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"Pain. Death. Apocalypse. None of it fun."
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April 29 2014

(SPOILER) Discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1x20 "Nothing Personal". This episode was written by Paul Zbyszewski and DJ Doyle. Cobie Smulders returns as Maria Hill.

I'm pretty sure J. August Richards is also in this one but since that hasn't been as prominent in the PR blitz, I'll just mention it here.

Why do I live on the West Coast? I don't want to wait an extra three hours!
He is, Sunfire.
She is so not impressed with any other agency. Hahaha. (But they didn't get taken over by the ultimate evil, did they?)
Three minutes and 20 seconds. You SUCK!
Why aren't they asking where Eric is?
And the note/body discovery...
This is killing me!
Oh. He's smooth. Evil bastard!
When are we going to see Neil Patrick Harris as another SHIELD agent? (Yes,I'm fantasy casting.)

ETA: We know he can rock a good suit.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-04-30 01:10 ]
(But they didn't get taken over by the ultimate evil, did they?)

Um, yeah, they did.

Too much waiting. Too little show! Aaahhhh!
Skye is in a pretty scary situation right now.
@Nebula1400, I meant the FBI and CIA and NSA and the other letter agencies.

[ edited by NYPinTA on 2014-04-30 01:13 ]
When are we going to see Neil Patrick Harris as another SHIELD agent? (Yes,I'm fantasy casting.)

Too busy rockin' sequins and a wig.
Fitz breaks my heart right now.
Fitz looked up to him so much. :(
Iain De Caestecker is an intense actor! I fully expected him to turn into a giant green rage monster.
And the puzzle comes together...
@NYPinTA: So did i! ;)
Oh god poor Skye. She's doing an amazing job though.
'Are you going to shoot me if I come out? Because then I'm not coming out.' Ha!
Now all we need is the Cavalry to show up.
Coulson says the dorkiest things.
roddikinathome, I think you and I are watching with the same degree of fingernail-biting. This is all making me so nervous, damn.
It's been a tense run of episodes.
And by huh I mean that was a big grave dig for a needle/thumb drive.
I just meant that if you're not posting how tense you are, I am.

ETA yeah it was!

[ edited by javelina on 2014-04-30 01:29 ]
"roddikinathome, I think you and I are watching with the same degree of fingernail-biting. This is all making me so nervous, damn."

Also, Skye... WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?
Uhhhh.... uh oh.
Skye is good. But, Deathlok.
Crud. Mike is the back up plan if Ward can't get what he needs from Skye with finesse, right?
Jeez,way to go to a commercial break. Is Garrett going to get her now? Shudder.
Thata was awesome!
Love Skye going to town on him, both physically and verbally!
OK. That didn't sound psychotic *at all*.
Really psychotic.
She's gonna bleed.
Well played, Mike.
Is the show theme now the Coulson heroic theme there?
That is not enough cavalry.
Huh. Garrett might have really earned the Bad Boss trope just then.
How sexist was Ward when talking to Maria? Because, wow.
Still no payoff as to what exactly TAHITI was, with 15 minutes left.
I doubt we'll find out this episode.
Now THAT was the way to break out Lola.
Maria, don't be a quitter.
*whispers* Simmons is lying. So is sooooooooo Hydra. ;P
Fitz is my spirit animal.
Roddikinathome--But she's right. SHIELD's kaput. Captain's orders. They can't contradict the movies.
I still think Simmons is something else, but not Hydra.
I wanna hug Fitz so hard right now.
"I'm not H.Y.D.R.A.": FitzSimmons.

Nope, still not convinced.
I feel like she's keeping some kind of secret. Probably not HYDRA, because pulling that a second time might be anticlimactic. But she definitely seems to have a secret of some kind.
"But she's right. SHIELD's kaput. Captain's orders. They can't contradict the movies."

I think you all have convinced me. I'm no longer convinced, either, after holding out thinking "naaaah." But, now . . .
Okay, that was chilling.
Whhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaat a mind frell.
Huh, indeed.
Uh oh. What does this mean for Phil AND Skye? Does this also mean that Phil knows about the mindwipe tech used on Bucky? Because if so...ow.
Woah to that ending.So Coulson was in charge of T.A.H.I.T.I and after he recommended it not be used on anyone,they used it on him?Damn and loved his recation.

This episode actually packed a lot into it as a whole.

[ edited by Buffyfantic on 2014-04-30 02:04 ]
Skye is either not going to be affected, or it will bring out her latent Kree-ness.
Fury is gonna be called on the carpet come the finale. Calling it now.
And yeah, something is up with Simmons. Not to mention the something we*know* is up with Skye. Should be an interesting couple of episodes.

Also I like the T.A.H.I.T.I. twist.

[Edited to put the periods in, now that I'm not on my phone.]

[ edited by javelina on 2014-04-30 02:18 ]
I hadn't thought there was anything up with Simmons, but she seems strangle UNruffled by all of this.
"I think you all have convinced me. I'm no longer convinced, either, after holding out thinking "naaaah." But, now . . ."

One of us, one of us!
Mind = Blown.
Grack21--I think we all feel that way.
Can't wait to find out what Skye being an 084 is!! Great episode. This show has really picked up!
If Simmons is Hydra, I quit. Maybe she's Kree, and Skye is a genetically engineered super soldier that she rescued as an infant. One of them is Ms. Marvel. Or maybe she was originally a man, but doesn't want anyone to know.
"I hadn't thought there was anything up with Simmons, but she seems strangely UNruffled by all of this."

And they just continue to amp up the tension! And we finally have some answers about T.A.H.I.T.I. (thought we still don't know where the alien came from) - I wonder what this means for Coulson in the future. Has he mentally lasted longer than other people, or is he just a ticking time bomb?

I'm also worried about Fitz for next episode. I like that he tries to see the best in people, and doesn't think they are inherently evil, but I hope that doesn't mean he will do something that ends up getting him hurt...

And agreeing with blackflamerose about Simmons - something is off. I don't know if my heart can take anymore crazy twists of betrayal.
But poor Fitz if it's true. Seeing him after finding out about Ward . . . I cannot imagine his reaction.
Another extremely entertaining episode. ABC should really consider rerunning the entire series this summer to build the audience for season 2. Make it Marvel saturday nights, broadcast Avengers the first week, then each week after run 2 episodes of AoS back to back.
At this point I would not be surprised if Simmons ripped her face off and turned out to be Red Skull and Sky ended up being from the future. :P

Also was anyone else humming the BTTF theme during the Lola part?

[ edited by Grack21 on 2014-04-30 02:25 ]
No, Grack21. I was thinking "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang."
Skye/Chloe Bennet in pain is just devastating.
I think the producers said some time ago that they're not going to play the "nobody is what they seem" game on this show. I think Ward is the only traitor.

With the added mysteries of Coulson's mindwipe and Skye's 0-8-4-ness, I think that's enough to go with for now.

I think Fitz and Simmons are just people.
Maybe one of them is Glory?

Preview for next episode looks interesting with lots of flashbacks!
Grack--Hee hee. No need to apologize.
Are you saying Ben is Glory?
Well, surely there cannot be a person here that didn't briefly flash back to Buffy with the open grave--before the reveal of whose faux grave it was.
Is everyone here very stoned?
@palehorse - I thought it was Fury's! Was watching for the Ezekiel "righteous man" quote. Only once we saw the coffin lining did I get a Buffy flashback.
So with Raina in charge of doing testing with the blue guy blood, we're not only going to see supervillains. We're going to see *crazed* supervillains.
I wonder if that whole cemetery is full of empty coffins.
Heh, come to think of it, Sunnydale must have had A LOT Of empty coffins.
"Are you saying Ben is Glory?"

"This'll be worth it, *smack* OOW!"
Well damn ... did not see THAT coming

KUDOS to the writers for throwing in a plot twist no one predicted. At all. Give me 30 minutes and I probably still won't be able to predict it after having already seen it

KUDOS to Chloe n' Brett for nailing the creepy tension. I loved the cat n' mouse circling.

KUDOS on more FitzSimmons moments, including leaving the door open to my pet "Simmons-IS-Hydra theory".

KUDOS to the actor (forget his name) who delivered the attitude as General Talbot.

Quibbles: I know I'm in the minority but I have never been a Cobie as Maria Hill fan. Just not buying her as a hard ass. Thought the change of heart was odd/rushed. SFX team continues to disappoint - Deathlok looks like something from the old Buck Rogers TV show, and flying Lola reminded me of the ol' Land of The Lost Saturday morning opening

Still - really enjoyed it. Want to fast forward to the finale and see how this puppy wraps up
I so miss Spike.

But Ward is doing a fine job of being really effing evil. It's great.

"Excellent. Now. Do we suspect that there may be some kind of connection between Ben and Glory?"
That guy in the cemetery should have gotten a credit. Just because he didn't have any lines... face acting doesn't get the respect it deserves.

When Coulson and Skye were free-falling in Lola, I was totally flashing on that Bugs Bunny cartoon with the gremlin.

I got the feeling Deathlok was secretly doing what he could to help Skye without tipping off Garrett or Ward.

I wonder why Coulson didn't tell Maria he knows Fury is alive. I also wonder why he's so determined to keep any of the Avengers from knowing he's alive. Maybe they're waiting to do the big reveal in Avengers 2?

I'm really glad this show survived its early growing pains and turned into the show it was meant to be. Even Steranko is on board now!

Wait... Ben is Glory?
I hadn't thought of Ward as Spike. I definitely don't want him to be Angel.
Are you saying Ben is Glory?
You mean...Ben's with Glory?
"With" in what sense?
When did all this happen?
I don't see Ward as either. Angel accidently became evil when a vampire decided to fancy him. And Spike was made evil by a crazy woman. Ward seems to have made a conscious choice. So he's worse than either of them. (Even though I'm sure both Spike and Angel have a much longer trail of dead bodies... but to be fair they did have more time.)

I don't know much about the comics. How does Ms Marvel become Ms Marvel, because if Simmons ends up with superpowers I think I could live with that.

Oh.. I just googled. Ms Marvel gets her powers from Kree genetics. So, uh, Skye?
It was a simple mistake to make. Ben is Jerry and Fitz's Chunky Monkey.*

*Other reaaaalllly bad lines occurred to me using the word glorious so just be thankful I stopped here.
@Nebula1400 - To paraphrase Dr. Horrible, it's not a perfect comparison. I don't think of Ward as a Spike equivalent - but he's certainly filling the "evil bastard" slot, as Spike did at the start of S. 2. Except that Spike was always funny.

[ edited by javelina on 2014-04-30 03:30 ]
Take gender out of it and Ward is far closer to Faith than Angel or Spike. No soul or magic issues, just a bad upbringing and falling in with the wrong mentor.
@BringItOn5x5 That works.
Ooh, nicely reasoned, BringItOn5x5.
@BringItOn5x5 - Indeed. Good comparison.

On another note, my husband would never watch Buffy, Angel, Firefly, or Dollhouse with me, and he still doesn't really watch AoS, but he listens from the other room, and then walks in to see what's going on on screen. He doesn't watch TV, but to see him stop to half-watch AoS (every week) has me confused! (I think he was a fan of Marvel Comics growing up, and he liked "The Avengers" movie.)
Good call on Faith/Ward.
Thread 33,000 and we can still get a good Ben/Glory joke going. :)

I agree that if we're comparing to Buffy characters, Ward seems like Faith from what we know so far. He's not nearly as fun though. Garrett seems to be monopolizing that.
Are we saying Ben has something to do with Glory?

Fitz is never going to like Trip, is he?
Oh.. I just googled. Ms Marvel gets her powers from Kree genetics. So, uh, Skye?

That's why I think Skye is Ms. Marvel. She was given Kree blood, but there was also a Captain Marvel who was a Kree warrior who rejected endless war, and came to Earth to get the Avengers to avert an invasion (I forget if it was by the Kree or the Skrull).

Some people were disgruntled that there were no superheroes on AoS. I think we're seeing them grow some on the series.
The Ward=Faith is a great call, though I also feel hints of Boyd from him.
@PaperSprock lalalalala I can't hear you because Boyd was never ever evil.
He was never ever Boyd, either.
Hush! *goes into my happy place*
HELP! I had a frustrating evening because my cable was screwing up so I couldn't see the episode, and I won't be able to see it at ABC on Demand because my cable company doesn't have that access. I know it's been talked about here, so can anyone point me to another way to see it? I am willing to pay if it's some small sum for just a one-time viewing on Hulu or iTunes or something like that, not so sure if I have to subscribe. I'm not very knowledgeable about the options for VoD.
On iTunes, you can buy any episode, $2 for SD, $3 for HD, the day after it airs.
Sign up for a Hulu Plua trial and you can watch it legally tomorrow morning. Or join for something like $10/mo.
Oh, true. iTunes is cheaper for a single episode.
You should be able to buy it on amazon instant video tomorrow, for about $2 (if you're in the US--not sure about non-US options).
barboo, you should be able to watch free on Hulu by midnight. Ish. (I think ABC must've rethought their stupid 8-day delay for this show, because of ratings.)

Or you can join Hulu Plus for a "trial period" free and then just cancel.
It will also be on hulu free after about a week, but if you want to catch up so you can watch next week's when it airs then iTunes or Amazon is a better plan.
I've been able to watch on Hulu free the last few weeks, almost right away. Was that temporary?
Fantastic episode. If no one has said it then let me be the first to say that Chloe Bennett has GREATLY improved her acting since the beginning of this season. I was on the edge of my seat watching her acting with Ward in this episode. Ward turning evil was the best thing that ever happened to that ship and this show.
You can't get it via
Thanks for all the help folks. It looks like among all the opportunities I should be able to watch it by tomorrow. There's just no pals like Whedonesque pals.
I thought the open grave was Fury's too. Figured May was digging it up because she doesn't believe he's dead. The Coulson twist was, well, mind-blowing. What a fantastic episode!
It is not available on Hulu until after a week delay*. The only variance on that was for 1.16 & 1.17. On ABC.Com it is only available if your cable company is willing to verify that you have cable and ABC can be bothered to deal with them.

*rechecked seconds ago.
Just realized Maria told May how to find out the information on TAHITI, in the opening scene she tells May that Fury buried that intel when he decided not to bury Coulson.

I'm still not seeing the whole Simmons is Hydra angle. Ben is Glory, yes, we all had prior knowledge to that way before the ep The weight of the world. But if Simmons is Hydra, than Ward just got knocked down to second best in the 'world's best actor' category.
I know I've mentioned several times that we've stuck with the show here due in no small part to my 11 year old daughter absolutely loving it, even back in its monster-of-the-week doldrums. I can't begin to tell you how mind-blown she is each week now as she's getting her first dose of serialized Whedony goodness. My suspicion is she'll watch this one 3 more times before she's done with it. Very glad we all kept with it (although I was never as down on it as some and in fact have found some if not many things to like about each episode), those of us who have are definitely being rewarded. Deathlok gets better with each appearance too, doesn't he?
When Lola was in free flight I was flashing back to the Ford Anglia in Harry Potter. Great episode!

[ edited by Eden on 2014-04-30 05:26 ]
Popping in after an extended hiatus, to express disappointment-- and possibly court charges of heresy-- but having difficulty enjoying the series. 20 episodes in, and one would expect that the season's end game would be in sight, the action would ramp up, and the characters would be more 'believable'-- but this ep is all exposition-heavy, repetitive dialogue that's just this side of a telenovela. That shouty scene with Maria Hill and Coulson? Sounded like it came straight out of a CW teen melodrama: "Oh, grow up, Phil! Of course you're a liability." (And yeah, I get the Total Recall-esque 'reveal' for Coulson's increasingly silly hysterics.) The Skye-Ward faux-mance? Not working for me either. Obviously some are quite enjoying the show, and so I keep hoping it will improve; but for me, still stuck on meh.
Agent Coulson, get your ass to mars.
Eden "I told you to buckle up!" When they landed & looked at each other I was reminded of Giles & Anya coming out of the vortex after talking to Beljoxa's Eye. Bit windblown.

Loved the valet's totally nonchalant "20 bucks." Like cars dropping out of the sky & landing perfectly parallel-parked (Only way I could ever parallel park!) is an everyday occurrence.

Fitz had me choked up. Man, that hurt! Simmons holding it together during her autopsy report...almost...ouch again. Skye playing Ward - beautiful. And when Deathlok dropped on the car, my exact reaction was "Holy shitballs!"

And probably the best "mind seriously blown" line ever: "Huh." Man, Fury better hope to hell Phil never catches up to him!

Really wish I hadn't missed last week's episode. Stupid ABC online. Grumblemumble.
i was about to jump on here to say: Of COURSE Ward is Faith. How could he be anything BUT Faith. We start with the assumption that because he is SHIELD (she is a slayer) that he(she) must be a good guy. But apparently they both had some messed-up family lives and poor role models/training officers/watchers. The difference is Faith never loved anyone. There was no one she was willing to die for, except maybe the Mayor. AKA Garrett.
However, I don't believe the luves between Skye and Ward. Ward and May made so much more sense. I have developed a new respect for Dalton's acting ability.
LOLA was put to good use ... obviously designed by either Stark or Stark's dad. But a little deus ex machina.
I'd like to see the series go a little darker, but not sure that is going to happen in the current time slot. Neither will it ever get the 9/10 p.m. slot.
LOLA is in Cpt America I believe. It was um, crap i forget his first name, it was Stark Sr.'s car.
Excellent episode. Now. Do we suspect there could be any kind of link between FitzSimmons?
Lola wasn't the one Star Sr. showed off but it's definitely a more modern version of it.
Anyway, good episode, I really enjoyed seeing Maria and especially all the SkyeWard stuff.
Two more episodes to go. How time flies.

[ edited by Boto on 2014-04-30 08:31 ]
Another great episode, really sad we only have two episodes left this season.

Please someone help Mike, JAR breaks my heart with every appearance.

I'm deeply worried Simmons has a secret definitely not Hydra but something is up with her - this could just destroy Fitz if it comes out.

I've never been on board with SkyeWard but actually like their moments in this episode as Sky tries and fails to conceal her complete and utter disgust at Ward and then tries to beat him up! Chloe has been killing it this last couple of episodes.
"The difference is Faith never loved anyone."

I'm pretty sure Faith was madly in love with Buffy Summers ;) or at least thats what my fan fic told me.
Just watched the episode and I gotta say, awesome job from all parties involved. The last 7 or 8 episodes have been steadily delivering and improving from the premise. The show has definitely gotten darker, morally ambiguous, and all characters are doing things we couldn't predict from the pilot. The Skyeward relationship has turned on its head, and both Chloe and Brett are playing the new interaction wonderfully. And here's when I had this scenario in my head about where Ward can go:

Ward gets killed in the finale. Either by Coulson or Fitz, but he dies. Remains to be seen whether he wants to sacrifice himself for Skye's sake or not, or how much he repents for her love, but he's on that path. What if Skye or Coulson decide to bring him back using the T.A.H.I.T.I technology effectively rewriting his memories? Making him a true SHIELD agent this time? It would make for an incredibly Dollhouse-esque arc for Ward in Season 2. He would discover bit by bit who he was before his resurrection, and he would need to decide who he wants to be, much like Echo or Angel, for that matter. I really hope they take this road.
Our 33,000th front page entry. Blimey.
Speaking of Buffy/Angel character comparisons, it just occurred to me that Deathlok is sort of a reversed Spike-with-chip.
Congrats to all the admins on the milestone. You do great stuff here that makes the world - at least my corner - better.

I loved last night's ep too. I couldn't watch with the folks here but real life was busy.

The Skyeward confrontation was brilliant. The ending was lovely and on point. It reminded me of Supernatural - monster hunters on the road in cheesy motels.

I'm guessing folks here already pointed out that Coulson snuck on that plane through the wheel like that kid. And it was filmed prior to that miracle. I laughed.

I'm not sure where any of this is winding up. Ward seems doomed but I don't know. There's still that weird plasma gravity stuff Garrett was drooling over.

It's all looking like a lot of fun! Go SHIELD.
Loved the episode. Well paced for an episode that featured a lot of dialog while waiting for something to happen.

Chloe Bennett has really settled into her role and is so believable. Great casting with her. ... Triplet, on the other hand, continues to be nothing but a cardboard cutout of himself with moving lips. I wish I could get over him sucking so bad.

FitzSimmons - I loved BOTH of their performances. At this point, I don't believe Simmons is anything but who she says she is. That doesn't mean in the future the writers won't change their minds.

Coulson's "huh" was just like Captain Mal's "huh" when he saw River Tam inside Simon's cargo box.

My biggest beef is that Skye should have let Ward die. How many people have Ward and Garret (et. al.) killed because of that hard drive, or just killed in general? The stakes are too high at this point to let a crush affect her judgment. Letting him die would have a been a huge win for the good guys and shown that Skye was no longer beholden to her emotions.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-30 14:20 ]
Am I the only one not buying that Ward has real feelings for Skye? Not feeling it at all.

Really loved the scene in the diner, riveting. And I loved that Skye almost escaped. However I was surprised she didn't let Ward die of a heart attack, especially since she saw Koenig's body and knew what he was capable of. I didn't get that.
I loved Chloe's acting throughout and was thrilled to see Mike Peterson back. I hope he gets a happy ending but not holding my breath!
Also not getting a Simmons as traitor vibe. The Lola scene was crazy but fun.
Never really thought Skye would let Ward die - perhaps cynically because we still have 2 episodes to go and I'm guessing any resolution won't occur until the finale.

I also thought it was true to her character. While she may be an official agent now, she's still the most "normal" person on the bus and most prone to wishing her job didn't entail people getting hurt. I could easily see May, given the same situation, letting Ward die -
Hey, everyone! I'm new here and I'm incredibly grateful for the chance of becoming a member that I had been waiting for years!
@hann23, actually in the episode Seeds, May and Coulson when they are waiting in Mexico for the former Shield agent related to Sky, May tells Coulson that if she ever needed to disappear, she would hide in a plane just like that.
When the news came out of the Hawaiian kid, I totally thought he must have been a (bit deranged) fan of the show.
Also, in this episode I was thinking that Coulson took the idea of sneaking on the plane from that conversation with May.
In case anyone cares, I personally was 90% kidding about Simmons being Hydra.

@Xane, I think maybe Ward wishes he had feelings for Skye because it's easy to be the traitor agent when nothing is actuaally moving forward, like when Hydra was still just behind the scenes and he was in it and got to feel all special and whatever, but now that it's out in the open I think perhaps his concious is clinging to something to convince himself he is a good person.... or at least that he doesn't completely suck. He still wants to be part of Coulson's team so he's latched onto whatever small spark there was between them. Or it goes back to my (not really that good) theory that Skye's 084 status makes people go the extra mile to protect her.
I loved how Skye said "I'm gonna throw-up" when Ward said he always had feelings for her. Kind of reminds me of Spike and Cecily/Buffy.

I think comparing Ward with Faith is a flawed comparison. Faith was initially good. I believe that Allan Finch's death was an honest mistake; however, it changed her for the worse. Prior to that, I feel she really wanted fit in with the Scooby-gang. I think Gwendolyn Post played on her insecurities, and Wesley's failed reformation/kidnapping put the nail in the coffin making her turn to the Mayor and think she could be evil. I still think Ward-Boyd comparison is better. Initially, I trusted Boyd. I had no reason to think he was head of Rossum Corp, and the same could be said with Ward having a connection with Hydra
"Ward turning evil was the best thing that ever happened to that ship and this show."

Hear, hear! :)
Let's do the T.A.H.I.T.I. Twist like we did last Summer.
For those wanting to know how to (legally) watch the show online, the links at are updated every Wednesday morning.

[ edited by Beth on 2014-04-30 16:20 ]
Nobody on the show is Ms. Marvel. Any character that could potentially get their own movie is not going to be on the approved list for this show.
@Jason: Not sure if that's entirely accurate; a Deathlok movie has been floating around at script stage for years. (See the i09 article about Paul McGuigan's work on the screenplay.) Who we won't see, even though it had a Maria Hill shout-out is "Man-Thing"... because this.

Welcome, and that's exactly what I thought when I heard about the Hawaiian kid.
If we get a female-centric MCU movie, it's much more likely to be Black Widow than Ms. Marvel. And it's much more likely not to happen at all.

The Catwoman and Elektra movies have not done much for the near-term future of superheroine films.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2014-04-30 17:35 ]
Welcome @end_of_the_world_optimist! I forgot about that conversation, thank you.

Thinking about that stowaway kid & that conversation from that ep is really wiggy.
So, all of this season Phil Coulson has been searching to find . . . . himself.

How'd that work out for you?
Yet another great episode. Show's really found itself since Ward came out of the evil-closet. If I have one complaint this week, it is that I kind of would have liked Skye to do the surprising thing and let Ward die when Deathlok threatened that. Probably not in character for her even with her rage being what it was, but the way it played out just felt so very obvious and infinitely seen-it-before. Other than that, I don't think I have any complaints. Really loved how Hill is still protecting SHIELD secrets and calculatingly tossing off one insignificant secret base to save others while furthering her own public position as cooperative.

I agree that Simmons is likely to have some dark secret, but it being Hydra is looking very unlikely. Though I'm starting to really root for it. They could do a very chilling version of the Walter White hands-in-the-air "You got me" flashback on Breaking Bad out of her telling Fitz she's not Hydra. That'd make anything work it.

I liked the Coulson twist at the end. Clever way of making Fury seem like less of a [insert expletive here] in Coulson's own eyes while retaining the highly shady manipulative aspects of his actions.
Our 33,000th front page entry. Blimey.

Congrats to Simon and all the mods here. Excellent thread to celebrate such a milestone with.
Really, really enjoyed this ep. The twists and turns felt more three-dimensional than some of the Wikipedia summaries type eps from before.
Welcome @end_of_the_world_optimist!

Our 33,000th front page entry. Blimey.

Wow! Congrats! Glad it was for discussion of a currently airing Whedonesque series. Too many years have been spent talking about what was, and what might be. So good to discuss what is!
We probably spent 22,000 of those talking about Buffy. NO REGRETS.

But yes, I agree - talking about current stuff is my favorite kind of thread.

[ edited by Sunfire on 2014-04-30 20:59 ]
@Sunfire: What is our longest thread ever?
Hi, Guys! It's been years since I dropped in, but I am taking a shot hoping that Joss, in his occasional visits will see this:

[Please do not do this. - Sunfire]

[ edited by Sunfire on 2014-04-30 21:17 ]
The longest thread has to be one where Joss posted.
I think this one is probably the most viewed? Or at least it got a crazy amount of interest at the time. Not sure about which thread has the most comments. The other mods might remember.
What a great twist at the end. I did not see that coming. So does that mean just before the Avengers started, Coulson was going to quit?
Then there's this one - 1066 comments.

[ edited by Nebula1400 on 2014-04-30 21:41 ]
Loki, if I was the writer for the episode then I would've let Skye allow Ward to die. Deathlok looks at Ward(Deathlok cam POV), then text msg to Deathlok saying "Revive Ward, this girl is stronger than we thought,she didn't take the bait."

Deathlok quickly revives Ward and then proceeds to torture Skye in order to break her down into giving up the encryption while Ward looks on clinging to life.

In the end, she never gives up the information and escapes with Coulson in the same manner on Lola. I think that would've been a stronger and character building moment but might've taken a bit longer.
The fact that Skye let Ward live tells me that SHE still thinks/hopes he is redeemable.

[ edited by Penthos on 2014-04-30 21:35 ]
That episode would have made a half way decent season finale, makes you wonder what is coming next.
Just caught up with the episode this afternoon and I'm still gobsmacked by that reveal about Coulson and T.A.H.I.T.I. -- it's PERFECT! Very "live by the sword, die by the sword" . . . aaaand then live again. Hmmm, speaking of swords, could Simmons be an agent of SWORD? There is something off about her, isn't there? Or is that another misdirect that's really about Fitz? Has Fitz been subletting from Glory all this time?

So much more goodness! The riddle from Fury via Maria Hill that leads May to the coffin with the flash drive. All the story parallels with Ward, Deathlok/Mike and Skye.

Penthos, I don't know if Skye thinks Ward is redeemable, but she proved that she isn't going to be even indirectly responsible for anyone's death, even that scumbag doublecrossing bastard Ward's.

The bad hair after that escape on Lola was very Whedony. Can't wait for all this to play out.

And congrats on the 33,000th thread!
I'm really enjoying this show now. Skye's character is growing on me. She was amazingly resourceful the last two eps. Can't wait to see the surprise she left on the harddrive.
Skye couldn't shoot Quinn in "The Asset". The fact that she couldn't stand by and watch Mike murder Ward doesn't surprise me. Nor does it make me think that she believes Ward is redeemable. It seemed very in character to me.
@sunfire and @nebula1400: Thanks!
>> Is everyone here very stoned? -- @javelina

No, just me.

Can we get pie?
"Can we get pie?"

Shawarma. And mochas!
I think if Skye had let Ward die, she would have proven that Ward was right.

They'd just had a big argument where he claimed that it was okay for him to kill people because it was part of the greater mission. For her to let him die in that moment would have been her killing for a greater purpose. She's clearly not ready for that.

I think a little predictability is okay in this instance. Besides, she said she left a surprise for when they decoded the hard drive. So she found her own way to deal with them.
I loved the moments between Skye and Ward. So well acted and directed. Chloe Bennet is the best <3 FitzSimmons are developing a really fluid chemistry. I'm not a fan of Cobie Smulders, so those parts were very 'whatever'. The after-scene was so Dollhousey.

[ edited by Out. For. A. Walk. Bitch. on 2014-05-01 02:20 ]
Just finished the episode. I don't think Simmons is evil. I think she has grown up faster than Fitz has and she is feeling rather big sister-ish towards him while they used to be equals.
And if it wasn't clear before (and I don't think it was) Fitz does harbour romantic feelings for her. I had thought that he was just jealous because he wanted everything to go back to the way it was.

Coulson doesn't know that Maria knows Fury is alive, and vice-versa. So they won't admit it to each other. That will be fun as it plays out- if it does.
I always arrive late. No one thinks it's Fitz who's HYDRA?

[ edited by Brett on 2014-05-01 04:03 ]
ShadowQuest and Penthos: I think the prototypical Whedon "Huh!" might be spoken by Oz when he wakes up naked in the forest--in the second-season episode "Phases" if I remember correctly.
Great episode. Ward is such a good bad guy. The whole "I was on a was nothing personal..I would never hurt you...I have feelings for you..." Totally psychotic and scary, and Skye's reaction was perfect.
I don't get the Coulson twist really. He was involved in TAHITI but we still don't know who performed TAHITI on Coulson himself right? Coulson wanted to stop the project before Loki stabbed him. And why would May show him that video when she knew that memory loss was important to prevent side effects?
Also, i like how they're humanizing Ward. I actually find him much more human now than when he was a good guy. Hope he's around to stir the pot next season.

And for some reason, I really loved the whole debate about whether Ward is a Nazi: How Skye was all fixated on it and how Ward was baffled and indignant about the accusation. Not sure why but that really worked for me...character-wise. I wish there was more dialogue like that, and a lot fewer cliches and cornball lines.

Good catch by someone up thread about how Hill told May where the secret was buried....
@palehorse - You're welcome!
For the people saying they don't care for Cobie as Maria, I'd like to point out something. Even in the comics, Maria Hill is kind of a jerk. I've never thought the character was likable, just very good at her job and unable to understand why she has to get along with people in order to do that job.

So Cobie's Maria isn't really supposed to be someone we all fall in love with.
I hope they give Ward a good back story for his evilness. Also make him more competent at his job now that he has been revealed. Right now it's just a little to cornball to ring true. Also he totally needs a Jenny Calendar moment to make me believe. Cue Amy Acker neck snap scene!
Brilliant stuff again. Loved that last scene, the revelation of Coulson's own role in the project all-but overshadowed the implications about Tahiti's mental deteriotion effects - because doesn't this mean that the more Coulson finds out about what exactly happened, the higher the chance that he will still turn into some kind of Dark Coulson (villain for season 2, maybe?)? And what about Skye - will she stay careless about the source of her revival, or will she also still experience some bad side-effects?

I loved pretty much everything within this episode, but Skye may have been the absolute highlight - with her hair after the Lola escape! (or maybe more with her everything-but-a-damsel-in-distress actions and her calling out Ward for being a Nazi)
The scene between Ward and Skye in the cargo bay was fantastic. Really great acting. Those two should argue more.
@Jason_M_Bryant ... I think your first sentence nails it. There are some who don't like "Cobie" as Maria. You're absolutely right, the Maria of the comics is intense, demanding and will kick your ass if required - none of which Cobie pulls off (IMO) Her Maria tends to come off as a slightly annoyed retail manager. Actually I always thought Eliza with a close cropped hairdo would nail it (IMO)

Of course everyone's mileage varies.
To me it seems possible that they're setting up Ward to regret his choices. First he goes through Skye's rant at him about being a Nazi; he cares enough to listen and to deny it, but she has convincing evidence and he stops arguing back. Then he sees a fellow Hydra agent utter the stock Nazi war-crime defense of "I was just following orders" with a totally straight face, and just maybe, Ward is historically aware enough to recognize that line when he hears it.

There's some possible parallel with Riley Finn on Buffy when he's on the lam, and he comes to the realization that he's all too good at following orders, and none too well practiced at thinking for himself.
>> For her to let him die in that moment would
>> have been her killing for a greater purpose.
>> -- @Jason_M_Bryant

I strongly disagree. Skye would not have killed anyone. Even Mike/Deathlok would not have killed anyone. The person who had agency here, was the person pulling the strings. The killer would have been the Clairvoyant. (who may or may not be John Garrett)

This is a common trope in drama (and life) that I think could and should be eliminated. A person who won't be blackmailed, can't be blackmailed. Easier said than done I know, but necessary.

- - - - - -

[the deputy is holding one of the school's girls at gunpoint as Billy Jack approaches]

Deputy: Now you drop that gun or I'll shoot her!

Deputy: [long pause] I'm not gonna ask you again.

Billy Jack: You won't have to.

Deputy: What?

Billy Jack: I said shoot her.

Deputy: [cocks revolver] You'd kill her? just like that?

Billy Jack: [shakes his head] You'll kill her.

[points his rifle]

Billy Jack: And then I'll kill you. Just - like - that.

-- "Billy Jack" (1971)
Just to follow up on that: Ward usd the exact "just following orders" line earlier in the episode. Mike's use of it I think was an intentional parallel to smack Ward in the face (by the writers, not Mike obviously).
I have ben quiet on these threads because AoS has not been a show I have enjoyed...until recently. I kept hanging on waiting for improvement and now Evil Ward has done it for me. Ward was so boring and cardboard and now WOW - great plot twist, wonderful acting with him and Skye. I hope the quality continues.
Sorry RobynH, I don't buy that. Letting someone die is the same as killing someone. Skye letting Ward die when she could have avoided it would have showed a brutality that has not been part of her character until now. I'm all for subverting a trope, but not at the expense of character.

TallMichaelJ, I see what you're saying, but I don't think that has much to do with Cobie. I think that's how the character is being written. I've been thinking since the first episode that the next time we Maria Hill, she should jump through a window, flip over a table, and throw a guy into another guy before she says a word. Instead the first scene was of her complaining on the phone to Pepper about talking to Congress. Maria isn't supposed to be likable, and Cobie is getting that part, but they aren't giving her the badass moments to balance that out.
Cobie has badass moments in CATWS, and was fine in that. I get people's not liking her as Maria Hill in AoS, but if we get a second season, and she is brought on as a recurring character (or as a regular), she might be given something more challenging to do. She has the potential.
Question: Is Maria Hill supposed to be likable? I mean, is that part of the comics or something?
@NYPinta ... No the comics version of Maria isn't particularly likeable, nor does she have much time for hero worship. She made her name fighting on the Pro Registration side in the Civil War event, where she spent time chasing down Captain America among others. What the comic book Hill has that AoS doesn't is the proto bad ass attitude. Think a more verbose Melina May super agent.

There's not a lot of snarl in Cobie's Maria Hill. More a resigned attitude with the occasional snarky quip. The comic version would have hopped out of the plane and punched Ward's lights out after the "eye candy" remark. Again, it could be that's how they've chosen to write her, tho I lean towards the it's a Cobie problem

Of course, I lean to the Simmons is Hydra, so what do I know ;)
Re Maria Hill, a character can be sympathetic and interesting without being "likeable" or a good person. In my opinion, that's the difference between Ward (who is pretty evil and not likeable but becoming more interesting) and AoS's Maria Hill (who is on the side of good, basically, but not very interesting). I think the problems with Maria Hill's character, at least as she is portrayed on the show, are problems with the writing. She is basically written as a cliche -- the seasoned, tough-guy agent -- and the tough-guy, wisecrackin' dialogue that reveals her character is similarly cliche. Also, she's not especially different from May, who in my opinion is similarly undeveloped and one dimensional. I think the most interesting characters so far are those who have shown some real flaws and idiosyncrasies, such as Ward and Koenig, and to some extent, Skye.

All my opinion of course.
>> Letting someone die is the same as killing someone.
>> -- @Jason_M_Bryant

Second, separate argument that I believe may also be valid.

What about all of the innocent lives that Skye could have just set up for termination or worse than termination. By giving HYDRA access to all the deadly tools in the toolbox, in order to save stone cold killer Ward.

I stress may on this one, because first, I don't think Skye has necessarily given HYDRA free access to the goody box.

Second, Ward, by his own statement "I owe everything to Garrett." Now, he owes something to Skye as well. And he has a fair degree of certainty that the Clairvoyant (probably Garrett) will kill him if needed just as a bargaining chip.

That has got to have some effect in reshuffling Ward's alliances.

I actually do think that you are correct, Skye's compassion in saving Ward will be the key to turning Ward back from the dark side. It will let him redeem himself, probably sacrificing himself to save Skye in the process.

I just think that was the easy and overworked plot element, I would have preferred a more difficult choice from Skye.

I would have preferred to see Skye say: "Yes, I like Ward, maybe could even love Ward someday. But he is a killer from a nest of killers and I am going to let my friend die for the greater good."

That is a hard choice to make. You are correct that a choice like that would haunt Skye for the rest of her life. But that is the kind of story telling strength I expect from Joss and his merry band of pirates.
Maria Hill started the fight in the office and took on two soldiers while Coulson fought with Talbott. I thought she was plenty bad ass then.

I would have been very disappointed if Skye would have decided to let Ward die. Skye as a character would have seen that as murder in cold blood, it's who she is. I'm still waiting for Fitz to have a moment to deal with his killing a Hydra agent in Turn, Turn, Turn. That was the first time we saw him pick up a non-icer gun when he fired three rounds to save May.
I want to see Fitz being hurt more. I'm a terrible person. He's kind of being the Willow right now - when he breaks, you break. Though Simmons is also that. They're both Willow and Xander in different situations. Fitz going berserk was one of my favorite moments this episode.

The other was, obviously, Skye losing her sh*t at Ward in the cargo bay. I really enjoyed how she didn't hold back verbally or physically. Loved how they showed her totally outsmarting him and almost getting away. They needed a super-cyborg to reign her back in which is awesome. She wasn't some random damsel who slipped up or anything.

AoS currently has me on the edge of my seat the whole time. Hopefully we won't go through a "let's have everyone catch up" ramp up period at the start of season two (Dollhouse S2 kinda suffered a bit from that in the first handful of episodes).

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