As the clock continues to tick, the remaining Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are either struggling to find Skye and HYDRA undercover agent Ward or they’re working for Stark Industries like Agent Hill, who comes riding in to Coulson’s rescue. Or is she? Hill’s motives are very questionable in that she maintains that Fury is dead. Did she not see Captain America: The Winter Soldier? Kidding aside, it seems that the new improved Agent Phil Coulson is the only S.H.I.E.L.D. operative who believes that Director Fury is alive.
Now that Skye has learned that Ward is HYDRA, much to her dismay and apparent grief, she shows just why she got that S.H.I.E.L.D. badge, before it became obsolete a short while later. Skye is “playing” Ward just as he played her and the rest of Coulson’s team. Her former S.O. says that his undercover work is not personal, actually the title of this week’s penultimate episode – Nothing Personal – but to Skye, and the rest of the team, it most surely is.
While Simmons is performing a very rudimentary autopsy on the agent Ward killed, Fitz is struggling to deal with the truth that his former colleague and friend is, in fact, a HYDRA agent. Once it’s revealed that only Ward could have killed Agent Koenig, Fitz goes through a mini meltdown and Coulson tells him to focus his rage on finding Skye and Grant.
Agent Triplett and Phil start putting pieces of the S.H.I.E.L.D./HYDRA puzzle together and realise that Agent Hand is dead and that Garrett and Ward have helped themselves to a plethora of weapons stored at the Fridge. Just as Coulson gets a trace on Skye, Colonel Glenn Talbot, (Adrian Pasdar) comes in with Agent Maria Hill, who is not on a rescue mission. Yet.
Talbot is no fan of S.H.I.E.L.D. and his animosity towards the spy organization is so evident that it sets up Phil Coulson with the “Line of the night.” This is easily the funniest line of the evening.
Phil Coulson: “If I come out, will you shoot me? Cause, then, I won’t come out.” After this small bit of comedic exchange, Agent Hill comes striding around a corner in answer to Coulson’s question of who showed Talbot where the secret base was. Hill admits that it was her who led the Colonel to Fury’s hideaway.
The two “super” agents, Hill and Coulson, talk and finally Phil talks the now private sector agent into helping him get Skye back and track down Ward and Garrett. Hill’s insistence that Fury is dead, disturbs as much as it raises the question, does she believe this to be true or is she playing to a Fury script?
Once Coulson, Hill and his trio of agents go after their colleague and the traitorous Ward, it is revealed that Mike Peterson, aka Deathlok, has been tasked to “shadow” Ward and Skye and he steps in to keep her from escaping.
Skye and Grant talk about his treachery and he reveals that despite the fact that he’s been living a lie, his feelings for her are all real. Holding her head gently in his hands Skye asks him to reaffirm that he’s telling her the truth this time. When he does, she says, “I’m going to throw up,” as she backs away from him. Ward, needless to say, is disgruntled.
When Skye refuses to hack the hard drive, Deathlok forces her to begin by “killing” a surprised Ward. To keep him from stopping his heart completely, she gives in. Later, Ward tell Peterson that if he ever “pulls” anything like that again, he will kill him. Deathlock looks at Grant and tells him, just as Ward has repeatedly told Skye, that it was not personal.
Hill and Triplett face off with Ward and while they stall for time, Phil boards his plane and rescues Skye. When Coulson comes into contact with Skye, he gets another funny line out, a possible tie with his earlier “shooting line.” Skye innocently asks Coulson how he took care of Deathlock. His response is immediate, “Deathlok’s here, on the plane” Skye: “Yeah.” “Change of plan, run.”
Using Phil’s flying car, the two escape. Later, Melinda May comes back, and at last Coulson finds out who was behind operation Tahiti. Watching a pre-recorded message made by him, where he’s tendering his resignation and advising Fury that the operation should be cancelled. Clearly blows his mind.
Couldon’s response to his pre-recorded message is a simple, “Huh.” Slightly reminiscent of his line after shooting Loki through a wall in The Avengers: “So that’s what is does.” Classic Coulson.
In this penultimate episode of The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Hill does actually ride to the rescue of Coulson’s diminishing little band of good guys, and gals. It turns out that for all of the main players, this week’s show was very personal, and that it will continue to be in next week’s season finale.
By Michael Smith