With its first season winding down, Agents of Shield has been getting better and better since the events of Captain America TWS. [SPOILERS FOR ALL THINGS MARVEL]
Holy info dump Batman,the first couple of minutes there was so much info about the state of the MCU in the wake of Shields's demise. Here is a point by point of the opening with Maria Hill.
- Maria Hill, just got done with Congress talking about the Fridge and a name drop to Man Thing!!!
- Maria Hill is a Stark employee, who is working with Tony to privatized global security is protected by Tony's lawyers
- May is not too thrilled to see Hill, but all she wants is her help in helping Coulson get over Tahiti.
- Hill doesn't know who was the supervisor on Tahiti. Hmm the way that Hill talks about who Fury took his cues with regards to Coulson makes me suspect maybe Tony had something to do with this.
- May totally doesn't buy that Fury is dead. Obviously May knows Fury too well.
The rest of the episode again wasn't too eventful, it had a pretty simple plot: save Skye and get Ward. The slow reveal of the dead Patton Oswalt and Skye's message was shot really well keeping me in suspense about whether or not the team would find out that Ward was Hydra. Good thing they did. Fitz did not take this news well and threw a tantrum. Simmons managed to do the magical one eye tear drop. Among having special eyebrow porn powers, she can cry from one eye at a time. Good to know. I totally didn't buy their reaction to Ward being Hydra. It was all so melodramatic. Yawn. But it was still entertaining to see the team trying to save Skye. The scenes between Skye and Ward were actually the best of the episode. I can't believe I'm saying this but in this episode Skye was pretty awesome.
While the team is figuring out how to track Skye, she stalls Ward and eventually loses him. The moment where she reveals she played Ward was actually satisfying, her Hail Hydra was just as good as any fuck yeah. Unfortunately Garrett sent Deathlok to get shit done in case Ward was overcome by his psychotic feelings for Skye. Deathlok gets Skye back on the bus, for her to have a heart to heart with Ward. Ward declares his feelings for her all while stating how he had to do what he did because he is a survivor. Skye responds by calling him a fucking Nazi. Girl listen keep this up and you may just be my new fav on this show. Hell when it looked like Ward was about to kiss her, she responded, "I'm going to throw up". The funny thing is that Skye calls Ward a serial killer only because he is Hydra. What about all the Shield agents that kill to get their jobs done? Anyways to get Skye to give up the drive encryption, by threatening to kill Ward. Skye relents because she isn't a murderer. Sigh ok I'll buy this for now. Ward is not happy with Deathlok, but whatever dude you are Hydra which means you are disposable.
Meanwhile, Coulson's team is about to leave to rescue Skye, when Talbot and the US Army drops by with Hill in tow. The deal is the US military has is, if Shield agents give up secrets and intelligence they don't already have they get a slap on the wrist. But it's implied this is a long process that pretty much is the same as imprisonment. Talbot lets it drop that all of Shield leadership jumped ship to the private sector of espionage, like working for Tony Stark, if they gave up assets like Fury's bunker and Shield agents worth something. Hill offers the same deal to Coulson however she is still playing Fury's game. Coulson is a liability she is trying to plug, but unfortunately Coulson is righteously pissed that all Fury and Hill care about is the secrets he had. Good thing though Hill is having none of it, Coulson does need to grow up and get over the whole death revival thing.
Hill upon being informed what Coulson was up to before she came in with the army, tagged along with the "get Ward" mission, because she vetted him. With her in tow they finally get to the bus. She distracts him at the runway and lets Coulson get on the plane. They manage to get off the plane by flying Lola out into the air. This would have been entertaining, if the special effects weren't so obvious. Alas the team retires to a motel, where Hill says goodbye and tells Coulson to move on after taking down Garrett and Ward, because Shield is dead officially and unofficially. She again is playing her own game with Fury, because she is super confident that Hydra doesn't stand a chance since the fall of the Triskelion. This begs the question if Hydra leadership is dead, and as the post credits scene from Cap 2 suggest only a few cells are left does this mean that Garrett is just in it for himself? I would say yes given how he hates the Hydra salute and is only concerned with power.
May throughout the episode went digging for answers to Tahiti, literally. She dug up Coulson's grave where she found a flash drive. This is probably the most absurd moment in the episode. The answers to Tahiti was hidden in Coulson's empty grave. Ok. Worst hiding spot ever. No seriously, you guys are supposed to be competent secret agents. She pops up at the end of the episode to reveal the contents of what she found in the grave to Coulson. Turns out Tahiti was the project to be used to revive a mortally wounded Avenger, and the big reveal was that Coulson was in charge of it. Unfortunately, the procedure made the subjects insane. So Coulson had Tahiti terminated. That is until Fury used it to bring him back from the dead. The problem with this reveal is that Coulson didn't even say in the video message to use Tahiti to bring him back so he technically wasn't behind it. Can we just say that Fury wanted Coulson to still be alive after the Avengers, and put a rest to the whole Tahiti plot line.
What I find the most interesting is that these last episodes are setting the MCU in preparation to Age of Ultron and if it gets renewed for a second season will directly lead into the movie. So far the biggest development is that Stark is essentially leading a pseudo Shield with Maria Hill, while Fury hunts down Hydra cells. Maybe this explains why Captain America's new costume has Avengers branding on it. Is Stark turning the Avengers into a brand? So far everything points to yes.