Warning: Spoiler Alert
Raina wakes up abruptly following a vision of Coulson, Ward, Skye, Lincoln and Hydra. Jiaying is sitting at her bedside. Lincoln being in this particular vision was specifically alarming. Then the sound of Gordon’s return is followed by Cal’s angry voice. Gordon departs again to retrieve Lincoln while Cal throws his hissy fit. Gordon returns moments later, this time with a fresh wound. “It was Hydra”.
Coulson waits patiently in the honeycomb holding cell. Gonzalez continues to play the “I can’t trust you” card, but Coulson wins out over the mutual goal of stopping Hydra. That and knowing that both men have their secrets, Gonzalez included. Coulson mentions one of those secrets, an enhanced person held on Gonzalez ship, and offers to open the Toolbox free and clear if Gonzalez helps.
Coulson’s team (Hunter, Fitz, WARD, and 33) are given permission to doc the Quinjet with the Bus. Agent May is not prepared for a face to face reunion with Grant Ward, and she’s not the only one. The ranking members of SHIELD on both sides, look on from Deathlock’s retinal feed as Hydra removes his eye. Ward isn’t concerned as he has Bakshi on the inside. A notion that doesn’t instill calm with the others in the room. Coulson sees this is a necessary evil. Gonzalez puts the op to a vote. Agent May is the swing vote, but she wants a moment alone with Coulson before casting her vote.
May is hurt (in her own way) that Coulson kept from her the use of Andrew (her ex-husband). It wasn’t for anything official Coulson used him as his personal therapist during the alien writing segment of this season. May is taking this very personal. Yet no one stopped to consider that May was the one that forced Coulson out, to keep him safe. In that episode, she didn’t care about any such secrets. She knew that it was necessary for the Director of SHIELD to keep secrets. But she chooses now to get on her soap box of trust. Or lack thereof.
Skye wants to attempt a rescue mission for Lincoln and is trying to get assistance or permission to do so. Gordon is against it, very possibly because Jiaying would be against it. Then Raina charges is with what she knows. “Skye can save Lincoln, I saw her do it”. Then Raina says something that brings Skye on board with her ‘gift’s’ plausibility. Why was Coulson working with Ward?
While making preparations for the mission, Fitz and Simmons chat. Simmons brings up a portable bomb that they’ve developed that will vaporize it’s victim. Fitz is intrigued by the prospect of vaporizing Ward, until he realizes she’s not joking.
The team gathers in the payload of the bus when they hear a sound (familiar to us). May and Coulson both and quickly aim their guns on Ward. Ward didn’t make the sound. Gordon did. Skye walks out onto the catwalk, alone.
Skye: Hey guys…
Ward: This is great. Finally got the whole team back together.
Coulson reluctantly turns their meeting over to Ward. He tries to do his part in this debriefing, but the tension is thick. He attempts to address the elephant in the room. And even makes a heartfelt show of contrition. Not an apology, but contrition. The idea being that not being shot, not betraying Skye, not dropping Fitz and Simmons in the ocean, but breaking up their ‘team’ is what he will regret forever.
Deep in the SHIELD base, Hunter walks in on Mack trying to set up a link to allow the rest of the team to observe the op. Hunter forgives Mack for what he and Bobbi did to him in an effort to keep the ‘new’ SHIELD from being identified before they were ready. It’s awkward but works out in the end. They may not be friends, but Hunter is willing to work towards that end.
List and Bakshi watch on monitors as their doctors experiment on enhanced subjects. Bakshi doesn’t believe they will survive past this level of the experimentation. Then List says something that should pique the interest of those anticipating Avengers: Age of Ultron. “No one’s past this point of our experiments. Well no one, except the twins”. The twins of course being a nod to Pietro and Wanda Maximoff. Or Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch. A Hydra agent runs in to inform them a cloaked ship is on approach.
Being spotted was always part of the plan. Hydra does successfully hit the SHIELD plane (#661, not the bus). The Quinjet disconnects and May flies it in a manner that would suggest they are just falling debris. They descend on the Hydra base with minimal resistance. Bakshi leads Ward, Skye and Simmons to a room where they meet some actual resistance. List is moved out quickly.
Ward: Just like old times…?
Skye: Not exactly.
Skye moves out ahead, raises her hand, and sends out a pulse knocking out all of the Hydra agents in their path. They find Mike Peterson who shrugs off his own condition to get them focused on finding Lincoln, who is in much worse shape. Skye finds where they are working on Lincoln. It is significantly guarded. Skye neutralizes the entire room like a female Jason Bourne. Without the use of her ‘power’. Lincoln is flat lining. As time ticks, Skye focuses and uses her ability to restart his heart and hopefully nothing else.
Simmons tries to confront Ward but is intercepted by Bakshi. In the struggle she places the ‘bomb’ on Bakshi. He lunges again but before he can get there, he disintegrates to dust. What follows is a Ward like guilt trip that includes yet another person claiming Simmons has changed and ends with “I’m disappointed in you.”
Coulson has broken off and May finds him accessing a computer. May claims that this “wasn’t the plan”, Coulson looks up slowly, “or was it”? Shades of the ocean op in the beginning of Captain America: Winter Soldier where Romanoff was executing something that Cap didn’t feel was the mission at hand.
Once securely in the base, Coulson receives a phone call from Ward. Ward slipped out as to not spend any time afterward locked up or spending time in “T.A.H.I.T.I.” This call is about Kara (Agent 33). Ward is leaving Kara there, with SHIELD, like an orphan on the steps of a cathedral. She deserves better. She was a good agent for SHIELD before Hydra took everything from her. Ward lays it on thick. All of this while Kara is being informed that Ward is not coming back.
As it turns out, Gonzalez really only went along with this plan as a way to secure enhanced people including Skye. Bobbi wants to discuss Gonzalez’ plans for Skye as Coulson walks up. Gonzalez quickly transitions into Coulson honoring their agreement about the Toolbox. Coulson unlocks it and hands it over as promised.
Coulson: There you go. Unlocked and all yours. Go nuts. At least until Fury shows up and asks for it back.
(Gonzalez looks up in disbelief)
Coulson: Ooo. Spoiler alert.
(Coulson’s phone rings, he turns it over to show that it’s Maria Hill calling)
Coulson: I have to take this.
Jiaying visits Raina again in an attempt to slow her down. She’s not pleased that Raina provided the information necessary to ramp up Skye into leaving to save Lincoln. Then this is where Raina questions why exactly Jiaying is the one giving the orders. Then in mid-sentence, Raina is struck with a new vision. Loki’s scepter.
Maria Hill, via video call, appears to be sitting in a room that seems to share a view with Stark Tower (let that marinate for a moment). The intel Coulson was copying from the Hydra base was specs on Loki’s scepter. In Hydra’s hands, it could be catastrophic. It’s location is the same as ‘The Twins’, Segovia. Before the end of call, Hill asks about Theta Protocol and it’s readiness.
Coulson: Yes it is. Time to bring in The Avengers.
The scepter was not the only thing in this vision. Not be awful with the puns, but “The Vision” might have been the only thing she didn’t see in this obvious Age of Ultron foreshadowing.
Raina: I see…a scepter. Beautiful. Dangerous. It isn’t finished yet. So much destruction. It’s terrible. Consequences are upon us. Men made of metal. Tear our cities apart. And the world will be changed forever.