Agent Darryl reporting in with this week’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” mission debrief – S2 Ep.9, codename: “Ye Who Enter Here”
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 agents not read this review until after they have watched the MAOS episode “Ye Who Enter Here.” Enjoy!
Skye (while wearing what looks like one of Raina’s flower dresses) runs down the halls of the “Playground” calling out for Coulson as the overhead lights continually shut off behind her, enclosing her in darkness. Hearing a lullaby playing, she investigates. Suddenly appearing in the “Playground’s” lab, she’s faced by Coulson holding a newspaper with Chinese characters on it. He reaches forward to open a small steel box on the table, but Skye pushes it to the floor to stop him from touching it. Cut to her sitting on the floor looking at the now opened box and she turns, looking up toward the table again and Coulson, now dressed in civilian clothing, is joined by a Mom-jeans wearing Melinda May as he gently holds an infant child. May tells Phil, “Sacrifices have to be made. Poison tree, poison fruit” and he reluctantly agrees, setting the child, who Coulson calls “Angel Eyes,” down on the table while turning to leave with May. Skye calls out to them, but then she’s holding the steel box and it begins turning her to stone, like the Obelisk it passingly resembles. As she calls out again . . . Coulson suddenly shakes Skye awake on the “Bus,” rescuing her from the nightmare she’d been trapped in and tells her they’re now back at the “Playground.”
Inside, rolling down the very halls Skye had fled in her dream is a remote-control toy version of Lola – complete with a tiny little Coulson driving – operated by Mac. Fitz takes the RC sized Lola to the foot and Mac tells him he’d made it for Coulson, in an effort to get him to loosen up and let him work on the real Lola. Fitz asks if the RC version flies, but Mac, looking distracted by Lance and Bobbi’s blossoming flirtations with one another, tells him that no, it doesn’t fly. Fitz then asks for some help with something and when Simmons’ name comes up, Fitz gets flustered and bugs out. So will it be FitzSimmons or MacFitz? Who knows?
On the “Bus,” meanwhile, Simmons tends to Agent Triplett’s bandages following his near-fatal gunshot wound last episode and asks about Skye’s father. Before he can fully describe the complete level of crazy the Doctor, uh, “operates” on, Skye steps in to let them know about the latest mission prep in the cargo hold. She then levels with them about how not only is her father completely crazy, but everything they’ve been dealing with lately is too, before admitting to an overwhelming sense of impending doom.
In the cargo hold shortly after, Coulson brings everyone up to speed on the next mission: finding the temple located beneath the hidden city, which as of the end of last episode, is no longer hidden . . . well, from S.H.I.E.L.D. anyway. Trip makes the same guess I did: The Bermuda Triangle, but Coulson confirms that it had been solved in the 80s. Trip then shoots for Atlantis as a second guess (oh, how WONDERFUL it would be to finally introduce Prince Namor, The Sub-Mariner into the Marvel Cinematic Universe!), but nope, the Agents are going to . . . Puerto Rico! Once there, in order to prevent Hydra from developing a weapon of mass destruction with the Obelisk/Diviner and the hidden city it unlocks, Coulson intends to blow it up completely, much to the seeming dismay of several agents, including both Bobbi and Mac. Hmmm . . .
In Vancouver, British Columbia, Raina uses her powers of persuasion on a well-heeled older gentleman to get . . .well, whatever she wants really, when she spots Agent May shadowing her at a table. Confronting her with the fact that having a tracer implanted in her makes a physical shadow fairly redundant, she discovers it’s actually Agent 33 with the busted up morph mask still stuck to show . . . well, MOST of Agent May’s face instead. She tells Raina that Whitehall wants to speak with her, but Raina doesn’t stop to chat and runs for the street . . . which is completely covered by undercover HYDRA agents. She walks down the street and Agent Billy Koenig directs her to walk around the corner quickly. Not having any other options, she does, only to find . . . Agent Koenig?! Well yes, but this is SAM Koenig: latest in a series of creepily expanding identical twin brothers working for S.H.I.E.L.D. Using a retro-reflective panel-equipped umbrella, he gives HYDRA the slip, telling Raina she’ll need a lanyard.
On the “Bus,” which is also retro-reflectively cloaked and en route to Puerto Rico, Coulson receives the update about Agent 33 and HYDRA from the Agents Koenig and then advises them the REAL Agent May will arrive shortly (to the delight of Agent Sam) with an extraction team.
Skye and May, meanwhile, review the news footage of the Ward family murders and vow to take Grant down. Coulson, all wrapped up with the brothers Koenig, advises then they’ll need to split teams. He sends Skye with May and Hunter on the “Bus” to Vancouver while the rest pile into the Quinjet for San Juan. When Skye leaves to spread the word, May calls Phil out saying he’s keeping Skye from the secret city, but Coulson corrects her, saying he’s actually keeping her away from her nutty doctor dad.
While looking for the “Dwarf” case, Simmons and Bobbi have a brief girl talk rap session about Fitz and his feelings for Simmons, while finally filling in the gaps about what really happened between the end of last season and the beginning of this one. The teams then split up and Skye hugs Coulson out of the blue (“Hail Skyra?”) and May’s got a look like “What’s that about?” Mac gives Bobbi what appears to be a very tired, old lecture about being involved with Hunter . . . yet again, before asking if they’ll be bringing him in on “the other thing” since they’d already lost Hartley. Um, what?! Okay, now I’m really wondering what’s going on with, well pretty much ALL of the new recruits. “The other thing?” I wonder if it’s got anything to do with Mac wanting to get his hands on Lola. In either case, Bobbi says she doesn’t want Hunter to have any part of it.
Speaking of which, once in Vancouver, Hunter casually thumps the HYDRA agent shadowing Agent Sam as he’s walking down the street while May disables another two in a van around the corner. Skye shows up at the safe house where Billy is holding Raina, but HYDRA attacks before they can clear the building. As Skye squares off against “Maygent 33,” she tells Billy and Raina to make a break for the stairs. She tunes up on the former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent turned brainwashed HYDRA operative, but when 33 gets the upper hand, it takes the well-timed intervention of Agent Hunter to finish things up.
In San Juan, Bobbi and Phil make their way across town to meet with Morse’s contact as they discuss the plan to destroy the hidden city. Morse seems unconvinced that Coulson really plans to follow through with it and wonders what the point of destroying the city is. Coulson gives her a lesson on the importance of the everyman before telling her he hates the concept of “acceptable losses.”
Back at the Quinjet, parked just outside San Juan, Mac decides he’s had enough uncomfortable silence and takes a walk, leaving Fitz and Simmons to finally work out their problems. Simmons tries to express that her leaving to do the undercover assignment had nothing to do with Fitz, but he cuts her off and announces that he’s leaving the science division of S.H.I.E.L.D. to be run by her and he’ll relocate to the garage on the “Bus” to work with Mac. Well then, looks like it’s FitzSimmons: 0 MacFitz: 1.
Heading to the Fort San Cristóbal historic site, Bobbi and Phil locate the entrance to the hidden city at “La Garita del Diablo” and then, because it’s not accessible to the public, try to work out how to get their equipment to the site. Bobbi figures her contact can help out.
In Canada, Skye, Hunter and Raina try to get back to the “Bus,” but are surrounded by a wide perimeter of HYDRA agents. As Hunter breaks off to look for May, Skye lets slip to Raina that Whitehall now has the Diviner and Raina confesses that he’ll need her to hold it before trying to surrender to HYDRA. As Raina runs toward the closest Hydra perimeter guards, a van backs over them at high speed and May and Hunter hustle Skye and Raina in. “Maygent 33” calls it in to Whitehall, but gives him the tip that Raina’s been implanted with a tracker.
A little later on the Bus, Sam and Billy mess with Triplett’s head a little before May calls Coulson to let him know about Raina being able to touch the Obelisk.
Phil’s got his own problems though, because Bobbi’s contact refuses to help the field team load equipment into the city due to a “devil’s curse” on the area they want to enter the city from. Making do with the “Dwarves” instead, Fitz sends them down a pit that opens up for them, but then has another spell when trying to get the right word out. Mac is clueless to what he’s talking about, but Simmons gets it right away, tying it up with FitzSimmons: 1 and MacFitz: 1. At that moment, the “Dwarves” sent down go dead.
On the “Bus,” Raina talks up the Doctor to Skye, before giving her the whole street urchin-turned-little-orphan-Annie backstory.
In the hidden city, they toss some glow sticks down the pit to establish the depth at around 150 feet and then Mac volunteers to do a little spelunking to recover the dwarves.
On the “Bus,” Raina continues to get into Skye’s head, teasing the unique-yet-distinctly-NON-alien origins of both of them and their relationship to the very alien blue-skinned angels, otherwise known as the Kree (the worst of which, Ronan the Accuser, was featured in “Guardians of the Galaxy” and I fully expect next week’s mid-season finale will dovetail nicely with both the home video release of the movie AND lead into next month’s “Agent Carter” event). Arriving in Puerto Rico, they receive a message over the comm direct from Daniel Whitehall advising them that they’re surrounded by HYDRA Quinjets and a “representative” will be boarding to take custody of Raina. And who is this representative? Why none other than newly restored HYDRA agent, Grant Ward.
On the ground, or rather under it, Mac is lowered down into the pit with a rope and once he reaches the bottom, while recovering the “Dwarves,” he touches one of the alien hieroglyphics on he floor. It lights up and then, holding his arm in pain, Mac starts screaming. The team pulls him back up, but then Mac freaks out, smashing everything like . . . well, like the Hulk, really.
Ward takes Raina . . . and Skye, as well. The brothers Koenig show amazing restraint toward the killer of their other brother, Eric and May immediately objects to Skye being taken as a hostage, but what choice do they have? Raina reminds Skye to grab her tablet before leaving. I suppose the question is, does it contain valuable intelligence for HYDRA or is it simply a piece of S.H.I.E.L.D. tech that they’ll be able to track them with afterwards?
After Simmons nearly falls down the pit in the hidden city, Mac actually DOES and then Coulson orders them to seal the pit saying that it wasn’t truly Mac at all.
Elsewhere, “Maygent 33” meets Whitehall to update him. She tells him that in addition to taking Raina, Ward had also taken Skye as a hostage. He doesn’t seem too bothered by that, but when she also confirms that he’d let the “Bus” and her passengers go, that rankles him and he orders her to call in a new airstrike against them . . .
To be continued next week in the mid-season finale!