Another episode of “Agents of SHIELD” has gone by and I have a feeling many weren’t too impressed by it, even though I thought it was pretty good and moved the larger plots forward by answering some long standing questions. But like everything in this show, answers lead to more questions.
And that’s actually what I like about “Agents of SHIELD.” Every time we’re given some answers, it just opens things up to more questions. This week we saw the team split up as something threatens the SHIELD science academy, with Ward, Fitz/Simmons and Skye dispatched to figure that case out. Meanwhile, May and Coulson track down a lead to Skye’s parentage.
At the Academy, former students Fitz/Simmons are investigating a device used to flash freeze a pool, while at the same time basking in the celebrity spotlight. We get a little information about SHIELD social groups, with Ops (which Agent Ward is from) and Science not seeing eye to eye, so yeah, the normal jock/geek relationship. But what we do see is that Ward has always respected Fitz/Simmons, as when Skye says, “They’re the cool kids. Who knew?” His response is, “I did.” Anyways, while giving a lecture, a student named Donnie is flash frozen, with Ward and Fitz/Simmons barely saving the young lad’s life in time. Turns out Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette) is your typical outcast — he’s smarter than everyone else at school, but isn’t making any friends. Ward sends Fitz to talk to him, while he, Simmons and Skye check out leads in “The Boiler Room,” the not-so-secret campus hangout converted from an actual boiler room, complete with a bar. Guess the geeks have more fun than the jocks, because Ward looked pretty impressed.
Meanwhile in Mexico, May and Coulson are tracking down ex-Agent Lumley (Boyd Kestner), the partner of the deceased agent that dropped Skye off at the orphanage. After a brief chase and some out time for Lola, Lumley tells them that they found Skye’s family dead, along with a whole unit of SHIELD agents trying to get her to safety. She was an 0-8-4 — the classification for an unknown object, and may have powers, though they never saw any. After getting baby Skye stateside, the members of Lumley’s team were all tortured and killed, with Lumley the only survivor. He warns them to stay away from Skye for theirs and her sake. May says they can’t tell Skye, but it’s obvious Coulson is having issues with keeping secrets. Also, May reveals she’s been sleeping with Ward. When May and Coulson show up at the Academy to be briefed on the situation, Skye takes a moment to talk to Coulson, at which time he reveals all that he’s found out.
Meanwhile, back at the Academy, Fitz/Simmons realize the whole thing was a set-up by Donnie and his friend Seth (Daniel Zovatto) to lure them back to school, because Donnie needed their help to fix a bigger version of the freezing machine. The two bad seeds plan to sell the device to the smarmy Ian Quinn (David Conrad), last seen in the episode “The Asset.” In a call to Quinn, Seth says they’ve been found out, prompting Quinn to abandon them, but not before insisting on a demonstration of their device. Donnie and Seth comply, turning on the machine and creating a destructive superstorm. After realizing the damage their creation will cause, Donnie tries to stop it, while May and Coulson show up in the Bus to save the day. Donnie survives a lightning strike, but loses his only friend in Seth.
Later, Coulson calls Quinn, letting him know that SHIELD is onto him, with Quinn responding, “The Clairvoyant sends his regards.” The final scene shows Donnie being transported to the Sandbox and sliding a finger across the window, which leaves a trail of ice, which hints that Donnie has developed freezing powers as a result of his experiment.
Coulson and Crew:
Coulson and May’s search for answers lead to revelations beyond Skye’s past. May told Coulson about her relationship with Ward, while Coulson revealed all to Skye. Even though she broke down, her response would seem to indicate a renewed commitment to SHIELD. Ward also showed off his softer side in his interactions with Fitz/Simmons and Skye. “Seeds” cemented the family mentality of the team, and I really liked that. It wasn’t character building for just one character, but for all of them.
This episode featured no major threats to the world, but the Skye story has been moved along, and Coulson’s as well. I liked that there are now more questions (different ones, thankfully) about the same issues. The writing makes me feel there will be a big pay off down the line. Also, the introduction of another potential super villain in Donnie, who I can only imagine will be Blizzard, could also be the set up for a big finale. They aren’t aware that he has powers yet, but he’s going to the Sandbox, where Dr. Hall aka Gravitron is also being held. And finally, Quinn working for Centipede/Clairvoyant was a nice reveal and ties up a lot of seemingly random events.
This wasn’t a crazy episode, but as I said, plots were advanced and “Agents of SHIELD” is setting things up for a big pay off. Don’t let us down Marvel/ABC!