Review – Marvel Agents of Shield, Season 2 Episode 2

Agent Darryl reporting in with this weeks “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” mission debrief – S2 Ep.2, codename: “Heavy Is the Head”

Warning! This debrief is fairly detailed and contains multiple spoilers for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”! For the best possible experience, it’s recommended that you not read this review until after you’ve watched the MAOS episode “Heavy Is the Head.” Enjoy!

Picking up exactly where we’d left off last week, Hunter is still trapped in the tipped over Tahoe which also houses dead agents Hartley and Idaho. May swings by on the motorbike she’d just lifted from Talbot’s compound and after confirming Hunter survived, she tosses what appears to be one of Fitz’s nifty little “Mouse-hole” laser cutters and takes off in pursuit of Creel.

At that moment, just as Hunter cuts himself free and begins to limp away, Talbot’s goon squad converges and takes him into custody. May, meanwhile, is running down Creel on her souped-up Harley Davidson (which Creel’s stolen pickup truck is really no match for) and although she gets a clear shot, Coulson orders her to stand down and continue her recon. Reluctantly May complies and falls back into surveillance mode.

Back at the “Playground,” Triplett and Skye debark their newly acquired Quinjet as Trip drops a few words of wisdom “No need to think the worst, ‘til it shakes your hand and says hello.” Skye asks if it’s another of his grandmother’s sayings as Phil stops them and congratulates them on completing their mission. Skye then fills Coulson in on the glyphs she’d seen on the 084, but he seems far more concerned about what Hunter might reveal to Talbot. As it turns out, he may be right to be so concerned.

Shortly after, Trip, Skye and Mac give the cloak tech hardware they’d boosted from the Quinjet a good ogling. Fitz absent-mindedly observes as Mac reassures him that he’d actually gotten pretty close with his own cloak work. Fitz tries to engage in the conversation, but keeps losing his train of thought. The rest of the gang looks pretty concerned and we’re left wondering if this is the result of brain damage sustained at the end of last season or if Fitz is actually in contact with Simmons somehow and is just distracted by whatever she may be saying. At least, that’s what I’m laying all my chips on, anyway.

As it turns out, Coulson’s worst fears prove correct as Talbot tries to cut a deal with Hunter: In exchange for leading him to Coulson, Talbot will pay Hunter $2 million and provide a proper burial for Hartley (we’re never really sure if Idaho will get one too, though).

In Coulson’s “Playground” office, Phil seems to be getting much better using holo-table technology. The “toolbox” Fury had given him must have a great tutorial in it. He pulls up files on both Agent Peggy Carter and the 084 we now also know as the “Obelisk” before leaving a note on the file to “keep an eye out for this.” He shuts down the “toolbox” – now embedded in his desk – just as Skye enters his office. She tries to get tough with Phil, wanting to do more than she has been and wanting to be filled in more on what she HAS been doing, but Phil just puts her on locker clean-out duty. As she leaves, Skye suggests he take up yoga, but Coulson says he’s tried, but he’s just not flexible. Feels like a lot of code-speak going on here.

Back in the lab, “Ghost” Simmons is prodding Fitz into some kind of direction . . . but is it good or bad, though? Hmmm . . . She does drop the line “That’s the problem these days, everyone needs answers immediately. No one has any patience anymore,” which pretty much confirms (in my mind, at least) that there is much more going on here than meets the eye.

She prompts Fitz to swipe a printout detailing Creel’s DNA results and they start getting up to something . . . more on that later. So far this season, I’ve found Fitz’s story to be the most compelling and I’m really looking forward to seeing how this plays out. Obviously though, patience will be required as “Spectral” Simmons has already pointed out.

It seems absconding from a secret military complex with a possible alien artifact works up a powerful appetite, so Crusher Creel stops in for a bite at the “Halfway House Café” (looks like Talbot’s secret base might not be too far north of Los Angeles, then), while May keeps tabs on him from outside. When a waitress accidentally touches Creel’s arm while clearing his table, she quickly convulses and dies the same way Hartley had begun to after touching the 084. Creel bolts as May checks out what the commotion is all about. Looks like Crusher might have picked up something from the “Obelisk,” rubber hand or no. May calls it in and Coulson orders her to “go dark.”

As Hunter returns to the “Playground,” Trip gives him the unfriendly frisk before Coulson debriefs him, sizing him up and confirming Talbot attempted a deal. Hunter claims to be loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D., though, at least until Hartley’s funeral. At which point, Hunter says he’ll be “in the wind . . . or three sheets to.” Very reminiscent of Fury’s words to Banner in “The Avengers.” This may bear further looking in to . . .

Fitz and “Ghostie” Jemma are close to solving the riddle of countering Creel’s absorbing powers. Fitz says “I didn’t solve this today,” somewhat cryptically just as Mac steps into the lab in another attempt to try and connect with Fitz on any kind of level. “Spectral” Simmons seems to like him okay and when Mac asks what he’s working on, it looks like Fitz might just have a new buddy. Yay. He really needs to catch a break this season.

As Skye packs up Hartley’s personal effects, Hunter pops in, helps himself to a necklace that he explains had belonged to Hartley’s mother that he means to pass on to her sister and gives Skye (and we, the viewer, in the process) some background on both himself and Hartley before leaving.

Creel’s back at his hideout trying different substances and looking pretty worried. Rightfully so it seems, as nothing he tries can get rid of his 084 infection. He tries calling his HYDRA contact, but gets a call on a disposable cellphone from HYDRA guy first, setting up a meeting to exchange the “Obelisk” for being taken care of “the way HYDRA has always taken care of you.” HYDRA guy hangs up and Creel trashes the phone. At that moment, Raina – who we haven’t seen since last season’s final episode end cap – steps from the shadows and suggests they have important things to discuss.

Creel shrugs off Raina as just a super-groupie, but we know she’s far more than that. She offers Crusher a gift. “Carbine:” three times harder than diamond and incredibly rare. Creel warns her to stay out of his affairs and then grabs the “Carbine” and runs off.

Back at the “Playground” Coulson, Triplett and May discuss how to catch and disable Creel, when Skye (who displays several “super-groupie” tendencies when describing Creel’s powers) shows up to report a message had been sent on the HYDRA frequency they had uncovered with Ward’s information in last week’s episode. When Coulson tracks and responds to the message, Raina picks up. After a few minutes of super-hero/super-villain banter between the two, she sells out Creel by informing Phil of a tracking signal in the “Carbine” he’d stolen. With this valuable information S.H.I.E.L.D. can now track and intercept Creel. As the gang suits up, Hunter says he wants in on the mission. Coulson seems hesitant, but May advises that Hunter could be useful and away they go.

Fitz, meanwhile, is still struggling with the Creel DNA puzzle. With a little prodding from Mac, they soon have a breakthrough when he suggests that Fitz may have solved the problem some time in the past. After a quick review of Fitz’s notes, he recognizes the “Overkill” device from last season’s episode “The Hub,” is the answer they’ve been looking for.

While staked out and trying to zero in on Creel’s current location, Hunter grouses to May and Skye about being stuck with nothing more powerful than “Icers.” At that moment, they locate Creel and his HYDRA contact before radioing Coulson and the already embedded triggerman, Triplett. As orders are given and each field team member calls out, Hunter then back shoots May and Skye and then bugs out on his own. Hunter eventually intercepts Trip and ices him before Trip can do more than exclaim an exasperated “Ah, hell no!”

As Creel makes contact with HYDRA guy, he’s worried the 084’s effect can’t be cured, but his HYDRA contact assures him “compliance will be rewarded” and then uses some kind of weird Zen cure to heal Crusher of his infection. Hunter takes a shot at Creel in revenge for Hartley and Idaho’s deaths and we’re treated to a super slow-mo shot of the bullet bouncing off Creel’s head as he absorbs the iron armrest of the park bench he’s sitting in.

Raina dashes off with the case containing the “Obelisk” and Hunter nearly buys the farm as Creel attacks. Fortunately, Coulson, disregarding May’s advice to stay out of the field, shows up with Fitz’s “Overkill” device, disabling Creel and saving Hunter’s life.

Later, after Hartley’s funeral, Hunter places the necklace he’d grabbed earlier into her sister’s car as Coulson catches up to him. He offers Hunter a permanent place on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team and his first mission: Sell Coulson out.

Mac starts to make headway befriending Fitz, and it looks like Fitz may be starting to accept Simmons’ absence. Still no answers as to exactly why she’s absent, though. Argh.

From there we jump from “Fitz” to “fits.” It seems that about every two weeks or so, Coulson has an itch he needs to scratch out . . . on the wall in those strange alien-looking hieroglyphics, as May video records and documents the whole episode as it happens.

And to finish things off, there’s Raina and . . . is that FBI Agent Cooper? No, no, it’s Skye’s drippy daddy and it looks like both he and Raina (and possibly Skye?) may just be able to hold the “Obelisk” without it killing them . . . at least, as long as it decides to let them live, anyway.

After Coulson’s little episode (presumably), we see him standing alone in a field as Talbot’s trio of trucks roll up to confront him. Phil offers up a caged Creel in a “your friendly neighborhood Spider-man”- style gesture. Talbot turns down Coulson’s offer of non-aggressive co-operation, but Phil isn’t fazed as he then shows off his cloaked jet collection and does a mike drop exit.

So, once again, we’re left wondering where on earth Simmons really is and what she’s been up to all summer. Hopefully, with the help of some of the patience she’d prescribed earlier this episode, we’ll get an answer next week!

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