Alright, this is the Ultron fallout episode, let’s see how it affects our SHIELD.
Scars – Recap
Opening shot of Sam Koenig sleeping under Star Wars sheets, and choosing robot socks and a special SHIELD badge. Coulson meets him after his plane lands and we learn that this is a year ago when “Sky Shop” is still in business, Tripp and Hartley are still alive, and Gonzales is still missing. Coulson gives the order to keep looking.
May still thinks Coulson is on a recruiting to London, but he is actually meeting with Koenig about the Theta Protocol: which ends up being a helicarrier building project – the one with which Fury saves the day in Age of Ultron.
Coulson explains to Coulson and the board that this was a “break in case of emergency” off-the-record project. As they all look on at the news footage following the aftermath of Ultron, Coulson admits that he feels he’s failed as Director because he’s tried to do things by himself (theme). He proposes an idea for One SHIELD: Coulson as Director, Gonzales’ team as advisors. Gonzales accepts, but is worried about the battles a little closer to home; namely the powered people on base.
Kara’s re-SHIELD-ing has completed and, aside from a few potential memory gaps, her mind is her own again. Lincoln wakes up and makes the base lights flicker. He realizes he’s in a SHIELD base and is instantly nervous – the one thing protecting the Inhumans was the fact that they were a secret.
Raina is using her gift to tell someone about his son’s future “gift” – blue light from every pore. She’s embraced that she has a gift, instead of a curse. She tells Gordon one that she’s particularly confused by – a large stone that suddenly becomes waves. Gordon instantly knows what she’s talking about. They confront Jiaying about it, and it’s something that could destroy the Inhumans. The Kree made it once they decided their experiment had failed. Gordon states he could only get close, so Raina volunteers to join him to find exactly where it is. The teleport onto Gonzales’ ship.
Raina and Gordon explore the ship and dive out of the way when Bobbi and May come around the corner. Jiaying asks Cal about Raina – whether or not she’s dangerous. Cal explains that Raina has always WANTED something – and always something more than she had. Not being resourceful, just being selfish.
Hunter finds Gordon and Raina. They teleport through the door and come face to face with a rock that can become liquid. May and Bobbi bust in on them, and they zap out to somewhere else. So far, the only thing SHIELD knows about it for sure is that Hydra was looking for it. Coulson asks Skye and she says that neither she nor Lincoln know nothing about it. Coulson is unsure about Skye’s loyalty, or even what to call this new group and she finally name drops that they call themselves Inhumans. Also, she identifies as a “we”.
Coulson and May are backing up the SHIELD perspective that someone teleported onboard a military ship, and is clearly very dangerous. Skye fires back that May could be considered dangerous based on what happened in Bahrain – that the little girl and her mother were both Inhumans.
Also, Agent Weaver has been able to reconstruct the Quantum Entaglement Tracker Device, and was able to trace the energy signal back to the source – they now know where Afterlife is.
They decide on a plan of attack, but Coulson prefers a “fact-finding mission” of a sit-down talk with Jiaying. Coulson tries to convince Skye that they’re doing the right thing, and Skye says she’s not sure who she is anymore – SHIELD agent, Inhuman, whatever. He asks how they can trust Jiaying, Skye reveals that she’s her mother.
Coulson tells that to May, too. He also tries to apologize as needed. She tells him the truth about the girl – that she wasn’t killed in the crossfire, May made a call. She also states that Skye is living proof that Coulson lost control.
Lincoln is righteously skeptical of SHIELD – they’re saying the same things Hydra did. He and Lincoln leave so Gordon can find them and bring them back. Before he can leave, Raina warns him that SHIELD is coming, and that terrible things will happen if it’s Jiaying that talks to them – maybe it should be her.
Gordon pops back in with Skye and Lincoln. Skye tells her mom about SHIELD, and vouches that Coulson is a good man.
Coulson and Crew are planning how to proceed. Gonzales says that Coulson shouldn’t be the one that talks to them. He can’t be objective when it comes to Skye, and her mother is their leader. He draws a parallel to Ultron being created because Tony Stark was able to do whatever he wanted. Even May agrees Gonzales should go. Coulson takes the advice of the people he asked to give the advice, and sends Gonzales and Weaver ahead while he stays on the ground.
Fitz and Simmons talk about Ward, and Simmons says she’s kicking herself for not being able to kill him. The next terrible thing he does is on her. May tells Bobbi that Coulson wants them to scout ahead, and they fly off. Mack tells Coulson he’s out of SHIELD because he just can not get past working for a man with alien blood in him. As long as Coulson’s Director, he will never be a SHIELD agent.
Jiaying asks Cal is they can trust SHIELD. Great. Cal says he doesn’t enjoy any of them, but Coulson does care about Daisy. He warns her about the index, and tells her to blast the planes out of the sky for a start. Her ONLY reasons to not – Skye wouldn’t like it, and her people wouldn’t blindly follow into a war. Cal suggests Jiaying give him up as a peace offering.
May and Bobbi start descending, and May reveals that she’s actually Kara, who now remembers that Bobbi betrayed her. They fight. A lot. And Kara surprisingly holds her own against Mockingbird. The plane lands and Bobbi gets out on a random mountain, and immediately gets shot by Ward.
Raina is trying to convince everyone that terrible things will happen if Jiaying talks with SHIELD. Instead, Jiaying orders Raina put under watch until they leave. No one that knows Raina trusts her – something about crying wolf.
Actually May and Gonzales and team land in Afterlife. Gonzales goes into a talk with Jiaying, who sends Skye out of the room to give Cal to the SHIELD Agents. Now that they’re alone, Gonzales and Jiaying talk. He says that they share the same scars left by Hydra. He gives her a thing in a box which turns out to be three coins tied into a necklace – that should have been given to Skye for luck. Gonzales explains that SHIELD is there to protect the public when bad people get powers. He suggest keeping records or all the people with powers, so that if any try to do anyone harm, they can deal with it.
Jiaying has seen people recorded for their differences before, and thinks it’s only out of fear. She takes out a terrigen crystal that they had grown from a melted down obelisk. She smashes it on the table, unleashing a mist that spreads through the room, slowly turning Gonzales to stone. She shows a surprising rage and breaks Gonzales’ gun from his hand. She shoots herself twice, and staggers out of the room claiming he tried to kill her. Right before she collapses, she declares “this is war”.
Ward is tying up Bobbi, and congratulates Kara on a good spy job done. Kara wants to kill her now, but Ward wants to dig in first. She starts to wake up, so he shoots her some more.
Okay, first off, quick thing. This bugged me the first time, so on second watch I paused and squinted at the post-it note on Sam Koenig’s mirror. It says “CALL Your Sister”. The Koenigs have a sister? I didn’t even think they were brothers – they’re Life Model Decoys, right? And will the sister be Patton Oswalt in a wig? I expect a major reveal pay-off for this one, but I have no idea as to what it’ll be.
Weirdly, I’m thinking Raina’s on the level this time. I wasn’t kidding with the crying wolf scenario – someone who has done wrong so many times is not able to do right when it really matters. If she had met with Gonzales, who knows how things would have gone down, but probably not with Gonzales crumbling to death like Trip.
Also, can we talk about SKYE’S MOM JUST MURDERED GONZALES. Granted, I don’t think any long-time fan of the show really liked him, but he was one of those characters you couldn’t necessarily say was wrong. He may have been cautious or leery of Coulson, but he had valid points. And now he’s dead, and what’s that going to mean?
Also, Skye’s mom is playing the “SHIELD tried to kill me” angle, which means the Inhumans aren’t blindly running into a war – they’ll have a reason. SHIELD will have a reason, too. Either this is going to be a main storyline through the third season (there is one, right?), or they have two hours to fix this. Between Skye existing on both sides of this equation and Raina having visions she now may not be willing to share – there are things that could mitigate this conflict.
Ground level, Cal is in SHIELD custody, and there are vials near him. We’ve seen the vials. We’ve heard about the vials. They’re not letting us forget about the vials. They’re getting used soon, and I’m hoping it’s next week. There’s plenty of reason now.
I’m not sad to lose Mack. He was a cool addition when he was helping Fitz come out of his shell, but after that he’s just been a distrustful, underhanded punk for most of this season. I’m worried, though, that he’s going to be a casualty in the next episode – one of those “we want to see him go but not like that” moments like with Gonzales.
I can’t predict Skye yet. From the previews, and where she sits now, she could go either way. I’m hoping she sticks with SHIELD, obviously, but I can’t trust that’ll happen.
A few words on Ultron: I like how SHIELD and the movies weaved around each other, and definitely impacted the plot of this episode directly, but didn’t change the show. We still have issues to deal with that don’t yet need Avengers level involvement. But the fact that Ultron happened had weight and changed how characters were willing to behave. I’m glad I don’t have to readjust my understanding of this show quite yet. We’ll see what happens with the Inhumans next week.
One thing that maybe bummed me out more than it should: we have officially established that Star Wars exists as a movie in the Marvel Universe – Koenig’s bedsheets proved it. That means no Guardians of the Galaxy in Star Wars 8, no Ewoks in Thor 3, we don’t get to find out how Boba Fett would deal with Thanos, and we don’t get to see Nick Fury and Mace Windu have the best on-screen conversation ever. They are different universes. Sad face.
Well, next week is a two-hour finale, which is basically another Marvel movie, just with more commercials. All the things will happen, all the questions will be answered, all the new questions will be asked, and we’ll be going crazy until the next season, I am sure.
Until then, Agents.