By Felicia Kudronowicz
I say it every week, but SHIELD is on the up and up. This season has much better structure and a sense of overall confidence, making it so much more engaging than last year’s offering. While unanswered questions remain, (and these may always be a part of the show’s genetic makeup) there is a sense that there is finally a vision in place. So let’s get into what happened this week.
The episode kicked off procedings at a wedding (featuring none of our familiar crew, so you know something bad’s about to go down.) Following the best man’s speech the entire assembly dropped dead. No, the worn out mother-in-law jokes didn’t polish them off, but instead, the champagne, which was poisoned with whatever the Obelisk kills people with. Turns out this massacre was a little experiment from HYDRA.
Next up we see Raina arguing with a rather aggressive Papa Skye (Kyle MacLachlan). Raina wants the obelisk back, but Papa Skye won’t give it back without getting Skye in return. In this scene we get our first real look at Kyle MacLachlan’s character, “The Doctor.” We find out that not only has he a bad temper but also and super human strength. Not a great combination. Despite being a surgeon, he doesn’t seem to have much remorse about killing.
In order to get to Skye, Raina goes to Coulson and threatens to blow Simmon’s cover at HYDRA since she conveniently got a picture of Simmons sending a message to SHIELD. Security is already in HYDRA trying to find a mole while this meeting is happening and so it was absolutely nerve wrecking watching Coulson essentially decide between Skye and Simmons.
Luckily Coulson has a plan up his sleeve. The main woman investigating the mole in HYDRA is actually a SHIELD agent named Bobbi. This is excellent news but it’s also annoying never knowing for sure who is on what side, but I’m guessing that’s the point.
Bobbi is able to get Simmons out just as the photo is sent out to everyone in HYDRA. All in all it works out well because Simmons is back with the team and we get a new badass woman to add to the SHIELD team. We also find out that Bobbi is one of the new agents’ ex wife. That’s right, the same ex wife Hunter has been talking smack about since the beginning of the season. Something tells me things are gonna get awkward there.
Throughout the episode, Skye becomes more curious about the alien writing that Coulson is so interested in. She decides to ask her old buddy Ward about it. He is able to tell her that Garrett wrote these same symbols before he lost control. Skye figures out that Coulson is the one writing the symbols and she confronts him about it. Coulson tells Skye that he showed her the symbols to see if it would trigger her to start writing them, but it didn’t. He even shows her his huge fresh wall of carvings and Skye has a revelation that the symbols are actually a map. Say what? Is anyone else hoping for a SHIELD/Firefly crossover at this point? I think it could work.
In the end Skye still goes looking for her father but instead finds two people he killed. Papa Skye is watching and gets angry that Skye now thinks he is a monster. He smashes a tablet and drives to HYDRA. There he promptly kills two HYDRA guards and then says he will do anything to take down Coulson. He brings the obelisk with him as a sign of good faith.
Overall, this season’s episodes are fully formed and masterfully written. Every storyline and character is able to interact effortlessly which makes for some must-watch TV. This episode had everything: a Skye/Ward scene, a Simmons/Fitz reunion, solid fight and action scenes, some heart-to-hearts, shock and awe and even some trademark one liners.
Next week looks like another good one as the previews promise a substantial amount of Ward who has been a pretty stand up guy this season. We’ll see if this new Ward will last.