Ever since HYDRA stepped out of the darkness, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. has improved drastically. This episode was no exception, especially as we got more of a peek into the mind of Ward and how he views the world, his mission, and himself.
Most of the episode is taken up with bringing the band back together, and thus with plot momentum. Coulson and his team figure out that Ward is HYDRA just in time for Maria Hill to sell them all out to Talbot. Talbot apparently doesn’t feel the need to move on this whole “dangerous HYDRA agent” thing. So, they kick some ass and get a ride out.
Ward and Skye, meanwhile, play a game of one-up-manship as they both try to keep the other fooled about their real allegiances and motives. Unfortunately for Skye, she ultimately doesn’t have a killer cyborg on her side, so she’s stuck on the jet.
Which comes to the most interesting part, namely Ward insisting that he has feelings for Skye and that HYDRA is just part of the job as far as he’s concerned. Ward seems a bit conflicted, but unfortunately for him, Deathlok can’t afford to be. Also unfortunately for him, Skye is pretty good at headbutting people, in what’s the episode’s funniest moment.
Of course, Skye is saved by Coulson in a rather dramatic leap from the jet in Coulson’s flying car, which gets utterly trashed in a green-screen sequence that probably took up most of the episode’s budget and is something of a reminder that stunt work isn’t this show’s strong suit. During all this, May is putting together just who the project leader on the Tahiti project actually was… and it turns out to be Coulson himself.
It’s a solid episode, not least because Brett Dalton manages to sell that he’s convinced he’s the good guy quite effectively. Just why he believes this is perhaps not terribly convincing, so the show will be spending a whole episode explaining this next week. But considering this show desperately need a well-defined bad guy, we’ll take it.
Some more thoughts:
- So May just walked into a graveyard with a shovel?
- The team finally being reunited is welcome; the show is really at its best with a single focused plot line.
- Talbot is either HYDRA or has been taking far too many lessons about operational behavior from his boss.
- This also extends to his knowledge of geography, because the last time I checked, Canada was a sovereign nation that the US couldn’t just deploy special forces in and claim facilities from willy-nilly.