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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season Finale Recap: Eps. 221 & 222, “S.O.S. Part One & Two”

We’ve got an action-packed two hours of S.H.I.E.L.D. finale goodness today, kids, so hold on to your butts! Onward!

After stumbling out of her office shot, Jiaying lies to everyone at Afterlife that Gonzales said inhumans should be exterminated and, after asking Skye to stay with her and shunning Simmons’ offer for medical attention, orders Lincoln to get everyone to safety while Gordon “takes care” of Gonzales. Skye tells Simmons she should leave and she does as May reports to Coulson, Fitz, and Hunter that Bobbi’s quinjet never arrived at Afterlife so Hunter leaves immediately. Just then Simmons joins May and informs Coulson and Fitz that Jiaying was allegedly shot by Gonzales. They don’t know where Gonzales is and Coulson doesn’t buy that this is Gonzales’ fault. He orders May to find Gonzales and get everyone to clear out in an attempt to deescalate things. May tells the agents to be ready to leave when she returns from recovering Gonzales, and when the order is received by two nearby agents, Gordon and an inhuman crony teleport into the agents’ quinjet. The inhumans attack and when Gordon disappears with one of the agents, his pal takes a seat in the pilot’s chair.

Lincoln comes back to Jiaying to help her – just as the inhuman-piloted quinjet sends three rockets to Jiaying’s office, rocking the area. Jiaying melodramatically asks Skye why she’d let S.H.I.E.L.D. attack them and, as confused as they are about all of this, Skye denies any knowledge that this was going to happen. (She’s saying that a lot, lately.) The red-haired inhuman, Alisha, arrives and she and Lincoln take Jiaying away, but then a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent shoots the other inhuman present. Skye attacks, taking him down, just as May arrives to look for Gonzales. The two have words and then begin a knock-down, drag out fight. I’m loving badass Skye holding her own with May! When May gets the best of her, Skye uses her power to blast May beyond the gates of Afterlife, crossing a clear line.

On the ship, Oliver and Mack talk about what he’ll do once he leaves S.H.I.E.L.D. Mack reiterates that he won’t change his mind about his decision just as alarms go off throughout. Harris tells then that Gonzales is dead and they are to await instructions.

May wakes on the floor of her quinjet while Cal sings as Simmons reports to Coulson that they have no idea on who fired the missiles and were focused on extracting S.H.I.E.L.D. agents immediately. Weaver notes that the inhumans were also running for their lives, indicating a lot of confusion all around – and that something fishy is going on. May asks where Skye is, clearly pissed off at being attacked, and Simmons reminds May that none of this would be happening if Gonzales hadn’t struck them first, and everyone begins to argue about whether or not Gonzales would have (or could have) started the aggression. Weaver deads it by telling them about how she recovered the charm for Jiaying as a peace offering. Coulson agrees that this behavior is sloppy for Gonzales and, after ordering Weaver to assume command of the ship, suggests to May and Simmons that Cal might know why Jiaying would agree to a meeting only to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. and incite a war.

In one of their hospital suites, Jiaying has her bullets removed by a doctor while Skye, Lincoln, and Alisha look on. Lincoln schools Skye on Jiaying’s gift, telling her that yes, even though she heals from everything, Jiaying feels the pain of each injury, every time. He blames Skye for S.H.I.E.L.D. attacking Afterlife because she didn’t heed Jiaying’s warnings about them. Incredulously, Skye insists (again) that she had no idea any of this would happen. (I mean, she’s not Raina.) Jiaying says it’s her fault because she’s seen Hydra S.H.I.E.L.D. behave this way before and encourages Lincoln to understand that Skye is feeling betrayed right now, too. (That’s rich.) Then she kicks everyone out of the room.

Hunter panics because he can’t get in contact with Bobbi and Fitz can’t either, so they come up with the idea to check security footage from before the attack for clues.

Skye visits Raina and wants to know what else she knows about coming events since she knew that Jiaying’s meeting would be a disaster. Raina says even if she were inclined to tell Skye what happened, Skye wouldn’t believe her because of the mistrust between them, but Skye says she doesn’t care about the past anymore. Raina says she’s mistaken there, because the past and present are intertwined just as they are and drops this little bomb: Raina is the thorn that protects Skye’s Daisy rose. She says it’s her destiny to help Skye become what she’s meant to be and, sick of riddles and metaphors, Skye moves to leave. Before Skye goes, Raina tells her that they’ll never speak again, but soon Skye will see that Jiaying is misleading the people of Afterlife, and Skye is destined to be their leader.

Gordon teleports to Jiaying’s hospital suite with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent he kidnapped from the quinjet, now bound and gagged. He tells her that he’s taken everyone who needed protection back to their homes and everyone else is awaiting her instruction. She says she’s confident that Lincoln will fight with them since he’s convinced S.H.I.E.L.D. is the threat and Gordon congratulates Jiaying on the successful execution of her plan. Jiaying says she’s hopeful that Skye will join them, but first he needs to heal. So Gordon brings the agent to her and, putting her hands on his face and apologizing, Jiaying steals his life force and heals herself.

May and Simmons bring Cal to Coulson and Cal tells him that he’s simply there as a gift from Jiaying, which no one buys, and Coulson sends him on his way. Simmons says she thinks Cal’s a Trojan horse and shows Coulson the nearly empty vials they found on Cal when they got him. She goes to the lab to analyze the liquid inside them and May tells Coulson they didn’t lose Skye to Jiaying, Skye made a choice.

As Fitz and Hunter review security footage, they see May leaving with Bobbi – and then May leaving again 10 minutes later with Weaver and the rest. They realize it’s Agent 33, aka Kara, and wonder what she’d want with Bobbi.

In a deserted and dilapidated building, Kara and Ward have Bobbi cuffed to a table. They tell her that if Bobbi will admit to betraying Kara by selling her out to Hydra, Kara can have closure and this’ll be over. Bobbi stonewalls him and then Ward pulls out some shoots, reminding her that she doesn’t like needles.

Skye visits Jiaying and marvels (haha) at how mobile and healthy she is. Jiaying reminds her that she has good doctors and a super special gift, so it’s not exactly weird. Skye’s more worried about all of the awful things that have happened and how they don’t make sense, calling it one of the worst days ever. Then she tells Jiaying that she spoke to Raina, who warned that more bad things would happen. Jiaying’s like, “But I thought you didn’t trust Raina?” and Skye says she doesn’t, that it was a mistake to visit her, and that Raina’s full of lies and will never change. Jiaying changes the subject and finally tells Skye that she wants the inhumans to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. Jiaying says if their people will ever be safe, she needs Skye with her and, giving her the charm she recovered from Gonzales, tells Skye to bring it back to her if she decides to join their fight.

Coulson lays out how Jiaying orchestrated the whole attack farce to May and Simmons and they note how it worked, like, really well, when Hunter and Fitz arrive to fill them in on what they now know about Bobbi. They show them footage of Agent 33 leaving with Bobbi and Hunter informs that the quinjet’s transponder went dark around Aranda de Duero in Spain and May offers to be his pilot there. Coulson knows Ward is behind this and both Hunter and May vow to kill Ward if they get the chance.

Meanwhile, Ward begins his torture tactics with Bobbi. He’s injected her with a paralytic and anesthetic to impede feeling and pain – so she can’t feel it when he shoves one of the shoots under a fingernail. He says the drug will wear off in a while and all the pain from the torture will flood in at once, like Kara’s memories eventually did, but reminds her that if Bobbi confesses, this can all stop. Not to be bullied, Bobbi tells her that she had to choose between selling Kara out or getting a dozen other agents killed and she made the tough decision. Not only that, she’d make the same choice again, and lets them know that any begging or pleading they hear while they torture her is a straight up lie.

Weaver and Oliver are upset that the inhumans have destroyed the device that helped them track Gordon and want to strike at them now. Coulson refuses and they clap back, saying that Skye could be over there giving Jiaying all their secret recipes, when Coulson notices Mack creeping up in the background. Mack says that he’s sticking around until this danger is resolved and it looks like he doesn’t know how to quit a job. Coulson asks for three hours to interrogate Cal to find out what Jiaying’s next move will be and Weaver agrees to continue gathering intel for themselves. Weaver tells Mack that she’s got guards on the alien rock in the basement, brushing off his concerns, and asks him, as the former chief engineer, to make the ship battle ready.

Cal is freezing his nips off in one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s cells when Coulson comes to ask him why Jiaying sent him. He tells Coulson that he’ll never understand what a father will do for their child and accuses Coulson of torturing him. Cal rehashes his need for vengeance and Coulson’s like, “Haven’t we moved past this already?” and Cal remembers all the destruction he’s wrought. Coulson wonders how he did it and Cal says, “With style.”

Coulson goes to see Simmons in the lab to see where she is on analyzing the liquid Cal took and so far, it’s a doozy. It’s a mixture of anabolic-androgenic steriods, a liver enzyme blocker, various metabolic enhancers, methamphetamines, gorilla testosterone, and a drop of peppermint. She thinks it’s an ill-conceived attempt at super strength and Coulson agrees that every attempt besides Captain America is ill-conceived. Simmons says one vial would send a normal person to the hospital but since Cal took three, he should be dead.

Bobbi begins to feel the pain of the shoots in her fingers and tries to appeal to Kara by telling her that Ward is trying to mold her just like Bakshi did. Ward says he’s helping Kara heal and Bobbi keeps prodding: she says she knows just how Ward started her off with an easy mark just like he was started off. Kara tells Bobbi that she knows all about Ward’s past because he told her everything and was able to remake himself after his terrible past, which is why she loves him and will always stand with him, no matter what.

Jiaying meets Raina on a bridge, saying she should have heeded Raina’s warning about S.H.I.E.L.D. Raina tells Jiaying that she didn’t foresee her being attacked or she would have said something, and Jiaying says she’s grateful for Raina’s visions anyway as she’ll make a valuable adviser. Raina scoffs at this, saying that even though she isn’t destined to lead the inhumans like she’d always wanted, she knows now that it’s her responsibility to expose Jiaying’s plan to everyone. She tells Jiaying that the inhumans’ salvation lies with Skye, not either of them, and that instead of running away from her fate, she has realized that she’s become the angel her grandmother always said she’d be. Raina says angels are not only guardians but heralds of the truth and stupidly tells Jiaying that she’s about to go rat her nefarious plan out to everyone, so Jiaying stabs her in the throat – as Skye looks on from the treeline.

Jiaying lies and tells Skye that Raina threatened her and Skye realizes the truth about everything. Jiaying says she started a war with S.H.I.E.L.D. so the inhumans would have an advantage and Skye is outraged that Jiaying would kill a man who came in peace. Jiaying counters that if S.H.I.E.L.D. had left them in their isolated, peaceful seclusion like she intended, this wouldn’t be happening, and says S.H.I.E.L.D. must be destroyed. She tells Skye that she needs her to be on her side so that Skye can one day protect the inhumans like she has. Skye’s like, “You call killing Raina and starting a war protection? They need protection from you!” So Jiaying has one of her lackeys crack Skye over the head, then dispose of Raina.

After inexplicably pouring a glass of water over himself, Cal tells Coulson that Jiaying and her people just want to live in peace. Coulson thinks killing a high ranking S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is a weird way to get people to leave them alone, but Cal refuses to believe that Jiaying could do anything that might hurt Skye. Coulson asks Cal about the vials and he said it was his own experimental concoction to mimic inhuman powers in himself, but he was always missing something. He says the formula made him unstable but it was worth the risk, and that he’s there to take out as many S.H.I.E.L.D. agents he can.

Hunter and May have landed in Spain and inspect the quinjet Bobbi and Kara landed in and note that they didn’t crash. May sees evidence of a fight and they wonder what Ward could want with her, but agree that Bobbi can handle herself until they find her.

And back in their torture room, Bobbi is feeling the excruciating pain emanating from her splintered fingertips when Ward returns. He tells Bobbi that they’re similar because they both keep their real selves buried deep inside. He says it’s why Coulson never suspected she was working with Gonzales behind his back and why she never saw Ward coming after her. Waving another shoot at her, Ward tells Bobbi once again to admit she betrayed Kara and she finally calls him out as a hypocrite who has done the same and worse to his own team. She calls him a coward and with a move I didn’t see coming she jumps up and smashes his head on the table and frees herself.

They have a two-person brawl as they fight out into the hallway, through doors and windows and into other rooms and back into the hallway. Kara catches up to the two of them and the three have bloodied each other good when Ward knocks Bobbi down with one final punch to the head. Then he breaks her leg and tries one more time to get her to admit she betrayed Kara, but, still defiant, Bobbi says she’d do it all again. Ward hands Kara his gun to kill Bobbi, but she says it’s not right because Bobbi doesn’t care if she dies and isn’t sorry. So Ward has another plan for her.

Oliver calls Mack to check his progress and Mack says he’s going to run a systems check. Right after Oliver passes, Gordon, Alisha, and another inhuman teleport into the ship. Alisha asks Gordon where “the others” are and he says, “Already in place.”

Cal is losing it as Coulson tries to convince him not to hurt anyone because Skye won’t be happy with him if he does. Coulson guesses that Jiaying uses Cal to cover up her dirty work and accuses her of being the real monster, not Cal. As he overreacts, Cal goes into cardiac arrest so Simmons has him brought to medical immediately.

She tries to revive him but can’t, so, at Coulson’s insistence, she tries something else: adrenaline. Cal falls off the table and rises as a Mr. Hyde-looking creature and he realizes that adrenaline was the missing factor from his super strength cocktail. He begins breaking things and Fitz suggests they ice him. Simmons, naturally, suggests they could always kill him with real bullets, but Coulson won’t kill Skye’s father. Cal breaks out of the medical room and the icers don’t work so Coulson tells Fitz and Simmons to run. Destroying the lab as he goes, Cal advances on Coulson, telling him that Jiaying loves him because he’s obedient. (Yikes.)

Mack overhears Gordon and the gang talking about locking up an unconscious Skye and decides to follow them after noticing they’ve put power-inhibiting bracelets on her.

Hunter finds a trace on Bobbi’s cell phone and May thinks it may be a trap. Hunter doesn’t care either way and both of them still want to kill Ward so they’re cool with it. They call Bobbi’s number and, sure enough, it’s a setup. Ward and Kara have rigged Bobbi to a chair with a rifle behind her so that she will have to watch as whomever comes through the door of the room next is shot and killed in front of her. They think this is a more appropriate punishment for her and leave, and Bobbi immediately begins to struggle against her bonds.

On the ship, the guards who watch the alien stone are attacked by Gordon. Several of the agents go down and Gordon brings in two friends to take the agents hostage.

Mack and his axe run into Alisha, who divides herself into four identical people, one of whom goes after Mack with a gun.

Lincoln uses his ability against an agent before frying an electrical box and running into one of the Alishas. Another Alisha is in a conference room kicking another agent’s butt and gives herself some backup.

Weaver sends an SOS to Coulson who misses the transmission as he, Fitz, and Simmons play a cat-and-mouse game to capture Cal. Coulson finally gets Cal pinned by his SUV and says they’re going to talk.

Gordon and a couple of Alishas give the all clear and report to Jiaying that they have successfully taken over the ship. Jiaying removes one of the terragen crystals she made, saying now it is time to begin.

Coulson continues to try to convince Cal to help him protect Skye. He tells Cal that he’s not really a monster but a good man with a big heart and his daughter is just like him in that way. Cal says he just wanted his family back together before revealing that after he put Jiaying back together, she was never the same. He says that before Whitehall tortured her she was anguished when taking the life forces from the elders who gave their lives to her, but after that, sacrificing a whole village to her wasn’t even enough. Cal admits that she lost her regard for human life so he tried to show his worth by always protecting Skye. Coulson pounces on this, noting how this whole war puts Skye in huge amounts of danger and, after freeing himself from the pinned SUV, Cal asks to help.

On the ship, Mack sneaks up on an Alisha and helps Skye escape. He says its up to the two of them to retake the ship because they’ve been taken over by inhumans. She says, again, that she never meant for any of this to happen and asks Mack to act with caution because a lot of the inhumans there have been manipulated by Jiaying and aren’t bad people. Mack doesn’t care about their intentions and comes to the point: he needs Skye to flex her hacking muscle again.

Jiaying orders an inhuman to take the terragen crystals to a fan room that would distribute the gas from them to every room on the ship. Then Lincoln shows up to inform Jiaying that an emergency beacon was just sent out and she asks Weaver and the others to expand the beacon so that all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s forces show up and they can take them all down at once. Oliver refuses to take part in her plan so Jiaying has him taken to a room and sealed in with a terragen crystal and two inhumans and everyone watches as he turns to stone. With this, she forces Weaver to expand the beacon and Lincoln is crestfallen.

Mack and Skye immediately catch on to Jiaying’s plan and vow to try to take them down. Simmons monitors Cal and Fitz notices that the distress beacon has spread to all channels. Coulson also catches on to Jiaying’s distraction and wants May and Hunter on board for this but Fitz says they’re still incommunicado.

And May and Hunter break into the building where Bobbi is being held and Kara worries about May’s presence screwing up their plan. He says he’ll take care of May because he owes her.

Hunter comes nearer to the room Bobbi is in and she struggles against her bonds once more. He eases a door open, but it’s a red room, not the one where Bobbi is being held.

Kara and Ward take out a couple of agents when May catches up to Kara and opens fire. May instructs everyone to go to the south corner of the building and tell them not to drop their guard until they see her, giving Kara an idea to play dress up.

Hunter spots blood outside the door to the room Bobbi is in and opens the door. As he does Bobbi hurls herself to the left and catches the bullet in her shoulder. Hunter rushes in and removes her from the chair as May overhears the shot.

May comes around the corner and Ward shoots her three times. It isn’t until she calls him “baby” that he realizes it was Kara and as she dies her face reverts. The real May finds Hunter and Bobbi and they make an escape.

As Lincoln stares at the changeable alien rock, Gordon tells him that it’s better that it be in their possession so that it won’t be lethal to their people. Lincoln calls Jiaying out for murdering Oliver and Gordon says she’ll simply do whatever it takes to protect their people, which Lincoln knows better than most. Gordon reminds Lincoln of his life before she found him and how far she went to save him, and says that S.H.I.E.L.D. would do the same thing.

Skye fills Mack in on Jiaying’s behavior and he likens it to his mother all of a sudden watching Fox News (HAH!). She upsets that she fell for Jiaying’s act and he tells her not to beat herself up over it. She goes to begin hacking and he goes off to find a saw. Just in case.

Fitz tells Coulson that he invented a disrupter that will contain Gordon to a single space and Coulson is happy to have something tangible to show all the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents when they show up to join the fight.

Simmons reports that Bobbi is stable but not very good just as she arrives for surgery and whisk Bobbi off.

Skye makes her way to the control room and is caught by Lincoln, who immediately attacks her. She tries to convince him that he’s on the wrong team and tells him how Jiaying manipulated everyone into this war. Initially he doesn’t believe her but he begins to see the sense in what Skye’s saying when she says Jiaying widened the distress beacon so that she could kill S.H.I.E.L.D. Lincoln gives in and tells Skye that the crystals are in the fan room and Mack knocks his ass out before going after the crystals, saying he’s in a “crack heads first, ask questions later” frame of mind.

After stabilizing Bobbi, Hunter and Simmons stand by her, and May gives her ex-husband, Andrew, a call. He notes that she hasn’t made a call like this since Bahrain. She agrees and tells him that she wants to tell him things she should have said and he tells her to get home safe.

Inspired by Hunter and Bobbi, Simmons goes to Fitz to ask him to be safe and see if he wants to talk about what he said to her at the bottom of the ocean. He rebuffs her slightly, like, “This is completely the wrong time and there’s nothing to discuss.” She says maybe there is and cries a little at his departure.

May disapproves of including Cal on their mission but Coulson is convinced that Cal is simply focused on saving Skye. Just then Fitz notices a communication that must be from Skye saying that the beacon is a trap, so Coulson orders every quinjet but their own to turn around, saying he and his team will sort this out.

Jiaying notices the order and realizes that Skye must have tipped them off and sends someone to check on her. She tells Gordon that if S.H.I.E.L.D.’s not coming they don’t have to wait to break the crystals and kill everyone, they can go ahead and do it now.

Coulson and his crew land on the ship and admonishes them to find and recover all hostages. He tells May to take control of the ship’s functionality just as Fitz uncovers Skye’s last message which reveals Jiaying’s Crystals + Fan Room = Dead Humans plan. Cal offers to go after Jiaying while Coulson and the rest work to recover the crystals and May’s like, “You brought him.”

Gordon teleports into the fan room and finds Mack waiting with his axe.

Skye catches up to Jiaying just as she orders her lackeys to collect any people who live after exposure to her crystals. Skye realizes that Jiaying will murder anyone who gets in her way and Jiaying escapes, leaving Alisha to multiply and keep Skye busy.

Mack and Gordon fight and Gordon senses that Mack has been exposes to something Cree. Before he can reach into the crate containing the crystals, Mack throws his axe at Gordon and he teleports away.

On her escape route, Jiaying is surprised to run into Cal. He tries in vain to convince her to stop what she’s doing, and she says she’s trying to protect Skye. Angry that he would come back on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s side, she has Gordon teleport Cal to a locked room.

Coulson and Fitz make it to the fan room where a relieved Mack tells them that Gordon has been trying to steal the crystals. Fitz immediately goes to work setting up his disrupter and Mack advises Coulson against guns in that room because ricochets are a sucky way to go out.

Skye puts it down against the Alishas but they eventually get the upper hand as May spots Lincoln. As the Alishas kick and pound Skye, May and Lincoln arrive and save her and Lincoln removes Skye’s power inhibiting bracelets. Skye goes after Jiaying and May and Lincoln stay behind to fight the Alishas.

Gordon reappears in the fan room and Fitz catches him as he tries to teleport again. Taking advantage of the situation, Coulson takes a swing at Gordon and he, Mack, and Fitz converge on him with their various blunt instruments.

Skye catches up to Jiaying just as she and her guys are about to board a jet with the crystals. Jiaying tells the guys to load the jet and Skye tries to stop her. They feed each other reasons why the other is wrong, and Skye says Jiaying’s point of view boils down to hate and that she won’t let her do this. So Jiaying uses her ability to begin draining Skye’s life force. Just as her eyes begin to gray and she’s looking very much like a zombie, Skye muster up enough of her ability to force the jet into the ocean.

Lincoln and May keep kicking Alisha butt and realize that they’ll keep coming if they don’t get the alpha. So Lincoln electrocutes her and poof, they’re all down.

Coulson, Mack, and Fitz continue to fight with Gordon, and after disappearing from behind Coulson and reappearing behind Fitz, Gordon is impaled on the pipe Fitz wielded. As he falls, a crystal falls from Gordon’s hand and Coulson dives to catch it. When he does, his hand immediately begins to turn to stone – and Mack uses his axe to sever Coulson’s arm before the stone spreads.

And Skye and Jiaying use their abilities against each other in a beautifully deadly tug of war. Skye is turning into a zombie again and Jiaying’s wounds are all bleeding. Cal approaches them and says they don’t have to fight, then tearfully kills Jiaying.

Coulson meets with Andrew for an update on his team’s after action reports. Andrew says that Bobbi’s heavy morphine regimen gave him a good read on her, and she wakes up to find Hunter at her bedside. He says taking a bullet for him was stupid, but better her shoulder than his head, right? She has a lot of surgeries ahead to get back to 100% and she admits to him that she can’t do this anymore.

Andrew notes that Mack isn’t quitting and Coulson says he basically strong armed him since Mack cut his arm off without asking and all. He’s got a plan for Mack and put him in charge of all of the alien artifacts they have because he maintains a healthy mistrust of them. Simmons and Weaver talk about dropping a probe into the box with the changeable alien rock and Mack is like, “NO ONE IS OPENING THAT BOX OR PUTTING ANYTHING INTO IT, EVER.”

Coulson wonders if May actually asking for time off has anything to do with Andrew and Andrew plays coy. He says that it’s time May rediscover the world outside of S.H.I.E.L.D. and judging from her new red lingerie, I’d say she agrees.

Andrew gives Coulson his recommendations for Coulson’s new project, and Coulson is glad that he thinks Skye is “ready for this.”

Cal and Skye share a goodbye. He’s happy that she’s more interesting than he ever thought she would be and thankful that he got to know her. He says he knows he’s going away for good, but she promises to come visit.

A bartender tries to make chit chat with Ward as he pines over a photo of Kara and is rudely rebuffed. Three guys enter and report that they’ve found no evidence that there’s still any Hydra leadership at all. Ward insists they look for more names, but the mouthpiece is like, “You’re not in charge of me!” so Ward attacks him with his shot glass. Ward tells the other guys they work for him now, who fall right in line, and tell them their mission is closure.

Cal is now Dr. Winslow, veterinarian. It’s apparent that he’s been put through the Tahiti Program as Skye pays him a visit to check that he’s happy in his new life. She goes back to Coulson and they talk about the team of powered people that she’s to head up. Skye says that she thinks their team needs to be kept anonymous and Coulson agrees. But he takes care to remind her to always remember that they’ll never get ahead of the effects of their past actions, and boy do we get a taste of that in the next few shots.

We dive into the ocean and see the crystals that dropped in when Skye pushed the jet off the ship. The case has opened and the crystals melt into the water, where it is absorbed by fish, who are harvested for fish oil supplements, which are put on the shelf for anyone to purchase.

Fitz tries awkwardly to ask Simmons out to dinner as she inspects the changeable alien rock. In his nervousness he hits a lever on the box and tells her that they will make their arrangements when she’s finished before leaving just as awkwardly. Pleased, Simmons notices the door to the box slightly ajar – just as the changeable alien rock liquefies, grabs her, and solidifies once more.

The Questions: I can’t even with questions, there are so many! I’m reeling. While I try to wrap my head around the far reaching consequences of everything that just happened, let us know what you thought about this finale in the comments!

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Once Upon a Time Season Finale Recap: Eps. 422 & 423, “Operation Mongoose Pts. 1 & 2”

Let me say, this is the best two hours of fanfic I have ever seen. All I want to do is bust out a Mystery Science Theater 3000 on this thing. Alas, I cannot. Perhaps one day. But it’s my job to deliver a recap, and I shall oblige. But I’m calling it “The Impossible Season Finale Recap of Once Upon a Time!” because there is no doing justice to the amount of action and dialogue they crammed into this 180-minutes-minus-commercials extravaganza!

Let’s just jump down the rabbit hole, shall we?

It’s December 15, 1966 and Isaac, pre-Authordom, is making his living – barely – as a TV salesman. After a dressing down by his manager, Isaac finds an acceptance letter from “Star Publishing.” He eagerly arrives at a large, nearly empty office.

85-96% sure that’s the same studio from Flashdance.

Clad in a suit and tie, the Sorcerer’s Apprentice awaits him, presents him with several pens, asking him to choose the one that calls out to him. Isaac…chooses wisely. The pen flashes and glows and the Apprentice says that it is a sign that Isaac is to be the next author. The Apprentice asks if Isaac would like to take a trip, magics the Door from thin air, and opens it to the Enchanted Forest.

Who’s the guy who goes, “Nah?” to this?
Who’s the guy who goes “Nah” to this?

Isaac looks like a kid in a candy story who doesn’t know he’s diabetic.

Cue the title card featuring what we shall call “Emma’s tower.”
Cue the title card featuring what we shall call “Emma’s tower.”

In the mansion’s hidden room, Regina, Robin, Henry, David, Mary Margaret, Emma and Killian flip through books looking for what the Author might be writing, but nothing is appearing in the books. August enters and tells them about the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and how that man told August all about the story book. He shows them a sketch, and Killian, having helped Gold trap him in the hat earlier in the season, recognizes him.

That. Is. Aberforth. Dumbledore.
That. Is. Aberforth. Dumbledore.

The group brings Mother Superior to the Sorcerer’s Apprentice’s home and, with his broom, she magics him out of the hat. Immediately, the Apprentice insists that they need the Page with the painted Door and the Key so they can send the Author back to his prison. The Page is at Mary Margaret’s apartment and they group makes plans to get to it before Gold can.

But Gold is still in cardiac time out on the floor of his shop. The Author is just finishing his new story. He tells Gold he may have been “the Dark One,” but he’s never been “the Content One,” and the Author can sympathize. Isaac says it’s time for a world where villains can have happy endings, but he likes room service and indoor plumbing, so he’s not planning on going to the Enchanted Forest himself. The Author offers to rewrite Gold’s memories of how he and Baelfire parted, so in the new story, Bae will have died knowing his father was a hero, not a coward.

While Regina, Emma, and the SA head to Gold’s shop, Mary Margaret, David, Henry, and Killian retrieve the Page from the Book.

Seriously, Killian, you’re so clumsy. It’s like you’ve only got one hand. Jeez.
Seriously, Killian, you’re so clumsy. It’s like you’ve only got one hand. Jeez.

But everyone is way too late because the Author is just scrawling “The End.”

We find Henry waking up on the floor of the apartment, the Key in hand. But there’s no one around. The entire town is deserted.

Usually about now we’d start hearing scratching and groaning, or maybe catch a glimpse of some of those mannequins Will Smith set up in I Am Legend.
Usually about now we’d start hearing scratching and groaning, or maybe catch a glimpse of some of those mannequins Will Smith set up in I Am Legend.

I’m just gonna start calling Henry “Carl” from now on. *spoilers* I kinda do that in my head anyway.


Henry boosts a car and makes it over the town line to a bustling little ‘burb with a diner. He shows some pictures of his family to the hostess and asks if anyone has seen his family. She promptly calls CPS about a runaway because, you know, runaways are often trying to track down their family.

As Henry makes to skedaddle, he spots a book entitled Heroes and Villains by Isaac Heller on a sales rack. On the back is the Author’s face.

Isaac is addressing his fans at a book signing.

It’s Dianetics with cosplayers. *hands up, does a lap, can’t handle it*
It’s Dianetics with cosplayers. *hands up, does a lap, can’t handle it*

As he signs one woman’s book, she gives him a homemade button proclaiming “Long live Regina!”

Me at every Con.
Me at every Con.

Interestingly, she asks him if Regina will ever get a happy ending, implying that Regina is actually considered by Isaac to be a hero as she is not enjoying herself in this new story.

Henry arrives and plunks down the Page on the table, demands to know where his family is, then holds the Key over the Door menacingly. Isaac meets Henry in the back room to talk in private, then tells Henry his family is in his book. Showing him the original Heroes and Villains, Isaac explains that everyone got the ending they deserved, except Emma, as there was no room for a Savior in his story. He tells Henry he can’t change anything because he’s traded his magic for his own happy ending, which involves lots of fans and a penthouse. As Isaac walks away, Henry loses it and tackles him, gains control of the Heroes and Villains book, then activates the key over a random page with a door on it.

Henry lands face down in the mud outside a little village in the Enchanted Forest, finds a sword, and then gets clocked by Isaac with a shield.

That is SO like you, Carl.
That is SO like you, Carl.

When Henry, awakes he is tied to a wagon as ogre bait. Isaac explains that, thanks, now they’re both trapped in a place where things are always trying to kill you. This is the final chapter, which he wrote, and it ends with the tolling of bells at sundown. This will mark the point where this is no changing the story, no going back, all will stay as he wrote it, and Isaac leaves. As the ogre bears down on Henry and the little village, a gold knight on a white horse, “the Ogre Slayer,” rides up and magics the ogre to death, per his name. P.S., it’s Rumplestiltskin. He introduces himself to Henry, then rides off to save another village.

“At your service. Ok, I gotta go.”
“At your service. Okay, I gotta go.”

Henry refers to the paperback of Heroes and Villains to find where his family may be living. He follows landmarks (read: traps that would kill a man) through the woods to a huge hollowed out log, like the one Snow used as a hideout. But as Henry calls into the log, he is ambushed by Regina, dressed in Snow’s bandit outfit.


“We knew this day would come. You’re just getting too tall to play a 12 year old boy. We have to get rid of you before you start growing facial hair. Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you. You can work in New Orleans Square serving bread bowls to tourists.”
“We knew this day would come. You’re just getting too tall to play a 12 year old boy. We have to get rid of you before you start growing facial hair. Don’t worry, I’m not going to kill you. You can work in New Orleans Square serving bread bowls to tourists.”

Isaac returns to where he left Henry to die and, finding no Henry bits and a dead ogre, is annoyed he forgot that he created an Ogre Slayer. Meanwhile, Henry is trying to explain to Regina where they’re really from and who they really are, but Regina isn’t having it. She pulls a knife on Henry and demands to know if he’s working for the Queen. But Henry assures her he’s trying to help her find her Happy Ending. Regina thinks he’s crazy, but Henry shows her a copy of the book they’re trapped in. Regina wants to know how the book knows her future, then throws it in the fire, because witchcraft?

n witchcraaaaft

Regina tries to shake Henry as she stomps through the woods. Henry explains that if she could go find Robin Hood, meet him, and kiss him, then their True Love’s Kiss would break the curse for sure. But Regina squashes that saying if she ever meets “her competition” all he’ll get is a broken nose. Sooooo, that might not work. Regina is adamant that she’s got to get out the realm because she ruined the Queen’s life and needs to vamoose, so Henry better look for happy endings somewhere else.

Isaac tramps through the woods calling for Henry like they’re friends, as though Henry is just going to be like, “Yeah, dude, I’m right here.” He steps his dumb ass right into a trap.

Dark dwarves. They're about 30XP a piece when encountered separately, but when they attack as a group it's considered a boss fight.
Dark dwarves. They’re about 30XP a piece when encountered separately, but when they attack as a group it’s considered a boss fight.

They find the incriminating “Long Live Regina!” button, then take him to the Queen, who is an Evil Snow White.

p evil snow
Hold up. Interjection. I love Evil Snow.

I love her. I’m not kidding. She looks fierce, she’s just the right kind of melodramatic, and that hair, tho! I could watch a limited series about her.

Grumpy gives Evil Snow the low down on Isaac, and she contemplates which parts of him to remove first. Isaac immediately spills the beans on Henry’s arrival in their land and frames him as a threat to Evil Snow’s reign. Evil Snow uses a heart intercom to summon the equally amazidiculous sorta-Evil Charming, whom she commands to remove Isaac’s head.

Someone has been taking style tips from Hook, just sayin’.
Someone has been taking style tips from Hook, just sayin’.

Isaac screams that he knows who Snow White really loves, and he reveals that Evil Snow really loved Evil James…because he was EVIL. And Regina caused his death, so Snow took Charming’s heart and uses him as a pale replacement for her true love. Isaac promises to use his foreknowledge of events to ensure revenge on Regina, so long as Snow also promises to kill Henry. Creepily, Evil Snow agrees.

Regina ambushes the Queen’s carriage, but is easily disarmed and subdued by Evil Snow and Charming. Snow refuses to forgive Regina for causing James’ death even though it’s been years of this blood feud. Snow begins to remove Regina’s heart, but Charming reminds her to ask about “the boy.” Regina refuses to tell her, then warns her that killing will only leave a hole in her heart and no hope of finding true happiness. A malicious Snow readies up a fireball then BAM! An arrow blows the carriage door into her FACE!

Never have I wished I had HDTV more.
Never have I wished I had HDTV more.

Regina grabs some gold, punches Charming, and hops on the back of her rescuer’s horse. They take refuge in a tavern, and Regina realizes that it is Robin Hood, her competition, who saved her. As he bandages her hand she gives him his cut of the gold she stole. Robin admits he’s always admired her skills and offers her leadership of his band of Merry Men. While flattered, she says she needs to get out of the forest. Robin begins to talk about the woman he’s in love with, and Regina has a flicker of hope that it may be her. But as he tells her of his betrothed, ZELENA WALKS IN.

I hate everything. NO. NO ZELENA. BAD! Stop touching Robin! #biased
I hate everything. NO. NO ZELENA. BAD! Stop touching Robin! #biased

Zelena prattles on about something, I dunno, I stopped listening. Regina turns down the invitation to attend the wedding, then thanks Robin for saving her life. She leaves disheartened. Henry arrives, triumphant his plan has worked, but Regina shoves him towards the window where he sees Robin making eyes at Zelena, who is obviously getting her happy ending.

Henry insists that Regina feeling anything at all for Robin is proof he’s her true love, but she says it’s proof that she’s not the kind of person who gets a happy ending, then grumbles that Henry gave her hope, and that sucks. Regina tells Henry she wants to get far away from Robin and Zelena’s wedding bells, and this jogs Henry’s memory of what Isaac said earlier. He theorizes that if they can stop the wedding, they can fix the story. Regina suggests Henry go find the other mom he’s been mentioning to help him because she is DONE. Henry tells Regina that Emma is more powerful than Snow and that if they could find the Savior, maybe they have a chance. Regina has heard of someone who called herself “the Savior,” but Snow White locked her up years ago in an impenetrable tower.

Pictured: Not Azkaban
Not Azkaban.

Which contains:

Pictured: Not blonde Bellatrix.
Not-blonde Bellatrix.


As we begin part two, let’s take a brief intermission to recap the recap.

  • Isaac is magicless
  • Snow’s evil
  • Regina’s good
  • Charming is technically evil?
  • Gold’s good, I think?
  • The Dwarves are CREEPY evil
  • Robin Hood and Zelena are getting hitched
  • Henry is the Jesus of the story: he arrives to make all things new; he is a child feared by the current ruler who sets out to kill him; he’s got to convince people he’s right and that there is hope in the Savior; he begins to round up followers.
  • Just a little nervous because it didn’t turn out too good for Jesus at one point.

*phew!* Onwards!

Cue the title card featuring an elegant swan.
Cue the title card featuring an elegant swan.

The Gold Knight, the Ogre Slayer, returns home to Belle and a new baby. And Isaac. Ugh. He complains the water is a bit murky and this gets rid of Belle, who heads off to the well.

For reals, tho, you’re drinking a candle I think.
For real, tho, you’re drinking a candle, I think.

Rumple is not excited to see him, but Isaac tells him of Henry’s plan to help Regina and destroy the world they’ve created. He explains the whole situation, then says Rumple has to kill Regina or else he’ll lose everything. Rumple pulls his sword and accuses Isaac of trying to corrupt him. But Isaac assures him he was already a villain and he can prove it. He mentioned Baelfire, and how Rumple was a coward. Rumple demands Isaac leave, but before he does, he reminds Rumple that if Henry succeeds, everyone, including Belle, will know the truth about Rumple’s true nature.

Henry has somehow found his way down to the docks to the Jolly Roger. He asks a skittish Hook to take him out to the Bottomless Sea to save Emma, but Hook declines. Then Black Beard, who remains a jerk face, shows up to mock Hook. Black Beard is the real captain of the Jolly Roger in this world, and Hook is nothing but a lowly deckhand (awkward). Black Beard is amused that anyone would mistake this “one-handed coward” for a captain and challenges Hook to a fight where the winner gets the ship. Henry is appalled when Hook returns to his scrubby brush, so he takes matters into his own hands and grabs a sword, cuts a rope, and sends a winch into Black Beard’s smug face.

This is the face-smashiest episode all season.
This is the face-smashiest episode all season.
The Undertaker doesn’t look so good. Aw, he lost his hat. :(
The Undertaker doesn’t look so good. Aw, he lost his hat. :(

Hook insists he can’t sail alone, but Henry says he’ll help. After all, he had a great teacher – Hook himself.

On the way to the impenetrable fortress, which is guarded by – count ‘em! – ONE Black Knight, Hook tries to convince Henry that he’s not a fighter. Henry devises a plan: Hook will sneak him in and they will – you guessed it – hit the Black Knight in the face with something!

Ok, that makes 4.
Okay, that makes four.

Henry grabs the keys and goes to find Emma who, thankfully, remembers everything.

“I knew you’d find me! Also, I am severely dehydrated!”
“I knew you’d find me! Also, I am severely dehydrated!”

Emma assumes that Gold wanted her to remember everything, know the truth, but be powerless to do anything about it. She has no magic now, either. Henry unlocks his mom and brings her downstairs where she runs into Hook.


A bemused Hook doesn’t know what to say so he shakes Emma’s hand and they escape. Emma warns that they need to put distance between them and the guard before she wakes up because she is dangerous.

She’s about to get very Hulk-smashy in a moment.
She’s about to get very Hulk-smashy in a moment.
Dammit, is it the Tri-Wizard Championship again? We do not have insurance for this… OR permission slips.
Dammit, is it the Tri-Wizard Championship again? We do not have insurance for this…OR permission slips.

Emma takes charge and helps load the cannon, drawing Dragon Lily’s attention towards the ship. She ducks at the last second and Hook fires, taking out Dragon Lily in one shot. She crashes face-first into the sea and Hook celebrates by breaking out his flask.

I don’t always drink rum, but when I do it’s from a pirate flask as I’m making my getaway from a dragon after being locked up for decades in a tower. Also, is this goat’s milk?
I don’t always drink rum, but when I do it’s from a pirate flask as I’m making my getaway from a dragon after being locked up for decades in a tower. Also, is this goat’s milk?

Fun fact, in this ‘verse, Hook is ironically painfully allergic to rum and drinks goat’s milk instead. Super duper unfair. He asks why Emma trusted him with her life just then, and she deflects the inevitable long story by saying they need to concentrate on helping Regina stop the wedding.

Back at the happiest place on earth Evil Snow’s castle, the dwarves and Dark Granny have to explain why they still haven’t returned with Regina’s heart, nor killed Henry. In creepy Voldemort fashion, Snow assures she’s not mad, but rips out Doc’s heart anyway. “Down to six,” she says before dismissing them with orders to kill Regina and the boy, lest they become five.

Ironically, the only one who could save Doc was himself.
Ironically, the only one who could save Doc was himself.

Back on land, Hook and Emma are engaging in some intimate activity.

She knows what’s up.
She knows what’s up.

As she tries to encourage Hook’s…confidence…she leads him through some basic but powerful swashbuckling moves. She assures him that he was as good as Jack Sparrow, and that once one becomes an expert, the subconscious takes over. Hook asks her about the world she wants them to return to and suspects they were close once. Emma says, “Very,” making Hook jealous of his alternate self. Changing the subject quickly, she wonders if Henry’s found them anything to eat yet.

Lily appears with Evil Snow and Charming in tow. After Grumpy disarms Hook, Emma face-mooshes him away like an older sister to her kid brother.

Honestly, Archie could probably retire to the Caribbean on what he makes off of sessions with these three alone.
Honestly, Archie could probably retire to the Caribbean on what he makes off of sessions with these three alone.

Snow realizes that this is Emma, “the mad hag” who she locked up in the tower years ago. Emma appeals to Snow and Charming, tries to convince them they are her parents, and says they need to believe in hope. Snow plays Emma for one hopeful moment, but then turns right back to evil as she commands Charming to kill Emma and Hook. Cue Henry with an armload of bread.

“So maybe this isn’t the best time to mention it, but I’ve given a lot of thought to working the bread bowl counter in New Orleans Squa-- WHOA what’s going on??”
“So maybe this isn’t the best time to mention it, but I’ve given a lot of thought to working the bread bowl counter in New Orleans Squa– WHOA, what’s going on?!”

As Emma waits for the swords to start falling, Hook tells her to save Henry and that if she succeeds, his death here today won’t matter. Hook kicks down a beam holding up stores of barrels and boxes which hit more people in the face.

Charming asks if Emma is worth his life, and Hook replies that he’s willing to find out. After a sword fight that is basically Charming just toying with his food before he eats it, Killian manages to disarm Charming using his hook. Then, because there seems to be a running gag on this show, Hook knocks over a rickety shelving unit of top heavy boxes and barrels onto Lily and the knights, then uses his elbow to smash Charming in the nose.

I have completely lost count of broken noses at this point.
I will admit that I have completely lost count of broken noses at this point. I’m not even showing you Charming getting hit in the nose because IT’S BEEN DONE.

Unfortunately, Snow draws Hook’s attention easily, putting Charming in deft position to stab Hook right in the back like a total jerk! Emma is horrified, but Henry grabs her and tells her they must run. Killian falls to the ground, dying in front of Emma.

A million CaptainSwan shippers cry out for justice!
A million CaptainSwan shippers cry out for justice!

Not one for niceties, Snow magics up a fireball and flings it at a fleeing Emma and Henry.

Rumple returns home to Belle saying that he’s learned of a new threat to their realm, which, if left unchecked, will destroy all their happiness. To overcome this threat, he must make a choice, and he worries he’ll make a wrong one. Belle assures him he never makes the wrong choice because he’s a hero. Rumple drops his tea cup and chips it.

“This is the eighth time you’ve broken something my mother gave us.”
“This is the eighth time you’ve broken something my mother gave us. You’re starting to get less passive & more actively aggressive.”

Henry has returned to Regina’s log and introduces her to Emma. Emma tries to convince Regina she really is the Savior and that happiness is possible. Regina insists that a man isn’t her happy ending, but Emma tells her that love is part of happiness and she needs to be open to that. Regina resists crashing the wedding, but Emma recounts how she just watched the man she loves die and how she never told him how she really felt because she was too scared that it would make it too real. She explains that she’ll only have another chance with Hook if Regina goes to stop the wedding and not make the mistake of fearing love like she did.

 “I cry Emmys.” - Jennifer Morrison
“I cry Emmys.” – Jennifer Morrison

Emma, Regina, and Henry arrive at the wedding from Spaceballs and/or Robin Hood: Men in Tights already in progress.

Heeeeeeey Abbott!!
Heeeeeeey, Abbott!!

But the bells haven’t rung yet, so there’s still time. Regina dithers over what to say to Robin, but Henry is all, “Just kiss him!” Emma says that Regina won’t remember this, but a long time ago Emma promised to get Regina her happy ending, so she’s glad she’s there to see it.

I’m your ride or die, Regina.
“I’m your ride or die, Regina.”

Rumple shows up and he and Emma draw swords. Emma tells Regina she’ll take care of the Dark One. Amid some intense sword fighting, Regina peeks in at the wedding and catches Robin’s eye. Emma proves a formidable match for Rumple, and he magics her into a pile of grain sacks. Henry grabs Emma’s sword and challenges Rumple to buy Regina more time.

“Is this a bad time?”
“Is this a bad time?”

Rumple disarms Henry easily, and Regina looks from Robin to Henry and back again. Henry says Rumple won’t hurt him because in this world he’s a hero. But Rumple explains that’s why he must kill Henry, so he can remain a hero. #faultylogic

But as Rumple deals the death blow, Regina plays the mom card hard and fast, taking a slicing to save Henry. Having accomplished his mission, Rumple magics away, leaving Henry sobbing.

One to beam up.
One to beam up.

Emma awakens and joins them as the bells ring, signalling Robin’s marriage and the end of the book. The church doors open and the wedding party is greeted with Regina bleeding all over the place. Then that no-good sofa of a woman Zelena barges in and laments getting blood on her dress, then turns green with envy as she bemoans Regina ruining her wedding day. She runs off to hide her gross face while Robin comforts Regina. They gaze at each other adoringly, but Isaac, who has been watching it all play out from a safe distance, says their love is too little, too late.

Then Emma socks him right in the nose.

I’m just gonna call this one an even two dozen.
I’m just gonna call this one an even two dozen.

Also, is that HAGRID?

Isaac’s bag falls open with his pen and notebook. Henry is drawn to the pen, picks it up, and it glows.


That’s totally Hagrid!

Isaac is piiiiiiiiissed and says Henry is the next Author. Emma asks him to fix it all, but without ink there’s nothing to write. Emma is willing to slice her hand open to give him blood like Lily’s, but Henry says what they need now is blood from a light Savior, not a dark one. He takes blood from Regina’s wound and writes that, thanks to the Hero Regina’s sacrifice, Isaac’s villainous work was undone.

Instantly, all that had transpired returns to normal and Henry finds Regina, Emma, and the Sorcerer’s Apprentice back in the streets of Storybrooke. After Emma sees that Henry is okay, her first thought is of Hook, and she bolts off towards the apartment.


Terrifyingly, Hook is not where he is expected to be, and the look on Emma’s face is painful as she gives into her fear that Hook very well may not have made it back. I’m not even screenshoting it because it hurts to look at her.

But he’s totally fine! Emma rushes upstairs to bear hug Killian and they fall over on the bed, adding a totally-not-suggestive element to their reunion. Killian reminds her that he is a survivor and explains he woke moments before David and Mary Margaret and came upstairs to find Henry. Emma pulls him up and confides that, when she watched him die, she was afraid that she was never going to get a chance to tell him something. Killian looks at her like, “YES, FINALLY, SAY IT!” Or maybe I’m projecting…

Please? I died for you and the boy, after all.
Please? I died for you and the boy, after all.

Instead, she thanks him for sacrificing himself to save her and Henry. Hook, squashing his disappointment down into his boots, says it’s all in a day’s work for a hero. Maybe tomorrow, Hook.

Back at the pawn shop, everything is as it was, but Gold is doubled up on the floor, worse than ever. Isaac grabs some car keys and high tails it out of the shop past Belle. Gold thinks she came back for him, but Belle says she only came back to make sure he wasn’t going to hurt anyone else.

Isaac is tearing it up out of town when he’s cut off by the Sheriff’s car. David and Mary Margaret hop out and apprehend him. When they ask him why he hates the two of them so much, he compares them to his boss and says he’s had a lifetime of so-called heroes who just want to push around guys like him. Mary Margaret points out that he became a villain and made everyone unhappy to make himself happy, and she pities him.

For reals, I thought Snow and Charming were still evil at this point.
For reals, I thought Snow and Charming were still totally evil at this point.

Henry sits contemplating the quill and the books when the Apprentice joins him. Henry talks about how he’s tempted to bring his father back from the dead, but the Apprentice reminds him that no Author is capable of such a thing. Baelfire died in the real world, not in the made up world of Heroes and Villains, so there’s no bringing him back like Hook. The fiction that Isaac wrote is erased and the book now empty. The Apprentice says Henry’s original book can never be erased because it is the truth, and that he must always write the truth and resist the temptation to change reality. Henry says no one should have that much power and snaps the Elderwand magic quill in two.

Nobody should have this much power.
Kids my age don’t know how to write, anyways.

The Apprentice smiles and says perhaps they’ve finally found the right person for the job.

Gold is still on death’s doorstep as he tells Belle how happy he and she were in the book, but Belle insists that she was already in love with him in real life. Rumple could have made good decisions and had a good life with a good marriage for real, but it wasn’t good enough for him, and he says it was because he couldn’t believe it.

She tells him she’s not in love with Will Scarlett, nor will she let Rumple die alone.

This is what crazy, dysfunctional, abusive, heartfelt love looks like, guys. I lovehate it.
This is what crazy, dysfunctional, abusive, heartfelt love looks like, guys. I lovehate it.

Rumple warns Belle to go now because his end is near and the Dark One is too dangerous.

At Granny’s, everyone decompresses with some drinks and music and laughter. Robin joins Henry and Regina, who verifies that Zelena is still locked up and still pregnant. They agree to face whatever happens together. Robin suggests a moonlight stroll and they totally ditch Henry.

David apologizes for killing Hook, and Mary Margaret apologizes for being so damn terrible all around. But seeing her parents as REAL villains puts things in perspective for Emma, and she apologizes for holding a grudge. Amid lots of hugging, Emma sees Lily sitting alone. Lily asks if she can stick around Storybooke and find her dad. Emma wholeheartedly agrees.

This is all I have of my dad. This shard of dragon egg. I’m very metal.
This is all I have of my dad. This shard of dragon egg. I’m very metal.

Belle bursts in to warn everyone that Rumple’s heart is nearly gone and they are in danger from the Dark One. The Apprentice brings the hat to the pawn shop and says they can use it to pull the Darkness out of Rumple. If his heart is strong enough, it will heal once the Darkness is gone. He pulls out Rumple’s heart which, now devoid of red, has a fleck of purple in the core, then uses the hat to suck out the darkness of the heart. Rumple’s name disappears from the Dagger. But the Darkness refuses to stay contained in the hat and circles the Apprentice.

This is going to be a scene from next season’s American Horror Story, I just know it.
This is going to be a scene in next season’s American Horror Story, I just know it.

Emma hits the Apprentice with some serious magic and succeeds in driving the Darkness away. Unfortunately, it heads out into town via the mail slot. The Apprentice tells Emma that long ago the Sorcerer tethered this Darkness to the soul of a human so that it could be tamed with the Dagger. This Sorcerer is the only hope to destroy the Darkness for good. His name is Merlin, and they’ve got to find him. The Apprentice then dies from the strain of the attack.

Out in the streets, Mary Margaret, David, Emma and Killian are joined by Regina and Robin as they try to discern where the Darkness has gone.

I heard something… Is that Predator? Oh, no, it’s Predator.
I heard something… Is that Predator? Oh, no, it’s Predator.

Regina realizes the Darkness never left and is all around them. It heads directly for her and surrounds her, snuffing out the light. Emma shouts over the chaos that the only thing they can do is to tether it to another person, and she rushes forward to take Regina’s place.
11Regina protests, but Emma says Regina’s worked too hard to have her happiness destroyed. Tearfully, Emma tells her parents to figure out, again, how to take the darkness out of her, but this time as heroes. Killian begs her not to do this, and unflinchingly Emma finally tells him she loves him. She pushes him back and then digs the dagger into the cloud of darkness surrounding Regina.

The Darkness coils around Emma, overcoming every part of her, and then cyclones its way to the sky.
In a flash, the Darkness, and Emma, disappear. The Dagger clatters to the street and Emma’s name is now engraved on the blade.

z j dagger
For the Savior who has everything….

Honestly, I think Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz need to pay for my therapy bills this summer.


So, tell us! Did you survive the season 4 finale? 

What did you see coming? Did any of your predictions come true?

What do you think season 5 is going to look like?


All screen captures are property of ABC.

ABC. “Images,” May 10, 2015. Television. May 11, 2015.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 220, “Scars”

One year ago, S.H.I.E.L.D. cronies/twins Billy and Sam discuss Coulson’s impending visit. Coulson arrives shortly thereafter on one of the many trips he took and concealed from his team. Sam hands Coulson his new lanyard to take a look at Theta Protocol – which turns out to be a helicarrier under construction.

In the present, Coulson surveys the fallout from Sokovia and lays his cards on the table with Gonzalez, Weaver, Oliver, May, and Bobbi. He tells them that he and Fury wanted a backup plan in case S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, and that when everything hit the fan, he felt like he failed as Director. Coulson says his mistake was unilaterally leading S.H.I.E.L.D. with no advisers and proposes that he lead S.H.I.E.L.D. as Director with Gonzalez as an adviser.

Skye keeps a close watch on Lincoln as Fitz and Simmons keep an eye on her. Kara has just completed her brain scans but Simmons tells her that her Hydra indoctrination is clear from her mind. Kara breathes a sigh of relief that Bakshi’s dead, making Simmons shift in her shoes a little, and asks if Simmons knew Bobbi when she was at Hydra, making Simmons shift a little more. Simmons says that she didn’t realize she and Bobbi were there at the same time, but Bobbi did save her when it came to it. Just then Lincoln causes an electrical surge in the facility and wakes. Skye tells him he’s safe but he panics when he sees a S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem. He says now that they know Afterlife is an actual thing, they won’t stop trying to find it which will put their people in danger.

Raina counsels an Afterlife inhabitant about his son’s transition and is adjusting to her new life well. Gordon pays her a visit and she thanks him, saying he was right about her changes being gifts and she’s happy to be able to help her people. He asks if she’s had any other visions since her vision of Sokovia and she says last night she saw something peculiar last night. She said it was a stone but not a stone, and suddenly it was liquid like ocean waves. Gordon recognizes the description and brings Raina to Jiaying at once, who tells them that the Cree made this item to destroy their kind once the Cree had decided they were mistakes. Jiaying asks Gordon to locate it and Raina says she could be helpful in finding it, so they teleport to S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters and Raina instantly knows it’s there with them. They walk the halls and Raina recalls a red door just as they duck into a room to hide from a passing May and Bobbi.

Jiaying asks Cal if Raina is dangerous and he’s like, “Um, yeah. I would say she is.” Cal says that when he met Raina, she had nothing but had convinced a cafe owner to give her day-old pastries and a tailor to give her leftover fabric to make dresses. Soon, she proved her selfishness by demanding fresh pastries and the best fabrics, and Cal says she always “wants” something. Jiaying wants to know what she wants now.

Gordon and Raina continue to search for the room with the red door and Raina describes herself as an annoyance who wasn’t chosen to be brought through the mist. Just then, Hunter spots them and when they teleport away, he trips the emergency alarms. When they reappear, they’ve discovered the red door and go inside to find the stone Raina described to Gordon and Jiaying back at Afterlife. May and Bobbi turn up so Gordon and Raina teleport away again.

Gonzalez says they should have destroyed the stone long ago. It was discovered at a dig site almost 100 years ago and its energy is unlike anything they’ve ever seen. Hunter wonders if anyone knows anything about it, and no one does. Since there’s nothing about the stone in Fury’s toolbox except that Hydra wanted it, Gonzalez wants to know why it’s of interested to those at Afterlife all of a sudden. So Coulson pays Skye a visit.

Skye says neither she nor Lincoln know anything about the stone, which Coulson finds dubious since she doesn’t even really know Lincoln or what he knows about. Skye says that Jiaying and Co. are good people who helped her learn to channel her power so she wasn’t hurting herself, but Coulson wonders if they’re even people. (They’re people just as much as you believe Skye is a person, Coulson. Get it together.) He’s concerned at how tight-lipped Skye has been about her experiences since they parted, noting they don’t even know what to call the group she’s been living with, and she’s like, “We’re called inhumans and we just want to be left alone.” May’s like, “Well if they wanted to be left alone they shouldn’t go around breaking into secure military vessels!” Skye says they’re assuming the stone is a weapon (which it might be) and that maybe Jiaying and Co. are just concerned at what Gonzalez may be preparing to do with it. May says Gordon is clearly very dangerous and Skye’s like, “Says you, Cavalry. I heard about Bahrain. That little girl was an inhuman, so you should know why Jiaying wants to keep their location secret.” (OUCH.)

When Bobbi reports back to Gonzalez, Weaver, and Oliver, they inform her they’ve used Hydra’s tracking technology to locate Gordon – and Afterlife – and plan to pay them a visit. Gonzalez wants to make a plan of attack but Coulson doesn’t want to start a war, especially since they just finished one. Coulson wants to sit down with Jiaying and Bobbi suggests using Skye as a liason. May thinks it’s time to find out where Skye’s allegiance lies.

Gordon and Raina report to Jiaying (and Cal, to Gordon’s displeasure) about finding the stone with S.H.I.E.L.D. Cal becomes upset with Gordon and Raina tries to calm him, but Cal’s having none of that, saying he doesn’t believe her selfless act. He wonders if she’s making things up, saying her power lets Raina control them because she thrives on chaos. Gordon steps between them, taunting Cal, and Jiaying says she will not allow S.H.I.E.L.D. will not fracture their group or wreck their culture.

Coulson tells Skye the plan and she begs him not to go to Afterlife. He says at the very least she knows they have Index everyone there, that she knows how this works since she’s an agent, but Skye says she doesn’t know what she is anymore. She proposes that she and Lincoln go first to speak to Jiaying and explain why the agents are coming, saying Jiaying will understand because she is her mother.

May and Bobbi have differing views on how to deal with Kara and Bobbi joins Mack’s workout. She says she was late practicing her speech, but he says he’s not changing his mind and asks if she’s spoken to Hunter yet. Bobbi says Hunter hasn’t even looked her in the eye yet and wonders if something is wrong with her because she can’t wear her heart on her sleeve.

May tells Coulson she misses her jet and Coulson reveals that Jiaying is Skye’s mother. She moves to tell the counsel but Coulson stops her to apologize. She tries to shut him down angrily but he tells her that what happened in Bahrain doesn’t matter to him and she’s like, “Yes you do, or you wouldn’t bring it up.” (Truth.) May tells him that the little girl wasn’t killed in crossfire, that she made the call to kill the child to save everyone else and only told Andrew. She mourns the loss of the trust in their relationship, saying she should have stopped him when he began carving into the wall when he was brought back to life. Coulson says he never lost control, but May counters that Skye is living proof that he did.

Skye says her goodbyes to Fitz and Simmons and Simmons has a little gift for her: a hula dancer figurine they saved from the jet before it went down. Then Coulson, Skye and Lincoln discuss his Indexing during which Lincolns snipes that S.H.I.E.L.D., like Hydra, took his blood without his consent. Coulson asks how Gordon will find them, and Skye begins to explain before simply stating that Gordon can sense them and will retrieve her and Lincoln when he knows they’re far away from S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.

Raina runs up to Gordon saying she’s had another vision: she’s seen quinjets from S.H.I.E.L.D. raining fire down on Afterlife. He wants to tell Jiaying, but Raina says he shouldn’t because it’s because of Jiaying meeting with them that they attack. Gordon wonders who should meet with them if Jiaying doesn’t, so Raina’s like, “Why not me?”

Jiaying checks in with a scientist who’s holding a blue and blackcrystal, asking how the packing is going. She tells the scientist that the packing is just a precaution and just then, Gordon, Skye, and Lincoln return. Skye tells Jiaying that doctors at S.H.I.E.L.D. patched up Lincoln, causing her to take Skye to her office to talk. Skye asks Jiaying to please speak with Coulson and drops the “mom” bomb, so it seems like Jiaying’ll agree.

Coulson finalizes plans to go to Afterlife and Gonzalez doesn’t think Couson should be the one to be their envoy given how close he is to Skye. May agrees with him, as does Weaver, and they all vote to send Gonzalez instead.

Fitz is worried about Simmons going back into the field after almost dying last time and tells her that she shouldn’t feel bad about Ward. He says he wanted to kill him, too, and she’s like, “Well, I did try to kill him and failed, so if he goes around wrecking stuff again, it’s my fault.”

May tells Bobbi that Coulson wants them to scout ahead and has locked in coordinates, so the two take off in a jet.

Mack visits Coulson to tell him that he’s resigning from S.H.I.E.L.D. He doesn’t care that Theta Protocol just turned out to be a helijet but he won’t work for a S.H.I.E.L.D. that has a director who was brought back to life by alien blood. He knows what it’s like to be under alien control and can’t trust the actions of a man who has experienced the same. Coulson doesn’t fight his decision so Mack hands over his badge and leaves.

Cal is pissed that S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming to Afterlife and Jiaying asks him if they can trust S.H.I.E.L.D. He says Coulson is his least favorite but he does care about Skye, so that’s something. She mentions the Index and he’s vehemently against that, saying they’ll brand them. Cal says she has power to attack first and Jiaying says Skye wouldn’t like that and her people wouldn’t blindly follow her into a war, anyway. Cal’s like, “I would.” She wonders what she can do to make S.H.I.E.L.D. believe the inhumans mean them no harm and keep Skye safe from them, so Cal offers himself up for a trade.

Bobbi tells May that Mack quit and asks her if she’s ever wondered who she’d be without S.H.I.E.L.D., which May says she’s been contemplating recently. Bobbi says Hunter asked her to leave with him to be together once, and though she was tempted, she stayed.

Coulson meets with Hunter and Fitz about the operation. Hunter and Fitz are both dubious about the decision to send Gonzalez in to meet with Jiaying and Coulson expresses doubts in his decision making, saying that following their lead might avert another downfall of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hunter points out that S.H.I.E.L.D. will also fall if a bunch of angry enhanced people decide to attack them, so there’s that.

Gordon walks into Jiaying’s office looking really angry, and she wants to know what’s wrong with him.

Gonzalez asks Weaver if she located their “insurance policy” and she hands him a brown box which he stows in his jacket pocket. Then May gives him a ten-minute landing warning. (UH OH!)

Bobbi asks May about the autopilot landing coordinates and May pulls her gun. She says Bobbi couldn’t care less about what Bobbi did to her and Bobbi realizes it’s Kara wearing May’s face again. Kara’s remembered what happened between them with Hydra and all of a sudden arms and legs are flying. They punch and kick each other in an impressive fight but ultimately Bobbi wins with a kick to Kara’s head. The jet lands in an open field and Bobbi disembarks – only to be iced by Ward.

Simmons reports to Gonzalez that there are a lot more unknowns than they anticipated and he says as long as Skye has set up the meeting, he’ll handle it.

Gordon comes to see Raina who is looking at herself in the mirror. She says she always knew she had a purpose and it’s nice to finally know what that is. Then, when she inquires about where Gordon has taken Jiaying, Jiaying herself arrives, along with Skye and another red-haired inhuman. Jiaying says Raina has taken advantage of her power by manipulating people with it, and taken advantage of her own good faith. Raina says she’s trying to save everyone, but Jiaying orders the red-haired inhuman to keep Raina there until S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone and then they’ll decide her fate. Raina insists that something bad will happen and they’ll regret this.

S.H.I.E.L.D. touches down and Gonzalez is led to Jiaying by Gordon. Skye asks where Coulson is, and Gonzalez says he is acting in his stead, but Gonzalez wants to know what Cal’s doing there. Jiaying says that though it pains her, she will trade Cal as an act of good faith.

As Skye escorts Cal to S.H.I.E.L.D. custody, he tells her that he’s grateful for having the chance to get to know her, and she returns the sentiment.

Gonzalez tells Jiaying that he knows what Hydra did to her and that they share scars because Hydra took from him, too. He offers her the brown box to prove that S.H.I.E.L.D. is not like Hydra.

Skye asks May why Coulson didn’t come to meet with Jiaying and May says it’s because the council thought it would be better to have someone more objective conduct the meeting. Skye reminds May that Gonzalez sent people to kill her a few weeks ago, and May defends him. Skye asks why May couldn’t be in the meeting and she says she’s not objective.

Jiaying opens the brown box and it’s a traditional Chinese gift to ward off evil spirits that S.H.I.E.L.D. acquired from Whitehall’s office after Coulson killed him that Jiaying had planned to give to Skye. She’s touched by the gift, having given it up for lost.

May tells Skye she hopes her mother is to be everything she wanted her to be and heads back to the jets.

Gonzalez says S.H.I.E.L.D. has a rocky history with people with powers but they need to protect the public from the people who get powers and are bad apples. He says he wants to Index everyone at Afterlife so that if anyone ever tries to do someone harm, S.H.I.E.L.D. will fulfill its purpose and stop the threat. Jiaying says she’s got her own gift to give, noting that she’s seen countless generations fall into the trap of trying to catalog people by their differences. She says it’s due to fear that they feel they have the right to do that, and Gonzalez says they’re just trying to protect people.

May reports to Coulson that they’ve turned over Cal, and they discover vials with yellow liquid on his person which he declines to identify.

Jiaying tells Gonzalez that fear caused her to begin experimenting with terragen crystals, knowing that if their diviners were destroyed their whole race would cease to exist. So they melted one of the diviners down and grew new crystals but couldn’t separate the diviner metal from it. It’s harmless to inhumans, she says, but for humans it’s not so safe, and she slams it on her desk, releasing a grey cloud that causes Gonzalez to begin choking. He pulls his gun as she officially makes a villainous turn, saying that he should be ashamed for trying to equate their scars and that she’ll never let S.H.I.E.L.D. hurt any of her people as Gonzalez turns to stone. She takes his gun and shoots herself twice in the shoulder, then stumbles out of her office to meet Skye and the rest, proclaiming that S.H.I.E.L.D. tried to kill her and this is war before collapsing on the ground.

Ward and Kara have bound and unconscious Bobbi who is being hailed repeatedly by headquarters. Ward says Kara did a great job fooling everyone and she wonders why they can’t just kill Bobbi now. He says closure’s about “digging in and doing the work,” and then they’ll kill Bobbi. Kara notices Bobbi’s regaining consciousness, so Ward ices her three more times for good measure.

The Questions: Why, exactly, have Ward and Kara kidnapped Bobbi? Will Gordon realize Raina was right and try to usurp Jiaying or will they all blindly follow her to war? What was the stone that Gordon and Raina found? What will Mack do without S.H.I.E.L.D.? And what side will Skye choose in the inevitable battle between S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans?

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 219, “The Dirty Half Dozen”

Raina’s having a dream and sees flashes of Gordon with a cut on his forehead, Lincoln injured, a Hydra bag, Coulson drawing his gun, and Skye. She wakes to find Jiaying watching her sleep. Jiaying asks her about her dream and Raina says Lincoln was in her dream being held and hurt somewhere and it felt real. Just then Gordon, Skye, and Cal arrive back at Lai Shi and Cal is pissed and making a scene. Gordon leaves to track Lincoln and Jiaying convinces Cal to calm down and go have a seat. Skye informs Jiaying Coulson was there just as Gordon comes back – with a cut on his forehead. He says it was Hydra who took Lincoln and he barely escaped. Raina stands nearby and seems to realize what her gift is, finally.

After his surrender, Coulson meets with Gonzalez. He tells Gonzalez that Strucker and List have been doing experiments on powered people – and he’s witnessed it himself via Deathlok. Gonzalez still doesn’t trust him but Coulson presses that this is their best opportunity and knows that they all have their secrets. He says he knows that Gonzalez has a secret in the cargo hold of the plane, and offers to help Gonzalez open Fury’s toolbox if they can work together.

Skye asks Jiaying why Lincoln was even in Milwaukee and she says it was an ill-advised attempt to protect Skye, that she shouldn’t have let her go at all. (Pssh, “let”?) Skye says it was the right thing to do, as sending a Cal who isn’t user-friendly into the world is a dangerous idea. She wants to go rescue Lincoln but Jiaying doesn’t think that’s a good idea, either, because it could expose her people to danger.

Deathlok, aka Mike Peterson, introduces himself to Lincoln as he wakes in Hydra holding cells. They plot to break out but note their limited resources: Mike’s arm has been disabled, so no fiery escape, and no Gordon because Lincoln’s almost certain he’s being tracked. Mike says his S.H.I.E.L.D. are similarly outmatched so they band together to form a plan.

And it turns out their being observed by Bakshi and List, who ends a call with yet another “Hail Hydra.” List says Strucker is pleased with them and Bakshi begins to explain the differences between these two powered people. Deathlok’s been modified by mechanisms where Lincoln’s abilities are natural, and Bakshi and List plan to experiment on them to find out how to duplicate their processes. They enact some knockout gas electrical pulse in the cells and plan to get to work.

Coulson has just detailed his plan to Gonzalez, who has a couple of questions. He wants to know why they wouldn’t just send a full-on assault to Hydra rather than a small infiltration team, and Coulson says he wants to try to recover Mike and Lincoln in one piece, along with all the other prisoners Hydra has. Gonzalez doesn’t want to risk his own people and Coulson’s like, “That’s okay, I brought my own.”

On their jet, Hunter and Fitz bond over a mutual disgust at how happy Ward and Kara seem to be together. Up front, Ward and Kara banter and she tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. makes her nervous and wants to leave, but Ward says there’s still one thing he needs from Coulson before they can go. Hunter gets the green light and they land on top of the headquarters that Gonzalez has commandeered. Loads are surprised to see Ward, not least of whom May, who sees this as another in a string of bad decisions Coulson’s made recently.

Coulson shows Gonzalez, Bobbi, May, Ward, Weaver, and Oliver video of the last images Deathlok’s eye captured: it shows a surgeon with a surgical instrument removing said eye. Coulson says they have a man inside, who Ward confirms is Bakshi, but May isn’t impressed at the prospect of trusting the mission to two Hydra defects (if they’re even actually defects). Coulson says it’s a successful way to infiltrate, planning to take his small team to rescue the enhanced prisoners then disable the missile defense systems so S.H.I.E.L.D. can fly in and bomb the facility. Everyone present votes yea or nay on this plan, but before May casts the deciding vote, she wants a word in private with Coulson.

Simmons feels sorry for Kara because whatever she and Ward have, it’s not love. Fitz thanks her for the really delicious sandwich she packed for him before he left in a very sweet moment. Simmons is baffled at why Coulson would take a dangerous man like Ward on a mission and Fitz recounts his shining moment: when Hunter had to hold him back from tearing Ward’s face off when they were on the run. Then Simmons shows Fitz a case of splinter bombs, suggesting they use one of Ward because he’s dangerous, and we’ve got a repeat of her Skye paranoia. Yikes.

May is pissed off and finally able to unload on Coulson. She confronts him about the lies he told and the secret missions before they fell and asks him if he wants to tell her about Theta Protocol. He declines because she’s not the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and she’s like, “Well, neither are you, anymore!” He says this secret is no different than her secret line to Fury behind his back once upon a time, but she says it’s really about how he’d been seeing her ex-husband, Andrew, behind her back. They agree they both made bad choices and Coulson wants to go ahead with the mission and save everyone they can from Hydra.

Skye tries to convince Gordon to take her off Lai Shi so she can help S.H.I.E.L.D. go after Lincoln and Raina says she’s seen that Skye can save Lincoln. Raina says Lincoln’s in a dark room with two doctors cutting into him and Skye has to save him. Gordon says he can’t use his ability without leave from Jiaying, and Raina’s like, “You need permission to save your own friend?” He says the last time he used it, Hydra almost captured him, so Raina tells him he doesn’t have to take Skye to Hydra. (Take her to S.H.I.E.L.D., duh.)

Kara is worried about Ward going into the field with Coulson and the rest and doesn’t feel like she’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent anymore. He tells her that being with S.H.I.E.L.D. is a chance to get back the identity that was stolen from her.

Bobbi is miffed that Gonzalez isn’t allowing her to accompany Coulson and he says the only reason he’s allowing it at all is because Coulson’s using his own people. He says the war they’re fighting is against an enemy without honor when she calls him out, saying there have to be casualties. Surprise, Gonzalez isn’t confident in Coulson.

Packing one of the splinter bombs, Simmons approaches Coulson and asks to join the mission. He declines initially, not seeing her use, and she says since she’s familiar with his anatomical structure, she would be instrumental in treating Mike’s injuries. Coulson agrees and tells her to suit up.

As Coulson, Simmons, Fitz, May, and Ward gather in the hangar, they hear a noise, so May draws her gun on Ward immediately. He says it wasn’t him, and it wasn’t: it was Gordon dropping Skye off. Ward’s excited because the gang’s back together!

Fitz and Simmons have a hundred questions for Skye about where she’s been and what she can do with her abilities, but Skye knows the urgency of the situation and wants to focus on the mission. Simmons and Fitz feel (irrationally) slighted but Skye says she just doesn’t want to say anything personal around or near Ward, who appears the next second. Everyone else gathers and Ward begins to outline the plan, but the rest of the team is giving him the stinkiest of stink eyes. He decides to clear the air.

Ward: Can we address the elephant on the plane? I know this is weird. Mistakes were made.
Fitz: By you.
Ward: And people got hurt.
Fitz: By you.
Ward: And I could sit her and explain, again, how my parents left me vulnerable –
May: *sigh* We all had our traumas, Ward. Didn’t turn any of us into psychopaths.
Ward: Well, we all have our own ways of coping, don’t we? For example, I was yours.
Coulson: Watch it, Ward.
Ward: Look, I’m just saying, we all made mistakes. Coulson handed me over to my abuser, thank you. Skye shot me –
Simmons: After you killed how many people?
Fitz: And we were a team and a family and YOU betrayed us.
Ward: I know. It’s what I regret the most. Not the lying, the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents I had to put down, and – I’m sorry – not even dropping you two in the ocean. It’s this. My actions destroyed this. For a while there, we were a good team, weren’t we.
Skye: I’m still happy I shot you.

Coulson brings the focus back to the mission. He assigns Skye, Ward, and Simmons to the medical team while he, Fitz, and May break into missile defense to gather intel. He tells everyone to keep their head on straight and focus on what’s at hand, and tells Ward he should just maybe stop talking to people; he seems to really piss people off. (Ha!)

Cal paces in his bunker when Jiaying visits and asks Cal to take a walk with her. He apologizes for coming back so angry and she apologizes for the way she sent him away. She says she felt she had to send him away because of impending danger, but offers to let him stay at Lai Shi for a while until things can be figured out. Cal is excited at the prospect of being together with his family, but Jiaying sees Raina as a possible threat. Cal says Raina is dangerous, manipulative, and deceitful; they had good times, but Jiaying needs to watch her.

Hunter comes upon Mack rigging up a video feed of the mission for everyone back at the base. Hunter gives him a hand and Mack apologizes for everything, saying he did what he thought was right. Hunter says he understands and forgives him, and Mack is stunned. He offers to pay for the next round of drinks, but Hunter’s like, “You choked me out and kidnapped me. A round of drinks is the first thing in a long, long, long list of things you’re gonna do for me.” Mack asks if Hunter’s spoken to Bobbi yet, and Hunter mutters that he hasn’t. Looks like beer won’t fix that one.

Speaking of Bobbi, she goes to visit Kara, who’s getting a checkup. Bobbi wants to know what she remembers from before her Hydra brainwashing, saying they met a few times before. She offers Kara some help if and when she starts to remember things and Kara is happy that someone’s finally treating her like a person. Well, someone other than Grant because she’s googly eyed over him. Bobbi isn’t impressed, but Kara tells her to wait and she’ll see the Grant she does. (Not likely.)

List is disappointed that their test subjects keep failing, saying no one has made it past this level of alien enhancement apart from “the twins” who Strucker is holding in Segovia. (Is that an Age of Ultron link?!) As they wheel Lincoln out of his cell for experimentation, an agent tells List and Bakshi that a cloaked plane is approaching. Bakshi says it must be S.H.I.E.L.D. so List orders the plane shot out of the sky.

May announces they’ve been spotted so everyone makes last-minute preparations and buckles in as they make their approach. The Hydra missiles lock on and shoot toward the jet, blowing it to pieces and knocking it out of the sky.

Weaver informs Gonzalez, Bobbi, and Mack that satellite confirmed Coulson’s plane was shot out of the air and they have had no contact from his team as of yet. Gonzalez says to sit tight, as this was always part of the plan.

The flaming plane falls apart as the smaller plane that had been on top of it rushes downward: everyone is buckled in and riding out the turbulence and May guides them to a comparatively steady landing. Weaver reports this as well and Gonzalez calls it “the easy part.”

The team enters the Hydra base and come upon Bakshi snapping the neck of a Hydra agent who was following him. Ward reins him in and Bakshi is still as compliant as ever: he tells Coulson that List is in the lab and the mainframe room is down the hall, to the left. Bakshi requests to join Ward’s team and Coulson gives them all a 15-minute deadline as they split up to complete their objectives. Bakshi, Ward, Skye, and Simmons enter the lab and immediately come under fire. Skye flexes her ability a little and Ward thinks she should thank him for that so she’s all, “How about I just don’t try to kill you again?” They find Mike, who has a missing eye and many scars. He tells Skye that Lincoln has just been taken away and she runs off to find him as Simmons comes in to help him.

We see Lincoln being sliced into as Coulson, May, and Fitz make it to the mainframe room. Simmons orders Ward to go find something to wheel Mike out on and Mike expresses curiosity at her getting involved in a mission that included Ward at all. She says she saw an opportunity to do what was right and she took it.

Skye find the operating room and begins an assault. She flips and tumbles her way through at least a dozen Hydra agents, expertly taking them out with a variety of fighting styles and impeccable aim. She gets to Lincoln and he’s flatlining so she focuses her power to give him a jolt to the chest which restarts his heart. Then she realizes that Raina was right.

And as Ward tries to free a gurney for Mike, Simmons sneaks up behind him and activates the splinter grenade. Just as she prepares to throw it at him, Bakshi stops her and it’s thrown at him instead. He disintegrates and Ward draws his gun on Simmons, shocked that she would attack him even though they’re on the same team. She tells him that she made him a promise to kill him, and says if he’s going to kill her now he should just do it. Instead, he tells her that he’s disappointed in how she’s changed and leaves.

Fitz is nearly finished hacking the missile defenses just as May notices Coulson’s missing. Weaver reports that S.H.I.E.L.D. jets are five minutes out but there’s still been no word from Coulson’s team. May finds Coulson in another area of the mainframe stealing some information and realizes that this was his plan all along. She threatens him to leave with her now or else and he does. Simmons comes back to Skye, saying that Ward and Bakshi aren’t coming with them, and they get Lincoln moving as May reports to Gonzalez that they’re preparing to leave Hydra airspace. Gonzalez gives Weaver the order to fire on Hydra’s base when ready.

Back at headquarters, Mike and Lincoln are rushed to medical and Coulson gets a call from Ward. Ward says he thought it’d be a good idea to slip out to avoid being arrested or having his brain erased. He tells Coulson that he knew the team would never forgive him, but Kara does deserve forgiveness. He feels bad that Hydra broke her and he can’t fix her, and thinks leaving her with S.H.I.E.L.D. would be what she deserves.

Fitz and Simmons tell Mike that Hydra dismantled his leg, but they found a facility that can fix it and they’ll be ready for him when they land. Mike asks how they found him and Fitz tells him it was Bakshi, of all people, and Simmons adds that he “didn’t make it.” (That’s one way of putting it.)

Skye watches over Lincoln and Gonzalez watches over her. Bobbi reports to him the attack team is back and the Hydra base is destroyed, but List may have escaped. Gonzalez is still focused on Skye, saying she’s still dangerous, but he’s cool because now they have enhanced people on the base. Bobbi is not cool with this, but Gonzalez says they can at least learn how many might be out there from Skye and Lincoln. Bobbi wants to discuss this and Coulson rolls up like, “Hmm? Discuss what? I want to discuss things.” Gonzalez hands him the toolbox and Coulson opens it and tells him to knock himself out with it – at least until Fury shows up and asks for it back. Coulson gets a phone call from Maria Hill and Gonzalez looks gobsmacked.

Hill remarks on how displeased Gonzalez must have been just then but Coulson is like, “We all live with disappointment.” He tells Hill that they have bigger problems, prompting her to ask, “Does that mean you found it?”

And Jiaying pays Raina a visit so Raina’s like, “I knew you’d come see me again.” Jiaying says she’s spoken to Gordon and thinks they should talk about her visions, specifically how she convinced Skye to run off and rescue Lincoln. Raina says she didn’t “convince” Skye to do anything, only told her what was going to happen. Jiaying isn’t trying to hear this and tells Raina that from now on any decisions based on Raina’s gift will go through her. Raina doesn’t like this and wonders aloud why the hell Jiaying gets final say, who put her in charge? Just then she has a vision of Loki’s scepter.

The information Coulson stole shows that Hydra has Loki’s scepter, and he and Hill note that they might not know that it was the weapon that killed Coulson but they probably know that it can control minds. Hill asks if he knows where it is and he does – Segovia (with “the twins.” This is totally an Age of Ultron connection!).

Jiaying tries to guide Raina through her vision. Raina describes Loki’s scepter and says, “It isn’t finished yet. So much destruction.”

Coulson sends Hill information on Strucker’s location. She asks him why he hadn’t just been honest with Gonzalez about why he wanted to get on the Hydra base and he’s like, “Do you know this fool puts everything to a vote?! I would’ve lost the swing vote so I lied.” Then she asks if Theta Protocol is ready. He says it is, and it’s time to bring in the Avengers.

Raina has an awful prophecy: “Consequences are upon us. Men made of metal will tear our cities apart. And the world will be changed forever.”

The Question: Will Simmons come clean about trying to murder Ward and actually killing Bakshi? So amped for the next couple of episodes and The Avengers: Age of Ultron! Entertainment at its finest!

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Once Upon a Time Recap: Ep. 420, “Lily”

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice consults with the Sorcerer over the Author and asks if there’s a way to undo channeling Emma’s potential of evilness into Maleficent’s child. There isn’t, and their fate remains entwined as always. The Sorcerer warns the Apprentice that the Author must never be allowed to toy with fate again.

This Goblet of Fire is nothing but trouble…

In the cemetery, The Author and Gold are the only ones to attend Cruella’s pine box funeral. The Author’s brief eulogy consists of how he’ll miss her, furs and all, and how she made him who he is. Gold acknowledges that she served her purpose and justifies their actions. He says they are closer now to their happy endings, as a creepy Emma watches from the tree line.

Cue the title card featuring Emma’s bug, which is arguably a better character than some of the people in Storybrooke.

Emma addresses her parents, Henry, Regina, and Killian at Granny’s. Her plan is to go after Gold, and she says she has regret, not darkness, over Cruella’s death. She is interrupted by Maleficent who proposes to team up to fight Gold and reveals her daughter is alive and wants Emma to find her. Mal gives Emma the details of her daughter’s arrival in Minnesota, and says the child’s name was Lilith. Emma searches the microfiche and finds Lily’s baptism announcement, complete with a picture including Lily’s star birthmark.

That awkward moment when you realize your BFF is really your frenemy, but is also your soul mate, but also kinda your nemesis.

Flashback to Emma’s first ever family vacation with her foster family who, despite being almost dorkily whitebread, seems to really care for her. As Emma helps pack camping gear, she realizes she’s forgotten something. While getting the sleeping bags out of the garage, Emma finds Lily hiding. Lily asks for help, saying she has nowhere else to go. Emma’s foster father appears and, after Lily easily lies about who she is, is surprised that Emma has a friend in town. He invites her to dinner.

Regina seems amazed and amused at the news that Emma and Lily knew each other, but comforts Emma, who seems in shock. Regina says her parents messed with the power of fate. “Actions are our own but fate pushes us.” Regina, who is ready to leave to save Robin from Zelena, admits that she needs Emma, and Emma could use her help, too, as they set off on their new side quests.

The Author is surprised Gold is letting Emma leave town, but Gold assures him that her darkness will come no matter where she is. He then eyes Belle and Will and moves to follow them.

Emma says goodbye to her family outside of the town hall.

Henry has Carl Grimes disease.
Henry has Carl Grimes disease.

Killian gives her some words of advice, saying vengeance is tempting, and to use whatever it takes to stay on her path. After they kiss, Emma brushes off her parents again. Regina brings the Snow Queen’s scroll in case they need magic. In the car, Emma finds that she and Lily have lived near each other for most of their lives, and Regina reiterates that fate has been pushing them together.

Back in Emma’s foster home, Lily is having dinner with Emma’s new family. It’s a little awkward. Lily shows off her incredible lying skills regarding how they met, although she says that Emma’s always understood her. Emma is uncomfortable with the lies and takes Lily in the kitchen to chastise her. As they argue, footage of a robbery featuring Lily is shown.

Emma and Regina search a tenement for Lilith Page, and a current tenant says that Lily died in a drunk driving wreck. As the guy proceeds to trash talk Lily, Emma shoves him up against a wall but Regina stops her from clocking him.

Belle leaves Will at the shop and goes to babysit Neal. Gold shows up to proposition Will to steal Belle’s heart back from Regina, making it clear that he’s not asking.

Regina tries to draw Emma out as they drive away from Lily’s old home. A wolf appears in the road and Emma veers off the asphalt, blowing out her tire.

“I’m sorry, I was on my way to Westeros and I think I took a wrong turn at Albuquerque…”

Emma recognizes the wolf from when she was trying to leave Storybrooke after her first arrival. Regina suggests fate wants Emma to go to the Coffee Mug diner and goes off to get the car towed. At the coffee place, Emma encounters the adult Lily, now going by Starla. Regina rejoins Emma, who says, “It’s her.”

In young Emma’s garage, Lily tries to explain how every decision she’s ever made has turned bad, and she begs Emma not to turn her in. Emma says she’s got to leave, but Lily says she can’t without her stuff and asks Emma to help her get her mother’s necklace back before she goes. Emma agrees but tells Lily that after that, she’s gone.

Emma joins Starla for her smoke break and surprises her by knowing her real identity. Lily says she got mixed up with the wrong people and wanted a fresh start. Lily is blown away by Emma finding her. Emma validates Lily’s feeling that all her choices went south because of Fate and says she can help her if Lily will just trust her. Lily says she doesn’t need Emma’s help, that she has a daughter and husband and doesn’t want Emma to blow her life apart again. She says that she hasn’t thought about Emma in years, but Emma doesn’t seem to believe her.

As Starla/Lily talks to a little girl who has gotten off a school bus, Regina arrives and remarks that Emma didn’t ruin her life after all. Lily bribes the child to pose as her daughter in exchange for free lunch at the diner, showing us that Lily still has her lying and manipulating down.

*THIS* This is why you need to teach your children not to talk to strangers.

Maleficent is in Regina’s office when the Charmings come in to apologize and ask for forgiveness. Mal says Lily is the one they need to apologize to, but she doesn’t think that will be enough. She says that they were so concerned that Gold would turn Emma dark that they forgot that they did that to her own child.

Emma suspects that Lily still isn’t telling the truth and finds her address on a timecard. She doesn’t believe that the child she saw was even Lily’s daughter.

Young Emma visits a flop house to retrieve Lily’s necklace. She returns to her home with it, but her foster parents confront her. Lily has stolen the family’s vacation money. The family has called the police and Emma, unable to keep their trust, leaves with just her backpack.

Emma and Regina investigate Lily’s trailer park and find a house with no evidence of kids or a husband. But they do find a creepy map with pictures of a story book Snow White and Prince Charming as well as the location of Storybrooke, proving that, SOMEHOW, Lily knows about her and Emma’s origins.

This is not the first creepy map in this trailer park. Just sayin’.
I’m sorry, did the props department design and print out their own Weekly World News JUST to make a Pinocchio reference?

Outside, they hear Emma’s car start and Lily drives off in it, but Emma steals another car and they give chase. With the magic scroll still in Emma’s car, Lily could easily enter Storybrooke.

Gold arrives at the mayor’s office where Maleficent is keeping Belle’s heart. Mal invites Gold into her office, but of course Regina’s set up a protection spell. Gold distracts Mal while Will steals Belle’s heart behind her as Regina’s spell was only designed to keep Gold out, not some common thief.

Emma realizes that Lily has always ruined Emma’s chances at having a family, and that she is going after David and Mary Margaret. Emma starts talking more and more like a villain and Regina tries to calm her down, but it doesn’t seem to work. Cue a hundred thousand Regina/Emma shippers losing their mind with this scene.

Young Emma waits at a bus stop. When Lily shows up she takes credit for setting Emma free, but Emma insists that she wanted to stay with her foster family. She calls Lily a fraud, claiming Lily isn’t a real runaway and says she needs to go back to her real family. Lily counters, saying she’s been kicked out. Lily swears all her choices blow up in her face and she’s cursed, but insists that when Emma is around, things are brighter. She begs Emma not to walk away again and asks for help, but Emma decides she’s better off alone and leaves Lily alone at the bus stop.

Lily continues in Emma’s car towards Storybrooke. Emma tries to run Lily off the road, but Lily counters. Emma pulls in front of her and confronts Lily as she gets out of the car. Lily says it doesn’t matter how she knows about their Enchanted Forest origins because she’s been screwed over since before they were born.

I don’t even have a caption for this. I accidentally screencapped it and it was too epic to not use.

Lily says Emma’s parents are monsters and deserve to be punished. As they fist fight, thunder and lightening explode around them.

Lily: You fight like a girl! *punch* Emma: If you mean that I use proper body mechanics to compensate for my lack of upper body strength, then you are correct! *crack* Lily: That is absolutely what I meant! *slappy slappy*

Emma pulls her gun on Lily who is on the ground, and Lily says if she lets her go, she will destroy everything. She tells Emma to end it right here before it starts.

Still not as dark as half the stuff in animated Disney kids’ movies.

Regina, the voice of reason, tells her to put the gun down, and says Emma will be the one to ruin her life, not Lily. Cruella might have been an accident, but the journey back from murdering Lily won’t be easy. Regina says this is what Gold wants, so just DON’T because she is better than this. But Emma hesitates FOREVER before finally putting the gun down.

“Wipe your mouth before you get blood in my car, kkthx.”

On a bus out of town young Lily sits alone, pondering her necklace. An old man tells her it’s lovely and that it compliments her birthmark. The man is the Sorcerer’s Apprentice and he promises her answers. He admits he’s partially responsible for her life and her misery, telling her the deck has always been stacked against her. She asks for the truth, and he starts with the necklace. He begins by telling her about Maleficent.

Emma and Lily sit alone, and Lily refers to herself as the anti-savior. Emma tells her to stop calling herself that, and Lily seems surprised that Emma still seems to care about her. Regina finds that she’s lost her leverage over Gold. Emma tells Lily she’s not pushing her away again and wants her to come with her and Regina to New York.

Will brings Belle her heart and tells her it was taken by Regina. Gold appears and Belle realizes that the two have been working together. She doesn’t want to hear Gold’s apology, but he says he’s not asking for forgiveness. He admits he screwed up and his heart is nearly black. If he continues hurting her, there’s no hope for him. He gives Belle her heart and says that Will will be the one to protect it, because he, Gold, is unworthy.

I see you walkin’ ’round town with the girl I love, and I’m like, “I WILL SKIN YOU ALIVE AND GRILL YOU OVER HOT COALS UNTIL YOUR EYEBALLS BURST AND BASTE YOUR CARCASS.”

(Author’s note: They really needed to end the episode here. Everything that happens next is absolutely soap opera-y and kinda terrible.)

Regina knocks on the Locksley’s door and finds Robin. The three women come in and Regina explains what “Marian” is up to. Regina says Zelena killed Marian ages ago, but Robin doesn’t believe her. Zelena arrives back from grocery shopping but keeps up her Marian persona. Robin assumes that Regina is trying to just get him back, but then Zelena decides to reveal who she really is. This seems counter-intuitive to her plan as Regina sees this as the perfect opportunity to pull Robin away. But Zelena and Robin drop the big reveal: Zelena is pregnant. Grrrrrrooosssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss.

This whole storyline is like General Hospital with magic and British accents.

Sean Maguire is in this show and even he doesn’t know what the heck is going on.


What’s your opinion on fate in the OUAT world?

Do you think Emma is really going down the road to genuine darkness?

Do you think the Zelena storyline is as soap opera-y as I do?


All screen captures are property of ABC.

ABC. “Images,” April 26, 2015. Television. April 27, 2015.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 218, “Frenemy of My Enemy”

In San Francisco, Fitz breaks into a sprint after seeing two men trailing him. He runs to the top of a building and disappears from sight immediately – because Coulson’s helijet was invisible. Deathlok lifts them out of there as Fitz hands Fury’s toolbox over to Coulson while marveling at his short stint as a field agent once more. Coulson plans to find out what the new heads of Hydra, Strucker and List, know about the powered man who took Skye – and he needs to make a deal with Ward to do it.

And at Hydra’s secret base, the body of Ethan Johnston is taken to the lab for testing as it is determined that he is not Gordon. Back on Lai Shi, Jiaying meets with Cal in his bunker of captivity and he’s on cloud 9. He’s so happy to have his family back but knows that his being there when he doesn’t possess the genetic marker for abilities puts Jiaying in a tough spot. He promises to stay in his bunker and keep quiet until his family meets again, and she offers to let Cal travel with Gordon to retrieve some of his belongings to bring back to Lai Shi, but there’s something she isn’t saying to him.

Skye and Lincoln are playing backgammon but she’s still preoccupied with dinner with her parents. She’s still taken aback that there was no nasty surprise from Cal but she’s worried that Jiaying plans to send Cal away, permanently. Luke suggests she speak to Jiaying about her concerns.

Bobbi and Mack train together and she’s going hard. She’s very strong and giving him fighting tips and after one last flip to the mat, Mack taps out. Bobbi begins to express some concerns about their pursuit of Coulson, putting a tail on Fitz, etc. She knows Hydra is still out there and, despite his secrets, Coulson isn’t the enemy. Mack thinks she’s sounding like Hunter, but he agrees, saying they simply need to get the toolbox open.

With knowledge of the impending arrival of a laser to cut the toolbox open, Simmons confesses her plot with Fitz to May, saying May is the only one she can trust anymore. May says she’ll handle it.

In Tijuana, Agent 33 speaks to her mother on the phone in a restaurant, thanking her for a photo of 33, presumably so that she can realistically imitate (and wear) her original face. Her mother says something about some men who called, causing 33 to panic – just as Coulson and Deathlok approach her. And in his car, Ward gets a call from 33, but it’s really Coulson asking for a meetup.

(Can I just take a moment to say how much I love bad-guy Ward? He’s so much more interesting and complex than Ward from Season 1 and drives the story in really compelling ways.)

As they wait for Ward to arrive, Deathlok asks 33 if she has any more masks like the one she’s wearing and she gives him a short negative. Just then Ward makes it to the restaurant and tells her to calm down, that if he were going to be killed Deathlok would have handled that already. But he hasn’t, which means that Coulson needs him for something. Perceptive! Deathlok tells Ward to submit to a search and scans his whole body, spotting with his technological vision a number of weapons stashed on Ward’s person. Ward is instructed to get rid of them and, in an amusing little cutaway, Ward piles all six of his hidden weapons on the table before being pointed in Coulson’s direction.

Smugly, Ward takes a seat in Coulson’s booth and Coulson gets right to it. He tells Ward that he’s after Strucker and List, and Ward reminds Coulson that he’s not Hydra anymore. Coulson’s convinced that Ward still might “know someone who knows someone” and he’s like, “But didn’t you call me ‘a deluded son of a bitch’ the last time I tried to help you?” Coulson says if Ward helps him he’ll let him walk after being put through the Tahiti protocol. Ward says the Tahiti protocol – in which his memory would be wiped – sounds more like a threat but Coulson says Tahiti would only remove the bad parts of Ward, allowing him to start over free and clear with Agent 33. So Ward says he might know a guy.

Simmons gives us an Oscar-winning performance as she continues to try to trick Bobbi into thinking she’s working on the real toolbox but May spills that she already told Bobbi everything: Fitz made a duplicate and stole the real box when he left and Simmons has been covering for him. Simmons clearly feels betrayed as Bobbi explains that unless they find another way to find Coulson, she might have to rat on her to Gonzales. May suggests that Simmons tap into Mike Peterson’s feed to find Coulson, and Simmons makes it clear that she’ll do it so that she can exonerate Coulson and Fitz. Coolly, she tells May she’ll keep her updated.

Fitz is having trouble wrapping his head around making a deal with the devil to find Skye. Hunter says that this is part of the job, but when Fitz asks if he’d work with Bobbi again “for the job” he’s like, “Hell, no!” He goes on to tell Fitz that this situation is a little different in that they have really limited options to carry out their mission, so they just need to stay one step ahead of Ward to make sure things don’t go belly up.

On Lai Shi, Jiaying and Gordon discuss the possible scope and utilization of Raina’s possible precognition. Gordon is excited that Raina might be the first of her kind, as he was. He thinks that with Raina’s power, they might be able to know ahead of time when there might be a threat to Lai Shi but Jiaying is quick to remind him that they still don’t know the nature of Raina’s ability yet. Skye arrives to discuss Cal when Gordon leaves. Skye tells Jiaying that just leaving Cal won’t be safe for civilians because they both know he’ll flip out and start wrecking things if they toss him like a bag of garbage. Jiaying says those people aren’t her concern and Skye’s like, “Well, they’re mine. I’m a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.” Jiaying knows that the longer Cal stays the more attention he will attract and says that sometimes being in charge means making the tough decisions.

Deathlok brings Ward and Agent 33 to Coulson, telling him that he got the package just as they said, but both Deathlok and Coulson express distrust for them regardless. Inside the car, Ward and 33 express similar sentiments as Ward realizes Coulson’s hiding something due to the very conspicuous absence of his right hand, May. Ward ignores this, though, promising Agent 33 that Coulson’s end game is irrelevant as he will help them achieve theirs. He says that soon they’ll be able to build a life together again and Deathlok breaks up their reverie to get the mission started. The four move to the car’s trunk and open it, revealing a bound and brainwashed Bakshi. Ward tells him that he is to obey Coulson’s orders and Bakshi says he’s more than happy to comply.

Skye pays Cal a visit in his bunker. He says he’d planned to visit her but didn’t want to overdo it and mentions that he’ll be visiting the mainland, offering to bring her back some of her favorite things. Skye asks if “home” is China and Cal’s like, “God, no!”, going on to say that he was only in China as part of Doctors Without Borders. He only stayed in China because he met her mother, but he’s really from Milwaukee. He tells Skye that he and Jiaying had wanted to raise her there so Skye offers to accompany him on his trip home tomorrow and Cal is pumped!

Skye then goes to see Jiaying once more, trying to convince her that to simply abandon Cal in Milwaukee would be a cruel thing to do, adding that he will most certainly lash out in dangerous ways. She says she empathizes with Cal after the dinner Jiaying convinced her to attend, saying that she just wants Jiaying to let her go with Cal to soften the blow and let him know that he hasn’t lost them forever.

On the helijet, Fitz has his hand on his gun and we find out that Bakshi has a meeting with List. Hunter’s not so sure they should trust “Stepford Bakshi” but Ward insists that Bakshi has been instructed to act exactly as he would have before he’d been brainwashed. Hunter reaches out to quell Fitz’s tension just as Ward decides to catch up with him. Fitz blows, leaping out of his chair toward Ward but is restrained by Coulson and Hunter. Fitz is certain that Bakshi will betray them when he’s back with Hydra but Deathlok will accompany him to stamp out any funny ideas. Ward is concerned that Bakshi was instructed to come alone, but Bakshi is very adept at talking his way out of sticky situations.

As she views the construction of Mike’s eye, Simmons is approached by May for a status update but Simmons is not feeling her. May says they were going to find out anyway but Simmons is mad that 1) she didn’t even get credit for the plan she made which Fitz merely executed, and 2) May so casually threw Fitz under the bus. She accuses May of siding with them but May says she only did it to protect her. She says that they have to get into the box to get to the bottom of the colossal lies Coulson’s been telling, but Simmons still isn’t good with treating him like a criminal because he was trying to protect Skye.

Gordon drops Skye and Cal off in Milwaukee, telling Skye that he’ll return when she’s ready. Cal reveals that he didn’t actually live in Milwaukee but had his medical office there, saying that he just wants to get pastries and get to know Skye. As Cal realizes the city has changed in the several years since he’s been there, Skye asks him about Jiaying. He says that she was a doctor as well and wanted to finish medical school there in Milwaukee, and they planned to send Skye to the charter school nearby. Cal gets swept up in memories of Skye’s childhood that never came to pass then snaps out of it, saying that memory lane isn’t always all it’s cracked up to be.

On a jet belonging to Echidna Capital Management, Bakshi and Deathlok meet with List. Coulson, Fitz, Hunter, Ward, and Agent 33 keep a watchful eye on the meeting via Deathlok’s video feed. List asks Bakshi how he managed to survive the widespread assassinations of the heads of Hydra, and he says he assumed it was List or Strucker as they both still have their wealth and power. Bakshi tells List that he was captured by the U.S. government and Deathlok broke him out and offers him to List as a sign of good faith. Ward insists that Bakshi is doing what he has to in order to gain access to Strucker but Hunter thinks they’re being sold out, leading to a standoff in which everyone has a gun (or knife) trained on someone in the helijet. Not a good time for this, guys!

They yell at each other but Ward tries to get through to Coulson, saying that as a powered person, Deathlok is the only way to get to Strucker. Fitz and Hunter notices that Deathlok’s weapons targeting system is gearing up to kill everyone on the jet. Coulson tells 33 – whose name is Kara, thankyouverymuch – to stand down and she’s like, “I don’t work for you anymore.” As Deathlok’s systems prepare to fire, they call a truce and Fitz is able to instruct him to play along in the nick of time. List’s assistant informs him that another incident involving the energy signature they have been tracking has been discovered and he plans to put Bakshi’s loyalty to the test. Coulson and the rest decide to tail them.

Back in Milwaukee, Cal laments all the things killed by the Internet: bookstores, video stores, old fashioned ice cream shops… Skye says the Internet didn’t kill ice cream and suggest they get a couple of 40s, and Cal realizes his daughter a quippy quipster. In front of a liquor store, Skye bumps into a guy causing a Cal flare up, but she apologizes to the guy and sends Cal into the store for some ice cream. We then see that she stole the guy’s phone – which she uses to call May. She tells May that they need to send S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to her location immediately because Cal will be dangerous when she leaves him. May has a lot of questions but Skye has no time to answer them. Skye dumps the phone, line open, into a garbage can, allowing it to still be tracked and as Cal offers her a choice of ice cream flavors, Mack and Bobbi realize that Skye isn’t being held hostage but is playing along. They offer to take a team to retrieve Cal. And on the street Cal, thinking that Skye is growing bored with him, offers to take her to see his office. That’s when we see Lincoln watching them from a short distance away.

Jiaying asks Gordon if he’s heard anything from Lincoln about Skye which he has not, but he says there’s a more pressing issue to address: Ethan is missing. He and Jiaying think he might have been taken and while Gordon is fixated on the “how,” Jiaying is more concerned with the “who.”

On the Echidna jet, Bakshi wonders why they’re landing already if Strucker is in Eastern Europe. List reveals that Hydra has been tracking several incidents of quantum entanglement (in which particles can exist in two places across great distances). He says that they have discovered a quantum entanglement bridge and have been tracking the powered person who created it, who Coulson and Co. realize must be the same guy who took Skye and who we know to be Gordon. It’s then that they piece together that they must be after Skye, but only half of them know why.

Cal and Skye arrive at his office building which is quite shabby and has a pest problem. Skye notices on his office door that Cal’s last name is Johnson, meaning that her name would have been Daisy Johnson in another life. Inside, Cal’s office has remained slightly dated but mostly intact, and Skye wonders how it can all still be there. Cal tells her that he owns the building, saying that he wasn’t rich but she would have had a nice life. He says that he’s only been back to the office a few times over the years to hide or retrieve things and Skye calls it a “stash pad.” Cal shows Skye his grandfather’s toolkit from WWII that he used to reassemble Jiaying and he begins to express his hopes for them to be a family again. Skye cuts him off, saying that Jiaying is a different person who is responsible for lots of people and she herself is an adult now so it does him no good to fantasize about this life that can never be. Just as Skye tells him that she’ll still visit him and Cal asks her where she’s going, they hear a noise out in the hallway. Cal grabs a knife from the toolkit and they go into the hall and find Lincoln.

Skye wants to know what he’s doing there and Cal goes from zero to 60 in two seconds flat. He wants to know why Jiaying would send him there to make sure everything’s cool, yelling that he is Skye’s father and of course they’d be cool. Downstairs, Bakshi, Deathlok, and some Hydra agents arrive and they want to acquire the teleporter. Apparently, the signature they tracked was from Gordon dropping Cal and Skye off. Then Cal realizes that Skye was planning to leave him and freaks out, throwing Lincoln into a wall and a file cabinet. At that sound, Bakshi sends Deahtlok up to do his work.

Cal continues to spiral down, flipping out at Lincoln who warns Cal to calm down. A Hydra agent rounds the corner and Lincoln uses his ability to stun him. Cal instructs Lincoln to get Skye out of there as three more agents arrive. Skye wants to help but Lincoln advises against it as her ability could bring the whole building down. Deathlok makes it up to the 10th floor and spots Skye so Coulson and Co. head in to find her. Lincoln tries to use his ability on Deathlok, lifting him off the ground, but Deathlok warns him against it as they fight. In the helijet, Fitz reports that someone is trying to hack into Deathlok’s video feed and Coulson and Ward move to find Skye as Hunter is shot. Up on the 10th floor, Coulson and Ward find Deathlok fighting with Lincoln who send them around the corner after Skye. Bakshi arrives, spots the two on the floor in the hall, and throws a device that releases a blue conical energy way and knocks both Deathlok and Lincoln unconscious. Skye finds her way to a roof access door but doubles back, finding Coulson and Ward wrapping up a butt kicking. Just then Gordon arrives to take Skye away and Cal tags along with them and Coulson laments losing Skye again. Kara helps Hunter limp over to Coulson and Ward as Ward recounts how high the deck is stacked against them right now: Deathlok’s down, powered people are on site, Hydra’s storming the building, and their only backup is Fitz. Not a great situation.

A day late and a dollar short, Bobbi and Mack show up at Cal’s office building and survey the wreckage, noting dozens of standard Hydra-issue bullet shells littering the ground. They find Coulson in Cal’s office and he tells them he doubled back after Hydra left, then surrenders to them.

The Questions: What is Ward and Kara’s end game? What is Raina’s actual ability? What will happen to Deathlok and Lincoln in Hydra custody? Will Simmons ever be able to trust May again? And will Fitz try to kill Ward again? (My bet is yes.)

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Once Upon a Time Recap: 4×19 “Sympathy for the De Vil”

This week’s Once Upon a Time offering was heavy on Cruella De Vil backstory. While it cleared up many questions regarding how Cruella came to possess magic enough to be included in the show, it also raised several about how time works in different realms. We’re left with some unanswered questions regarding how and “when” the Author can travel. I say “questions.” I actually mean continuity issues.

In standard Disney style, we find via flashback that Cruella is most likely the product of the ministrations of an evil mother or stepmother. Now that her father is gone, she’s threatened and locked in an attic room at a young age. 

Cut to present day where Cruella is enjoying the freedoms of driving along Storybrooke’s winding backroads. She nearly runs down Maleficent, who has come to confront Cruella about her daughter, Lily. Apparently Cruella lied to Mal about Lily not surviving her journey to this world. Without apology, Cruella explains that she herself is a really terrible person and she left the baby in the woods to die. And in a really sociopathic moment she explains that she and Ursula took the egg along with them, but not the baby, and the egg’s magic helped them stay young.

Maleficent changes into her six story tall dragon form, full of fire and brimstone. But Cruella breathes something green towards her.

Trip Advisor says: Try the garlic white at Granny’s!

Cruella says she’s often underestimated and now that the Author is here today is the day she gets hers. Then she tells the dragon to lie down and take a nap, which it does. Cruella drives off leaving the dragon snoozing in the road.

Cue the title card with dozens of dalmatians!

Wait up, guys! This tree smells like pee!

Mary Margaret, David, Emma, and Killian return to the Charming’s apartment. Emma demands her parents try harder to remember something about the Author that could help in finding him. They insist that they’ve told her all they know and Mary Margaret says she realizes that Emma is still upset. Emma says they’ve always championed the heroic way to do things. David insists that what they did to Mal’s child was the only option to ensure Emma came out “good.” Mary Margaret says that Emma’s disdain for their choice is proof that what they did was worth it.

Regina enters and says she’s got to go rescue Robin Hood (PS, who we don’t see all episode so don’t get your hopes up). She explains how she called the number Emma gave her, but that Marian isn’t herself. She’s really Zelena. Regina admits that she doesn’t know how it’s possible that her sister has been masquerading around as Marian this entire time. Regina adds that Gold’s been in on it with Zelena for a while, so she needs to go to New York and rescue Robin immediately. Killian reminds her Gold’s not going to let her go easily, but Regina assures that she knows how to handle him.

Regina appears at the pawn shop and startles Belle.

“Ok, seriously, why do I even have a door with a bell on it if people are just going to magic their way in here?”
“Ok, seriously, why do I even have a door with a bell on it if people are just going to magic their way in here?”

Regina states that Belle’s ex-husband has “done quite a number” on her late, and Belle asks how she can help. This is a totally useless scene in my opinion, only serving to remind a newer viewer that Belle and Gold were once married. Regina doesn’t really need to ask Belle for help with what she’s planning.

Meanwhile Gold is ushering the Author into his cabin. Reminder, this takes place within about a half hour of the beginning of the previous episode’s opening when Gold magicked the Author out of the forest before Emma and company could find him.

The Author, who mentions by-the-way his name is Isaac (but who will henceforth be referred to as “the Author” out of tradition), goes on about how Gold’s cabin makes him feel like Hemingway or Thoreau, and Gold asks if he always talks this much. The Author admits only when he’s nervous, then reminds Gold he still has his quill, which is worthless without ink. Gold assures him he’s planning on obtaining some very soon, but the Author scoffs. Without going into much needed detail, Gold says once he turns the Savior dark, “everything he needs will fall into place.”

 The Author notes that Gold’s associates have a penchant for fur and perfume, and he ever so creepily sniffs at Cruella’s stole left on the hook on the back of the door.

"What do you expect? I've been trapped in a book for 30 years!"
“What do you expect? I’ve been trapped in a book for 30 years!”

Gold gets distracted as though he’s heard the ice cream truck, then tells the Author something’s come up and to stay put until he returns. *poof!* Purple smoke!

In the forest, Belle is summoning Rumpelstiltskin over the Wishing Well, which has the power to return something that has been lost. Gold, looking hopeful but nervous, immediately appears and Belle reminds him what he told her on their wedding day, how she chased all the darkness out of him. She asks for the truth for once in her life. She inquires as to why he’s in Storybrooke and if it’s to win her back. But he says it’s more complicated than that and pulls out his own heart from his chest.

It’s actually just HAL 9000 from a Space Odyssey. 

It’s completely black except for one small glowing red spot. He explains that centuries of dark deeds have left their toll on his soul, and once the last flicker goes out he will be left unable to love ever again, though he will not die. This is why he’s back in Storybrooke. To use use the Author to fix his story to save whatever good there is left in him. Belle says she understands and Gold looks hopeful. Perhaps, she wonders, she threw out the chipped cup too soon? They kiss and all is right with the world.

Until Belle says that Will’s a better kisser. Also that Gold is pathetic, like a dog begging for scraps. What’s left of Gold’s heart totally breaks as she tears into him. He says this isn’t like her, but Regina, carrying Belle’s heart and controlling her every move, appears. She dismisses Belle with an order to forget everything that’s happened in the forest. Gold assures Regina that he will make her suffer for this. But Regina is like, “Nah, bro, I got your woman’s heart, so you’re gonna do what I say or Imma squish it!” Gold acquiesces as Regina gives it a little squeeze. Regina informs him that she’s going to New York, and if he breathes a word of warning to Zelena he won’t be the only one who loses a heart.

Back at the cabin, Cruella arrives. She makes it abundantly clear that she and the Author have a history, calling him by name. She demands that he give back what she took, but the Author simply says he can’t, sorry. He reminds her that even with all her magic, she doesn’t have enough power to hurt him. Cruella talks about how he’ll pay for making her what she is, but the Author realizes that Rumpelstiltskin has no idea they know each other, so Cruella must have lied to Rumple. If that’s the case, she’d better leave before he gets back.

Finally we see a grown up Cruella in her attic room, surrounded by modern magazines, listening to some dance music on the radio.

“Oh, Johnny Fever, you’re so groovy!”

Her mother storms in and yanks the radio away, saying she stole it from her. Cruella begs to be let out of the house, but the dogs start barking and her mother tells her to stay quiet as she goes to answer the door.

The Author is at the door and introduces himself as a newspaper man looking for interesting stories. Though Mrs. De Vil rebuffs him, his charm gets him in. He asks about her dog training abilities, which he’s heard sound like magic. His attention turns to the portraits hanging in the sitting room. After some unintentionally insensitive comments about her having three husbands, Mrs. De Vil yanks his notebook away from him, accuses him of never being in love himself, and throws the notebook and the Author out of her house, suggesting that he write his own story instead of leeching off other people’s pain.

“It’s not the longest game of ‘Guess Who?’ ever built, but after the cotillion season I plan on expanding it into the drawing room.”

Leaning out her attic window, Cruella entices the Author with her story. But if he wants to hear it, she says, he’ll have to get her out of the attic first.

Back in Storybrooke, Henry runs into Pongo outside of his house. Pongo runs off and Henry follows him to an ally. Cruella rolls up and tells Henry to get in the car.

In her attic, Cruella opens her window to find the key on the sill. She sneaks out to find the Author in the garden. He tells her he has his ways of getting things done. She asks to go somewhere loud to tell her story as she’s been in the attic for years, never being allowed visitors. The Author shows Cruella his car, the signature black and white coup present day Cruella owns.

In a roaring ‘20s dance and gin hall, the Author treats Cruella to a drink (an apparently a new dress). Cruella tells him her mother doesn’t let her out because she’s afraid Cruella will tell people her dark secret, that she killed all her husbands. Cruella’s favorite song comes on, and she gets the Author to dance with her, saying “Tonight, let’s live!”

Regina is packing a stylish bag into her trunk when Emma arrives and questions if she’s sure she ought to go to New York alone. She worries this whole thing is a trap, but Regina says she has no choice. Emma is concerned that Regina won’t have magic, so she gives her her own gun for protection, saying that she hopes she won’t have to use it.

“I know you have no training, or a permit, but have fun transporting this over a couple of state lines. “

Both the women’s phones alert them to a video message from Henry. He shows them that Cruella has him hostage until they kill the Author. Regina and Emma share a look only co-mothers could share.

Gold returns to the cabin and confronts the Author about his reunion with Cruella. It seems that their past dealings with each other isn’t just relevant but essential to Gold’s plans. Cruella is so desperate to destroy the Author that she’s kidnapped the Savior’s son. Gold says he’s observed this through his crystal ball, which I don’t think we’ve seen once this season, if at all ever. That is …. SO convenient.

The Author thinks that Gold will have the Savior kill him to turn her dark, but Gold says he wouldn’t risk a new author who couldn’t be manipulated so easily taking this one’s place. Gold demands to know why Cruella is trying to kill him. The Author pulls out something he wrote about her. Gold reads it then smirks with understanding.

Back on the Holodeck at the club, the sun is up and Cruella and the Author are still dancing.

I feel like Picard and Guinan should be dancing in the background.

Cruella wishes the night would never end, and the Author says he might have a way to make that happen. He sits her down and shows her his quill and ink, then explains how he travels across realms of storytelling. He asks Cruella what year it is, but she can’t answer. He goes on to talk about how they currently aren’t in a time, but a realm of story, and that there are many. The pen and ink are magical and they can help him change stories. To prove it, he writes something with the pen and ink and a diamond necklace and earrings appear on Cruella. He says he can make it so her mother’s dogs can’t hurt her, and writes “Cruella is able to control the actions of any and all animals she desires.” Immediately Cruella feels the magic working. Thought the Author wants to leave with her tonight for another land, Cruella insists that she confront her mother first, and needs to do it alone. He gives her the keys to his car, saying that it’s hers now. She kisses a cocktail napkin and leaves her lip prints for him as a token until she returns.

In the Charming’s apartment, they, Emma, Killian, and Regina plot how they will rescue Henry.

“Ok, this is Operation Rescue Henry #17. Please consult your notes. We’ll be using the standard format. I’ll use some dark magic; Emma, you stop me for my own good and reason with the enemy; Charmings, you stand by and do nothing because Emma needs to believe in herself and do this on her own; Killian, have some positive affirmations ready for after Emma succeeds. Also, draw fire.”

David narrows down their location to near the Toll Bridge. While Regina says she don’t mind making Cruella suffer, Emma is concerned about going in guns a-blazing and hurting Henry. David suggests a locator spell done on the Author’s flask might work, and Emma tells them to get on that and prepares to leave. Mary Margaret says she knows that Emma’s still mad at them, but to stop avoiding them. Emma counters that with Henry’s life on the line, she needs to be with people she trusts, and she simply doesn’t trust them.

On their way to the Toll Bridge. Regina, dressed in a lighter, totally-not-evil beige, tries to talk some sense into Emma, who is starting to look more disheveled as the toll of her parents’ lies wear on her. Killian appeals to her compassion and ability to see past his and Regina’s darkness. But Emma explains that the difference is he and Regina aren’t hypocrites and were always honest about who they were. But Killian reminds her that even heroes still make mistakes. Regina tells Emma her mother has been trying to make up for her sins for a very long time, but Emma is only focused on saving Henry.

Out in the forest Cruella is distracted and Henry escapes. Cruella sends Pongo after him.

In the past the Author answers his hotel room door thinking it will be Cruella. But her mother and dogs are there, all snarling. Mrs. De Vil demands to know why they were together. The Author confronts her about killing her husbands, but her mother reveals how Cruella, “A troubled little girl,” killed all three of her husbands, poisoning them with her favorite trumpet flower. She warns that Cruella takes the things you care about and destroys them. She leaves in tears and the Author tries to explain away everything she’s said. But once he realizes his magical quill is missing, he realizes he may have been wrong about everything.

Upon returning home, Mrs. De Vil encounters Cruella, who turns her own dogs against her.

Out in the Storybrooke woods, Henry is being chased by Pongo. Emma, Regina, and Killian all hear his calling from three different directions so they split up. Gold has enchanted conch shells to call out Henry’s voice, and he watches from behind a tree. The real Henry is encounters a cliff, then is grabbed by a gun-toting Cruella. Emma arrives, but Cruella holds the gun on Henry.

Back in her attic, Cruella is furiously sewing when the Author arrives. Cruella stands up and pulls on the coat she’s been sewing to reveal a Dalmatian fur coat.

Once again, Disney takes evil to a whole new level.

The Author struggles with Cruella over the quill. The ink goes flying, magically encircling Cruella and dying her hair with a trademark black streak. The Author is horrified but continues to write. As Cruella pulls a gun on him, she’s devastated to find she physically can’t fire the gun.

The Charmings burst into the cabin and confront the Author. He says he never wanted to hurt Emma, only protect the world from Cruella. He couldn’t see the end to this story, he insists. When pressed by Mary Margaret, he says this story ends with the Savior turning dark. He shows David the last thing he ever wrote about Cruella, which is that she can no longer take away the life of another. He says Henry is in no danger. But Emma doesn’t know this. Gold wants her to kill a defenseless person to turn her dark.

Cruella, who is holding her gun on Henry though she knows she can’t use it, berates Emma for not killing the Author for her. Emma demands she let Henry go as she raises her hands to use magic. Though Cruella says she’s bluffing, Emma reminds her that’s her son. Cruella says heroes don’t kill, but is cut off as Emma knocks her off the cliff. The spell over Pongo breaks. Although she’s saved her son, Emma has taken a life.

“Can people please stop kidnapping my son?!?!


What do you think of the magic of the egg keeping Cruella and Ursula young?

If Regina was speaking Belle’s every word, how did she know about the tea cup?

Do you think Emma is evil now, or just really tired?


All screen captures are property of ABC.

ABC. “Images,” April 12, 2015. Television. April 13, 2015.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 217, “Melinda”

Looks like we’re going to get the history of Agent Melinda May this episode. Upward and onward!

Seven years ago, Agent May is in the shower getting clean – and her husband, Andrew, is helping her get a little dirtier. They’re planning for a family and they need to continue taking that all-important first step to procreation. (You know what I’m talking about!) May is heading out to a S.H.I.E.L.D. operation so she and Andrew plan to have some quality time when she gets back just as Coulson arrives to pick up May.

On their jet, Coulson and May begin to discuss the subject of their operation but get sidetracked with S.H.I.E.L.D. fund allocations. May thinks the budget has been dedicated to the Triskelion, but Coulson knows that Fury socked some dimes away to fund a new initiative which would form a team from the powered people S.H.I.E.L.D. encounters rather than releasing them. Coulson wonders if May would want to be included since she’s planning to be a mom soon, but she’s like, “Shut up and let’s do this.” The highly powered person they’re tracking is Eva Belyakov. She apparently possesses super strength so destructive as to crush the front end of a Jeep like she was the Hulk. The plan is to intercept her in public before Russian intelligence can in Bahrain.

In the present, May walks in on Bobbi and Agent Weaver talking about the tail they have on Fitz. They think he’ll lead them to Coulson, eventually, but also want to keep an eye on him to make sure his ideas don’t become crazy ideas. They’re also concerned about Coulson’s secret projects and ask May about Project Dethlok and Theta Protocol. May declines to offer any insights on Theta Protocol, so Bobbi and Weaver inform her that, under Coulson, the project has triple the budget of all of S.H.I.E.L.D. May offers to work her magic on Coulson on behalf of “the real S.H.I.E.L.D.” if they give her back control of her base and they’re all in agreement in the name of opening Fury’s toolbox.

Jiaying has brought Skye to a mountainside and wants to know about her life. Skye reflects on how S.H.I.E.L.D. had become her family in recent years – until she went and got all gifted with innate powers and stuff. She feels guilt about her gift so Jiaying tries to help her understand it.

Jiaying: Everything’s shaking already, vibrating at its own natural frequency. I believe you can learn to sense those frequencies around you and resonate with them so that not everything is shaking, only what you choose.

Skye is in slight disbelief, like, “How am I supposed to hear this stone?” But as she tests out hearing the stone’s frequency, she’s even more shocked: she’s hearing the mountain’s frequency instead. Jiaying encourages her to try to heighten the mountain’s frequency (“You can’t hurt me or that mountain, boo.” – Jiaying) and as she does, Skye causes a small avalanche on the mountainside.

Back in Bahrain seven years ago, Coulson and May meet up with Faisal Ahmed from Bahrain National Security. His people has eyes on Belyakov, who has perched at a cafe in a not-tourist friendly marketplace. Ahmed says that if S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t nab her, his people are going to capture her. Knowing that Fury would be livid if they bungle this operation, they resolve to make the very public setting work, though it has high backfire potential.

Coulson approaches Belyakov and introduces himself. He tells her that he is part of an organization that can help special people like her, but she rightly wants to know why the hell she should trust him. Meanwhile, May spots a little girl playing tag with everyone in the market – and two armed locals closing in. Agent O’Brien is tasked with intercepting them as Coulson asks Belyakov to come with him, but she refuses citing her need for pain. Just then, she gets up and punts a tray, resulting in a chain reaction: the locals pull their guns, all the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in the vicinity draw theirs, one of the locals grabs the little girl and shoots Ahmed, and a handful of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are shunted into an unknown doorway leading to…where?

Back in Lai Shi proper, Jiaying tells Skye that she should carb up and take a nap for the next time they practice flexing her gift. She goes to handle something else and tells Skye that she’s proud of the work she’s done, and Lincoln swoops in as she leaves. He tells Skye she must be special if Jiaying is transitioning her personally, because, as the leader of Lai Shi, she doesn’t do that, like, ever. Skye says she likes Jiaying, too, and he gives her some takeout for post-traning nosh.

In a helijet, Bobbi presses May about the extent of her knowledge of Theta Protocol. She doesn’t think Coulson ever told May about it, and declares that can’t sit by and keep getting blindsided by Coulson by things like that again. Bobbi says she doesn’t think Coulson is a bad guy, but his actions need to be public knowledge. May tells her that sometimes the price of doing the right thing is people not understanding why they make the choices they do. But you deal with it.

Flashing back to Bahrain, Coulson calls O’Brien inside the hostage location but all he says is, “Leave us alone.” Agent Hart says he and his team are going in, but May thinks she should be the one going in. Coulson tells her to let them do their thing first so they can get an idea of the kind of powered person they’re dealing with.

And in the present, Gordon is inspecting Raina’s quills and she is still wrapped up in being disgusted by her appearance. Gordon tells her that her gift is yet to be discovered, but she thinks she’s just a monster who is assaulted by nightmares every night. Lincoln appears and tells her she’ll get through it and Gordon’s like, “Shut your mouth and mind your business!” Gordon tells Raina that he’s gone through a physical change, too, and he thinks being at Lai Shi will help her. Raina wants to leave but Gordon says they’ll talk about it later and leaves himself. Raina tells Lincoln about her nightmares: she is being hunted and tangled in thorns, and Skye is happily having dinner with her father and some daisies. Raina thinks Skye got everything and she just got quills, but Lincoln tells her not to give up on herself yet.

Back in Bahrain, Coulson and May watch monitors of the action inside the hostage area and it’s all going to hell. As the agents move in, gunfire beings near the little girl, they undergo some friendly fire, then all communications go down. Twelve agents go down and Coulson and May are suddenly alone on the mission.

In the present, Jiaying and Skye reunite in Skye’s cabin for more practice. Jiaying has set up nine glasses and plays a note on the rim of one of them, asking Skye to use her power to hold the note on it and the rest of the glasses. She does and creates a very musical tone – until the glasses all shatter. Jiaying is proud of the progress but Skye is a little shellshocked. She says that things at Lai Shi feel like home, and that’s always a dangerous proposition to her.

Skye: Mistrust of home is my other superpower.
Jiaying: Where is this coming from?
Skye: I broke a crystal decanter once at a foster family’s house, and now the glass –
Jiaying: They sent you back for that?
Skye: Well, I tried some of the scotch, too. But, yes, something bad happens every time I feel settled somewhere. I’m 25 and I’ve never spent more than two years anywhere. The second I made friends at the orphanage – gone. God forbid I called a foster family “home” and it’s, “Pack your bags.” I got the news on my birthday once, which is a complete farce because I don’t even know when I was born. S.H.I.E.L.D. was the closest I ever came to having a family. I belonged there, saw what I could be. Even that ended with agents hunting me through the woods.
Jiaying: We’re not going to turn on you or abandon you. This is a safe place.
Skye: See, you say that but I know you’re not being straight with me. Why do you care if I stay or go? And why –
Jiaying: July 2nd. You were born on July 2nd. It was a hot night, and for some reason I decided to clean the house before I woke your father.
Skye: Oh my god. He said you didn’t age.
Jiaying: Cal, he ran over to the neighbor’s house to borrow their car, but didn’t speak any Chinese, so it was a mess.
Skye: It’s you.
Jiaying: Deep down, I think you knew.
Skye: I was too afraid to hope.

Aw! So Skye knows both her parents now. (We’ll ignore how Jiaying put the onus on Skye to know their relationship to one another without any real reason other than a passing likeness to go on.) But she’s still in shock. Skye is still reconciling the notion that her parents were actually out there looking for her all her life, and Jiaying confirms this. She says Cal put her back together after her brutal dissection and during the time they searched for her, he became an awful man, causing her to leave for Lai Shi. Then Jiaying implores Skye to keep their relationship a secret from anyone else, as they might see it as a threat. (O-kay.)

May returns to HQ and Simmons is overjoyed to see a familiar face. May tells Simmons that she now has control of the base and asks her if she knew that she was working on Dethlok technology and she clearly did not. Looking at the schematics, they both realize Coulson kept more than a few secrets and Simmons is on board with finding out the truth about Coulson’s activities.

Back in Bahrain, Coulson is on the phone trying to convince the authorities to allow May to go in an neutralize the hostage situation. They hear the sirens of local authorities and Coulson sends May in while he heads them off. He feeds them a story about a biological weapon being released while May calls Andrew for a pre-action pep talk. She tells him that she’s going into a hostage situation with a little girl involved, so he gives her tips on how to make her feel safe and reassures her of her badassery. Then, giving us her best Spider-Woman impression, May scales a wall leading to a side door and enters the building. She cracks one guy’s neck and realizes she has no radio support with Coulson, then takes out another guy. Behind another door, she finds Agent Hart who can only tell May that he needs her pain. Sound familiar? She subdues him as he raises his gun to shoot her – and then all the rest of the agents begin saying the same thing from behind her. She tries to get through to Hart verbally to no avail, so she escapes the room and locks the agents inside, realizing that she needs to take out the source.

And in the present, Simmons and May uncover that Coulson was always lying about where he was when he traveled and that he had been funneling money through shell corporations – and consulting with Andrew on the sly. May wonders why Coulson would order 100 bunk beds and Mack joins the discussion to add that he thinks Coulson was trying to build a base for powered people. He thinks that Coulson’s focused on exploring and training powered people and so has been gathering money and bunks and scientists – and psychologists. May is more adamant that they need to open Fury’s toolbox, telling Simmons that underestimating powers is playing with fire, best intentions aside.

Raina wants out, but Gordon won’t take her back to civilization. He says he can take her to secluded places but not public because it’s too dangerous for her right now. She thinks this is unfair, but he urges her to stay because she simply hasn’t discovered the beauty reflected in the true nature of her gift. She agrees to stay, so long as Gordon continues to guide her.

Jiaying and Skye take a walk and run into Ethan who is about to go backpacking in Prague. Jiaying says he’s not gone through the mist yet, but Skye wants to talk about why she can’t tell the world her mom’s alive.

Jiaying: I’m responsible for everyone here. Favoritism undermines trust.
Skye: Don’t you want to tell people?
Jiaying: I don’t get that luxury. My rules must be enforced. People have died when the process for selection and training has been ignored.
Skye: But I already skipped that process.
Jiaying: And I protected you from the swift response that usually brings. It’s happened before.

With Jiaying continuing to tell her story, we flash back to May’s mission in Bahrain. As May kicks and punches her way down a stairwell, Jiaying explains that a woman who had been there didn’t trust her and stole some terragen crystals and fled to Bahrain. May comes across Eva, who is still ranting about needing pain. Eva sends May flying across the room, and in the present Skye puts two and two together and realizes that this is the same story she heard about May, aka the Cavalry.

Skye thinks May going in and killing Eva was the end of it, but we see that Eva wasn’t the source after all – it was the little girl all along. Jiaying recounts that Eva didn’t steal the crystals for herself, but for her daughter, Katya. Jiaying saw darkness in Katya and didn’t think it was wise to allow her to activate her powers, but Eva felt otherwise and absconded with them and her daughter. In the flashbacks, Katya kills the rest of the locals and brings in more as May sits shot and bleeding, trying to convince her to stop. Jiaying explains that Katya went insane with the power to leech pain off people and control them with one touch. Katya kills the latest batch of locals and brings the agents in as she creeps toward May, asking for her hand. May tries again to convince her to stop, implores Katya not to kill her teammates, and outside Coulson hears a gunshot. He runs inside to find Katya dead in May’s arms, and Jiaying feels like it was her responsibility to take care of that problem, not S.H.I.E.L.D.’s. Jiaying tells Skye that the people at Lai Shi have seen first hand what a woman will do for her daughter (what kind of mess…?!) and so they must keep their relationship secret.

As Coulson helps May limp out we can see Gordon and Jiaying watching the aftermath. The other agents are in awe at how May took out roughly 30 guys to save the agents, nicknaming her The Cavalry, but she’s torn up inside about having to kill Katya. Back at home, she showers, but it’s a sad one this time. She’s so haunted by what happened in Bahrain that she begins to pull away from Andrew and submits for a transfer to a desk job. In the present, she finds herself doing the same thing, only this time her friend and her ex-husband are in the files she’s collating.

Jiaying is trying to convince Skye to have dinner with Cal. Skye’s like, “He’s a lunatic!” but Jiaying says that both of them owe this to him for never giving up on finding Skye. Skye agrees and inside his red room, the place has been decked out for dinner. He’s clean and gives Skye a bouquet of daisies as he begins to apologize. Skye cuts him off, telling him that it’s because of him that she now knows, and has learned from, her mother. And Jiaying prompts Cal to tell Skye about the day of her birth.

Cal: July 2nd! It was a gorgeous summer night, beautiful big moon in the sky. 1988. Do you know, your mother – she actually cleaned before she told me? You see, there was only one car in the village, and we didn’t own it. So I had to negotiate with the man. He didn’t speak English and my Chinese was terrible.
Skye: Wait, ’88? I’m 26? That is so messed up! To 26.

They toast to her real age, and Cal continues his recollection of Skye’s birth. Lincoln comes in (for what, exactly?) and realizes that Raina had a dream of this, but it wasn’t really a dream. Raina’s latent power seems to be precognition.

And in a fast food restaurant, two guys have been waiting 20 minutes for the bathroom. Inside, Fitz is running an experiment to open Fury’s toolbox – and it works! A holographic menu pops up and Fitz begins puttering around with it, eventually making contact with Coulson and Hunter via Coulson’s tablet. He tells them that he stole the toolbox but is being followed. Fitz wants to join them but needs some tips on how to escape this sticky situation, so Hunter’s like, “I got you, boo.”

The Questions: What will Raina’s new power mean for her future? Will Skye and her parents be able to be a family now? Has Coulson located Ward yet? Should May and Simmons align with Gonzalez’s S.H.I.E.L.D.? And is Fitz right for helping Coulson?

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 216, “Afterlife”

This week’s episode opens with Coulson going car shopping. He’s at one of those used car lots being accosted by an ill-informed pushy salesman. You know the type: he thinks he can peg you just by looking at you, proving not everyone has heard the adage about books and covers. Coulson wants an SUV that can take a beating so the salesman tells him he has a 2010 Wrangler Rubicon – just like the one Hunter drives up in. The salesman’s all, “Hey, that’s my car! Get out, you thief, or I’m calling the cops!” So Coulson’s like, “Nuts to this!”, ices the salesman, and he and Hunter begin life as newly minted used car thieves. (I didn’t see anyone leave cash for that vehicle, did you?)

Skye wakes up dressed like the Supreme Being from The Fifth Element with acupuncture needles that emit some sort of electrical pulses all over her body. She asks Gordon all the requisite questions: “Where am I?” “How long have I been here?” “What’s for breakfast?” “What are you doing to me?” Gordon reminds her that she called for him and she’s been at “the place he told her about” for two days. And a quippy technician type chimes in and takes over for Gordon. He’s Lincoln, Skye’s Transitioner, and they’re administering treatments to Skye that will heal her and ease the terragenesis transition post-mist exposure. Skye’s more interested in when she can leave, though. She says her friends are in danger and Lincoln’s like, “Do you not remember how Gordon found you? You’re the one in danger.”

Gonzalez and Bobbi discuss last week’s altercation with Skye and Calderon (who is recovering from the wicked piece of wood through the chest) and Gonzalez doesn’t think Skye’s even human, referring to her as a “thing.” Bobbi reminds him Skye is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, not a “thing,” but Gonzalez only sees her as a dangerous weapon who can’t control herself. He’s also worried that Coulson has been secretly working with other powered humans on the sly. Bobbi doesn’t think so, but Gonzalez thinks the only way they’ll know for sure is to open Fury’s toolbox, which means they need Fitz.

Bobbi and Gonzalez approach Fitz and Simmons who are throwing all the subtly shady body language that says, “Eff off.”

Gonzalez: Robert Gonzalez.
Simmons: We know who you are, and we are quite aware of your commendable reputation. And under different circumstances we might even be flattered. Which is why this is so difficult to comprehend.
Gonzalez: We had to take the toolbox out of play.
Simmons: What’s inside that’s so important?
Fitz: Maybe it’s their favorite recipes?
Gonzalez: If that’s true, then we can pack up and move on. That’s why we need your help, Leo.
Simmons: And if he doesn’t help are you going to lock him up like you did May?
Gonzalez: You’re not prisoners here and exit protocols are still the same if you want to leave.
Fitz: Great! I’ll go start packing.

Bobbi thinks their loyalty is admirable but Gonzalez thinks it’s misguided. He thinks their loyalty to Coulson, particularly, means that he is more dangerous than the toolbox could be.

And during an off-roading adventure, Hunter and Coulson arrive at the site of Skye’s latest outburst and begin looking for clues. They find the piece of lumber that had impaled Calderon – and video footage of the incident.

Hunter: My god, Skye’s doing that? Glad she’s on our side. She is still on our side, right? That’s new! Did she just get abducted by aliens?
Coulson: We don’t know what he is. He took Skye’s father and Raina.
Hunter: Seriously? I was only gone a week.
Coulson: We don’t know where he comes from, where he goes, or who he works for. He doesn’t leave trails or clues. I’ve lost her.

Fully clothed and leather jacket donned once more, Skye asks Lincoln for a real answer – not some flowery non-answer – to the question, “Where are we?” Lincoln says the official name is Lai Shi, but everyone just calls it the place where Fish Mooney is being held “Afterlife.” The two take a walk through the Afterlife (hah!) and Skye wonders if they’re in China, since the location name is Chinese. Lincoln doesn’t know and says Gordon is the only way in or out, which sounds a lot like a prison to Skye.

Lincoln: You’re not very trusting, are you?
Skye: I woke up naked on a table in a place that no one can even point to on a map, so…call me crazy.

Lincoln reminds her she wasn’t totally naked (SEMANTICS, DUDE!), that she asked Gordon to bring her here, and that no one will force her to stay. He explains that no one lives at Lai Shi permanently and it’s more of a way station for inhumans to learn about their power. He’s a medical student from Cincinnati and he’s brought there “when he’s needed.” Then Skye notices that everyone is starting at her and wants to know the deal. Gordon said everyone there is supposed to be like her, so why is she so special?

Lincoln: Things here have always been done a certain way. These people are descendants, but most of them are waiting to be chosen. They carry the genetic marker and have been brought here to be evaluated, cultured, and prepared for the change, should they be selected. But that only happens to one person every few years.
Skye: They actually want to go through?
Lincoln: This tradition has been passed down through countless generations.
Skye: And I jumped the line.
Lincoln: Not only did you go through without permission or prep, but you did it old school, with a diviner in a Cree temple. That hasn’t happened for thousands of years. You can see why some of these people might be a little envious.
Skye: I would switch places with any of them in a heartbeat! I didn’t want this!

Skye asks Lincoln about Raina and Cal, wanting to know if Gordon brought them to Lai Shi. Lincoln says that Gordon takes people all over and there is no one at Lai Shi who will hurt Skye, proving once more that he is excellent at double speak and not answering questions. (He should think about changing his major to law before it’s too late.)

Gonzalez is interrogating May with not a lot of success. He says she helped Coulson, someone not even Coulson himself could trust, to escape. He wants to know if she’s loyal to Coulson or to S.H.I.E.L.D., and she’s like, “Oh sweetie, they’re the same thing, didn’t you know?” Gonzalez falls back on how Skye almost killed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, and May knows that Skye’s powers aren’t Coulson’s fault. Gonzalez counters that she would never have had the powers if the voices in Coulson’s head hadn’t led them to the temple in Puerto Rico. May says they went there chasing Hydra like they were supposed to be doing, and Gonzalez thinks Coulson should be put on the Index as well as Skye. He shows May the file labeled “After Action Report Bahrain” and reminds her that she knows first-hand what happens when powered people get out of control, having had to be the Calvalry once before. Gonzalez says he wants to avoid having to put Coulson and Skye down and needs May to help find Coulson. She’s like, “Coulson will find you, because he’s the one man you can’t put down.” (That’s an awful lot of blind faith, I think. I mean, sure, Coulson’s good, but he’s not infallible. Thor could put him down, I bet.)

Meanwhile, Coulson and Hunter have tucked in with some whiskey by the fire back at the Retreat and Coulson is feeling guilt about letting S.H.I.E.L.D. and Skye be lost to him in one day. Hunter reaffirms his ride or die-ness for Coulson and says Gonzalez sucks to boot. Coulson defends Gonzalez, saying he’s a good guy who has given his life to S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hunter’s like, “But good guys don’t usually stab you in the back, though…” Coulson realizes there are only bad options to take in their present situation and isn’t really liking having to choose one of them.

Simmons and Bobbi have a chat in the kitchen over tea and Simmons just wants things to go back to normal. Bobbi says it can if they can only get inside the toolbox, and Simmons is almost certain they don’t really need Fitz to open it. She says the solution to the box isn’t a tech solution, but a lab one, and Bobbi’s got a bright idea. (And Jemma is being so easy about betrayal? Hrm…)

Lincoln shows Skye to her semi-permanent Lai Shi living quarters and tells her she should try to relax which is comical to her. She’s lived in several different version of confinement in recent days so this is just another in a long line of efforts to protect her from herself. Lincoln says the gloves Simmons made compromised Skye’s transition process because she doesn’t know jack about alien biology, and that’s cool. He wants Skye to show him her power tomorrow so she can learn to control it, but Skye’s all, “No, I’m getting rid of this power. That’s why I’m here.” Lincoln’s like, “Ooh. The thing about your powers is…they’re irreversible. But Gordon’s bringing deep dish from Chicago, so be happy!”

Gonzalez’s S.H.I.E.L.D. arrives at the Retreat and Coulson, with a huge grin plastered on his face, tells Hunter that he called them. Hunter wants to know what the hell is going on, and Coulson says he’s choosing one of the bad options: they’re going to hold down the fort until reinforcements arrive and they can steal one of the agents’ quinjets. Gonzalez orders a battering ram to tear the door down, giving Coulson and Hunter roughly an hour. Bobbi doesn’t think Coulson tripping an alarm at the Retreat was an accident at all, meaning they need to figure out why he would bring them to the Retreat. (Do they really want that answer?)

Lincoln takes Skye on a mysterious walk past a transition room they no longer use (according to him)…up to an isolated cliff with an a-MAH-zing view of the mountainside at Lai Shi. He wants Skye to let loose her power and she’s like, “Dude, we were designed to be weapons. You don’t want me to let loose.” So he pulls an “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours”/ “You don’t seem like a chicken…” and reveals his power: he controls electrical charges. He can now manipulate and control the charges and even put them onto other things to do cool stuff like levitating his friends! He reminds Skye that they’re connected to something bigger and more extraordinary than she could ever imagine, and it would be terrible if she walked away from it.

Meanwhile, Fitz is packing up.

Mack: I hate to see you leave, Turbo.
Fitz: Only my friend Mack calls me that.
Mack: I’ll always be your friend, Fitz. Hopefully someday you’ll understand why I had to do what I did.
Fitz: If you’re here to try to convince me to open the box you’re wasting your –
Mack: I’m because I don’t want you to leave. I believe in what we’re doing and I want you on board. That box is taking care of. Simmons found a way in using genetic markers or something…

Fitz checks the research and realizes that Simmons has aligned herself with Gonzalez’s faction and has figured a way to open the toolbox.

And Coulson and Hunter’s hour is expiring soon: the battering ram is almost through the door. Hunter’s worried their reinforcements haven’t arrived yet, and Coulson’s like, “Stuck in traffic?” Hunter asks how many people are turning up and isn’t impressed at all when Coulson tells him “just one,” calling them a grave digger. But Coulson just wants to know if Hunter plays cards. Just then the door gives way and agents pour in to find Hunter and Coulson playing cards in front of the fire. Coulson brings a finger to his lips and then SURPRISE! The real Coulson and Hunter ice all of the agents from behind, revealing the card players as holograms. Nice one!

Back inside the Lai Shi compound, Skye’s feeling better about her powers. She and Lincoln run into Gordon and she still has some questions.

Skye: I need you to get a message to my friends and let them know I’m okay.
Gordon: I can ask permission, but they’ll advise against it. It’s better we stay quiet for the time being.
Skye: My father and Raina? Where’d you take them?
Gordon: I can’t divulge their locations, just as I can’t divulge yours. But you don’t need to worry about them.

Lincoln explains that “permission” would be granted by the Elders who are in place to protect Lai Shi from those people who are afraid of them. (These folks are a little too shifty for me.) And Gordon appears inside Cal’s red room, presumably the “disused transition room” that Lincoln explained away earlier. Cal is losing it, with broken furniture all over the place and a generally disheveled and unkempt appearance. He’s pissed that Gordon has been keeping him there and rightly guesses that Gordon found Skye Daisy Skye, and he wants to see her immediately. Gordon refuses and Cal makes the ill-informed decision to fight him. After several self-inflicted injuries, Cal gives in and asks why he can’t see Skye.

Gordon: Because you have no self-control. Your lack of discipline has risked everything we have built. You have not only sealed your fate, but the fate of your daughter as well.

(And just what the hell does that mean?!)

Moving into phase two of their plan, Coulson and Hunter trek through the woods wearing a couple of downed agents’ outfits. They approach a quinjet and get ready to steal it, but are thwarted by a voice telling them they’re surrounded. Sure enough, a team of agents and another quinjet are revealed from cloaking and Hunter and Coulson are captured.

Simmons tells Bobbi that microscopic pores on the toolbox that are calibrated to Coulson’s DNA are constantly shifting like a Rubik’s cube and make it difficult to find a solution, and just then an upset Fitz and Mack show up in the lab.

Fitz: I saw everything, Jemma. Did you really want me to find out this way?
Simmons: Well, I was hoping you would so we could work together on this. Do you have any idea how valuable the information inside this could be? You need to help me get it out, get things back to normal.
Fitz: Things can never go back to normal. Can’t you see what you’ve done? You’ve destroyed a man’s life, and for what? (picks up toolbox)
Mack: Fitz, put it down right now.
Fitz: Because of fear. Fear of what’s inside a little black box. Well I don’t believe in fear, I believe in trust. And I’m shocked that you would do this. You knew this would drive me away. You may as well have packed my bags yourself. You want me to leave, don’t you, Jemma?
Simmons: If we work for S.H.I.E.L.D., we have a duty to carry out our responsibilities. So perhaps it’s best if you do.

Ouch! Coulson and Hunter grumble as the agents haul them into a quinjet wearing their new metal bracelets, and just then, backup arrives. Mike Peterson pulls the hatch of the jet down and single-handedly takes out all of the agents holding Coulson and Hunter. Then he shoots a couple of small missiles from his arm and takes down the quinjet and two agents that were just about to take flight. Mike comes back for a bone-crushing handshake and introduction with Hunter and learns the schematics of the quinjet so he can fly it. Because, you know, cyborg.

Hunter: At some point, you might have mentioned that backup was a lethal cyborg.
Coulson: Truthfully, I just wanted to see the look on your face. Priceless.
Hunter: Glad I can amuse you.
Mike: I can hear you up here.

Gonzalez informs Bobbi that not only is Coulson working with powered people, but Hunter is on his side, too. He wants to stop them and wants to use May as a bargaining chip. And Skye and Lincoln share a bowl of popcorn as he literally uses the phrase, “I showed you mine now you show me yours.” He tells her that once it’s known what her power is, a guide will be chosen for her to help her learn to control her power. Skye wants to know how long that could take but Lincoln says that depends on the gift and the physical versus internal changes that have occurred.

Lincoln: You’re a piece of cake compared to the other one. Total physical transformation and we still have no idea what her gift is.
Skye: You told me I was the only one.
Lincoln: What?
Skye: You said that I was the first person to transition here in a really long time.
Lincoln: That’s not what I meant –
Skye: She’s here. You lied to me.
Lincoln: I said, there’s no one here who would harm you, and that’s true.

I knew that double speak was too good to be true! Lincoln insists that Raina is on her own path and they must care for her just the same as anyone because she’s one of them, and Skye’s like, “I’M NOT LIKE HER!!!” and everything begins to shake.

She runs out of the room and directly to Raina (how did she know where Raina was?) for a confrontation. They hurl accusations at each other (“My friends and my father have been hurt because of you!” “No one made you come into the temple with me, you came by yourself!”) and Skye begins to use her powers on Raina. “That’s what you are,” Raina says, and before Skye can do lasting damage, Jiaying, Skye’s mother, puts a swift stop to things. Skye tries to convince Jiaying that Raina can’t be trusted. Jiaying tells Skye that she and Raina need to squash their beef because they’re the same now, and Skye is like “I can’t stay here if she’s staying here.” Jiaying offers to be Skye’s guide and doesn’t think this is a good time to tell Skye she’s her mother and tells her that she can stay or go as she pleases.

Then Gordon bring Jiaying to see Cal. She confirms for him that, yes, it was Daisy Skye that Gordon brought to Lai Shi and gives him a hug. Cal asks if he can see Skye and, with perhaps a little too much satisfaction, Jiaying says, “No.”

A jet lands on Gonzalez’s headquarters as he pays May a visit – along with a gun. He gives the gun to her and tells her she should kill him if she really thinks he’s a traitor to S.H.I.E.L.D., or else hear him out. He says that he would like to offer her a seat on the board of his S.H.I.E.L.D. so that Coulson has a strong advocate once they bring him in. Gonzalez says Coulson is acting like a fugitive and a threat and no threat to S.H.I.E.L.D. is taken lightly. May picks up the gun and slides it back, scoffing at Gonzalez’s cheap ploy of giving her an unloaded gun. He unloads the gun and I wonder how it is that such a seasoned agent doesn’t know the weight of a loaded gun by now. As Gonzalez insists that the factions cannot afford to be enemies if S.H.I.E.L.D. is to survive, Fitz is given a final pat down and leaves headquarters.

High above the clouds, Coulson, Hunter, and Mike regroup. Mike has some new information about List, the Hydra faction Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. didn’t take down. Over six months, Mike has learned that List has been hunting powered people to perform experiments on him. Coulson knows that List is connected to Skye’s father – and that they’ll need Grant Ward’s help to gain access to them for S.H.I.E.L.D. Bad option! (No, good option, man! Ward is so awesome now.)

Simmons tells Bobbi and Mack that she’s done everything she can to open Fury’s toolbox, but no luck. And in the back of a cab, Fitz pulls the real toolbox out of his bag, along with a prosciutto and mozzarella sandwich (with just a hint of pesto aioli) from Jemma. He’s so happy and they are so adorbs.

The Questions: Will we meet these Elders who are silently running the show at Lai Shi? Why do people constantly forget that Fitz and Simmons aren’t just scientists, but S.H.I.E.L.D. agents? What is Raina’s power? And what is Fitz going to do with that toolbox?

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 215, “One Door Closes”

In a flashback to the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell to Hydra (remember that from Captain America: Winter Soldier?), Mack and his team are being held hostage. The lead Hydra guy shoots one of his team when Mack doesn’t speak up as the lead engineer, and just as he’s about to kill another person, Bobbi storms in like a badass cavalry with Izzy Hartley (Lucy Lawless!!!) and takes out the Hydra agents. They say that Nick Fury left them orders to save S.H.I.E.L.D. and they’re being excellent soldiers.

Back in the present, Bobbi arrives back at headquarters and begins some sabotage as Coulson finally allows Mack to work on Lola – under supervision, naturally. Bobbi approaches and apologizes for her relationship with Hunter and how it has affected S.H.I.E.L.D. and Coulson’s like, “It’s cool. I’ve got some feelers out looking for him and we’ll see if he wants to be here or not.” Then Bobbi creeps around some corridors until she finds a mainframe then inserts a flash drive, presumably to monitor Coulson for the real S.H.I.E.L.D.

Skye and Simmons video chat as Skye adjusts to a life of solitude and seclusion. Simmons says May will be visiting her soon, and that Skye should try on the super special gloves Simmons made for her. They’re laced with a microthread that will accelerate Skye’s healing and minimize the damage her power does to her. Fitz is cheesed off at Simmons, calling her gloves a “science experiment.”

Coulson tells Mack that he knows he put some component into Lola without Coulson’s knowledge and he might as well come clean. At the same time, Bobbi is lasering a big hole into Coulson’s desk to recover Nick Fury’s toolbox (because Coulson will never notice this!). Coulson gives Mack a chance to be brutally honest and declare his true allegiance, and Mack insists he works for S.H.I.E.L.D., so all of the innocuous mechanics in the background pull their guns on Mack. (Why didn’t he use the same verbiage he employed with Hunter?) Coulson asks who else is in on this plot with Mack, decides Hunter must have been a pawn, and then calls May immediately.

May shows up at Coulson’s office to find Bobbi snapping up the toolbox. Bobbi insists that Coulson’s operation isn’t the real S.H.I.E.L.D. and backflips out a window so May gives chase. Bobbie runs down some stairs, May intercepts, and the two let loose on each other as they each grab and lose the toolbox repeatedly. As Bobbi grabs the toolbox and May has her dead to rights, two more agents come in and Bobbi triggers an EMP. All of the power to headquarters dies, allowing her and Mack to make swift escapes. May and Fitz report the details of Bobbi and Mack’s duplicity to Coulson and Fitz decides to head to the control room to initiate a manual lockdown. May is concerned that Bobbi and Mack know the ins and outs of their whole operation and tells Coulson about Bobbi’s declaration that she works for the real S.H.I.E.L.D. and he’s like, “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Flashing back to the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell, Mack, Bobbi, and Izzy search for, and find, Commander Gonzales, who is grievously hurt and ready to shoot anyone who can’t adequately prove their allegiance. They’re there to extract him, but he’s got an ax wound to the thigh and this isn’t going to be so easy. Back in the present, Bobbi makes contact with Gonzales and Agent Calderon for updates. She informs them that she had to go to plan B because she was found out, but she has the toolbox. They tell her they haven’t found sign of Hunter or the pod he escaped in, and there’s no word on Mack yet. They all assume, rightly, that if Coulson knew something was up he would have sent Skye someplace far away.

A fist as big as your head.

Skye decides to start a fire and try on her new gloves, and immediately heads to her computer. Suspiciously there’s not connection to her computer anymore, so she calls Simmons about the gloves. There is no answer, so she leaves a message about them making her feel woozy, and discovers false panels on the wall of her cabin. She pulls some of them down and finds a – ahem – hulking fist imprint in a metal wall. Then she begins to hear creepy sounds and curses Fitz for making her watch Paranormal Activity. She grabs a fire poker and has a look around, then hears a knock at the door. With her nervousness apparently evaporated, Skye opens the door and it’s Gordon, who wants to have a word.

Gordon tells Skye that he can see, but not with eyes, of course, and he’s not there to hurt her. He’s like her and has come as a similarly afflicted friend.

Gordon: I wish you wouldn’t stare.
Skye: Uh –
Gordon: That was a joke. I’m not very good at them. I don’t mind that you’re curious, honestly. And yes, I used to have eyes. They were blue. This…this was the obvious change for me. What happens inside can be just as profound. You see, the mist changes everyone differently. The real difference between the two of us is what happened after we went through the mist.
Skye: What do you mean?
Gordon: I knew from an early age how special I was. Had a mentor, a guide of sorts. And the first thing she did after I transformed was embrace me. Tell me, Skye, what was the first thing that S.H.I.E.L.D. did to you?

Bobbi sneaks up on Simmons who is rooting through a locker and glad to see a friendly face. And Fitz is in the control room setting up his override. Coulson tells May that the agents he sent after Mack were found unconscious and Mack disabled the planes. He and May note that they aren’t killing people, behavior not in line with Hydra agents, but they did steal the toolbox and that’s probably not all they were after.

Gordon asks Skye how her power feels to her and she says it feels like a thousand bees inside her, all the time, that she can’t stop, ever. (That’s rough.) He asks why she’d want to stop it, and she’s like, “Dude, I’m out here destroying stuff!” He thinks she’s wrong about that.

Gordon: Every object in this universe gives off a vibration, did you know that? Nothing rests, and you have the ability to tap into those vibrations. You could become magnificent, but something’s inhibiting you, constraining your energy.
Skye: No, my friend’s a scientist. She made these to protect me.
Gordon: Or do they protect people from you?
Skye: No, it’s not like that. My powers, I can’t control them. And when I try to, it hurts me.
Gordon: Most gifts come with a price, but you could learn to manage it.

Gordon tells Skye she doesn’t have the tools to be her truest self without fear or pain yet, but she can if she comes along with him. He is with people “like us” who can help her learn about herself in a safe environment, and when she’s ready he’ll find her and he disappears.

Simmons tells Bobbi that she’s searching for a prototype that was powered off during the EMP blast and so might still be functional. She hands Bobbi a tiny white tube as she searches and prattles on, and Bobbi’s all, “Look, we’re wasting time and maybe we should go find Fitz.” Simmons finds the “prototype” at last and drops another tiny white tube into Bobbi’s hand, resulting in an electric shock that knocks Bobbi out. Then she radios to Coulson and May that she took Bobbi down like a magician.

While setting up the override, Fitz comes across Bobbi’s planted flash drive and Mack creeps up on him. Mack asks Fitz to trust him, insisting he would never hurt him. Flashing back to The Day S.H.I.E.L.D. Fell, Mack and Bobbi help splint Gonzales’ leg and Izzy says they need to move now because Hydra is closing in on all sides. Izzy is going to clear a path to the top deck while Mack, Gonzales, and the remaining S.H.I.E.L.D. agents follow, and Bobbi gives Izzy a medal to give to Hunter. Bobbi tells Mack that Fury gave her a second mission: to insert a chip into the server core to sink the ship. There would be no way for her to survive but there is cargo on board that Hydra can’t be allowed to acquire, and Gonzales wants to come with her to make absolutely sure that doesn’t happen. Everyone agrees that it’s a fool’s errand if she does it solo, so they all plot to help her sink the ship.

In the present, Coulson and Simmons have handcuffed Bobbi to a pipe and recover Fury’s toolbox while May searches through Bobbi’s locker for some indication of her plan. She finds a false panel with a gas mask inside and discovers that they’re not trying to get out, just as Coulson notices smoke pouring in. Mack continues to try to convince Fitz to trust him and then saves Fitz from the wall explosion that would likely have killed him. Gas masks on, Gonzales and his S.H.I.E.L.D. enter headquarters via the blown wall and authorize medical help for Mack and Fitz.

Flashing back once more, Bobbi, Mack and the crew make their way further below to plant the disk. They come upon Izzy who is handling Hydra agents like a boss. She says she came back down because she realized S.H.I.E.L.D. has retaken the top deck and a turret. Mack wonders if they should try to reclaim the ship, but Gonzales says they’re outnumbered so Bobbi agrees to push on.

Back in the present, The Real S.H.I.E.L.D. has taken over headquarters and they realize that Coulson put Skye in The Retreat formerly used by Bruce Banner. They think she must really be dangerous if he would put her there, so they assign a team of tactical agents plus Bobbi to apprehend Skye. When they break, we see May has observed their whole conversation and knows their plan.

Fitz-Simmons reunite!

At The Retreat, Skye removes her gloves to reveal her bruised hands and arms. She washes them, and as she relaxes she realizes she is unconsciously morphing the stream of water into a spiral that she can control. And Fitz and Simmons are sitting together in the lab as their stations are ransacked. Agent Weaver approaches them and they discuss who does and doesn’t have the right to call their organization S.H.I.E.L.D. Then Weaver asks Simmons to assist her with Mack’s injuries because she values her expertise and Simmons reluctantly complies.

Coulson has been handcuffed and brought to Gonzales who has taken up temporary post in Coulson’s office. Gonzales says he has no plans to move in, but thinks he should introduce himself as Coulson must be at a disadvantage.

Coulson: Oh no, I actually know quite a bit about you, Robert. You started in S.H.I.E.L.D. young, like me, dropped out for a while when your wife passed but then came back with a vengeance. Rose to command the Iliad three years later and, by all accounts, became one of the best commanders S.H.I.E.L.D. ever had. I know this because I spent months searching for you when S.H.I.E.L.D. fell. Because I’d heard you were a good man, because I wanted you on my team.
Gonzales: I wish I could say the same. I wish you were the man you were even two years ago. But by all accounts, you’re not.
Coulson: You didn’t know me then, and you don’t know me now.
Gonzales: I know that Fury brought you back from the dead.
Coulson: Right. I didn’t ask for that, but I’ve come to appreciate the gesture.
Gonzales: And that he filled your veins with alien blood. God knows what that did. Weaver thinks it made you some kind of messenger for an alien race. Can you say with certainty that that’s not true? And we haven’t even begun to discuss your protege, Skye. You two have a lot in common, at least you once did. What happened in the alien city, Phil? You say that you’re the director, so did she drag you down there kicking and screaming, or were you curious?
Coulson: I went to Puerto Rico to destroy the alien city and stop Dr. Whitehall, and that’s what we did.
Gonzales: In part, that’s true. And that’s why I want to give you a chance to be the good man I know you once were. We believe that Fury kept a lot of what he did from the World Council, that he had objects and people of terrifying power hidden across the globe. We want to find them and we want to make sure that they don’t destroy the very world that we fight so hard to keep safe. Show me how to open it.

May makes her way to a helicopter and uses the communications panel to call Skye and warn her that The Real S.H.I.E.L.D. is coming for her. (This would be a good time for Gordon to show up as he is wont to do, no?) The line disconnects and the power goes out, and as Skye leaves the compound she sees helijets hovering above. Inside, Calderon tells the agents not to approach alone and Bobbi reminds them that Skye is S.H.I.E.L.D., so they should only use icers when trying to capture her.

In yet another flashback, Bobbi, Mack, Gonzales, and the rest are taking fire but have made their way to the engine core. Mack doesn’t think they should blow the ship and Izzy agrees, but Bobbi and Gonzales want to stay on mission. Gonzales says she has her orders and this is not a democracy, but she thinks maybe it should be. Bobbi snaps the disc and vows to take back the ship, so the group takes aim and waits for Hydra to burst into the engine core. In the present, Gonzales recognizes that blowing the ship was the wrong decision and he would have killed hundreds of innocent agents.

Coulson: So now you operate as what? Five friendly faces who agree on everything? I don’t see the other four here talking to me, just you.
Gonzales: I have no desire to be the director.
Coulson: You think I did? Fury chose me.
Gonzales: He made you. You’re literally his creation. He thought of himself as some kind of king, made damn sure he had an heir to the throne. Try and remember, Project Insight was Fury’s idea. Secrets are what brought S.H.I.E.L.D. down the first time, and we won’t let that happen again.
Coulson: If you wanted to talk to me, Agent Gonzales, you should have talked to me. You put spies on my team, invaded my base, hurt my people. Fury’s secrets didn’t bring down S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra did.
Gonzales: I wonder if you really believe that. Guard, give this to Weaver and Fitz-Simmons. It may take some time, but they’ll figure out how to open it.
Coulson: You really think they’re gonna help you?
Gonzales: Everyone on your team is a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. We’ll let them make their own decisions.
May: I already made mine.

May shoots Gonzales with an icer and helps Coulson escape through a hidden panel in his office. She gives him some supplies and tells him to find Skye ASAP. Then Weaver and more agents arrive and capture her. Meanwhile, Calderon tells Bobbi about the day he saved Weaver and the academy. He says Hydra released an enhanced human and Weaver was trying to protect herself and others from them, but Bobbi insists that’s not Skye. Just then some agent who can’t follow instructions approaches Skye and they engage in some sweet hand-to-hand. She overpowers him and takes his gun as Calderon and Bobbi arrive. Bobbi shouts for Skye to stop but she reacts with her powers first: with a energy burst, she explodes several trees, causing a piece of wood to impale Calderon. Horrified by what she’s done, Skye calls for Gordon, who arrives in a swirl of blue and whisks her away.

In a Hawaiian bar, Coulson has a super fruity drink and is joined by Hunter. Hunter signs his name on a napkin by way of a contract and wants to know what the next play will be.

The Questions: What’s Coulson’s next play? Will Skye run into her dad now that she’s gone with Gordon? And will the rival S.H.I.E.L.D. factions ever learn to play together again?

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