Tag Archives: Chloe Bennett

Agents of SHIELD: New Obstacles Force Desperate Measures

Courtesy of ABC/Marvel
Courtesy of ABC/Marvel

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Agents of SHIELD season 3 begins as ominously as season 1 did. A strange apartment with what looks like the remains of a human person reduced to standing ash. Down on the street there are what appear to be random explosions, melting metal and the sound of chaos. One man seems to be the source of the carnage, even though he’s not doing in on purpose. The “authorities” show up to grab the man. After hearing “lethal force” he decides to flee.

From the alley he can see the bodies of whoever tried to take him flung like weightless tumble weeds. Enter Daisy (formerly Skye), she’s here to help. Pardon my fanboy take, but it doesn’t hurt that she grows more and more into this role with each passing episode and season. Mack and Hunter accompany her and clear a small area while she tries to convince “Joey” that they are here to help. Hunter puts something down in the alley and a small white Tardis looking thing lands in its place. Difference being, this box looks exactly the same size from the outside as it does from the inside. The strange almost Tardis makes its way onto a very large jet. Almost looks like the mother ship version of the quinjet.

The “authorities” convene at the scene of the extraction. A woman with a scar above her lip rolls down the window. She is clearly in charge of this team at the very least.

Daisy meets with Joey (with him still inside his mini Tardis) separated by window glass as she tries to explain what’s happening to a frantic man completely in the dark. She eventually talks him down and convinces him to get some rest. As someone who has been through this, the empathy shows through and Joey begins to relax. And with a nod to last season’s finale, she asks him if he takes fish oil. The fish oil thing is going to be a problem for a while.

The woman in the truck walks through a hospital corridor giving orders to her #2. She seems to be in charge of rounding up Inhumans. She is clearly not pleased that one slipped through their grasp.

Coulson’s new toy, the mother ship quinjet lands at an undisclosed location. Joey’s Tardis is lowered into a white honeycomb room. Like the bus’ interrogation room, but less threatening. Bobbi begins to brief Joey on what comes next, mostly medical and sleeping arrangements. Joey lashes out mildly claiming that Bobbi doesn’t know anything about him. Then she schools him on just how much she could deduce just by reading his Facebook page. Joey appears to be a good guy who is concerned with the notion that he may have harmed innocent people. Reports on that end are optimistic. No fatalities as of yet.

Coulson, Mack and Hunter discuss the problem at large and find out that our mystery woman has at least four aliases each working at the highest level of various governmental agencies (CIA, MI-6, CDC). Coulson asks Hunter to take a gun they retrieved from the scene down to Bobbi to have it analyzed. It is absolutely clear that Hunter is sticking to his guns about having nothing to do with Bobbi going forward.

Daisy and Mack pay Joey a visit. No hostility. Joey jumps to the wrong conclusion out of the gate. Assuming that Mack is there as muscle. Mack quickly clarifies that Daisy is the muscle. Joey asks for them to take off the kid gloves and Daisy lays it on him, so she does. Joey’s reaction is muted but hysterical laughter. The laughing stops when Mack and Daisy explain that he cannot return to his old life. Joey rejects this new reality and demands they let him go. Mack uploads news footage covering the damage Joey has caused. Still, he persists and Daisy has to put him down.

Bobbi is on Monolith detail (the boulder that liquefied and swallowed Simmons in last season’s finale). With no Simmons, Bobbi is left to tend to the lab. That is in part because Fitz won’t rest while Simmons is missing, taking time off to research everything he can. Fitz is checking on another ‘last lead’ in Tangiers Morocco. He tries to ‘cool’ his way past the guards to get to a man who apparently has something Fitz needs. He is bagged and roughed up. The case that looks like it has money in it cannot be opened by the man’s goons. They offer Fitz his life in exchange for opening the case. Fitz rejects the offer. Then Fitz in a way only Fitz can turn the tables, explains how this is going down, consequences be damned.

Fitz: I tracked it, not easy…through history. To Mosul’s museum in Iraq. But it was taken by your extremist buddies when they ransacked the place this year. Now I’m 90% sure it’s in this room. So…you can either hand it over in exchange for what’s in that case, or you can spill my guts all over the sand and use the briefcase as a booster seat. It’s totally your call.

The leader of this group eventually retrieves the item Fitz requires. Fitz opens the case to reveal the mini bombs that Simmons tried to use to kill Ward. But did if fact end up killing Bakshi. The radicals thought they would use one of these mini bombs to kill Fitz and leave no remains. When they tried to activate one to use on Fitz, it only created blindingly strong light-giving Fitz just enough time to grab the artifact and flee.

Joey is not taking to his adjustment period very well. Daisy has an idea. It’s not a new one, but perhaps one worth trying. She’d like to bring Lincoln in.

Our mystery lady is from DARPA. Bobbi has found an opening in the woman’s daily routine for Coulson to exploit. He and Hunter get on the subway during the only alone time she has. Or so they thought. Coulson makes his opening statement about her being hard to pin down and she calmly replies that he wasn’t. Then each and every person (except one old lady) on the train reveals themselves as part of her detail. It’s not clear who has the upper hand between Coulson and this “Rosalind”, but they have a very calm and revealing back and forth. As of now, Rosalind plans to detain Coulson and wants to know the location of the Inhumans he has secured. By the end of their back and forth, Coulson and Rosalind both deny responsibility for the dead Inhumans.

Lincoln is anything but cooperative to Daisy’s request to have him join SHIELD in an attempt to help these new Inhumans transition. As tempers rise, the electricity in the building flickers but this is not Lincoln’s doing. All three run out of the room in time to witness a very large deep voiced creature that looks like a long-lost cousin of Raina’s assault a man demanding to know where the Inhumans are.

Both Coulson and Rosalind get a phone call at the same time. Coulson suggests that if they are both getting the same phone call, chances are both are innocent of the other’s accusations. Rosalind takes her call in the next subway car over. Coulson convinces one of her goons to answer his phone or it will just keep ringing. This gives Coulson just enough of an opportunity to gain the upper hand so that he and Hunter can escape.

Whatever this porcupine creature is, it is very strong. Able to open holes in walls. Even when Daisy and Lincoln focus their powers on him simultaneously, it only slows him down. He creates a hole in the floor to elude their attack. Instead of joining them Lincoln flees.

The President addresses the nation on the subject of “Alien Threats”. He speaks of an agency to take SHIELD’s place. He’s speaking of Rosalind’s team. “The laws of Nature have changed”. With the address in the background Coulson views a computer simulation of the Terrigen (the element that precipitates the Inhuman mutation) outbreak until the computer reveals 100% contamination.

Fitz returns at a frantic pace to begin work on the artifact he so recklessly tried to acquire. He doesn’t notice Coulson in the shadows of the lab. Fitz is compelled to find the answer. Coulson is trying to redirect his attention by recanting a Thomas Edison like track record of failure. Even references Ant-man, or at least the shrinking procedure. Coulson even listens to this newest theory. Then Fitz is able to find the parchment he was looking for. In it was one word spelled in Hebrew. “Death”. Coulson then transitions to the thing we all (including Fitz) knew he was going to take this. Its time to let Jemma go.

Iain De Caestecker’s acting in the 90 or so seconds that followed, on its own merits an Emmy award. He is able to hold the almost cry face for longer than most people can hold their breath. Coulson invites him to join Coulson as they travel to Simmons’ parent’s home to inform them that she is M.I.A. Fitz makes a b-line for the Monolith. Using a shotgun he blows off Mack’s locks, tosses the gun aside and steps into the Monolith’s chamber. What follows might just be the best frantically, emotionally, angry display of acting I’ve seen in a very long time. Fitz screaming at this large black rock, demanding that it do something. Something like swallow him up as it did Simmons.

After the break but before the “see what happens on our next episode” tease, a woman runs for her life on terrain that most closely resembles the planet seen in Thor 2: The Dark World. Dark, cold, jagged and with dual moons in the distance. That woman is of course Jemma Simmons.

The First Annual NOTTIE AWARDS

Collage Created By Jason Jones
Collage Created By Jason Jones

It’s that time of year, when everybody’s coming out with their “Best-Of Lists” and we are adding yet another list to the pile. Welcome to The First Annual NOTTIE AWARDS, our version of the numerous Awards shows that get televised across the planet. Our list varies from other awards, in the fact that we cover the entire year of 2014. The NOTTIE AWARDS, breaks down the year starting with the 2013/2014 season’s conclusion, going through the summer shows as the first half of the year. The second half of the year covers the 2014-2015 Television season, making sure that all performances throughout the year, receive the recognition, they deserve.

As you peruse the list, you’ll notice that all categories have four names, except for two categories; Most disappointing series of the second half’s vacant. The other category that breaks the rule’s the Best Supporting Actor, in the second half, there were far too many outstanding performances to limit that category to just four actors. In all categories, the name listed first and in blue, won the category, the runner-up’s listed second and in red, the third and fourth names are just randomly listed.

All choices were made by Jason Jones and I, all decisions by the Judges are final (Although, We’d Love Your Feed-Back.)

And on to the Awards:

First Half

Best Actor: James Spader-The Blacklist, Tom Mison-Sleepy Hollow, Lee Pace- Halt and Catch Fire, Sean Bean-Legends

Best Supporting Actor: Peter Capaldi-The Musketeers, Walton Goggins-Justified, Jon Voight-Ray Donovan, Tom Felton-Murder in the First

Best Actress: Mackenzie Davis- Halt and Catch Fire, Joelle Carter-Justified, Kerry Bishe- Halt and Catch Fire, Kathleen Robertson-Murder in the First

Best Supporting Actress:  Amy Acker-Person of Interest, Tamla Kari-The Musketeers, Sarah Shahi-Person of Interest,  Marissa Neitling-The Last Ship

Most Disappointing Show: The Leftovers, The Black Box, Resurrection, Power

Best New Show: The Blacklist, Legends, Halt and Catch Fire, Murder in the First

Most Underrated Show: Justified, Supernatural, The Musketeers, Halt and Catch Fire

Best Show: The Blacklist, Person of Interest, Legends, Justified

Second Half

Best Actor: Jeff Daniels-The Newsroom, Ioan Gruffold-Forever, Elyes Gabel-Scorpion, Matt Ryan-Constantine

Best Supporting Actor: Sam Waterston- The NewsroomJohn Noble- Sleepy Hollow, Judd Hirsch-Forever, Misha Collins-Supernatural, Jesse L Martin-The Flash, Mark Sheppard-Supernatural, Michael James Shaw-Constantine, Robert Patrick-Scorpion, Mandy Patinkin-Homeland, Robin Lord Taylor-Gotham, Sean-Pertwee-Gotham, Donal Logue-Gotham, Rupert Friend-Homeland

Best Actress: Claire Danes-Homeland, Anna Gunn-Gracepoint, Emily Mortimer-The Newsroom, Alana De La Garza-Forever

Best Supporting Actress Olivia Munn-The NewsroomJacki Weaver-Gracepoint, Elizabeth Henstridge-Agents of SHIELD, Chloe Bennett-Agents of SHIELD

Most Disappointing Show: None Applicable

Best New Show: Forever, Scorpion, Constantine, Gotham

Most Underrated Show: Constantine, Forever, Scorpion, Sleepy Hollow

Best Show: The Newsroom, Homeland, Person of Interest, Forever

Agents of SHIELD: Inevitabilities Converge

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.

Agents of SHIELD: Things Fall Apart

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.

Agents of SHIELD: It’s Always Good To Look Your Enemy Right In The Eye

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

Agents of SHIELD: Coulson Figures It Out

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.

Agents of SHIELD: New Changes With Big Implications

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.

Agents of SHIELD: Big Answers Create Big Questions


Courtesy of ABC
Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A very cheesy military wedding reception goes terribly bad when the best man gives his toast. I know I could stop there, but this is Agents of SHIELD. It would take more than an awkward toast to make the cold open. Then everyone who drank the champagne, instantly had their mouth turn to stone.

In Coulson’s office there are more questions than answers. Not only that, but Phil is much shorter with his responses. Even goes above and beyond what would be considered reasonable when Skye follows up one question with “why not”.

Raina appears unannounced to the person we have been lead to believe is Skye’s father. Also the current possessor of the Obelisk. She informs him that she needs to get it back temporarily. I am skeptical to speculate on the extremely awesome. But just for the fun of it, and no I don’t actually believe this will happen. But if it did it would be one hell of a twist on the character. And one that would cause a huge problem for the Cinematic Marvel Universe.

We’ll refer to him as simply “Skye’s father”. Skye’s father is performing surgery in a dark dingy place with no windows. Very ‘under the radar’. When Raina first gave him the picture of Skye, he sat quietly in a seated position of meditation. Now that Raina has given him information that he doesn’t like, he begins to get very visibly angry. She mentions that he doesn’t want her to see him ‘like this’. He then looks in a mirror on the wall so he could see his own reflection. As if he’s checking to see how far along the transformation is. And then the big one. There is very little light in the room. The light that is there is emerald green. Are you picking up what I’m putting down? It feels like they are implying that Skye’s father is the Hulk or another Hulk. I don’t believe that to be accurate, but I did nerd out a little at the thought of it. I don’t think it’s Bruce Banner. But maybe, it is another Hulk. A different Hulk. If that were true (which it’s probably not), it would create the realistic fear of why Coulson can never tell Skye where she comes from. Or what she really is.

Mr. Whitehall, the guy with the weird round glasses that looks like if Hitler’s dream and passion had a baby it would grow up to look like Whitehall, calls a meeting of Hydra scientists. There he lays out his plan to utilize alien technology. He even calls on Simmons directly. Simmons answers his questions well without tipping her hand to her cover.

Ok, I’m fine with Fitz manifesting the image of Simmons to represent his own subconscious. I’m fine with him accepting that she’s not real. I’m even very pleased with him making friends, Mack, Hunter, Tripp. What I’m not OK with is Fitz’ subconscious Simmons suggesting that Simmons left and moved on and maybe he should do the same. There is only one logical ending here. They are setting up Fitz for a long term and somewhat painful acceptance that Simmons left because of him and that he will get over it. And the moment that he is officially over it/her, that’s when she will return to show that the premise that she left because of him was garbage to begin with. At least that’s the only logical end I will accept.

Upon Hunter’s suggestion, Skye goes downstairs to ask Ward about the alien scribble. Ward thinks she’s there about her father. Skye isn’t buying it, even though she should. She quickly changes the conversation to the alien writing. What he says is not new information. But he did paint a picture of what Garrett became which did not sound that terribly different than Coulson (minus all the completely crazy parts). He even said, “whatever he became, wasn’t meant to survive”.

Skye storms into Coulson’s office claiming he won’t name the source because he is the source. Don’t spend too much time on that part. What is critically important is the admission we’ve been waiting for since episode two of season one. Skye’s identity. We’ve always known that they knew something they weren’t telling. And now we have a little insight. Skye may potentially be at least part alien.

Hydra was able to intercept one of Simmons’ messages to SHIELD and intended to flip the offices until they found evidence. Evidence Jemma had in her possession. She somehow was able to move the evidence into her supervisor’s desk undetected to save her cover.

Raina meets with Coulson in a public place. She is there to tip the scales. She is aware that Hydra is trying to flush out a mole. She turns her phone and implies that she could give Hydra proof that the mole is Jemma Simmons. If they don’t hand over Skye. The play is to turn over Skye or an incriminating picture of Simmons gets sent out to every Hydra agent. Coulson doesn’t blink. But that also exposes Simmons.

Well played Whedon, well played. I looked like Coulson sold Jemma out. But in actuality, Bobbi Morse (Mockingbird) played by Adrianne Palicki appeared to be a sincere agent of Hydra out to find the mole. As it turns out she was the ace up Coulson’s sleeve. In addition to that, Hunter ‘tagged’ Raina with a tiny tracking device and sent her on her way. Essentially turning her into the worm on the hook when fishing for Whitehall. All has gone to plan, but Skye is missing. One guess as to where.

Skye gets to the location Raina spoke about. She searches every corner and finds nothing except an old picture of him holding a baby. Then there is a hand on her arm. It’s Coulson. Whose only response is, “You’re having a heck of a day”.

Hunter: Must’ve left in a hurry. Place is cleared out. Agent May is checking the back room.
Skye: Have you been drinking?
Hunter: I was working. I had to maintain my cover.
Skye: Your cover as what? Ron Burgundy?

Okay. In all seriousness. It’s 12:15am local time and this is not the only recap I plan to do tonight. But I cannot proceed without trying to articulate my excitement level right now. For me, personally, Hydra, Skye’s father, Coulson losing it slowly, the alien writing all take a back seat to the Fitz/Simmons situation. And she is currently walking down a dark corridor to the warm sounds of people welcoming her back. Somewhere on the other side of this corridor is Fitz. There is about 8 minutes left. If they don’t give me a Fitz and Simmons reunion I’m happy with my long night may just become longer.

Yep. Long night on the horizon. To say the reunion was disappointing is a dramatic understatement. I wanted her to run into his arms. Overjoyed by seeing him and displaying a level of emotion that would clearly and beyond a shadow of a doubt confirm that all of Fitz’ thoughts about why Simmons left were wrong. It was much more awkward than that and much less than overjoyed.

Upstairs Skye informs Coulson that she just doesn’t care anymore about finding her father after what she saw. Whatever takes him down. And that she will not tolerate deception anymore. So Coulson brings her in. Literally in that moment. He reveals the wall mural sized alien language piece he carved yesterday. He doesn’t know what it means. But Skye does.

Skye: It’s a map.

Another little tidbit that should be noted. Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird-played by Adrianne Palicki) and the devil alien ex wife of Hunter’s are one in the same.

Skye’s father then just walks into the Hydra facility while it is being moved and simply hands over the Obelisk to Whitehall as a show of good faith to breed a partnership to take down SHIELD.

Agents of SHIELD: May vs May

Courtesy of ABC
Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

A young clergyman discovers a very special painting. Naturally, the suggested value is with the painting’s subject matter. Then the man turns the painting over to reveal a different work. Eerily similar to that of Coulson and Garrett. What follows is a very Mission Impossible like sequence. Swiping things and discretely passing them off. Even Coulson and May entering an invitation only event as a couple. A little dancing (awkward dancing), a little reminiscing, and then they notice General Talbot.

Talbot is apparently drunk. And will not agree to not blow Coulson’s cover. He doesn’t necessarily look like he cares, he just isn’t willing to give Coulson anything Coulson wants. Back on the bus, the rest of the team stand observing. Complaining that they aren’t getting to do anything. Then Hunter fires into how he met his ex-wife. Which is a story no one wants to hear. Coulson calls an audible. They want to seize the painting sooner rather than later.

Coulson: Laser grids. Why is always laser grids?

The painting isn’t there. Skye digs up that the US Government (or Talbot) secured the painting hours ago. Assuming they knew SHIELD would attempt to get it, this feels like a trap. Apparently, Talbot is Hydra? Being a certified d-bag is one thing, Hydra is something else entirely.

Coulson and May escape undetected and slip out through some shrubs. Then the headlights turn on. It’s Talbot. He wants to ‘work together’ on the secret writing on the back. They agree to meet at Talbot’s hotel in about an hour. Clearly something is up, and Coulson knows it.

Coulson: He’s clearly working us. I just need to know why.
May: I’ll handle it.
Coulson: May…
May: Hey, this is the part I do. It’ll make up for all the dancing.
Coulson: You liked it.
May: No I didn’t.
Coulson: A little bit?
May: A little bit.

Back on the bus, Skye is digging for something. Tripp walks in and inquires as to what she’s digging for. She replies with that smirk of hers to go along with her line of being a good, helpful soldier. Then Hunter walks in and says he appreciates her thoroughness. Then Skye had to open her big mouth about his ex wife. Mack is not pleased.

Hunter: Ha ha. No, it didn’t work out because inter species relationships are hard. I was human where she was a demonic hell-beast.
Tripp: You don’t say.
Hunter: She is pure evil.
Skye: At least you got away from your ex. The guy I had a crush on is now a psycho living in our basement.
Mack: I wish I could relate but all of my ex’s are awesome.
Hunter: Is that right? I seem to remember an entire year where you pretended to like quinoa.
Mack: Yeah…that was a dark time.

Then hallucination Gemma appears over Fitz’ shoulder. Ironic as they technically were never an ‘item’. She suggests he join the conversation as they are bonding. He stands up all but ignoring her and walks away.

May sneaks down the hall of what I have to imagine is Talbot’s hotel room. She spies through the crack of the door and identifies files including pictures taken of Coulson’s team. Then the woman in the room closes one of the folders. The folder has a big Hydra logo on it. May springs into action. She gets the woman in an arm bar and asks, “what have you done with Talbot”? Talbot is standing right behind May and swings on her. She then begins to fight both of them at once. Eventually hitting Talbot square in the face. Then his face shutters.

While this visual may seem strange and groundbreaking to the uninitiated, we saw this in Captain America: Winter Soldier. Romanoff used a very similar tech to sneak into SHIELD as a board member in order to stop the Robert Redford character. The question is, who is wearing Talbot like a mask? Earlier Talbot was speaking to German on the phone. So I’d be inclined to believe Hydra has SHIELD tech.

The man parading around like Talbot is Bakshi. Just as we discover that, the woman tazes May. The prevailing wisdom is that Coulson doesn’t trust Talbot as much as they thought. So they must use someone Coulson does trust. Like the motionless figure laying on the floor. Agent May.

‘Not May’ gets on the bus and swindles Coulson rather easily. Then she plants a device on the bus that literally sinks its clutches into the bus. They depart with little issue. But in the car, Coulson is attempting to talk about his contingency plan with what he thinks is May regarding the ‘what if I turn all Garrett’. Problem is, ‘Not May’ has no idea what Coulson is going on about. Until that is, he tells her. Now her responses have been subtly un May like. The affectionate hand squeeze was particularly strange. They walk through a hallway. Coulson is on to ‘Not May’. He starts asking things that should elicit a specific very May-like response. Each one in its own way, not something May would say. Then he asks about coffee and she responses with “I’d like that”. Clearly Hydra’s files on SHIELD personnel could be more detailed.

Back on the bus, Fitz builds up the courage to engage his team in friendly socializing when the bus starts to misbehave. In his broken stutter, Fitz is able to convey what is about to happen with the bus. Explosions not being outside the realm of possibility.

‘Not May’ fighting ‘Lingerie but Real May’ is enjoyable I must say. Even my two-year old son left his bedtime routine to come and sit (a little to close to the TV) for this scene.

The device ‘Not May’ planted on the bus is communicating to the bus that it has experienced a water landing and has sealed the plane. It also is running through the electrical systems shutting various things down. At last mention, the next thing should be to explode the wings…which house the fuel.

During the fight, Bakshi makes a break for it. Coulson gives chase. Bakshi is calling for reinforcements to his location and then Coulson decides to stop running and shoots him in the back with a Night-Night round. Meanwhile, Fitz has commandeered Hunter to do what Fitz tells him to. Which in and of itself is taxing. Apparently ‘Not May’ is unaware of the idea that weapons (knives, wood posts, etc) just don’t work against May.

Hunter is handling Fitz’ direction as well as could be expected. A snag here or there but nothing catastrophic. Then there is one more small explosion and Hunter hunches over reacting to it. Assuming that was a bad thing, Fitz looks up and says, “I think that’s a good thing”. The lights start coming back on and Fitz says, “now the plane is fixed”. Then in a moment that Fitz very much needs, Hunter (excitedly) throws his arm up signifying that he would like invite Fitz into one of our greatest and easiest shows of success and inclusion. The Hi Five.

(Fitz is back in what feels like the old lab. Mack is sitting watching.)

Mack: Want some help with that?
Fitz: No. Thank you. I need to learn to do these things by myself.
Hunter: Guys drop everything.
Fitz: No this thing is worth a fortune, I’m not going to drop it.

Hunter came with gifts. After surviving a Hydra attack, fixing the bus, and discovering he’s a hell of a mechanical engineer (thanks to Fitz), Hunter decides its time the fellas enjoyed a beer. Fitz falls back claiming that he should get back to work. Hunter looks at him and explains how we wouldn’t be in the advantageous situation they are in if it weren’t for Fitz. Then Fitz shares (quite smoothly) what he wanted to share earlier in the episode.

Fitz: Yeah, hey so…I don’t have an ‘ex’, but there was this girl that I like. I told her how I felt but she doesn’t feel the same way as I do. So she left.
(each guy looks at the other during a long pause)
Hunter: Her loss mate. From what I can tell, she’s missing out. (raises his beer) To moving on.

Side note. I don’t know if anyone (except maybe my wife) wants Fitz and Simmons to end up together and make genius babies more than I do. But at this point, Fitz has to move on. If that means he puts his time and effort into hanging with the fellas (Mack and Hunter) then so be it. With every confident move forward, he gets stronger and more focused. Believing that Simmons left because of what he said, has all but broken him. We can revisit this later, but for now Fitz (for lack of a better term) needs to get his swagger back. And his control of words.

Finally, Coulson gets May (the real May) to commit to a play for when Coulson’s condition gets so back that there is no turning back. Think when Garret went all crazy. She has a plan that doesn’t involve shooting Coulson. Coulson finds this sweet and flattering, but unacceptable.

Agents of SHIELD: Happy to Comply


Courtesy of ABC
Courtesy of ABC

Warning: Spoiler Alert

Out of the gate, we get a glimpse of how Hydra is turning assets. Maybe, just maybe this is a precursor to the ‘why’ pertaining to Simmons. Then we see Simmons in her happy gleeful way. Just getting ready in the morning. However, it feels like the first scene that put Steve Rogers in present day in the Marvel Universe. Almost too perfect to be real. Then she arrives in her lab and only one other detail matters. The large Hydra logo on the wall.

Hydra is not content with Simmons (as it seems thus far). They are recruiting assets, whether they come willingly or not.

Coulson is waiting inside Simmons’ apartment. Let me cut through the week-long dramatic anticipation. Simmons is running a typical double agent inside Hydra. And she is openly giving him all the intel she has. Even to the point of suggesting she make friends in Hydra to advance further and get more sensitive intel. During the briefing on the bus, Fitz looks focused and not pleased. I think he knows Jemma is the source on the inside.

While Jemma tries to make friends, her presence is required upstairs to deal with a security issue. This entire scene just makes me want to scream obscenities to the high-ranking Hydra agent. She’s a double agent trying to navigate away from the concern at hand. So naturally he’s barking up the right tree, but still, he’s Hydra.

Hydra keeps trying to break ‘agent 33′, but so far to no avail. However, it does give a little insight into their methods.

Meanwhile as Coulson, May, Skye, and Hunter venture out to retrieve Donnie Gill (a kid turned asset from the Academy from the middle of season 1) before Hydra does. This leaves Mack and Fitz with the night off. Mack is quickly becoming one of my favorite characters. He is making every effort possible to aid Fitz in his recovery. To the point of legitimately trying to befriend him. The good news is that Fitz just spit out five or six coherent sentences in a row to create a logical string of thoughts. The first time since the escape in the season 1 finale. The bigger problem is that Fitz senses that they are keeping things from him even if it’s for his own good. The angel and devil on Fitz’ shoulders are battling and the devil is winning.

Fitz is hallucinating Simmons again. All that matters is that 1) he can control it and acknowledge that she is not actually there and 2) she says, “I don’t think you should go in there”. Now it appears that she’s referring to the lab. But in half an instant you realize its not the lab. Then you see him walk down stairs. And then…I literally screamed at the TV. He went downstairs to see Skye’s asset. Skye’s asset is Ward. In Fitz current state, there is no good that can come from standing face to face with Ward.

I may be overselling it, but this is maybe the best acting performance by Fitz to date. And that’s saying something because I still have the FZZT episode from season one just to relive the scene where Fitz screams “JEEMMMMMMMAA” after she jumps from the bus mid-flight to save the rest of the team. While what we are watching is an almost broken Fitz, he goes somewhere dark yet justifiable. Ward makes the mistake of saying that he gave Fitz and Simmons a fighting chance. Which allows Fitz to ‘show’ Ward what he did for Fitz. Depriving Ward of oxygen and explaining his own affliction, Fitz makes his point quite nicely. Even though it’s a Fitz devoid of innocence. In the end, Fitz slips up and says Donnie’s name. Which gets Ward’s attention. Ward’s demeanor and sense of urgency ramps up immediately. He yells out, “They have no idea what they are walking into”.

Simmons is able to at least get Donnie to listen. He asks what side she fell on, but she can’t really answer that as Hydra agents are in her ear.

Fitz, after hearing what Ward had to say, urgently informs Mack that they need to talk to the bus. Donnie was already recruited by Hydra. He didn’t escape the Sandbox, he took the Sandbox for Hydra. And if they can get close enough, they will kick-start his programming. “Nice work Fitz”, three words we haven’t heard in a while.

The team finds Donnie talking to Jemma. Coulson’s orders are to stop that conversation immediately. Hunter has his scope on Simmons’ back. More specifically on the Hydra logo. May sees this and shoots a distraction. Which snaps Donnie out of the ‘kick start’ and they disperse. Bakshi, Simmons’ Hydra boss as far as we’re concerned, steps in the way of Donnie and begins the commentary again. This is the same dialogue that was given to Creole in the last story line. It works and Donnie is “Happy to comply”. The next order is to ensure no one leaves this tanker alive. Which would include May, Skye and Hunter.

Outside, Donnie begins to ‘Iceman’ the entire tanker from outside to in. Then Skye wearing a hood, shoots Donnie knocking him overboard and sinking in the icy water he created 15 TV minutes earlier. They were able to secure a healthy amount of Hydra tech from the tanker.

Once the team is safely back on the Bus, two different but incredibly important short scenes take place. The first is May trying her best to empathize and comfort Skye. At this point Skye seems to have developed a way to translate May. The other is Coulson talking to Fitz. Reaffirming that Fitz is making progress and is an integral part of this team. But more pressing, that as Director, yes Coulson is keeping things from Fitz as he will probably do with everyone. And lastly that Simmons is on a critically important mission. And that her absence has nothing (or so we think to this point) to do with Fitz.

Bakshi requests permission to promote Simmons as her talents are currently being wasted. He further explains that if he’s wrong about her and her allegiance they will simply, “make her comply”.