The first new episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. featured a cameo by a familiar face. The big news, though, is the return of another familiar face, and maybe the end for someone else. As usual, spoilers ahoy!
It’s too bad the show is taking another vacation just after it came back with a very good story with unexpected twists. “T.R.A.C.K.S.” fulfilled some fans’ wishes that the show become more “super.” The story’s structure is different, going forward except for u-turns to explain some unexpected twists, then wrapping up with two major shocks.
It starts shortly after “Seeds” ended, with Quinn (David Conrad) taunting Coulson about the Clairvoyant. The crew learns Quinn bought something from Cybertech worth ten million dollars, and it’s being sent by train from Verona to Zagreb. They decide to go there, after asking an Italian police inspector named Russo (Carlo Rota) to let them do that.
They get on the train, pretending to be tourists and hoping to get whatever Quinn bought. Simmons overreacts a bit, yelling at Coulson about how he was a “distant father” to her. Stan Lee shows up with two pretty girls, also shaming Coulson. That was Lee’s best cameo ever, actually.
Ward and May set up shop in a sleeper and discuss their relationship. While they discuss how Skye’s more driven these days, he’s surprised she told Coulson about it. Fitz and Skye pretend to be a couple to get the keys from a porter, and set up their equipment inside the luggage compartment.
So far so good… until their communications get scrambled, and one of the Cybertech guards fires a bomb that makes the train invisible. Coulson and Ward are also forced to leap off the train. Then, the story backtracks to Ward posing as a porter, and meeting a pretty girl who asks for help with her bag… before she pulls a gun on him. He takes care of her and her fellow guards, and tells Simmons to hide before he and Coulson jump. They wake up, and find May’s goggles near the tracks. They also find a truck, pre-hot wired for their convenience. Meanwhile, some Italian police led by Russo are there to investigate… or are they?
Back at the bus, they try to figure out the gimzo the Cybertech guys use. Ward also discusses his- relationship-with May. Coulson suggests that it better not compromise their missions, or Ward’s getting a one-way trip to Barrow, Alaska. “And if it’s really just sex, Ward,” Coulson concludes, “you should get more comfortable using the word.”
At that moment, Russo arrives… stabbed by May two seconds later. One look at her face, and you know she had a good reason.
Backtrack again to May about to be tortured by Russo and her men. He and his crew were paid off by Cybertech to make sure the package arrived. She gets stabbed in the shoulder, but he makes the mistake of leaving the knife in. She grabs the knife, frees herself, and escapes. Apparently, Russo really planned to kill Coulson and Ward before May stopped him. She later tells them that they were hit with a toxin that knocked them out for a while, making it appear that the train disappeared. She also provided them with the truck.
The train is found in a remote area, but Simmons, Skye and Fitz are missing. They do find Simmons, waking up and firing her Night-Night Gun twice. She says they were attacked by the Cybertech guys, and she absorbed one of the toxin bombs. Fitz and Skye make the brave decision to follow the Cybertech guys and find out what Quinn bought.
Skye does find out what that package had… and for who. She finds the body of Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) in a hyperbaric chamber. The package contains his new leg. Since we know he has the same eye Akela had, he is forced to do the will of the Clairvoyant or risk death. Quinn finds them both, and expects Mike to follow orders. He says he hasn’t been told to kill Skye… so Quinn shoots her twice and leaves her to die. That’s the biggest shock so far this season.
S.H.I.E.L.D. does get there, and Mike takes care of the Cybertech crew. However, he is told not to attack S.H.I.E.L.D. He leaves before they get there. Quinn is also captured, in full smirk mode. Skye is quickly put in the hyperbaric chamber, but her fate is still unknown. The crew, especially Ward and May, are furious about this, and we’ll have to wait a month to find out what happens next. Thanks, Sochi.
One more thing: Mike “asks” the Clairvoyant if he can see his son. He’s told “not yet,” and we get a close look at his knee, revealing that he is no longer Mike Peterson. He is now Deathlok.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in full comic-book mode, just like Arrow. It’s just too bad we have to go through another break, but with nine episodes left, it’s safe to say we’ll have a long string of episodes when we come back on March 4th. We also have a lot to look forward to, like an Asgardian battle, a showdown with Deathlok, Bill Paxton, and maybe why Skye is an “object of unknown origin.”