Sunday, April 12, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.15: "One Door Closes"

“The path we’ve chosen. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for trust, does it?”

“One Door Closes” was definitely one of the most intense episodes of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” to date. Like the episodes that immediately followed the release of “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” this one was another gamechanger, fundamentally changing the paradigm of how S.H.I.E.L.D. works. We get a lot more background about the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. in this episode and how they came to be. My opinion of Agent Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) also changed pretty significantly through the course of the episode. Before, I thought he was a pretty commanding presence, I guess due to some residual Adama good will. By the end of this episode, though, he seems kind of unhinged and dangerous. I was also quite happy with the decision Skye made by the end of the episode. It’s time for her to take a break from all the ungrateful S.H.I.E.L.D. folks (both versions of S.H.I.E.L.D.). While I’m not a huge fan of Skye, I’d rather see her learn more about what she is than continue to be the subject of suspicion all the time.

Throughout this episode, we get several flashbacks to the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell from the perspective of Mack, Bobbi, and Gonzalez. As the episode opens, we first see some Hydra agents confronting Mack and his engineering crew on their ship. Just as things start to really go pear-shaped, Bobbi, Izzy, and some other S.H.I.E.L.D. folks appear for the rescue. We later see the team work their way through the ship and eventually find Gonzales. He tells them that he confronted a Hydra agent armed with an axe and won. Gonzales, however, has sustained a major axe wound to the leg for his trouble (which explains why he always walks with a cane now).

In the present day, at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Coulson invites a recently returned Mack to help him work on Lola. Coulson mentions the small replica of Lola that Mack created for him. Mack must have worked on Lola before if he could create a replica that accurate. There’s just one problem. There’s an extra component in mini-Lola that isn’t supposed to be there. Coulson confronts Mack about this, and Mack starts talking about he is loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. Through the confrontation, Coulson figures out there is something bigger going on that likely involves Bobbi. He immediately calls May to try and stop her. A rather epic fight ensues. The two women are pretty evenly matched, but as soon as it seems like May might win, Bobbi sets of an electromagnetic pulse, and the base loses power. Coulson and May are now on high alert.

Before all the confrontation and power outage drama, though, Simmons had been talking to Skye on video chat, wanting to know how Skye was doing and if she had tried the gloves. When the conversation is over, Fitz basically accuses Simmons of treating Skye as a science experiment. He’s not entirely wrong. Speaking of Skye, she’s finally getting around to trying on the gloves that Simmons made. The gloves make her feel woozy, though, and she wants to talk to Simmons about it. Skye’s computer connection is down, and her calls to Simmons are going to voice mail, so Skye starts getting a bit freaked out. Just as she’s feeling like she’s in a horror movie, Gordon, the teleporting Inhuman her mother trained, appears. He talks about how he had preparation and he was embraced by his fellow Inhumans, but his transformation was still incredibly difficult. He offers Skye the opportunity to spend some time with the rest of the Inhumans to discover more about her powers. Skye is hesitant, so Gordon says he’ll come back for Skye when she’s ready.

Bobbi, who is trying to evade Coulson and May, finds Simmons. Simmons, who realizes something is up, tries to stall by saying there is some equipment she needs. She rummages through her locker and starts handing Bobbi things. Eventually, one of the objects Bobbi is handed stuns her. I was surprised and impressed by Simmons in that particular scene. Meanwhile, Mack finds Fitz, who had been trying to make some changes to the central computer to protect the base against Bobbi and Mack (and whoever they are working with). I’ve gotten very protective of Fitz since his accident, so I’m not thrilled with him being threatened by Mack. May starts going through Bobbi’s locker to try to figure out what she’s up to, and she finds a gas mask. The plan isn’t to take anybody from the base, it’s to take over the base. Gas starts coming in all the air vents, and our team starts passing out. Mack yells at Fitz to get down, and an explosion follows.

Coulson’s base is completely taken over by Gonzales’s team. Fitz and Simmons are sitting together in the lab when they are approached by Agent Weaver, their former professor from the Academy. She tries to ingratiate herself to FitzSimmons, but they are still wary. She asks Simmons to make sure that Mack’s wounds from the explosion have been treated correctly, and after a nod from Fitz, Simmons agrees. Gonzales is in Coulson’s office along with a handcuffed Coulson. They banter a bit about which of them is really a “good man.” Gonzales really wants Coulson to open a cube they both refer to as “Fury’s tool box.” Apparently this tool box has the power to reveal where all of the dangerous alien artifacts and enhanced people are, and Gonzales wants to use that information to destroy them all. He wants to start his “protect the world from dangerous stuff” campaign with Skye.

Later flashback in the episode show Bobbi, Mack, Izzy, and their team rescuing Gonzales. Once Gonzales is safe, Bobbi reveals that she was given a second mission to sink the ship they’re on as soon as Gonzales is off of it. Apparently there is something on the ship that is way too dangerous to risk falling into enemy hands. Gonzales insists that he wants to help, even though Bobbi wants to complete the (presumed suicide) mission by herself. The team works their way through the ship until they get to what looks like some sort of control room. Fury’s orders, which Gonzales wants carried out, are to blow up the ship. Mack and Izzy disagree with this, though. They think they can retake the ship and save a lot of lives. After some serious hesitation, Bobbi decides to go with Mack and Izzy and not blow up the ship.

May hears Gonzales instruct a team to retrieve Skye, so she sneaks off and manages to get a phone call through to Skye to warn her. Skye heads outside of the house where she is staying, and she sees helicopters swarming up in the sky. Meanwhile, back at the base, the conversation between Coulson and Gonzales gets more threatening as Gonzales talks about how he learned on the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell to Hydra that S.H.I.E.L.D.’s next iteration needed to be more of a democracy. May interrupts this conversation by entering the room and attacking. This gives Coulson enough time to escape, but May is forced to surrender to Gonzales’ operatives.

At the Retreat, Skye tries to make her way to the property’s edge, but she is stopped by a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and is forced to fight him. Bobbi and Calderon close in on Skye, and Calderon tries to shoot Skye. Skye, since she know knows she has the power to manipulate vibrations given off by objects, sets off a super vibration that blows up everything in a wide radius. While Bobbi and Calderon are incapacitated, Skye calls out for Gordon to come take her away. Gordon complies, and Skye is teleported away as Bobbi looks on. Adrianne Palicki is seriously giving the camera a vengeance-seeking “she’ll never get away with this!” kind of look. Calderon appears to be seriously wounded. The episode’s tag was pretty much the best part of it. Coulson has escaped to Tahiti of all places and is enjoying a drink at a bar when he’s joined by none other than Hunter. They have some great banter, and Hunter agrees to help Coulson from here on out.

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