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All Aboard the Crazy Train: SHIELD “T.R.A.C.K.S.” Review

By on February 5, 2014

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of SHIELD" stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson. (ABC/Bob D'Amico)

By Felicia Kudronowicz

This week on Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the team has to piece together exactly what happened on their train mission. The thirteenth episode in the season, “T.R.A.C.K.S” takes a unique approach to storytelling creating a both entertaining and exciting ride.

The SHIELD team starts out together as Coulson explains their next mission to track down Ian Quinn. Quinn has ordered a package and in order to keep it on the down low, has demanded that it be delivered by train. Coulson quickly comes up with a plan to follow the package to Quinn.

The team is sent undercover as passengers on the train. Coulson and Simmons are father and daughter, Ward and May are husband and wife, and Fitz and Skye are a young couple in love. These scenes were cute to watch especially Simmons creating a huge scene. Since she is a terrible liar, she makes an elaborate back-story and script to help her out. It’s pure Simmons gold.

Things seem to be going perfectly as planned but suddenly their earpieces cut out and each pairing is left to cope alone. And this is where things start to get interesting. For the remainder of the episode, we go back to each character’s point of view of the same set of events, in order to get the whole picture of what actually happened. The first point of view shown is Coulson and Ward’s. They end up being chased off of the back of the train by Cybertex men who throw a grenade-like device at them, which actually makes the train disappear. (Hey it’s SHIELD after all)

Next we get May’s side of the story. She was on the roof of the train for the mission but was shot down. She finds Ward and Coulson lying on the ground, seemingly frozen in time. She leaves them clues to find their way back to the plane. She is then kidnapped by the Cybertex men, but eventually gets free just in time to save Coulson and Ward from getting ambushed on their own plane.

May explains that the grenade was actually filled with gas that made Coulson and Ward think that no time had passed, making it look like the train had disappeared. At this point Fitz, Simmons and Skye are still on the train, and we  go back again to their point of view.

Once Coulson left Simmons, she ran to Fitz and Skye but was hit with the same gas that Coulson and Ward experienced. Fitz and Skye leave her a gun and chase after the package. The package, as predicted, leads them to Quinn. It turns out the package is a robot leg for Michael Peterson. Skye confronts Quinn and in a shocking turn of events he shoots her twice in the stomach and leaves her to die. Things are not going too well for the SHIELD team this week.

The rest of the team catches up with Fitz and Skye thanks to a tracking device. They rush to put Skye in a hyperbaric chamber, which stabilizes her, but she still looks closer to death than recovery.

T.R.A.C.K.S. was a great episode to show how the team works together when they aren’t physically together. They always look out for each other and think about what Coulson would expect from them. I am always a huge fan of shows that break the mold in terms of story-telling.(This may be the first episode that I actually felt genuinely worried for a member of the SHIELD team.)

Unfortunately it will be a few weeks before we find out if Skye survives her surprising ordeal, thanks to the erratic scheduling of this show. I guess we will just have to wait to see how the team bounces back from this crazy train ride.


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