Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.13: "T.R.A.C.K.S."

“We can’t let Quinn get away again. Coulson wouldn’t let that happen.”
- Skye

Things are moving forward for Team SHIELD as they hunt down Ian Quinn (the guy who tried to buy the ice machine from the academy kids last episode). And they think he can lead the team to the Clairvoyant. Our crew has taken over the investigation and tracking of him and think that they can find him by following a package being sent through Italy on a passenger train. So the entire gang goes undercover. May and Ward get into first class before splitting off (May gets to hang out on top of the train). Ward is kind of freaked out though that May told Coulson about them hooking up (this all after he remark on how Coulson and Skye seem to be making things personal with Quinn). Speaking of Skye, she and Fitz are playing young lovers travelling through Europe and Coulson and Simmons are playing father and daughter. They actually look like they could be related. It’s kind of adorable. Simmons has created a whole backstory for herself which involves hating Coulson for abandoning her fake mother who has died. She intentionally spills the urn and it turns out the dust inside works as a tracker which May is following on infrared glasses. Just as the spot the package, the coms go down. Things are not what they seem. Coulson goes to investigate and Ward comes running shouting that they’ve been made. They bail off the train just before a light grenade goes off.

We rewind a few minutes to see that Ward gets to take out some security people and hastily warn Simmons that they’ve been made before jumping off the train and it disappears. It might be a portal or just some sort of cloaking thing. They hightail it back to the bus and answer a call from the Italian authorities. Apparently they were ambushed by the security team at the train station. Coulson goes to coordinate with SHIELD HQ and leaves Ward in charge of trying to decipher the device they found. I could not stop laughing watching the scene. He can’t figure out how to turn on the holographic table projector and when he finally does, he and Coulson are trying to make a graphic bigger and failing. I didn’t know the actor who played Ward had comedic chops. Ward admits to his relationship with May and Coulson basically says if it interferes with an op or someone gets hurt, he’ll be babysitting people on the night shift in Alaska. The Italian government guy that Coulson was dealing with pulls up and starts to say he found the rest of the team when a bruised and battered Agent May kills him. I think they’ve been betrayed.

It would seem we’re getting pieces of the puzzle with each act of the episode. We follow May as she also loses contact with the rest of the team. She sees the security guys leaving the car and then gets shot at. She parachutes off the train and finds Ward and Coulson frozen. So it turns out she was the one who hotwired the truck that the guys used to get away. Unfortunately, she gets nabbed by the Italians. The guy Coulson had been dealing with is in bed with the security company. He stabs May in the shoulder and it’s what she needed to get free and kill everyone else. She follows after the guy and kills him before he can shoot Coulson or Ward. Coulson helps stitch her up and they learn that the train stopped abruptly in the countryside. The team searches the luggage car where Skye and Fitz were hiding out (and where Ward told Simmons to hide0 and they find Simmons and she’s really freaked out.

Our final trip down memory lane shows us Fitz and Skye as they are trying to monitor the package. Skye asks Fitz what he knows about 0-8-4s and if they can be people. We clearly see that she’s trying to figure out what she could be but he’s got no clue. They realize they’ve been made just as a man runs in with another grenade. Simmons arrives and sort of throws herself on it. Fitz quickly deduces that it’s made form similar stuff as the Night-Night gun. They make her comfy and then follow the package to Quinn. Skye wants to sneak into the house to see what the package is and to make sure Quinn doesn’t get away. Fitz is worried but agrees to the plan anyway. She takes out a couple guards and sneaks into the basement but doesn’t get an eye on the package yet. Instead, she finds Mike Peterson in a hyperbaric chamber. Quinn materializes and lets’ Mike out. It turns out the package was some fancy new tech to make Mike a cyborg. He’s got orders to kill the security people (which he does rather handily before ducking out). Quinn unfortunately sees fit to shoot Skye twice in the stomach. I honestly thought they were going to kill off Skye. I mean, that’s sort of a hallmark of any Joss Whedon show. You lose people you at the time you least expect.

The rest of the team arrives and Coulson finds Skye without a pulse, drenched in blood. Thanks to Simmons quick thinking, they put Skye in the chamber and lower her body temperature to try and save her life. Back on the Bus, Fitz and Simmons share a hug and cry in private and Ward and May have a slightly less emotional bonding moment. I think they’re both angry and he’s thinking that he’s going to get booted from the team and that his relationship with May caused all of this. I have to say I think the writers took a risk with the way they told this story and I enjoyed it. I think they stepped up their game with really leaving a team member in peril. I mean yes, the mid-season finale we saw Coulson getting kidnapped but there wasn’t much chance he was going to die. He’s the front man for the whole show. But I could see them offing Skye. We end with Mike standing hidden at a park. He asks the Clairvoyant (or whoever is on the other end of his eye) to see his son and is told not yet. We also get a close up of the serial info on his new cyber leg and it says Deatlok. Apparently that’s a big Marvel character. Not being very well versed in the comic book world or Marvel comic universe for that matter, I’ve got no idea what his backstory is or how they’re going to use him. I’m just happy another Whedonverse actor has a steady job.

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