Thursday, April 30, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2x19: The Dirty Half Dozen [Recap/Review]

In which Ward is back on the team, Lincoln and Mike are in trouble, Raina's up to no good, Gordon gets stitches, and Cal is surprisingly non-violent.

At SHIELD 2.0, Coulson tries to charm Gonzalez into agreeing to an extremely ambitious rescue mission to get Mike Peterson and Lincoln away from HYDRA. He comes up with a crazy plan which Gonzalez actually agrees to (cue suspicious alarm bells), but May is still pretty ticked at Coulson for going behind her back. Coulson explains that he was visiting May's ex, Garner, to help cope with his 'alien writing' breakdown, and she should be able to understand that. She doesn't.
In Afterlife, Raina has a vision of a wounded Gordon and Lincoln strapped to a table somewhere. Just minutes later, Gordon shows up, wounded, telling them that HYDRA took Lincoln. Cal is pacing around in his time-out room but is showing a shocking amount of self-control, and none of the furniture is in splinters. Jaiying takes him out for a walk, and almost loses her composure when Cal announces (loudly) that Jaiying, Cal and Skye are all family. Oops.
Meanwhile, Coulson is dealing with a practical revolt - not everyone is keen on Ward joining the team for this mission. Ward tries to get them to soften toward him by pointing out what Good Times they had Before, but they aren't exactly won over. They need him, however; as he has Bakshi as his inside man working at the HYDRA base.
Simmons proves uncharacteristically violent, and tells Fitz that she's planning on possibly killing Ward with a splinter bomb at the earliest possible convenience. Only, of course, after they rescue Mike and Lincoln. Gordon refuses to take Skye to the HYDRA base but agrees to teleport her to the Bus, and the when she shows up, Ward cheerfully says "We're getting the team back together!"
They head out for Operation Long Shot, which involves HYDRA shooting the Bus out of the sky while the team (inside the quinjet, piloted by a grumpier-than-usual May) does their best debris imitation and just barely lands before crashing.
HYRA assumes that the SHIELD team is DOA, when they're actually infiltrating the base with Bakshi. Meanwhile, Simmon's attempt to wipe Ward from planet earth backfires a bit when Bakshi tries to stop her and ends up the one dead. Ward, rather than shooting Simmons in retaliation, only says sadly, "I'm disappointed in you." (I'm so proud of Ward. SO PROUD.)
They're not the only awkward conversation taking place - May discovers that Coulson took a page from Fury's book and compartmentalized his own objective, which was to download something from a HYDRA computer before they skedaddle.

Basically, Coulson:

"Well, this is awkward."
They rescue Mike and Lincoln and make it back to SHIELD 2.0, but we discover that the only reason Gonzalez was on board with Operation Long Shot was because he wants Skye, Lincoln and Mike (the 'powered freaks') for a shady, probably-sinister reason. I knew it. Coulson calls Maria Hill (lovely to see you, Hill) and they confirm that HYDRA's plans include Loki's scepter and the Maximoff twins in a place called Sokovia. Cue Raina at Afterlife having a discussion with Jaiying (who is rightfully suspicious of her) and being seized with a vision of an apocalypse caused by men made of metal.
Ultron, anyone?
Other Stuff
• While I actually enjoy Agents of SHIELD's sometimes over-the-top cheesiness, I was impressed with the deft way they handled the Ultron tie-ins. It was a great plot twist with other subtle hints thrown in, and kept the episode from feeling like one big preview for Age of Ultron.
• How about Skye's fight scene, huh? HUH?? It was like May, only (dare I say it) - better.
• I almost had a heart attack when I saw Gordon injured, but fortunately all he needed was a few steri-strips. Thank goodness.
• What's the 'secret' that Gonzalez (Mr. THERE ARE ABSOLUTELY NO SECRETS HERE Gonzalez) is keeping? Any guesses?
• What does Gonzalez what powered people for?
• Hunter's part was small, but thoroughly precious and adorable. I'm relieved he forgave Mack and that their relationship can move back into the friendzone. However...
• WHAT THE PADDYWHACK IS GOING ON IN JEMMA'S MIND? It's like the more Fitz puts himself back together, the more Jemma falls apart - except she's more violent, more dangerous, and schemes a whole lot more than Fitz ever did.
• While he was Under the Influence, I still teared up at Bakshi's death. Did I ever expect Bakshi would make me feel any emotion other than 'ew go away'? No. But he did.
• HOW ABOUT A BIG ROUND OF APPLAUSE FOR WARD'S CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT! Ward's driving instinct has always been two things - he wants to survive, and he wants to belong - and yet, once he found someone he loved (i.e. Kara/33) he loved her enough to let her go, to return her to a life he knew was better for her. Ward, I love you and I can never stay mad at you.
• I'm going to see Age of Ultron tonight. If you don't hear from me for a while, it's because I'm in an emotional coma.
Also, as an apology because this is a day late (there were extenuating circumstances yesterday) I drew my girl Wanda as a peace offering.


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