Agents, Real Simmons is back and she’s even more awesome. Yes, she works for HYDRA, our sworn enemy, but we love her anyway! In other news, Skye’s field agent skills are developing fast under The Cavalry’s tutelage and Dr. Whitehall’s mad scientist vibe gets bolstered by a healthy dose of brainwashing. Oh, and Donnie Gill, the guy with the ice powers, is back and in high demand by covert agencies looking to use his abilities for good or evil. It’s all about “Making Friends and Influencing People” tonight, agents, so let’s get to it.
Finding Gemma: The real Simmons wakes feeling peppy and looking more gorgeous than ever. “A breathe of sunshine in an otherwise dreary morning,” the security guard calls her, and I agree. She goes to her new job, in a new lab, at evil, evil HYDRA. She gives her boss the rundown on an unknown subject, only to see later that it’s Donnie Gill. He’s currently chilling (sorry, I get all my puns from Once Upon a Time) in Morocco and flash freezing kindly waiters and then some HYDRA agents. After that fun adventure, Donnie freezes a ship, because why not?
Director Coulson makes a house call: At the Playground, Skye’s marksmanship (markswomanship?) and control is improving as evidenced by her target practice at a steady 61 bpm. May has her practice with the sniper rifle next and then skips out of the room to talk with Coulson. He’s just returned from another failed attempt to acquire more agents (earlier we saw Agent #33 in HYDRA’s custody and being tortured/brainwashed into compliance by Dr. Whitehall). We flip back to an agent he lost as Simmons returns to her apartment. Coulson is waiting for her. After a tense moment, he quips about the contents of her fridge (Sriracha and beer). He’s brought groceries (“It’s basic but I do good basic”) and he cooks while she debriefs about Donnie. Coulson also encourages her to make friends because it’s the only way for her to move up at HYDRA. She casually asks how “everyone” is doing, which he correctly interprets by saying Fitz is okay.
For science!: At work the next day, Simmons is taken upstairs for questioning on a security matter. Mr. Bakshi, aka Whitehall’s right hand man, gets in her face about her past relationship with Donnie. He also questions her loyalty but she fires back by basically saying, “I’m here for science!” No, literally, she’s there for the science. Bakshi isn’t convinced so he brings her along on their mission to get Donnie. S.H.I.E.L.D. is also moving on Donnie. Earlier Coulson briefed the team without revealing Simmons’ undercover status and Skye asked Ward about HYDRA’s procedure for snagging gifted people or simply “gifteds.” Now that Donnie’s stunt with the ship popped up on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s radar, they’re going to try to get him before HYDRA can. But the ice man isn’t up for being recruited by anyone. “I’m not interested,” he tells the ship’s captain. “I’m not afraid. I’m pissed off.” Then he frozen-chokes him to death. Point made.
Fitz on the fritz: As the rest of the team leaves on the mission, Fake Simmons tries to dissuade Fitz from figuring out what is being kept from him. But he goes down into Ward’s cell anyway and practically hyperventilates at the sight of his would-be murderer. Ward makes the situation worse by saying he tried to save Fitz and Simmons by dumping them in the ocean rather than shooting them. The scientist demonstrates for Ward what oxygen deprivation does to the brain by reducing the air in Ward’s cell. When Fitz mentions Donnie though, Ward fights through the thin air to tell him the team is in trouble because Donnie used to be under HYDRA’s control.
Eye in the Skye: Simmons finds Donnie aboard the ship and sweetly tries to talk him down. Bakshi has her repeat their brainwashing programming to get him to comply. Coulson’s team covertly boards the ship too and Hunter trains his rifle on Simmons back, not knowing who she is. May sees her at the last moment and shoots Hunter to maintain Simmons’ cover. Oh and to save her life, but you know, priorities. Donnie is back to being pissed off and he pursues Simmons but Bakshi intercepts and finishes the reprogramming. HYDRA moves out and leaves Donnie to ice everyone on the ship. He’s in the process of doing so when Skye takes him out, following Coulson’s order that either they bring Donnie in or no one does. She also helps Simmons maintain her cover by firing near her and Bakshi. S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t come away empty handed, thanks to a payload of goodies left behind by HYDRA. Skye is somewhat bothered by Donnie’s body not being recovered yet (he fell overboard after she shot him) but she’s more concerned about Simmons. Don’t worry Skye; Simmons has gotten a lot better at the covert thing since the last time.
Simmons is moving on up: Coulson talks with Fitz about how he almost killed Ward. The Director says he needs to know more about HYDRA and that’s why they’re keeping Ward around. Fitz then asks if there’s anything else being kept from him, to which Coulson says yes. He also, again, correctly interprets this and says Simmons is on an assignment and that it’s important. And he’s right because Dr. Whitehall has succeeded in getting Agent 33 to comply and Bakshi is granted permission to move Simmons upstairs.
Ward’s honesty: In the final scene, Skye visits Ward again to ask about HYDRA’s brainwashing. He admits he wasn’t programmed; he did everything, good and bad, on his own. She wonders why he’s telling her these things and he answers: he wants her to believe him when he tells her that he father is alive, he’s looking for her, and Ward can take her to him. She visibly bothered by this, leaving the room in a hurry and checking her heart rate monitor. It was steady when she shot Donnie but now it’s spiking.
- Early in the episode, Hunter tries apologizing again about shooting May last episode. She replies, “Don’t be sorry. Just wait.” Heh.
- Thanks to Disney synergy aka the preview for Alexander’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, it finally occurred to me that Donnie (Dylan Minnette) is Alexander’s brother!
- A big thank you to S.H.I.E.L.D. writers for not excusing Ward’s action by saying he was brainwashed!
- Anyone else pissed that Simmons’ boss called her Miss instead of Doctor? She has two PhDs!
- Ward sums up the problem with being the good guys: “While a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent is considering right or wrong, HYDRA’s already taken the shot.”
- I find it highly amusing that all-knowing, all-powerful HYDRA doesn’t yet know who is running S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson should be seriously proud of that.
- I know they’re very different shows made for different audiences but it was so refreshing to watch a show where a main character has ice powers and there wasn’t a Mr. Freeze quality pun every ten minutes. Were you paying attention Once Upon a Time? That’s how it’s done.
- Next Tuesday, OMG PHILLINDA PHEELS!