Mar 30, 2021
Agents Of Shield Recap: Spy Versus Spy Versus Spy Versus Spy
So last week poor old Patton Oswalt got hisself kilt, and May peaced out and Skye figured out Ward is a big baddie but is stuck in a plane with him so is totally faking it. Let’s get to this week, shall we?
We open with Maria Hill (looking fine, bee tee dubs) walking down the streets of DC talking on the phone about how she’s handling the various acronym agencies and Congress, all the while spotting her surveillance team as she goes, because she’s that good until she notices that all the surveillance team is either unconscious or gone. That’s because good old stealthy May wants to talk to her and had to take out the team to do it.
Hill points out she really could have just called. We also learn that now that SHIELD is no more, Hill is going to work for Tony Stark. Marvelverse, you so fancy with all your interconnectedness.
May’s there to try to get Hill to help Coulson since Coulson won’t take any help from her anymore. Ooh, but Hill was part of the whole T.A.H.I.T.I. coverup as well. May’s also dying to learn who ordered Fury to use alien tech and back-from-the-deadness to save Coulson. May knows that Fury took orders from Alexander Pierce and we all now know that Pierce was HYDRA, so was Pierce the designer of resurrected Coulson? Hill doesn’t know if that’s the case and totally insists to May that she can’t find out because Fury is real dead. May says she’ll believe that when she sees it.
Back at secret base Providence, Coulson and Crew are trying to figure out what the hell happened to the rest of their team. All the video feeds are blank, except they can see May walk off the base, see a lovey dovey hand=holding Ward and Skye head towards the plane, and cannot figure out at all what happened to Koenig.
Fitz and Simmons go off to…make breakfast?? which involves them skulking around the base a really inordinate amount. Simmons is in the storeroom and sees the blood that dripped from poor dead Patton, while Fitz finds the last-ditch message Skye was able to scribble: Ward is HYDRA.
Awkward plane trip time with Ward and Skye. He’s spray-painting over the SHIELD logo on everything while Skye is decrypting the hard drive or maybe re-encrypting the hard drive. We know this is big dramatic tension time as she knows about Ward and maybe Ward knows that Skye knows, but they’re both bad actors, so there’s no simmering Hitchcockian tension. Instead, there’s just an undercurrent of suppressed rom-com wackiness. Who is fooling who?!
Ward is pressing her hard about her encryption scheme, which is geolocationally based. They have to go to a specific diner in LA — the one where she met Mike Peterson, coincidentally — for the decrypting to happen.
Skye, the worst spy ever, is trying to sneak a gun into her belongings and fails miserably and is caught by Ward, of course.
Coulson’s crew has found Koenig, and the injuries are consistent with Ward doing it, as the killer had to be at least 6’2″ and strong enough to lift Koenig up onto the shelving. Thank god we’re not have some mistaken identity thing where Coulson and fam think that May did it. Fitz loses his shit and starts flipping over tables. Coulson tells him to harness and focus his anger. Jedi Coulson.
Ward and Skye are walking to the diner so she can get her decryption on. Ward thinks this will take just a few minutes, but she explains to him that decrypting terabytes of data, especially on a laptop, takes a long time. This is one of the rare times Skye has actually talked computer technology in a way that makes sense, rather than hacking all of SHIELD with her iPhone or some such. It does actually take a long time to decrypt things! It isn’t just a password unlock, for fuck’s sake. Ward is positively pissy.
Clunky exposition time with Trip and Coulson explaining to each other what we already know: if Ward is HYDRA, Garrett is alive, Hand is dead, and HYDRA raided The Fridge for sweet sweet toys. They also figure out that Skye is stalling for time and also too they figure out that the plane is in LA.
However, it’s about that time that Providence gets surrounded. Yipes.
Ward is staring daggers at Skye as she tries to decrypt. She tries to get him to step outside and call the rest of the team. We see her hack hack hackitying away and then we get an invalid location popup. Did she take Ward to the wrong place deliberately or did she fuck up? Ward notices she’s gone still and fidgety, so she has to fake it and say that she feels fucked up because the last time she was in the diner, she was sitting across from Mike Peterson and look what happened to poor Mike Peterson and also too they’re on the most wanted list.
Back at Providence, armed special forces led by General Glenn Talbot storm the base. Coulson can’t figure out how the hell they know the base is even there and oh look, it is because Maria Hill told them and here she is.
May has taken it upon herself to exhume Coulson’s remains at the grave where he is not buried. She comes out with a super secure thumb drive that has all the info about T.A.H.I.T.I. on it and then of course we cut back to the base.
We thought Glenn Talbot would be friendly now since he came with Maria Hill, but he’s being a dick about everything and telling them they’ll go to jail. What the hell, Maria??
Speaking of Maria, she’s fighting with Phil. She tells him to give Talbot some minor piece of intel to cut a deal and Phil is having none of that. He’s pissed she kept secrets, pissed she kept secrets by working with Fury, and just plain pissed. She has some sort of change of heart once she hears that Ward is HYDRA and so then she and Coulson join forces and kick everyone’s ass and now they’re on the move together to go get Skye and Ward.
Back at the diner, Ward is still being a whiny little baby about how long everything is taking. Skye is clunkily trying to get him to talk about how hard it must have been to find out that Garrett was a spy and if he could talk to Garrett would he tell him he was disgusting and oh wait Skye is really talking to Ward and also too she’s hacked the police computers to generate a warning of Ward as wanted fugitive, which she shows him as police storm the diner.
This was her best plan? Of course Ward is able to break free of all the cops. Skye runs outside, computer backpack in hand, begging the cops to take her in, but those cops are killed dead by Ward. Ward stands there with a gun telling her he’s not there to hurt her, but she’s not really much for believing that and drives off…straight into Deathlok Mike Peterson, who is going to beat up her car so hard.
Apparently Mike Peterson was sent by Garrett to trail Ward because he was afraid Ward’s dick might do the talking and he’d slip up and give Skye an inch. More talk talk talk talking between Skye and Ward about how he could do what he did and he was on a Mission and it wasn’t personal. Skye goes off and tells him that he’s a Nazi, which makes him sad, so she presses the point that he is actually a Nazi, as in HYRDA was founded by Nazis.
Ward is trying to explain to her that his feelings for her have already been real baby and also it is so hard on Ward to be a big superspy survivor. How can you be such a whiny baby and a tough guy mass murdered evildoer at the same time? It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. Ward tries one more round of “someday you’ll understand” which better not fucking be that after all this Ward is a good guy again, because that is dumb.
Deathlok Mike used his brain-implemented communication method to talk to Garrett, who says time is up and it’s time to go to Plan B, which involves dramatic music and Deathlok also threatening her. Skye won’t back down, though she does give a feeble shot at the whole “Mike, remember who you are” bit. So in a Surprise Twist he attacks Ward, inducing a heart attack, banking on the fact that Skye won’t just watch Ward die.
Of course Skye gives in. Skye, you just fucked up the safety of the free world because you were too much of a wuss to watch your mass murderer HYDRA boyfriend die. Nice job.
Hill and Coulson land their plane and engage in some sort of plane on plane fight where they just talk over the headsets at each other with a lot of chin-thrusting. Thank god there was a purpose for all that squinting and thrusting: it gave Coulson time to sneak on the plane to rescue Skye. Of course Deathlok spots them within seconds, but they’re going to make a sweet-ass getaway in Coulson’s flying vintage car. They land in an open parking spot in LA, which seems like the most unlikely part of this.
Coulson is trying to regroup and talking to Maria Hill about backup, but Maria Hill is all like “what the fuck are you talking about backup there is no backup there is no SHIELD, there is no Fury.” Coulson’s just not having it.
Fitz and Simmons are chatting poolside and they have a tender moment telling each other that neither of them are HYDRA and awww, young love. Some more tender music while Coulson and skye share some junk food from a vending machine at the hotel they’re all hanging out at. She tells him she left Ward and Company a little special something on the decrypted hard drive.
Coulson goes to his hotel room and May is waiting for him. She knows Ward is HYDRA but that’s not why she’s there. She’s there to give him the TAHITI info about who was behind it all. She opens the laptop, and Phil Coulson stares back at Phil Coulson, with pre-recorded Coulson explaining that he was quitting running the TAHITI program and recommending it be shut down forever, because all the subjects basically lose their minds at a certain point after regeneration, and the only possible way to avoid that is to do a complete memory wipe on your subject.
So wait. Did Fury do this in direct contravention of what Coulson said? Or is this some sort of past Coulson warns future Coulson a la Total Recall? Either way, shit is fucked up for poor Phil. Maybe next week will untangle it a little more.