The Asset strengthened some subplots while showing a disappointing ability to juggle half of the cast.
Agent Mack (no, not that one) is driving a big rig accompanied by two SHIELD escorts when they’re attacked. Mack was escorting Dr. Franklin Hall, one of FitzSimmons’ mentors.
Skye gets training sessions from Ward and he spoils that there’s no truth serum. I’d complain about this heavy focus on revolving so much around Skye, but good grief is Chloe Bennet just not even trying and bringing the scorching sex appeal to this series. May is not getting enough to do and for that matter neither is FitzSimmons.
SHIELD tracks Hall down to Ian Quinn (David Conrad). Quinn perfected Hall’s Gravitonium device, which distorts gravity fields. Quinn needs Hall’s help to control the gravity fields. This would prove to be a major development for the series.
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The driver assumes there’s a mole within SHIELD that tipped the hijackers. Man, is that an ironic statement in the context of knowing where the season will play out. Skye offers to infiltrate Quinn’s compound since anyone else would tip off Quinn.
Ward’s leery about sending her into the field while casually questioning Coulson’s judgement. Ward says he knows Fury is going along with him because he sacrificed himself and Coulson adds his card collection was sacrificed too. Clark Gregg’s line delivery is exceptional and he keeps delivering on these quiet exchanges with the team.
Recognizing that’s a lost cause, Ward tries to get Skye focused and shares about his trying childhood with his cruel brother. Skye can relate, but for now keeps that under wraps. Thanks to an amazing dress, Skye quickly gets Quinn’s interest and an offer to work with him. Skye pulls a fast one and teases betraying SHIELD to Quinn, but it’s just to get in position to lower his defenses…literally since Quinn had a force shield around his complex.
Coulson runs into Hall, who wasn’t trying to partner with Quinn, but stop him. To do that, he needed to get close, which is why he leaked the info of his trip. Coulson tries to talk some sense into him, but Hall doesn’t see another recourse beyond blowing up the Gravitonium, which would be less than helpful. Coulson considers his options and shoots the inverted floor allowing Hall to get sucked into the Gravitonium. That’s enough to win the day, but Coulson isn’t all smiles about having to kill a guy who was misguided in his attempt to do the right thing.
One interesting development is Coulson is still having issues with his muscle memory — he’s forgotten how to quickly disarm someone. May says she wants in with combat now so he’s got someone else to watch his back.
Skye and Ward bond further over their broken families. In the post credit scene, the agent follows Coulson’s order to lose the record while a hand appears in the Gravitonium field.
The Asset sets up a solid interplay with Coulson, Skye and Ward, but again leaves May and FitzSimmons toiling their thumbs for long portions of the episode. Setting the stage for a supervillain is promising and Quinn is established as potential long-term rival. Things are looking up for AOS.