Writer: Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen
Director: Vincent Misiano
Agent of SHIELD’s first episode of the second season was probably better than every episode of the first season. There were no missteps. They are starting out strongly. I can’t wait to see where they go from here.
The Scene: 1945 Austria.
A hydra agent named Whitehall played by an easy to recognize character actor is bossing around soldiers in weird 1940s futuristic outfits to bring him the obelisk. Apparently, it’s the answer to death itself. A few SRS (past SHIELD) agents steal the obelisk from the agent, and swap witty comebacks. They pack it up to never see the light of day. Hey! Those agents seem pretty charming. It would be neat if they were able to star in a show of their own. One can only dream.
Back to the present:
Skye’s first act of the second season is competently being a spy. The rest of the guys we know watch Lucy Lawless (Hartley) attempt to buy info about the box with the obelisk from a former SHIELD agent. In the midst of their deal a super powered bullet proof fellow shows up and steals the info. Our friends show up and save Hartley’s team. They argue a little bit, and Hartley gets on the phone with her boss. Her boss turns out to be… Coulson! “go Dark!”
George Stephanapolus’ cameo gives us a chance to see that the US Government is still anti-SHIELD.
Mac,(that’s a new character, right?) is disappointed that the team didn’t bring back any new toys. I look forward to the episode where we find out out what he can do with the equipment.
Billy Koenig welcomes the team and surprises them with the news that Coulson is at the base. Coulson’s not around very often, he travels around the world looking for recruits. He doesn’t have time to stop. He’s about to fly out again until May shows him the SRS box picture. He then realizes that this is a BIG DEAL, and he has to lead the mission from home. Since, this SRS stuff is mentioned in Fury’s toolbox. It’s the FIRST 0-8-4.
This new bad guy is a former boxer named Carl Creel and he can “absorb” the material of any object he touches and make his body have the same charcteristics. It seems to give him pleasure in addition to making him (another) hydra unstoppable killing machine. Agent John Garret faked Creel’s death in order to turn him.
FitzSimmons are still working together. Sort of. Fitz is trying to crack the secret of Cloaking and Simmons seems to be sort of helping, but somehow she doesn’t seem to be all there. (Spoiler alert. She’s not there. She’s only in his head) The first FitzSimmons scene is terribly sad. It reminded me of a couple when one spouse has the beginnings of dementia. In hindsight, it is still sad, but the fact that his subconscious is able to fill in the gaps means eventually he will get his brain back. Just in time to save the day when Simmons turns Hydra.
Hartley’s team is filled with mercanaries. They are on the job for money, and nothing else.
So, there’s a shot of Skye laying on a table with all of those circuit drawings floating behind her. That could easily have been ripped from a frame in a comic book. Coulson put her on the job to figure out what those drawing could mean.
Ward is creepy and vulnerable. And. he is in a dungeon/prison cell. And he will only talk to Skye. He has stuff to say about her Father to her, but he is not given the chance. He does give real intel about Hydra. It turns out Hyrda is all over the place.
Coulson and the gang figure out that Hydra is after Brigadier General Heroes (Talbot), so they save him from that guy who “absorbs” things (Creel), and, since he won’t help on his own, trick him into giving them access to the base with the Obelisk.
While they are planning an attack on the base Creel finds a way to escape prison by absorbing the clear walls and making himself invisible. I guess Coulson was right in saying they didn’t know how to handle him.
Hartley’s team isn’t 100% sure about going in to the US Government base, but Coulson thinks the risk is worth the reward. He’s not only after the Obelisk, but after a cloaked vehicle. Without the weaponry to fight they’ll never be able to catch up with their enemies.
Once inside Hartley finds the Obelisk and gets attacked by Creel. She grabs the obelisk to try to fight him with it. It attaches itself to her hand. She can’t let go. (She says that a couple of times.) Skye notices that the circuit designs flash on the obelisk, and May calls home to see what to do next. Coulson is a hard ass and says continue with the mission.
Hartley’s team runs to get to a hospital. In their running Hartley gets her arm cut off, and Creel absorbs the road and knocks their car over. He uses tire rubber to insulate himself from whatever badness the obelisk causes. Hartley and her team look dead. But, that seems like a quick end for Lucy Lawless. There’s not much work to do on Parks and Rec. She must be coming back!
May steals a cloaking jet. And, Coulson tells us that Fitz isn’t getting better, even though Simmons thought she would when she left.
And, there goes that character actor playing Whitehall again. He’s happy to get the Obeleisk, and I don’t think he has aged a day. According to the commercials that I had to watch forever I think he might be a coroner in NYC when he isn’t busy running Hydra.
[li]The FitzSimmons stuff is brought to the forefront gradually. I didn’t know right away that it wasn’t Simmons. But, about midway through the episode I suspected it. I thought that was really well done. It didn’t come out of nowhere, and it wasn’t bang you over the head obvious, either.[/li][li]Lucy Lawless[/li][li]Ward/Skye. Brett Dalton did a good job playing a beaten down sad/creepy Ward. Especially when you compared him to the super cocky super spy from last season.[/li][li]Coulson as a leader that is slightly apart from the team was effective, and the subtle differences between this season and last season effectively showed thechange in role.[/li][li]The Absorbing Man was a badass and he wasn’t easily beaten.[/li][li]Skye wasn’t helpless.[/li][li]Triplett go almost ALL the good lines.[/li][li]Patton Oswalt is so awesome. And, I like that Triplett and Skye were speculating about him and his brothers.[/li][li]How about that blue skin in a box?[/li][li]Agent Carter? I’m looking forward to it. Please more Neal McDonough.[/li][li]“3rd Party.” “A party is what you call it?”[/li][li]“You get anything?” “A new enemy”[/li][li]“I did score an exit row on the way back from London.”[/li][li]“Can You Give us a moment?” “Watch this” … Walks away.[/li][/ul]