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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Fitz is packing up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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