An Asgardian, a Kree and an Inhuman walk into a bar…
Who knows how long this hot streak will last but “Agents of SHIELD” is in the midst of its most exciting storyline since the grand reveal of Hydra. Tonight’s episode felt like the showrunners are finally fully confident in their direction with the series as an integral part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe no longer content to simply be a time-killer until the next big movie. And with liberal splashes of the larger Marvel Universe, secrets being revealed and another mystery looming larger, there was really something for every Marvel fan to be excited about.
A group of young adults in Faro, Portugal gets their beach side campfire crashed by Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander, “Thor: The Dark World [Blu-ray]“). She’s searching for Kaval, but her short-term memory has been erased so she has little else to go on.
Fortunately Coulson and company are here to help. Mack and Hunter get bumped up to active field duty status, a responsibility Hunter is especially excited about as it should remove the last obstacle with Bobbi. After all, she can’t be too tied up with SHIELD work to maintain their relationship if he’s right there with her. Mack is less enthusiastic and he’s not that keen on Hunter getting closer to Bobbi. More on that later.
Fitz, meanwhile, is overly protective of Skye and I’m already worried this could be an annoying subplot if Fitz at less than normal brain capacity is able to keep Skye’s powers a secret for long. His poker face is suitably terrible when Simmons reveals her plans for a more advanced Icer gun to keep powered opponents stunned longer and easier.
In a first for the show, but one I hope they make greater use of going forward, despite all their fancy gadget, SHIELD learns more about Sif’s actions thanks to a Twitter video. That’s the kind of outside the SHIELD protocol thinking that Skye can still provide. Sif was battling a bruiser (Eddie McClintock) who could impressively go toe-to-toe with an Asgardian before he uses his truncheon to zap her memory.
Simmons is able to determine the guy is using nitrogen and that’s all the lead Bobbi and Skye need to track him down to a hospital. When they see him, his skin is blue and he triggers the nitrogen to switch his color back to a more human appearance. Like Sif, the battle doesn’t go too well for them as the guy overpowers Bobbi and Skye’s quake powers go haywire again and she gets herself trapped under shelving. This episode had a slew of great effects (tons of The Bus flying and landing!) but the coolest was easily the shot of Skye’s gun shaking to pieces.
Back at HQ, Sif figures the mysterious blue man was a Kree and that revelation helps her remember that Kava means “key.” Sif is such a fun character and while she probably makes little sense to continually pop up here, I’m glad she has been a recurring special guest.
While Coulson readies for the rematch with the Kree, Mack goes back over the plan with Bobbi — a plan that does not work well with Bobbi reciprocating Hunter’s googley eyes. Maybe there’s a chance they can all be friends again later, but for now, Mack insists their plan only works if she distances herself from Hunter. Reluctantly, she goes along with the plan and starts Operation: Freeze Out Hunter. I’ve no idea where this mystery is going, but I’m really digging it. And in another secret, Simmons stumbles onto Fitz’s analysis of Skye. He freaks out when she asks whose readings they are and I’m not liking his chances of keeping this hidden much longer at all.
Skye asks to sit out the mission to retrieve the Kree, which May instantly registers that statement as something our favorite scene-stealer would never say. Sif’s info proves correct and they capture the Kree at a location that translates into “key.” The Kree, Vin-Tak, insists he’s on the up and up as he explains a faction of the Kree came to Earth to weaponize people to aid them in a galactic war. Against the Skrulls maybe?? The experiment was ordered shut down, but the recent Terragenesis event (when Skye and Rayna got their powers), revealed that more Diviners were left on Earth that could trigger more weaponizations and more Inhumans [patent pending one Leo Fitz].
In an act of good faith, Vin-Tak restores Sif’s memories. She was sent from Asgard after Hemidell informed Loki of a Kree coming to Midgard. One obsessive continuity question though: why would Loki-Odin care about what’s happening with the Kree? Or have the events of “Thor: The Dark World” not yet occurred?
As Sif and Vin-Tak go more in detail about the dangers of these weaponized humans, Skye starts freaking out, which naturally sets her powers off again. May figures out Skye is causing the quakes and Sif and Vin-Tak immediately want to take her off planet. Since we wouldn’t have much of a show without her, Coulson sends Skye off with May while he tries to reason with the aliens.
With the quakes following Skye and Fitz running off like he knows exactly what’s happening, Simmons realizes his betrayal. Mack and Hunter don’t have much luck delaying Vin-Tak, but Bobbi has figured out his weakness and suckers him in close enough to turn his truncheon against him zapping his short-term memory. Sif meanwhile has made it to the prison wall where May is trying desperately to calm Skye down. Realizing Sif won’t be stopped, Skye grabs May’s Icer and stuns herself – a gesture that impresses Sif enough to let Coulson and company work with Skye on honing her powers.
The team is not necessarily as confident in Coulson’s decision as Bobbi, Simmons, Mack and Hunter gang up on Fitz for not telling them about Skye. They’ve got a point since she was outed just a week later. While it didn’t need to be revealed come the season finale, the writers probably could have gotten a few more weeks out of that. Mack argues Skye is the danger to them just as Skye walks by with her overnight bag to move in to her new sleeping area – the padded cell with special roof opening action in case Skye gets too jittery.
Hunter comes to Mack and wants a no BS answer about what’s going on with him and Bobbi and what it has to do with the flash drive and the backup. Mack tries to talk his way out of it, but once Hunter mentions snitching to Coulson, Mack just puts Hunter in a sleeper hold. That’s one way to win an argument. Looks like next week, Mack and Bobbi’s secret will definitely be revealed.
This was another fast-paced episode with solid plot advancement with several questions left to be answered, most especially can the show keep this up for the rest of the season?