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April 15 2014

Discuss tonight's new Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode. It's titled "Providence" and was written by Brent Fletcher. It will air at 9 pm.

Warming up the room. Also, first.
Warmth is appreciated since it's SNOWING right now. :(
It's heading our way, too, but I doubt it will stick. No shoveling in the morning. At least not for me! ;)
I do feel for the folks who are STILL getting more than a dusting of snow.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-16 01:46 ]
9 p.m.? Why the time change? Well, the good news is I haven't missed it yet...
They're repeating "Turn, Turn, Turn" at 8 pm so people can catch up post Winter Soldier. I assume.
Probably an ABC/Marvel strategy to lure in more post-CATWS viewers.
"Warmth is appreciated since it's SNOWING right now. :("

I put my plants outside Sunday. This morning; White stuff. :(

And we're off!
Super excited for this one. While I really have liked much of the early part of the season, the last couple of episodes have really made this "edge-of-your-seat must-watch-T.V." for me!
New dress. Smoooooth.
It's all Hydra's fault.
Millennium Falcon much?

[ edited by roddikinathome on 2014-04-16 02:11 ]
"On your merry." Which Firefly episode is that from? Train Job?
It's Serenity.
That was not an answer. Cross-posting! :D
We'll be ghosts.
I'm worried about Coulson. Kinda think he's going off the deep end.
I like ward way better bad as a bad guy.
Ward is in deeeep.
Raiding the Fridge!
Last week was more crash bang wham, but I guess a bit of exposition is due. Also - Paxton's having a really good time, and I'm loving how nonplussed and suspicious Raina is. As for Simmons - my darling Simmons - impossible to be sure.

[Edited to fix bad phone spelling.]

[ edited by javelina on 2014-04-16 03:30 ]
@Squishy - Ward is SO much better as a bad guy!
Am I the only one that thinks Skye is the best actor on the show?
Ooh, Canada! Maybe they'll meet up with Wolverine.
We have a destination!
Yay, let's go see Fury!
"i'm everyone's type." Awesome.
"As for Simmons - my darling Simmons - impossible to be sure."

She is confuzzling me too.
Devious Ward - love it!!
It would be cool if Coulson really was under the control of Hydra.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-16 02:30 ]
ahhh everyone's angry or evil.
Nice diversion. And they die. :(
Was that really Ward and Garrett jumping out of the way of bullets? They seemed bored and unhurried.
Re: Coulson's surgery. Again I ask, where is Ron Glass? Nice to see the team echoing my suspicions.
So Coulson has a trigger. Or a chip. Whatever it is, he's going to become the biggest of the Big Bads.
"Let's go shopping." Most evil sentence EVAR!
I'm very worried about Coulson's whole team getting HYDRA-murdered in a Canadian snow bank right now.
oh no no I can't watch Coulson have a breakdown.
Can I give Fitz a hug now, please?
Aaaand Phil is melting down.
LOL @ mischievouspixi!
So... S.H.I.E.L.D. recruits people in high school? This explains a lot.
I feel like the Phil in the show is very different from the one in the movies.
@Sunfire - That was a pretty low-key breakdown, under the circumstances.
Haha, Sunfire!!
Now Coulson needs a hug. Hugs for everyone (except Hydra).
Ah, I was hoping Skye did something like that.
Good for Skye!

Ward needs to be de-gonadized.
Well, that was a pretty big emotional moment for Coulson. His way of coping is carrying on even harder and he almost stranded his team in the middle of nowhere to starve.
"I feel like the Phil in the show is very different from the one in the movies."

Well, there was the whole 'dead' thing!
What was that?
Is Garrett an LMD?
Come on! That was over too quickly!
Oooooo. Not cool. People, my Whedon-sence is tingling. Knife twist coming.
Can I just say - wow!
Y'all! Patton Oswalt! (And yes I'm scared.)
Building to a big finish. Gravitonium, followed by the cellist!
But Coulson used to be so by-the-book and unflappable. Now he's nowhere near the book and flappable in the extreme. Seems like he's been that way since the beginning of the season.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-16 03:04 ]
Amy Acker next week? Yes please.
Great episode tonight.
I like Simmons hat!
Re: trailer. So apparently Skye figures out about Ward. But good lord what a mess. And they're going to use Amy Acker for evil? (Admittedly that wouldn't be a first, but I'm getting increasingly sad for Coulson.)
That's because his world's been destroyed - a few times. He died. He's was revived. He had things done to his brain. Hydra has been part of SHIELD from the beginning. Fury is dead. May deceived him. He has to live with the idea he has been working for Hydra all along. Dead alien stuff was used to revive him.

Coulson is a guy with PTSD, and the TS is far from over.
What happened? Everybody too stunned to comment? ;)
Stunned / confused / worried. Take your pick, @Darkness!
No more speculation as to what that was going on with Garrett? Do life model decoys have hardware on their torsos?
Garret in the comics is a cyborg, made so to safe his life. I guess its not more than that.
As a fan of the show ... I gotta say it felt like a missed opportunity. After a bunch of (IMO) hitting on all cylinders episodes this 60 minutes just felt like more ... set up for other episodes

Positives: I liked Coulson's meltdown, Patton was amusing and brought the weird, and Ward got even more interesting as it seems he's not just Hydra, but a full blown psychopath. Liked the admission that SHIELD was keeping the good stuff stashed away

Negatives: Worst.Fake.Mountain.Door.Ever. The scene with May and Phil was redundant from the week before, I felt I was watching a "previously seen on ..." clip. More C-List villains escaping and appearing, and the Graviwhatchacallit is not particularly compelling end of episode reveal.

Things to Look Forward To: Amy. More Patton. Ward revealed.

Finally: Still thinking Simmons is HYDRA.
I hate to say this but the Coulson meltdown seemed more like a melodramatic tantrum. Kinda feels like he's been having a lot of those.

I do love Patton though. And Ward the bad guy is growing on me. They need to really really embrace that evil and go nuts with it.
Why do people think Simmons is Hydra? I don't get that.
Great episode and I too loved Simmons's fuzzy hat. I adored tour guide scary Patton Oswalt. And he can do scary really really well. I can't wait for him to truth check the team. It's going to be grand!!!!! I'm so awful.

I think that I could have lived with less Coulson monologues but that's his way. I would of loved more time in The Fridge. It was an off white similar to the Initiative.

I was very happy to see Trippett join the team. He's a good guy. I'm not a fan of the idea of Simmons as Hydra. She could be but I think the FitzSimmonsSkye Scooby feel is too strong to lead to that kind of betrayal in addition to Ward in Season One. Unless, she's been playing Fitz all along even at Hogwarts.

I have two questions. Have we had a hint if Skye does have a super power? And what was the metal plate on Garrett?

Can't wait for next week!
Simmons is something, but I'm not sure she's Hydra. I think she's there to keep secret Skye's secret.

The reason she is so suspect, though, is because (1) she is the least suspect of all the suspects; (2) that not-being-able-to-lie thing is a lie; (3) if she is Hydra, I think she's a couple with Ward; (4) she insists on keeping Tripp with the group, even though they have no reason to trust him other than her word; (5) she knows more about the alien-blood stuff used on Skye and Coulson than she's letting on, and that the not-knowing part is deception.

Perhaps she's a Kree, and is keeping Skye's Kree-ness hidden. Why else would she cry for Skye when she barely knew her?
I love the show, but I found this episode to be pretty anti-climactic. It didn't feel like a complete episode. It kind of just fizzled out for me. I enjoyed the emotional beats we got, but the story felt very stalled.
This show becomes more delightfully whedonesque with each passing week. Great episode tonight, I have a feeling I am going to be begging for Season 2's premiere all summer.
I think this episode was needed to sift through the rubble and re-set the stage.

We know where Ward stands. I always thought going to a dark place with that character would be interesting, but admittedly never suspected it'd be a full blown betrayal with this level of manipulation. When it's all said and done, I wouldn't be surprised if he's Skye's first kill. He kind of has it coming.

I agree that the Coulson meltdown was overly melodramatic - and quite frankly, May trying to disarm him and that whole back and forth... it feels forced. Granted there are momentous events taking place, but the adults still need to be a little bit professional. Honestly, despite how it was painted, was going to the coordinates that showed up on a badge Fury gave to Coulson that crazy a play? I think not.

Fitz not at all happy with Trip and Jemma getting closer. Personally, I need a little more time before I welcome Trip aboard. Just not sure what he's about yet.
Even the best Whedon shows have had their anti-climactic episodes this close to the end of a season. This show had a bucket load of set-up for the next four episodes. I agree with the people who think the Coulson/May conflict was redundant. The belief that Coulson's coming unhinged seemed forced, especially since any of us who saw the previews for this episode knew that Patton Oswalt was on the other side of the snow mound.

As for Ward being a psychopath, that's the assessment of anyone who goes into the line of work he's in.
BringItOn5x5, exactly. Setup episode, but a damn good one. And we've been waiting for the Graviton reintroduction forever. Graviton vs Deathlok anyone? Who knows, but they're setting up so much fun stuff.
I just think Simmons has a thing for Trippett.

No wonder Coulson lost it. One day he's warm and in his shirt sleeves, the next he's knee deep in snow wearing a winter coat - oh, wait. This isn't all about me?
I still think this show would be tighter with 12ish episode seasons like most modern cable dramas. I stood by some of the stand-alone episodes early on this season, but tonight just felt like a complete stand-still story-wise.
I'm about to do my list thing again. What tonight's episode established was:

(1) Ward is evil
(2) Garrett may be a robot
(3) Patton Oswalt is a geek in all universes, and may also be an elf who lives in a tree - or mound of snow.
(4) Nobody on the team is aware that Ward is Hydra
(5) Skye is not so stupid as to not set up safeguards on the info from the computer system on the bus.
(6) Gravitonium is back.
(7) Something's up with the cellist
(8) Lots of supercriminals on the loose.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-16 19:49 ]
Well, this all seems pretty terrible.
Once again, Simmons is a little bit scary. I really hope she's not Hydra. One treason makes a good story, too many treasons are just silly and boring.
Am I the only one who thought it was revealed that Ward is actually gay? Garrett said it must've been hard for Ward to play straight with May and Skye and not even Romanoff would've pulled it off. Am I understanding it wrong?
I think he meant Ward was playing that he was on the straight and narrow.
It certainly gave me pause for a moment, but the ensuing conversation seemed to clarify that "straight" was meant in a different context. I swear, they're just trolling us now. ;)
I wonder how long ago they decided Ward would be a bad seems the cat was let out of the bag when he shot the "innocent" clairvoyant.
alexreager, Jed and Maurissa did an interview recently where they said they've been planning this for awhile. Tonight's episode mentioned Coulson telling Ward about the cellist, info he passed along to Garret. There was also a hint in Seeds, the episode where they visited SHIELD Academy.

I think it's okay that none of us are sure about Agent Triplett right now. Considering all the Hydra funny business, the other agents would of course be a little weary of a new guy asking to get on the plane, so we should be weary along with them. Plus, even if he's for real, he's lost as much as anyone. His S.O. betrayed him. So he's probably pretty unsure about what he's all about himself.
I'm not getting the vibe that Simmons is aligned with Hydra. I get the feeling she has a crush on and feels like she can trust Agent Triplett, which is getting Fitz jealous. But I don't see the Hydra angle.

So what does everyone think? Is Ward definitely team Hydra or is he doing what Angel did in the Buffy episode "Enemies," pretending to be evil to gain intell. Or is it more likely that Ward is with Hydra and Triplett is going to be his replacement on Coulson's team. Joss is known for killing off or changing up the teams in the first season (Jesse, Doyle, the original Sierra, that guy that was the mechanic before Kaylee). Is Ward the new Boyd?

[ edited by hpgwbtvs on 2014-04-16 15:14 ]
I enjoyed the episode. Looking forward to the team finding out about Ward. Also wondering if Coulson is going to tell the team about Fury. If he does, he's violating Fury's direct orders. If he doesn't, then how is he any different from May?

The biggest problem I'm having with the show right now is that the actor who plays Agent Triplett is ruining every scene he's in. He is just TERRIBLE. Every line comes across like he's the supporting role of a grade school play. His acting makes the guy who plays Ward look like Jack Nicholson.

I hope Ward kills him ... like, soon.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-16 15:10 ]
If Ward isn't truly Hydra, they're going to have a very hard time explaining why he went out of his way to show Garrett where the Gravatonium was. If it wasn't clear in the previous episode, I think it is now... Ward is Hydra. And maybe that doesn't make him a 100% black hat as it pertains to his feelings for the team on the bus, especially Skye, but I don't think they can un-ring this bell now.

As far as comparisons to Boyd... this is how Boyd should have been. It's surprising, but believable. I even liked Ward - but they did a nice job of explaining how his previous actions aligned with his true motives and how he manipulated people. I could never reconcile true Boyd with how he behaved over the course of the show - especially his inaction dealing with other arms of Rossum, given his true position and interest in Echo.
To be honest, I thought it was problematic that Skye immediately called Ward about the super secret location. Of course, she doesn't know he's HYDRA, but wouldn't her signal be traceable? Given what they'd all been through, wouldn't a person in their situation wait and find a more secure way to contact him? Oh, well.

Like some others above, I had trouble with Coulson's over-the-top breakdown. It's not that the character didn't deserve to have one, it's just that I thought it was a rare time when Clark Gregg's acting did not ring true.

But, for a re-set type of episode, I thought it was good on whole.
She called him on the secret cell phone that Victoria Hand gave Coulson. And even though they weren't on the run at that point, Hand was worried about Hydra hearing calls, and said something like: "only communicate with this." So, there's an implication that the those cell phones were (at least somewhat) secure.
I'm definitely in the "Ward is Hydra" camp. His explanation about how he infiltrated the team, all the ways he got people to like him (save Simmons, let May think he's besotted with her, befriending Skye) rang true. I really nice touch was his acknowledging that he has feelings for Skye and that it could be a problem (the same way he acknowledged that the berzerker staff would have compromised him.)

Speaking of the staff, nice call back to that and the other items that were on the show. OF COURSE Fury didn't get rid of all that technology, that's classic Fury (to paraphrase Archer).

I think something is up with Simmons too, but I don't think she's Hydra. It looks like they are setting up a Simmons/Triplett relationship. Simmons clearly respects him for his speech and actions at the Hub, and you could read her "Things can never be the way they were before" either as a comment on SHIELD or on their relationship.
If Simmons is bad/suspect, why would she throw herself out of the plane when she was infected? Unless she was in cahoots with Ward and staged the whole thing? Possible, but seems like a stretch.

I wonder if they decided to make Ward be bad as a result of the negative audience reaction to him as a good guy. Or did they have this planned from the beginning?

Also, wouldn't Ward have confessed his badness to Laurelei (sp?) when he was under her spell?

I like the idea of Ward being gay. That would really highlight the magnitude of his deception and show just how good a liar he really is. In any event, I hope they keep evil Ward around a while and don't kill him off this season. Right now, he's probably the most interesting character on the show.

I don't really see the complaint with Triplett's acting. Seems fine to me. More generally, I think a lot of the issues people have with the actors may have more to do with writing and directing issues.

[ edited by Squishy on 2014-04-16 16:39 ]
If you don't think Coulson was due for an "over the top freak-out" I don't know what show you are watching.

After all that's happened to him, after all he's lost, and after all the betrayals, he's just led the only people he trusts and cares about to the middle of nowhere on what appears to be a wild goose chase that will likely end in their frozen doom. In that moment, he realizes not only can he not trust anyone else, but that he can't even trust himself anymore. With nothing left, all his remaining hope for survival and continuing to fight on and stop Hydra has been destroyed. - Cue meltdown.

...I think that deserves a freak out, even from the most stoic of authority figures.

@squishy - I understand the writing could be an issue. But the other actors don't seem to have a hard time selling the lines, even Hand was very convincing in her last episode... However, I would actually be relieved if I was the only one who thought Triplett's acting is bad. It bodes better for the show.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-16 17:08 ]
I think people deal with stress in different ways. On the character, this just felt way too demonstrative to me. I think it works better if Coulson is still holding it together while he's absolutely dying inside and everyone else can just tell exactly where he's at. The emotion works better as genuine concern for his well being (not doubt) coming from the people around him.

[ edited by BringItOn5x5 on 2014-04-16 17:15 ]
I thought the meltdown scene made sense, but like a lot of the episode it just seemed like the timing/flow wasn't quite where it needed to be. I see that the ratings were up, but for anyone who tuned in after hearing how much the show has improved, I'm not sure this was the episode to convince them.

That said - I think Triplett is just fine - I hope he makes Season Two (I hope there IS a Season Two)

Finally - my Simmons theory on being Hydra (the lying comment, the drive to get to HQ to uncover the Skye secret sauce, she could have easily stood up to Hand knowing she wasn't Hydra, etc.) ... is waning. The talk between Ward and Garrett made it clear (for now) that Skye is indeed the object of his psychopathic affection. Nonetheless with a handful of episodes left I'm hoping for a couple more big "What the hell just happened!!" moments
Why would Ward confess his being "evil" to Lorelei? Why would she care/how is it relevant to her? All her spell did was override any previous allegiances.

As for Simmons, I don't see what you guys are seeing. Like, any of it. She just seems to have a mild crush on Agent Trip.

edit: I just want to mention, I did a complete rewatch of all episodes after Turn, Turn, Turn aired. Not only did everything flow much better, it all made a lot more sense. I swear, these long breaks between episodes are killing the show. It reminds me of LOST in a way that there's so much stuff to keep track off, that the show only truly shines in its best light while binge watching the entire season in one go. It's a lot of set up, pay off, set up pay off. I think being tied to closely to the Marvel movies is both a blessing and a curse. The good part is that they can incorporate the big events into their storylines and the bad part is that they kinda have to do this. The first season couldn't ignore The Winter Soldier, for example. Unless it was set years before or during Phase 1. That's the problem when playing in someone else's sandbox as opposed to building your own.

[ edited by D-e-f- on 2014-04-16 17:31 ]
Does anyone know when the ep will go up on Hulu? I'm a new user of the site and I tried to watch this morning but it said i needed to have hulu plus. I watched the last few weeks' worth of eps without that problem...
D-e-f, re Ward's possible confessing to Lorelei, it just seemed to me that if she was commandeering Ward to her cause (I think it was to take over the world or something), then she would care very much about any and all resources at Ward's disposal. That would include, I think, his ties to Hydra. For the same reasons, I would think he would tell her about those ties, and offer to exploit them, since he was devoted to serving her. Of course, I recognize they couldn't show such a confession at the time, since it would be a spoiler for Cap 2, but I'm hoping they explain this somehow. It seems hard to understand how Ward's beans weren't spilled when he lost control of his own will. (Incidentally, the thought of Lorelei taking control of Hydra and then going after the world is kind of awesome to me.)

Speaking of Ward losing control, did anyone else notice the nice moment this episode where Ward was looking thoughtfully at the berserker staff? I kind of want to go back and rewatch that berserker episode (and maybe the Lorelei episode and the well episode) knowing what I know now about Ward's true allegiances.
Looks like they are on a week delay now, Alex_Jamieson. I'd try itunes.
"I'm not a fan of the idea of Simmons as Hydra. She could be but I think the FitzSimmonsSkye Scooby feel is too strong to lead to that kind of betrayal in addition to Ward in Season One."

That's WHY I'm calling a Whedonesque (so sue me! :^]) knife twist. If this rolls out, Ward AND Simmons strut off arm in arm, having destroyed (they think) what's left of the team... Juicy twist, no?

I think it might be too much twist. I feel like we need some folks to hold onto as characters. Althought, I can identify with villains. Hmm.

I think that I'd rather see a core group of members moving forward as the folks who shield the earth and I want Fitz and Simmons to be a part of that.
I'm with the camp that cannot see Simmons as a bad guy. I could see her becoming at odds with the team, la Wesley, but I can't see her joining an organization like HYDRA.
Ward: Good Evening Skye,
are you ready for your first lesson in resisting torture?

>> So Coulson has a trigger. Or a chip.
If he gets a soul too,
he can officially change his first name from Agent to Spike.
I liked this episode a lot, it felt close to the epic-ness when I watched Epitaph One. I like it when our heroes' worlds are torn asunder.

Saying that, The Fridge look like something out of Thunderbirds. It looked really cheap on the beach.
Wow, really loved this episode, it kept running with the tension of the Cap 2 fallout in a very good way IMO, and Koenig's an excellent character I'm already hoping will be a frequent guest star.

And seeing evil Ward after seeing 'good Ward' for almost 17 epsiodes is so scary that I suspect Brett Dalton of looking at David Boreanaz' Angelus performances for inspiration.

If anyone was wondering about Garrett's reference to a guy with lion paws, that was comic book villain the Griffin:
The writing created so many great moments, especially with Patton Oswalt. I want the dialogue to be more subversive though.

One special thing that's finally happened is that the team is clashing with each other. Not like normal. They're being tortured by Hydra now, and it's mounting them against each other.

I thought the episode was so much fun that I was sad when it was over. YAY for post-credit scene! But I'm still waiting to hear Joss' "Grr Argh" during the Mutant Enemy graphic.
Hmm, I think that the trailer for next week is just weirdly edited, like how they made it look like Coulson was firing Skye in the trailer for Girl in the Flower Dress (when actually, he was telling her to tell him everything). I don't think that Ward is going to come out to the rest of the team yet as a baddie. Maybe she's crying because of something that happens to Coulson with the cellist?

As for this was breathing room, which was needed after last week. It got people where they needed to be and with the right motivations. It's all about setting things up for sweeps, I suppose.
Yea, never take these preview teasers at face value. Cuts are often misleading.
I found this ep very enjoyable! Except for the Coulson/May stuff, which is making me hurt. (Am I the only one finding it more 'Whedony' when all the characters are hurting??)

Loving having Raina back - I get the feeling she'll be playing along with Garrett and Ward, but also having an agenda of her own.

Evil Ward is so evil! I think it's clear he's HYDRA through and through, and I'm feeling really bad for Skye and the emotional manipulation that's coming her way.

Simmons is so freaking cute in her fuzzie beanie and Fitz is adorable in his petty jealousy - or y'know, justifiable fear of a relatively unknown agent being in close proximity.

Patton Oswalt was GREAT! More please.
So are they gonna call it "Marvel's A-Team of SHIELD" now?
I did love me some Evil Ward. That guy is wonderfully hate-able.

One criticism, the secret base was really underwhelming. I know they don't have the budget of the movies, but they need some more impressive locations. It was a little silly when Agent Oswalt got so excited showing them the cafeteria.
Marvel's Agents of N.O.T.H.I.N.G.
Last night was one of the first times (for me) the lack of "movie level" effects annoyed me. The plastic/Lego mountain wall, the SyFy level bad helicopter attack and the Fridge establishing shot that looked like a watercolor I'd buy at the mall on Arts n' Crafts weekend. Even my 11 year old noted the water effects as the plane sped over the ocean were pretty dodgy.

I wonder whether budget or time constraints are the primary driver there. Given the need to crank these out on time the SFX folks may not have the time to tweak or fine tune the way they might prefer? IF/When there's a renewal, I wonder if it's feasible to provide that team with more lead time, at least on some common cutaway stuff, props etc. to give them extra sheen ... even before scripts are written etc.
It was a little silly when Agent Oswalt got so excited showing them the cafeteria.

I thought Agent Koenig's showing them the cafeteria was amusing, partly because it looked like the standard cafeteria at lots of workplaces, and partly because there was this one geeky guy holed up by himself in this huge place (or his mother's basement?) with his comic books and video games, etc.

ETA: I really don't care if the sets or effects are not comparable to those of the movies. When you consider AoS compared to other shows on TV, whatever they have does what it needs to do.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-17 03:29 ]
I'm surprised at everyone's dislike of the episode. I LOVED it! The characters 'trying to get by' Serenity style got me all giddy. I love seeing characters struggling to survive. I hope to see more of that. Evil Ward is sooooo fun. I need more scenes of him and Garrett together. They are so deliciously bad.

The May/Coulson drama gets me so excited, I love when the characters are at each other's throats because it makes the moments when they are like family feel more earned.

I just really really enjoyed watching this episode which while some episodes earlier this season I felt were well done or showed the show had potential, this is the first time this season that I feel emotions about all the characters. This is finally a 'Whedon' show for me.
Not much to say that hasn't been said, except maybe I no longer think Ward was the boy who wanted to save the younger boy in the well. He was the one giving the orders not to save the kid. I wonder what Garrett/Clairvoyant dude did for Ward that he "owes him everything". He sure snowed me/us, but that's what sociopaths do best. I hope Skye is the one who finally kills or maims him.
Now that I'm over the initial (fantastic, enjoyable!) shock of Ward being HYDRA, it really works for me! I think he's a million times better as a baddie than he ever was as a white hat. Suddenly he's interesting and exciting-- that "I'm everyone's type" was completely loathsome, Angelus levels of creep factor. Hell yeah. Man, I hope he doesn't have some redemptive 11th hour moment, though I can comfort myself with the certainty that if he does, he'll immediately die :)

But really, wouldn't he have told Lorelei? I think it would have been relevant-- like, yeah I can infiltrate for you cause oh by the way, I'm already an infiltrator! Oh well.

It would be pretty rough to see Fitz betrayed by Simmons, which to me lends credence to the theory even though I don't really see it in what we've seen in the show so far, personally. That would be going for the pain in a way that the Ward betrayal could only dream of IMO.
I don't think Simmons is Hydra. She's someone you want to keep around forever, but I don't think she's what she appears to be. But if she is Hydra, that would be cool!

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-17 05:54 ]
Personally, what really caught my attention during this episode is the revelation from May that, while Fury authorized it, some mystery figure was in charge of Coulson's resurrection and their identity and allegiance is unknown. To me, that new plot bomb only made Coulson's freak out more justifiable...his mind was tampered with...he was healed using a serum/drug derived from extraterrestrial blood or DNA...the whole "no red tape, making the calls" idea for the team being something May thought up and fed to Fury to be given to Coulson...and now the person directly in charge of putting Coulson back together is in the wind and unknown,with this mystery figure possibly being HYDRA? His meltdown before triggering Providence Base's defence systems is believable IMO
I agree, BlueEyedBrigadier. Not to mention that he had already lost all aspects of his life outside of the job (such as his cellist), and even lost those friends from work that were of insufficient security clearance to know of his "survival"... I found his breakdown completely believable.
I think this is actually one of my favourite episodes so far. There's one ropey moment for me (the VFX on The Fridge - although I will say the special effects on the series as a whole have been outstanding) -- but other than that, I thought it was balls to the wall storytelling. They're going all out, and I really like that. SHIELD is collapsing around the characters, and they're reacting to it, and it's glorious. I mean, Coulson literally stands there in the middle of nowhere and says his badge means something while almost crying, only to have it blown up by SHIELD. Epic.

I remember back when the series began (you know, all those yearsmonths ago), when people complained the show wasn't serial enough, there wasn't enough of a threat, and Ward was too bland and incompetent. What a difference. And earned, too.
@gossi: Totally. Rewatching the season with the new knowledge we gained makes everything play very well together actually. Even the Quinn episode, that seemed so incredibly throwaway case-of-the-weekish at the time is now an essential part of a this pretty awesome whole.

It might not have been lightning in a bottle like Firefly or deeply fascinating from a philosophical standpoint on a conceptual basis alone like Dollhouse but AoS was slowly but surely shaped into something very recommendable.
Yeah, there's some really great rewatch value. I mean, in the pilot they talk about how there's groups vying for control of technology, everybody is in on the action, it's spy-vs-spy, and Ward says he wants "World peace". World peace is HYDRA's twisted goal in Captain America 2.
While Joss isn't directly involved with the show, this is the thing his shows always did so well. The one-shot throwaways would all be tied together in the last several episodes of a season. Those of us who stuck with the show knew that this would happen. The only episode I can't bring myself to watch is episode 2, and I will force myself to watch it again on a day I'm really bored!
The whole thing about May being worried that whomever oversaw TAHITI might be HYDRA (and therefore controlling Coulson) makes no sense. The HydraVoyant spent half the season trying to figure out what happened to Coulson and how he was resurrected. If a Hydra agent had been running TAHITI, they would already know.
Wow, that's a good catch, Penthos. May would know all that too, as would Coulson. Also, May seems be giving inconsistent explanations for her spying. She told Coulson it was because Fury worried he might have been placed under someone's control, but she told Skye they were worried about that he might react in unpredictable ways to the medical procedure.
@Penthos: Very good point. Plus May was already on thin ice anyway. What made her think he would just agree to hand over his weapon to someone who had just betrayed his trust and was running a mysterious encrypted line out of the plane to a still unauthenticated contact? Plus she tried to ice Fitz - shoot first, which still doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Sure they worked together at The Hub, but doesn't that work both ways? Why is Coulson suddenly the one under suspicion?

The whole May/Coulson interaction over the past couple episodes hasn't been steeped in rationality.

[ edited by BringItOn5x5 on 2014-04-17 17:37 ]
I would give more credence to what May tells Coulson than to what May tells Skye. Maybe Fury is worried about Coulson being under the control of the aliens who had the tech, or maybe he got vibes that someone on the team was HYDRA and just worried it was Coulson instead of Ward.

I think it's been established that Simmons is a flirt. She flirts with Ward, she flirts with Mike, she flirts with Triplett. Since it doesn't seem intended to get a rise out of anybody, I don't think this means she's actually HYDRA, just ... flirty. I suppose anybody *could* be HYDRA, but at some point, it's like, well, if there are two or three HYDRA agents on the bus, and only four or three agents who think there is such a thing as pure SHIELD, why not get rid of them in a tragic accident and take the bus, and/or whichever ones have irreplaceable skills to a facility and put them to work doing whatever HYDRA wants done? Seems like a huge expenditure of HYDRA personnel to keep *more* than one on the bus with so much else going on.

For anyone who would like to see Patton Oswald getting to be badass, may I recommend Season 4 of "Justified." He starts out as a nerd, but winds up impressing even the mighty Raylan Givens.
Random thing I noticed during my rewatch:

In the pilot, during the final act when Sky and Coulson walk back to Lola, Coulson says "We didn't cut off the head of the Centipede [...]" which I find suspiciously direct in referencing the HYDRA motto "if a head is cut off, two more will take its place." Couple that with their super soldier agenda and you get a fun little roadmap full of pointers towards the HYDRA thing.
I've now re-watched Turn Turn Turn and Providence, and read all the comments. Am I the only person who thinks May might be in love with Coulson? In their (1st? In Turn Turn Turn, I believe) big back-and-forth about whether she's a traitor, etc., she says something like "I would never do that. I .... you mean a lot to me." I think she was about to say "I love you." And since then she seems pretty distressed by how he's cut her off - although I imagine she would be regardless. Anyway, what do you all think?
It's interesting now that I think back over the course of the season, their easy familiarity because of their history in the field (that we know of or inferences given to us). But I only ever got a friendship vibe; still, we don't know everything or if even more of their back story together will be revealed. Duplicity seems to be part of May's nature, or did she just compartmentalize the fact she was spying on Phil for Fury, when at the same time she felt comfortable enough to reveal to him that she and Ward were F*** buddies, or discuss Skye/Skye's origins/future? It just seems complicated now, especially with an appearance by the Cellist coming up. Sad that May has fallen, in my eyes, where once she was inferred to be so noble (the drastic situation where she took out a bunch of people to save others) and so shell-shocked she became a desk jockey. And now even that may have been a fake out.
I finally caught up. Saw Winter Soldier and decided to start watching the eps I had missed (starting with "Seeds.") Gotta say, the show seems MUCH better now than it did when it started. Now after every episode I'm anxious to see what will happen next. Never really felt that way in the fall. I'm even thinking I'll do a re-watch this summer.

Evil Ward is great, but it made me laugh when he turned out to be the bad guy because in the beginning of the show so many people were complaining that he was boring. It's as if the writers heard that and decided to spice him up.

Also, I loved Patton Oswalt bragging on that dumpy-looking facility. Hilarious.

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