Warning: Spoiler Alert
The way Agents of SHIELD was left last week, Ward boarded the bus and took Raina as well as Skye. Shortly thereafter, Whitehaul gave the order to shoot the bus out of the sky. With that in mind, we are dropped into the scene of Tripp trying to maneuver the bus out of harm’s way. Some ‘fancy’ flying and a perfectly timed deployment of counter measures (flares) and engaging the cloaking technology fools Hydra into believing the bus has been destroyed. Of course it hasn’t.
On the ground, Coulson has been briefed on the Skye situation, something he seems less worried about than May. He even showed Bobbi a little concern and intent to save Mack, but later. Now the immediate concern is preventing Hydra from getting into the city’s tunnel.
Tripp breaks out more from the old Howling Commando’s grab bag. Under the city electronics don’t work. He has found some detonators that they can plant strategically in order to hopefully keep Hydra from activating the Diviner and Obelisk.
In a dark room Fitz and Simmons start brainstorming certain eventualities. Not before Fitz gets all defensive about Simmons’ choice of words. He apologizes and they move on. Mack’s well-being is weighing on everyone’s mind, but that transitions into an even more pressing concern. The alien tech has proven to react adversely toward human, or at least the wrong human. The concern is that the city, like the Diviner may have a built-in defense mechanism if it senses a threat.
Hunter walks in on Bobbi searching for something. She finds a flash drive as he announces his presence. There is an awkward but nice moment shared between two former flames. Even during this moment, there seems to be deception amidst this talk of the number of people Hunter trusts. Going back to last week, Mack asked Bobbi if she was bringing Hunter into ‘the other thing’. After our experience with Grant Ward’s deception, I am shell-shocked about anything that appears even slightly off.
May continues to beat herself up over losing Skye. Coulson has to remind her that the remainder of the team is safe because of her actions and consequently, she has trained Skye into an agent. If she sees an opportunity to gain the upper hand she’ll take it.
The highly anticipated Skye’s reunion with her father, does not exactly go according to Daddy’s plan. ‘Cal’ (Dad) doesn’t attempt to deny the monster he has become. Then takes a different approach by explaining some of Skye’s own origin story, giving her the answers to questions she’s always had. He all but vows to take care of her now. She retorts with, “then get me out of here”. Cal circles back. Skye is exactly where she’s supposed to be. This is her destiny. Remember when I referenced ‘Kida’ from Atlantis: The Lost Empire (Disney), it’s starting to feel like an inevitability.
Cal tells Skye about her ‘gift’ her ‘birthright’ and before he gets to it, she demands to know more about her mother. Cal tells her that she was searched for and taken by SHIELD. Which feels like a convenient twist of the truth. Or true, since throughout season 1 May implored Coulson to never tell Skye what happened. He explains what happened to her in detail. Then his presence is requested by Whitehaul. He eventually stands up, buttons his coat and says something that may endear him to the rest of us, or it will mean his demise.
Cal: I’ll have plenty of time to answer all of your questions, but first. Now that he’s (Whitehaul) served his purpose, I am going to kill the man who destroyed my life. Best day ever.
The team gathers to prep for their preventative mission from the bus. Fitzsimmons believe that Hazmat suits will prevent the city from detecting them. Coulson pulls Sam Koenig aside and suggests he and Billy head back to HQ in case this goes south in a hurry. For if it does, they will need to implement the ‘theta’ protocol. That part was not a suggestion.
Hydra has taken a position in San Juan nowhere near the discovered access point SHIELD was planning on protecting. Hydra is just going to use a plasma drill and drill directly into the temple.
Raina, Cal, and Ward have all been brought to a dark room. Initially, Whitehaul attempts to show his gratitude. That conversation starts to shift when he asks why Skye is here. He has a theory. My initial guess was that Ward has a soft spot for her. I couldn’t blame him if that were the case. Instead he believes Skye is here to carry the Diviner into the temple (I’m making a slight assumption there).
She picks it up (at gunpoint) to be sure. Knowing what she knows about it, she uses it as a weapon on the Hydra guards. Assuming it would not find them worthy. The plan works but only initially. The situation gets neutralized pretty quickly, then to add insult to injury (whether that was the intention or not) Whitehaul opens his mouth again.
Whitehaul (looking at Skye): I hope…you’re as special as your mother.
Whitehaul has the various pieces separated. Although Skye and Cal are in the same room. Cal comes to and stands long enough for Whitehaul to notice. Cal lunges with the intent of killing him, but Whitehaul has attached some sort of remote tech in Cal’s neck. With the remote, Cal is no longer a threat. Whitehaul leans in, informs Skye of her mother’s gift (she didn’t age) then looks to Cal. “I killed your wife, and before I kill you, I want you to see what I do to your daughter.” There is a commotion that cuts this conversation short.
The commotion we are lead to believe is SHIELD, or at least Coulson, May, Bobbi, and Hunter. Ward tries to convince a guard to well, let down his guard. All the while, Cal mustered the strength to rip the tech out of his neck and take his anger out on the unsuspecting guard.
Underground Tripp and Fitzsimmons attempt to set the explosives. Fitz decides that with time at a premium, the best idea is to split up. Tripp and Gemma hate the idea but he persuades them.
Cal pursues Whitehaul. They make eye contact. Cal keeps advancing. Whitehaul pulls out a gun to shoot Cal. Then a gunshot rings out that is not from Whitehaul’s gun. It was Coulson. Instead of relief, Cal builds up into a rage. Coulson robbed him of his revenge. Agent 33 (who is painfully loyal to Whitehaul) comes in firing at the mere sight of Coulson. And that’s before she realizes Whitehaul is dead.
Grant Ward finds a way free from his restraints. He moves towards Skye. Apologizes for the reunion not going to plan, but promises to get her out of there. He asks her to sit tight while he checks the door. By the time he turns around, Skye has relieved the guard of his sidearm and unloaded four or five shots into Ward’s torso.
Skye: Never turn your back on your enemy. You taught me that.
Skye runs into the room where Cal is, for lack of a better term, beating Coulson senseless. Skye yells for him to stop repeatedly. But it’s not until she yells out “DAD!” that he stops. This is where she makes her stand. News of her mother. Meeting her father. And all of it is secondary to ensuring Coulson’s safety and articulating that she is not going down into the city. Primarily because she knows it’s something Hydra wants. Skye demands he walk away or she will kill him. He gives this parting speech about being the only one who will understand when she changes. Then he calls her by her birth name. “Daisy”.
She turns to Coulson and her reaction to his state is more like what you’d expect between a father and daughter. Coulson is disoriented, so when she claims to make it right by stopping the drill, all Coulson can mutter is, “no Skye, don’t go down there”.
Skye finds the hole in the floor and where the Diviner is supposed to be. Raina, who also can hold it has already ventured down towards the temple. She is startled to find red-eyed Mack looming over her. She looks at him and asks, “take me there”. Which he does.
Coulson in his evident compulsion to play father along with leader decides that he NEEDS to go after Skye. He put her on this path, he needs to save her. Now we have Coulson, Skye, Tripp, Raina and possessed Mack all down below. Skye finds the temple and turns the corner. They exchange small talk. Skye wanting no part of this. Raina buying into the whole destiny bit. Before you know it, we have wasted time and the Diviner simply floats into place. The walls begin to close around them. Tripp runs in before they close. Coulson is seconds too late to join them.
What happens next I can only describe as the Diviner/Obelisk opening up and transforming into something that belongs in the Fortress of Solitude. Sorry for the brand crossover. At the same time Mack appears in the darkness behind Coulson. Tripp asks “what’s supposed to happen”, Raina replies with “something beautiful” then it sends out a puff of air, like those futuristic booths at airport security knocking Raina down. Surprisingly, it also releases Mack from his trans.
Inside the stone like effect that killed the unworthy begins to surround Skye and Raina. Just before Tripp can do anything, he ducks. The Diviner explodes. Skye and Raina are left in stone cocoons. Tripp looks up to see Skye statuesque and yells out, pretty convincingly. Then Tripp notices something off. A piece of shrapnel is imbedded in his chest. In short order Tripp too turns to stone. Moments later the cocoon begins to break off of both women. Skye has clearly gained powers of some sort. She expels the remainder of the stone with her mind. She never breaks her stare with Tripp. She looks, physically, unchanged otherwise. Right then, Tripp, like all of the other unworthy disintegrates.
A man makes a phone call. Before he speaks, a box illuminates on a desk. He opens the box and pulls out an illuminated Diviner, I assume a different one. He asks, “Are you seeing this? There’s someone new. Tell the others, I’m on it”. The camera circles around to show that the man has no eyes. Not vacant eye sockets, as if he were never intended to have eyes.