Saturday, October 4, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D 2.02: "Heavy is the Head"

“May, that doesn’t sound covert.”

“Heavy is the Head” was interesting enough, but I won’t exactly place it in my pantheon of all-time great television shows. It was a lot of stuff happening without much cohesion. The episode really introduced us to Lance Hunter, the one surviving member of Izzy’s band of merry mercenaries that raided the warehouse (technically Mac is one of the mercenaries too, but I don’t think he was part of the raid). Of course it’s the white male mercenary who is the only survivor, but that’s a rant for another day. On the more positive side, Fitz seems to be finally starting to turn the corner with some help from Mac. I find this interesting since I think Fitz resented Mac because Mac was functioning sort of as his replacement. I really want Simmons back yesterday, but I’m glad that at least somebody is able to get through to Fitz for now. Because Fitz is adorable and I can’t handle seeing him sad for too long!

This episode begins pretty much right where the last one ended. May motorcycles up to the crash scene and finds that Hunter is the only survivor. Hunter tells her what happened, and May immediately zooms off after Creel. She does leave Hunter with a device that will help get him out of the flipped vehicle, though. Unfortunately, it’s too late. Some military guys arrive and arrest Hunter just after May drives off. May is following Creel at very high speed, and Coulson warns her to hang back a bit. He wants her to do surveillance for how so they can confirm who he works for. May isn’t too happy about that, but she eventually follows orders.

Back at the Playground, Skye and Triplett arrive with a stolen Quinjet. The Quinjet apparently has cloaking technology, and they hope that by doing some reverse-engineering, they can repair the cloaking device on the Bus. This is the best option since Fitz has been unable to handle it. Coulson mentions to Skye and Triplett that Hunter has been captured, and he says he’s worried about Hunter giving up information to Talbot and his cronies. It turns out that Coulson was worried for good reason. Hunter is taken to a field where a helicopter transporting none other than General Talbot arrives. Talbot takes Hunter into the helicopter for a conversation. It seems like they might have met before, or at least Talbot is familiar with Hunter’s pre-mercenary military history. Talbot tells Hunter that he wants Coulson, and Hunter says he wants $2 million and a proper burial for Izzy.

Since Fitz is pretty much out of commission for anything useful, Mac, Triplett, and Skye start taking apart the cloaking tech to see how it works. They’re hoping Fitz doesn’t see them, because he might get upset that he’s working on the problem without him. Of course Fitz does walk in on them, and it’s plenty awkward. Fitz tries to help, but he’s pretty much unable to say anything coherent. Fitz sulks off and finds a file with information about Creel’s DNA. As he explains to his hallucination of Simmons, he thinks he can use this information to figure out a way to stop Creel and be relevant again. Skye goes off to bug Coulson, and she really acts like an annoying puppy. She wants to help with the situation more than Coulson is letting her. Coulson ends up telling her about Izzy and Idaho’s deaths, and she doesn’t take it well.

May has followed Creel to a sort of divey bar/restaurant place where he has clearly been waiting for someone to meet him (he’s been there over an hour). He finally gives up on his contact showing up, but he accidentally touches the server as he’s trying to settle the bill. May rushes in when she hears a commotion, and she arrives in time to see the waitress completely dry up and become kind of stone-like. It is pretty clear that Creel took on properties of the Obelisk. Meanwhile, Hunter is found and brought back to Coulson. Hunter and Coulson bargain, with Hunter saying he wants $2 million, a proper burial for Izzy, and the chance to kill Creel (he wants vengeance for his deceased teammates.

In the lab, Mac sees Fitz trying to understand the file about Creel’s DNA. They have a really awkward conversation, but slowly but surely, Mac starts to understand what Fitz is trying to do. Fitz thinks he knows of a way to destabilize Creel’s cells, which would stop him at least for a while. Fitz keeps saying “I didn’t solve it today,” which Mac is eventually able to figure out means that Fitz already invented the device he needs before his accident. Mac and Fitz look through Fitz’s old blueprints until Fitz is able to identify the correct device. Mac then starts to modify it to use on Creel.

Meanwhile, Skye is still mopey, and she’s talking to Hunter about it. She goes on about how S.H.I.E.L.D. is a way of life, but Hunter has a different perspective. He thinks it shouldn’t be a way of life. It’s just a job. I started to like Hunter a bit with this scene. Elsewhere, Creel takes a call from one of Whitehall’s (the old Nazi) minions who arranges a new drop site. Raina manages to find Creel and tries to do a deal with him. There’s a lot of dealing in this episode, so I’ve realized. She tries to trade Creel a rare substance (some sort of metal from stardust) in exchange for his loyalty, but it’s no go. Creel takes the stardust metal and runs off.

Raina calls Coulson, which is quite a surprise for Coulson. She explains that she’s not strictly Hydra. She’s loyal to whoever has the powers that John Garrett had. After he took the same drug Coulson was given, he starts carving symbols into the walls. She guesses Coulson has been doing this too, but Coulson won’t admit to it. She tells Coulson that the metal she gave Creel has a tracker in it, and Coulson’s team uses the tracker to try and set up an ambush. Just as it’s about to go down, Hunter stuns May and Skye. It starts to look like he’s a double agent, which is kind of predictable. Thankfully, there’s a twist.

Hunter tries to shoot Creel while Creel is meeting with his Hydra handler. It doesn’t go well for Hunter because Creel manages to deflect the bullet. A massive fight ensues, and it keeps going until Coulson appears out of nowhere and uses Fitz’s device to destabilize Creel at the last second before he’s about to kill Hunter. We next see Hunter and Coulson chatting after what is presumably Izzy and Idaho’s funeral. Coulson wants Hunter to join the team on a more permanent basis. He also asks Hunter to sell him out. This leads to a meeting between Coulson and General Talbot where Coulson turns Creel over to Talbot in exchange for Talbot laying of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a while.

The denouement of the episode contains some interesting revelations. First we see a sweet conversation between Fitz and Mac where Mac asks Fitz how he is holding up. It’s nice that Fitz has someone “real” to talk to now. Then, May and Coulson go into Coulson’s office, where May let’s Coulson have an “episode” and takes pictures of the designs he carves. Finally, we see Raina meet up with someone mysterious played by Kyle MachLachlan. He encourages Raina to try and hold the Obelisk, and surprisingly, she can do so with no side effects. Raina wants to know why she has this ability, and the mysterious man says he will only tell her if she brings him his daughter. Which leads to the conclusion that we must have just met Skye’s father. Interesting times are ahead for the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew for sure!

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