The Agents Discover It’s “Nothing Personal” On This Week’s S.H.I.E.L.D

Photo courtesy of ABCVIEW

The reason good always triumphs over evil is because love and friendship are always more powerful than fear and hate. Tonight’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. reminds us of this again and again. We see it in May’s devotion to Coulson, even after he’s cast her out. We see it in Skye’s determination, even though she’s staring across the booth at a murderous traitor she thought was her partner. And we see it in Coulson’s utter refusal to abandon his team, even when the U.S. government is ordering him to do so. For S.H.I.E.L.D., people matter. For HYDRA, it’s all business and “Nothing Personal.”

A wolf in the fold: Agent Maria Hill needs a cocktail and a lobotomy after meeting with Congress about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s implosion. Her night gets a little more exciting when The Cavalry takes out the agents tailing her and stops by for a chat. May is concerned the man who rewrote Coulson’s brain was HYDRA and she wants Maria to help their favorite guy. At Providence, what’s left of the team watches footage of May leaving and Skye and Ward skipping off hand in hand to the Bus. Right about the time Coulson muses someone on their team might be a wolf in S.H.I.E.L.D. clothing, Simmons finds Koenig’s body and Fitz discovers a message from Skye warning them Ward is HYDRA. Fitz freaks out upon learning about Ward’s betrayal but Coulson gets him to channel that anger into finding Skye, knowing she’s playing Ward to buy them time to locate them both. Together with Trip, Coulson figures out HYDRA wants the hard drive and therefore needs Skye. Just as they get a lock on the Bus’ location (L.A.), the base’s perimeter is breached by Colonel Talbot and a pissed off Maria Hill.

The end of SkyeWard: Colonel Mustache is not interested in finding Skye and would rather waste time interrogating the team about the secret base. Maria tries to get Coulson to give up the base and surrender his team but when she finds out Ward is HYDRA, she decides to hell with the U.S. government. She and Coulson take out Talbot and his soldiers and then gather the others to go get Skye. The hacker is doing a stellar job stalling Ward by telling him the diner where she first met Mike Peterson is the GPS location coded into the hard drive. Once there, Ward has a hard time disguising his mounting frustration that it will take Skye hours to decrypt the drive. Just as we think she’s overplaying her hand a little, questioning him about Garrett and such, she reveals the cops surrounding the diner are there because she tipped them off. The officers subdue Ward long enough for Skye to make it outside and boost a squad car. She’s speeding away when Deathlok lands on the hood, smashing his arm through the windshield to grab her.

Lola to the rescue: Now back on the Bus, Ward again tries to appeal to Skye. She responds by calling him a Nazi, saying he always had a “Hitler youth” look to him. He pleads that his feelings for her are real, which makes Skye want to hurl. Getting angry, he spits that he’s just a survivor but she corrects him saying he’s a serial killer. Deathlok comes in to force Skye’s hand by stopping Ward’s heart. Even though she’d love to watch him suffer, Skye doesn’t want to be a killer too so she reveals the drive is unlocked at 35,000 feet. Before takeoff, Hill slows Ward down long enough for Coulson can sneak aboard. He breaks Skye out of the holding cell but upon realizing Deathlok is also on the plane, the duo hop in Lola and fall with style out of the Bus.

The truth about T.A.H.I.T.I.: At a nondescript motel, Coulson is anxious to get after Ward and HYDRA, but Hill cools him down for a bit, reminding him that he’s all that exists of S.H.I.E.L.D. After sharing some vending machine junk food with his team, Coulson returns to his room to find May waiting for him. “I was hoping you’d come back,” he says. See earlier she’d dug up his “grave” and found a drive with information about T.A.H.I.T.I. in his coffin. She shows him this video now. It’s of Coulson tendering his resignation because he refuses to allow Project T.A.H.I.T.I. to continue. The agent was in charge of the experiment, which was designed to revive a mortally wounded Avenger, and found the subjects all deteriorated mentally. The rare exception was when memory replacement was employed. He recommends T.A.H.I.T.I. be discontinued because it’s too dangerous. Present day Coulson watches all of this in silent horror, but when the video ends he says simply, “Huh.”

Field Notes

Fitz and Simmons have a heart to heart about Ward and HYDRA that ends with her putting her hand on his knee but not with him telling her he’s madly in love with her. Come on Fitz!

I don’t know what’s more unbelievable, Lola actually saving Coulson and Skye or finding a perfect parking spot in what I’m assuming was still L.A.

Skye, countering Ward’s remark that he can handle her, “Can you? Because you haven’t so far.”

Who else is looking forward to watching Maria Hill repay Ward for saying she’s just “eye-candy”?

Every week I’m more impressed with Skye and her leaving that hidden warning about Ward was the slow clap moment of the night.

Coulson gets excited by finally getting some good news: his plane has been located! Immediately after, the perimeter breach warning sounds. “I should’ve knocked on wood just then,” he grouses.

I loved the doublespeak conversations between Ward and Skye tonight. I especially enjoyed his line to her: “I promise until this thing is over I’m not going to let you out of my sight.”

Coulson stops himself from telling Maria to say hello to Tony Stark for him by remembering that Stark thinks he’s dead. Even when he’s alive, Coulson’s death continues to hit us right in the feels!

Stephanie Coats