May 29, 2018
Agents of SHIELD Recap: The One With All The Deathlok
Time to get your Agents of SHIELD recap on after yet another two-week hiatus. Did teevee shows go away and come back this often when we were young? Will we find out what happened to poor old Deathlok Mike Peterson? What about the fact that it looks like May has blown the whistle on Coulson’s extracurricular activities? Or will this be another one of those episodes where we have wacky fun with Skye and FitzSimmons? It better not be.
Oh hello Bill Paxton, aka Agent John Garrett, and your sidekick, the improbably named Trip. What’s up? You’re calling Coulson to chat about the Clairvoyant? Cool. Haha you will never get to make that phone call because here is roided-up Deathlok death machine Mike Peterson! Hi Mike!
There’s some shooting at Mike that just seems to make him seem sort of electrocuted — the superhero version of bloodied but unbowed — and then he jumps straight through the cement ceiling and is gone. What was the point of all that, exactly? I mean, yay for finally showing us Deathlok in action, but you’d think with all his jumping thru ceiling action he could have finished off Garrett and Friend if he’d felt like it.
Oh hello plane, you are once and forever the real superstar of this show. Today you are landing on an aircraft carrier. Moving up in the world, plane!
Coulson’s flown the plane over to meet Agent Hand and her boringly be-suited friends, because why call when you can fly? And they have to fly the plane again to talk? SHIELD has all the money. Oh, right, because of the Clairvoyant. Flying stops him from reading minds or something like that. The other SHIELDies make fun of him for believing in psychics. Garrett has been tracking Deathlok Peterson for a few weeks and thinks they might be getting closer to figuring out who the Clairvoyant is. They’re going through the SHIELD index of fancy gifted people and seeing who got rejected from that Kool Kids Klub, and now they’ve got a list of 13 possibles. There’s a complicated plan afoot where people will only know a part of the master plan, because that way if the Clairvoyant gets to someone, he still can’t get the full story. We have a feeling this will become needlessly difficult.
Haha we are so right. It’s going to be a double blind, so one person from each team gets the potential clairvoyant’s coordinates and the other gets the identity so even members of the same team don’t know the same things. This is going to be a mess. AND now Skye is an official SHIELDie so she can run the operation. She gets a sweetass metal badge medallion thingy.
Now we have to endure everyone praising Skye for what seems like forever while Ward lurks around in the background looking all complicated and pale and maybe sad. Too bad you fucked things up with May, Ward.
Deathlok Mike is stuck in a shitty hotel apartment checking out his new injuries when the camera/watcher thing that lives in his eye lets him know he’s got a package. It’s another metal Deathlok chunk that grows into his arm but damn, what really needs repairing is dude’s head.
Cue clunky convo about how field teams won’t be along for The Great Clairvoyant Hunt of 2014 and Hand is pulling one of her agents out and she’s going away and will coordinate teams from elsewhere so they can step in when things go to shit. Hear that clomping? That is this show’s expository dialogue.
Here’s Skye doling out pieces of of tech and information and it is wearying just listening to her explain it. Garrett decides that it is totally time to share his injuries — including a third-degree burn — with Skye, since she got shot too. Thanks for that. Also time for more expository dialogue about how Garrett was Ward’s SO, just as Ward was hers, but now Ward knows how to be part of a team and is a different man, so yay. Does this mean Skye and Ward are going to have a thing? We are bored in advance.
FitzSimmons is still super-obsessed over Skye’s blood and are chatting with May about it. May gets all weirdly helpful and says that if either Coulson or Skye display any strange behavior, May can help! She’s trying to be open and helpful, but it just comes off terrifying. We prefer our May seething with barely suppressed rage and mystery, thanks.
Now let’s all go look for the clairvoyant!
Trip is taunting Ward about how he is just like a Kennedy but then we take a hard right to chitter chattering about how the Clairvoyant hurt people they loved. Trip is thinking it might be cool to just stone cold murder the Clairvoyant instead, but Ward is kinda not down with that.
Wait. Do we know if the Clairvoyant is a boy or a girl? Maybe not and we are just being sexist! Now they are off to see their target, who is a prisoner in some SuperMax looking place, except there are no guards when they get there, which is sorta kinda weird!
Garrett and Coulson have to go to Indiana. This seems like a punishment. Their target is a college girl who is super bright, but en route they are detoured. MYSTERIOUS.
Now May and one of Hand’s sidekicks, Blake, are walking to their target, who lives in an assisted living facility. They seem less than happy, as their dude is catatonic. Literally. Oh hey it’s Deathlok Mike! Does that mean that the Clairvoyant lives here, or that Deathlok Mike is just roaming around to all the other people on the list too, or is the show just fucking with us? Blake tries to shoot him, which is pretty ineffectual BECAUSE IT IS. Mike starts trying to strangle Blake, which takes much longer than it should, because he is super strong and all, but it gives Blake time to try to reason with him. Haha you are a sucker, Blake. You are not going to be a recurring guest star probably.
Deathlok’s new army thingy is a rocket launcher, which he promptly shoots at May.
Hand sends the word out that Blake is down, so all the other teams leave what they’re doing. Aren’t they all many miles apart??
Oh. They’re all going back to the plane to chat. So you were all on the hunt for a possible suspect, but now you’ve all stopped because one of the teams got hurt by someone CONNECTED TO THE PERSON YOU’RE HUNTING? Makes perfect sense. Hand is pissed that there was no backup in place so everyone has to squabble about it. Coulson stops the squabbling by pointing out that Blake is still alive and they now have the name of a possible suspect, Thomas Nash, who should have been hanging out catatonic at the assisted living pad, but is instead a ghost.
Simmons is being taken to headquarters to be debriefed about Deathlok, but she’s also packing up some of Skye’s blood to secretly analyze at the Hub. Clever!
May and Skye are running down the background of Thomas Nash. He couldn’t affect human behavior, but could predict it. He was on SHIELD’s index of weird people doing weird things, but got booted when he went catatonic. Except, of course, he’s not catatonic – it was all just a way to get rid of SHIELD. Would that we could be so lucky.
Coulson figures out that one of the shots Blake hit Deathlok with was a tracker bullet designed by Simmons, so they’re off to fetch him.
Of course the tracer is no ordinary tracer. It’s a gizmo that spins around and then shoots little bits of camera all over the place to track someone down. The cameras send data to Skye, because otherwise Skye will get lonely, so she’s the one that gets the first glimpse of what poor Mike Peterson really is like under the hood now.
He figures out that he’s being watched and smashes the little camera doohickey.
Time for a low budget firefight between SHIELD and Deathlok. There’s lots of running and Deathlok generally being a superior being, and then there’s some sneaking around a subbasement. Looks like someone other than Deathlok is hanging about as well. It’s Thomas Nash! He’s a wheelchair-bound man in a hospital gown who talks only via computer screen and he says he is the Clairvoyant. He had Deathlok lead SHIELD there so that he could see them through his own eyes rather than that of sad Mike Peterson. Now that he’s face to face with Coulson, he realizes that he couldn’t see him — as in Clairvoyant see him — after Coulson died because Coulson himself could not see himself. That’s mystical.
The Clairvoyant tells Coulson that he can go right ahead and lock him up, but it won’t matter because he’ll always be able to see what’s going on, and he begins a spiel about seeing Coulson holding a dying bleeding Skye, knowing it was his fault. Everyone looks some combination of mystified or angry.
Nash goes on to say that an inevitable force is coming for Coulson and Skye because Skye has something he wants, and she will die giving it to him.
And then Ward kills him dead.
Ward gets sent off to the Hub for reviewing and debriefing, and Garrett gets sent off to look for Deathlok, and Coulson gets to go talk to Nick Fury, because apparently the show is doing well enough to pay Samuel L. Jackson’s going rate for a few minutes again except haha we never actually see him this episode. Tease.
Back on the plane, Skye is quizzing Ward about why he killed the Clairvoyant. Duh he killed the Clairvoyant because he loves you or whatever. Except he doesn’t say that. It’s all Centipide-this and torturing Coulson-that, but we know the real deal.
Fitz has called Simmons on a secret hardline he rigged up but the line keeps cutting in and out, so he has to dig around in the plane’s telecommunications setup, and he finds some little piece of electronics that shows someone else is tapping the hardline too. Oooh.
Coulson is worried that the person Ward shot isn’t necessarily the person that was talking through the computer. Was Nash just a prop? Will we have to continue to deal with the whole Clairvoyant story arc? Probably! Skye and Coulson put two and two together and realize that the Clairvoyant isn’t a mind-reader — he’s a FILE reader. He’s got access to SHIELD’s files, which is how he knows everything about SHIELDies and where they will be, and the reason he couldn’t see Coulson was that there was no file on his death.
So, the Clairvoyant isn’t a Clairvoyant. He (or SHE!!)is a SHIELD agent with an excellent security clearance. That seems like it will pose a problem.
Coulson goes to confront Ward and ask him if someone ordered him to kill the Clairvoyant, which doesn’t seem like that much of a stretch if it is actually a high-placed SHIELD person. Meanwhile Fitz is prowling around the telecommunications setup some more in a way that should be very dramatic, but it is tough to convey that when really all he is doing is using a flashlight to look at some wires. He figures out, just by looking at the wires, that Agent May is behind the unauthorized encrypted line and oh look here is May being terrifying. Fitz backs out of the room in some sort of confused breathlessness and runs into Skye. More pieces fall into place, and she yells at him to go cut the line so that May can’t call out.
Cue May looking menacing, which is what May does best.
Will Fitz be able to cut the line before May makes her super secret call? WILL HE?? She gets her name out, but nothing more, and it is pretty easy to figure out that Fitz did the line slicing, so she chases him with a gun. Lots of action for our little Fitz this episode.
It’s a plane. How long can she really chase him before she finds him? It isn’t like there are a ton of extra hiding places. Let’s take a trip through the plane! Here is the lab. Here are the cool vintage cars. She tries to put two shots in Fitz’s skull, but he’s behind glass. Coulson draws on her, and she says her bullets were only tranquilizers. Coulson’s are real, he informs her. And oh here is Skye drawing down on May too. Do we think Skye even knows how to shoot?
Oh come on. We don’t really think May is the bad guy, do we? Coulson does, and is yelling at her about Blake and bullets and the Clairvoyant and who she reports to, and the mystery will have to linger because she tells him she can’t answer AND the plane starts flying itself.
Man, we always knew the plane was the star of the show.
Cut to Agent Hand, who looks to be controlling the plane from the Hub, telling some unnamed minion that when the plane touches down, everyone on the plane can be taken out except Coulson, because he’s hers. Is Hand the Clairvoyant? Is May’s secret hardline to Nick Fury? Will this season ever end?
Questions questions questions. Tune in next week, or some arbitrary week that is not next week, depending on whatever weird way ABC continues to deal with its spring season.