The Agents Uncover “The Only Light In The Darkness” In This Week’s S.H.I.E.L.D.

Photo: ABC

This is the episode we’ve been waiting for Agents. The whole HYDRA surprise may have smacked us in the face but it’s The Cellist we’ve been dreaming of. Tonight we finally meet her and, as expected, it’s an experience filled with heartache and sweet sorrow, thanks in large part to the brilliant Amy Acker. Prepare yourselves for maximum feels as we discover “The Only Light in the Darkness.”

What you need to know:

Lights out: In the awesome opening shot, the lights on a dock go out as Marcus Daniels, aka Blackout, walks past them. He steals a truck by using its energy to kill the driver. At the base, Simmons patches up Ward while Agent Backstabber tells his false tale of how he killed Garrett and was unable to stop The Fridge from being taken. He tries his hardest to find a legit reason for Skye to decrypt the hard drive but there are more pressing matters. Coulson wants to split the team so he can track down the inmates who escaped from The Fridge, starting with Daniels. Koenig requires Coulson’s team to take a supped up liar detector designed by Fury himself before he’ll let anyone leave. In his best innocent voice, Ward asks whether Natasha Romanov was able to fool the machine.

Liar liar: A montage shows the team all taking the test by answering a series of questions while Koenig monitors them. When asked why they are sticking around despite S.H.I.E.L.D. being labeled a terrorist agency, most everyone’s answers are about loyalty or patriotism. May’s answer? “Coulson.” Everyone passes, including Ward, though just barely. He wriggles his way out by admitting he came back for Skye (technically true) and by using a nasty splinter jammed in his finger to deceive the test. Elsewhere, Coulson briefs his sub-team on Daniels: he can absorb energy and use it to kill with a single touch. They captured him before by overloading him with pure light, something Fitz thinks they can rig up en route. May begs to go with Coulson and she’s once again refused because he is hung up on her having essentially spied on him. Lighten up Coulson. It’s just because she loves you and people in love do crazy things.

The handsome man saves me: Trip, FitzSimmons and Coulson go to find Audrey, a woman Daniels was obsessed with before. And finally we see Amy Acker! When she catches sight of Daniels, she makes a run for it and jumps in the car with Simmons (who claims to be CIA). In a secure location, Audrey, who easily deduces it’s really S.H.I.E.L.D. helping her, tells Trip and Simmons the story of how Coulson saved her from Daniels before. While Coulson listens from another room, she talks about how much she loved and trusted Phil and how devastated she was when he died. The agent doesn’t want to ruin Audrey’s healing process by revealing himself. He’s also opposed to Fitz’s suggestion to use The Cellist as bait but they don’t have much of a choice. Good thing Fitz has some high tech gun designed by Bruce Banner to use against the Blackout!

The art of seduction: Back at Providence, Skye recommends hacking the NSA to see footage of The Fridge breakout. Ward, ever so sweetly, offers to upload that super important hard drive, you know, just to be helpful. Too bad it’s encrypted by location as well. Just when things are going all downhill for the HYDRA mole, Ward receives the good news from May that she’s leaving the base because she’s “lost” Coulson. His smirk of triumph fades slightly when Koenig reports the images from The Fridge breakout are coming through. Soon after, Ward, almost desperately, seduces Skye by being vulnerable. He even admits to her that his older brother forced him to beat up his younger brother. They kiss but she breaks it off when she finds blood on his neck, which he says is coming from one of his cuts. While he tends to his “wound” Skye finds Koenig’s GPS tracker for their base badges and goes looking for him.

Music of the night: Audrey begins her regular cello practice and the music adds beautifully to the tension as we switch back and forth between her and Providence. Ward cleans the blood from his hands and a garrote. Skye finds Koenig already dead and instantly knows it was Ward who killed him. In the bathroom, she panics at realizing Ward is HYDRA. Daniels walks towards Audrey, the lights extinguishing with every step. When he gets too close to her, Coulson is forced to intervene. Together with the rest of the team he’s able to subdue Daniels though Audrey is knocked out in the process but before she gets a glimpse of her former boyfriend. Coulson tenderly holds her hand and whispers, “You’re safe. I’m still here. I promise I’m still here with you.” My heart breaks all over again.

A team divided: A composed Skye is almost able to turn the tables on Ward, trying to lure him into a trap. Whether he knowingly avoids her trap or not is unclear but he calls her bluff by saying Fitz made contact. They need to get on The Bus right away. When Coulson and the others return to the base, everyone is gone. Still acting like he’s the good guy, Ward tells Skye she needs to decrypt that hard drive to help their team. In Ontario, Canada, May is picked up by her mother, who, though retired, still has the necessary contacts to get her daughter the location of Agent Maria Hill.

Field Notes

Audrey confesses she trusted Coulson right away because of his face, especially because it was handsome. She speaks for us all right Agents?

Koenig describes NSA as a “big scary water boarding bear.”

One of the liar detector questions is what would be in a box that washes up on a deserted island you are stuck on. The team’s answers are:
May- Machete
Triplett- SAT phone
Ward- Pistol
Skye- Laptop
Fitz- Simmons
Simmons- The TARDIS

In tonight’s fun trivia fact, Triplett is revealed as the grandson of a Howling Commando. In the comics, this was an elite special unit formed in World War II and commanded by Nick Fury.

I find it comforting that even a tough as nails S.H.I.E.L.D. agent like Melinda May has a mother who needles her about not saying “thank you” right away and teases her about her agency falling apart.


Stephanie Coats