Agents Of SHIELD Recap: Starring Overly Complicated Plan Number 3,742 And Also Stan Lee
We’ve had a few weeks off from Agents of SHIELD, so why not open this week with the plane! Did you miss the plane? Did you miss the show? Nah, probably not.
Ian Quinn is at the heart of this week’s episode, looks like. Skye has tracked down something Quinn is moving that costs a cool $10 million and is being protected by Blackwater, basically, and they’re transporting it old school, via train. Hey look! There’s a shot of a train!
Coulson thinks the package is heading to Mr. Quinn himself, and then Quinn to the clairvoyant, thanks to some intel from Italy, and now everyone has to go undercover on the train. May does not like to go undercover. Cue clunky undercover time on the train. Wait. Why is this super insanely secret thing being transported on a passenger train? They couldn’t afford some sort of cargo transport just for the precious, and are taking their chances with a train full of people.
Ward has gotten it through his thick slab of a head that something is different for Coulson and Skye, and he’s afraid that everything is getting too personal for the team. May, deadpan and mild as ever, points out that Coulson was tortured by the clairvoyant and he might therefore have some feels about the whole thing.
Fitz and Skye have decided since they’re traveling together, they have to be from the same country, which involves ostensibly comical attempts by Skye to do Scottish and Fitz to do American. After some complicated pretending to be boyfriend-girlfriend, Skye lifts the keys from a train attendant? porter? conductor? whatever the train guy wandering the aisles is. Coulson and Simmons are pretending to be father and daughter. Simmons has to overact her undercover part too, and has developed a whole unnecessarily complex back story about how she feels distant from her American dad, Coulson, so she can pick a fight with him on the train while they tote mommy’s ashes across the countryside.
Coulson looks like we feel.
Oh hey look! Here’s Stan Lee starring in the show’s next attempt to keep our attention.
He shows up to tell Simmons he’s sorry for her very loud very overacted loss, and then he moves on. Simmons then throws a fit and dumps her dead mom’s ashes all over the floor of the train as the next step in this Rube Goldberg plan.
May is just stone cold hanging out on top of the train wearing cool heat seeking infrared glasses in order to spot the mysterious package. Except now all the internal communications are down so we know this plan is going to shit in 3, 2, 1… Have they been made? Of course they have, so people Coulson and Ward have to jump off the train like this is the Old West.
Wait what? Now we’ve jumped back in time and Ward is still on the train in his conductor costume, and a hot lady is asking him to carry her bags and he somehow can’t figure out a way to get out of it because he is really really bad at being undercover and of course the lady is one of the Blackwatery types and has another mercantile soldier friend, but Ward kicks both their asses. Ward goes to find Simmons to tell her to hide out with Fitz and Skye…aaaannnndddd now we’re back to the jump off the train again.
After they jump, Coulson and Ward watch the train disappear. Like literally disappear, as in vanish entirely. This leaves Fitz and Simmons and Skye on the train. No one knows where May is, as her cool-ass infrared glasses are lying in the dirt with Ward and Coulson. Did the train go to another dimension? Asgard? Was it the clairvoyant? When does Stan Lee show up again?
Coulson and Ward are wandering in olive groves or vineyards or how the fuck would we know we are not Italians or farmers. They find a truck to steal, of course, and they get back to the plane. The fucking plane. Ward is going to try to figure out what the train disappearing device thingy might be except he doesn’t know how to turn on the big ridiculous table computer the show uses, so he just waves his hands over it ineffectually.
Eventually he gets it on so he can push all the hologram things around like he knows what to do, except he doesn’t and neither does Coulson. Commence five-minute bit of Coulson and Ward waving their hands at the thing to no avail.
Ward decides this is a dandy time to talk about his sexytime relationship with Coulson, because in SHIELD world, when half your team has literally disappeared from the face of the earth is the very best time to have heart-to-heart talks about who is fucking who. Coulson basically tells him not to fuck up any missions because of it and thankfully we’re done with that.
The Italian secret service guy that is Coulson’s contact shows up at the plane to tell him they found the train, but May murders him with a knife before he can say. No, really.
OH WAIT GODDAMMIT WE ARE JUMPING BACK IN TIME AGAIN. We’re back on the train, now from May’s point of view. She’s busted and someone starts shooting at her and she hops off the train where she finds Coulson and Ward literally frozen from their jump, so now she has to run into the olive grove grape field whatever and steal the same truck, but she’s stealing it before they steal it later. GAHHHHHHH.
Here’s where the Italian secret service people came in, apparently, and why head dude eventually gets murdered, because they come in all guns-a-blazing to the head of May and head dude who is later murdered but is alive right now pistol whips May and hangs her from the rafters of a farmhouse. Turns out he is paid off by Quinn to make sure packages move through Italy smoothly. Go double agent Italian guy! Of course May kicks everyone’s ass and now we are back to the present or the future or whatever and May murders Italy dude and explains to Coulson that Italy sold them all out. She also just stands around bloodied and staring for a while.
She also tells Ward she will stitch up her own knife wound, which is in her shoulder, because that is safe and easy and convenient and smart, especially when you have access to a wealth of high-tech fancy SHIELD health care type things. Coulson comes to help and she lets him, which Ward of course sees and is all sad panda about.
So SHIELD has found the train, which just changed tracks instead of disappearing and the big flashbang was just something that frozed Coulson and Ward, or something. We’re having trouble following that part. Anyway, now the train has stopped abruptly somewhere in the countryside, so SHIELD heads there.
They find Simmons, but no Fitz, no Skye and OH FUCK WE ARE JUMPING BACK IN TIME AGAIN.
Look, show. You are bad enough with one narrative. You are horrible with time-jumping and multiple narratives.
Fitz and Skye are having a little chat about Objects of Unknown Origin, because of how Skye is one now but isn’t telling anyone, and because the package they’re tracking is one too. Fitz has never heard of a person being an Unknown Object, so now Skye can feel special and alone.
Now we watch the operation go to shit from Fitz and Skye’s perspective, which involoves some surpisingly capable fighting by them and ultimately results in frozen Simmons. Sorry. we’re really losing the thread here. Looks like the stuff that is freezing people is a close relative of the night night gun that FitzSimmons developed, but now it is all weaponized.
While everyone else is all frozed, Skye and Fitz see the package loaded into a car and leave to track it. Not entirely sure how they follow sans car, but that’s the least of our worries in understanding this episode. The package does indeed go right to Quinn’s enormous house, and although they send word to Coulson about where the package is, of course they’re going to go into the house alone because that will work out well. They’ve got one weapon between them, and only Skye can go in because Fitz has to disable cars or something.
Skye sneaks around the house a lot and maybe gets to the mysterious package but for sure gets to poor old Mike Peterson, who is stuck in a sort of glass coffin.
That guy cannot catch a break. Of course this is when Ian Quinn finds Skye and relieves her of her weapon. Quinn pulls Mike out of the coffin thingy and we can see he is badly burned and missing half a leg and oh yeah he has that implant thing in his brain that will kill him if he doesn’t follow orders.
Looks like the package was a super-special prosthetic leg that just grows out of where Mike’s leg was. This seems a little low-rent, technology-wise. Mike is getting his orders directly from the clairvoyant, but apparently his orders do not include killing Skye, so Quinn shoots her just for funsies instead. Will this be the end of Skye? Oh, of course not.
Meanwhile, the Blackwater types are all having a sad because Quinn is going to stiff them since they didn’t really safely transport the package, since it came with SHIELD attached and all.
OK, here’s Coulson and Ward and May coming to save the day. Skye is still bleeding out next to some wine barrels. Or maybe they’re olive oil barrels. Either way, bleeding out with maximum gasping. Coulson gets to her and she’s lost too much blood and the only thing that can be done is to put her in the conveniently located glass coffin thing, which turns out to be a hyperbaric chamber. Seriously?? Even though Skye lost a shit ton of blood, the thing does its magic in minutes and drops her core temp down so she can stay alive. We have no fucking idea if this is actual factual science or SHIELD made up science, and don’t care enough to look. Is Stan Lee back yet?
Now everyone has to cry or stare or fight while we cliffhang until next week about Skye.
We close with poor Mike Peterson watching his son on a playground and begging to be allowed to see him, but his orders don’t allow him to yet. Then we get a closeup of his super special prosthetic leg and a slow zoom in on the name.
Nerds, please let us know which part of the Marvel canon we’re careening off to next, or we’ll just wait ’til next week. Whatevs.