Coulson gets the band back together.
Coulson meets with Gonzales to explain to him why he gave himself up. Thanks to Bakshi and Deathlok, Coulson now has a lead to Baron von Strucker and Doctor List’s location. That location is an arctic facility where they’ve been doing experiments on enhanced people. Gonzales doesn’t love the plan that Coulson comes up with but he manages to get it put up for a vote. He doesn’t trust Coulson, but he agrees that HYDRA is the greater evil. To Coulson’s surprise, the deciding vote resides with May. Before deciding to go along with him, May wants some answers about what Coulson’s been doing. He won’t tell her about Theta protocol or the secret trips under the guise of helping enhanced people. He does tell May that he was meeting with her ex-husband (Andrew) to get counseling for his alien writing impulses, not for another mission. That gets May to agree to go along with Coulson. Simmons volunteers to go on the trip to help with Mike’s repairs, but she really wants to take a shot at Ward.
Skye and Gordon arrive back in Afterlife with Cal in tow. Cal’s still unhappy about Jaiying trying to abandon him, but she gets him to calm down while they deal with other issues. Lincoln has been taken by HYDRA, along with Deathlok. Because Jaiying knows that HYDRA has been tracking Gordon, she can’t send him in to save Lincoln without endangering the rest of the Inhumans. When Gordon went back to check on Lincoln he was attacked by HYDRA, which proves Jaiying’s point. As usual Skye insists on doing the “right thing”. She’s pushed over the edge when Raina reveals that she had a vision where she saw Skye saving Lincoln. That confirmation gets Skye to convince Gordon to compromise and take her back to the SHIELD base. She arrives just as Coulson, Ward, Fitz-Simmons and May are preparing to head out. After Skye leaves, Jaiying realizes that she needs to be cautious of Raina, who’s already trying to use her powers to gain influence and usurp Jaiying’s leadership.
With the original team back together again, they have to try to get used to working together again to complete the mission. Ward tries to address the “elephant on the plane” and put things out in the open. His apology isn’t exactly greeted with acceptance. May says that Skye should’ve aimed for his face when she shot him four times and Coulson tells Ward to stop talking…to anyone. Back at the base, Mack and Hunter have their own bro-style make up session over the whole kidnapping thing. Everyone seems to be mending bridges well enough to work together, at least. With Gonzales watching on, the team makes it to the base. They have to make a harrowing entrance by pretending that they were shot down and falling with the wreckage. When they get inside, they split up. Skye and Simmons go with Bakshi and Ward to get Deathlok and Lincoln, while the rest of the team goes with Coulson.
After they find Deathlok, Skye splits off to go find Lincoln. She ends up taking an entire HYDRA team out on her own to get to him, but he’s not responsive when she finds him. Skye thinks about Raina’s vision and comes up with the idea to use her powers to generate a shock to restart his heart. Simmons tries to take Ward out, but her grenade ends up hitting Bakshi instead. Ward is surprised that Simmons would try to kill her, but she says that she was determined to keep the promise she made if she ever saw him again. Ward leaves without striking back, but he doesn’t come back with the team. Fitz and May are working on taking down the base’s defenses, but Coulson is at another station stealing information from the base. May’s not happy that Coulson had a secret mission, but he gets it done and they leave. Once they get back to the base, Coulson gets a call from Ward asking him to take care of Kara. Ward understands that he can’t really be a part of the team again, but he believes that Kara deserves a 2nd chance.
Gonzales is happy with the way things turned out because Skye and Lincoln are on the base now. Just like HYDRA, he just wants to have enhanced people around so they can be studied or used. As Gonzales and Bobbi are discussing this Coulson interrupts them. In order to change the subject, Gonzales asks Coulson to honor their deal and turn over the toolbox. Coulson opens it up for him and tells him to “go nuts” with it until Fury returns to ask for it back. Coulson then leaves to take a phone call from Maria Hill, leaving Gonzales looking pretty confounded. It turns out that Coulson was trying to find the location of the base where Baron Strucker was hiding out. He would’ve told Gonzales about what he was doing, but he didn’t think that he’d be able to get everyone to vote for it. Now that they know where he’s hiding with Loki’s Scepter, the THETA protocol is prepared and they’re prepared to mobilize the Avengers to go retrieve it. Back in Afterlife, Raina is suddenly struck with a vision involving the scepter and sees metal men attacking the world and changing it forever.
- We finally got the team back together
The six original Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast members are finally back on a team together again. The nostalgia is overtaken by the awkwardness of having Ward there after he betrayed them all. I loved the scene where Ward tried to apologize to everyone and I really want to believe Ward when he says that he regrets destroying their family.
- Skye is a one-woman wrecking crew
It seems like she really does have her powers under control and then some. Her action sequence where she disables the agents guarding Lincoln was really slick.
- I thought her gift was spinning really fast to collect gold rings
Skye with the Sonic the Hedgehog burn.
- I’m starting to regret eating that hotpocket
Coulson’s plan for making it to the base was pretty ambitious not only for him, but for the production team as well. I liked the animation they did especially because they made it a point to slow it down instead of just using speed and motion to blur out the details of the plane falling in with the wreckage.
- Spoiler Alert
I love the look on Gonzales face when Coulson casually drops the bomb that Fury is still alive.
This is SHIELD’s lead-in episode to Avengers: Age of Ultron, which opens this week. However, there weren’t a ton of references to the movie until the end of the episode. We hear Dr. List mention that Baron Strucker is in Sokovia (sp?) with “the twins”, referring to Quick Silver and Scarlet Witch. Coulson basically just found a target for the Avengers to attack but we don’t know much more than that. We also still don’t know what the THETA protocol actually is. It’s not necessarily bad that this episode wasn’t a huge ramp up to the Avengers movie, because there was enough going on in the SHIELD universe to deal with. Coulson had to take on these people who thought they were in charge of SHIELD while knowing that he was basically just doing them a pleasantry by not revealing the true state of SHIELD. Then there was the whole Ward and Simmons thing. I mean, Simmons killed someone in this episode. Granted, it wasn’t the person that she was trying to kill, but she still killed Bakshi.
The reunion of Coulson’s original team made for a lot of great moments in this episode. I was actually so focused on how the different team members where trying to dance around each other, that I almost didn’t even notice some of the big action moments, like Skye using her powers in front of Ward or taking out a bunch of people all on her own. Even with the team blown up, the characters have some chemistry with each other. The chemistry may be even better now because the characters have been a bit more developed over time. For example, I don’t think the old Fitz would’ve ever taken verbal shots at Ward. With this mission over and Ward back on the run, I’m not sure if they intend to bring these guys together again anytime soon, which is also okay. After the events of the Avengers, the team may have some new problems to deal with. Even if they don’t, there’s still the presence of Gonzales and his team and their fixation on Skye and Lincoln. Coulson could still have an uphill battle unless Fury shows back up and fixes everything for him.