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"I didn't lay my faerie eggs inside your inner ear canal to watch you die."
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March 05 2014

Discuss this week's new (!) Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. The show is back! For its 14th episode, "T.A.H.I.T.I.", written by Jeffrey Bell.

Hold on there, skippy! We're not ready yet.
So Coulson is PLAYING the Deux Ex Mach card himself? Wow.
An enigma in an enigma.
Sounds like a lose-lose situation there.
Ok, that's awfully clever. And pretty awful. I hate this clairvoyant. Def. a Whedon show.
That's gonna be an ugly expense report.
Welcome to Tahiti
@roddikinathome indeed!
Did they kill the two guys guarding the place?
All good questions Simmons.
DON'T give her the drug? Uh oh.
Not saying what happened for later viewers, but that's messed up!
So, who is Lorelei?
I've only just started watching this episode, but watching with my dad and had to share...

A few minutes in, he turned and looked, made a hand gesture, and said "... they can't take Skye from me" >.< He received all the high fives for that.
Great episode tonight.The reveal of T.A.H.I.T.I was pretty shocking.Lioness,Lorelei is a Thor villain.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2014-03-05 03:03 ]
That's great DreamRose311! I've wanted to make that joke, but haven't found the right opportunity.
The reveal is very reminiscent of the Ultimate Nightmare graphic novel. Looks like we won't be seeing John Garrett next week, but Sif and Lorelei should make for an exciting episode!
So... who was the Smurff? Or half a Smurff.
Thanks for the background. I frequently find myself at a loss when everyone gets excited about a Marvel character being introduced to the show.
I really enjoyed the episode. Paxton took what could have been a really cheesy character and sold it. As for the half-body, it looked blue and kind of alien to me. Could it be a Kree? Did injecting Skye with whatever came out of it activate her 0-8-4 potential?
If anyone still doubted that this was a Joss Whedon show, the "We're her family" nailed it.

So the people doing the gruesome rebuilding bodies project are not SHIELD, but are cooperating with Commander Fury. And if you watched the trailer for the Winter Soldier, I think we got a glimpse of what the final project of that process is going to look like. But what does T.A.H.I.T.I. stand for? And anyone else reminded of the lab on the spaceship with horrible experimental versions of Sigourney Weaver in Alien Resurrection, not to mention the horrible basement lab in Wolfram & Hart, where partial bodies were stored to be used for parts. Joss does like his horrifying laboratories.
Was that a skrull?
First off - adding some Bill Paxton to the mix is ALWAYS a good thing. Really enjoyed him, and look forward to seeing more of him in future episodes

Glad to see they rather quickly dropped the "who do we blame" theme hinted at in last episode.

Minor quibble - unless I missed some reference to Tripps and Simmons knowing each other previously, the microwaved romanctic interest seemed a reach

Finally - and maybe I'm just dim - but am I the only one who's never understood the assumed moral dilemma around saving Coulson / Skye's life? As far as anyone knows, even now, the extreme means taken worked, and unless there was some kind of soul sacrifice involved that's a good thing right? Coulson still seems himself as portrayed in the MCU, maintains his sense of identity, and is a highly functional individual.

Not defending the secrecy, and maybe there's a higher cost we're unaware of - but when the episode starting riffing on whether they "should" save Skye I was all ...."ummmm, and why wouldn't you?"
My take on it is that some poor creature is being kept in a horrible half life and being drained of essential fluids that in turn save human lives.
Reverse shark jump! I think with this episode, AoS has finally become the show I was hoping it would be.

Was that a Mohra demon in the drawer? Because that would be awesome. :-o

Bill Paxton was great. And so was May. Loved seeing Quinn get his face redecorated.
Mohra demon! Yes!
So, are we supposed to be *happy* that our protagonists just flat-out murdered two sympathetic guards working for some organization that's at least on speaking terms with Director Fury (and thus probably not Evil per se)?
I fear that the intended answer is "Yes, because Skye Is So Special." :(

And no, it doesn't matter, that the guards shot first. They were *guards*, guarding a high-security base that seems to have legitimately belonged to their employers, against armed intruders (who were armed with lethal weapons, rather than their usual night-night guns, for some reason).

[ edited by allenw on 2014-03-05 04:59 ]
Well, im happy.
So, are we supposed to be *happy* that our protagonists just flat-out murdered two sympathetic guards working for some organization that's at least on speaking terms with Director Fury (and thus probably not Evil per se)?
I fear that the intended answer is "Yes, because Skye Is So Special." :(


That bothered me, too. A lot.
Was anyone else disappointed that Skye didn't die? We all know it's possible in any Whedon-world for anyone to kick it, and since they all wub her soooo much now, it could've been really galvanizing.
I swear, if that really does turn out to be a Kree, I'll be sort of impressed that Marvel pulled the trigger on that in the TV series rather than in a movie, and it'd be one more indication that the show or the movies will do Captain Marvel eventually.

Was that a skull?
Skrulls are green. This dude was blue.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2014-03-05 06:07 ]
Hmm... certain particularly narmy moments aside (unless S.H.I.E.L.D. teams are routinely made up of closely related blood relatives, I'm pretty sure that everybody there knew very well that that wasn't what she meant by family) that one side-shot of Coulson staring in abject horror through the plate-glass window into that operating chamber was pretty chilling.
@allenw: I think that's kinda the point: no, you're NOT supposed to be happy about it, and I'm fairly certain this is going to have serious repercussions for Coulson and Co. down the road.

Further, Coulson was acting irrationally not only because of Skye, but also because of his own history with the facility, his own questions that needed answers. SO yeah, he was being excessive, and I wouldn't be surprised if he gets called on that by his own people.
Shea, The One True b!X Well, I know nothing about the Marvel Universe (or, more accurately, very little), so I did a quick Google and found this, which seems to support your theory.

And if you read the first comment someone makes a very interesting suggestion, which I was somewhat thinking myself, only w/out knowing anything about the alien races.

May certainly reacted emotionally. She scared me. Coulson worried me when he kept searching. Seeing the operating room was bad enough (My first question was "What does 'Viewing' mean? Oh, like in an operating theater.") but then he found T.A.H.I.T.I. Which...we still don't know what it is!

Anyone else wonder why Fury keeps avoiding Coulson's calls? And worried about the missing doctor?

Consequences are gonna hurt.
On a different note, I note that the Attic seems to now have a Fridge in it...
I don't think Marvel has rights to Skrulls, I think Fox does.


All I can think is that now somehow Prometheus is part of the MCU :P
This episode made little to no sense.
@Kann: Care to elaborate on this rather contrarian proclamation?
Yeah, there are going to be consequences to killing those guards (or, more precisely, to blowing up that facility.) I imagine Garrett will be the first to experience them when (if?) he shows up back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ with Quinn in tow, trying to act nonchalant.

But we always knew this was going to happen. No way was Joss ever going to give us a show about good little soldiers toiling away for The Man.
The AV Club has an interesting take on the possibilities for Bill Paxton's character, Agent Garrett: "This show has gone out of its way to establish that there are no psychics in the MCU, so it’s likely that The Clairvoyant is a S.H.I.E.L.D. mole using the organization’s surveillance capabilities to get all his (or her) information. With the knowledge that Garrett will be appearing in multiple episodes this season and has a higher clearance level than Coulson, he’s definitely one of the frontrunners for The Clairvoyant’s true identity. Think about it: Ian Quinn killed three of Garrett’s men using information that Garrett could easily know, and killing those agents is a great way of making Garrett look like a victim rather than a mastermind. He conveniently appears right when Coulson and his team start doing exactly what The Clairvoyant wants, leading Garrett to the place where Coulson was revived. And the complete destruction of the Guest House also works in his favor by making it look like the trail has been cut off for Centipede. In the comic books, Garrett is a morally dubious character, so it won’t be a huge surprise if he turns out bad on this series."
Re: the guards. I found it interesting that they show allowed us to get to know them even a little bit, and see them as two guys just doing their job and they quip and have personalities and yes I too was bothered when they were killed. I asked somewhere else why Coulson and the team didn't have non-terminal weapons, like the ones Coulson insisted Fitz and Simmons create to take down Mike at the beginning of the show. I do think it was on purpose that we got to see the guards as more than just canon fodder and are supposed to be upset at Coulson and Co. actions. Although I am enjoying Fitz being so calm under pressure. No he's not Ward like in badassery, but he's no shrinking violette. I worry for him though.

I had no clue what the alien was. I actually thought it might have been a frost giant. Caveat: I wasn't wearing my glasses. Shush. I kept expecting it to open its eyes. *shudder*

I actually ship Simmons and the other agent. He fell hard, in my opinion. I reeeeeeeeally hope he doesn't turn out to be evil. I like him. I hope Simmons likes him.

The only thing I don't really understand is how does Quinn still have a face after May got done with him? Was she pulling her punches just a bit maybe?

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-03-05 16:36 ]
Things are looking up, some interesting developments, now if only they could show us a real big bad and stop teasing the clairvoyant I'd be a happy camper.

And yes, the night-night guns finally disappears, imo if the show intends to have any tension this was neccessary.

Sadly Skye seems to be best when close to death, if/when she suddenly jumps up from the bed the writers better have something interesting for her to do.
I'm with those who were bothered by the killing of the guards. More than bothered, actually. The good guys straight-up murdered two innocents (or non-bad guys at least) in order to save one good guy. Not only that, but they did it with no apparent difficulty or remorse. I hope Batman1016 above is correct, as I would be fine with a show that had its "good guys" doing dark things and then suffering the internal or external moral consequences. But the fact that not one member of the team objected or even hesitated indicates to me that we are all supposed to be fine with it.
Which is a far cry from the deliberate humanism they infused Coulson with in the pilot. So it had better be building to something or remarked upon, else yeah, the powers that be have simply stopped paying attention to their own show.

ETA: And straight up murdering two guys isn't a nice way to pay them back for not bothering to open fire until after you've gotten under cover.

[ edited by The One True b!X on 2014-03-05 18:21 ]
They didn't murder the guards, they defended themselves. Our heros tried to talk to them and have a peaceful encounter. The guards shot first, under no threat of force.

The guards were doing their jobs. They were ordered to kill anyone who enters without the counter. Our heroes were breaking and entering a facility they expected to get that kind of retaliation from, so they came prepared to defend themselves.

I don't like that the guards were killed. It's a result of the growing revelation that SHIELD isn't always a force for good. SHIELD, or parts of it, is the enemy now. We regularly see people following the orders killed because they work for the enemy, we never cry foul.

But murder? No, our heroes din't murder anyone.
The show has gone out of its way to show that the team has creative non-lethal means of stopping people, even actual bad guys. They didn't even consider that option here. That's a problem.
I disagree. But that's a different thing than I was previously arguing.
They were doing their job, yes. But I don't think that makes them innocent. Their job was to kill anyone that didn't know the answer phrase. So, I'm in agreement that it wasn't murder. Doesn't make it OK though. And I do think there will be consequences down the line. I don't think they went out of their way to show the guards as people just to ignore it after the team killed them.

ETA: Also, this was not a SHIELD facility and from Coulson's POV it was a place where he was tortured, (now that he has his memories back.) So... I can see him being a little bit trigger happy. Not that I'm justifying it, just saying I kind of understand why he would go in guns blazing. The other agent, Paxon, didn't seem like the type to want other options and I think Ward was also caught up in the urgency of saving Skye. If May had gone in, although she might punch people in the face more than absoultely neccessary, she probably could have taken those two out without killing them. But she was needed on the Bus. (Maybe on purpose. Maybe Coulson was going for a bit of revenge.)

ETA 2: I was just pondering, but what if their newfound lack of, I guess, empathy is because of Skye. Not the desire to help her, but whatever it is she is as an 084? Her history is of an entire village being wiped out trying to protect her. What if she inspires a deadly response to her safety without even knowing it? That'd be pretty tragic, especially for Skye who would never want that. Total and complete speculation on my part.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-03-05 19:32 ]

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-03-05 21:04 ]

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-03-05 21:24 ]
The other agent did say, where-ever she goes, death follows.


[ edited by viewingfigures on 2014-04-11 21:04 ]
Kree are blue.
"Pretty please" is going to be the new catchphrase for pre-horrible death. And wow, did Clark deliver on that awful, haunted expression in the hallway after leaving the T.A.H.I.T.I. Room. Effing awesome job Mistah Gregg.
They didn't murder the guards, they defended themselves. Our heros tried to talk to them and have a peaceful encounter. The guards shot first, under no threat of force.

They "defended themselves" from the people whose facility they were breaking into. If I walk into First National Bank and blow the doors off the vault, then kill the police who come to try to apprehend me, "self defense" is not going to get me out of a murder charge whether or not the police shot first.

Remember how guilty Buffy felt about killing humans, even accidently? That's because she was a hero. As I said, I'm not opposed to a show with protagonists who aren't heroic. I am, however, opposed to a show who presents its protagonists as heroes even as they kill people who have done nothing wrong in cold blood for their own selfish purposes.
Well said, Class Protector.
Thoughts on the guards:

1) They were a bit...robotic in their reaction - they kept giving the code phrase over and over, without listening to what Coulson was saying. "Protocol says you have to give the right answer, so I'll keep asking the question until you do. Nothing else you say registers."

2) Even after Coulson & Co. were inside they would not open communication with them; they just opened fire. "These guys are good." "Yep. Let's kill them, rather than find out what they want/who they are that they can find & break into our top-secret facility so easily."

3) Coulson went after the wounded guard and offered him medical assistance if the guard would tell them what they needed. He didn't go after the guard and stick his finger in the guy's wound and twist it to get information out of him. He said "Help us, and we'll help you."

4) We don't know "what comes next" - everyone was worried about saving Skye & getting their butts off the ground before it disappeared. Not everyone's going to be "all right" with taking two lives to save one. I have a feeling Coulson in particular is going to have a BIG problem with what he feels himself turning into. "What did they do to me? What am I?"
I'm assuming Bluey ties into the writing we saw in the factory (the pipes coming out of the body reminded me of a plot point in Mark Waid's Empire). As for the episode, it wasn't the best episode to come back to after a month's absence. But I am getting very fond of Ian Quinn. He's ace.

And super-secret agents doing morally ambiguous acts to save their comrades? It's a dirty job. Probably the first time the show has reminded me of 'Spooks'.
@ShadowQuest: For me, your #1 and #2 don't change anything. The guards were definitely oddly nonchalant, in a "technicians from Cabin in the Woods" sort of way, but nothing about that makes it OK to kill them. Similarly, firing instead of communicating may have been a poor tactical decision, but it doesn't make it OK to kill them.

If anything, I think your #3 makes it worse. "I'll give you medical assistance if you help me rob you?" That's indefensibly non-heroic behavior.

Which leaves me with your #4. I really hope you're right, but I fear that you are not. As far as I could see, nobody showed any remorse or hesitation in killing the guards. This isn't a situation like Faith killing the Mayor's henchman in Bad Girls, where Buffy was appalled and Faith was clearly shaken and "protesting too much" even as she claimed it was no big deal. Rather, the whole team participated in the raid without any of them batting an eyelash.

If you are right about #4, it seems to me that it would take an awful lot of after-the-fact handwringing and guilt to redeem these folks. Still, that would be better than what I really fear- our heroes nonchalantly going about their business like sociopaths.

And super-secret agents doing morally ambiguous acts to save their comrades? It's a dirty job.

I could almost accept that, if only one or more of the team had shown some hesitance or guilt. Instead, I think the raid and killings were presented as not morally ambiguous, but morally unquestionably correct. So, either the team is kinda sociopathic, or the moral point of view of the episode is.

[ edited by Class Protector on 2014-03-05 23:00 ]

[ edited by Class Protector on 2014-03-05 23:05 ]
I was initially somewhat bothered by the killing of the guards, but then I also thought that Coulson had repeatedly called out their intentions, the team was under tremendous pressure and they found themselves confronted by guys who wouldn't be open to anything other than a shootout (or at least did not give any other impression). Still not okay (it never is), but seeing the circumstances, I can deal with the kills having happened like this, without being too bothered by them. Dirty job, indeed.

As always, I enjoyed the episode, I liked the tension throughout and Clark Gregg & Bill Paxton were especially ace. But this episode, especially after such a long wait, might have had been better off with more resolution or revelation, or anything else to be actually taken out of it. The reveal of the humanoid corpse was maybe too vague? It looked terrifying, but me & my fellow watchers were a bit clueless on how to interpret what we saw & the implications to be taken out of it. One of my friends thought that the corpse looked blue because of whatever he was lying in and that it was actually Coulson's real body, we had to rewind to that scene to check whether he was really incorrect there.

Funny that some of you above already pointed out that the Kree alien race is (typically) blue. I've been speculating from early on that the show might connect to the Kree, with their overmind entity as a suspect for the Clairvoyant, and possibly an agent eventually becoming a take on the Captain Marvel character (I was thinking Fitz maybe, but Agent Triplett could possibly fit the role as well).
Class Protector (Awesome name, btw. My favorite scene in that ep.) I'm not condoning Coulson & team's actions. I'm against randomly killing people, unless there is an imminent threat to life. (Which is probably why I'm having such a hard time w/the rescue scene in my "Quantum Leap" book - Al's daughter's life isn't in immediate jeopardy, although she has been tortured by her captors. Who are monumentally evil. But I digress.)

Those were just random...observances I had at the time. "Boy, those guys are rather robotic in their response. Why not at least say 'We have no medics here. You're mistaken' or something? Acknowledge that you're hearing what the man is saying, but can't help him."

Valentijn I had the same thought at the end - "Was that really Coulson in there?" But if the Coulson we see is a clone, why bother with the chest scar? (And...how come there's no scar around his head? They had the top of the man's skull off, for crying out loud!)

Random: The promo showed May beating the crap out of someone and saying "Feels good, huh?" or something similar. That wasn't the scene where she was tenderizing Quinn's face. So...is she gonna pound someone else in the holding cell? Or is that a case of "teased ya!" in the promo?
The show's love for acronyms lives on, and so does the use of ambiguous storytelling. Season one's been slow-paced so far, but now, as we're in the middle, it's proving to pick up some stride. I was missing Skye a lot in this episode. Chloe Bennet has definitely created something interesting in Skye that makes her such a great presence on screen. She's my fave. And cute as a kitty cat. I can't wait to see her in the next episode!

And I hope The Clairvoyant will be played by an actor we all know, like Alpha in Dollhouse.
Class Protector: "If anything, I think your #3 makes it worse. 'I'll give you medical assistance if you help me rob you?' That's indefensibly non-heroic behavior."

I didn't get that vibe. It was more like Coulson was willing to share if they found it fast enough to help the guy.
And that's the moment Skye was implanted with slayer-like powers. Well... perhaps not, since Coulson hasn't portrayed a stellar amount of alien-strength-power, but he is pretty nimble (especially in the first few episodes).

Do you think Skye's "084-ness" will mix well with her new blue mojo? That might be the determining factor that makes her a "superhero" for upcoming seasons. After all, this is Marvel and origin stories are kind of their thing. And with Joss writing this we have history with potentially strong fems:

Buffy - born strong
River - geared to be crazy fighty
Echo - did I fall asleep?
Cordelia - how's about that kiss?

My thoughts on the dead guards - Bill Paxton is apparently written to be brutal (typical SHIELD agent), whereas our beloved team was hoping to possibly cure the wounded one with the serum.

[ edited by Mr.Savath_Bunny on 2014-03-06 03:28 ]

[ edited by Mr.Savath_Bunny on 2014-03-06 03:31 ]
The whole point of a challenge-response protocol is that it has to be followed to the letter. It doesn't matter that Coulson claimed (truthfully) that his team was there for help with a medical emergency -- the skeleton-crew guards would not be entrusted with the discretion to determine whether the unknown people outside the door are lying or telling the truth. Even an acknowledgement ("sorry, the doctor is out; now please give the proper response") would be outside the guards' latitude, since doing so would potentially provide useful information to whoever was outside the door.

Coulson et al. were not authorized to be there: the proof of that is that they did not know the protocol. The guards were there to defend the facility from unauthorized persons, to the(ir) death and the destruction of the very valuable facility if necessary. Coulson and team were there to get help for Skye, whatever the cost. Unstoppable force meets immovable object... what my old drama teacher referred to as a 'moral conundrum' that is at the heart of many scripts and many worthy characters. Multiple moral conundrums, in this case, since success for our team (saving Skye) might result in valuable information being exposed to the enemy/Clairvoyant.

Throughout the series so far, we've been treated to a very different Coulson than what the MCU movies had shown us -- this Coulson isn't going to let protocol or moral conundrums prevent him from pursuing the result that he believes is the right result. Now his single-minded pursuit has resulted not only in morally-dubious collateral damage vis a vis the guards, but also in Skye receiving an infusion of some alien substance. And since she's already established as an 084*, any new capability or weird manifestation she exhibits could be as a result of her origin or this episode's events, and we don't have enough information to distinguish between those options. I'd say that there are all sorts of opportunities for Coulson to suffer the consequences of his choices.

_____
* Interesting to note that Skye's 084-ness apparently cannot be discerned via medical exam; she has to have appeared fully human to the SHIELD medical staff.
I was also bothered by killing the guards. It basically boiled down two lives of people we don't know being more valuable than one life of someone we do know. It seems like something done out of love, but it's actually really damn cold.
When Coulson and Co. breached the facility, the guards activated the timer on the explosives, ensuring the death of everyone inside. So the guards went into the firefight knowing they were doomed, that it was a suicide mission from the moment of the breach, right? Their goal in opening fire was only to 1) prevent the intruders from gaining information or assets from the facility, and 2) delay them long enough for the explosives to do their job. Or am I misinterpreting the situation?
I think it's safe to assume that as soon as the armed invaders (i.e. Coulson and Co.) were subdued, the guards would have deactivated the explosives.
Wade even said, "If the guards had eliminated us, they'd have stopped the timer."
Like many others I found the actual line "We're her family" over-the-top, but the preceding shots and the scene of blame-talking more than made up for it to me.

I don't quite understand why the SHIELD trauma center loaded up a stable-but-fading Skye onto the Bus with only Simmons to look after her. The show has been dancing around the question about how much medical knowledge Jemma actually has (ocular surgery and paranasal extraction not exactly her thing, but a routine physical, tending Ward, and keeping Skye alive are?) Maybe I'm a little sensitive to this 'cause I'm a biochemist, and though I know what antibiotics *do*, I wouldn't have a clue which ones to prescribe and when.

I did greatly enjoy the MayWard scene in cockpit with the explicitly stated need for a balance between pragmatists and optimists, and the quick, nonjudgmental 'we don't see you with your guard down much'.

I liked the introduction of Agent Garrett and Agent Triplett, and like @NYPinTA I like the idea of Trip and Simmons. Yes, like @TallMichaelJ pointed out, it was super fast, but as it was limited to some appraising looks, talking about how Team is Family, and keeping Skye stable together, I'm looking forward to seeing how J-Mo et al. play it out.

I found the holographic file system, frankly, ridiculous. It looked neat, but not usable.

I thought the guards were very 'technicians from Cabin in the Woods'-y too, but I wasn't bothered by the shoot-out or Agent Garrett killing one of them up close. I guess I've been inculcated by media violence.

I really liked Simmons' reaction to Fitz arriving in the nick of time with the GH-325: 'that's great, but how much do I use and where?' All very good questions frequently ignored by TV-science.

I know we're supposed to be wondering about the blue guy in T.A.H.I.T.I., or wondering why Skye didn't have a bad reaction to the GH-325 like Coulson did, but the big question I was left with was: Why is Coulson keeping secrets from May? I thought he was all done with secrets.
I, too, found the killing of the guards disturbing, but I think it was intentional (and we should be disturbed by those things). I've no doubt there will be consequences.

And yes, the holographic file system was stupid. Holograms made sense for what they did so far, but there's no way anyone would store administrative data that way... and a 3D image of a place? Why not coordinates?
Oh, a couple more things. When Dr. Ron Glass said that they did things that no good Doctor would ever do, I thought that sounded odd. Wouldn't a doctor perform any procedure that healed the patient? Now I get it. It wasn't just what they did to Coulson. It was what they did to the blue guy, too.

Second, that was the best post credits tag the show has done. I loved Fury's appearance and Skye using the X-Ray specs on Ward was cute, but an ominous preview for next weeks episode is really what I want from the tags.
I think we're overlooking the obvious here in determining the occupant of the big test tube. It was labeled GH and every extract they took out of it was GH#. Beyond that I'm as lost as last year's easter egg.
Granthor's Hammer?
I thought it was weird that the wounded guard warned Coulson about the bomb timer... considering the whole purpose of the bomb was to kill people doing exactly what Coulson was doing.

I thought "GH" stood for "Guest House," the name of the facility. Sounds like probably an Initiative-like place for keeping captured aliens or monsters for study.
This was the first episode I really, really didn't like. Even when Fitzsimmons were conducting their usual information symphony, which I am admittedly very into, the coolness of the effects and acting were completely undermined by me thinking how stupid what they were doing this time actually was. And yeah, killing people defending the secret whatever you are breaking into is wrong and I was really shocked to see the team be so glib about it. Sure, we will violently force our way into this building we actually know nothing about except this tentative case we've built that it *might* have something hand-wavy we *might* we able to use to save our friend. That's totally our jam now, apparently?

The two new agents are creepy. I was weirded out by the forced one-sided flirting with Simmons during a really vulnerable moment. Nothing in the plot made any sense, everyone was doing things it really didn't seem like they'd be ok with any other week, and the emotional beats weren't what or where they needed to be. If this is what the "Uprising" brings, count me out.
Jason_M_Bryant - They were also doing experimental procedures against Coulson's express wishes, which is something no good doctor would do.
Jason_M_Bryant: I guess it was simply violating the "Do no harm" philosophy.
Admittedly, I was falling asleep while I was watching this episode (nothing to do with the episode's quality, just a lack of prior sleep), but when Coulson asked about the GH, the guard responded with something like, "You know about the timer?". And I thought he was talking about the GH. So my understanding was that there was some sort of limited effectiveness of the drug/alien mojo/whatever. But like I said - half asleep - so I probably need to re-watch.
I thought the same initially
I got the sense from the second guard that once he realized that Coulson had been there he decided to help.

The thing with the compound, and I'm still not OK with them killing the guards, but just because they guards had a protocol and Coulson and the others didn't have permission to be there doesn't make the guards or whatever the people they worked for right or something I think they necessarily had the right to keep people out of. I mean... they're playing god. They're using alien genetic material to do it, and when they do it, it has horrific effect on the person they're doing it to. They are not good people. If the reason tCoulson and the others were going in was they had Skye and Coulson didn't want them doing to her what they did to him they'd have to kill the guards to get to her too. Would it be OK then? (Not asking in a 'making my point' kind of way, but actually asking.)

But I do think everyone was acting a bit off and I do think there is a reason for it, and I hope that there are consequences later or someone asks, "Were we right doing what we did?"
I thought the first several episodes were lacking in darkness and moral complexity.

The writing team has fixed that problem, and then some.

I agree with those who think killing the guards was problematic from an ethical standpoint. From a story standpoint, though? I couldn't be more pleased. I'm assuming, of course, that we'll see fall-out from this episode, in many different ways--emotionally for everyone involved (especially Coulson), institutionally (since SHIELD can't be happy with any of them), physically (since the drug is likely to have some side-effects, especially since Skye is not human). The story could spin out of our Agents' control in soooo many ways different ways right now. And Whedon shows are at their best when things are spinning out of control. I am starting to be very excited about this show.

Also, the dilemma over saving Skye made sense to me, too. In any situation where someone's on life support, you have to ask whether you're doing more harm that good by keeping them alive. They had no guarantee that the mystery drug would work, even if they found it in time -- and they knew Coulson asked the doctors to let him die, at some point during the proceedings. So, I think it was perfectly reasonable to ask whether keeping Skye alive was the right choice.
Oh, and when Coulson started following those blue pipes ... the first thing I thought of was Lindsay finding the bodies in tanks. I was like: "oh crap, we're about to see a body in a tank."

And then it wasn't just a body ... it was a creepy blue alien partially dismembered body. And, as others have said, Coulson just knocked it out of the park with that look on his face. Great stuff.

Oh, and I think Coulson kept it a secret to protect Skye. Now that she's been injected with the stuff, he doesn't want her to know what saved her -- and if he told May, there's a good chance May would tell Skye, who would be freaked out and traumatized by the knowledge.

So Coulson is making the same decision re: Sky that Fury made re: Coulson. It's just on a smaller scale. Save her, but never tell her how -- for her own good.
After Coulson's conversation with the injured guard, I kept expecting to see one of them pull him (the guard) out before the facility blew. I didn't see it, and that makes me think those of you who expect consequences are correct. Loved the episode, and I look forward to seeing what comes next.
Didn't understand why Coulson was so shocked by the blue body in the tank. Surely he must have guessed that kind of technology was involved. From the look on his face, I was sure he had found his own body in a tank.

[ edited by Bunnies on 2014-03-07 10:00 ]
I think he was both shocked that SHIELD would experiment on injecting alien (dead) stuff in humans, and at the idea that he had alien (dead) stuff in him.

Also, he may know more about blue aliens than we do.
I caught that GH stood for Guest House. But since when has anything in a Whedon show had just one meaning?
Was the alien/mutant dead, or suspended in some sort of always dying while we siphon off your regeneration factor horribleness? I assumed the latter. Either way, it was pretty bad.
I'm stuck at the two guards. Did they actually fully check if that guy against the wall was fully dead? Even if, couldn't they have carried him out and given him
Super cell recharger enslaved alien goo? I'm sure a little goes a long way. They had a medical pod right there.

I too hope we see consequences.

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