For thoughts on what this entire 2nd season of SHIELD could hold, check out my thoughts written at the end of season 1.
With the changes to the dynamics of SHIELD coming stemming out of this spring’s Captain America: Winter Soldier, this season stands to have lots of changes and shifts.
So episode 2 of SHIELD jumps right back into the action, which is a nice piece of storytelling. Rather than take a step back, they chose to lean right into the conflict. And after Agent May makes the decision to leave a man down to chase Crusher Creel, we start to get some more of the backstory.
First, we learn that Agent Fitz is having a bad day, not able to help much to crack the cloaking on the stolen Quinjet. (Side note, if I won the lotto, I may pay to have a real Quinjet made.) In the midst of him falling apart, Skye has a heart to heart with Coulson, as he wrestles with the dead Agent Hartley (that arm is coming back, I tell you) and the captured Agent Nick Blood.
Blood seems to be cutting a deal with General Talbot, who gives an impassioned speech about Coulson being a vigilantes before agreeing to pay Blood $2 million and arrange for a proper burial for Hartley.
Then May discovers a waitress, who having accidentally touched the now embedded article in Creed’s arm suddenly is turn to stone, much in the same way that Hartley was.
When the mercenary Blood shows back up at the SHIELD base, it becomes clear that he was in the game for the money and, now, hunting down Creel. As Fitz and Imaginary Simmons talk it over, they seem to be on to a course to figuring out how to defeat Creel, sharing it with Agent MacKenzie, who Imaginary Simmons is calling on Fitz to trust. (And let’s take a moment to talk about how well this show has guided a joke Agent Fitz and Agent Simmons, into a seriously compelling storyline, complete with this episode’s revelation that Simmons has abandoned Fitz and the team, leaving only the Imaginary one around.)
As Skye and Blood share a moment packing Hartley’s items, Creel is shown to be a worried guy, struggling with the thing in his arm that he can’t control, when one of the bads of season one, Reina, shows up, offering Creel the touch of something very rare. When he leaves them, he warns Reina about Hydra and she in turns wind up calling in to Coulson, calling the object the Obelisk and revealing that she has put a tracker on Creel in the object he took from her.
As the team, including Blood, mounts up to take Creel down, Fitz with the help of Mack remembers that he has solved how to defeat Creel in the past. While the team is figuring out who the Hydra contact Creel is meeting with, Blood turns and takes out Skye and May, then takes out Triplett before trying to shoot Creel, who appeared to be under hypnosis or the like just seconds before. After a battle, Coulson shows up, dapper in his suit, striking Creel with a piece of technology that sends him to the same stoney, frozen fate of Hartley and the waitress, presumably by negating his powers.
Next is Hartley’s funeral, while back at the base, Fitz and Mack come back together, learning how to talk to one another and setting up a new dynamic duo (maybe?). May then confronts Coulson, saying he hasn’t had an “episode” and is overdue. After a brief debate, Coulson picks up a knife and begins carving up the wall, and based on photos and May’s reaction, this isn’t the first time.
We then see a figure show up, tell Reina to pick up the object which “Lets her live”. He promises to show her why and how, if she brings his daughter to him. Is this Skye’s dad? And why does he know so much about the Obelisk?
Finally, the end of the episode shows Coulson dropping off Creel to Talbot, revealing that the SHIELD team are indeed the good guys and – after Talbot threatens him – that they have the cloaking device working, at least on two aircraft.
Questions and Thoughts out of this episode:
- Is Hartley really dead? Seems an odd choice to cast Lucy Lawless and then off her.
- Is Coulson alright? What are the effects of Tahiti on him? What special thing is creating these episodes where Coulson carves up the wall into intricate designs? Are those designs related to the object on the Obelisk?
- I thought for sure that the Coulson at the end of the episode was going to jail and would be a Life Model Decoy. (The LMDs are a time honored Marvel tradition, especially useful for the head of SHIELD and were hinted at in the return of the Patton Oswald character last year.)
- Is that really Skye’s dad? Why does he want his daughter? What can she unlock in the Obelisk?
- Will Blood be a tried and true member of SHIELD or is he just biding his time? (Wild guess, he betrays SHIELD, but is then taken out by Ward, who redeems himself, putting him back on the team.)
- Is Creel this season’s Deathlok, showing up over and over again? For sure, they worked to humanize him a bit this episode, showing him to be a victim of some hypnotic suggestion, as well as losing control of his powers before he was made stoney.
- Side note: I would love to see SHIELD build out an eventual Thunderbolts team that shows up in episodes from time to time. (Thunderbolts is a group in Marvel Comics where villains are trying to redeem themselves.) Deathlok and Absorbing Man would be a great start to that new team!