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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. 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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