In the words of Mr. DAPs after seeing this episode, “good luck writing that one!”
This episode had quite a lot going on. More importantly, the ending moment and the preview of next week’s episodes had a lot going on.
So let’s jump in!
And at this point, spoilers are your own fault, you know what we do here. Heavy is The Head, and heavy is the heart that reads spoilers.
So, to start with, this is definitely part two of the last episode. Hartley and Idaho died when their car flipped. Lance Hunter survived, but has now been captured by the military – who is ruthlessly pursuing SHIELD. May is chasing down Creel, the Absorbing Man, but is being ordered to hold back until we can learn to whom he is answering. He gets away in a stolen truck, and while waiting at a diner for his contact accidentally kills his server using those weirdo obelisk powers.
Fitz is still at about 40% of his old self, and his imaginary Simmons has turned into his own personal “angel / devil on his shoulder”. She convinces him to steal some information on Creel’s DNA, although that’s weird for me to say since he’s just convincing himself. Mac is the new science guy, and is a little overwhelmed by installing cloaking into the Bus, but not as overwhelmed as Fitz gets in conversations.
Skye is becoming very unsure about the secrecy going on about the agency and the missions in general, but also about Coulson himself, and talks to May, who talks to Coulson. “You haven’t had an episode in 18 days.” Then, essentially, Let It Go. Coulson starts etching those circles and lines and stuff on the walls again.
Hunter gets a helicopter ride with Talbot, who tells him he will give literally anything to get information on Coulson’s whereabouts. Since Hunter is a mercenary and seems to only care about money (and, on an emotional level, Hartley and her family), he names $2 million as his price, plus a proper burial for his fallen partner / crush. The agreement is set, and Hunter drives up to SHIELD in a shiny new car.
Mr. Absorbing Man is freaking out because the obelisk is now a part of his skin, and he can turn people to stone if he touches them. Raina shows up out of the blue (right before commercials in a great cliff-hanger) to try to bargain for the obelisk. She gets turned away, so she calls Coulson with information of Creel’s whereabouts, via a tracker. The team follows him to a drop point, after Mr. Lance Hunter decides to cross back and forth between sides so many times I lost track. Most notably, he “ices” May, Skye, and Tripplett, to try to put a bullet in Creel’s brain for personal revenge. Unfortunately, Creel was not quite so surprised, as it all happened in slow motion, so he ended up in a fight with the man with the fists of iron. I think literally iron in this one.
Luckily, in the lab, Mac was able to figure out that when Fitz says “I didn’t solve this today” he really means “I solved this a while ago” and they reconfigure that device that he designed on that special op with Ward (remember that one? the one with the sandwich, and the camouflage sleeping bag? that was cool) to make Creel’s cells unstable enough to neutralize his powers. When they use it on him, though, the obelisk takes over and he turns to stone in a very painful-looking way. But, as Coulson says “he could always do that, so I’m not sure how long it’ll last”.
In all the confusion, Raina makes off with the obelisk and takes it to Kyle McLachlan who is billed only as “Skye’s Father”. He strongly suggests she pick up the obelisk “to find out”, and she does so – making me think she’s more afraid of whatever he can do than being turned to stone. However, when she picks it up, it just glows all yellow-y, with the same pattern Couslon’s been scrawling, and he tells her it’s because it “let her live”.
Coulson recruits Hunter for SHIELD because he can cross the lines and make the wrong call – things Coulson used to do twelve times an episode, but can’t do any more as director of SHIELD. He tells Hunter to sell him out, Hunter complies, and Coulson finds himself in a field alone with Talbot and his squad. Oh, also with two invisible planes. Looks like they got cloaking working on the Bus!
And then this episode was over.
If you’re not watching this show on ABC, and are instead getting it through some on-demand source or from the internet, you might not be seeing the previews of next week, but they don’t look good. We’re going to see Simmons back, the real Simmons, but I have a feeling I’m not going to be too happy with how she comes back.
Even for below-the-fold, I’m not comfortable spoiling this one for you. But if you haven’t seen the preview and want to, you may find it here. I’m going to cross every finger I have that this is just creative editing. I’ve seen before a trailer scene with two characters talking when they’re not even in the same building. So maybe…maybe… man, I have no idea.
Mr. DAPs got it right when he said “wow, that episode did so much and so little”. In the grand scheme, not a lot happened plot-wise, but a ton happened for these characters. We’re starting to see a good dynamic forming with Fitz and Mac. Mac is patient and willing to take the time to understand, but doesn’t know Fitz before his incident, so there’s a weird tip-toe dance in play. Skye is frustrated almost to the point of tears, and with her father in the mix, she is going to break hard, and I’m almost certain it’ll be fairly soon. Probably, if I had to guess, right before we get no new SHIELD episodes for a few months. Lance Hunter is the new wild card, never quite trustworthy, but also not quite expendable.
May is also getting frustrated with Coulson being more hands-on with his orders. When you report to THE top boss, especially when your original assignment was to monitor him and make sure he’s not crazy, that’s bound to wear on you a bit. Coulson’s feeling the weight of the world because if something slips through SHIELD, then that’s on him. All the lives lost, all the sacrifices made, are personally his call. He’s unsure of himself, and you can see it in his eyes.
This is episode 2, guys. We’re in for a very long and scary season.
One thing, though, about which I am very excited, is in reading the description for next week’s episode, we’re finally getting a payoff from an early episode last season. If you don’t want to know until you watch, there’s nothing in the preview saying anything about it. But it is spelled out on IMDB. A story line that has been set up is finally going to get to continue!
With that, Agents, I do believe it’s time to just sit back and anxiously await next Tuesday when we get to see where this road leads. If there even is a road anymore…