A Change Of Scenery
Skye rages against her destiny in a mountain hideaway while Fitz and Simmons get up to some clever spycraft.
Skye got superpowers in a cave, which is the usual place for that sort of thing. Then she got teleported away by a weirdo with no eyes (he's not a weirdo because of the no-eyes thing; these are two unconnected facts about him) just in time to avoid a squad sent by these people calling themselves "The Real SHIELD." Mack and Bobbi are on their side as they try to take control over the rest of SHIELD. Coulson and Hunter were last seen drinking umbrella-laden drinks on a beach, but they're probably going to start fighting back any second now.
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Enter The Transitioner
Name: Lincoln. Age: He looks about 30, but he'll probably turn out to be either 350 or 12 years old. Occupation: The "Transitioner." Goal: He's supposed to help Skye make the transition (get it?) to being a fully-powered Inhuman. Although nobody's used the word "Inhuman" yet. Here's the thing, though: he's terrible at this! It seems like his primary job would be to tell Skye what's going on, but he's constantly being surprised by the news that she didn't want powers, wants them taken away, and doesn't know where she is. Sample Dialogue: "Gordon...didn't explain?"
One Day You're In And The Next Day You're Out
Alert Type: Loyalty Alert.
Issue: Gonzalez and Morse (the agent formerly known as Bobbi, but I just can't take that name seriously and no one calls her Mockingbird often enough to justify it) want Fitz to help crack open Fury's Toolbox, even though they admit they don't know what it is. They only want it because Coulson was so protective of it, which means they're operating at about the emotional maturity of a kindergartener who wants whatever toy the other kid is playing with.
Complicating Factors: Because Gonzalez insists that he's just running SHIELD and everybody is just a regular SHIELD agent, people are still allowed to quit. All they have to do is submit to a regular debriefing, and off they go.
Resolution: Fitz immediately starts packing, because he doesn't buy any of this "Real SHIELD" talk. As far as he's concerned, Coulson is the real head of SHIELD and these people are either mutineers or usurpers.
Spoiler: This won't be the last we hear of Fury's Toolbox.
Place Of Interest
Nice Scenery, Huh?
After asking Lincoln several times to tell her what's going on, Skye finally gets to go outside. She's been taken to a mysterious place called "Afterlife," which has a Chinese name (which sounds sort of like "Lyshee") and vaguely Chinese architecture. But is it in China? No one knows! The only way in and out is for Gordon to teleport you, so it might not even be on Earth. It's full of people who all wish that one day they might be chosen for the great gift of superpowers that Skye already received by accident. And she's still being really, really cranky about it. When Skye asks if Raina and her father are here, Lincoln says, "I promise there is no one here who'll harm you." That's pretty vague, don't you think? I wonder if it's connected to that one house that Lincoln made a big deal out of not talking about.
What Side Are You On?
Who called the meeting? Gonzalez.
What's it about? He's taking another shot at convincing May that the Real SHIELD is where it's at.
How'd it go? He actually makes some pretty good points at first. Remember when Nick Fury had May spying on Coulson because he didn't trust what that alien blood was going to do to him? And then remember how that alien blood made him kind of erratic and unable to control himself? So it's not unreasonable to suggest that maybe Coulson isn't the best guy to be running the show. But May says that Agent Coulson and SHIELD are one and the same. And also, she thinks they ought to spend more time fighting Hydra and less time in internal squabbling. I agree with that!
That Quote"Relax? This'll be like my fourth bed in the last week. And I've been locked up, quarantined, psychoanalyzed..."- Skye -
On The Menu
Meals In The Afterlife!
Lincoln has an unrewarding job, since he has to convince Skye to quit rocking the boat while not giving her any concrete information about why she might want to stay in this weird city with the unspoken Prisoner vibe. So he has to try to sell her on the many food options available in a city that's so secret even the residents don't know where it is.
Pizza: Lincoln is very excited about Pizza Night, because Gordon brings it direct from Chicago. It seems like it would be easier to cook it themselves, but I guess there's nothing wrong with using teleportation to save on having to tip the delivery person.
Kale: That's how the menu works around here? It's either pizza or kale?
Popcorn: When you're trying to bond with someone, nothing works better than popcorn. That's just science. And besides, if all you have to eat is kale, you'll find popcorn to be a magical treat. If you put butter and salt on it, it tastes kind of like salty butter!
Here Come The Neighbors
Alert Type: Invasion Alert.
Issue: Coulson got bored so he triggered an alarm that would tell the Real SHIELD where he and Hunter are holed up.
Complicating Factors: He also won't let Hunter shoot anybody for real, because these are still SHIELD agents. This is clearly one of those spy organizations where the number of agents expands and contracts to fit the needs of the plot.
Resolution: It's okay, because the cabin is reinforced in case of Hulks. Coulson and Hunter will be fine in there. Unless, of course, the attackers brought a battering ram.
Spoiler: They brought a battering ram.
We All Got Powers
What's the occasion? Lincoln has taken Skye to a very scenic part of Afterlife in hopes of getting her to share her gift. That's not a Victorian euphemism for sex; he just wants to see what power she has.
What are the refreshments? Just the wonderment of seeing Lincoln use his electricity powers to make Skye float. That's a thing electricity can do, right?
What makes the party end abruptly? Skye isn't comfortable with her superpowers yet. Because even if you call them a gift, she still thinks she's been cursed.
The Ol' Double Bluff
What's the game? Illusion Poker.
Who's playing? Allegedly it's Coulson and Hunter, but those are holograms projected by the magical playing cards.
Magical Playing Cards? Yeah! Well, they're probably Sufficiently-Advanced-Technology Cards, but you know what I mean.
I Absolutely Do Not: Okay, remember last season when Trip had that "Howling Commandos Kit" that was full of ridiculous 1950s novelty toys that did cool spy stuff?
I'm Asking The Questions Here. You're pretty clearly not asking questions at this point.
Okay, you're right. I'm sorry. What about this Howling Commandos Kit? Well, Coulson has a new version of it, and the first thing he uses is these cards that make it look like he and Hunter are enjoying a game. But really they're standing behind the guys who just busted in the door, and they shoot them with icers.
What's an icer again? It looks just like a pistol and knocks people out, but it does no long-term damage.
Like setting phasers for stun? Exactly. It's what you use when you'd rather not have your protagonists kill dozens of people every episode. Hunter is a little whiny about not getting to just machine-gun everybody.
for acts of general evil
Name: Cal Zabo (Skye's dad)
Last Seen: Being teleported away by Gordon
Likely Punishment: Being trapped in a Twin Peaks reboot without David Lynch.
Reward: If you find him, you can make him finally explain what his whole deal is.
Wink Wink Nudge Nudge
Alert Type: Subtlety Alert.
Issue: Fitz has learned that Simmons was doing some kind of DNA thing with Fury's Toolbox.
Complicating Factors: Fitz was just about to leave SHIELD, just as Simmons appears to be working with Gonzalez's crew.
Resolution: Fitz says some things with a very unusual emphasis, like, "You may as well have PACKED my BAGS yourself. You want me to leave, don't you, Jemma?"
Spoiler: She does want him to leave. These two are cooking up something right under the eyes of Gonzalez and Morse, but nobody notices because they're comic relief.
Hey! It's...You! I Remember You!
Name: Mike "Deathlok" Peterson. Age: Early 40s. Occupation: Killer cyborg and SHIELD agent. Goal: To vanish from the show for a long time, leading everyone to assume he'd never be seen again, then show up out of nowhere to save Coulson and Hunter. And to fly the Quinjet he's helping them steal. Sample Dialogue: "Upload complete. Beep."
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
It Rainas On The Just And The Unjust
To the surprise of absolutely no one (except Skye, but she's been disoriented for most of the episode), Raina is also here in Afterlife. Her transition is not going as well as Skye's, because Skye got to continue being a pretty lady. Raina is not happy about all these spikes on her face, even if they do look pretty great. Skye starts to earthquake it up, but then! A mysterious woman comes in to stop her! This place has a lot of mysterious people, doesn't it? We haven't even met the Elders yet.
How Skye Met Her Mother
Name: Jiaying. Age: If what we're shown is to be believed, she's very, very old indeed. This is apparently Skye's mother! The one who got drained of her blood by Daniel Whitehall! Or possibly a lookalike. Occupation: Skye's new guide through the wonders of earthquake powers. And also secretly her mother. Goal: To show Skye how to use her precious gift (and not give it away to any random square-jawed agent with a dark past who comes along, if you get my drift). And also to calm Cal down about how he's not allowed to see his daughter. Sample Dialogue: "Whatever you two were in the past, that's not what you are now."
Wrap It Up
Gonzalez reaches out to May, offering her a loaded pistol and a seat on the board of his version of SHIELD, saying that when Coulson's captured, she could be a voice in his defense. She rejects this, because that's what she does. This was nothing new from May, but it was interesting to see Gonzalez offering a sort of compromise.
In the stolen Quinjet, Coulson runs down his various goals and obstacles. It will be hard to find Skye, because Gordon teleported her. He concludes that the only person in the world who has the right set of contacts and skills to help him is...Grant Ward. Remember him? The boring guy who turned out to be a Hydra spy? Killed his parents when he escaped? Yeah, him. Not, say, Nick Fury, who's definitely around somewhere and might be interested in what's going on with SHIELD.
Naturally, Simmons and Fitz worked something out so that he walked out of SHIELD with Fury's Toolbox. That was pretty obvious. But look at this!
Simmons made Fitz a sandwich with a nice note! That's practically the first nice thing anyone's ever done for anyone on this show, and I think it's very sweet. Gonzalez keeps accusing everyone of being loyal to Coulson, rather than SHIELD. But I think what it will come down to is that they're loyal to each other.