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Reactions: Clark Gregg performs Britney Spears’ “Toxic” | Lip Sync Battle

This clip from the upcoming Spike Lip Sync Battle was one of the top trending topics and it peeked my interest because it has Clark Gregg (Phil Coulson of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”) Not to mention “Toxic” is one of my favorite Britney Spears songs (yes, I am a Britney Spears fan. Calm down.) I had to check it out just to see what Agent Coulson was up to and I all I have to say is I wasn’t disappointed. Let’s see if Marvel will work in a Britney Spears themed throwaway scene in the next Avengers movie, or even have a cameo with the pop idol herself! It’s doable. We have time to work this in people! I can just see Agent Coulson whipping out some Britney Spears trading cards for the singer to sign.

If you really want to know what I think of this clip, check out the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe to the GeekGirl World YouTube channel! This episode of Spike’s Lip Sync Battle is set to air on Thursday April 21 at 10p/9c.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meanwhile, Fitz is packing up.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A fist as big as your head.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fitz-Simmons reunite!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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.
Hunter: WHO ARE YOU WORKING FOR?
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.

EARTHQUAKE!

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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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.
Mac: WELL YOU WEREN’T THERE AND IT WASN’T YOU AND DO YOU KNOW HOW IT FEELS TO SEE YOURSELF HURTING THE PEOPLE YOU CARE ABOUT AND NOT BE ABLE TO CONTROL YOUR BODY AT ALL?!?!
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.
Bakshi: WHOA MAN WHAT’S WITH THE GUNS?!
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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