The Call Is Coming From Inside SHIELD
SHIELD faces off against its most unexpected foe: SHIELD itself. SHIELD doesn't do too well. Good news for SHIELD, huh?
SHIELD has been infested with double-agents this whole time. Which is completely different from last season, when SHIELD was infested with double-agents. This time, the double-agents are trusted members of the main cast. Wait, that happened last season, didn't it? Okay, never mind. This is pretty much the same thing, although we're now dealing with people who call themselves "the real SHIELD" instead of "Hydra." And Skye is relaxing at a cabin of mystery somewhere, trying to come to terms with the horrible curse of having superpowers.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Past SHIELD vs. Past Hydra
The episode kicks off in a flashback, reminding us all of that moment in Season 1 when this show got really good overnight. This is the exact moment, when it was announced that SHIELD had been completely infiltrated by Hydra. But that's last year's news. It's more fun to watch Mack being captured by Hydra, and then Bobbi roll in and shoot a bunch of jerks.
When Bobbi's down to one jerk left, guess who shows up to save the day? It's Lucy! I bet you forgot she was on this show. She's allegedly "Agent Hartley," but that's clearly a fake name. We can all see that she's Lucy Lawless. And she's killing people with knives!
Winner: The people we've heard of defeat the scrubs handily.
Bobbi Missed You During Her Uneventful Absence
Alert Type: Treachery Alert.
Issue: Bobbi is sneaking back into SHIELD headquarters.
Complicating Factors: Coulson hasn't let on yet, but he knows that Mack has been up to something. And the audience certainly knows that Bobbi isn't loyal to Coulson, so it's only a matter of time before all this subtlety and sneaking around turns into something a bit more overt.
Resolution: Bobbi successfully installs a thumb drive into the SHIELD mainframe.
Spoiler: That's almost the last success Bobbi's going to have in the entire episode.
Place Of Interest
Vacation; All I Ever Wanted
Skye doesn't know it yet, but she's lucky to be spending most of the episode in a remote cabin hideaway. Just like in real life, she discovers after about ten minutes that camping is the most boring thing in the world. So it's a good thing that she can Skype with Simmons, right? That reminds her that civilization still exists. It also reminds her that these power-inhibiting gloves exist, and that Simmons would very much like Skye to wear them. Simmons takes the opportunity to claim that the gloves will also help heal the microfractures in Skye's arm bones, which is not a terrible argument. If the only unknown side effects of these things is that they fix broken bones, I think that's something that the Marketing department could get behind.
Meet The New Maguffin
The Scene: Bobbi has a fancy laser drill, and she's using it to acquire the secrets inside Coulson's desk.
The Symbol: It's called "Fury's Toolbox," and it's about the size of an ice cube.
The Meaning: The cube represents the Holy Grail, in that it is a generic quest object that doesn't actually matter except that everybody wants it.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
The Cavalry vs. Mockingbird
Naturally, Bobbi can't just steal the Toolbox. May surprises her in the act, and that kicks off a big ol' fight sequence. There are kicks! And backflips! And the Toolbox slides around and changes sides a lot, as things tend to do in this sort of a fight. Finally, Bobbi makes all the lights go out so that she and Mack can vanish.
That Looks Like It Hurts
Situation: Team Flashback has just run across Agent Gonzalez, trapped under some furniture.
What makes it awkward? The audience knows that this is probably going to lead directly to the creation of "the real SHIELD." Also, Gonzalez's leg is broken pretty seriously.
How is order restored? Mack distracts Gonzalez while Bobbi yanks his leg so that it's straight again. That takes care of his injury, but it will take longer to restore order to SHIELD.
That Quote"It's been a bastard of a day."- Agent Gonzalez -
Skye Has Forgotten Her Roots
So Skye's bored. That's not her fault. She's been isolated from both the main plot and the flashbacks. She's so bored that she ends up putting on Simmons's Patented Power-Dampening Gloves. Then she tries Skyping Simmons, not knowing that everyone at home base is a little busy. Finally, she ends up taking apart the cabin enough to see that there are hexagons behind the wall. But here's the thing: it seems like Skye has maybe forgotten her entire character history from the beginning of the series. Because I'm pretty sure she's supposed to be a superhacker, always Anonymous-ing it up. Right? Remember that? Well, she has a computer right there, and it appears to be connected to the internet. So why all the sighing, Skye? Go hack something! Or find a message board where you can argue with people about something that doesn't matter. Heck, I hear this "deep web" is all the rage. In that CSI: Cyber won't shut up about it.
Hi, I'm No-Eyes Gordon
Who called the meeting? No-Eyes Gordon.
What's it about? Mr. No-Eyes thinks Skye should come live with his secretive group of weirdos, instead of sticking with the secretive group of weirdoe she knows.
How'd it go? Surprisingly well. Gordon doesn't push that hard, and Skye opens up a bit. He tells her that after his change, he got embraced, which is fairly different from what happened to Skye. He does not mention that the person who embraced him was Skye's mother, which you'd think she'd be interested in. Finally, Gordon says he'll come back when Skye wants him. And: poof! He teleports away.
Plot Lightning Round
Things are going down! It's like somebody flipped the switch to "Things Start Happening." First up, Bobbi runs across Simmons, who successfully pretends not to know what's going on. In the course of her expert stalling, Simmons gets Bobbi to hold two different things that cause instant paralysis. It's probably not safe to have those in your bag, Simmons.
Meanwhile, Fitz is trying to put the base on manual lockdown, which is a process that involves wandering around the server farm. He finds that thumb drive that Bobbi planted earlier, and then Mack finds him. But not to worry; Mack promises not to hurt Fitz. He promises it in a very threatening manner.
With Bobbi handcuffed to the furniture, Coulson has Fury's Toolbox again. And May is in the SHIELD locker room (site of a million fanfics, I'm assuming), where she finds a gas mask that I could barely make out because the lighting was so bad. I'm not saying it's a bad idea to have low light in your locker room. I've definitely been in locker rooms that could use a little less illumination. I'm just saying most locker rooms are lit like they're on the surface of the sun.
And then people burst through the walls and take over the entire base through the use of dendrotoxin gas. It happens pretty quickly, which doesn't say much for the security here at this super-secret spy base.
Inspired by No-Eyes Gordon's encouragement, Skye takes off her gloves and decides to experiment a little with her crazy vibration powers. So far, she can make a stream of water look cool. It's a start.
Battle Of The SHIELDs
Who called the meeting? Gonzalez.
What's it about? This is the scene where the bad guy (Gonzalez) lectures the good guy (Coulson) about how SHIELD is bad, except for his little squad of real-SHIELDers.
How'd it go? Coulson is not convinced that the problem with SHIELD was that it had too many secrets. It seems like the real problem was that it was riddled with Hydra agents. Of course, it's going to be hard to convince Coulson that he shouldn't be in charge of SHIELD when he knows perfectly well that Nick Fury is alive and hasn't complained about the way things are going. Yet.
Anything Else? Gonzalez says that Fury's Toolbox is being handed over to Weaver (loyal to him) and also Fitz/Simmons (loyal to Coulson, probably, although no one's going to be surprised if they decide to have split loyalties to ramp up the drama between them) to figure it out.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
May vs. Bad Guys
Once Gonzalez is about done with Coulson, May pops out of the shadows and shoots everyone. Then she packs Coulson into a secret elevator so he can escape. It's kind of a one-sided fight, but these guards should have been expecting it.
Winner: Technically, May surrenders, so she can't be the winner. So...no winner.
Plot Lightning Round
Run Skye Run
Before that last fight scene, May called Skye to tip her off that bad guys were coming for her. And then the lights go out in the cabin, so Skye runs outside to see helicopters in the air. Seems like a better plan of attack would have been to land quietly and sneak up to the cabin, right?
Bobbi tells the team to take Skye alive, and she doesn't seem thrilled when she sees a pistol being readied. Sure enough, when a goon finds Skye, there's gunfire and everybody runs toward her.
Agent Calderon gets there first and tries to shoot Skye. But a combination of Bobbi's warning and some cool special effects establish that Skye isn't going to be so easy to shoot.
Aaaaand then ol' No-Eyes shows up to teleport Skye away, making the preceding action sequence kind of irrelevant. It was fun, though.
Meanwhile, Last Year
Alert Type: Flashback Alert.
Issue: In the flashback, Bobbi, Mack, Gonzalez, and Lucy Lawles are supposed to be destroying the ship they're on to keep information from falling into Hydra's hands.
Complicating Factors: The battle is going pretty well, so maybe they could just fight Hydra off instead of killing themselves and everybody on board.
Resolution: Bobbi decides to ignore Gonzalez's orders to scuttle the ship, which means everybody has to fight.
Spoiler: They probably lived, since this all happened a year ago.
Wrap It Up
Coulson and Hunter apparently escaped unharmed, because they meet up at a secret islland bar where they get drinks with lots of umbrellas on them. Then they vow vengeance. They're the only ones at liberty among the main cast, since everyone else is either captured by "Real SHIELD" or hanging out with No-Eyes Gordon.