The feeling of dread, a fear that a catastrophe is just around the corner, is hanging over at least one agent of SHIELD as they get closer to finding a hidden ancient temple connected to the Diviner. Sure enough, one agent does go down…literally.
The battle over the Diviner, and what it might do to us here on Earth, is connected to Skye in many ways. She knows that she, the Diviner, her father, and the alien markings Coulson had been making all leads to something bad. Since HYDRA is in the mix thanks to her dad giving them the Diviner, she may be right. That’s why this week’s episode starts with a dream in a deserted SHIELD facility. Skye hears “Daisy” playing from a music box, then Coulson and May taking care of a baby (maybe when SHIELD found Skye), and finally Skye about to turn to stone. It’s her dream, and shows how very worried she is about what is to come.
So is Mack (Henry Simmons), but only because Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) are being too close again after they were married for a while. He’s worried about what happens when they aren’t so friendly. Right now, the concern is looking for the hidden city. Their point of entry is old San Juan, and a fort that has been around even longer than the Spanish.
Meanwhile, Raina (Ruth Negga) is hiding in Vancouver, and seems to spot Agent May. Actually, it’s HYDRA-May, aka the former SHIELD Agent 33 who was scarred by the real May. Raina takes off, but she’s rescued by Agent Sam Koenig (Patton Oswalt) with some assistance from his brother Billy (also Oswalt). Billy seems to be the smart-aleck in the group, but Sam has an umbrella Mary Poppins would envy. They also claim there are 13 Koenig brothers, but that might be a low estimate. Seeing double the Patton Oswalt was something, though.
Coulson decides to send May and Skye to Vancouver to meet with Raina, while he heads to San Juan with Mack, Morse and Fitz/Simmons. He thinks it’s too soon to let Skye anywhere near the hidden city, since her father may head there, too. He also hopes she can get info from Raina.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons are still trying to repair their relationship but without much success. Simmons does tell Morse how what happened to Fitz really hurt her, and how she didn’t get a chance to respond to him saying he loved her. She wants her best friend back, who is also someone she can’t live without. Morse tells Simmons just to be honest with him.
When they are finally alone, he tells her that he wants to work on the Bus with Mack, while she can take over the Science Division. He also says he’d rather work for her than with her, because he’s still damaged. She’s a bit upset, but it makes sense. He has to heal somehow. She accepts his decision, at least for now.
Back in Vancouver, Skye finds Raina, but HYDRA-May finds them, too. Skye does a fine job holding back HYDRA-May, but she loses the battle. Hunter is there to knock her out, but is surprised by her disguise. Raina uses the opportunity to tell Skye more about the Diviner, and how it will not harm those who it deems worthy. She thinks it will spare Skye, as it did her dad and Raina. She also says she heard about the legends of “Blue Angels,” which she identifies as the Kree. She thinks it’s the key to mankind being something more, and she thinks she’ll be part of it.
However, when Skye tells Raina HYDRA has the Diviner, she practically surrenders to some HYDRA agents… until May mows them down with a van. It doesn’t stop HYDRA, because HYDRA-May tells Whitehall (Reed Diamond) they can just follow Raina using the tracker SHIELD used on her.
In San Juan, Coulson and his crew find the shaft, but Fitz’s drones can’t reveal what’s under there. Mac decides to climb down. He hits the bottom, then notices more alien markings. They start glowing, and he is driven insane by them. He winds up attacking the crew, almost killing Morse and Simmons. Morse shocks him with electricity, and his body falls down the shaft. Coulson orders them to seal it up, because Mac is no longer himself.
HYDRA tracks down the SHIELD plane, and tells the crew they want Raina. Leading the HYDRA crew is no other than Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), who also wants Skye as a hostage. May strongly disagrees, but Skye says she’ll go with him to protect the crew. She must also suspect he’ll take her to her father, and the previews for next week prove her right. HYDRA-May tells Whitehall what happened, but he’s not worried because SHIELD’s plane was blown up. She tells him it was not, and he says she should fix that. She does, with one phone call. Whether that means the plane will definitely be destroyed is another matter.
This week’s episode is a solid set-up to the “winter finale,” where SHIELD and HYDRA have one big battle over the Diviner. It also advanced Fitz and Simmons’s efforts to restore what they once had, and showed they still have a long way to go. The big question are will the Diviner be used, who will use it, and what will happen when it is unleashed? Will it create death and destruction, or truly change things? Also, what is Ward trying to accomplish? He’s not 100 percent HYDRA, because it still looks like he plans to put one over on those guys. Maybe reuniting Skye and her dad will lead to dad letting Ward use the Diviner, too. It’s a risky move, though.
Next week will be the last episode until March, and that means big changes for everyone. Entertainment Weekly has an article with Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen on what changes may happen, and how the plot might connected to the planned Inhumans movie in 47 months.