This week on Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson gets the original Team back together, Skye goes all John Wick on Hydra, Coulson and Gonzales kiss and make up, May gives Coulson the cold shoulder, Simmons becomes a murderer and everyone does their best to remind us that Avengers: Age Of Ultron premieres this week.
After surrendering last week, Coulson is taken to Gonzales. Coulson urges cooperation, as both S.H.I.E.L.D.s want the same thing— to take down HYDRA. Coulson wants to lead his Team to List's HYDRA base in the arctic and rescue Deathlok and Lincoln. He says if Gonzales okays the mission, he'll open Fury's Toolbox for him. Gonzales agrees.
In Afterlife, Raina has a vision that Skye rescues Lincoln. Skye talks Gordon into teleporting her to S.H.I.E.L.D. Cal is furious that Jaiying planned to exile him. She apologizes and says he can stay... for now. Unfortunately he spills the beans that Skye is their daughter, which, in ways I don't quite get, seems to be a bad thing to the residents of Afterlife. Raina has another vision, this one about "metal men" destroying our cities. Sounds to me like she had a ticket to an advance screening of Avengers: Age Of Ultron.
Coulson assembles his team, which consists of himself, May, Skye, FitzSimmons and... Evil Ward. Evil Ward points out that the Season 1 Team is together again, which no one is particularly happy about. Especially May. Simmons actually packs a splinter bomb in her backpack, intending to use it on Evil Ward at the first opportunity.
The Team flies the Bus to the arctic, but List and Bakshi (who may or may not be brainwashed and on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s side) detect them. List orders a missile strike, and the Bus is blown out of the sky, just in time for a commercial break!
When we come back after eleven or twelve commercials, we see that while the Bus was indeed destroyed, the cloaked Quinjet atop it wasn't, and May expertly pilots it down, shielded from detection by all the falling debris. The Team then infiltrates the HYDRA base.
Skye uses her new powers to knock a few HYDRA agents on their collective asses. She also guns down an entire squad of agents in one of the best action scenes in the series. She finds an expired Lincoln in an operating room, and revives him with her powers (!).
Meanwhile, Ward and Simmons meet up with Bakshi, who, thanks to Ward's brainwashing, apparently is on their side. Simmons sees an opportunity and decides to become a murdered, lobbing a splinter bomb at Ward. Bakshi intercepts is and is dissolved. Ward realizes what Simmons tried to do and says he's "disappointed" with how much she's changed.
Coulson downloads info from a HYDRA computer and the Team escapes the base with Deathlok and Lincoln in tow, seconds before S.H.I.E.L.D. jets blow it up real good.
Back at the base, Coulson opens the Toolbox for Gonzales. Deathlok is shipped to a facility for repairs. Ward conveniently slips away and calls Coulson, telling him to take care of Agent 33 for him, who "deserves someone better than him." Can't argue with him there. Coulson calls Maria Hill, and gives her the info he downloaded from HYDRA— mainly the location of Loki's scepter. He says it's time to call in the Avengers. Too bad they won't be showing up on the series next week.
If it was that easy to patch things up, then what was the point of the whole S.H.I.E.L.D. vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. arc in the first place?
• The Bus' call sign is "SHIELD 616." This is almost certainly a reference to the comics, where Earth 616 is the mainstream Marvel Universe, the place where most everything happens.
• Loved seeing Skye use her quake powers against the HYDRA agents! More of this, please!
• Skye's epic takeout of the room full of HYDRA agents (with a gun, not her powers) was awesome. Looks like someone on the staff really liked John Wick!
• Coulson must really have a thing for Deathlok. He sacrificed his beloved Bus to rescue him. Surely there was a less costly (and less dangerous) way to get close to the HYDRA base?
• I was surprised when Bakshi reappeared a few months back, as I thought for sure he died after biting a cyanide capsule during a S.H.I.E.L.D. interrogation. Apparently I was wrong.
Looks like he's dead for sure this time! I don't see how he could get better after being disintegrated by a splinter bomb.
• I'm hoping Simmons' murder of Bakshi will get some attention in the next few episodes, but I'm not holding my breath. She did murder him, right? It wasn't self defense, or an act of war— she straight up murdered the guy. And she'd planned on doing the same to Ward. Seems like this needs to be addressed and not just swept under the rug.
• There were a lot of humorous lines this week:
Skye (referencing Raina's new look): "I thought her gift was spinning really fast to get gold coins."
Coulson: "I wish I hadn't eaten that Hot Pocket earlier."
Coulson (to Gonzales, after opening the Toolbox): It's all yours, go nuts. At least until Fury asks for it back. Ooh, spoiler alert!"
• I really thought this was the episode in which the writers would redeem Ward and let him back on the Team. Let me tell you, I was dreading this. Ward is a psychotic, sociopathic murderer and asshole, and is way beyond redemption in my book.
Thankfully that wasn't the case. This time. I still think his eventual atonement and reintegration, while extremely ill-advised, is inevitable.
• Lots of Avengers: Age Of Ultron shout-outs this week. List gets a call from Wolfgang von Strucker, the country of Sokovia is mentioned, List talks about "the twins" (Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch), Loki's scepter and of course the Maria Hill cameo.
Wouldn't it be awesome if a couple of the Avengers would drop by for a few seconds next week? I can't imagine a better time for it to happen.
By the way, is Coulson ever going to tell them he's still alive? Is he afraid that since his death caused them to band together, that finding out he's alive will split them up?