Directed by Roxann Dawson
Written by Jeffrey Bell
Garret takes Ward extreme camping, Fitz continues his mancrush to it’s logical conclusion, old spy gadgets are used to full effect, and we are left with not one, but two cliffhangers in this whirlwind penultimate episode of the Agents of SHIELD’s first season.
The episode starts 15 years ago at Ward’s juvenile detention center. I could tell it was 15 years ago, because Agent Garrett was wearing a turtleneck, and that was the style at the time. Ward had tried to burn down his family home, and Ward was offering him a chance to join a secret agency. (hint, it wasn’t SHIELD. It was a secret secret agency.)
In the present day the team is back at the hotel watching Deathlok on the news. Telling each other how they knew him when. Skye reveals that her surprise to Ward was an incomplete Trojan Horse that will reveal the bad guys’ location, and let them get their plane back. They also reveal that Cybertek is the locus of all this season’s activities. It’s amazing how clear things are once you view them through the eyes of Picture Pages.
Triplett brings a bunch of his granddad’s mint condition classic spy gear. Coulson and Trip bond over their love of old toys, while Fitz takes a minute to stop lamenting the highjacking of Ward’s good name to use spy gadgets to burn down the hotel.
We’re back to 15 years ago and Garret is taking Ward out to the woods for a Father Figure Son hunting trip. He leaves him out there with Buddy the dog and says they both have to fend for themselves.
May and Coulson dress up like FitzSimmons to visit Cybertek. Skye hacks some sort of system and finds that the 4th floor is heavily fortified. Coulson and May force their way to the fourth floor and discover the reason it was so difficult for Skye to find any computers. They haven’t had a chance to digitize their records yet. They found the files on Deathlok, and discovered that Garrett is the original Deathlok model. They download the files by throwing them out the window, and some more old school tech gets used as the zip line out of the building Howling Commandos style.
Deathlok and Rayna have a conversation. For some reason, he’s still upset with her taking his son away. She tells him that she is interested in helping people with powers. Saving them. She’s also interested in Skye. She asks Deathlok more about her. She seems to think that Skye and her stories are related, somehow.
We’re back to Ward in the rain with good old Buddy to keep him company, and with that thought present day Ward is complaining to Garrett about how he almost let Deathlok kill him. In the middle of this argument Garrett starts having an attack. Ward has to reboot him.
Skye and Fitz talk more about the nature of evil. She goes off by herself where she is secretly staring at a picture of Ward. May brings her a drink, and starts to talk about Ward. She admits that she is furious at him and is channeling that anger to use the anger against him one day. Skye wishes she could do that, and May tells her she gets up at 5 every day. I’m not sure why Skye was looking at the picture, but maybe she was thinking of what sort of mustache to photoshop on it.
Rayna tells Ward that she is less sure of Garrett now that she knows he has little interest in people with special powers, but is simply afraid to die. She starts to give him with a little bit of info about Skye, and and then says she will just tell Garret. Ward demands more. She tells him that she’s been reading Skye’s story and it turns out her parents are monsters that destroyed a city in China.
The team heads to Cuba. They have intelligence that is where the bad guys are. Coulson, Skye, May and Tripp go one way, while FitzSimmons does some searching on their own. The four big guns find the headquarters, but see that it is abandoned. Meanwhile, FitzSimmons find the plane, and all of the bad guys. They decide to go onto the plane, even though Coulson told them not to. That’s right about when Ward catches them.
Oh wait. Let’s go back 10 years. Garrett and Ward are hanging out with Buddy. Ward is showing off his long range shooting. You know, the actor who played Ward 15 years ago doesn’t look much like him, but this guy from 10 years ago? He could play his double, easily. Excellent casting. Garrett tells him how he became a Deathlok, and that this the reason you can trust no one. He goes on to tell him that he has been accepted into SHIELD. Before he can go, he has to get rid of Buddy. Ward can’t shoot Buddy. He shoots into the air, and Buddy runs away.
Back on the plane Fitz uses the Howling Commando Joy Buzzer EMP bomb (Agents of SHIELD writers must love Checkov) to cause a distraction, and mortally wounds Garrett. Fitz beseeches Ward to let Garrett die, and save them. Garrett insists that Ward go kill FitzSimmons and let Rayna take care of him. Rayna sees that he has been using her centipede formula, and he asks her to use the material that saved Coulson and Skye, the last of it left, to save him.
FitzSimmons escapes right into the hands of Ward. They appeal to his better nature. And, we see that he must have a better nature, since he let Buddy go free. Look at that. Ward is a good guy. Even after killing Hand, he has a heart. SO, they appeal to his better nature, but he doesn’t help them, and starts to send out the storage pod from a flying plane with them in it. “You care about us!”, Fitz insists. And, Ward says “I do”, as a clip of Buddy being followed in a long range scope is shown, “that’s a weakness.” and the pod is sent out of the plane and into the ocean.
Garrett takes the last of the life everlasting potion and he can now see the universe.
Coulson, May, Trip, and Skye are at the old base underneath the barbershop. Right when Skye is about to plug her flash drive into the Hydra computer, is right when about 10 million Centipede soldiers show up to stop their plan.
And, Quinn is out in DC selling these soldiers to US Government officials. His selling point is “You can’t trust corrupt SHIELD, and you never know when a Hydra is going to pop up.”
And, see you next week, for the last episode of the season!
I liked it. Ward’s loyalty to Garrett was well explained. I was effectively teased by the story’s attempts to sell Ward’s redemption to me. “Hey look, Garrett shot him! He’s just another Deathlok. He must be good.” “Hey look, he didn’t shoot Buddy. He’s going to free FitzSimmons. He must be good.” Nope. It turns out any attachment is a weakness, and he doesn’t care for weakness. He’s been forced to not care for weakness.
But, I’m over the Ward story. Now, I’m intrigued by Skye and the monsters and Rayna. Is Rayna going to turn on her current masters and help Skye and her team? Are they sisters? If she had any plans for that, why would she give that solution to Garrett? I don’t know! But, it’s fun to think about, and it was fun to watch.
Just a couple of things I remember this episode.
[li]Coulson and May make a cute nerdy couple.[/li][li]Loved the scene were Rayna played Ward with the Skye info.[/li][li]“Give me one reason not to blow your head off” “I brought tacos.”[/li][li]“Does your sweater itch?” “Like a bitch”[/li][li]Wasn’t Quinn’s argument a little bit redundant? SHIELD is corrupt! And, what about HYDRA. You mean the agency that corrupted SHIELD? [/li][li]“Not a day over 30.”[/li][li]“Vigilantes” “I was going to say doing this because it is the right thing to do.”[/li][li]“OH MY GOD. Is that an exploding hypno beam?”[/li][li]“Speak up son, I’m not a mind reader.”[/li][/ul]