B.J. Britt

All posts tagged B.J. Britt

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Right out of the gate, we are introduced to what might become the season’s big bad and Skye’s mother more than 20 years ago. The eyeless kid is has a short distance teleportation issue that he’s having trouble controlling. Skye’s mother seems integral in whatever this is.

Present day, Skye sits in a quarantine room. Coulson and Skye reflect on the recent events. Skye wallows in relative self-pity. Coulson tries to add a different perspective. Mack is out of quarantine. Simmons is overseeing the hopeful destruction of the underground tunnels. Coulson is adamant that the mission was not a failure and he will make someone pay.

A Hydra council of sorts meet to discuss who will take Whitehaul post in the wake of his death. The goal is a permanent removal of Hydra from the landscape.

In the tunnels, a body emerges and takes one of the team in a hazmat suit. Then it attacks others. The obvious assumption is that it’s Raina gone full inhuman. Simmons gets a few shots off before Raina escapes. Simmons was able to get some blood and tissue samples from Raina after the fact. Then Coulson gives her the order to come home, to HQ.

Mack and Fitz begin a casual conversation until the emotion of the situation sends Mack down an emotional pity party. Fitz says he knows what Mack is going through. Mack describes what he felt angrily to a very calm Fitz. Culminating to the point where Mack reiterates, ‘you know what that’s like?’ Yes. Fitz knows precisely what that’s like. Exactly.

Coulson tries to explain the next order of business and whatever has been festering in Mack gets out. Mack verbally takes Coulson on. The conversation escalates loudly and quickly. Mack challenging Coulson’s motivation and orders. Then Hunter and Bobbi get into a side argument. All the while the anger in the room is doing something to Skye or around Skye. A soda can begins to shake and one of the on-screen monitors indicates something in red. Skye grabs the soda can at the exact moment that the argument is brought to a halt.

Bakshi becomes the pawn. The carrot in front of the horse. This is the play that has half of the team worried they will be vulnerable. Coulson video conferences Talbot to show that they have Bakshi. The plan is not rejected by Talbot. In transport, the SHIELD vehicle is t-boned by another truck. The truck keeps driving the SUV until they are inside a garage, loading dock or other such part of a building. Following the truck in is a tact team of sorts. Coulson and May fight them off to a point then toss out small explosives leaving only four men standing. May takes Coulson’s gun and finishes the job in short order. One man was unaccounted for and shoots both May and Coulson allowing Bakshi to escape.

Bakshi in the front seat of the SUV starts asking questions. His driver is…wait for it…Hunter. Yes, that Hunter. Speaking in a decent American accent no less, claiming that he now takes his orders from Bakshi. If you’re new to SHIELD, this is the part where we remember that the team has pulled off moves like this as a rouse or distraction for the bigger move. In the garage, all of our SHIELD teammates, slowly get up.

Bakshi makes contact with what must be the head of this Hydra council. Then Hunter pulls the old standard of the mercenary who takes the better offer when the mark presents it.

Simmons and Skye talk. Simmons like everyone else tries to take responsibility for more than she should accept she takes it two or three steps too far. She believes it is their duty to eradicate the world of these ‘powers’ not try to control them. A concept that is not well received by Skye.
The Doctor (Skye’s father) tries to hide out on a container ship outside San Juan Puerto Rico. He is instantly joined by Raina. He keeps his eyes on his bag. Then expresses his apology for Raina not getting to evolve. Only she has. Evolved into some porcupine humanoid. Raina was under the assumption that the evolution would have made her something angelic and divine. And she believes that gift was bestowed (unjustly) upon Skye and not her, creating a sense of being somehow wronged.

Hunter drops Bakshi off at his desired location. With Bakshi out of the car, Bobbi jumps up to the front seat with Hunter. He continues to speak in his American accent, which Bobbi is not a fan of. “Drop the accent, it makes you sound like a douche.” Last season, there was a cryptic moment when Bobbi and Mack seemed to be in on something. Here, in the car, Hunter draws it out of her. And after the laughter, Hunter is pleased at the admission.

Bobbi: We are in a support group.

Skye wakes up to notice Fitz standing outside her room. He looks detached. He was able to fix her vitals watch and pull up some of said vitals. At the moment of the blast, Skye’s heart rate measured at more than 300 beats per minute. Skye said that was really fast. Fitz replies with a very telling and important retort (if you hadn’t already picked up on the Skye story line). “No, that’s INHUMAN.” As Fitz describes what his mind is working through, he begins to get more emotional and loud. Again, items in the quarantine room begin to shake. Fitz continues. It’s not that there’s something wrong with the data in his head, there’s something wrong with Skye. She wasn’t harmed from the event because she caused the event. As her emotions climb, she essentially explodes the lights in her room just by yelling out.

May comes down to visit Skye and Skye emerges from the darkness quickly, hiding something behind her back. May then explains why Tripp’s death hit him so hard. Which begins a montage of sorts. Coulson personally delivering Tripp’s personal items to Tripp’s mother. Then the head of the Hydra council and Bakshi executing a new protocol. Watches flash red on the wrists of Hydra agents. Then, from inside the house, a team of Hydra’s men descend upon Hunter and Bobbi’s SUV. They open fire but Hunter just uses the vehicle mounted guns to take them out without prejudice.

The red watch alert seemed to be the order to kill those Hydra council members around the globe. Hunter and Bobbi get into the once well guarded home and take out the remaining councilman. The red watch alert wasn’t for Hydra, it was for SHIELD agents. Bakshi played right into Coulson’s plans.
May notices Skye is bleeding. The very instant before May demands to know what’s happening, Fitz comes around the corner to announce that her DNA structure is identical to what it was before the incident. However, there is something off. As if he’s hiding something. Fitz switched the DNA results. With the team ready to explode at any turn, Fitz thinks its best to keep this from everyone until everyone calms down considerably. Skye embraces Fitz for his maneuver.

Fitz: I switched the samples with your old ones.
Skye: Were the test results different?
Fitz: Dramatically.

Raina attempts to slowly cross the street. Or attempt suicide by driver. Then vehicles stop. Not to avoid her but to surround her. The men declare that all they want to do is take her in. She says no and all but forces them to kill her. Then a massive blue plasma ball looking effect surrounds her. Then the man with no eyes (the kid from the cold open) teleports into the blue ball. He ‘looks’ toward Raina and takes her away.

Man with no eyes: It’s OK beautiful, I’ll show you the way.

In Coulson’s office, Mack’s remote control model of Lola pops its own hood and begins scanning Coulson’s office. Specifically the desk. Mack and Bobbi aren’t in a support group. There is something covert happening.

Mack: I have visual confirmation. Fury’s toolbox is locked in Coulson’s office.
Bobbi: Did you manage to wrangle the blueprints from the base.
Mack: Yeah, almost good to go.
Bobbi: Ok. I’ll make contact soon.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

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.

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

We begin tonight in a creepy dream sequence. Not a device SHIELD has gone to yet, unless you count T.A.H.I.T.I. Skye shoves a music box off a table to prevent Coulson from touching it. She looks up to see Coulson and May acting like an old married couple. May says, “Sacrifices must be made. Poison tree, poison fruit”. Coulson is rocking a baby. Then they leave, to Skye’s horror. Skye picks up the box and she begins to turn to stone, from her finger tips to her neck. Then the real Coulson wakes her up.

Mack drives a remote control ‘Lola’ with a Coulson like driver through the halls of HQ. It runs into Fitz. Who wants Mack to help him with a case for Simmons. Fitz seems moderately excited about it. Mack does not. Mack suggests that Fitz is going to have to talk to Simmons at some point. This triggers Fitz to put up his proverbial wall and walk away.

The team meets on the launch deck of the bus to be debriefed on the next mission. Coulson and Skye relay the information they have on the Obelisk, the carvings and what they have to do with each other. The carvings as we learned earlier are a map. A 3-dimensional map of a city. This city is actually underneath San Juan Puerto Rico. They plan to get there before Hydra does.

In a coffee shop Raina discretely hides with a male patron. It almost feels like she is controlling his mind but I may be reaching on that. She turns and walks to a woman seated at a table. She gets snotty with this woman who looks strikingly like Agent May. When this woman removes her sunglasses we see that she looks almost identical to May. Except the skin around her left eye and cheek area. Then reveals that she works for Whitehaul. Raina runs.

She get’s passed Billy or Sam Koenig who quietly but strongly suggests she take the next right. Where she discovers Billy or Sam Koenig. He asks her to come in for a hug (prefacing that he is not hitting on her). He then pulls out an umbrella which covers all of them and then goes invisible. An ‘invisbrella’ if you will.

Koenig contacts Coulson to update him on the sighting of almost May. Coulson knew immediately that it was Agent 33. The debrief is somewhat predictable and lacking any real important content. However, the Billy Koenig talking professionally to Coulson while Sam Koenig says annoying childish things off camera is quite amusing.

Bobbi finds Simmons prepping her gear and decides to pry just a little. Which may prove to be a good thing. She asks about Fitz and ‘how long they were a thing’? Simmons ironically opens up a little. She never had time to process what Fitz told her in the escape pod. Then when Fitz awoke from his coma, he was confused and all she wanted to do was help her friend. Because after all, she never thought they were anything more. In the end, Bobbi suggests that at the very least she should be honest with him, he deserves that much.

Bobbi is flying the San Juan jet, Mack approaches to bring up the ‘you and Hunter’ conversation again. A conversation that Bobbi wants no part of. It is cryptic in nature. There is something in the works that Mack and Bobbi know about. Her plan is to specifically not bring Hunter into that. Whatever that is. This is conflicting. Mack and Hunter are easily my favorite new additions to season 2. After Ward, I’m not crazy about any team member keeping something to themselves.

Side note. I find it downright hilarious that both Sam and Billy Koenig think that the other is the shorter one.

Skye meets Koenig and Raina in the designated hotel room. They attempt to leave when Skye is intercepted by Agent 33. Quite honestly, what follows may be the best female fight I’ve seen in a while. Agent 33 gets the better of Skye in the end but Hunter is there to tip the scales.

Back on the bus, Mack, Fitz and Simmons tinker with their bags. Mack stands up and informs them that he’s going to check on the landing gear. Fitz has a minor freak out because that would leave him alone with Simmons and deep down he doesn’t think he’s prepared for the conversation that may ensue. Or at least he may not like the result of said conversation.

Fitz: B-b-but why…?
Mack (looks at one then the other): Because the awkward silence in here, is killing me.

The conversation appeared to be heading in the right direction. Simmons blurts out that she didn’t leave because of him. But then Fitz all but demands to go first. He tells her that he will turn the lab over to her and move down to the garage in the bus to work with Mack. That way she can be head of the science division. He can work for her but can’t work with her.

The extraction of Raina continues. In an alley Raina starts probing. Skye hints at the idea that maybe Whitehaul has the Obelisk. Which Raina believes changes things. She tells Skye that according to her father, she could safely touch the Obelisk. Then Raina tries to run toward the Hydra agents. May then hits the Hydra agents with a van.

In San Juan, the team with a little help from Bobbi’s contact, they have located what they believe is an entry point into the underground city. Fitz attempts to explain the situation and even answer Coulson’s question of ‘how long’ after sending in the dwarves. When Fitz stumbles over his own words, Mack intentionally gives zero assistance. Thus forcing him to get it from Simmons. As they wait for information from the dwarves, they go dark. Unresponsive. But the tablet works fine.

Raina is attempting to gain Skye’s trust instead of the other way around. Raina keeps bringing up her father and eventually Skye indicates that she does want to know more. Raina keeps using the word ‘special’. Which Skye interprets as ‘alien’. Raina is adamant that she is human. Human with greater possibilities.

Raina: My grandmother came from a long line of special people who believed in a story. About the blue angels that fell from the heavens. The ancients called them, “The Cree”.

Pardon me as I nerd out a bit. I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT! I’ve been thinking it since Skye identified the carvings as a map. I knew it. Now it’ll be interesting to see what direction they take this in.

Raina also explains that the diviner shows the way for the worthy. But anyone it deems not worthy, well, insert any fatal metaphor. Skye frantically tries to contact Coulson to get them out of there. There is no signal as it seems there will be consistent electric interference. Then there is an incoming message to the bus. Whitehaul has surrounded the bus and demands they lower their shields.

Mack has been lowered down to get the dwarves working again. While down there he finds the dwarves completely unresponsive. He also sees dust covering something on the floor. He moves the dust away and a spot on the floor begins to glow. Then some alien symbols appear on Mack’s hand. He is suddenly thrust into a complete sensation of pain. The better not kill Mack off.

They get Mack back up to the surface and he is still convulsing. Then everything goes quiet. Coulson stands over him just in time to see his eyes go red and hear him clearly say, “run” before knocking Coulson clear across the room. He is essentially possessed and beating the snot out of everything. Bobbi jumps in to distract him and maybe subdue him. Nothing is working. Coulson even shoots him multiple times with the Night-Night gun and it only slows him down.

Mack gains the upper hand on Bobbi and raises her some ten feet in the air by her throat. Coulson attempts to strangle him. This is bad for both Bobbi and Coulson. Then Gemma tries to jump in and she gets tossed toward the hole which leads to whatever did this to Mack. Coulson grabs her. This leave Fitz holding a gun pleading with Mack to wake up. Just then Bobbi jumps on his back electrocuting him with her sticks. He then falls down the hole again.

Coulson: Seal the tunnel.
Bobbi: What?! What about Mack?
Coulson: That wasn’t Mack.

The representative that Whitehaul sends to board the bus and take Raina is none other than the deplorable Grant Ward. Raina gladly agrees. Then Ward turns and says, “you too” as he looks at Skye. He claims to be attempting to keep a promise. That promise being to one day take her to her father. After a lot of resisting, Skye looks and May and declares that this is the only way to minimize loss. She can handle herself.

With Raina secured, Whitehaul meets with Agent 33. The addition of Skye was not in the plans. Furthermore, choosing not to shoot the bus out of the sky was not an option Ward was green lit to take. Whitehaul orders Agent 33 to fix it. She gives the order to shoot the plane down.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Tonight we begin with Woodhaul back in the 1940s forcing people of different backgrounds and genders to touch the Diviner. Naturally, the results are horrible. Until a young Asian woman is forced. Instead of turning her to stone, it reveals symbols similar to those that Coulson is compelled to carve.

Whitehaul, frustrated with a lack of real results, brings in Skye’s father. He then takes a few moments to point out how short minded Whitehaul is for thinking it’s just a weapon. Apparently if one of the ‘worthy’ people were to carry the Diviner (i.e. Obelisk) to a special place, it would do much more than kill people.

Bobbi has Bakshi in the bus’ holding cell for interrogation purposes. Which is not going all that well. She employs the typical approaches. Question the leader he is so loyal to. Question why follow when you can lead? Every time she pushes, he pushes back harder from a different direction. When Bobbi leaves the interrogation, she starts questioning the tense of what Bakshi said. The hypothesis of which is that there is a connection between Whitehaul and Red Skull. While they are doing the math on how that’s not possible, anyone who’s been paying attention should know that not only is it possible, it’s the way. Whitehaul has been around that long.

Senator Ward’s car travels though a wooded back road and pulls up at the front of a summer home his parent’s had. Danger! There is a crash at his passenger window. It’s Grant Ward.

We have an Agent Carter sighting. In a flashback sequence we find Agent Carter walk into a holding cell where Whitehaul sits. Only his name wasn’t Whitehaul then. It was Verner Reinhart, which is the name of interest in one of the documents Simmons has unearthed. Reinhart tells a myth of a star that fell from the heavens, angels came bearing a gift for all mankind, to save the world. According to Reinhart, they didn’t come to ‘save’ the world, they came to conquer it.

We immediately find ‘The Doctor’ (Skye’s father) correcting the previous idea. The line was “to end mankind” not to save it. To leave a handful of those the star (or Obelisk) found worthy. Which is why it kills most who touch it. Then the Diviner (Obelisk) would find certain people worthy and they would inherit the earth.

At the Ward compound, Grant has handcuffed his brother and is forcing him to walk with little promise of what’s to come. The majority of this scene is to see the respective ‘wheels’ turning in each Ward’s head. Which angle of manipulation will win the day.

Coulson believes there is something in the Australian outback that can help them understand the map. In the meantime, Fitz has to practice installing a transceiver in under 6 minutes.

May knows that there is more locked up by Agent Carter from 50 years ago somewhere in the SSR turned SHIELD bunker. They find it. Tons of files and cases locked away. Then Hunter finds it. The Reinhart file. Inside, among other things, is a picture of Verner Reinhart. Simmons picks up on it immediately. Verner Reinhart is Daniel Whitehaul. They are one in the same.

We are thrust into another Agent Carter flashback. Not that I’m complaining. I may be the only Marvel fan that would throw down money to watch an Agent Carter feature film (or two). We see Reinhart sitting in a jail cell and watching the evidence to time changing until we find a very old and grey Reinhart.

An agent puts him in a wheel chair and says, “hail hydra”. The agent and Reinhart enter an old building (Caption reads Austria 1989). Then a number of Asian people enter the room. All look to be at least 50. Except one. The woman from earlier who did not turn to stone when touching the Obelisk. She looks like she literally has not aged a day.

Hunter takes the Reinhart file and gives it to Bobbi so that Bobbi can use it in the interrogation. All seems right when she is able to flip it on Bakshi and insinuate that he gave them all they need to take down Whitehaul. Then Bobbi does something stupid. Asks what kind of man Bakshi is. Which prompts him to say, “a loyal one”. Then he leans his head back, turns every so slightly then thrusts his face into the metal table. Thus breaking the cyanide capsule embedded in this cheek bone.

The Wards finally reach a destination. The conversation now has shifted completely to the ‘well’ incident. Senator Ward keeps maintaining that Grant Ward did it on his own but cannot reconcile his actions. Grant maintains that his brother the Senator is manipulative and found a way for force Grant to do it. Grant is standing over the Senator while he digs up what Grant believes is the well, buried. In a last-ditch effort to escape, the Senator swings the shovel and hits Grant in the abdomen. It doesn’t work. Grant regains the upper hand within 20 feet. Then he pushes his older brother’s head down so all he can see is the well. Then he admits it. The Senator hated Thomas. He wanted him dead. He wanted their mother to know their pain. Then in a creepy, Jack Nicholson in The Shining level of creepy, Grant turns. He’s nice and comforting. Claiming that the Senator’s admission was all he wanted. Now they can go home.

There is a very large computer/satellite network that would give the team the ability to find the city in question. However, it’s security measures are incredible. Instead they chose a smaller network in the Australian outback. If the big network goes down, the Australian one powers up. Coulson had Tripp and Skye deliver two seemingly inconsequential items. Those items get close enough together, and the big network goes down.

Call me crazy, but is anyone else getting the vibe that the Skye story line is about to become Kida from Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire? I don’t have some clever, nerdy Marvel correlation. I will mention why I think that is later when one other detail presents itself. If my hunch is right.

In Australia, the team enter the facility. It’s dark and empty. As planned the emp disables the Hawaiian facility. Their coms go out and Tripp reads this as an ambush. There is a fire fight. There are a small group of civilians huddled in a corner. Tripp gets shot in the shoulder but it is more than a flesh wound. One of the civilians offers to help, because he’s a doctor. Or The Doctor (as Whovians everywhere launch into a massive protest-I’d be really pleased if most of you get that reference), Skye’s father. All of this was a set up to get close to Coulson and then escape.

Another flash back to 1989 has Reinhart prepping for surgery. On the table is the woman from before. Looking very scared. What follows is not for the faint of heart. In a montage like sequence, we see Reinhart essentially harvesting liquid, tissue, muscle, anything he can use from this woman to find out why the Obelisk didn’t kill her. Then he looks to his assistant and says, “dispose of the rest”.

Whitehaul is in a dark room talking to someone about second chances. At first I thought this might have been a recent flashback involving Bakshi. But, alas, it’s Grant Ward. Surprise, surprise. Grant tells Whitehaul that his skills and ability to always move forward could be of some use. Whitehaul agrees then runs a video on a tablet. “The bodies of Senator Christian Ward and that of his mother and father were found in what looks like a murder suicide” all while video of the house burning is shown. Then the reporter claims a portion of a tape was found that is believed to be his suicide note. The audio is that of Grant forcing Senator Ward to admit to forcing Grant to push Thomas, not kill their parents. Grant looks at Whitehaul and gives the subtlest of smirks.

Hunter and Bobbi go at it, as I’m sure we’ve become accustomed to at this point. But this is more. This is in each others face. And as predicted, the spat ends in a sloppy make out session.

Back on the bus, Skye looks around the room as she explains how the computer system works for finding the city. Everyone is transfixed straight ahead. She can tell something is up.

Skye: Guys, is everything OK? They’re patching Tripp up and he’s going to be fine. You’re acting like you saw the devil out there.
(Coulson turns slowly to stare into Skye’s eyes. They both stare uncomfortably long, then the computer finds a match for the city)

Whitehaul calls a meeting between himself, The Doctor (they have to give him another name, I’m not comfortable referring to a recurring by not main character as “The Doctor”), and Grant Ward. Whitehaul believes the two of them with their respective expertise can do great things. Ward mentions the run in with Coulson in addition to referring to his familiarity with Coulson’s team as being ‘like family’. The Doctor doesn’t see it as a loss. He thinks you should look your enemies in the eyes. The then turns gradually at Whitehaul. Let me take this moment before the reveal to say, I KNEW IT I KNEW IT I KNEW IT.

In another flashback, this time 25 years ago (that distinction is important), we find The Doctor running through a jungle. He stops short. Whatever he sees is life altering. It’s the woman who Reinhart/Whitehaul carved up. The woman is The Doctor’s wife and presumably Skye’s mother. In the flash back, The Doctor vows revenge. Even uses the phrase, “Tear him to pieces”.

So here’s the theory. Skye’s mother was one of the chosen ones. Seems logical that whatever made her that way got passed down to Skye. Skye had the same alien blood injected into her that made Coulson and Garrett crazy, yet she was unchanged. SHIELD and HYDRA are both racing toward some secret city. What happens when Skye and the Obelisk (big assumption) walk into the temple together? For anyone who is familiar with Disney’s Atlantis: The Lost Empire, all of this will seem eerily familiar. We shall see. The bigger question for the immediate future is, “Who does this Doctor despise more, Whitehaul or Coulson?”

Courtesy of Disney

Courtesy of Disney

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Courtesy of ABC and Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

At the conclusion of last week’s episode we were introduced to “the Stranger” played by Brian Van Holt who as we saw has the same alien code that Coulson is compelled to carve tattooed on this torso. Tonight we start with him chasing down a woman who is familiar with the code. As well as Coulson feverishly carving it again.

With Ward on the run, Tripp puts eyes on him at a train station. May insists he stand down. Coulson counters and tells Tripp to bring him in by any means necessary. As he reaches for his sidearm, Ward casually walks by and reveals what’s hiding under his shirt just for Tripp to see. They indeed stand down to trail his movements.

Coulson and Skye travel to investigate the victim of ‘the Stranger’. Who Coulson is positive is a SHIELD agent. Inside the woman’s apartment, every single thing looks normal, until Coulson enters a distant room. It is covered wall to wall with drawings and paintings of the same alien code.
Mack and Fitz return with body of the dead SHIELD agent. Mack and Fitz talk freely as good friends tend to do. Simmons is much less chummy. Almost bitchy. Maybe she is beginning to feel the sense of exclusion as Fitz did.

Ward gets off one bus with the intention of boarding another. He quickly befriends a mother and young boy, I assume to use as a human shield if any agents were to descend. Once on the bus, he disposition changes abruptly. He spots Bobbi, for the second time (he doesn’t know who she is, just that he’s seen the same woman twice in 60 seconds). Before the bus even departs, he deduces that she works for Coulson. Based on her being on the same page of her book both times. He casually departs.

Ward gets on another bus, thinking he’s outsmarted Coulson. Turns out this bus has a man in a denim shirt and cowboy hat of the British variety. Hunter.

Simmons finishes the autopsy on the victim. Both the victim and the killer both had GH-325 in their blood. The same element that is in Skye’s blood and what brought Coulson back to life. They are no closer to having any concrete answers. Coulson has an idea as to how they can get the answers. Skye will need to torture it out Coulson. Using the same machine that was used in the TAHITI episode.

The machine allows Coulson to essentially spirit walk through his own repressed or removed memories. In the beginning this feels normal. Basic interview process. Everyone seems pleased with their status of their recovery. Except one, Coulson doesn’t know it yet, but that is The Stranger. Then it starts to fall apart. Slowly each patient begins to unravel in some way. Stevens (the dead agent) frantically carves the writes the code on the desk. Then the vision starts to take on a horror flick look. Very creepy. Coulson begins to crash while in the machine. Skye coaxed some of the names of the patients so that they can track them and hopefully find the killer.

Hunter tails Ward to an Irish pub. He’s in there for a few minutes and then a Mercedes drives up. Bashir gets out. Ward it appears wants a meeting with Whitehaul. The carrot in front of the horse is the ability to get a Hydra agent close enough to Coulson to take him out, permanently.
May strongly suggests Skye lock up Coulson until she returns. Coulson agrees. Skye escorts him to the holding cell. He asks a few questions about what he said while he was under. He then pushes Skye in to the holding area and locks her in. Insisting that he must take care of this himself. The ‘this one’ is not the killer. He’s seeking out the last person from the Tahiti project that is still alive.

Coulson arrives at the house of the last Tahiti subject. Coulson puts a gun on him, strange I know. As the conversation is going nowhere the subject says, “I told you both, I don’t know anything”. Then Coulson is knocked out by The Stranger.

Back at the pub, May, Tripp, Hunter, and Bobbi plan on going in to take out Ward. They get in and all of the power is out. All of the men from the earlier scene are taken out in some way. In the back there is a man tied to a chair with a bag over his head. That man is Bashir. With duct tape over his mouth that reads, “For Coulson”.

At the house of the last participant, The Stranger has Coulson tied and dangling from the ceiling of what looks like a barn. The Stranger takes off his shirt and reveals the code tattoos. He goes into how far he’s gone to find out what it means. While the last guy breaks free from his rope, Coulson feeds into what The Stranger wants to distract him. This move allows Coulson to get free and neutralize The Stranger.

Mack and Skye arrive as Coulson is choking out The Stranger. This not in an attempt to kill him, but to use the pain to see it more clearly. The last participant, whose house there in, was working on a very large train set village. It wasn’t until this moment that Coulson or The Stranger ‘got it’. Below them they can see the train set village. From a bird’s-eye view all of the pieces align to reveal that the code is not a map. It’s a blueprint for a city.

Skye attempts to break into Bashir’s cell phone when it receives a call. She answers it with, Hail Hydra. Its Grant Ward on the other end. They make chit-chat. Skye trying to convince Ward to give up his location, Ward leaving breadcrumbs about his future endeavors and how they are potentially done to earn favor and get back on Coulson’s good side. A task that as of now is virtually impossible. Grant hangs up and looks at a newspaper. The front page article reads, “Senator Ward vows to bring brother to justice”. It appears Ward was getting cleaned up to attend something that would get him close enough to his brother. We’ll find out to what end, next week.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

In this week’s episode, the assumption is that Hydra will step up their efforts to turn everyone against SHIELD, publicly. The news is just coming down of an attack on the UN where the assailants are masquerading around as if they are SHIELD agents when they are so absolutely not.

Side note. Bobbi Morse is wearing a strategically tight-fitting ‘Star Wars’ shirt. Which I believe needs a mention. Not because of the fit (although I am certainly not complaining) but because Disney recently bought the rights to Star Wars (and of course owns Marvel) and has been in production for a third trilogy for a little while now. Lovely product placement.

Following the attack on the UN, Talbot meets with a Senator who not only has a brother we should be concerned with, but also thinks he can “put SHIELD into the ground for good”. Also, it may have slid under the radar, but Talbot did say that he doesn’t think this attack was SHIELD. Following the break we learn that the Senator’s brother is Grant Ward. Wonder how Ward feels about that. If memory serves, Ward was so easily manipulated because of the abuse he received from his family.

The Bobbi/Hunter thing is getting very awkward, but in an entertaining way. While I have enjoyed every interaction that involves Hunter talking about his ex or Hunter and his ex (Bobbi) talking to one another, their body language just suggested that there actually is a real issue they will have to work through at some point.

Speaking of relationships either former or yet to be realized, Fitz and Simmons have a moment. It’s not the moment you might be hoping for. Simmons is reaching out. Fitz is trying to resist. He’s trying to not care, but he’s tipping his hand that he still does. And the most telling part is the banter. Before they could finish each others sentences. With Fitz’ current situation she’s trying to guess and is doing so incorrectly. She’s just now starting to get what Fitz has been going through.

Just as I predicted, Ward’s impulse when asked about his brother was almost fear. This was the same brother that threw him down a well. His brother always has an angle and Ward knows that. He was also very much afraid that his brother knows of his whereabouts.

May, Bobbi, and Hunter all head out to Okinawa to meet up with a contact Bobbi has that may shed some light on the UN attach. Watching her do here thing is clearly upsetting to Hunter but he hides it well. Meanwhile, this source is the creator of the weapons used in the attack. And as he put it, he “hopes it was enough to earn his way in to work on the Diviner”, which is a reference to the Obelisk Diviner. The alien 0-8-4 that Whitehall has been chasing and now has.

The Fitz and Simmons moment we’ve been waiting for has come. Just didn’t end the way I wanted it to. Fitz has a mild explosion at Simmons for leaving. But instead of working through it, she said that she didn’t leave for the reasons Fitz thinks. Then she decides she can’t handle it and walks.

Coulson pays a visit to the elder Ward brother. Senator Ward paints a different picture of what went on in the past compared to how Grant Ward tells it. Coulson and Senator Ward strike a deal. It’s a deal Grant Ward will not like. Coulson is going to turn Grant Ward over to Senator Ward and in return, Senator Ward will change his position on treating SHIELD like a terrorist group.

Ward: Listen to me, you can’t trust him.
Coulson: Three and a half weeks. I sat in this chair everyday for three and a half weeks and you never said a thing. But now you want to talk. Well its too late.
Ward: Everything I told Skye was true, you know that. I have not given you one bad piece of intel. Is that worth nothing?
Coulson: You will never see Skye again.
Ward: I thought we were rebuilding trust Coulson. I can help you. I’m still a part of your team.
Coulson: My team? You th– (Coulson is so angry he actually cut himself off mid sentence). You are not nor will you ever be on my team. You dropped FitzSimmons out of a plane. You murdered Victoria Hand and Eric Koenig. You betrayed every one of us you deluded Son of a BITCH. The only reason you are alive is because you were of use. And the only reason you are being transferred is because your brother is of more use.

Earlier, the Belgium Government offered safe haven to SHIELD agents. It’s at this point in the timeline where Coulson discovers that is not the case. It was a setup to get SHIELD agents in one place. Coulson tries to get the word out but it is too late for 6 SHIELD agents. It was a beautiful scene.

Hunter walks in to the safe house overtaken by Hydra. Offers beer and acts very Hunter-like nonchalant. Offers to get them closer to high up the ladder SHIELD agents as said SHIELD agents bust through the windows. What follows is a lovely fight sequence. May chases down the head guy and fights him one on one. Hunter and Bobbi take on everyone else in tandem. And I really do appreciate how Bobbi’s fighting style and choice of weapon is direct throwback to her role as Mockingbird in the comics.

Before I even go into this, it is essential that I express my sense about two people going forward. Of the top 10-15 recurring characters on SHIELD. I have a certain regard for half of that more above the others. Since day one, Fitz and Simmons were key. They continue to be key. I’ve always liked Skye but I’m skeptical of what her long-term involvement is. I love Hunter’s character. From the accent to the personality makeup. I’ve like Tripp since the moment I knew he wasn’t in Hydra’s pocket. This leaves us with Mack. Mack is easily the character whose worth to me has grown the fastest in this season. He’s an ideal team member in every way. But most importantly, he is key to the progress of Fitz. I need two things to absolutely happen. 1) Fitz and Simmons need to not only return to their previous working relationship, but they also need to escalate the as of yet not realized romantic relationship. 2) Mack needs to be for Fitz the male friend equivalent of what Simmons was to Fitz minus any romantic implications. Mack needs the be the guy Fitz can BS with. Tell stories too. Be a bro, essentially. Which will help bring Fitz along and remove some of the burden from Simmons to be both.

Simmons: This is where we used to keep the hazardous biologic materials.
Mack: Guess not everything changes. What can I do for you?
Simmons: I just wanted to thank you. For helping Fitz. Well, for being his friend.
Mack: I don’t help him. He doesn’t need any. You know that guy you wish he could be? I never met him. I only know this guy. And uh, he’s a little weird, but I like him.
Simmons: I don’t want him to be anyone but himself.
Mack: You sure about that?
Simmons: Yes.
Mack: Because I heard he told you how he felt and you bailed.
Simmons: That’s not what happened.
Mack: I know you two have a past. But from what can see, the only thing that makes him worse, is you.
Simmons (with tears in her eyes): I know. Why do you think I left?

You’d think I might be disappointed. This is the most satisfying scene of season two in my opinion. Any guy, would have to really enjoy Mack sticking up for Fitz. Maybe it wasn’t necessary, but from Mack’s perspective, Simmons is counterproductive for Fitz. And saying it the way he did, very matter of factually, speaks to where that friendship should be headed. Simmons’ responses also tell a story. One that we don’t fully grasp yet. Is she emotional because she shares the feelings for Fitz that Fitz confessed to her? Or is it simpler. Maybe she doesn’t (in which case she should be punished until she does), and she can see how her presence adversely affect Fitz. And the last thing here I’ll mention. Simmons is making an effort in a hugely awkward situation. But the interesting fact is that when Fitz speaks to Simmons, it’s difficult. He can’t find the words. He gets flustered. And even her gaze throws him off. Yet on the same day, when Fitz talks to Mack, he is as clear as he was before the escape pod situation.

The transfer of Grant Ward begins without a hitch. They handcuff him and march him out as if he were Hannibal Lecter. Under the circumstances, not a horrible analogy. As they march him through the halls, he makes eye contact and calls out for Skye. Simmons steps in front of her and say, if I ever see you again, I’ll kill you. During this, the audio is of the Senator changing his views on SHIELD and confessing his brother’s involvement in Hydra. And the creepiest turn of events, General Talbot being gracious and even shaking May’s hand. To steal a line from Toby Ziegler of the West Wing, “…and you know how crazy that makes me. So that can stop as soon as possible.” Coulson gives the security team explicit instructions to not give Ward an inch. Shortly thereafter, Ward dislocates his own wrist to free one of his hands and fight his way out.

The final tease, is a familiar man walking into a tattoo parlor. Familiar as an actor not as a character on the show. Familiar actors normally indicate at least a recurring role. He takes his shirt off and shoulders to hips are covered with tattoos resembling the alien writing that Coulson keeps carving. He claims the pain helps him remember.

Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Last week Agent Hartley and Idaho were lost trying to flee from Creole with the 0-8-4 in their possession. Which is exactly where we start tonight. Lance Hunter (the other mercenary under Hartley’s charge) is alive but pinned in a flipped SUV. Melinda May shows up to get him out. He insists she pursue Creole. As soon as he is able to free himself, Talbot’s men swoop in to detain Hunter. May pursues and puts herself in a position to take a shot. Coulson orders her to stand down. Repeatedly.

The crew that captured Hunter drop him off, literally, in the middle of nowhere. Which was really just a rendezvous point for Talbot to make his entrance. In the chopper, Talbot tries to feel Hunter out. Laying out a plan that would include turning on Coulson and SHIELD. Hunter resists, but it looks like he begins to consider it. Then he has an asking price and wants Agent Hartley’s record clean so she isn’t presented as a terrorist for working with SHIELD.

Skye and Tripp return with the hover jet (one of these days I’ll look up what it’s actually called) for the purposes of retrofitting the bus with its cloaking tech. The problem with that is Fitz has been trying to do just that since before last season’s finale. Fitz still is not firing on all cylinders and is misplacing words. It’s almost as if his process is still fast but he keeps forgetting bricks in the foundation. Then the whole thing falls apart. The bigger problem (if we ignore the Simmons problem) is that like a stutterer, it’s not good to attempt to finish his thoughts. Everything is frustrating which is stunting his progression.

Coulson in his office is channeling his inner Tony Stark with his new toy courtesy of Nick Fury. Coulson is going through a series of virtual files. And if you pay attention you can see him pull Agent Carter’s file. The second time in this young season they reference her. Which is logical as Marvel’s Agent Carter will air this winter.

I’m not happy that they keep showing the Fitz hallucinating Simmons bit. I know it’s essential for the story at this point, but it pains me.

In a diner Creole sits waiting for a friend. He is massaging his right forearm. There is what looks like metal or large rocks trying to protrude through his skin. It seems to have the same power as the 0-8-4. A waitress accidentally makes contact with it and she turns to stone.

Back at headquarters, Hunter returns. He’s in a nice new sports car with low pro tires on big rims, stock of course. Said tires puncture when Coulson activated the road spikes. Tripp and Hunter engage in some friendly back and forth, then Tripp frisks him. They know something is up.

There is a short conversation that starts out with almost an interrogation’s tone but ends much calmer between Coulson and Hunter. Hunter explains about what he wanted out of Talbot’s deal (neglected to mention the $2 mil). Coulson confirmed that he would do the right thing and get Hartley and Idaho’s pay for their families. Then get Creole, whatever the cost.

If you haven’t this episode or missed it in the last one they have introduced a new character onto the bus. His name is Mack, which I love, and he is a huge man. Let’s just say that if there was a physical altercation, attacking Mack would be strategical misstep. Mack goes to see Fitz amidst a full-fledged Simmons hallucination. While Fitz rejects Mack reaching out, his hallucination doesn’t. It feels like if Fitz comes out of this clean on the other side, Mack will have something to do with that.

Fitz (and I guess Simmons) are looking at Creole’s DNA report. Fitz keeps saying I didn’t solve this today. As if he did solve it previously.

Creole heads back to his delivery truck and frantically searches through his collection of materials to see if holding anything will overpower whatever the 0-8-4 is doing to him. Naturally it doesn’t work. He goes outside to retrieve a ringing phone outside. He speaks to his handler who is very cryptic. Still outside, Creole meets Raina. He is not impressed. Her attempt to broker a deal for the 0-8-4 is unsuccessful.

Coulson and his team devise a plan to get to Creole. It will involve the manpower they have at their disposal, which means Hunter. Coulson looks skeptical as does most of the team. Especially Tripp.

Back in the lab Fitz is trying to convey his thoughts to Mack. The cool thing is that at this point, it feels like Mack is the Tom Cruise to Fitz’ Rain man. They are joined by what look like SHIELD science interns. Fitz gets frustrated and throws everything off the desk. Mack immediately banishes them as if Fitz’ frustration is their fault. Clever move though. By doing so, creates a small bond between Fitz and Mack. Mack appreciates what Fitz is trying to do and speaks to him straight. Not like he’s afraid Fitz will break. Then as instant as instant can be, they begin speaking the same language. Figuratively speaking.

Creole meets with his handler publicly, but SHIELD is on site. Tripp above with a sniper rifle and May, Skye and Hunter in the van. They get into position but something is wrong. Tripp can’t communicate with Skye. The moment he thinks something is up he hears a click. Turns from his scope looking over his should and sees Hunter. For those familiar with the Matrix, this is a Cypher pulling Apoc’s plug, but not fatally. He’s just using the Night-Night gun.

The meeting between Creole and his Hydra handler is going off without a hitch because Hunter neutralized all of the SHIELD agents so that he could set up Tripp’s sniper rifle to take out Creole on his own. A really stupid idea. Hunter takes his shot. The bullet travels in slow motion as we see Creole take on the iron texture of the park bench. The bullet ricochet off Creole’s head. Then Hunter runs. Which is odd considering Creole has to change back to human flesh in order to run. The handler, amidst the chaos, looks for the case with 0-8-4, but he’s too late. Raina is walking off with it. Inside a building Hunter tries to fight off Creole to no avail. And then right as Creole is bearing down on Hunter, Coulson stabs him in the back with the device the Fitz and Mack discovered, thus neutralizing the threat.

Hunter: That’s just marvelous. Talbot wants me dead and I have no funds to run with. Have any tips?
Coulson: Yeah, don’t run. Work for me instead.
Hunter: Creole must have hit you in the head. I shot three of your agents.
Coulson: Including Agent May. Not a smart move.
Hunter: She’s the type that holds a grudge?
Coulson: Savors it actually. No doubt you’ve made some mistakes. So have I. Like letting you go after Creole. But I fell for you.
Hunter: Yeah, and I took advantage of that. How do you know I won’t do it again?
Coulson: I don’t, the reality is I don’t have a fleet of helicarriers, or quin-jets, or thousands of agents at my disposal anymore. Luckily we still have our George Foreman grill.

Back on the bus, Mack and Fitz are doing their thing. And by thing I mean Fitz gets stuck on a missing word and expects Mack to finish the sentence. Which may be a step in the right direction. Mack even mentions Simmons, which gets a relatively cold response from Fitz. He even says, “How have been holding up since she left”? Then Fitz looks over at the Simmons hallucination and says timidly, “I’m ok”. So hopefully this is the beginning of the transition from impaired Fitz to recovered Fitz. He didn’t reject the idea that Simmons isn’t there, but he also looked over at her, so he’s somewhere in the middle.

Skye questions Coulson’s mental state with everything going on to May. May, who has been left in charge of Coulson’s well being by Nick Fury rejects the idea and goes to see Coulson. Where she basically echoes Skye’s sentiments. She references that he hasn’t experienced an “episode” is 18 days. The episode in question deals with Coulson engraving a wall with the same intricate design that he did at the end of the season 1 finale.

Elsewhere, Raina looks at the 0-8-4. A man enters the room, congratulates her and tells her to pick it up. “I need to know. So do you.” When she does, symbols begin to illuminate and she does not turn to stone. And yes, without thinking too hard, the symbols look exactly the same as what Coulson just engraved on his wall. She thinks it worked. He claims it let her live. Raina needs to see it work, so she asks if he will show her. He responds with, “Bring me my daughter and I’ll show you both”.


Coulson presents himself to Talbot in the middle of nowhere again. The deal is, Talbot stays off their back, and SHIELD keeps bringing Talbot gifts. Like Creole. Talbot tries to strong-arm Coulson based on their intel that SHIELD is a shell of its former self. Coulson looks up, the bus de-cloaks.

Coulson: And just in case you get any ideas, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
(Coulson quickly moves to his left to board the quin-jet that is also de-cloaking.)
Coulson (into his com): Let’s get out of here before the iceberg runs out of fuel.

I want to mention what I just saw on the promo for the next episode. But I can’t. My heart can’t take what I just saw…



Courtesy of ABC

Courtesy of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The once proud organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D’s now in tatters, infiltrated by HYDRA last season they’re down to a skeleton crew, as most of the operatives got killed, defected to the enemy or took their talents elsewhere. For the organization’s new director Phil Coulson, it’s a mixed blessing. He’s in the position he longed for, however he couldn’t have inherited it at a worse time. Coulson’s down to relying on his crew from the bus, the ever-increasing Koenig family and a handful of agents with their own agendas.

The premiere episode of season two ended badly for “the good guys,’ as an enemy operative known as Creole, stole the advanced weapon of mass destruction, handing it over to a former Nazi officer who looks exactly like he did in 1945. The first order of business for the team’s recovering that weapon before being used for nefarious purposes.

The show dropped a bombshell on the fan-base last week, when they revealed that Leo Fitz suffered brain-damage, due to an extended period without oxygen in last season’s finale. The once brilliant scientist’s hallucinating, thinking he’s carrying on conversations with Jemma Simmons, while she’s not in the facility.

We’ll meet a new character in this episode, a doctor whose got a strong connection with one of the team’s members.

After the show, join Jason Jones for the recap, as he breaks down the episode and offering insight and analysis.

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

Photo Credit: Marvel.com

Warning: Spoiler Alert

I would love to start in my typical fashion. Recapping a little of the major bullet points from last season. But all of that needs to get put on the back burner because WE HAVE AN AGENT CARTER SIGHTING!!! AND THE HOWLING COMMANDOS. My only complaint of this flashback is no hints to Tripp’s Great Grandfather. Beggars can’t be choosers I guess.

Back in the current time, we find Coulson’s team monitoring what appears to be a sale of the ‘asset’ shown in the flashback with Agent Carter and the Howling Commandos. The interesting part is the seller is the bad guy from The Wedding Singer and the buyer is Xena Warrior Princess. The sale is broken up by an unidentified man that bullets bounce off of.  Hartly (Lucy Lawless) calls to confirm orders from Couslon as soon as the op went south. It would be too much to accept 5 minutes in that Lucy Lawless might have been Hydra. Glad that speculation can be put to bed.

There is plenty to rehash as the episode come in, so I’ll attempt to do address them as they come. First would be the reemergence of General Talbot played effectively by Nathan Petrelli (Adrian Pasdar). What must be a bread crumb reintroducing Talbot as a foe going forward. He was a P.O. S. last season and I have no reason to believe this season will be any different for Talbot.

Coulson’s time has been dominated by rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. as director of, for those who missed that final detail from last season. That is all about to change based on the picture that was almost sold two scenes previous. The picture shows that an ‘asset’ has an SSR notation. “0-8-4” Which should be familiar to just about anyone who watched last season. You’ll also remember that 0-8-4 was the title of the second episode in season 1. Mjolnir was an 0-8-4. However this is not just an 0-8-4, its the original 0-8-4. Which cancels Coulson’s recruiting trips immediately.

Apparently the third party the interrupted Hartly’s op is working for Hydra. If that news wasn’t bad enough, he has the ability to transform his molecular structure by merely touching anything and taking on the properties of that anything. So stands to reason that he may have touched a metal which would make the bullets ricochet off of him.

In one of those scenes where they attempt to set things up as if they are inconsequential, they may have tipped their hand. Those of us fully invested in the Agents of SHIELD fandom, the most important question, hell the only question on most of our minds was in regards to Fitz and Simmons. When know Fitz’ brain was deprived of oxygen for an amount of time. We don’t know what that means yet. Skye just walked in the room after leaving the lab. When asked what the mood was like in there, her response was, “as good as can be expected”. So naturally, my mind is running through every single possible scenario.

Going back to the end of the season one finale, Skye is laying on a table with the massive image that both Coulson and Garrett drew (separately of course) free hand with nails on glass. There’s something to it, but as of yet no clearer. What follows is more directly ‘difficult’.

Coulson needs Skye to get information about this new strong guy from earlier. And that means talking to Ward. Who by the way, looks like Rocky during the training montage in Rocky IV. Ward’s candor is nerve racking. There is a glow in his eyes. With Ward there really is no deciphering truth and honesty from lies and deception. He seems sincere. Especially considering the torture he eludes to. Everything he says seems to be legit, but like I said, this is Ward we’re talking about. He spends most of his time trying to open up to Skye. And Skye spends most of her time in there, not buying it.

One thing during this discussion is pulling at my logic. With Marvel, you always have to assume that any mundane detail could be connected, regardless of how inconsequential it seems. “Creole” the guy that absorbs substances to his molecular code, doesn’t say much. He is tall and built. He has non specific facial features. To this point all of the substances have been hard to the point of impossible to break. Diamonds, metal, etc. But just now, he put a piece of tree bark in his hand and sat down. Then we see his torso transform into what looks like a tree like texture. Call me crazy, but what are the chances they are connecting the dots and incorporating a Groot origin story? I admittedly am not well versed on the Guardians of the Galaxy lore, but why else would this guy just randomly go all tree like in his leisure time? Just a thought.

Getting back on track, Ward does give up some intel that is helpful. The manner in which Hydra was able send messages to agents in plain sight. He also tries to tell Skye that when not if that information proves true he hopes she’ll come back.

Ward: There is so much I want to tell you… (Skye pushes a button and a wall goes up) …about your father…

On the ground we find Talbot with his family. Tripp disguised as a jogger bumps into Talbot slipping a phone in his pocket. The phone rings and it’s Coulson alerting Talbot that they are there to protect him. Talbot calls for his own security detail. Which is also SHIELD people. Hartly’s team specifically. They detain Creole. My first concern with that is a Magneto situation. If they put him in a cement and steel cell, he won’t be there for long.

Talbot’s getaway may have been clean, but not what he was anticipating. He jumps into the back of what looks like a government issue Tahoe only to find May in the other backseat with a gun pointed at him. Next, Talbot waits in one of their honeycomb interrogation rooms. The conversation is civil for the most part, but in the end, Talbot’s thick-headedness wins the day. And in the attempt to bare down on his position, he bared down his hands onto nifty arm rests that clearly read his fingerprints.

Coulson tries to explain the situation. The man they just detained is looking for an asset that Talbot has locked away. In the same facility where they are taking Creole. Ultimately, Coulson wants to work with Talbot, but Talbot just can’t get there. So Coulson pulls out a gun and shoots him. Relax its the Night-Night gun Fitz developed in season one. Talbot wakes up in a car on the side of the road. He immediately calls someone to double the security on their new prisoner. Little does he know, he just called Koenig (Patton Oswalt). A clever move for SHIELD to ascertain Talbot’s clearance code.

In the corridor of the plane we see Fitz and Simmons talking as if they were sitting outside the principal’s office talking about what’s going on inside and what that means for them. This time around Fitz is much less confrontational. The effects of his rescue has left him with some mental deficiencies. Like a stutterer getting frustrated when people finish their sentences, Fitz is getting similarly frustrated. However, in this scene with only Simmons within earshot, he seems calmer.

While the shipper in my mind is losing his mind over what is or is not happening with Fitz and Simmons, let me float another idea that should be only slightly less obvious. Skye was starting to get seriously interested in Ward right about the time Ward started betraying the team. Then Agent Tripplet came on board. We spent weeks trying to decide if Tripplet was good. He has proven his worth a few times over. And being a direct descendant of a Howling Commando helps. I would be perfectly happy to see Skye and Tripp get involved while we sort out this Ward thing. Which I’m positive will take all season at minimum. And when Tripp walks toward Skye in his General’s uniform (all part of the plan), they share a moment. Which I’m perfectly fine with.

Enter the Magneto in a plastic prison scenario. Creole was put in a glass and metal cube. Yeah, real smart. One of the guards looks over his shoulder to see that it appears Creole is no longer in the cube. I won’t leave you in suspense, Creole is glass at that moment. And these ignoramuses are just going to open the door to the cell and look around.

In the storage facility, Hartly finds the 0-8-4 they are looking for. What she doesn’t know is that Creole is standing next to a wall. Which by mere contact would disguise him as concrete. Hartly opens the box in time for Creole to approach. With almost no other move, she says “Let’s see what makes this thing so deadly” and turns to him. She immediately is writhing in pain and Creole takes a step back.

Side note to those who are not rabid Marvel fans yet. Anytime someone who is not superhuman picks up a ‘weapon’ without knowing what it does, the situation ends badly. Going back to the Avengers movie, Coulson attempts to fire a weapon without knowing what it does and Loki kills him. Hartly may get out of this alive, but bad things are on the horizon. Whatever the 0-8-4 is, it is quickly locking her hand in place and blackness is spreading up her arm.

The team briefs Coulson and after a long pause he instructs them to continue as planned. Hartly’s team (mercenaries with no ties to SHIELD) hear that and basically say ‘F that’. Half of the team take Hartly and peel out leaving Skye, May and Tripp without a ride. Outside, May sees an AV-8B (don’t worry I looked it up, not THAT nerdy), the Harrier style jet flown by Hawkeye in the Avengers movie. And it’s May, so flying it will be no problem.

What happens next, I wish I had clarity on. I am at a loss. There is a lovely slow motion filled minute or two showing both teams going in their separate ways while the voice-over of Coulson can be heard.

Coulson: We have soldiers willing to sacrifice, but they need weapons. The enemy has the advantage. We need one of our own.
Idaho: You risked that for a Twin Jet?
Coulson: No, for what we could do with one. Disappear. Become Ghosts. That’s how we have to live now. In the shadows. To save people. Even if they don’t know it. Want it. Fitz said he could engineer cloaking but…I’m afraid he can’t do anything. The damage to his temporal lobe was too extensive. He’s not that same. And since Simmons left he’s only gotten worse.

What in the actual… Take a deep breath. Just as soon as he says ‘gotten worse’, I can see Jemma! She’s standing right next to Fitz. Then the camera does a slow 180 degree rotation. Simmons’ figure on the far side of Fitz. Once it passes by the eclipse point where Simmons is hidden by Fitz’ body, you realize in one quick washing over of fear, despair, and betrayal that Simmons was never there. They pulled a Sixth Sense on us. If you go back and watch just those clips. Simmons is never the center of attention. No one not named Fitz even attempts to look in her direction. And maybe I’m overselling it, but I could have sworn that each and every scene with Simmons, she is just this side of out of focus. Now that I understand, I’m starting to lose it.

Here at NJATVS our staff have debated the potential ramifications of what happened to Fitz and Simmons throughout the Winter and Summer TV seasons. A great many ideas were floated. One even included Fitz becoming a Villain. All of which I rejected because they were all too horrible for me to consider. UNTIL THIS!!!!!!! What in the…?

Then to make matters worse, the Coulson voice-over continues. Claiming that “We have to fight for him, for those we’ve lost”. For those we’ve lost? He’s already given up on Fitz?! I’m at a loss. Now the logical side of me knows that they have to be doing this in order to rebuild the relationship and mind that was there before. Regardless, I’ve got to leave this plot point alone. Moving on.

In the black Tahoe, Hartly insists that one of her team, Hunter, needs to cut off her hand. Whatever the blackness that is moving up her arm is killing her. Surprise surprise. They do, gladly they didn’t show it. And then Creole appears magically in the middle of the street. Shades of Bucky as the Winter Soldier in the beginning of Cap 2: Winter Soldier. He takes on the texture of the asphalt and flips the SUV and no one inside moves. The driver is alive but doesn’t move. Hartly looks dead, clearly. Then Creole touches his hand to the tire of the SUV creating a rubber protective layer that will allow him to pick up the 0-8-4 and walk off into the distance.

I wish I could end it there. Then in a new room we’ve not seen yet, a well dressed man speaks to the back of another well dressed man. He’s sputtering nonsense about securing what he’s been searching so long for. The man with his back turned is cleaning a very specific style of glasses. He puts the glasses on and turns to say, “You have no idea”. And that’s when it hits you. That’s the same guy that was unearthing this 0-8-4 in the flashback complete with Agent Carter and the Howling Commandos post World War 2. So, as I said. I am at a loss.

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Photo Courtesy Of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

The landscape’s radically changed as season two of the ABC series “Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.” kicks off on September 23, at a later time than last year, now broadcasting at 9:00pm, perhaps reflecting a darker year for the series. The debut episode of the series, revolved around recovering agent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. to form an elite team based on a plane that he referred to as “the bus.” This season S.H.I.E.L.D. Chief Phil Coulson’s in charge of the recovering crime-fighting unit, after HYDRA breached their security and destroyed the organization’s credibility.

The sophomore season of the series, begins with S.H.I.E.L.D. barely functioning, its assets seized by the Government and most of their agents, dead, traitors, or have left the Agency for other opportunities. Coulson tries running the agency in the shadows, still doing the jobs they trained for, without leaving a footprint. The team refuses to give up attempting saving the world, they just have to do it far more discreetly.

Most of the team from “the bus,” are still on board, with Coulson’s closest confidante Melinda May, (Ming-Na Wen) now fully trusting the veteran agent. Also back for another go-round is newly minted agent Skye, (Chloe Bennet) as well as a member added to the team late in the first season Agent Antoine Triplett, (B.J. Britt) formerly John Garrett’s (Bill Paxton) before finding out that Garrett was working for Hydra.

For all you “Shippers,” it looks like Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) survived being deprived of oxygen without ill effects, however the FitzSimmons dynamic may have gotten damaged by Leo’s confession that Jemma Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) the love of his life. Simmons thinks of him as a brother and we may see a tense relationship this season.

Although this writer believed that former team member turned traitor Grant Ward, (Brett Dalton) got locked in a Federal Penitentiary and out of the picture in the upcoming season, that’s not the case as Ward’s featured in all the show’s promotional materials. What role, Garrett’s former protégé will play in this season’s storyboard’s unknown, whether he’s accepted back as a member of the team or they’re holding him to extract information, we’ll find out in the first few episodes.

We’ll also meet new characters in season two, starting with Kyle MacLachlan, playing Skye’s birth-father, a man Skye has no memory of. The description of him by others in the first season was that he and Skye’s mother were pretty close to being fully evil creatures, responsible for deaths of hundreds trying to track down their daughter.

Coulson will have some new allies as well including agent Isabelle Hartley (Lucy Lawless) a veteran, whose used to following her own agenda, but seems in lock-step with the Agency’s new chief. Also expected to join “the bus,” Mockingbird, (Adrianne Palicki) convinced by Coulson to join the cause. We’ll also welcome back Patton Oswalt as the Koenigs; a recent promo features Oswalt as Billy and Sam Koenig, both obsessed with lanyards and badges.

After a bumpy start, S.H.I.E.L.D. finished up its first season strongly, helped by the release of the Theatrical Feature “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and their parallel plots. The TV series will survive or fail on its own merits in its second season as they’ll lack the synchronicity they enjoyed last year. However, I saw the characters come into their own last season and with a huge task ahead of them in rebuilding the Agency, they can shine.

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiers Tuesday September 23, at 9:00pm on ABC.