I put off writing a recap of last week’s SHIELD to the point that I preferred to summarize it here:
Oh noes, Skye is internalizing things too much.
Oh no, Calvin is building an evil group of super evil
OH. NO. Skye is wondering if she’s one of them, or one of THEM.
Oh, Snap, there’s another, more secret SHIELD. What?
“One of Us” felt lackluster overall. Considering my predictions of how cliché Skye’s emotions would be, following her transformation, haven’t reached the point of applying the adjective “compelling,” and the tease of May having any kind of emotional history isn’t coloring her to be any more special at kicking ass. Other than that, it was cool to see Gordon, the eyeless Inhuman, put Calvin in his place, drawing a line in the sand between true Inhumans, and freak science experiments.
Anyway, moving on to “Love in the Time of Hydra”
Ward is back
The Grant Ward fans–there’s some out there–will be pleased to see the traitor’s return in a Pulp Fiction style hold up after ordering pumpkin pancakes from Dennys, and taking a scientist hostage to help out his new friend, May’s Hydra doppelganger, with a new skin grafts operation, I suppose. The result of the operation, tragically, is Agent what’s-her-face is now unable to remove the mask, and seemed destined to be in disguise forever. To some, this wouldn’t be so bad, but maybe she’s having an existential crisis. Of course, she assumes Grant’s need of her ability to look like anyone is made from his “unfinished business” with Skye, but he clarifies the professionally of their relationship once he takes her to infiltrate into Talbot’s base of operations to recover Bakshi.
Since Skye’s condition worsened as a result of last week’s events, May strongly advises Coulson to remove her from SHIELD altogether. With this conversation, we see that May is no longer confident in her ability to train Skye, and Coulson is unable to let go as a result of his “father figure feelings” towards her.
The Inhuman Debate: Simmons v. Fitz. Ding.
With her new wrist guards to assist the repair of her earthquake fractures, the superhuman argument continues between Fitz and Simmons, in the age old “hero or menace” conversation in reference to Bruce Banner’s Hulk. I have to say that if there are going to be conversations about the primary MCU characters outside the show, I would much more prefer ethical conversations in the way this played out rather than a simple “bring Iron Man to my daughter’s birthday party” gag. I could easily see Fitz and Simmons having a complete divide by the time the Civil War occurs in season 3, and that kind of drama is A-OK to me. Especially because the ethics of either side aren’t necessarily right or wrong. Simmons wants to help fix Skye, whereas Fitz is complacent with accepting her for what she is, considering how his own life was changed drastically after an accident, and he wasn’t all to happy with Simmon’s denial back then, either.
Mack and Bobbi’s R.E.A.L. D.E.A.L. S.H.I.E.L.D.
Meanwhile, Mac introduces Hunter to the board, helmed by Edward James Olmos, who actually refer to themselves as ” the real SHIELD.” I almost wish I made that up myself. Hunter, in disbelief that Bobbi could actually get behind their effort to remove Coulson as Director, defends Phil as a good leader, but not without jabbing at his karaoke skills first. It can’t be denied that the board of the So Real SHIELD’s presentation is true, of the lineup of casualties and sacrifices made under Coulson’s watch in order to solve the crazy alien puzzle, to the point that even Bobbi agrees that Phil has been compromised. To Hunter’s surprise, his attempt to escape proves to be a bit challenging, what with the surrounding ocean and all, revealing that there are still, in fact, remaining SHIELD Helicarriers, which, despite the results of the finale of The Winter Soldier, makes me really excited. He manages to find a way to get out of dodge however, and this REAL DEAL SHIELD board tasks Bobbi with tracking him down in less than 12 hours.
With Coulson’s actions being called into question, one has to ask, following the Inhumans introduction to this series, what is Coulson up to now? It’s certainly not just airline Twizlers. After a metaphor story with his Red Corvet, named Lola as some may remember, he takes Skye to one of Fury’s old remote safe houses to rehabilitate, with new gloves to help contain and control her power, a nod to the character Daisy Johnson, or Quake’s, gauntlets. Of course, he feels the way he handled her situation may not have been the right call, even though it was the logical thing to do, potentially foreshadowing consequences for removing Skye from the equation later on.
Between Bobbi going after Coulson’s super secret Fury documents, and Ward turning Bakshi’s own indoctrination schemes on himself, its difficult to see who is up to what. So, let’s see how they play out.