Lead Events Editor
Hello Agents! Long time no see. When we left our favorite Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. peeps last we had learned some horrifying and heartbreaking details about Coulson’s death and resurrection. Also, Skye was revealed to be an 0-8-4 when she was a baby and Mike Peterson was kidnapped and given an eye implant to do the Clairvoyant’s bidding. Lastly, Ian Quinn is a big baddie funding evil technology. All set? Wheels up!
The team is en route to intercept a package Quinn is transporting by train and under guard from private security team, Cybertek. Going undercover to get close to the goods, everyone is paired up, most adorably, Simmons and Coulson. She immediately labels him as her dad and it is perfection. Alone with May, Ward notes that Skye is more focused than before and wonders what changed. He’s concerned something personal might get in the way of her work. “We both know that personal urges can affect tactical decisions,” he says. May agrees, replying, “That’s why I don’t have any.” Heh.
In their compartment, Skye and Fitz pickpocket the conductor’s keys in order to gain access to the luggage area. Elsewhere, Simmons has created an entire backstory for her character and her absentee father. Just as she goes into hysterics about how daddy Coulson was never there for her mother because he was busy with his work and prostitutes, Stan Lee pops up for a great cameo to chastise Coulson. Following behind Stan and his ladies are the Cybertek men. Simmons spills her “mom’s” ashes all over them to distract them. Coulson takes the opportunity to get in this line: “Prostitutes? Plural?”
Worried by their coms suddenly going all static, Coulson goes looking for Ward. He finds him towards the back of the train being pursued by several Cybertekers. Ward and Coulson leap from the train but the front henchman throws a grenade after them. It detonates and the train disappears. Whaaaaaa? Commercial.
We backtrack several minutes and Ward, disguised as a conductor, gets sucked into helping a woman with her bag. She thanks him by pulling first a gun and then a knife on him. He neutralizes her and another Cyberteker and makes it to Simmons. He instructs her to go lock herself in the luggage car with the other two while he gets Coulson, but we all know how that last part turned out. Off the train, Ward finds evidence that May also had to jump off. They journey into the fields and gladly use a conveniently hotwired truck to get back to the plane. They connect with Russo, the local agent who was initially in charge of the operation. He looks pretty beat up but is on his way to them.
In the meantime, Ward and Coulson have a great comedic scene where they try to figure out the Holotable and discuss May and Ward’s sexcapades (which have never taken place on the plane, Ward informs us). Just then Russo pulls up to report that they’ve found the train. Whew! Just as we’re breathing a sigh of relief, May kills him from behind. Looking all badass with her wounds and mussed hair she says, “Wheels up in five.” Yes, ma’am!
Back from commercial, we flashback again to see how May ended up off the train. While doing surveillance up top, she had to suddenly parachute off when Cybertek started shooting at her. She immediately finds Coulson and Ward frozen in place after the grenade detonated. In an attempt to get the guys to safety, she hotwires the truck in the field but is interrupted by Russo and his men. They capture and torture her but stupidly turns their backs for a moment. She pulls a knife out of her own shoulder and uses it to free herself and kill them all, including Russo whom she pursues to the Bus. Because she’s Melinda May and that’s how she rolls!
On the plane, May stiffly refuses Ward’s offer to help stitch her up but accepts Coulson’s. As he binds her up they discuss the grenade, which turns out to have released a toxin that made the two guys believe no time had passed. “You looked ridiculous,” she says. This wonderful CoulMay scene is interrupted when a frowny faced Ward reports that they found the train.
In search of the rest of their team, they discover Simmons wildly firing her night-night gun. They calm her down and she asks, “Where’s Fitz and Skye?” Commercial.
Going back for the last time to when coms went down, we see Skye and Fitz’s thread of this tangled but entertaining story. They encounter their own Cybertek person but Simmons comes in to save them. She grabs the guy and his grenade, selflessly trying to cover the explosion. The night-night grenade knocks them both out but doesn’t harm them. Leaving Simmons with the gun, Fitz disposes of the Cybertek dude and he and Skye track the rest of Cybertek to Quinn’s house. Though they activate a tracker to let S.H.I.E.L.D. know where they are, they also decide to go in after Quinn and the package themselves.
Skye easily finds the package downstairs but also sees Mike Peterson in a hyperbaric chamber. While she’s distracted, Quinn and his guard capture her. They awaken Mike and fit him with the contents of the package: a piece of tech that creates a robotic replacement for his missing leg. Mike is under orders from the Clairvoyant and says he wouldn’t protest if Quinn tried to hurt him but his orders don’t include killing him or Skye.
Mike hobbles out of the room to fulfill those orders and we hear a gunshot. Skye starts at the noise until she realizes it was Quinn. He’s shot her in the stomach. He embraces and brutally shoots her again, saying he has orders too. She goes to the ground, blood bubbling up in her mouth and he leaves. Commercial.
A badly injured and quickly fading Skye struggles towards the door. Mike attacks and kills the Cybertek team while Ward, Coulson and May arrive in time to save Fitz from getting shot. Ward storms the house and shoots while Coulson nabs Quinn. Coulson also finds a barely alive Skye. Simmons, concerned because of the loss of blood, orders Skye to be put into the hyperbaric chamber. By lowering the tube’s temperature they are able to stop Skye’s death but it’s only a temporary fix.
Back on the Bus, Simmons tells them that they an actual medical facility in order for Skye to have a chance at surviving. Later, Fitz comforts a distraught Simmons and May consoles an angry Ward. He doesn’t blame himself for Skye’s condition though; he blames Coulson.
In tonight’s credit scene, Mike spies on a playground from the bushes. He becomes less of a creeper when he writes a note asking if he can see his son. He holds it up to his eye for approval but is denied. The camera zooms in on his high-tech leg to reveal its name: Deathlok.
Next week, Bill Paxton guest stars!
Fitz to Skye, who posed as a couple while undercover: “You’re the least supportive pretend girlfriend I’ve ever had.”
How does Simmons’ act with the ashes help the overall mission? It was hilarious, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not sure it served any actual purpose.
Coulson threatens Ward that if his relationship with May becomes a problem, he’ll reassign the agent to guarding “Blonsky’s cryocell” in Alaska, a nice and rare callback to Marvel’s The Incredible Hulk film starring Edward Norton.
Is Ward more peeved that May told Coulson about them or that she goes to Coulson for comfort rather than him?
It sounds morbid to say it but Skye’s best moments were while she was dying. Big shout out to Chloe Bennet for really making me worried about a character I had previously never cared about.
Cute Clark Gregg moments of this episode: His perfectly adorkable glasses while undercover; his utter horror at the prostitute’s accusation and his tenderness in caring for May’s injuries.
Tonight’s episode jumped around chronologically but did it in such a fun and easy-to-follow way that it made everything better. The build up to Skye’s shooting was perfectly done. S.H.I.E.L.D. really is getting better and better at its own formula each week.
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