Warning: Spoiler Alert
Last week May forced Coulson out before the other SHIELD could retain him. He was met by the recently escaped Hunter. In the midst of Coulson attempting to negotiate a deal for an old Jeep Cherokee, Hunter rolls up in a new black Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. Once the dealer realized they were “in cahoots” he attempts to call the police. Coulson then puts him down with a night-night round.
Skye wakes up in what looks like a “Dollhouse” (Joss Whedon reference) dream sequence. Gordon is there to at the very least bring a familiar calm into this strange place. Then “Gordo” introduces Lincoln, the transitioner.
Bobbi and Gonzalez walk discussing the Skye incident. Gonzalez refers to Skye as ‘that thing’ and Bobbi is not exactly on board. It feels like Bobbi’s loyalties are going to be tested. Soon. In the meantime, they need access to the toolbox. Which means they will need at least Fitz, if not Simmons too. Both of which do not warm to Gonzalez’ charm. Bobbi claims that once they have been debriefed, as agents, they can walk off free and clear if that’s really what they want.
Fitz: Okay…I’ll start packing my things…
Simmons: You should’ve brought cupcakes.
Coulson and Hunter get to the cabin only to find it decimated. A broken security camera reveals who did what to who. They see the footage of Gordon teleporting Skye out of there and Coulson rocks back in his stance believing he’s lost her.
“Afterlife” is the name they give to the place that Skye is in. It appears to be somewhere in China, or at least made to look that way. Skye keeps getting the evil eye from everyone around her. As it turns out, all of the people at “Afterlife” have genetic markers and are being prepped on the off-chance they are selected. Skye essentially jumped the line that they were all standing in.
Gonzalez attempts to interrogate May, never a promising idea. She gives him nothing. Until he asks if she is loyal to Coulson or Shield. Her response is something that Gonzalez, Bobbi, and Mack all need to at least consider. Coulson and SHIELD are the same thing. Fury himself put Coulson in his position. Coulson, at this point has all of the authority.
Coulson and Hunter are safe in the cabin of their own. Hunter begins in with what he will do if he sees either Bobbi or Mack again. Coulson responds in the way you might expect. They’re good agents. See it from their perspective. Hunter suggests lying low in Mexico, which isn’t an option for Coulson.
Coulson: The problem is, there are no good options.
Hunter: Then maybe it’s time for some bad ones.
Hunter wakes up quickly from a noise. Coulson identifies ‘them’ as the other SHIELD. Whom he invited. The plan is not to surrender, but to hold them off until reinforcements arrive, giving them the upper hand to steal a Quinjet and find Skye.
Mack finds Fitz in the hopes of convincing him not to leave, opening the toolbox aside. Mack is trying to make an honest appeal, all Fitz can see is the betrayal. Both by Mack and the one being enacted by Simmons has found a way into the toolbox.
Using a contemporary version of the Howling Commandos kit that Fitz made for Coulson, the two cabin dwellers start playing cards. The other SHIELD breaks through. The card players were holograms giving the real Coulson and Hunter to take out the agents with night-night rounds.
Gordon pays the Doctor a visit who is mid rage at the moment for being locked in a windowless room like a prisoner. Their interaction is more fight than level-headed discussion. Gordon shows more anger than we are accustomed to getting from him. He proclaims to the Doctor that he will never see Skye/Daisy again. He is reckless and has not only sealed his own fate, but the fate of his daughter as well. It’s starting to feel like Skye might not be in a safe place.
Coulson’s plan did hit a hiccup. And by hiccup, I mean they were captured in short order. Back at HQ, Fitz confronts Simmons about her current betrayal. Fitz gives a nice little speech about not believing in fear and then suggests that Simmons wants him to leave. Her response all but confirms that. In the best interest of SHIELD, maybe it is a good idea he left.
With Coulson and Hunter on the plane, it appears that there was no reinforcements coming. Then the payload door stops closing. It’s Deathlok (or Mike Peterson). Mike takes everyone out including the second Quinjet with minimal effort.
All is going relatively well with Lincoln and Skye, including the mild flirtation and the show runners trying to force Lincoln as a potential love interest. But all of that just fell through the floor as Skye caught Lincoln in a lie. He’s avoided any specifics about Raina or her father to this point. He just let slip that she had a total physical transformation. Her anger manifests the earthquakes we’re accustomed to and storms out.
In a hut that Lincoln shrugged off as ‘one they don’t use anymore’ Raina sits calmly. Skye is there to confront her. The shakes come and it does something to Raina, dropping her to her knees. Raina asks her to finish it. And just before she does, a feminine voice rings out, “Stop it!” The voice belongs to the once believed to be dissected and murdered Jiaying. You know her as Skye’s mother.
Jiaying is stern and cold towards Skye’s claims. Skye attempts to leave. Then Jiaying tells her that she has decided to be her guide (not a surprise considering what we know that Skye does not). She lays out a proposition. Jiaying will see her through the transition, teach her to manage her powers, and then if she still wants to leave and finds “no connection worth exploring between them” then she’d be free to leave. Then Jiaying teleports into The Doctor’s room with Gordon. They are much more familiar. In the end, Cal (the Doctor) still cannot see Daisy.
Gonzalez tries a new tact with May. Hands her a loaded gun and suggests she should shoot him if she thinks he’s a traitor. She gives the gun back to him claiming even he is not stupid enough to hand her a loaded gun. He reveals that it absolutely was loaded. This is about SHIELD, not any one person. Gonzalez offers her a seat on the board of this new SHIELD.
In the Quinjet, Coulson reveals that Mike has been working overseas for Coulson chasing down ‘the head of hydra they didn’t cut off’. If they are to get to the bottom of whatever this is, there is only one person on both sides of it. And they need that person. Grant Ward.
At HQ, Simmons is at a loss. She executed everything that should have opened the toolbox. It was in that moment, that I said out loud to no one else in the room, “Fitz switched it”. There was a moment during his “I don’t believe in fear” speech where he tossed the toolbox about. Using sleight of hand switching the actual toolbox for at dummy toolbox. A little part of me is still hoping that Simmons redeems herself. This may be the beginnings of that. Jemma switched the toolboxes and packed Fitz a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich. With a hint of pesto aioli.