For the last few weeks, I have been wondering just how the powers that be behind Agents of SHIELD were going to tie there current story lines with the upcoming and highly anticipated Avengers sequel. After this week’s episode, it appears things are coming together and will lead to a nice crescendo right before the blockbuster known as Avengers: Age of Ultron. Let’s start with our InHuman friend Skye…
Last we saw her, she was having dinner with her mother and father for the first time in her life. She saw a softer side of Cal, one that must have made quite the impression on her, as she begins to act as his protector. Jailyng wants to send Cal away from the village for good, but Skye doesn’t think that’s a very good idea. First of all, she realizes he might proverbially lose his sh–, as we’ve seen him do in the past. She’s also developed a sympathy for her father, seeing a different side of him while also realizing he had lost everything – his wife (for a time) and his daughter. Who WOULDN’T that have driven crazy? She convinces her mother to let her go with Cal back to his hometown of Milwaukee (I knew he was a Brewers fan) to soften the blow of his exile. But because this is the MCU, this won’t come without complications.
Real SHIELD is still trying to lock down a location for Agent Coulson, and Gemma finally admits to Agent May that she gave the real “Fury’s Box” to Fitz…who left…and is now with Coulson. WHOOPS! May spins it to sound like Fitz stole the box and Simmons had been covering for him, but Real SHIELD now deems it even more necessary to find Coulson in a timely fashion. And what is Coulson up to at the moment? Oh, ya know, nothing….but making a deal with Ward in return for his cooperation! After taking Agent 33 hostage, Ward sits down with Coulson, and come to this arrangement: Ward will help with infiltrating HYDRA in order to find Baron Von Strucker (the monocled HYDRA leader we were introduced to in the mid-credits scene from Captain America: The Winter Soldier). In return, Ward gets to “walk away” and live his life without having to look over his shoulder…but not without first getting straight “TAHITI’d” and having his mind wiped. Hey, you have to make sacrifices here and there, eh?
Before getting into the action-heavy back-third of this episode, let’s focus for a second on what is in my opinion the best part of this episode: the shaky alliance between Agent Coulson and Super trader extraordinaire Grant Ward. This is not a deal made in any form of friendship; they need each other and that’s all. Coulson doesn’t trust anything about Ward, and why should he? This comes out in a scene where it appears Ward is trying to double cross them in their efforts to find Von Strucker. It turns out Ward is legitimately trying to help the situation, but knew his method would be turned down by Coulson, so he did it without telling him. It all ended up being fine, but the tense moment proved to Coulson that Ward will always be unpredictable. In my opinion, he might be a complete sociopath, but I think Coulson can take Ward at his word for the time being. He wants to be out from under the thumb of SHIELD and spend his life with his new love Kara/Agent 33. He’ll do whatever is necessary for that.
After Skye and Cal walk around his hometown, a sequence that was actually a very nice chain of events to watch, they end up at Cal’s old business building. She asks Cal about the last name she sees on “Johnson” on the door and we get to hear Skye utter her full name for the first time, which was a nice nod to her 616 character. Cal’s response that he changed his last name to something more “sinister” when he went on the run was also a nice “aside” to what is presumably the surname of “Hyde”. At this point Skye and Cal realize that Lincoln has been tailing them on orders from Jailyng, leading to Cal’s realization that he was never intended to go back to the village. At this point, both SHIELD, Real SHIELD and HYDRA are all converging on the building as well. While Cal and Lincoln originally start battling, it leads to a fight between Lincoln and Deathlok (working for Coulson) that was interesting to watch. SHIELD and HYDRA find themselves in a shootout, which ends with Hunter being shot, Ward saving Coulson’s life, and Gordon, Skye and Cal all ending up back at the village (presumably). Oh! Deathlok and Lincoln also got captured by HYDRA, and are most likely being taken to Von Strucker to be experimented on (much like the Maximoff twins in the mid-credits scene of CA:TWS). As I said before, things are coming together.
Just when you think questions are being answered, Coulson surrenders (most likely with his entourage) to Real SHIELD Agents May and Morse. He’s been on the run for so long that this is a twist that I assure you most did not see coming. What is Coulson’s end game? There’s only one episode left before the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, so I’m interested in the possibility of a Baron Von Strucker cameo in next week’s episode. I have speculation as to where this season goes for some of the cast, but I’ll save most of that for another review. The character arc I seem to be most worried about is Grant Ward. He is primed for a redemption story, such as sacrificing himself for Skye, possibly Coulson. To me, this is a huge waste of his ever growing, ever likable character. He’s a reliable assassin/agent, as long as he has to rely on you. He’s a damn near perfect anti-hero for this show, and they could do a lot with him in the future. I’m hoping they keep him just the way he is – unpredictable and not at all trust worthy, but a guy you definitely want on your side.
+ 6 16 references with Skye’s real name.
+ Connecting AoS with Age of Ultron, Civil War, & INhumans.
+ “4” … the amount of times Skye shot Ward, according to him.
+ Kyle Maclachlan’s Cal gets more entertaining with each episode.
– Gemma. Continuing her role as the most annoying character in the MCU (which also includes Karen Page now, I might add).
Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time sports and music buff, full time family man & full time nerd. You can follow him on twitter @Sweetest_Lou