TV Recap: Agents of SHIELD – 1.16 – End of the Beginning

J. August Richards in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 116 - End of the Beginning

“Agents of SHIELD” is back, and from what the producers have said, we’re getting an action-packed run from here till the end. The latest episode is pretty much proof of that, and the promise of a fallout from “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” which opens Friday, should only add to the insanity.

The Story:

Let’s get this right out in the beginning. DEATHLOK! Shows right up in the beginning! There okay now I can actually tell the story. A lot happened in the episode so if I forget something forgive my transgression. The episode starts in full with the arrival of SHIELD’s top agents for a secret meeting — including Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows), Agent Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez), Agent Blake (Titus Welliver), and Agents Garrett and Triplett (Bill Paxton and B.J. Brit) — and to discus the Clairvoyant. A plan is formed to check out the possible identities of the Clairvoyant, with Coulson tasking Skye with profiling the suspects. After the meeting, Skye is made an official Agent of SHIELD and given her badge.

Later, Fitz/Simmons are still trying to figure out the secret of GH 325, but are overheard by May, who offers to help, saying to let her know first if either Skye or Coulson begin acting strangely. Hmmms. May, you’re looking more and more suspicious. Meanwhile, the character formerly known as Mike Peterson is given an upgrade by his benefactors. As the agents split up in teams of two to check out their suspects, Garrett and Coulson are teamed up and almost end up being ambushed. May and Blake have better luck, if you call being attacked by Deathlok, luck. Blake fires off some shots and is stomped on for his trouble. May arrives but barely dodges the explosion from one of Deathlok’s new handy wrist mounted missiles.

BILL PAXTON, CLARK GREGG, CHLOE BENNET, BRETT DALTON in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 116 - End of the Beginning

Back at HQ, Blake is critical, but they notice he fired off a tracer round, allowing them to track Deathlok to an abandoned horse racing track. Fitz is heading out with Coulson and most of the agents while Simmons and Triplett are headed to the Hub so that Simmons can debrief SHIELD on Deathlok, AND use their facilities to analyze Skye’s blood. Tricky lil biologist. Fitz has also created an encrypted phone to relay her findings to him on the Bus. At the track, Fitz uses his toys, or “high-tech hardware” as he calls them, to scan the area, finding Deathlok, who destroys the probe. In a very cool nod to the comics, we get an X-ray view of Deathlok, which looks almost exactly like his comic book counterpart.

The agents follow Deathlok but loses him in the underground sewer tunnels. Coincidentally, another life sign appears, and they find one of their suspects, a man named Nash, who was supposedly in a coma. He is however unable to move or talk, communicating via computer, and claims he is the one they seek. He surrenders, but then begins taunting Coulson with putting Skye in more danger, which eventually gets him shot by Agent Ward. Everyone is in shock, but clean up begins. Coulson, however, doesn’t buy that it all wraps up so neatly, and after a discussion with Skye deduces that the Clairvoyant is a SHIELD agent.

CHLOE BENNET, BRETT DALTON in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - 116 - End of the Beginning

Meanwhile, Fitz tries to contact Simmons on his encrypted line, but has trouble because the line is already being used by May. May catches Fitz, but he manages to get to Skye first, who has him cut the line, prompting May to go after Fitz with a gun. At the same time, Coulson is questioning Ward, believing him to be an agent of the Clairvoyant. Skye interrupts and tells them of the situation. The two go after May, catching her in the cargo bay with Fitz just narrowly avoiding being shot. Coulson and Skye get the drop on May, but she won’t give up any info, at least not on the Bus. Suddenly the plane changes course on its own, making Coulson think she had something to do with it, but we soon find out Agent Hand is in control. Is SHE the Clairvoyant?

Coulson and Crew:

This is short and sweet and to the point. The seeds of deception have been sown deep, and within a spy agency, having trust issues with your team can be deadly. Basically this family is falling apart, or being torn apart, and it’s going to take a lot to bring it back together. Coulson doesn’t know who to trust and you can see it’s visibly bothering him. I’m really intrigued how this plays out, and with Whedon involved, is everyone going to make it?

The show has seriously kicked into high gear, and the “Uprising” subtitle makes sense now. I can’t wait to see how “The Winter Soldier” affects the show and where things go from there. So if you’ve been watching this far, this is what we’ve been waiting for!

Promo of next week’s episode