"A Fractured House" is the sixth episode of the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D..
The world turns against S.H.I.E.L.D. when Hydra impersonates them to attack The United Nations, and an unexpected enemy leads the charge to bring about their downfall.
A team of HYDRA operatives disguised as S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attacks the United Nations while Brigadier General Glenn Talbot is delivering a speech about the danger S.H.I.E.L.D. poses to the world. In the wake of the attack, the rest of the world starts to turn against S.H.I.E.L.D., and Senator Christian Ward, the older brother of Grant Ward, takes over the mission to take them down. At the Playground, Coulson checks in on his agents in the Netherlands and prepares to deal with this new situation. Simmons recognizes the particular kind of splinter bomb the HYDRA agents used in the attack as something created by Okinawa-based Toshiro Mori, so Coulson sends Hunter and agents May and Morse to Japan. Hunter is at first reluctant to go on a mission with his ex-wife, but eventually relents.
Morse and Hunter try to be nice towards each other on the way to Okinawa, each trying to break the tension between them by complimenting their looks. Once they get there, the plan is for Agent Morse, who knows Mori from her days working undercover at HYDRA, to deceive him into giving up HYDRA's plans while May and Hunter wait on the plane. She does this by flirting with him, and Mori reveals HYDRA's next target is Julien Beckers, a Belgian foreign minister who spoke against Senator Ward's crusade against S.H.I.E.L.D. While this information is being revealed, Hunter notices a HYDRA agent coming up being Morse and intervenes to stop him. Morse then takes out Mori, and reminds her ex-husband he didn't need to save her. The three of them then take off for Belgium to save Beckers from HYDRA.
Coulson goes to Washington to speak directly to Senator Ward in his office. Couslon reminds him that they have a common enemy in HYDRA, and warns him that he will reveal his younger brother was a HYDRA agent to the public if he does not call off the hunt for S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. If he does, however, Coulson promises to hand over Ward into his custody. Senator Ward shows a genuine interest in his brother's treatment. This surprises Coulson, who as heard all of Ward's stories about how his older brother abused him and forced him into abusing his younger brother Thomas. Senator Ward reveals that he never abused Grant and that all of those stories were lies he concocted to shield himself from any responsibility.
The story about the well in particular is a lie, as Senator Ward merely found his brothers near a river with Grant wielding a screwdriver standing over Thomas. Meanwhile, Skye starts talking to Ward, trying to get all of the information out of him about her father as he can. He reveals that all the horrible things her father has done has been to protect her. The village he wiped out in the Hunan Province wasn't a village at all it was a squad of HYDRA agents there to retrieve Skye, but her mother died in the process. Now that Ward had revealed all he knew about her father, Skye informs him that she no longer needs him, and that he will soon be transferred into his brother's custody.
Meanwhile, Fitz, Simmons and Mack are trying to figure out why Hydra would target Beckers. They discover the splinter bombs the HYDRA agent used were first conceived by Vincent Beckers, a HYDRA scientist who worked with the Red Skull in the 1940's and Julien Beckers' grandfather. Realizing that Hunter, May and Morse are heading into a trap, Coulson tries to send word to the S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house in Bruges, but Hydra has already taken out the team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents stationed there. Hunter barges into the safe house not long after carrying a case of beer and starts acting friendly towards the Hydra agents inside. This distraction gives Morse and May enough time to get into place, and the two of them crash through a window and start fighting HYDRA. May goes after Marcus Scarlotti, the leader of the squad of HYDRA agents, while Morse and Hunter take care of the rest.
During the fight, Hunter saves Morse's life yet again, only this time she thanks him for it. Meanwhile, Scarlotti fights May using a whip-like weapon with a knife attached to its end. He uses this weapon to almost strangle May, but she gets out of it and is able to defeat him. Talbot and the military arrive soon after to take the surviving HYDRA agents into custody, and reveals that Beckers was arrested trying to cross the border. Talbot asks may how many men she lost. May answers with "six," and Talbot tells her its always a shame to lose a good soldier and holds out his hand for her to shake.
Back at the Playground, Senator Ward's men have arrived to take away Grant Ward. Coulson tells them not to give him an inch, or he will use it to escape. While being taken away by his brother's men, his former teammates watch in disgust and silence. Ward attempts to reach out to Skye one final time when he passes her on the way out, but she ignores him and is interrupted by Simmons, who very angrily threatens to kill him if she ever sees him again. Meanwhile, Senator Ward holds a press conference to reveal his brother's affiliation with HYDRA and that he will continue the hunt for HYDRA, an organization he says is a threat to the world. Ward meanwhile is able to slide the cuffs off his wrists, and kills the envoy transporting him to his brother.
Elsewhere, a man walks into a tattoo parlor to finish a series of tattoos he's been getting. The man takes off his shirt, revealing he has tattooed the alien glyphs all over his body.
- Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
- Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
- Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
- Chloe Bennet as Skye
- Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
- Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
- Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
- B.J. Britt as Antoine Triplett
- Adrianne Palicki as Bobbi Morse/Mockingbird
- Henry Simmons as Alphonso Mackenzie
- Adrian Pasdar as Glenn Talbot
- Tim DeKay as Christian Ward
- Falk Hentschel as Marcus Scarlotti
- Joe Marinelli as Adamo Dioli
- Liberté Chan as international reporter
- Parisa Fakhri as Senator's aide
- Michael Enright as Julien Beckers
- Melanie Cruz as Noelle Walters
- Brian Tee as Toshiro Mori
- Darrel Cherney as tattoo artist
- Brian Van Holt as Sebastian Derik
- Chris Wolfe as news reporter
Continuity and References to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
- Grant Ward's brother, Christian Ward appears as a US senator.
- HYDRA appears.
- The Strategic Scientific Reserve logo appears.
- Chitauri are mentioned.
- The Battle of New York is mentioned.
- The Avengers are mentioned.
- Daniel Whitehall is mentioned.
- New alien writings appear as tattoo.
- Propaganda poster with Captain America appears.
- Marcus Scarlotti is introduced.
- Lola miniature toy appears.
- Quinjet appears.
- Thomas Ward is mentioned.
- The Well accident with the Ward brothers is mentioned.
- Calvin Johnson is mentioned.
- The Diviner is mentioned.
- Jiaying is mentioned.
- Raina is mentioned.
- Victoria Hand is mentioned.
- Eric Koenig is mentioned.
- Clint Barton is mentioned.
- The Avengers Tower cannot be seen in the NYC skyline, instead the Metlife building stands where the Avengers Tower should stand according to the Avengers film continuity.
- This episode was supposed to be the debut of the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer, but it leaked first. However, new footage will be released together with the trailer.
- In the Marvel Comics, Marc Scarlotti is known as the villain Whiplash. In this episode he is renamed Marcus Scarlotti, and is a Hydra Agent who wields a whip-like weapon in battle.
- The relationship between Grant and Christian Ward on the show is similar to the relationship of Simon and Eric Williams in the comics. Simon inherits the family corporation and is loved by everyone around him just like Christian Ward. Eric becomes the evil brother who then gains the super villain name Grim Reaper.
- Bobbi is wearing a Star Wars T-shirt while informing her colleagues about the Attack on the United Nations. Both Marvel and Star Wars are Disney properties.