The Hub was a weird episode in that it managed to feel both like a filler episode while containing some important elements to significant subplots. It was the kind of episode where a cliff notes version would have been fine as the main plot didn’t really matter that much.
Coulson, May and Ward rescue Agent Shaw (Charles Halford, Constantine) from his deep cover gig and take him to The Hub, one of SHIELD’s major operational bases.
Skye is impressed, but Simmons assures her she hasn’t seen anything until she sees The Triskelion. This is the first time Skye has seen all of SHIELD’s bureaucracy and special clearance level areas. Most of the episode centers around Ward and Fitz going in to South Ossetia to retrieve a deadly weapon from separatists while Skye tries to circumvent SHIELD protocol to figure out what’s happening to them.
Ward and Fitz’s subplot is OK and further establishes their bond, but the writers are inconsistent with their take on Fitz who alternates from bumbling boob who can’t work an elevator to highly competent tech officer. At this point, Fitz is still written like the trying too hard comic relief character.
Skye has all kinds of temptation at The Hub as Coulson says they have some information on file. She hopes it leads to some intel on her parents, but figuring out Victoria Hand’s (Saffron Burrows) plan to get Ward and Fitz out following their mission takes priority. Skye even drags poor Simmons in to her anarchy. Predictably, Simmons botches her infiltration mission, freaking out and stunning Agent Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez), the agent who worked closely with Coulson when they found Thor’s hammer and the Invasion of New York.
The main problem with Skye’s storyline is she’s randomly questioning SHIELD protocol that’s worked fine and the one time she shows up, SHIELD acts super shady and leaves their men to die. Coulson doesn’t tip his hand that he didn’t know Hand’s plan and defends SHIELD’s organizational structure. Skye is raising questions that haven’t needed to be answered.
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Coulson catches himself from saying Tahiti is a magical place to Hand as he’s starting to get suspicious about that trigger. He has less time for her accusation that Fury is coddling him on his recovery as one of Fury’s favorites. Coulson’s even less appreciative that she omitted there was no extraction for Ward and Fitz, which seems needlessly shady. Hand argues that Barton and Romanov never go in with an extraction plan, but that’s real suspect to use SHIELD’s best agents as the measuring stick for Fitz in particular.
Hardly inspired by Hand, Coulson and the rest of them make a dramatic save to retrieve Fitz and Ward. Somehow, Fitz takes this as he’s a competent agent now, but he did have Ward’s back as much as possible.
Coulson gave Skye some intel on her origin saying the woman who dropped her off at the orphanage was a SHIELD agent. He neglects to mention that agent got killed for her actions and wants May’s help finding out what really happened.
Since he’s in a secret unraveling kind of mood, Coulson asks about his death and recovery report on Tahiti. Coulson’s shocked to learn he doesn’t have access for that information. Just what secrets is SHIELD keeping from him?
On the bread crumbs for the big season plots, The Hub accomplished a lot even if so much was spent on a cookie cutter mission for Fitz and Ward.
Rating: 7 out of 10
Photo Credit: ABC