A lot went down on Tuesday night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD, but the spy games being played by lead characters, Skye and Ward, were definitely the highlight of the night. On the previous episode, Skye discovered that Ward was HYDRA after finding the body of Agent Koenig stuffed in the ceiling of the secret base’s supply closet. As the news sunk in, she experienced a very justified mini-freak out in the bathroom before collecting herself and going out to meet the traitor she was crushing on harder than an 11-year-old girl with Justin Bieber. Rather than flip out, she managed to fall back on her training and started playing Ward in the same manner he played the team, proving that she’s more than just a big techie brain or eye-candy for male fans. The lovely couple go for a spin on the Bus, as Ward attempts to have Skye hack the hard drive that contains information about the alien blood used on her and Agent Coulson.
Tuesday’s episode revealed that Skye had a plan for outing Ward to the rest of the Agents of SHIELD team, as well as attempting to bring him down and save her skin at the same time. She tells Ward the location they need to visit in order for her to crack the drive, which happens to be the diner where she first met Mike Peterson, the man who is now known as Deathlok. While sitting in a booth, the two sip their favorite caffeinated beverages while Skye starts to work on the drive. Only she isn’t working on the drive, she’s only pretending to hack it, while in reality she has tipped off local authorities about their location, identifying Ward as a wanted fugitive.
Police enter the scene, and Ward starts getting a wee bit nervous, and begins pressuring Skye to work a little faster, while she brushes him off like dandruff on a black shirt and tells him to take a chill. As time slips on, Skye starts to dig at Ward, and in subtle ways, alerts him to the fact that she knows he is HYDRA. The cops attempt to arrest them, but Ward breaks a few bones and gets loose in time to put a couple of bullets in two officers who were about to take Skye. Skye hops in the police car and takes off, only to have Deathlok smash through the windshield, yank her out, and take her back to the Bus.
This is the part where the spy games being played by Skye and Ward give way to some serious character development. One of the major criticisms of Agents of SHIELD was that both characters were empty, giving wooden performances that seemed generic and canned. After the last few episodes, it is clear that this was all a part of the set up for the first half of the season, as recent interactions between the two has given new depth to both characters.
Ward handcuffs Skye to a railing, and she proceeds to ask how he can live with himself for betraying them. She also calls him a Nazi, reminding him, after he attempts to justify his involvement with HYDRA, that the Red Skull was a Nazi when he started the terrorist organization, and going on to say that he “always had that Hitler Youth look.” The lovely spy also bursts into tears when it comes to discussing the feelings she thought the two shared, which he says were real. There were moments of vulnerability, heartache, and disappointment from both characters that added a depth of drama to the show that had previously been missing. The performances have improved so much over the last few weeks that many fans are no longer tuning in just to see Agent Coulson.
The final moment in the episode that showed the true dichotomy between Skye and Ward is when Deathlok caused Ward to have a heart attack in order to force Skye to hack the drive. While she could have let him die, and honestly, he would have probably deserved it, she chose the high road, not compromising her values. While the bad guys get the information, they were not able to claim Skye’s soul.
Skye and Coulson shared a great moment too, as he rescued her from the clutches of HYDRA thanks to “Lola,” his most prized automobile, which apparently was equipped with hover technology that allowed the car to fly. Could this be the same kind of tech that Howard Stark promised the world in Captain America: The First Avenger?
The effects for the scene were pretty snazzy for a television show, and it added a bit of levity to the episode that was needed to break up some of the weighty drama. All in all, the show was fantastic, and with only two episodes to go, it looks like things are going to get even more intense. Coulson discovers that he was involved with the T.A.H.I.T.I. project, and the whole point of the program was to save an Avenger that was on the verge of death, but unfortunately, the side effects were too risky to condone continuing the program. What this means for Skye and Coulson will probably be revealed in the season finale in two weeks. Those who have not watched this week’s episode of Agents of SHIELD should do so, as the games played by Skye and Ward provided some of the best performances of the series so far this season.
Opinion by Michael Cantrell
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