This week, we were given some substance behind the big reveal by Mack to Hunter last week. Fans were finally introduced to SHIELD…the REAL SHIELD…the SHIELD behind SHIELD. And I’m going to be honest here… it kind of made a lot of sense…
I’m gonna start with the real “bread and butter” of the episode, what I hinted at above. Also, I promise not to use inane phrases anymore that have no real relevance to what I’m talking about, but are fun to use none the less. Hunter was brought in by Mack to meet with the head officials of SHIELD, the real SHIELD, as they continue to call it, and they’re being lead by Edward James Olmos, of Battlestar Galactica fame (or Selena‘s Dad, as he’ll always be known to me). They reveal that this SHIELD was put into place after the events of The Winter Soldier. Nick Fury is still assumed to be dead by all those on board, but he is very much the reason RS (Real SHIELD) was created: He had too many secrets. They see this same trend in Coulson, who Fury appointed in his place. Also, they don’t particularly care for the fact that Coulson has his team chasing all of this “alien stuff”, and in the process an agent was killed (our dearly departed Agent Tripplet).
Now, I’m not saying I’m on team RS. What I’m saying is, they make some valid points. Coulson has been a bit alien obsessed lately, but to be fair, that alien caligraphy was oozing out of his brain. That would make anyone obsessed. They also claim that Coulson has secrets, and that was the ultimate downfall of the original SHIELD, and Fury as well. Their idea of a new SHIELD regime is transparency. Ironic, since ya know, the RS is a freakin SECRET right now, but I digress. To go along with this reason, they also claim that Coulson has been, in their words, “compromised”, a sentiment backed up by Bobbi Morse (dammit Tyra!…Friday Night Lights reference? Anyone?). Now, to me, this is completely asinine. Coulson may have strayed off the path here and there, but his loyalty and dedication to SHIELD has never wavered. Anyone on the inside (ie: Skye, May, FitzSimmons) would see this, which is why it’s a shock that Bobbi, who’s spent so much time with him as of late, would believe such nonsense. I feel like there’s another secret she’s keeping, but if not, this is why she doesn’t deserve to be with Hunter! Or Hawkeye! (Comic Book reference? Anyone?) Or Tim Riggins! (Another Friday Night Lights reference? C’mon!)
Speaking of Hunter, he’s not sold either. He also concludes that they have valid points to some measure, but is sold on Coulson, and knows he’s a good man who has SHIELD at the center of his priorities. Oh, and he also called the group “Hufflepuff”. 10 POINTS FOR HUNTER! (Harry Potter references? We all understand those…) He is starting to realize that Bobbi’s allegiance will always be to SHIELD, one version or another, and he feels betrayed, as he rightfully should. He gives her the out to just run away with him, leaving SHIELD and all of the espionage game behind, but she chooses to stay. Bad news for Hunter, but good news for us, since he spent 5 minutes before this talk being a smart ass, then spent the next 5 minutes following the talk kicking ass, as he forces his way out of the complex. Thus concludes the best 10 minutes Hunter has ever had on this show.
While all of this is taking place, Coulson decides to put Skye at a safe house. This is a decision that Coulson came to with the help of May, who seems to think Skye is dangerous, to herself and to others (ugh. And I was just beginning to like you, May.) Coulson gets that, but insists that it’s Skye, and she doesn’t fall into the category of Raina and the other Inhumans (you hear that Gemma?) He relents though, if mostly for her own safety. The scenes on the plane as well as in the safe house show perfectly the dynamic between Coulson and Skye. I’ve said before that I think there’s is the best Father/Daughter relationship on TV, and they aren’t even Dad and kid! But you can see how much Coulson cares about Skye as if she were his own. He tells her stories from his past and tries to put her fears at ease. When Skye is asking questions about what to do and how to handle this situation, Coulson relents that he doesn’t know, but that he believes in her and that she’ll figure things out for herself. He has supreme confidence in Skye, and her ability to control her situation (along with the updated gauntlets she took with her).
As a nice side plot to the dual SHIELD’s, WE GOT WARD BACK! I was amped to see him back in the fold, and even more excited that his 5-o-clock shadow looked glorious! (remember what I told you about bad guys and beards? I stand by it). Ward is hanging out with Agent 33, the bizarro May who saved him in the midseason finale. They have a nice dynamic, as he seems to really be trying to help her. She even tries to repay him after they kidnap a Dr. to fix her electronic-facial plate, by creepily changing her face into Skye’s (while still having May’s voice, which nearly made me throw my TV out a window), and offering him…uhhh…services. But Ward, ever the chivalrous, sociopathic killer that he is, turned her down. I think he sees someone who’s broken, as broken as he has been, and he’s genuinely tryng to help her. What do they do? They kidnap Bakshi, the HYDRA officer that Agent 33, now calling herself Kara, worked for blindly up until the midseason break. And what do they plan to do with him?! Yeah, I have no idea. But it’s nice to see Ward back on the show. You have been missed you crazy son of a bitch, you!
Personally, I still think we’re in for some big reveals. I don’t think Olmos’ character at RS is at the top of the chain of command. Could Stark or Maria Hill be pulling the strings? We’ll have to see. I’m also very interested in seeing if Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye, shows up and proves the rumors true. What side would he be on? What I do think is pretty clear is that there’s going to be a further split between the 2 SHIELDS, once the former gets wind of the latter (which is coming, since May seemed pretty suspicious of Mack and I don’t think the small talk between Coulson and Bobbi was just to “catch up”). I think Simmons will align with RS, and possibly May as well, but her loyalty to Coulson is strong, which may keep her on his side. I think it’ll be great to see a Civil War between SHIELD for the year leading up to the Civil War that is destined to split the Marvel Cinematic Universe next Spring in the 3rd Captain America film. It’s going to be a fun ride, but for now, here’s a picture of Fitz looking like he has no idea what the hell is going on…
+ Coulson loves twizzlers. I also love twizzlers. Bromance!
+ Hunter being allowed to fully be Hunter
+ Bizarro May being a better version of real May
– May & Simmons slowly turning their back on Skye
– Bobbi turning her back on Coulson & Hunter
+ the return of Ward & his beard!