Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ye Who Enter Here

“Something bad is about to happen.”

Lesson learned: when in a mysterious alien city temple thing, look, don’t touch.

Mack, arguably the most disposable member of the group, was evidently disposed of. However, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe so I wouldn’t be surprised if he pops back up around finale time somehow. Maybe whatever made him super aggressive softened the blow a bit? Maybe I’m just deluding myself? Yeah, it’s probably the last one. Still, I reserve all rights to say “I told you so” if by some miracle Mack resurfaces.

Speaking of “resurfacing,” when Whitehall said he’d send his “best man” to take care of the Bus, who ever could have thought that would be Ward? Oh, everyone? Everyone picked up on that? Well, fine, be that way. Ward’s motives remain conveniently vague. True, he could’ve had the Bus shot down and didn’t, but he also abducted Skye. Was it for some nefarious purpose or, as he suggested, to bring her to her father? Or maybe he’s just trying to keep her safe. Or possibly he wants to take her scuba diving. You never can tell with Ward. As for Skye, some part of her, no matter how tiny, wanted to go with Ward, wanted to meet her father. She told May she was going to keep the Bus safe and she may have even believed it, but there is more to it than that. A long lost relative drops into your life with facts about your mysterious alien heritage? That’s an awfully difficult thing to resist.

The episode started with a dream sequence straight out of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Skye, in a thematically appropriate flowered dress, runs through the Playground disoriented, barefoot, and alone. She meets Coulson, who is holding a Chinese newspaper and who tells her that their mission is a music box. Skye knocks it off the table. Then, May and a baby appear. May and Coulson, dressed in their suburban best (May in a twinset and pearls!) discuss the baby. May says “Sacrifices have to be made. Poison tree, poison fruit.” and Coulson says “Bye bye angel eyes” to the baby who they leave on the table and walk away and Skye cries out and then turns to rock after touching the music box.

What should we make of that? It could just be Skye’s abandonment issues combined with the fact that they’re hunting an alien artifact that turns people into stone. But we’re just coming off an arc where a dozen or more people were all drawing the same city in a trance like state after being injected with alien blood. So, maybe more prophetic than your run of the mill nightmare? Coulson and May clearly fulfill parental roles for her and have done for the past season. Are they representing her biological parents in their abandonment of the baby or is it foretelling a time in the future when real May and real Coulson will abandon Skye? Is she afraid that others find her origins unsettling or even dangerous?

This episode might’ve been a little overstuffed. It’s never a great thing when you can’t remember where an episode began by the time it’ s over. The Puerto Rican adventure, combined with everything that happened in Vancouver, Skye’s dream, FitzSimmons drama, and the return of Evil!May (aka Agent 33); it might have been a little much. At least the weekly search for [insert alien artifact here] didn’t overshadow the emotional stuff this week. The thingamajig Mack touched was just a means to an end, not an end in and of itself. We don’t even know what it is or why it did what it did. All that really matters is that the team is down another member and Hunter and Bobbi have lost another valued friend. I was really afraid Fitz was going to have to kill him. After all he’s been through and is continuing to go through, killing the one friend who’s really had his back recently might have been a bridge too far. Still, he’s now without his friend and dealing with even more Simmons drama rama. Poor Mack. Still, it should mean the rest of the team’s safe from the mid-season finale.

I will say I think having Mack fall down the hole was a bit of a copout. It would’ve meant much more if Bobbi had had to kill him instead of just rendering him unconscious and having him accidentally fall. Plus, the fall, tragic as it was, came with a slightly comedic visual.

Intel and Assets

--Mack will never get to work on Lola.

--According to the cast’s livetweet, the show actually sent Clark Gregg and Adrianne Palicki to Costa Rica to film their “San Juan” exterior scenes. I’m glad they did, too. It really made it look different and made the S.H.I.E.L.D. world seem broader. Of course, “Vancouver” was noticeably Los Angeles, but you can’t have everything.

Trip: “Isn’t that in the Bermuda Triangle? Cause that would explain a lot.”
Coulson: “Actually, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Triangle. We solved that back in the 80s.”
Trip: “Uh, Atlantis?”
Coulson: “Try Puerto Rico.”

Koenig #3: “Sorry, but you’re gonna need a lanyard.”

Koenig #3: "I’m Sam. Billy’s the shorter one."

Koenig #2: "I’m Billy. Sam’s the shorter one."

Bobbi: “Well, it’s HYDRA. You might need the shotgun.”
Coulson: “Why do you think I brought you?”

three and a half out of four remote control Lolas
sunbunny, who is still not Mark Greig


migmit said...

About evil May: is she even able to take off this mask without peeling off her skin? It might be fried in place when real May electrocuted her. Horrible thought.

About Koenigs: are they real? Could it be that they are LMDs? Maybe without knowing it? Or they are just too cool?

drnanamom said...

Great review sunbunny - I laughed several times and I love it when a review makes me laugh. The Koenigs are great and we never actually found out how many of them there are, it could be 13. I agree that it would have been more effective if Bobbi had to kill Mac so I'm betting on him coming back and being important somewhere down the line.

Billie Doux said...

A very amusing review -- great job, sunbunny. :) I like Mack and will be bummed if he doesn't come out of this a mutated superhero of sorts.

And since sunbunny didn't mention it, I have to -- Clark Gregg favorited one of sunbunny's tweets during this episode. She wrote, and I don't know how to embed it,

"That was supposed to be Vancouver? A rare incidence of Los Angeles masquerading as Canada instead of the other way around.#AgentsofSHIELD"

sunbunny said...

Thanks you guys. I always feel a little more pressure to be funny when I'm filling in for Mark. :)

Jess Lynde said...

I'm going to jump on the "maybe I'm just deluding myself" train, and hold out hope that Mack is alive. My husband and I really like that character, particularly his relationship with Fitz and his fondness for actually having fun once in awhile. (He made a toy Lola! With a Coulson doll and everything!) He adds something interesting to the mix. And since he's apparently working some alternate agenda with Bobbi (and the late Hartley), I'm thinking the story isn't done with him yet. Please?

Dustin said...

Billie's Ten Rules of Television

10. (Josie's Law): If you don't see the body, don't believe anyone is dead.


Having said that, it's a Whedon show so anything is possible. I'm betting he's alive, whether he comes back "normal" remains to be seen.

I was wondering how they made Puerto Rico look so good. Kudos to them for making the trip rather than greenscreen the whole thing.

Lamounier said...

Awesome episode. This show is really ON, isn’t it?

I don’t think Mack is dead, but I don’t care that much about him. I like the concept of the character, big muscled man that’s actually not a field agent and has a heart of gold. But, damn it, he keeps butting in other people’s problems. I know he means well, but that’s all the writers give him of relevance. In this episode, for instance, he did it twice. Couldn’t he just leave the room in silence instead of causing FitzSimmons to fight? (It was a good scene, but still...) I was more concern for Fitz’s and Bobbi’s reactions to his possible death than with the guy himself. Man, that moment Fitz nearly shot him had me on the edge of my seat.

Now let’s talk about a character I do like: Raina. How cool is she? No, seriously, she’s on the verge of being extremely annoying with her obsession to fulfill her destiny, yet the writers manage to make her likeable and the actress nails the role. I loved how she went running to Hydra the second she learned why they wanted her, and loved her ridiculous smile to Skye right after “Oh, Skye, bring your tablet too, you know, the one with the map of the city on it.” Ha! So deliciously devious that woman. Her scenes with Skye were my favorites. I didn't get who was that man she was with on the beginning of the episode, though.

Coulson said to Bobbi that he rather use a scalpel than a shotgun. Seriously, Coulson? It’s Hydra (Bobbi did remind him of that, thank you, Bobbi). They are terrorists. You don’t want to go lightly on terrorists, Coulson. Fury up. Speaking of Bobbi, I must confess I haven’t been crazy about her so far, but she had a lot of great moments in this episode, first with Jemma, then with Coulson. It was also nice to get more details on what happened to Fitz during the summer break.