AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. RECAP: May I have this dance? (S2:E4)
This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is full of action, intrigue, thrills, chills, and even a few spills. Like literal spills, there’s a lot of fighting in a kitchen. Simmons is back to being a figment in this episode, meaning she’s safe from HYDRA’s clutches for this week. That doesn’t mean we’re finished with the little Nazi group that could, though. They’re around in a big way this week, creating that spy vs spy dynamic that I think a lot of people were waiting to happen.
We open the episode elsewhere though, providing a new item for our agents and HYDRA to compete after. Namely it is a painting that survived a horrible church fire, something the local priests want to call a miracle. That’s not going to happen, and neither is a reason for this fire. What we do get is more of that weird alien writing that Coulson demonstrated a few episodes back and another mystery behind who put it there.
Cut to South Beach where Hunter is wooing a mark in order to gain her flash drive (always a major piece of spy tech) in order for Skye, whizzing by on her scooter, to take it and hack the guest list at a high class party nearby. Coulson and May roll out of a fancy ass car dressed to the nines and show some of that chemistry that was bubbling under the surface last season. The party is in honor of this miracle painting, and Coulson is there to get it and study the alien script.
There is a problem though, aside from May’s heels and their obvious fake dancing skills (NO ONE IS THAT GOOD). Talbot is in attendance at the party, and he’s poised to blow their cover at any moment. At least this looks like Talbot. He’s acting a little off, claiming to have drunk a great deal and not fully recognizing Coulson it would seem. This is important. Coulson talks to “Talbot” and they both agree not to fudge with each other at the party, an agreement that is quickly broken within five minutes. Now Coulson and May are forced to hurry to a store room to find the painting and get out before Talbot has them arrested.
The plot twist here is that Talbot already has the painting and he was at the party to retrieve it. He offers to talk about it back at his hotel room and jets off during an post-break-in meeting. No one trusts him, of course, so May tails him and discovers that Talbot is working with HYDRA. I mean “Talbot” is working with HYDRA.
May peeks inside the room, finds Agent 33 working on a HYDRA dossier, and enters to beat some ass. “Talbot” appears behind the two combatants, revealing himself to be our slick HYDRA agent Sunil. They both managed to subdue May and use the same face masking tech to steal her identity. They’re going to run up such a credit card bill.
Agent 33 heads back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane to sabotage and trick Coulson into returning to the hotel for some re-education. This whole time, the rest of the agents have been expressing these bonding moments and Fitz has been feeling left out. The others all have stories about lost love and ex-partners, but Fitz is stuck in brain damage land and can’t manage to convey human emotions the proper way. I know the feeling.
Fitz will get his chance to shine though because Agent 33 is there to fuck up the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane, and he’s the only one who can aid the others in stopping her tampering from destroying the whole thing. She’s pretty good at playing May for the most part, really messing with the dynamic that we saw at play earlier during the party. She takes Coulson off the plane to drive him back to the hotel, but I think he is onto her the entire time.
Back in the hotel, May is at the mercy of Slick Sunil. He’s threatening to brainwash her like he did Agent 33, but he’s going to improvise with some electrical wires before that. He’s ready to do it right at the time when Coulson arrives outside the door with 33. One offer of coffee later, and the whole ruse is busted up.
Coulson punches 33 in the face because the real May actually hates coffee, and May then uses the commotion to bust out of her restraints and unleash holy hell on everyone involved. It’s one of the cooler fights I’ve seen on the show. Coulson and Sunil disappear for a bit, leaving it as 33 vs May. Coulson gets the painting from our slick friend during this time, shooting him in the back with an ICER and taking the plunder.
May and 33 battle around the hotel room, bringing kitchen utensils, scissors, and a whole bunch of furniture into play. The part where May somersaults over the table and slams 33’s head into it is pretty damn cool. I haven’t seen form like that since Barbara Walters took on Star Jones on The View. You wouldn’t think the old broad had it in her, but she fooled us all.
Sunil’s exposed wires come back into play at the end of the fight, incapacitating 33 and allowing the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (har, har) a chance to escape before HYDRA’s goons show up. All the while, it has been chaos back on the plane and Fitz finally gets that moment to shine.
He deduces what sort of tampering Agent 33 did to the plane and manages to lead Hunter to the control room in order to reroute and change out some key wires, averting the destruction of the wings and fuel tanks. That’d be a bad time for everyone involved, so good on him. This earns Fitz a beer and a bit of courage to tell the others how he’s missing Simmons. He told her how he felt and she left, breaking his heart to go along with his already broken brain. Saddest thing I’ve seen on TV since Poot and Brodie killed Wallace.
Crisis was averted though and everything is hunky dory…well, almost everything. Coulson is still afraid of what the weird alien trances he goes into mean for his future. He wants May to promise that she’ll take him down if things go south. He gives some ominous warnings, and they share a glance that makes you think things will get darker before they get better.
The agents portion of the episode comes to an end, but we’re given a tease at the end. Raina has heard about the painting, but it seems that Whitehall and HYDRA have heard about Raina. They arrive and confront her in her car, giving an ultimatum to hand over the Obelisk or die within 48 hours. Whitehall means business and he’s not around to play games, going into detail about how he performed surgery on a woman for a full week. Crazy, evil Nazi talk to the max. Most guys just gloat about their sex lives. I guess we will see what happens in the next episode.