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Once Upon a Time Recap: “Poor Unfortunate Soul” 4×16

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Aboard the Jolly Roger on a cold misty night, Captain Hook and crew are enchanted by the melodic tones of an unseen female voice. Hook is not completely taken over, and through his looking glass he spies the rocks his ship is on a collision course for. After regaining control of his ship, Hook explains to a still-bemused Mr. Smee that the song they heard came from the most dangerous creature in all the seas: a mermaid.

Back in the rocks, Poseidon, King of the Sea, chastises his forlorn daughter, young Ursula, for not continuing her song and allowing the Jolly Rogers to escape. Although the mermaid has learned to sing from her mother and insists that she would not want Ursula to use her gift like this, Poseidon argues that her mother would want Ursula to avenge her death. Although Ursula seems determined not to lump all humans together, Poseidon pulls the typical dad “my ocean, my rules” routine, tells her to pout all she wants, but be home by high tide.

In present time at Gold’s cabin Ursula is standing alone on the deck listening to opera on an old wireless when Cruella pops out to tell her she’s missing all the fun inside.

Gold and Regina are mad doggin’ flesh and blood August inside. Ursula enters full force and threatens a forgetful August with a knife to the throat. Regina magics it away from her before she can do any real damage, to accusations of becoming weak. But Regina suggests that they light a fire under the boy who was made of wood, and August starts remembering.

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Stop saying fish sticks! It’s not funny anymore!

August says back in Hong Kong he had a run in with a mystic called the Dragon, and this person knew about The Author and had been looking for him for years. After the Dragon died, August says he brought the mystic’s research to Storybrooke. Gold says he’s going to check August’s old trailer, and Ursula suggests they carry on with the rest of the plan. Regina is surprised and asks what else they aren’t telling her. Gold scoffs and says she’ll have to do a lot more to earn information, and for now to be content knowing she’s finally chosen the winning side. Annoyed by her lack of progress, Regina settles down by the fire.

Out in the woods, the Charmings, Emma, and Killian discuss Pinocchio’s safety, and Emma laments letting Regina dupe her into losing track of her. They lose the physical tracks they were following, but a large, ominous black and green ball of smoke heads straight for them. It envelopes Mary Margaret and she begins to speak in Regina’s voice.

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They really need to win an Emmy for best sound editing for this scene.

Regina says she must be quick, that August is being held in the cabin. Worse than that, Gold is back, and he’s looking for the Author too. And since Gold won’t tell her the rest of the plan, whatever it is must be really bad. Though David and Emma are startled, Killian seems especially tense. Regina vacates Mary Margaret’s body and Emma says there’s only one person who can help find and destroy Gold now.

At the pawn shop, Belle is shaken by the news of Gold’s return. Emma asks for the dagger to stop the fight before it starts, but Belle says that she gave the dagger to Killian last night. Killian is confused and says that if he had ever laid his hands on the dagger he would have shoved it though Rumplestiltskin’s heart. Emma puts the pieces together and guesses that Gold came back for the dagger disguised as Killian. Emma insists that they can defeat him because they have before. Killian tells them to go on to find August, and that he will uncover the Dark One’s secret. He tells Emma he will befriend the Sea Witch by returning her happy ending, seeing as he’s the one who took it from her.

In the cabin, Regina tries to ask August about the taped together story book page of her and Robin Hood. She’s surprised to find that August knows of Robin, and he tells her that just because Pinocchio doesn’t remember being August, that doesn’t mean August doesn’t remember being the boy. Ursula is suddenly distracted, and she leaves to stretch her tentacles.

Outside and far enough from the cabin to only be heard by Ursula, Killian is blowing into a large conch shell to summon the Sea Witch. Ursula sneaks up on him and wraps him in her tendrils. Killian insists he’s come to offer a deal and that Gold was wrong. He says Ursula doesn’t need to find the Author to get her happy ending because he still has it. If she’ll tell him the rest of Gold’s plan, he’ll gladly turn it over to her.

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This makes me the leader of the island, right?

Young Ursula, complete with legs, is singing a hypnotic tale to a tavern full of pirates. They’re enraptured with her voice. Captain Hook is among them, and he approaches her saying he knows she chose not to sink his ship. He buys her a drink and they share the tales of their woes. Ursula explains how her father wants to use her voice as a weapon against pirates because pirates killed her mother. To escape his control, she broke into his vault and stole a bracelet that allows her to walk on land. Hook tells her that, for just a moment, her voice made him forget over a century’s bloodlust, and he offers to take her to Glowerhaven, her destination, as thanks.

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Bloodthirsty supervillains sometimes hang out at Renfaire.

On the Storybrooke docks, Killian tells Ursula that her treasure is on the Jolly Roger, back in the Enchanted Forest. He asks if Ursula can still open portals underwater. Killian produces a piece of the rigging of the Jolly Roger, “a souvenir,” he says, so Ursula can locate the ship. She dips her tentacle into the water to work her magic, but Killian is disheartened when the ship doesn’t appear, saying her magic didn’t work. Ursula laughs, saying yes it did. In the harbor floats the Jolly Roger inside a glass bottle.

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If they don’t sell these in the gift shop at Disneyland, I will be disappointed.

Back in time, Hook is captured by Poseidon’s guards and brought aboard his own ship. Poseidon tells him he will use a shell he’s enchanted to take away Ursula’s only reason for leaving: her singing voice. Hook scoffs, resolute in his loyalty to Ursula. But Poseidon offers him a way to subdue the Dark One. For Hook’s cooperation he will receive squid ink, one drop of which is enough to paralyze any man, including Rumplestiltskin. Hook contemplates this deal as he stares at the proffered shell.

At the pawn shop, Killian and Ursula ask Will Scarlet for help restoring the now-tiny Jolly Roger. An apprehensive Belle asks how she can be sure this is the real Killian, and he calls her out for asking that question too late.

Will wants to know why he should help, and Killian says that they all want the same thing: to rid themselves of the Dark One for good. The key lies on the ship, which Will points out is a bit small. Killian supposes that the Knave of Hearts has spent enough time in Wonderland to know how to reverse such a thing, and Will assures him he’s got what they need.

Regina wanders through the woods contemplating the taped up page. Robin Hood calls to her from the fog, and an overjoyed Regina runs to him. They kiss, but Regina asks how he could be there. Before he can answer, Regina says they are being watched, and the Evil Queen appears in her regal attire, flinging a fire ball, ordering Regina to get away from Robin.

With a start, the real Regina wakes from this nightmare to the scoffs of Maleficent, who offers her help sleeping. Gold appears stating that he didn’t even bother to check August’s trailer because the man is a born liar. Instead he went to the Fairies and stole a bottle of magic that will return August to his wooden state, which, Gold warns, will be quite painful. As he shoves the potion into August’s mouth, the crackling of flesh turning to wood echos through the cabin. August is literally petrified.

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Where will you be when diarrhea strikes?

Emma and her parents arrive down the path and go on foot to Gold’s cabin. They haven’t heard from Killian yet, and David speculates whether Ursula has turned him. Emma, annoyed that he’s considering that, says that if Gold did to her what he did to Hook, she’d want to shove the Dagger through his heart too. Mary Margaret is shaken by such dark talk from Emma, but Emma assures her that’s not her and that’s not Hook either, but that she understands where Killian is coming from.

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“It’s no one, mom, jeez!” ttyl code9 PLOS

In the cabin, Gold smirks down at August who is now turning painfully back into flesh. Gold says the potion has activated Pinocchio’s built in lie detector. August claims to not know what Gold is talking about, but a wooden nose sprouts from his face. Gold pulls him in front of the fire place and warns that the next lie is going to hurt. Gold asks what he knows about The Author, but August insists he’d told him everything he knows. But the wooden nose grows, and August struggles to avoid the flames. He finally tells Gold that the Sorcerer trapped the Author behind a door, and Gold should know he’s telling the truth because Gold knows the Sorcerer exists. And Regina knows the Door exists because she’s seen August’s papers that Marco gave her. Regina tries to play cool and tells Gold they were just scraps of paper, so Gold suggests that she should have no problem sharing them. August describes the Door, and says that all he knows is that it’s somewhere in Storybrooke. Gold seems sated with this information, but Regina looks crestfallen that the Villains now know where to look. Gold says they will start their search for the Door at the Sorcerer’s mansion, and that Regina will come along since she knows that the Door looks like.

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If you’ve got to get your hands dirty, you should at least enjoy your work.

Killian and Ursula have made their way back to the docks with Will’s Wonderland magic and the bottled ship. Ursula drops the magic liquid on to the bottle, and Killian flings it into the harbor as it begins to glow. With looks of satisfaction, they watch the bottle turn into the full sized Jolly Roger.

Back in time, Hook approaches the young Ursula as they prepare to set sail. He shows her the shell Poseidon left, but swears he won’t use it to take her voice because it’s the last thing she has left of her mother. He may be a pirate, but he has a code, and he promises to never take Ursula’s voice from her. Ursula realizes that means he’s given up the only way to take his revenge, but Hook suggests that the vault where she got her bracelet is also where her father keeps the squid ink. If she were to steal it for him, she says, they could both have what they want.

Killian and Ursula board the ship in the Storybrooke harbor, and he uses the other end of his hook as a key to unlock his safe. Inside is the shell Poseidon gave him to steal Ursula’s voice. He asks for every detail of the Dark One’s plan. Ursula coaxes her voice from the shell, but it doesn’t work. She is furious and tells Killian the deal’s over. He says it’s not his fault that her magic didn’t work and that he upheld his end of the deal. She says villains aren’t meant to get happy endings and turns to leave, but Killian pulls his gun on her, saying the Dark One has taken too much from him already. Ursula knocks the gun out of his hand with a tentacle, knocks him out, and then disposes of him over the side of the ship. But from beneath, Ariel appears and pulls Killian to the surface, saying he can thank her later.

As Killian regains consciousness, Ariel slaps him, telling him that’s for betraying her and tossing Blackbeard overboard before he could tell her where Eric was. She got caught up with the ship, which was trapped in the bottle by Elsa, because Black Beard was using it to terrorize people, including the Kingdom of Arendelle. Reluctantly she thanks him for setting her free and asks why Ursula threw him overboard. He replies that he made a promise he couldn’t deliver, and maybe she was right, that villains don’t get happy endings. Ariel suggests it’s only because villains go about getting them the wrong way.

Back in time, young Ursula presents a grateful Hook with the squid ink. As they are deciding where to head next, Poseidon and his guards appear on deck. Though Hook says the fight is between him and the Sea King, Ursula confronts her father, saying all she has left of her mother is her voice. Poseidon says that all Hook cares about is revenge. He destroys the ink and Hook reaches for his sword. Poseidon mocks him for trying to attack a deity. Hook, a darkness coming over him, says he’s not the only one consumed by vengeance. He uses the shell to steal Ursula’s singing voice, saying Poseidon will never use it to sink another pirate ship. Ursula, betrayed and horrified, tells Hook to keep her voice because humans don’t deserve to hear it. She pulls off the bracelet and returns to the sea. Poseidon demands the shell back, but Hook tells him to leave before he destroys it.

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Noooo, that’s my only ticket out of this town!!

In the cabin, Cruella creepily flirts with August. Emma busts through the door and readies her magic, but Mary Margaret takes a frying pan to Cruella’s head, knocking her out cold. David unties August and Emma helps with magic, much to August’s admiration. He and Emma share a quick but heartfelt reunion, but Ursula barges in, sans Killian. She says Emma’s boyfriend is shark bait and winds a tentacle around Mary Margaret’s neck, warning Emma to back off, or her mother is dead.

An angry young Ursula sits on the rocks with her father as he tries to apologizes. But she feels the loss of her mother so deeply that she won’t hear it. She grabs his trident and says that she’s chosen a side, her own. She says that she was named after a sea goddess of old, and she’s reclaiming that power. She transforms her fins into tentacles and tells her father he no longer has to protect her; now he will fear her.

In the cabin, Emma pleads with Ursula to stop, but she insists that she needs August to help find the Author. Killian appears, alive and well much to Ursula’s annoyance and Emma’s relief. He says that he knows why the shell wouldn’t release her voice. The only one who could undo the magic was the one who enchanted it. Poseidon appears, thanks to Ariel’s assistance. He apologizes to his daughter, saying his heart broke when he heard her sing. He let it fuel his vengeance instead of reminding him of his wife. He returns her voice immediately and Ursula sings the beautiful familiar notes of her mermaid song. Her father turns to leave in shame, but Ursula tells him how much she’s missed him, and he her. They embrace, but Mary Margaret notices Cruella has made her escape, probably to warn Gold of the events.

As the others leave the cabin, Emma remains behind with Killian as she sees he is still brooding. He admits that, even though he gave Ursula everything she wanted, it was very easy to return to his old, dark ways. Emma tries to reassure him, but he reminds her that they’ve never addressed the fact that he was a villain, and villains don’t get happy endings. Killian worries that if the rules of the Book are true, it’s only a matter of time before he loses his happy ending. Emma, whether oblivious or just disbelieving, asks Killian what his happy ending is. With the saddest look EVER, Killian tells Emma SHE is his happy ending.

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Then they shared a kiss that caused Tumblr to crash for 40 minutes.

Meanwhile Cruella arrives at the Sorcerer’s mansion to warn Gold, Regina, and Maleficent that the heroes have rescued August. She also knows who the mole is. Though Regina braces for the reveal, Cruella names Ursula. Gold tells Regina to bring them the illustration of The Door.

Killian sees Poseidon and Ursula to the docks, but before she leaves she tells him the rest of Gold’s plan. The Author didn’t give the people of Storybrooke their happy endings; Emma did. As long as there’s the Savior, the Author can’t give the villains what they want. And Gold doesn’t just want to kill Emma. He plans on filling her heart with darkness forever.

Regina returns to the Charming’s apartment and finds Henry watching over a resting August, the Book spread open before them. She approaches Emma and tells her about her dream about Robin. Though she can’t explain it, Regina suspects that the Evil Queen was there to protect Robin, not hurt him. She asks Emma to find a way to contact him.

August wakes and Regina asks him about the page she’s supposed to steal. August says the Door isn’t in the mansion. The Door is on the page, and the Author is trapped inside the book.

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Episode 17 will be heavy in Door backstory.


All images are property of ABC.

ABC. “Images,” March 23, 2015. Television. March 24, 2015.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 213, “One of Us”

As Karla Faye Gideon tries to enjoy her dinner in spite of the contraptions on her hands, she hears a knock on the door. We get a look at her squalid apartment as she looks through the peep hole: Cal is there (with two pals in tow) to meet and recruit Karla. Cal says that he found her on the Gifted Index. Even with her knowledge of the GI and how S.H.I.E.L.D. has treated people on said list in the past (including her), she opens her door to Cal after saying that is how he found her and only asks if he’s with S.H.I.E.L.D. after they are face to face. Simply in terms of personal safety, why wouldn’t she assume he’s there to do her harm and, like, make an escape or something? Neither here nor there, I guess.

That looks infected…

Anyway, Cal tries not to be offended at her mistake – as they are most certainly not with S.H.I.E.L.D. – and goes on to explain that he’s putting together a little crew to go out and wreck stuff. He helped Levi, one of the pals, remove a chip S.H.I.E.L.D. had implanted in his arm so he could approach tech materials and obtain and decrypt the GI for Cal. And through the list Cal found Francis, the second pal, who had been imprisoned and drugged by S.H.I.E.L.D. for three years. Cal’s laying out a strong sales pitch for Karla: he knows that S.H.I.E.L.D. put those doohickeys on her hands and how she must really be longing for sensation in her fingertips, and he’s offering her freedom in exchange for her allegiance. She slams the door in his face, considers it, then lets the group inside. Levi is full of so much tech prowess that he’s able to disassemble the devices on Karla’s hands revealing that she has razor blades – scalpels from the look of them – for fingertips. No wonder she had special mittens! She touches her face as Cal reiterates his plan.

Cal: Don’t you think it’s time everyone learned how S.H.I.E.L.D. treats people like us? You should come help us teach them a lesson. I know I sound bat-guano crazy, but S.H.I.E.L.D. is a shadow of its former self. The director is a door to door salesman of a man. We can do some real destruction together!
Karla: I’m in.

Coulson and Skye enjoy grilled cheese and soup in her little cell and have a chat. Coulson tells her that they’re putting her on the Gifted Index and she begins to run down the highlights of her life: crazy, twitchy dad, dead mom, alien mist that turned her into a walking a natural disaster, dead friend… Coulson reassures her that Trip’s death isn’t her fault, but she’s pointing these things out to show how she’s getting a handle on her power. As he leaves, Coulson tells May that Skye thinks things will eventually return to normal for her in a tone that heavily implies delusion. As it’s policy for all new entries to the Gifted Index to undergo a full psychological evaluation and threat assessment, he asks May to reach out to someone named Andrew – if it’s not a thing.

May: Andrew? It’s not a thing. He might say no.
Coulson: Call him anyway.

Across the way in the lab, Bobbi wonders where May is off to and Simmons is having trouble completing Skye’s GI file. The DNA she’s dealing with only leaves her with questions. Fitz comes in and Simmons halts mid sentence and only resumes her thought when he leaves. Bobbi wonders how long she’s going to freeze him out.

Simmons: A betrayal of trust like that, it changes everything.

Bobbi gets a call from Mack who is panicking. He’s cuffed Hunter under a sink in a hotel room and Hunter’s spitting all kinds of venom Bobbi’s way. Mack is worried that this plan is going to the crapper (YA THINK?!) and that his and Hunter’s absences will begin to attract questions. Bobbi says they’ll bring Hunter in and that Mack should hang tight and grab some beer for Hunter in the mean time.

May shows up in action figure posture to speak with Andrew. He seems to be a professor at a university and there is thick, palpable tension between the two. In his office, May begins to explain that S.H.I.E.L.D. needs his help evaluating Skye. He reminds her that he doesn’t work with S.H.I.E.L.D. anymore for good reason, but she insists that S.H.I.E.L.D. has changed now that Coulson is director.

It’s not nice to let someone think you’re dead, Melinda.

Andrew: What the hell, Melinda? You show up asking for a favor but when I called you after S.H.I.E.L.D. collapsed to check if you were all right, not a word.
May: It was a busy time.
Andrew: *scoff* Thanks for the apology.

Andrew agrees to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. with conditions: he operates without supervision except as medically necessary, sessions with Skye are private, only he and Skye will get copies of the evaluation, and S.H.I.E.L.D. remembers that his duty is to Skye, not them. May agrees.

May: I should have called you back.
Andrew: Nah, I talked to your mom. She told me you were alive. We had a nice talk. She invited me over for dinner.
May: I’m not surprised. She still hasn’t forgiven me for divorcing you.

WHOA! May was married?! Cal arrives in an RV outside the gates of some property in Ohio claiming to a guard to have made a wrong turn. Karla pops up out of nowhere and slashes the guard’s throat when he dares to use his vocal chords, Levi uses lots of wires to blow the security box out front, and Francis gives us his best Incredible Hulk and pulls two of the gate’s bars apart for the group to enter what we now know is the Brynmore Maximum Security Psychiatric Facility – all while Cal gives a smile and a wave to the security camera.

May and Andrew arrive at HQ and Coulson alerts Bobbi that he’s just had a call about a break-in at Brynmore. This wouldn’t be important except S.H.I.E.L.D. runs a secret sub-basement on the north end to house mentally unstable people on the Gifted Index, which may be the target. As Bobbi heads off to prep the jet, Coulson asks her if she’s heard from Hunter. Coulson offered Hunter a full-time position but Hunter hasn’t reported in. Bobbi plays it off, like, “Oh, please. This guy hears ‘permanent’ and gets the heebie jeebies. #NotSuprised.” Coulson doesn’t seem entirely convinced.

Simmons has a grand time catching Andrew up on all of her data on Skye. She thinks some sort of sedative would help Skye control her powers but Andrew – rightly – thinks he should meet Skye before prescribing her anything. May offers to bring Andrew to Skye but wants to speak to her first; she thinks Skye might have a…reaction.

Skye: A shrink?!
May: It’s not personal.
Skye: Hell it’s not, it’s a shrink!
May: It’s standard procedure.
Skye: I know, but I’m not some rando on the Index. I’m an agent.
May: So you understand protocol, lovely. Andrew’s good and he’s done this before.
Skye: So have I thanks to growing up in the system. I hate this.
May: You’ll like it this time, because I was married to him.

Gotcha! Skye is totally willing to meet Andrew now and she wants details. Was May a bridezilla or was the wedding more understated? Did they have pillow talk, or pillow stern looks? Andrew’s not there to talk about May. He asks her why she shot herself and Skye says she did it to protect her team. Andrew’s like, “Um, yeah, because you’re an agent. Seems like you’re afraid of losing that.” Skye shuts down so he dangles a carrot for her.

Andrew: We eloped. We didn’t want a big wedding, and no, it wasn’t Vegas. Although Melinda does love Vegas.

Skye says she also shot herself because she couldn’t stop what she was doing. Andrew asks how she feels when it’s happening and predictably, understandably, she says, “terrifying.”

Over at Brynmore, Coulson and Bobbi have a look at the security footage and spot Cal waving at them. Apparently, after frying the communications and electrical systems, Cal and Co. tore through the facility, releasing prisoners in the process. Coulson and Bobbi head to the sub-level basement and Coulson catches Bobbi up on the two prisoners being held by S.H.I.E.L.D. there. The first, John Bruno, was a military assassin who became obsessed with finding new and creative ways to kill people. Just as Coulson’s about to detail Bachelor #2, Bruno pops up out of nowhere to attack Bobbi, saying they should never have come down there. She whips out some kicks, punches, flips and the like and takes him down bodily, prompting a very apropos, “Damn,” from Coulson. But where’s Bachelor #2?

This can only be that psycho Cal!

He’s in the RV with Cal, of course! Coulson gives us the deets on him: David A. Angar’s vocal chords were exposed to an energy blast that allows him to render living things catatonic with just a whisper. On the wall of Angar’s cell Cal wrote, “Fight On,” and Coulson doesn’t know what it means, but I bet Cal and the Gang traveling to Manitowoc, WI is a clue.

May and Andrew catch up over drinks. He thanks May for allowing him to divulge some details to Skye in order to get her to open up, and asks if she’s seeing anyone. May laughs mirthlessly, citing her inability to multitask. She offers to cook him something to eat, and as Fitz approaches, Andrew laughs and says he’s not that hungry. Fitz heads over to the lab to use the microwave, where Simmons is working.

Fitz: Won’t stay long, just didn’t want to disturb May and her ex.
Simmons: Disturb them from…
Fitz: They’re in the kitchen…talking.
Simmons: What are they talking about? Skye’s condition?
Fitz: No, it was of a personal nature. It seems that…May isn’t a good cook.
Simmons: Something Agent May doesn’t excel at? Interesting.
Fitz: Yeah. He-he teased her about it. And she was laughing.
Simmons: He makes her laugh! Oh, they clearly still have feelings for each other. Haven’t you seen it?
Fitz: Of course, I have eyes.
Simmons: I wonder what happened to them?
Fitz: They’re a bizarre pair. He listens for a living and she doesn’t speak.

He told her she couldn’t cook and she LAUGHED! It’s so bizarre!

And like that, they’re thick as thieves once more – until everything begins to shake again. May, Fitz, Simmons, and Andrew rush to Skye’s cell to discover Skye caused tremors again while she slept. They wake her and Andrew stays behind with her.

In the jet, Coulson and Bobbi continue to track and profile Cal and his group. Levi has a genius IQ but no regard for human life, and Francis is a former mob enforcer who took super enhanced steroids so as to be able to enforce more…forcefully? Bobbi points out that these people aren’t particularly gifted to be on the Index. He agrees, but they are also criminally dangerous so the Index acts as a kind of catch all watch list. We learn that Karla is a former medical professional who, in order to protect herself from an abusive boyfriend, had razors surgically grafted to her fingertips – and her boyfriend wasn’t her only victim. Bobbi is slightly unsure that Cal is the ringleader, but Coulson thinks “Fight On” is a pretty clear indicator that Cal wants a fight – but he doesn’t know where.

As Coulson mulls this over, Cal and Co. have breakfast at a diner in Manitowoc. Karla thinks maybe they should quit while they’re ahead and hide out from S.H.I.E.L.D. move on, but Cal says that’s phooey.

Cal: That’s the point, we can’t move on! We can’t slink away and let them take from us, from me! They took away my little girl and she isn’t safe there. I’m just like you: I wasn’t strong and couldn’t protect the people I loved so I tried to improve myself with chemistry. The results were…inconsistent. Some volatility issues. But we can’t stop now. WE can’t let them make us afraid. THEY are the criminals and we’re going to shine a light on that!

Probably continuing a conversation he’s been having with himself aloud, Coulson asks Bobbi if she knows why Hunter isn’t around. He says she’s a little hard to read, but Hunter isn’t, so how long have they been seeing each other naked again? Since Coulson says he needs to talk about something else to let his subconscious puzzle out where Cal and Co. are, Bobbi faux confesses.

Bobbi: I know I should have told you we started sleeping together again, but I broke it off. He slipped into his old patterns, bailing and beer, so Mack went off to find him. History repeats itself.

At the same time their computers get a hit on a location, Bobbi’s phrasing jogs Coulson’s memory and he calls May for backup. He now knows that Cal is going to attack in Manitowoc because of Coulson’s history: this is his hometown.

In her cell, Skye shows off her ability to control her heart rate (thanks, May!) to Andrew. He says this technique doesn’t make her feelings disappear it only pushes them aside, allowing them to resurface while she sleeps. He asks what she was dreaming about (which is what I asked immediately after they woke her up) and she deflects. She says she doesn’t want to answer because he keeps pressing her. Skye moves on and uses humor and sarcasm to deflect and Andrew tells her that she’s avoiding the truth, which is that she’s different now and has to learn to deal with that or she doesn’t sleep again.

Skye: I dreamed I was on mission, looking through the scope on my rifle. Next thing I knew, I was on the other side and the rifle was trained on me.

Andrew correctly assumes it’s a parallel to her being put on the Gifted Index and the room begins to tremor. He tells Skye she needs to calm down, but she’s not causing the shaking this time. (Whew!) May has taken off toward Manitowoc because Coulson needs backup. Andrew is a little peeved she didn’t warn him, but she didn’t have time to get his clearance and besides, he was in a session.

In the stadium of Manitowoc High School, Levi solders the thingamajig from Angar’s head and mouth and Karla, as their resident medical professional, removes it from his face revealing a mess of angry-looking, peeling skin. Angar opens his mouth as if to speak, but Cal’s like, “Whoa man! Not yet! Make it count.”

Needs to moisturize, stat.

Cal and the rest put on ear guards as Angar walks out onto the football field where players and cheerleaders are practicing. As kids do, they stare and record on their phones, and then Angar opens his mouth inhumanly wide and lets out a horrific and bestial roar. All of the kids pass out simultaneously – and a murder of crows fall from the sky to the field on top of them. Angar and Cal sure look pleased!

Back in the hotel bathroom, Mack brings Hunter some Hawaiian-style pizza, beer, and innocuous banter.

Hunter: Isn’t the prisoner supposed to choose his last meal?
Mack: If you were supposed to be dead, you’d be dead. I’m only doing what has to be done.

Mack recollects the mission where he and Hunter first met, where they were backup for Bobbi, but Hunter doesn’t want to hear any of this. He wants to know what Mack and Bobbi are up to, but Mack says he’ll know soon enough so Hunter’s like, “Eff off!”

Hunter: If you’ve got nothing to say, then get out. I tell you what I do remember: Dubai was a cover. And because I wasn’t S.H.I.E.L.D., you didn’t tell me. Lies, that’s what I remember.

Andrew is still peeved that May isn’t communicating with him about where they’re going. May isn’t swayed because Coulson needs backup and innocent people could be hurt. She says he and Skye can stay on the bus and she’ll go out to give Coulson backup, but Skye disagrees. She thinks she can be an asset for this mission, but May and Andrew both agree for once that Skye entering this situation would be an “emotional powder keg.” Skye says she knows she won’t lose control because she’s locking down all the emotions she’s having right now, and if she feels herself losing control she’ll just ice herself again. She suggests they tell her dad about how they’re assessing her and have put her on the Index, because he’ll react very positively to that.

At the high school, Coulson and Bobbi make their way to the edge of the football field and spy some of the catatonic birds. Just then Cal comes on over the loud speaker to call out Coulson. Coulson wants to wait for May because he and Bobbi are outnumbered and Cal continues to bait him. Cal reminds Coulson that Angar has attacked all these innocent high school kids and that he is supposed to be a hero, so Coulson finally walks onto the field with his hands up. The flood lights come on and as Angar disarms Coulson, Cal explains his end game: he simply wants to expose S.H.I.E.L.D. for its barbaric crimes against exceptional people and stop them before they do it to his daughter. Just then, May comes onto the field with a gun to Skye’s head and the situation has gotten very tense! May says they have already put her on the index and offers Cal an choice: do they contain Skye or put her down?

Cal wants to convince Skye to come with him, but May tells him that if he doesn’t let these people go she’ll kill Skye. Cal ignores this and gives us some plot exposition. Skye tried to kill him and chose Coulson so May won’t kill her. But he can hand a microphone to Angar so he can kill the whole town of Manitowoc! With impeccable timing once again, Gordon arrives in a sphere of blue energy and absconds with Cal. Coulson knocks Angar out before he can utter a word, May delivers a supreme ass kicking to Francis, and Bobbi takes down Karla in a locker room while Skye and Andrew watch. Coulson runs after Levi and knocks him out with his own equipment and Skye makes the earth move again. As she realizes what she’s doing, she visibly suppresses her ability and bruises erupt all over her hands and forearms before she passes out.

Back in her cell, she wakes to Simmons, May, and Andrew. Simmons tells her that the bruises are a result of capillary ruptures in her arms and over 75 hairline fractures from her clavicle to her fingers. Andrew clarifies that she wasn’t stopping her powers, only directing them inward. Skye is, naturally, at a loss but May assures her they will find a way. Then Simmons reports to Coulson that they need an “other” category.

Simmons: “Gifted” is both insufficient and too broad. “Enhanced” is what I would suggest we call people like David Angar and Mike Peterson; people whose gifts were man-made. Skye, Raina? This was inside of them, a part of them.
Coulson: We need to understand more about their powers. Espeically how to stop them, in case that becomes necessary. This is a priority, Agent Simmons. But keep this secret. Don’t bring anyone else in.

Hooray, more secrets! Andrew is leaving and recommends that Skye leaves S.H.I.E.L.D. altogether. Her condition is absolutely not conducive to that kind of work environment, but May insists Skye is safe with them. She asks Andrew if he would consider consulting for them, but he says S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t changed and he left for a reason way back when.

Mack black bags Hunter as their extraction arrives. In a random hallway, Mack begins to explain to Hunter who is being escorted by two armed guards.

Mack: You were right. For a while there, it all went to hell. It was bad. But now Bobbi and I work for an organization, an outlier that came out of the wreckage of what Fury left.
Mack: S.H.I.E.L.D. The real S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dun dun DUN!!! Hunter looks down the hallway past Mack and sees a very tell-tale S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem on a wall.

Cal is being held in a red room that’s very familiar to us by now, and he’s trashed all the furniture. Gordon comes by all, “Are you done yet?”

Cal: Why didn’t you take Daisy, dumb dumb?! She needs you!
Gordon: What we do is none of your concern.
Cal: Then why am I here?
Gordon: Because you’re making too much noise.
Cal: Noise? I’m sounding a battle cry! I’m protecting us from S.H.I.E.L.D.!
Gordon: There is no “us.” You’re not one of us, you’re a science experiment.
Cal: So what happens to me then?
Gordon: That’s not up to me.

Cal takes the hint and grabs his suit jack, straightens his tie, and leaves the red room to find out his fate (and to see who holds it).

The Questions: How will Skye live her life now that she knows that her power will either destroy her or other things? Who is Cal meeting with? Who’s running the S.H.I.E.L.D. that Bobbi and Mack are from? And why haven’t they combined forces instead of being double agents?

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 212, “Who You Really Are”

On some beach where people speak Portuguese, Lady Sif walks out of the ocean looking for Kava. Some young ones having a bonfire don’t know this Kava, but one is particularly pushy. He follows her as she walks away, clearly attempting some sort of suave sweet talk but Sif doesn’t want to hear it and launches him across the beach when he puts his hands on her.

Kava? Does anyone know a Kava?

At Headquarters, May is training Skye who is having difficulty using her feelings in a constructive way. She’s afraid she might really hurt May, she’s feeling such dark things, and Fitz thinks Skye should take a break. Skye assures Fitz she’s fine and she and May resume training in earnest, not holding back.

Bobbi and Hunter are becoming much…closer. Of course they’re still sleeping with each other, but now they’re actually discussing their lives. Coulson has offered Hunter a permanent position with S.H.I.E.L.D. now that there’s a vacancy (#RIPTrip). Hunter thinks that since working with S.H.I.E.L.D. puts he and Bobbi on the same side, there will be no strife between them and they can continue their relationship to a positive conclusion rather than the all-out war that usually occurs because they’re usually on opposing sides. But Bobbi still has ulterior motives.

Mac is still apologizing about his outburst but Coulson won’t hear of it.

Coulson: I’ve been thinking about it and I’ve been wasting your talents. I know you love cars and stuff, but I need you out in the field.
Mac: I’m not really the violent type. That alien thing made me do those things before. Don’t you have anyone better to do this for you?
Coulson: Look at you, man! You are kind of a beast.

Er, what? Come again? He’s a big guy, granted, but how exactly does that equate to “beastly”? Anyway. May approaches with news of a new mission in Portugal and it’s all hands on deck. May and Coulson arrive at a police station in Portugal to collect Lady Sif and are reminded not to forget her sword in booking. Speaking to Sif, Coulson shows her photos to convince her of their working relationship and learns that Lady Sif has lost her memory except for small bits of common Asgardian knowledge.

Just then, May turns up a video from Twitter that Skye found showing Lady Sif fighting some unknown man on a pier in Portugal. The man has excellent fighting skills and holds his own against the formidable Sif, but she is overcome as he jabs her in the abdomen with a wand he wields and throws her off the pier. Coulson, May, and Sif deduce that he must be alien, possibly Asgardian, to have such power against Sif. Then we see the man from the video walk into a hospital. He’s aggressive, angry, and needs the hospital’s power supplies for fuel. Oh, and he’s turning blue.

Back at headquarters, Fitz and Simmons have located more versions of the fight video and noticed a couple of things: Lady Sif damaged something mechanical that the blue man was wearing during their fight, and zooming in on the point of impact you can see a spray of blue liquid, possibly blood. Coulson assigns Fitz, Hunter, and Mac to head to the pier to check for forensics, and Skye and Bobbi to speak to locals for more information about the attacker. Not to be left out, Simmons has a suggestion.

Simmons: Sir, the science division has loaded the team with heavier suppression artillery. After Raina’s vanishing act, we advise that when you find this…man, you contain him first, ask questions later. New icers are still in development.
Fitz: New icers?
Simmons: The mechanical design is still top-notch, but we’re looking into a more concentrated dendrotoxtin formula.
Fitz: Wouldn’t that be dangerous?
Simmons: But effective. Given these elevated threats, we can’t risk it not being.

O-kay. On the pier, Lady Sif is quite uncomfortable not knowing things about herself. Coulson reassures her that’s not a total loss: one thing we know is that she’s on Earth undercover, judging by her distinct lack of armor. She’s pleased to learn that she’s a warrior, but can’t remember anything else.

May: What about Thor?
Lady Sif: I don’t know this word, but it sure makes me feel fuzzy inside. Why?
Coulson: Who can explain the mysteries of the Asgardian brain?
May: I can.

Me too! Have you seen Thor? I mean… As they search the pier for trace evidence, Hunter tells Mac that he’s taking the permanent position at S.H.I.E.L.D. and Mac is clearly on the offensive. Hunter notices scratches on a light post near where the blue man and Sif were fighting and it falls over when he touches it, as though it had barely been maintaining balance to stay upright. Fitz collects a sample from the divide in the pole to send to Simmons.

Bobbi and Skye arrive at the hospital to talk to the locals. They show a photo of the man on the pier to a nurse who doesn’t recognize him or know anything about the fight on the pier, but asking around will take some time as they are short staffed; one of their nurses has mysterious memory loss.

May and Lady Sif bond more about May’s knowledge of Sif’s life.

Lady Sif: I wonder if I serve the king as the great warrior you say I am.
May: Who, Odin! Heck yeah, you do! You’ve met him and everything.
Lady Sif: Shut. Up!

The man Coulson is interviewing recognizes Sif and calls her a dangerous monster, to which she takes great offense. Mr Cardoza says that after th efight, the blue man wrecked his balloon stand and stole his helium tank valves and split. Just then Simmons reports that the substance Fitz, Mac, and Hunter found wasn’t blood, it was liquid nitrogen. Lady Sif must have damaged the man’s supply hardware during their fight and he’s trying to repair the mechanism.

May: Why carry nitrogen?
Coulson: Fuel? A weapon?
May: Maybe he needed it to breathe if he’s an alien…
Lady Sif: No, there are only seven intelligent species across the known realms who need heightened levels of nitrogen gas and none of them are humanoid. Don’t you learn that on Earth?

Nice to see she remembers some things! Bobbi reports to Coulson that she and Skye have found some evidence at the hospital. They know he needs nitrogen and it’s used to power surgical equipment, so she and Skye start there. And find our attacker, all blue now, repairing his mechanism and looking human again. The blue man and Bobbi fight but he puts her down easily. Skye draws her gun but her powers take over and instead of defending them she dismantles her gun and causes a shelf to fall over onto her, pinning her to the ground and allowing the blue man to lead frog on out of the hospital.

At headquarters, Skye deduces that the blue man might be a Kree based on witnessing his nitrogen use, so Lady Sif thinks she must have been on Earth to capture him. Though his objective on Earth is unknown, his Kree origin is helpful: Lady Sif knows that the Kree word for “keys” is “Kava.” So they begin an all out search for any kind of reference to Kree keys, but not before Sif thanks Skye for engaging her enemy.

Skye is unraveling and Fitz tries to calm her.

Skye: I can’t control it when I get upset or nervous!
Fitz: Just wait until my diagnostics are finished and we might learn something that can help.

Hunter turns up, his timing so impeccable as to dead Skye and Fitz’s little meeting completely. They make excuses about going to search for “key” references and Hunter’s all, “Yeah, okay. Mmhmm. Sure. Nothing weird about this at all.”

Simmons gives Bobbi a clean bill of health and while she goes to grab antibiotics, Bobbi and Mac have a private chat. Bobbi wants to include Hunter in their dirty-looking business but Mac is dead set against it.

Mac: He’ll react badly and this will blow up in our faces.
Bobbi: What am I supposed to do, then?
Mac: I don’t want him here in case he takes their side. He’s a friend, I don’t want him fighting against us.
Bobbi: You want me to push him away?
Mac: Pushing him away now without having to constantly lie to him will give you two a chance to be together later, for real. You remember what it felt like to find our friends were Hydra.
Bobbi: But we’re not Hydra!
Mac: But you remember how it felt. Hunter needs to not be here at all when we pull the trigger on this thing.

Amid all the frantic searching for references to “keys,” May finds one regarding a city known for having many sedimentary basements called Chaves, which in English means “keys.” Chaves, Portugal, was the site of one of Dr. Whitehall’s digs in 1945 where he found one of the obelisks according to SSR files. This news unsettles Skye who opts out of this mission. She says she’s feeling a little woozy after her run in with the Kree, and lies to May that it isn’t about her nerves. After pinpointing exactly where the Kree is headed, the agents turn up just as he drags a crate out of a cave. He thinks they won’t stop him, so they shoot an electrified net at him.

Bobbi is running tests on the Kree’s wand that they correctly assume is how he wiped Lady Sif’s memory. Hunter arrives trying to be flirtatious but Bobbi rebuffs him, obviously acting on Mac’s opinion. She tells him that she wants to take it slow, but he’s suspicious. Usually they ramp up to nuclear levels of hatred before breaking up, but he storms off nonetheless.

Bobbi informs Coulson that she thinks only the Kree can operate his wand, as she wasn’t able to find any way to make it work. The Kree confirms this during interrogation and does some quick kicks and lunges to grab the wand from Coulson and hit Lady Sif in the abdomen again, restoring her memories. Sif’s even more on guard now, because Asgardians do not trust Kree, as a rule. Heimdall saw that a Kree had landed on Earth, so she was dispatched to capture him, which is almost exactly what we had all already assumed was her reasoning for being there at all. The Kree says he’s there because of terragenesis.

Lady Sif: Ancient Kree, descending on planets, altering the inhabitants to fight their war.
Kree: Yeah, that. Earth was one of them.
Lady Sif: Eons ago the Kree waged high casualty wars and needed more soldiers.
Kree: No, we needed killers. A faction of Kree began genetically modifying species on different planets. It failed, yes, but not on Earth. We found out that the faction had built a city and brought the diviners which hold the crystals. We exposed and thwarted them and put it behind us. Then I saw that an ancient signal had been triggered, I knew it was a diviner. If the Kree find out about this, they’ll want to restart terragenesis. The genetically modified creatures affected by the faction are abominations and we have to find the diviners and erase knowledge of them.
May: How many diviners are supposed to be in that crate?
Kree: Enough to create an army.

That would be seven, but Simmons has just discovered that they’re all missing. She thinks they all disappeared back in the ’40s when Whitehall had his dig, so does that mean Hydra has them? If not, who does? Simmons notices Fitz’s diagnostics of Skye has completed and is really intrigued. Fitz clearly doesn’t want Simmons to know that the information there isn’t really a simulation but Skye’s blood and wrenches his tablet away from here. Not suspicious at all.


The Kree says it’s imperative that they find the diviners and anyone who was affected by them. They’re all slave warriors and they’re dangerous. As the Kree, Coulson, May, and Lady Sif discuss Raina’s transformation and how she was not “put down,” Skye becomes agitated when the questions are pointed at her. Being told – indirectly – that she’s a dangerous abomination who needs to be put down is causing her lots of stress, so we know what that means: earthquakes and shattered windows!

Lady Sif and the Kree both want Coulson to hand Skye over. She’s been activated and it’ll be much safer for everyone if she’s in Asgard and eliminated. Skye insists that she doesn’t want to be like this, that she’ll get a handle on her power, but Sif and the Kree know that she might not want to but she was designed to destroy and needs to be put down. Coulson, May, and Fitz balk at the idea of euthanizing Skye, naturally, and abscond to a hiding place. As she runs with May, Skye apologizes to Simmons, who deduces that Fitz knew about Skye’s transformation all along in the split second it took him to follow behind them. Fitz gives us the most concise plot summary ever as he comes across Bobbi and Mac: “Lady Sif and the Kree are trying to take Skye away.”

Coulson continues trying to reason with Sif but the Kree throws him across the room instead. He rounds a corner to run into Bobbi, Mac, and Hunter. The Kree notes their second matchup and her nobility in fighting for her people. May gets Skye down into one of the prison cells and tries to help Skye focus and calm down, but Sif’s sword is threatening to cut the cells door screen open. As the Kree is prepping to take Bobbi out, Hunter pops up and shoots him with a huge fire-blasting gun, giving Bobbi enough time to make the Kree hit himself with his own wand. Lady Sif breaks through as Skye panics about not being able to calm herself. Then Skye grabs a gun and shoots herself in the shoulder and Sif stops her attacks. With Skye passed out, Sif realizes that Skye being willing to harm herself means she knows how dangerous she is.

Back in her armor, Lady Sif, the Kree, Coulson, and May arrive in a field to travel back to Asgard. The Kree has no memory and gives us some enjoyable fish out of water moments. Sif knows Coulson thinks she overreacted but he needed to know that keeping Skye is a dangerous decision. There are some tides of the universe that one can’t swim against. They squash their beef and Heimdall opens the bifrost to take Lady Sif and the Kree away.

May has come to a few conclusions.

May: You died. You were brought back, with a map to a city encoded in your DNA. Our team’s first mission, picking up Skye, then last week, we took her to that city. I can’t help but think about what Lumley said.
Coulson: Wherever Skye goes, death follows.

Fitz apologizes to Simmons for not being more forthright and she thinks that’s hilarious. He’s like, “Whatever, I lied to you. But you were talking about Raina like you were going to kill her and stuff.” Simmons argues that she would never have done that to Skye, and Bobbi, Hunter, and Mac chime in that it wasn’t fair for Fitz to keep this from them. Surprise, they’re all upset! Fitz thinks they shouldn’t be trying to “handle” Skye, they should be trying to protect her because she’s their friend. Mac thinks they’re the ones who need protection from her.

And Skye stood in the doorway listening to all of it. Fitz chases after her but she continues to her newest quarantine cell without a word.

The Questions: Where were Raina and Gordon this week? What are Bobbi and Mac about to pull the trigger on?

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Once Upon a Time Recap: “Unforgiven” 4×14

It’s 2:38 in the morning. Mary Margaret wakes feeling disconcerted. David is missing and Neil is crying. Mary Margaret is suddenly surrounded by our villainous trio, Cruella, Ursula, Maleficent. Neil appears in Maleficent’s arms and Mary Margaret begs for them not to hurt her family. But Maleficent promises that soon she won’t have a family left to hurt.

Mary Margaret opens her eyes to find it was all a terrible dream. She checks on Neil and finds David wide awake and pensive. He shares his wife’s concerns for Cruella and Ursula’s new-found residency just down the street. David has taken to steadying his nerves with a whisky double and assures a shaky Mary Margaret that it doesn’t matter what Cruella and Ursula know so long as they “kick them the hell out of this town before anyone else learns what they did.”

Screencap, ABC
Cue the ominous title card complete with a familiar looking dragon.

Back in the Enchanted Forest, Charming quips to Snow outside their kingdom that he’s surprised his wife is so excited to cut their honeymoon so short, but his wife is all business as she reminds him that the Evil Queen still needs dealing with. They discover Sleepy and a royal guard passed out at the gate. Assuming that the sleeping curse is Regina’s handiwork, they charge into the castle square where they are greeted by Maleficent. She introduces her partners, Cruella and Ursula, then assures them they’re not there to fight.

Over in Storybrooke a tired-looking David and Mary Margaret share concerned glances towards the town’s newest inhabitants over cups of coffee. A very out-of-place Cruella sits at the counter with Ursula and grumbles about the slow service. The enigmatic Will Scarlet—- the Knave of Hearts appears, asks for the usual, and receives two cups of coffee without delay, and without paying it seems. Cruella makes an ominous remark involving adding a wolf coat to her collection.

Regina enters with Henry. Ursula requests “a heart rip” to encourage Granny to move more speedily with the drinks. The two villainesses reminisce about Regina ripping out the hearts of villagers. Aggravated that they would say this in front of Henry, she sends her son to her office to get a start on The Book without her. She tells Cruella and Ursula in no uncertain terms that if they ever bring up her sins in front of her son again they “will find themselves across that town line faster than they can say costume jewelry.” Cruella scoffs and reassures Regina her rocks are blood diamonds, thank you very much, and they flounce out.

David and Mary Margaret approach Regina to deal with their “latest crisis.” Regina assures them the women don’t have much magic and argues that they are there for redemption. Mary Margaret is shocked to hear that Regina believes that. Regina insists that if it wasn’t a possibility she never would have let them in town to begin with. David insists that they should be watched around the clock.

As Cruella and Ursula quit the diner, they encounter Hook and Emma arriving for lunch with her parents. Ursula looks Killian up and down and gives a curt “Hook” in his direction. Emma shows way more surprise than she should that the most famous pirate to tread water in Neverland knows the Sea Queen. Hook admits he’s “encountered many a vile creature in his voyages.”

David runs out of the diner and insists that he and Emma follow the dark duo. Emma, lamenting over the grilled cheese she’s been obsessing over all day, gives Killian a chaste kiss and sighs, “Looks like duty calls.”

Screencap, ABC
*sheriffing intensifies*

Cruella and Ursula enter Gold’s Belle’s shop. They are barely three steps in a piece before Belle promises that if they try anything, they will both “hop out of there as toads.” And she’s got the dusty potion bottle in hand to prove it.

They begin pushing Belle’s buttons about her past with Gold, and then play on her guilt and sadness over her decision to exile Rumple. Belle says she is in no way happy or proud of defeating her estranged husband. While they get some sick satisfaction in baiting her, it all proves to be a distraction. In a move that is creepily reminiscent of a Drawn Together episode, one of Ursula’s tentacles meanders its way around the shop out of Belle’s sight, and snags a small box with Maleficent’s trademark headdress upon it.

Deeeeeeep beneath the town’s library Rumple receives a text from Cruella (Sure, there’s service down there NOW). He whirls some cavern dust around and quietly promises Maleficent her “slumber is nearly over.”

Regina joins Henry in her office and finds him immersed in The Book. Henry asks how Regina is doing because she sure didn’t seem fine back in the diner. Regina admits they remind her of a time she’d like to forget. This encounter has made her doubt that her happy ending is even possible. Regina says the closest she’s ever really been to happy was when she and Robin were together with Henry and Roland.

Henry, in typical kid fashion, gets crumbs all over the book, and Regina sweeps them off. She remarks that some pages feel different than the others, and Henry tells her that they were added by August to help make Emma believe that he was telling the truth about magic. Regina suggests that August must know something about the book since he was able to add to it. Unfortunately August isn’t around anymore, but Pinocchio still is.

Meanwhile an obsessive David and a questioning Emma have staked out the pawnshop. Emma feels David is being evasive with his version of history regarding Cruella and Ursula, but before she can press him further their quarry retreat in Cruella’s de Vil-mobile. Fun fact, you can buy the 1987 Zimmer Golden Spirit Crucru’s car is modeled after for less than a family-friendly mini van. As he gives chase, David tasks Emma with questioning Belle over the de Vilish duo’s motives for visiting the shop.

Back in the castle, Snow and Charming give Maleficent and her squad cautious audience. Maleficent warns the newlyweds that the threat Regina made at their wedding was not an idle one, for Regina has just stolen The Dark Curse from her. Maleficent tells Snow and Charming that deep in the forest there is something the Fairies call The Tree of Wisdom, and it will answer any question asked of it. Unfortunately the tree can only be unlocked “by two of the most valiant heroes.” Maleficent provides a map to the Tree and insists on escorting the heros there, “for all of their safety.” Snow and Charming weigh the pros and cons of such a plan. They agree they have no other choice.

Emma tells David of the missing box. David decides to pull the women over. In the most flagrant disregard of the Fourth Amendment, David searches their car and finds a hidden compartment containing the box. He returns to Emma claiming the car is clean and lets their suspects go much to Emma’s confusion. Emma suggests checking the pawnshop’s security cameras. David agrees, but fends off another of Emma’s suspicions that something else is troubling him. We find that David has palmed the contents of the stolen box: a small orb held in a dragon’s claw.

Screencap, ABC
This totally won’t be relevant later, right?

Later in the apartment, Mary Margaret is horrified to learn that something that meant very much to Maleficent was found in Cruella’s car. Obviously this means that the women are going to try to resurrect their de facto leader. The only thing to be done, they decide, is to remove Maleficent’s remains from under the library and dump them in the harbor. Seems  reasonable.

Picking up in the Enchanted Forest, Snow and Charming try to earn passage over a bridge on the route to the Tree of Wisdom. But the guards refuse to allow the villainous trio to cross. Snow’s indignation subsides as she realizes Maleficent has disappeared. A rushing noise from below the cliffs turns out to be Maleficent in her dragon form, and she blasts the bridge guards with her flames. Snow and Charming, though disgusted and enraged, can do nothing to change what’s transpired and silently follow the villains across the bridge.

Screencap, ABC
Don’t spend too much on the costumes for the guards. We’re only going to need them for one episode.

Emma is hunkered down at the sheriff’s station in front of her computer. Killian joins her and deposits a paper sack from Granny’s on the desk. Finally, the Savior can eat lunch! She explains that she’s checking ATM camera footage in an attempt to see what Cruella and Ursula may have stolen from Gold’s Belle’s shop. As they wait for the video to download, Emma presses Hook about Ursula.

With too-big a smile, Hook plays the acquaintance off stating that she’s just another sea monster among many that he came across during his pirating days. Emma, who knows a non-answer when she hears it, asks what, exactly, does that mean? Killian physically moves away from Emma and simply says he doesn’t recall. Emma remains playful for a moment, but Hook’s tacitness leaves her in stunned silence. Annoyed that someone else seems to be keeping more of the story from her, Emma leans back and probably uses her Powers on him to see if he’s lying, which is super duper obvi is, duh.

Outside David and Mary Margaret load up the truck for what looks like an adventure-about-to-happen, but insist to a suspicious Emma that they are only going for a hike to get their minds off Cruella and Ursula. She shows them the ATM footage and can’t understand why they have lost interest in the thieves.

Screencap, ABC
The new iphone comes bundled with the Big Brother app.

Mary Margaret says she and David have been treating them as villains ever since they stepped foot in Storybrooke. David says backing off is the right thing to do. By now Emma’s B.S. meter is in the red and blaring but she leaves them and returns to the station.

Act II opens with Regina and Henry in the Mayor’s office with Marco and his son, Pinocchio, who is flipping through The Book. Sadly it seems that Pinocchio doesn’t find The Book familiar. Hopefully, Regina thinks, Emma may jog his memory. Emma is initially unsettled by the idea but offers to try. Emma puts on her best Disney princess voice for young Pinocchio, but unfortunately Regina’s patience is running thin. As Pinocchio apologizes for not being able to remember anything, Regina starts to crack and raises her voice in frustration, saying he’s not trying hard enough. In the most awkward scene ever, she asks if his head is still made out of wood, and Marco goes mama bear on her like whoa. He demands she stay away from his boy and leaves an emotional Regina alone to seethe.

We join up with David and Mary Margaret’s “hike” down in the mines as they continue to debate lying to Emma. But David insists that this will all end when they get rid of Maleficent’s ashes.

Back on their real hike, Snow and Charming have ditched the villains and found the Tree of Wisdom. They ask the Tree how to stop the Evil Queen’s curse, but are blown back. As the trio of witches come upon them dusting themselves off, Maleficent speculates that the pair may not be as valiant as they thought.

In present day David and Mary Margaret have found Maleficent’s remains, but are knocked on their backs by Ursula’s tentacle whip, which I think was a Pokemon move, or a horrible smoothie.

Marco is working out his frustrations in his garage workshop when Regina appears. Despite a terrible start, Regina insists that she’s come to apologize. She actually says “I’m sorry” with all sincerity, and this moves Marco to share with her what’s left of everything August brought to town when he was still an adult. Regina leaves with August’s pack, and about 400 XP for receiving this quest item.

The rarely-seen Rumple stands over the unconscious bodies of David and Mary Margaret as Cruella and Ursula look on. The witches tell him Belle suspects nothing and didn’t even mention his name during their encounter in the shop, adding that she’s probably moved on. Rumple leaves Cruella with a silver knife to finish the job, whatever that may be.

At the Tree, Maleficent speculates on why Snow and Charming were rejected. She realizes to her ire that Snow is carrying a child. Why is this a problem? the new parents ask. Maleficent provides a troubling answer: While the child inside Snow is the product of True Love and could grow to be “a powerful hero capable of great good.” But there is also the potential that it could become a villain, “just like us,” she muses. The three leave Snow and Charming to find another way to stop Regina’s Dark Curse.

Screencap, ABC
Sure, the kid might be evil. But look at what a fierce dresser he or she might become!

Cruella wakes up David and Mary Margaret quite rudely by slicing their hands to get their blood on Maleficent’s ashes. The orb was just a ruse to get them down there, to provide the blood of those who wronged Maleficent the worst. The ashes start to whirl and take shape into a sinewy form. To David and Mary Margaret’s horror their fearsome enemy now stands flesh and blood before them.

Maleficent makes it quite clear she doesn’t care about the couple’s secret; she cares about their pain, which she plans to revel in. She and the rest of the Plastics make their exit, leaving David and Mary Margaret devastated and newly determined to tell Emma the truth.

Killian appears in the sheriff’s station at Emma’s request. She knows there’s something that he’s not telling her, but that’s ok. The lying part, though, that’s right out. He agrees, but is still very reluctant to tell what seems like a story that may make Emma think twice about him. But Emma, with the earnest face of someone who really believes in the person she’s looking at, tells Hook there’s a reason she’s choosing to put so much faith in him. She admits that she has a tendency to expect the worst of people, which is why she worried her own parents were lying to her earlier. She chooses to see the best in him, because that’s how her parents live.

David and Mary Margaret, who have witnessed this profession of faith in Hook and in them, interrupt a kiss between their daughter and Hook. Emma doesn’t suspect their audience. Mary Margaret promptly tells Emma that Maleficent has been resurrected.

In our final flashback of the episode, Snow receives a real middle of the night visit from Maleficent. It is here that Maleficent reveals exactly why she knows Snow will unite with her against Regina. They are BOTH expectant mothers! But even now, Snow insists she and Charming will not compromise who they are to stop Regina, and they will find their own way on their own terms. Snow insists she will not become like a villain to do it.

During what Regina calls “a cloak and dagger” meetup in the rain, Mary Margaret informs her that Maleficent is back and that Regina needs to go undercover with the coven to figure out what they’re planning. Regina doubts that the witches will buy her sudden about face.

Mary Margaret looks deep into the past, saying that although she didn’t keep Regina’s secret as a child, now she needs Regina to keep hers. Mary Margaret relates Maleficent’s warning about their child, and despite Regina reminding her that Emma’s the Savior with “magic as light as it gets,” Mary Margaret admits that she and David went to “extraordinary lengths” to make sure that was so.

Mary Margaret, with quavering voice, appeals to Regina as a mother, saying she doesn’t want Emma to know what she and David did for the same reasons Regina doesn’t want Henry to know what she did in the past. The worst thing would be for their children to “lose faith in the people they had become.” To tell Emma the truth may cause her to lose faith in her parents, and “send her tumbling down a dark path.”

This poignant speech overlays Henry discovering in August’s pack a drawing of a door with a post-it note that reads “The Author?” A shocking discovery is made by Rumpelstiltskin as he fondly watches Belle tend to the shop, only to find that’s she keeping time with the errant Knave of Hearts Will Scarlett. And finally, in the most heartbreaking scene of the series, Maleficent reunites the small orb held by a dragon’s foot with the rest of the claw. With a little shake, we see that she is holding a baby’s rattle.

Screencap, ABC
That sound you hear is the tears of a dragon.


All images are property of ABC.
ABC. “Images,” March 8, 2015. Television. March 9,2015.

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Ep. 211, “Aftershocks”

Season 2B starts off with a young man in a red box. He’s clearly special: he’s teleporting around the room but without any control. His eyes are missing – as in completely not there – and he looks like a certain someone who made an ominous phone call previously. Skye’s mother Jiaying arrives to comfort him. Patiently, she guides Gordon to her, helping him to understand and manage the changes that have happened to him after stepping through the mist. After calming him, Jiaying discusses her role with Yat-sen.

Jiaying: Without me guiding these poor kids through their changes they would be lost.

Like Skye, who is quarantined with S.H.I.E.L.D. and having nightmares about poor Trip’s rough break. She wakes to Coulson standing vigil and Skye expresses her guilt; she feels like Trip wouldn’t have ever gone into the city if it weren’t for her, but Coulson insists he gave his life to save millions. Skye wants to know how everyone else is adjusting and they’re largely distracting themselves: May is beating the tar out of a punching bag, Mac is still being a mechanic with his faithful assistant, Fitz, Morse reminisces, and Hunter is drinking his woes away.

Get me some Cactus Cooler, stat.

Coulson tells Skye that Mac cleared to be released from quarantine quickly. Apparently the force that was controlling him doesn’t like to stay long. And Simmons is still in the city collecting specimens with the plan to blow the whole city so no one can enter again. No sign of Raina yet in the rubble, and Coulson was surprised that Skye is unharmed in all the destruction. But she’s freaking out.

Skye: We lost! Game over, man, game over! If I didn’t go down there, you could have just blown the place like you wanted to originally!
Coulson: Hey! Get it together! We lost a battle but the war continues until we cut off every head Hydra has! While they scramble for a new head, I WILL DESTROY THEM.

The current incarnation of Hydra have a meeting to discuss Whitehall’s death and the management vacancy it left. They know that S.H.I.E.L.D. will retaliate and set a contest between them: whoever takes out S.H.I.E.L.D. gets to replace Whitehall. Back down in the city, some poor scientist is attacked by someone. Something? We can’t see the attack, but we do see the pool of blood travelling around the corner and a hand covered in spiky quills that might just belong to the missing Raina.

Continuing with the systematic excavation of the city, Simmons gives orders to two more besuited scientists to collect samples from a particular area quickly so they can hurry up and flood the place. Not two seconds after she leaves them, our spiky attacker slashes the two scientists’ throats and gets a glimpse of itself. Yup, it’s Raina and depending on who you talk to, she’s not as gorgeous as before. Simmons unloads a clip at her but Raina is able to escape to the surface.

Morse brings Skye an awesome quarantine care package: cards, homemade trail mix (healthy), candy bars (not healthy), trashy magazines, and the sweet, orange glory that is the exclusively Californian Cactus Cooler. Skye feels like a leper but Adrian assures her that she’s dope: “You were taken hostage by three known murderers, gunned Ward down, and were blasted by an alien chemical weapon and walked away unscathed. You’re a rock star, not a leper, silly.”

Fitz is struggling to make sense of the fragments of Skye’s biometer watch. If he can fix it, he can get an idea of what happened to her, but his wires are crossing. Mac offers his small electronics kit for tinkering, but Fitz is more curious about how he’s doing.

Fitz: How’s your head?
Mac: I told you it won’t do me any good to give you a play by play.
Fitz: You know you can talk to me.
Fitz: …Yeah.
Mac: Oh. Yeah. Sorry.

Simmons reports on the deaths in the city and her Raina sighting. She informs Coulson and May that she wounded Raina who seemed to have been covered in spikes. Simmons says she collected a specimen but really doesn’t want to go on a manhunt for Raina. She’d rather come back to headquarters to see everyone and run tests on Raina’s DNA and Coulson agrees. Then he tells May to gather everyone to plot how to take down Hydra.

Coulson begins to outline a preliminary plan for destroying Hydra and a great ping ponging scene of dissent begins to play out. Mac is grumpy because Coulson’s choices seem to be getting people hurt, Hunter likes to make ill-timed jokes to “lighten the mood,” and May is still a company woman. Mac is pissed off at how Coulson’s orders – even when they’re to save one of their own – usually end with people getting hurt and everyone explodes into an argument. Inside her quarantine room, the stress and anger is getting to Skye and she’s about to spill the rest of that orange gold in a can, but no one notices. Coulson checks Mac.

Coulson: Enough! If Trip were here he wouldn’t be arguing or bitching. He’d gear up to do what needs to be done. Yes, we’re dealing with forces we don’t understand, but I do understand Hydra. Get your crap together and be ready by sun up. Coulson out!

Meet your new bestie, Bakshi.

Down in their lovely prison cells, Coulson begins to reveal part of the plan: he is trading Bakshi to Talbot in the military in exchange for their help in eliminating the remaining Hydra leaders. Coulson and May transport Bakshi and discuss their plan. May is relatively sure they can trust Talbot, but what about the people around him? We know how insidious Hydra is; any of them could be working for the enemy. Just as they reassure themselves of their need of Talbot’s help – and let slip that Bakshi might be more important to Hydra now that Whitehall is dead – their SUV is T-boned by a speeding Mack truck.

The truck pushes the vehicle through a wall and into a warehouse of sorts and a shootout ensues. Coulson and May are taking heavy fire and toss some grenades. May is all, “I count four left. You know what that means.” Then she does an awesome action star flip over the hood and takes the rest out single-handedly. I love this woman. They remove Bakshi to escape and May is shot, followed quickly by Coulson. One of the opposition is saving Bakshi: “Come on, the SUV is still running!”

In their escape vehicle, Bakshi is asking his savior about the current state of Hydra and that voice sounds familiar. The shooter takes off his mask and it’s Hunter but with an American accent! He tells Bakshi that he supposes he’s working for him now that Whitehall is dead. Back in the warehouse, all the dead bodies come back to life: everyone involved in their dramatic display was an agent and Morse speeds off on her motorcycle after Hunter and Bakshi.

Mac tells Fitz that the plan has worked so far but Fitz is still having trouble with Skye’s watch. His hands are getting better but his head must be getting worse because he can’t explain his findings. Skye’s DNA will help, but he doesn’t think he’ll be able to truly understand until Simmons returns. Bakshi calls Bloom to report he’s alive and Hunter pulls a gun on him.

Hunter: Don’t try anything sneaky, this will be painless.
Hunter: I’m under orders to kill you once you make contact. My employers don’t want any of you nutters to get in the way.
Bakshi: Don’t kill me! If you take me to Bloom you’ll be financially set for life, I’ll braid your daughter’s hair, and if you ever need a kidney you have a donor in me!
Hunter: Ah, alright. Get in.

While another blood sample is taken from Skye, Simmons reflects on how changed Raina was when she saw her. Raina’s DNA contains extra macromolecules and Simmons is freaked out that Skye’s exposure to Raina might have far reaching, epidemic-like consequences.

Skye: That’s a hasty conclusion, don’t you think?
Simmons: I was so curious about powers and unearthly powers, hoping to understand and control it. I should have been trying to destroy it. It’s a plague and it only brings us death! Donnie Gill, Chan Ho Yin, Creel…
Skye: But you’ve helped people with powers before! The Avengers —
Simmons: The Avengers wouldn’t be necessary if we hadn’t gone poking that alien bear! Trip was in fragments.

Simmons is determined that Trip be the last casualty caused by her thirst for knowledge and says flooding the city is the first responsible thing she’s done to protect the people she cares about.

Raina Inhuman

Back in Puerto Rico on a pier, Skye’s dad Calvin is making a deal for travel. “Quiet as a mouse, just like last time.” Raina finds him and shows her how she’s evolved. “What the hell have I become?! What happened to me?”

Calvin: Metamorphosis, by the look of it.
Raina: It wasn’t supposed to be like this! I was supposed to become something divine, transcendent. My grandmother said I’d be an angel, not some gnarled creature covered in thorns.
Calvin: You always did like flowers.
Raina: They hurt and this is your fault! Your daughter got a gift too and she’s still beautiful! She took what was mine!
Calvin: We all have our disappointments. I dreamt of a perfect reunion with my daughter and revenge for my wife and Coulson rained on ALL OF MY PARADES! But you said she’s changed! She’s gonna be afraid, but I bet she went back to Coulson. She’ll come to me when she sees how they treat her. I’ll wreak some havoc with the help of their index, remind Daisy that she needs me.
Raina: What about me? Aren’t you going to help me?
Calvin: I did. We helped each other achieve our goals and now you’re on your own.
Raina: I can’t live like this! My insides feel like gravel and I cut myself when I move. I can’t live as this repulsive creature.
Calvin: Then don’t.

Cold blooded. (Is it wrong that I was distracted from this scene by noticing that Raina’s makeup could have been done better by a Face Off All Star? Seriously, she couldn’t emote through that face application at all! I could only read emotion in her voice. Anyway, back to the recap.)

Hunter and Bakshi arrive at Bloom’s. Bakshi says once he’s inside he’ll send for Hunter, who is joined in the car by Morse as Bakshi passes through the gates.

Morse: Can you drop that accent? It makes you sound like a douchebag.
Hunter: Now you know how I feel living in this country.

They begin to discuss the argument back at headquarters and Hunter knows that Morse and Mac have some sort of secret they’re hiding. She tells him that she and Mac are in a support group and he laughs because her news could have been so much worse! They could be double agents or something.

I’m sorry, dude.

Back at headquarters, Mac and Simmons report to Coulson that their ventilation system is sound so they aren’t being exposed to the quarantined Skye’s contaminants. Mac also apologizes to Coulson for his outbursts and blames it on the alco- I mean, the alien influence. He says he’s having a hard time controlling his temper, but he’s working on it and hopes he can still work on Lola one day.

Coulson: After that little RC version you built for me, I’m genuinely considering it. Although, I couldn’t figure out how to make it fly.
Mack: Er, it doesn’t.

Simmons warns Coulson and May about Raina. She thinks that because Raina might be carrying catastrophic contaminants of the plague variety, agents should definitely go ahead and kill her if there is no other absolutely safe option of bringing her in. Look who’s learning to be ruthless!

Back at Bloom’s, Bakshi and Bloom are talking to another Hydra head. They think there is infighting among the heads and that the Sheik, the Banker, and the Baroness have issued orders to have them wiped out. Their only recourse is to take them out first, naturally.

And Raina has become so suicidal that walking headlong into traffic seems like a great idea. Fitz visits Skye in quarantine and tells her that her heartbeat was 300 BPM at the time of the explosion.

Skye: That’s…very fast.
Fitz: No, that’s inhuman.

Fitz thought he’d made a mistake because of the corrupted data in his head, but nope. It all points back to Skye. How could they have found her unharmed in the collapse with destruction all around her? Skye’s stress levels are skyrocketing from this line of questioning and as Fitz realizes that not only was Skye the one who caused the explosion, but that she was changed just like Raina, she freaks out and lots of expensive looking equipment is destroyed.

May comes to see Skye who’s hiding her wounded hand. Skye is worried about Coulson and May clues us in on the rest of their plan while Coulson pays a final visit to Trip’s mother.

May: For Coulson, Trip was the embodiment of the principles he wants S.H.I.E.L.D. to be built on: compassion, loyalty, heart. And that is S.H.I.E.L.D.’s strength. And Trip’s death reminded Coulson that Hydra doesn’t have that. That is their weakness.

Bloom activates a red alert that triggers the coordinated assassinations of the Sheik, the Banker, and the Baroness, effectively wiping out the heads of Hydra. Outside Bloom’s manse, Hydra soldiers unload automatic weapons at Hunter and Morse’s car – which is thankfully bulletproof and equipped with it’s own impressive range of weaponry. The soldiers are put down in two seconds flat. Hunter and Morse infiltrate Bloom’s home and take out everyone inside except Bakshi.

Hunter: Fortunately for you, you’ve been promised to Talbot. Let’s go.

May notices that Skye’s hand is bleeding and just as she’s about to confess Fitz arrives with a likely cover story and Skye’s exoneration: he says Skye’s DNA is an exact match to what it was before. Fitz cleverly sends Simmons away to straighten up Skye’s bunk for her (“The last time I was in there, there were lots of…lady things. And she’s a slob.”) while he patches her hand up. Skye wants to know what he just did, and so do I.

Fitz: I switched your new sample with one from before. Your new sample is drastically different and I don’t think we should tell anybody. Not with the way Simmons is freaking out about epidemics and such.

Skye is distraught that he’s having to keep this secret for her and says there’s something very wrong with her. “No, there isn’t,” he tells her. “You’re just different now.”

Raina begins to cross the street but is swarmed by a bunch of armed men in black. They want her to surrender but she’s all, “If you don’t kill me, I’m going to kill you. There’s no capture option.” Just then our friend Gordon arrives in a ball of blue electricity, much older and clearly in control of his powers. He’s like, “Come with me if you want to live,” and he and Raina disappear.

Back at headquarters, the model Lola that Mac made activates in Coulson’s office. It scans the whole office and finds a few hidden spots, and we learn that Mac and Morse have been working together to find Nick Fury’s toolbox. Everyone is bonding over dinner and drinks, but everyone also has a whammy of a secret and it clearly weighs on them all.

The Questions: Hydra never dies, so how are they going to come back from this? Will Skye learn to control herself without her father’s help? What are Mac and Morse up to? Are we seeing the beginnings of a Skye and Fitz pairing (Skitz? Fye?)? And how will everyone react when they find out Fitz’s lie? (Poorly, I expect.)

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Marvel’s Agent Carter Recap: Ep. 8, “Valediction”

The season finale begins as we watch a production of a radio play about Captain America and we get to remember how glad we are for female characters who aren’t defined by how well they simper. Peggy, Sousa, and Thompson arrive at the scene of the movie theater massacre. Forty-seven people tore each other apart and everyone’s confused. Sousa enters the theater and notices Dottie’s baby carriage and *whew* there’s no baby inside. He does find the Item 17 canister and sprays himself in the face, causing him to attack both Thompson and Peggy.

Dr. Ivchenko and Dottie are on the run discussing American strength and ingenuity when they are pulled over. Ivchenko wants to play it cool, so Dottie turns on her silly goose charm when the officer tells her she blew through a light. He’s just about to let them go when he hears a call go out matching Ivchenko and Dottie and turns to find Dottie aiming a gun at him, point blank.

Sousa wakes up handcuffed to a bed and Peggy explains to him that he found Item 17 and attacked Thompson. SSR scientists figure that the canister is filled with a chemical that induces psychosis and Peggy is surprised that Howard Stark would make something like that. Though Thompson brilliantly assumes that Ivchenko is just being a big jerk by doing this, Peggy knows that he has an end game, something that he wants. Enter Howard Stark.

Thompson and Sousa arrest Stark to bring in information about the gas, Midnight Oil. It was supposed to keep soldiers awake for days at a time but had unintended rage side effects. Sousa tells Stark he doesn’t need to imagine what it’s like because 1) they just saw it in the movie theater, and 2) he was dosed himself. Stark is surprised he’s still alive because everyone else asphyxiates when exposed to Midnight Oil. Peggy finds a file in Stark’s box containing the real identity of Dr. Ivchenko: he’s really called Johann Fennhoff, a psychiatrist with a specialty in hypnosis. Stark wants to be the cheese in the SSR’s game of Mouse Trap to catch Fennhoff.

Dottie and Fennhoff arrive at an airstrip and are being turned away, so naturally Dottie uses all her teeth to charm and then murder the guard. Meanwhile Fennhoff hears a news bulletin on the radio that Howard Stark is back in town and their plans have changed.

Peggy brings Howard a protective vest after he trims the spider’s nest in his nose but he says it’s junk. “Where’s MY stuff?!” She takes him to the storage room and he gripes about how they haven’t been properly caring for him volatile materials. Peggy tries to talk Howard out of being the cheese, but he knows this whole situation is his fault because, you know, his inventions are destructive.

Peggy: You’re hell bent on getting yourself killed, aren’t you?
Howard: That’s not my preferred outcome…

“I’m a hero and a credit to mankind.” Say it.

Thompson holds a press conference vindicating Howard of wrongdoing while Howard feeds him lines. It’s a setup to catch someone trying to assassinate Stark and when shots ring out Peggy spots the shooter’s window. While Howard escapes, the traffic cop who pulled Fennhoff and Dottie over, hypnotized, says in his best robotic voice, “Dr. Fennhoff would like to see you.” Jarvis realizes too late that the vehicle’s original occupants were dead in the alley and runs to alert Sousa that Howard’s been kidnapped. Peggy and Thompson make it to the hotel room where the shots came from and see an automatic rifle propped in the window to fire on its own. She notices that the bullet was never meant to hit Stark but was a diversion and Peggy and Thompson hear news of the abduction over the radio.

Howard tries to reason with a hypnotized robot to no avail. Peggy and Thompson continue to puzzle out where they could be taking Howard and deduce that it must be Times Square. Sousa nad Jarvis finally catch up to the car Stark was in to find the robot cop dead and no Howard. Dottie has a gun trained on Howard in the back seat of a car and she’s clearly upset that their nice weekend wasn’t as memorable for him.

Dottie: You don’t remember me, do you?
Howard: Er, should I?
Howard: Ohhhhh! Umm…what was your name again? Alice? Maggie?

And she Hulks out for a second and punches him.

Sousa reports that a witness saw a Dottie forcing Stark into a black sedan and heading out of the city. Jarvis thinks Fennhoff is heading to Howard’s stashed private plane in order to place total blame on Stark for the impending gas attack in Times Square. Sure enough, that’s where our happy trio is. Dottie has Howard tied to a chair and is punching him so he’s like, “Wait, is it Lorraine?”

Fennhoff begins his villain explanation speech. He tells Howard that his brother and comrades were killed when Midnight Oil was released in Russia and he’s been holding onto his chance for revenge ever since. Howard is very sorry, but Fennhoff is like, “You aren’t yet, but you will be.” And he begins to hypnotize Howard. “Focus. There may still be a way to atone for your sins.” Playing on his biggest regret, Fennhoff tricks Howard into escaping as though he were on a mission to save Captain America just as Peggy and the agents arrive to watch him fly away.

Reach for a ring or a gun and I will shoot!

The agents deduce that someone needs to radio the plane to try to talk Howard down, but someone in the air to shoot his plane – that is full of poisonous gas – down over the water is the plan B. Jarvis volunteers to pilot while Peggy goes to the radio room to thwart Fennhoff and Dottie. Peggy’s got her shotgun trained on them, but wild-eyed Dottie loves hand to hand combat.

Thompson is bolstering Jarvis’ confidence as he sets out to maybe kill his employer, but he knows that HOward would want to be stopped no matter what. Dottie relishes beating up Peggy and tells Fennhoff to scram. Cue Dottie’s villain explanation speech. “I was always jealous of girls like you.” That’s it. She was jealous. Okay. Peggy kicks her out a window.

Peggy is on the radio trying to convince Stark he’s seeing a fantasy and Thompson heads back into the hangar to catch Fennhoff but is cracked in the back by a lead pipe instead. Sousa catches Fennhoff and Fennhoff tries his mind control on him, too. “All you have to do is focus on your pain.” Howard really thinks that Fennhoff has helped him save Captain America. Thompson regains consciousness and just as Fennhoff thinks he’s tricked Sousa into killing Thompson, Sousa gives Fennhoff a good whack with his pistol.

Howard is still en route to the city and Peggy isn’t succeeding at convincing him to turn around. Getting closer and closer to the mark, Jarvis wonders if he should take the shot because they have run out of time. Stark thinks he’s seeing Cap up ahead (really the lights of the city) and explains that he needs to save him because he’s the one good thing he ever did for the world.

Peggy: I know you loved him and I loved him, too, but he’s gone. You have to let him go.

He snaps out of it and realizes he heading toward Manhattan and Peggy tells him to follow Jarvis back to the landing strip. Back in the hangar, Sousa and Thompson have arrested Dr. Fennhoff. Howard bristles knowing Jarvis was going to shoot him out of the sky but thanks him and Peggy for what they’ve done for him. Apparently Dottie escaped during the hustle and bustle and Howard’s steel trap finally spits out Dottie’s name: “Ida! I knew I’d get it.”

Peggy arrives back at the SSR to a round of applause and she’s finally getting her shine from these fatheads! They want her back but she just wants her paycheck. Just then Senator Walt Cooper comes in telling everyone they need to be like the American Hero Jack Thompson who single-handedly saved Times Square with no help at all from any woman! Thompson, unable to shirk a clap on the back, takes all the credit. Sousa is irate on Peggy’s behalf, but she’s like, “Whatever, I don’t need anyone’s approval to know I’m awesome.” And Sousa’s like, “Hey, so, er, uh…wouldyouliketograbadrinkwithme?” Peggy is flattered but she has to meet a friend. “Another time.”

Over at one of Howard’s homes, Jarvis is showing Peggy and former neighbor Angie to their new digs: “Well, Howard feels bad about, you know, your home and workplaces being destroyed. So you two can live here, gratis!” Angie is hyped that there are telephones in every room. Jarvis is plainly ecstatic to return to his butler duties, but offers his services to Peggy any time she should ever need. He also tells Peggy that Howard has destroyed all of his inventions because no government should possess such things. Everything but the vial of Steve Rogers’ blood. Jarvis nicked it to give to Peggy because he knew she would be the only person to know what should be done with it. As it turns out, the right thing to do with Captain America’s blood is to pour it into the East River. Peggy says goodbye, and so do we.

Or so we think. Dr. Fennhoff has been fitted with a face mask that prevents him from speaking and is escorted to a prison cell. Just then a voice emerges from the darkness and if you’ve seen any of the Marvel films recently you know exactly who it is: Dr. Zola. Zola is impressed at Fennhoff’s spectacular failure but would love to hear his thoughts on matters of the mind.

Zola: You’re in prison, yes, but this is an American prison. And America is the land of opportunity.

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Marvel’s Agent Carter Recap: Ep. 7, “Snafu”

Let me be clear: I’m hanging on by a thread with Marvel’s Agent Carter. Each week I get a pulpy detective novel brought to life but the lulls where the author would be describing the setting and characters are agonizingly apparent in the show. And misogyny, regardless of its historical accuracy is always going to rub me the wrong way. Now that I’ve gotten that out, on to the episode.

After the heat is turned up on Peggy and her cover is blown, she’s arrested and interrogated by her fathead cronies at the SSR. When they, predictably, get nowhere with her, Jarvis shows up with a phony confession letter from Howard Stark that only got him arrested rather than assured his and Peggy’s freedom. After she catches Dr. Ivchenko communicating with Dottie, Peggy decides to confess to head off the impending, no doubt unpleasant showing from Leviathan.

“Why didn’t you bring this to us?” the agents asked. “Er, because you dummies never listen to me. I’m a woman and you think I’m worthless unless I make babies or your coffee. You brought this on yourselves!”

Reliably, Agent Sousa believes her and goes to check out her story while Chief Dooley goes back for more quality brainwashing time with Dr. Ivchenko. And because he is so much more observant than any SSR agent, Ivchenko is tipped off and begins to use the complete control tactics he displayed in a flashback at the beginning of the episode: he twists his shiny, shiny wedding ring to make his mark focus and uses his dulcet tones to lull them into a sort of hallucinogenic memory.

Now that he’s got a Dooley puppet, Dr. Ivchenko succeeds in having Peggy and Jarvis locked in an interrogation room and gains access to the labs where Howard Stark’s inventions are being held; he’s after Item 17, whatever that is. Meanwhile, Sousa and his crutch are overcome by Dottie, who clearly missed her calling as a gymnast. She does some truly impressive acrobatic moves down a stairwell giving no less than four agents the opportunity to shoot her but no one does. Ivchenko nabs his item, convinces Dooley to blow up the SSR with a nifty vest (another Stark invention) and escapes with Dottie. Finally some effing action, and it’s going fast now!

Peggy and Jarvis break out of the interrogation room and everyone finds Chief Dooley wearing the explosive vest. Sousa finds the Morse code communications and Dooley jumps out the window just in time to explode. Dottie drops her baby carriage containing Item 17 off in a movie theater, and just as the SSR realizes it’s missing the lovely citizens in the theater begin choking and tearing at each other savagely. And it’s a massacre. Thanks, Howard!

The Question: Will Peggy finally get some shine from these criminally inept SSR agents or what?!

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