Agents of SHIELD Recap: Could Everyone Just Grow Up Already?
We open this week’s Agents of SHIELD in one of those gas station convenience stores that really only exist in television shows. It’s well stocked and neat like a grocery, but tiny and only one surly guy runs it. In the real world, you go to the giant supermarket with the weird flickering interrogation lights overhead, or you are stuck only buying cigarettes and soda at the gas station. These are your choices. Anyway, surly storeowner is mad at the girl who is trying to buy paper towels, because it seems that she may have caused a lab accident that killed people. She tries to bail out because this does not seem like it is shaping up to be a successful business transaction, but then her telekinetic powers kick in and she flings cans and entire shelves – VERY WELL-STOCKED SHELVES – at the storeowner because she just can’t help it.
Apparently her uncontrolled powers go much past shelf-tossing and into full-on blowing up of the gas station. Uh-oh.
As we knew was about to happen last week, Grant and May are hooking up because of how they are damaged souls and such, and they’re hiding from everyone. That part is going to go screwball comedy, isn’t it? Dammit, we do not need some sort of Friends-meets-Avengers thing up in here.
SHIELD is off to talk to firestarter girl, but first we need to see the inside of the fucking plane again. Hello, plane.
Apparently before blowing up the gas station, firestarter took out a particle reactor at work. Perhaps this person needs to consider working in a less dangerous location. Skye has a sad because she does not get to interrogate telekinetic girl. Shut up, Skye.
At the girl’s house, there’s a smallish lynch mob forming, but SHIELD is going to take her away for a nice chat. She gets agitated and accidentally takes control of a police cruiser and drives it through the mob. Most of SHIELD tries to calm her down, but May just shoots her with something that looks like a ray gun.
Well, at least that moves the scene along nicely, which is something.
FitzSimmons are arguing about whether or not telekinesis exists for like two seconds, and then they veer into a discussion of how they never got to prank people while they were in college, so now they’re going to prank Skye. SHIELD, this is your biggest problem. You’ve got two genius scientists standing outside a melted-down reactor and they’re gabbing about pranking another member of the team instead of figuring out the whole telekinetics thing. Stop making all your characters behave like they’re 16, Whedon. You’re re-making Buffy with a less interesting plot and people that are 10+ years older, so treat them like grownups and geniuses, not high schoolers.
Ms. Hutchins – telekinetic girl – is sleeping it off in the weird hexagon room, which is now, handily, magnetically shielded. May is the one that is going to talk to her because of some ominous music and meaningful faces between her and Coulson. What is May’s story? Will we learn? Do we care??
Gentle tearful chatting. Hutchins is sad, because her power kills people. FitzSimmons and Skye are watching through the window and arguing about May tranq gunning Hutchins. Fitz explains that May gets to do that, because she’s “The Cavalry” – a phrase the show has been throwing around since the beginning all mysterious-like. FitzSimmons realize that Skye has no idea what they’re talking about and oh good lord this will be the prank, won’t it? Some elaborate lie that ultimately becomes a problem in the storyline later. Except maybe not, because the story is boring and dumb and predictable: May is the cavalry because she rode in somewhere on a horse and killed like 1000 people or something. FitzSimmons, this is not really how pranking works.
More tearful talking with Hutchins. Oh…she didn’t blow up the reactor, maybe. The reactor blowed her up and gave her telekinesis or something. Hutchins believes this is happening because God abandoned her and there are demons haunting her.
Skye is begging to talk to her because she is able to look up information about the girl on Facebook. No, I am not kidding. By all means, let the random double agent person talk to a person with uncontrolled telekinetic power. What could go wrong? Thankfully, Coulson doesn’t let her, so Skye wanders off to bother Ward and explain how May is a cold cold bitch who just needs to get laid, amirite? Remember last week when we didn’t have to hear Skye talk hardly at all? I miss last week.
Skye also repeats the cavalry yarn spun by FitzSimmons to Grant, who disabuses her of this and explains that May only took out 20 people with one pistol. Is this still a part of a prank?
As everyone plans pranks and generally just ignores the fact that they’ve got someone with terrifying powers aboard the plane, Simmons finally figures out that the blast opened a portal to another dimension, or hell, or something, and one of the dead lab technicians is now running about the plane as well smashing things to bits. He’s basically some sort of half-energy half-human thing and he just rips the entire power supply out of the plane so that a scary near-crash landing is in order. Hutchins isn’t telekinetic – she’s being haunted by the dead guy.
Skye begs and pleads and pleads and begs to get to be the one to tell Hutchins about it, because of how it will comfort her to have Skye talk to her. Kickstarter to kill off Skye yet this season.
Every time the denizens of the SHIELD plane try to get some other bit of power up and running,the hellspawn guy rips the wires out. And of course Skye goes to talk to Hutchins because why not? Skye gives Hutchins a pep talk about how God is love and therefore God is not punishing her, but Theology 101 with Skye is cut off when May comes to stand watch.
FitzSimmons and Ward split up so that the Hellstarter can attack both of them separately, because SHIELD has no rational way to deal with emergency oddities whatsoever, and now this is just a cheesy horror movie.
Blargh more about the Cavalry. Now Coulson explains that there was no gun. It was a welcome wagon op, much like this one, where SHIELD goes to chat with a new special powers person. In that instance, May had to go in and rescue people being held hostage by one of those gifted individuals. No one knows how May got people out, but she did, and the only person she lost, Coulson says, was herself. This is actually an interesting back story, but it is too little too late in this series, because we’re all pretty much utterly uninterested in these people.
Meanwhile, we still have homicidal hell-guy trying to get to Hutchins, but May has spirited her off the plane. Now the working hypothesis is not that dude comes from hell, but instead that he’s passing back and forth through different worlds – which at least makes more sense in the Avengers universe. May, being a gentle spirit, is using Hutchins as bait, but of course didn’t tell any other SHIELD person that, because why do that, really?
We’re still uncertain, at this late date, why the portal-jumping guy has such a hard-on of hate for Hutchins, but using her as bait does work like a charm so now he and May can have a fistfight. Oh, good lord. The lab tech portal-jumping guy is trying to protect Hutchins, because he likes her. Likes her-likes her, gnome sane? My, but this is sound and fury signifying nothing. The reactor meltdown – and this guy’s subsequent ping-ponging between worlds, was caused by him loosening bolts to get Hutchins’ attention, because she was the Lord of Safety at the reactor Really?? This entire plotline was about a lovelorn guy? For fuck’s sake.
May talks the guy into giving up his love for Hutchins so that he can turn into a puff of smoke and drift away to whatever dimension he’s supposed to be hanging out in. Yay, May.
We’re winding up the episode with Coulson praising Skye for how intuitive she is and REALLY?? She’s a hectoring child. Stop praising her. Stop making Skye’s progress towards full agent a centerpiece of this show because no one likes Skye. No one. NO ONE.
We fade out with more wacky hijinx consisting of someone having whip- or shaving-creamed Fitz while he was sleeping.
Who could have done it? Oh, of course it is May, because she is finding her humanity again, apparently by engaging in behavior that even 9th graders are too old to find all that funny.
Is it holiday hiatus time yet? If not, it really can’t come soon enough. This show needs a rest and a reboot in the worst way.