Agents of SHIELD Nothing Personal review S1, Ep.20

When last we left our Agents of the organization formerly known as S.H.I.E.L.D. things were starting to go haywire.

Fearing she’d forever lost Coulson’s trust, May (Ming-Na Wen) left the team and set out to find Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders).

marvels-agents-of-shield-maria-hill-and-coulsonCoulson (Clark Gregg), Trip (B.J. Britt), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) return to an empty base. Meanwhile, Skye (Chloe Bennet) has just found out that Ward (Brett Dalton) is a Hydra double agent, but doesn’t want to let him know that she knows he’s a traitor. All caught up? Great. With two more episodes before the season finale things are about to get even crazier than they’ve been the last few weeks.

Hill is on the phone (with Pepper who I presume is the one and only Pepper Potts from Iron Man) complaining about federal agents not-so discreetly tailing her before May pops up and asks for her assistance in helping Coulson. May’s biggest concern is that Alexander Pierce from Captain America: The Winter Solider wasn’t the one spearheading Project T.A.H.I.T.I., which brought Coulson back to life via alien DNA. That conversation doesn’t get much of a resolution as cops come and May takes off.

Thankfully, the writers don’t drag the big secret out and let Fitz/Simmons learn the truth early on in the episode. Fitz by way of a hidden message by Skye (clever) and Simmons by stumbling onto Koenig’s body.

Fitz understandably can’t believe that his S.H.I.E.L.D. big brother would betray them (I bet Koenig would disagree with you if he were ummm still alive, Fitz). Simmons does the world’s fastest autopsy and determines that Ward is indeed the killer, sending Fitz into a full-on nerd-tizzy.

Before they can began a rescue mission, Gen. Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) arrives at Providence with Hill in tow. Hill suggests Coulson can avoid prison by handing Talbot some low level secrets, but Coulson tells her Ward is a traitor and has Skye and that’s enough for her to turn on Talbot’s men and help Coulson’s team escape.

marvels-agents-of-shield-ward-and-deathlokWard and Skye have settled into a restaurant so she can decrypt her jump drive and hopefully buy some time for Coulson and crew to find her. I’m not tech savvy enough to understand this jump drive subplot, but suffice to say Ward has to wait on Skye to not crack the drive.

And now police are entering in the restaurant making Ward a bit twitchy. Skye gets motivated and starts not-so slyly calling Ward out for being a no good traitor. Ward doesn’t catch on until the cops come over and Skye reveals she tipped them off. Don’t think this is the time to gloat there Skye. Yep, Ward – the superspy – is able to easily take care of the four to five city cops, but Skye doesn’t get too far as Deathlok (J August Richards) returns and grabs her with a quickness. My hope for a better Deathlok costume continues…

The episode gets a bit melodramatic as Ward tries to convince Skye that his feelings for her are genuine (Dear Writers: Evil Ward is great. No need to wussy him up now with a nonsensical connection to Skye). Despite being caught, Skye won’t give up the jump drive until Deathlok threatens Ward with an instant heart attack device. I wish after Skye gave Deathlok the drive that Ward popped right back up proving he really is an evil S.O.B., but we have to settle for some bad guy tension instead.

Hill has a plane stare-off with Ward and the writers work in a nice exchange where Ward says Nick Fury angered a lot of agents when he picked Hill as his No. 2. Let the speculation begin if some of those agents became disgruntled Hydra goons. Hill knows she won’t convince Ward to have a sudden change of heart as this little convo is just to let Coulson sneak on board the plane.

marvels-agents-of-shield-maria-hill-cobie-smuldersWard and Deathlok are ridiculously overconfident as Coulson is able to walk right up and get Skye from the containment cell. After a brief shoot-out, Coulson and Skye take his flying car, Lola, out of the hanger and make a far too easy escape. The special effects here are a bit shaky almost to the point of the cool idea not being worth it with this result, but now Team Coulson is back!

With no home base, Coulson’s crew has to shack up in a motel. How the mighty have fallen. Hill advises Coulson to get his payback on Ward and Garrett and move on as there’s no grand comeback for S.H.I.E.L.D., but you can tell he has no interest in a retirement plan anytime soon. Team Coulson enjoys a quiet moment by the pool and Coulson heads back to his room to find May awaiting with a video detailing more background on Project T.A.H.I.T.I. courtesy of a video recording from Coulson to Fury.

Video Coulson says the project was intended to heal seriously wounded Avengers, but the tests have proven so disastrous that he advises Fury shut it down. The only setting in which it proved slightly beneficial was if the subject’s memory was erased to forget the trauma they’d undergone. Cue to Coulson uttering a quick, but perfect response and we’ve got one more piece of the puzzle completed.

Next week it appears we’ll be getting the origin of Evil Ward and his early encounters with Garrett. Should be a good one. See you next week!

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal