By Amanda Gurall
We started last week's episode with a flashback to the day SHIELD fell to HYRDA's ruthless attack. We see that Mack (Henry Simmons) as chief engineer, Bobbi (Adrienne Palicki) with guns blazing and Izzy Hartley (Lucy Lawless) have to make their way through the bodies aboard their ship overrun by the enemy. This is the same ship, the Iliad, that the faux SHIELD group is using as their base in the present tense timeline. We see their story throughout the rest of the episode but I am going to recap it now to make it easier. The three agents and a few friends find Commander Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) injured on the floor and they tell him that Fury sent them to save the ship and cargo. Hartley tells them that Hydra is closing in, Bobbi is going to be left to go down with the ship to complete a second mission so Hydra does not get their cargo. She tells Hartley to give a keychain from "Franny's Saloon" to Hunter (Nick Blood) for her. The two of them accept the endgame but Mack and Gonzales command her to let them help. They end up having to make a decision between following Fury's orders to blow up the cargo and the remaining SHIELD agents or to disobey the orders and take the ship back. They decided to take the ship, saving hundreds of their own agents and cementing their distrust and hatred towards Fury and his methods.
Present day Coulson (Clark Gregg) confronts Mack after letting Bobbi arrive and leave the garage where Mack is working on Lola. Coulson gives him a chance to come clean and Mack asserts he is loyal to SHIELD. Done giving chances Coulson signals and suddenly a bunch of armed men in coveralls pop up and point guns at Mack. Where in the hell did all of these guys come from? The entire season we have seen almost no other agents at HQ or on the bus and all of a sudden Coulson has a troop? We have gone from a small group of rag tag agents without enough money for gas to a fully functioning base with a bunch of extra agents? I guess though we have not seen it the organization could be funded but by who? Especially with two very expensive factions running I would like to know who is supporting whom. For now I will assume Talbot has secured Coulson some funding from the US Government but this can only be a guess.
Bobbi puts something into the servers and gets into Coulson's office, using her stick equipped with lasers (cool) to cut into his desk and take out Fury's data cube. May (Ming-Na Wen) enters and tries to stop her before Bobbi backflips through the glass and escapes.
"The last person who betrayed me, I broke his larynx. Hand it over."- Agent May
Damn straight, Calvary! They have a great fight scene, not one that's good "for some girls" but really good, brutal fighting as it should be. No sexist hair pulling or stupid comments which is thankfully something SHIELD is always careful to avoid. Bobbi is about to be caught when she says,"I didn't want this" as she pulls something in her vest and the whole HQ blacks out from an EMP which also allows Mack to escape.
May finds Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and they regroup with Fitz going to the server to initiate a lock down and May joining Coulson. They find that Mack knocked out the random new agents, disabled the bus, and cut the fuel lines in the Quinn jet. May trusts that they are not Hydra because they are not killing everyone however Coulson takes no satisfaction from this because who they are doesn't matter, the fact that they have Fury's toolbox and may go after Skye is the focus.
Skye (Chloe Bennet) is in the cabin playing solitaire and poking the fire when she tries pulling the gloves over her bruised arms, they light up Tron style as her power surges through. She tries to contact Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) because she feels woozy and strange. She notices a cord going into the wall and rips the wood back to find the ultra secure honeycomb wall which even has a Hulk fist dent in it! She hears noises and gets very spooked, I half expected a call to come from inside the cabin or something but instead Gordon (Jamie Harris), our no eyed inhuman is at the door. She lets him inside and why not? He is a stranger and she was left alone with no weapon aside from the fireplace poker. He is very effective in showing his empathy for her situation as he points out that when he was changed (her mom) hugged him but when she changed SHIELD locked her up. He tells her that there are more of them and they will accept her and nurture her gifts. If she decides to join them all she has to do is ask as they will sense her need.
At HQ Bobbi thinks she has Simmons fooled but Simmons pulls through by knocking her out with some device trickery and holding her at gunpoint. I was pleased by this because I had started to write Simmons off so it was nice to be taken off guard a bit and have Simmons get back to being more interesting. Coulson has the toolbox in hand and they start going through Bobbi's locker to try and figure out what is going on. May finds a gas mask but before she can alert the team some bright blue gas starts hissing through the vents like 1960's Batman. Zowie! Mack finds Fitz in the server room; we knew this fight between friends was going to happen but Mack ends up throwing himself on Fitz to save his friend when faux SHIELD blows the wall down. Mack ends up with only a flesh wound are we sure he is not enhanced?
Faux SHIELD has taken over and has everyone in hand except for The Calvary who is lurking in the walls like the Phantom of the Opera, planning her assault. Bobbi gets herself on the mission to find Skye at the retreat but is she going to try and protect or capture her? Fitz and Simmons are sitting on the floor holding hands when Agent Weaver (Christine Adams) stops by for a chat. She says agent Calderon (Kirk Acevedo) came to the academy and saved as many students as possible yet Coulson's SHIELD didn't get to the academy until much later. We later learn from Calderon that Weaver was found fighting off an enhanced on her own to protect the students when he arrived.
Coulson and Gonzales have a little talk and Gonzales is distrustful of Coulson's alien blood, convinced that he is a messenger for an alien race or some other complication to the peace he desires. Coulson holds his own as we would expect with self control and witty asides. Gonzales wants to find and destroy the people and items that Fury stashed around the globe. Coulson goes on the offensive but Gonzales comes back with a fairly valid point that Fury created Coulson, literally remade him after death to be his successor. We know his motives were not exactly as Gonzales assumes but it's not a ridiculous idea that some would be distrustful in this situation. Coulson refuses to open the toolbox so Gonzales sends it to Fitz and Simmons. May busts in, shooting Gonzales and his soldiers in the head and sending Coulson off down a secret elevator while she intends to help Fitz and Simmons. Thanks for the old school escape route Agent Carter! Coulson must protect Skye. May surrenders to Weaver.
After Gordon leaves Skye she removes her gloves and has some fun with the water faucet making the water into a pattern. The confidence she has found makes her immediately able to have more control over her new self. She is definitely considering Gordon's offer when May calls and tells her to run. She takes off into the woods to disable the laser perimeter. Bobbi and Calderon are on the site and they run when shots are fired. A gunman and Skye fight and she snaps his neck. Harsh. Bobbi and Calderon find her, Calderon immediately shoots at her. Skye unleashes a wall of energy towards them to keep the bullet from her but unfortunately there is also a tree in the way and it bursts into splinters, hitting Calderon in the chest around his vest and knocking Bobbi to the ground. More trees blow down in the blast and Skye is terrified because with great power comes….you know. She whispers for Gordon to help her and he appears to ask "Would you like to go home?" Off they go.
This episode was packed with action and was really great until we are suddenly in a beach bar somewhere tropical and Coulson orders a fruity drink with too many umbrellas. Hunter joins him at the bar. What the hell is going on? It is really jarring to go from the last scene to this and for a second I wondered if both of them were in Tahiti. Hunter signs a napkin and says this is his contract which was silly and he has had enough of cruise ships. Wink, wink. I found this scene incredibly annoying and cheap the first time I watched it, the second time less so. It's easily forgotten after a solid episode and perhaps it makes perfect sense that Coulson was able to find him with his mysterious backers and his secret agent skills.
This week promises the last chance to get the team back, Skye getting some electric acupuncture and Gonzales dealing with May. I guess she just iced him! In any event looks like we finally get to see the inhuman camp I am wondering if it will end up having a dark side and what Raina has become? I have a feeling the only real home for Skye is SHIELD but it might be some time before she realizes that. Who can blame her?