Fitz runs from the room after Morse removed sand from his cheek.


Fitz claims that it is impossible for there to be sand because every inch of the room had been scrubbed clean. Carbon dating also shows that the sand predates Earth by a thousand years. This proves that Jemma Simmons was on another world, teleported by the Monolith. It is decided that she is to be found and returned to Earth. Hunter leaves base to kill Grant Ward as agreed upon by Coulson. Director Coulson has Fitz and Morse accompany him to Norway to get Elliot Randolph, an Asgardian who has spent centuries on Earth, and is a past ally of Coulson and Fitz. But he was purposely in prison for being drunk and disorderly. He purposely went to prison so that there is zero attention to him and because Norway's prisons are nice. After they convince him to help, he easily breaks out using his Asgardian strength then tells the guards it was Coulson.

Meanwhile, Ward and Kebo drive a car with a recruit hanging onto the hood for his life. Ward proposes the idea of a new HYDRA devoid of it's past. He then asks the recruit where the kid is.

Andrew Garner arrives at the Playground and assesses Joey Gutierrez for the Caterpillars program. To Johnson's dismay, Gutierrez fails his interview due to not being ready.

In Sun City, Arizona, Melinda May goes to a driving range with her father whom she is taking care of. Her father notices something is wrong and asks her but she doesn't tell him. May worries about his habits of not being safe enough to which he accuses her of being too much like her mother. She then notices a shadowy man outside the window. She opens the door and threatens the man with a knife only to find out it is Hunter.

Randolph studies the monolith and worries about the presence of it, he comes to the conclusion it has to be destroyed. He says he will help them get Simmons back and then he will destroy it. They show Randolph the Hebrew words to which he responds saying he's seen this word before, in England.


Grant Ward and Kebo crash a party on a yacht to capture "the kid" who is Werner von Strucker, Baron Strucker's son. His father was a HYDRA leader before his death. They torture Strucker until he breaks free and almost kills Kebo. Ward then lets him into HYDRA.

PitM Fitz and Jemma safe.jpg

The team touches down in England at a castle. They find the words above a door to a room. After looking some more, they find a secret room that contains a small hole in the middle. Fitz concludes that the hole is designed to hold the monolith and the equipment surrounding it is designed to set off sound waves that activate the monolith manually. Coulson calls Mack to bring the monolith. Eventually, Johnson and Mackenzie arrive with the Monolith and lower it into the hole. They open the portal and Fitz sends a flare gun through, but the old machinery breaks and Johnson passes out. Fitz and Johnson realize that Johnson's vibrational powers can maintain the portal, but hurt her a lot due to the extra vibrations coming off of it. Nevertheless, Johnson keeps it open as long as she can but her nose starts bleeding. Instead of sending a probe to investigate, Fitz jumps inside. He calls for Simmons name and she calls back. They struggle to grab each others hands. The portal then explodes from Johnson's vibrations. They look into the hole to see Fitz who has Simmons wrapped in his arms.

PitM Jemma woke up.jpg

Hunter asks May for help in killing Ward. She says she needs to help her dad, but her dad convinces her to go. While preparing, May gets a call from Garner letting her know Simmons returned. Hunter gets beers to celebrates. Randolph asks Coulson what Daisy is to which he says they call themselves Inhumans. Randolph says he hasn't heard that name in a very long time.

Having returned to Culver University, Garner allows a new student to join his class, Werner von Strucker. Simmons wakes up from a nightmare in the middle of her first night back to find herself trying to protect herself with a stick. She then goes over to Fitz and rests her head on his leg for comfort.


Main Cast:

Guest Stars:






Sentient Species





  • Elliot Randolph refers to Bobbi Morse as 'The Amazon.' Morse's actress, Adrianne Palicki starred as the eponymous character in the unaired Wonder Woman TV pilot, where Wonder Woman/Diana Prince is from the Amazon race.



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