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Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Coulson’s sad story got even sadder and we learned to love him all the more. Skye is forever obsessed with figuring out her past but none of us really care. She just might get some answers this week if she’s lucky. Let’s dive in, shall we?
A trio of college students’ after hours pool time is interrupted when the pool starts icing over. Seth’s leg is caught as he hauls himself out and he’s only saved thanks to the quick thinking of a pool skimmer-wielding fellow student who looks remarkably like a younger Fitz. Seth’s friends then drape a S.H.I.E.L.D. towel around his shivering shoulders.
On board the Bus, FitzSimmons explains that they are being asked to consult on the investigation into the frozen pool. They designed the device used to do the freezing, after all. Ward and Skye are tagging along but Coulson and May are headed off on their own. In The Cavalry’s words, “Coulson and I have other matters to attend to.” Anyone else thinks this is some subtle shipperbait?
At S.H.I.E.L.D.’s sci-tech academy, Agent Weaver greets the foursome. She explains that someone within the Academy set off the device and it was targeted at the cadets who were attacked. While FitzSimmons goes off with Weaver to do a guest lecture, Ward and Skye have yet another heart-to-heart where he assures her that she belongs on the team with everyone else. You’d think for a hacker who broke into a government agency’s files, Skye would have more confidence in herself.
Back on the Bus, May tries talking some sense into Coulson, who is obsessed with looking over his file. She very wisely points out that knowing what happened to him hasn’t made him feel better as he thought it would. This segues nicely into their hush-hush mission. They’re on their way to Mexico City to talk to Richard Lumley, the partner of the agent (Avery) who dropped off Skye at the orphanage.
At the Academy, FitzSimmons, who are basically celebrities, give us the perfect line, “Potential can sometimes be dangerous.” They say this to a room full of cadets while Ward interviews Seth to figure out if anyone had it out for him. Seth says of the top cadets at the Academy only Donnie isn’t a friend but that doesn’t mean anything because Donnie’s the one who saved him. Also, Donnie is currently being frozen in the lecture hall during FitzSimmons’ S.H.I.E.L.D. history lesson. Tough luck, Ward.
Back from commercial, the dynamic duo helps save Donnie from life as an ice statue with some quick thinking (they have Ward find and smash the device). After this they decide that Donnie might be the main target, possibly to force the uber smart 18-year-old to wash out of the school. Ward dispatches his team: Fitz to hang out with Donnie, Skye to blend in among the students, and Simmons to take him to the Boiler Room, a bar/club the cadets created in an old maintenance room.
In Mexico City, Coulson and May wait in Lola for Lumley to leave a shop, located across the street. May reveals she has a plan to bail out of S.H.I.E.L.D. if she ever decided to. She’s got a plan for Coulson too (Lima) but he won’t take the bait. All of the cover-ups have taken a toll on him and he can’t take it anymore. “No more secrets,” he says. So May blurts out, “Agent Ward and I have been having sex…” Unfortunately, she’s cut off as Lumley exits the store and the agents are forced to pursue.
Lumley and May are in an alley fight where The Cavalry kicks his butt. He gets the edge though by using a wooden palate to knock her down. As Lumley climbs a ladder to the nearest landing, Coulson, calm as can be, uses Lola hovercraft mode to stay eye-to-eye. But once he hears they’re from S.H.I.E.L.D., Lumley’s relieved and even knows it’s about baby Skye. Commercial.
On the Bus, Lumley tells the tale of he and his partner going to investigate a 0-8-4 (object of unknown origin). An entire Chinese village and most of a S.H.I.E.L.D. team died protecting the 0-8-4: a baby. Lumley found the girl in a dead agent’s arms and his partner took baby Skye to an orphanage. Then everyone on their team, including his partner, started getting picked off so Lumley vanished. He warns the agents to stay away from the girl because “death follows her.”
Chatting up the lonely Donnie, Fitz encourages the kid to not hide his ideas. He also reviews Donnie’s work and offers some helpful hints that are probably going to come back to bite him.
In the Boiler Room, Ward chats up cadet Callie, who was also at the pool earlier. She reveals that Donnie and Seth have been talking about meeting Fitz for weeks. It seems they planned the attacks in order to lure FitzSimmons to the Academy. And Fitz gave Donnie exactly what they needed: help solving their power problem for a much larger version of the ice machine. When Fitz confronts the kid about this, Donnie barely bets a stammering word out before Seth knocks out Fitz from behind. Commercial.
The team reconvenes with May and Coulson and are able to figure out that Ian Quinn is the cadets’ backer. Quinn is ready to back out though because the boys have run into problems with S.H.I.E.L.D. proper. Seth promises to use the device to impress Quinn and seal the deal. Donnie is reluctant to agree since the device hasn’t been tested at this size before but Seth talks him into it.
Fueled by his newfound hatred for secrets, Coulson decides to tell Skye about her past. Meanwhile, FitzSimmons is doing more important work tracking Donnie and Seth. It’s not too hard because some strange weather begins to circle around the boys’ truck thanks to their device. Increasingly larger hail pelts the truck as Donnie looks on in horror. Commercial.
Donnie figures out that the device has created ice in the atmosphere and with he and Seth at the eye of the storm, they’ll die unless they can reverse the process. Ward can’t get to the boys in time because of the ferocity of the storm they created. Fitz comes up with the idea to fly the Bus down through the center of the storm. They land just after the device blows, severely injuring Seth and wounding Donnie’s hand. The team works to revive Seth once they’re on the Bus but he’s dead.
In the aftermath of Seth’s death, Donnie’s mood darkens. As he drives away, he runs his finger along the window and a path of ice follows. With a malevolent smile on his face we know that the supervillain Blizzard has arrived.
May and Coulson have a great debrief about Mexico. Yes, he heard her confession about Ward. Yes, he told Skye the truth. He says that she took the news surprisingly well because she realizes that S.H.I.E.L.D. has always been her family. They protected her from whoever tried to kill her as a baby and now they’ve taken her in as an adult. Her optimism has restored a bit of Coulson’s faith in the agency too.
In the credits scene, Coulson calls Quinn to tell him S.H.I.E.L.D. will shoot him out of the sky at their earliest opportunity. Quinn responds by telling Coulson hello from the Clairvoyant.
Next week is what looks to be the most hilarious and intense undercover mission ever. Simmons pretends Coulson is her dad and they look perfect for the role too with matching glasses. Also someone (other than Coulson) might almost die. S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting better all the time.
I’ll admit, I still don’t care much for Skye. However, her cutting off Ward’s “bad seed” explanation to let him know the term exists in the real world too, made me love her just a bit.
Bucky Barnes on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Wall of Valor made me fangirl with excitement for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
S.H.I.E.L.D. agent-in-hiding Lumley was finally found thanks to a selfie a Mexican teen posted on Facebook where the agent is in the background. This is just the right amount of ridiculous.
Just trying not putting at least a toe into the Coulson/May shipper camp after this episode. For example, this exchange where Coulson worries S.H.I.E.L.D. has made him into something he’s not.
Coulson: They changed my memories. Who’s to say they didn’t change more?
May: I say.
Fitz, responding to a comment about him being the smartest. “Simmons is probably smarter technically but that is because she likes homework more than life itself.”
Coulson’s face upon learning that Skye was the 0-8-4 was perfect. Just another reason to love Clark Gregg.