Sunday, May 17, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.19: "The Dirty Half Dozen"

“Here you go. Unlocked and all yours. Go nuts. At least until Fury shows up and asks for it back. Oh. Spoiler alert.”

“The Dirty Half Dozen” was a fun episode in the sense that it brought the whole team from season one back together, and it was interesting to see how all their paths would once again cross despite everything that has happened since Ward’s betrayal last year. The fun was short lived, though, as those wounds run deep, and trust could not be maintained for long. I am very disappointed in how several characters have been acting recently, especially May and Simmons. May is just being completely irrational, and Simmons has become homicidal. It makes me sad, really. It is very Whedon, though. You can’t have happy family for very long. And given what Team Coulson has been through, it was unrealistic to expect happy family for very long at all. Joss (and his siblings) like to bring the pain, after all. The events of this episode tied very nicely into the Joss Whedon written-and-directed “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” which also, for the record, is very funny and brings the pain. Pretty much exactly as you would expect from a Whedon product.

We establish early in this episode that Raina’s gift definitely appears to be visions of the future. She has a dream of both Lincoln and Gordon in pretty bad shape. Specifically, she sees Skye trying to save Gordon. Soon after, Cal, Skye, and Gordon arrive back in Afterlife from Milwaukee. Gordon in particular is bleeding, just like in Rayna’s vision. Cal is really, really angry about almost being left in Milwaukee, and he complains loudly about it to Jiaying. He references “their daughter,” which attracts a lot of attention from passers-by. When they have some privacy, Skye talks to Jiaying about potentially rescuing Lincoln from Hydra. Jiaying, however, says it’s no go because Gordon is being tracked and it would be too dangerous to have him transport anyone right now, even to save Lincoln. We see Deathlok and Lincoln at the Hydra facility, and it’s apparent that they are going to be in big trouble soon. They are about to be experimented on.

When we first see Coulson in this episode, he’s on the Bus, talking with Gonzalez. Coulson offers to open the tool box for Gonzales, and he also makes it clear that he has some serious dirt on Gonzales. In exchange for doing the former and not revealing the latter, Coulson wants Gonzales’ support for a mission to rescue Deathlok. Gonzales agrees, mostly because Coulson says he’ll use his own team. We then jump to the Quinjet where Hunter, Fitz, Ward, and Agent 33 are getting ready. They arrive at the Bus, and when they disembark the Quinjet, May is not at all thrilled to see Ward. FitzSimmons’ reunion is sweeter, of course (at least at first). They have a rather adorable conversation about how Fitz liked the sandwich Simmons made for him, but then Simmons has to go and ruin it by suggesting they kill Ward with a splinter bomb (and she’s got a whole case of the things). Coulson and May are pretty frosty, too. More than all the “Theta Protocol” and under-the-radar travel, May is pissed Coulson was spending time with Andrew. Which I think is just dumb. May is being unreasonable, which is very unlike her.

The S.H.I.E.L.D. team (both Team Coulson and Gonzales) watch the video feed from Deathlok’s eye as Hydra removes said eye. Ouch. Agent Weaver has misgivings about sending Coulson’s team on the rescue mission, but Gonzales is still good with it. In Afterlife, a parallel rescue mission is being contemplated. Skye still really wants to rescue Lincoln, and she wants Gordon to help her. He really doesn’t want to disobey Jiaying, though. Raina explicitly says that she saw a vision of Skye saving Lincoln, and this makes Skye even more adamant that she needs to go. Gordon eventually agrees since he doesn’t need to take Skye directly to Hydra. Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Simmons asks Coulson to be part of the rescue team. She says Deathlok will probably need a doctor, but we know she really just wants a chance to kill Ward. The team assembles in the hangar, and just as they’re about ready to leave, Skye appears (transported by Gordon, no doubt). The season one band is truly back together. Bakshi has been feeding intel to Ward, so Coulson tries to have Ward give the team briefing. It doesn’t go well, though, because Ward tries to address the elephant in the room and explain why he betrayed (and almost killed) the rest of the team. They really don’t want to hear it, especially Simmons and Skye.

In Afterlife, Cal apologizes to Jiaying and promises to be quieter if he is allowed to stay. Jiaying seems nervous about everyone gathered around Raina. Raina’s popularity due to her visions is threatening to Jiaying. Later, Raina and Jiaying have a bit of a confrontation about the visions. While they are arguing, Raina suddenly starts having another vision. She sees Loki’s scepter and the destruction it can cause. Spoiler alert: she’s seeing some of the events of “Age of Ultron,” which premiered the Friday after this episode aired. It was a nice bit of continuity. Back at the base, Hunter and Mack start to forgive each other as they bond over trying to get some tech to work. Bobbi also pays Agent 33 a visit in the infirmary. She tries to act sympathetic to her situation – we will see how long that lasts.

At the Hydra base, List tells Bakshi he is impressed how well Deathlok has held up considering all the experimentation. The only other subjects that have held up well were the Twinse (another “Age of Ultron” tie-in). Another Hydra minion says he detects a S.H.I.E.L.D. plane approaching, and List give the order to shoot it down. We hear May say “incoming,” and we see the plane explode. The Quinjet containing Team Coulson, however was piggybacking on the plane that was hit, and it’s cloaked. The group makes it to the base, and after Bakshi lets them in, they split into teams. Simmons, Ward, and Skye head for Deathlok. They find him pretty quickly, and Simmons and Ward stay with him while Skye looks for Lincoln. Skye has to shoot her way into the room where Lincoln is, and when she finally gets to him, he’s flatlining. She ends up using her quake powers to resuscitate him.

Coulson, May, and Fitz go for the computer, where I guess they need to get some important information. Fitz starts typing away. At one point, May gets pissed off because Coulson has slipped away. She finds him doing something on a computer in another room, and she gets even more upset. Back in the holding room, Simmons asks Ward to get a gurney for Deathlok. While his back is turned, she takes out a splinter bomb. Bakshi sees this and tries to move Ward out of the way to keep him from getting hurt. Bakshi ends up taking the brunt of the splinter bomb instead of Ward. Ward is understandably pissed at Simmons for trying to kill him, so he leaves her on her own. The team manages to get out of the Hydra base and back on the Quinjet. Ward, however, decides to go his own way. He calls Coulson and asks him to help Agent 33. Coulson only says that he will try.

Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. base, Gonzales says he wants to keep all the powered people they have recently encountered in holding cells, including Skye. Bobbi is not at all happy about this. Coulson interrupts that conversation to make good on his side of the bargain and open the toolbox for Gonzales. He says Gonzales can have the box until Fury comes back to take it, and follows that up with a snarky “spoiler alert.” Then he gets a call from Marla Hill and rubs the caller ID in Gonzales’s face. Coulson goes to a separate room to actually take the call, though. He tells Hill that he got data from the Hydra computer about Loki’s scepter (which was the side mission that made May impatient). The scepter is in Sokovia. He asks if it’s time to activate Theta Protocol. When Hill agrees, Coulson says it’s time to send in the Avengers. And there we have our direct link to “Age of Ultron!” When we return to “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” then, Ultron will have been defeated. Sorry. Spoiler alert!

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