Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns! After a two week hiatus, the show has returned, promising to bring viewers one of the biggest episodes yet. With promises of more Marvel characters to come, such as Deathlok, Sif, and Lorelei, will this be the episode that ends the slow burn that has been present in the series so far. Also, this episode, a cameo from the Man himself, Stan Lee. So join us won’t you as we recap episode 13 of Agents, entitled “Tracks”. Hit the jump!
The episode starts off running as the gang determines that evil businessman, Quinn, who has been a foil in the agents’ side, is transporting something very important via train. Splitting off into groups of two, the agents decide to focus on the espionage side of their training and infiltrate the train. May and Ward’s continuing sexual tension adds some humor to the mix as May reveals that she told Coulson about their relationship as the two slip into their agent apparel. Meanwhile, Skye and Fitz go over accents before heading into the fray, in an even more humorous scene, as Skye demonstrates the most horrible Scottish accent in contrast with Fitz’s amazing American one. This leads into a great cameo by Stan Lee as he rebukes Coulson all around for his imaginary prostitutes created by Simmons.
Ward, quickly grabbing Coulson and leaping from the train, proclaims that the two have been made. Once landing, the hired goons of Cybertek throw a bomb that causes the train to turn invisible. It’s a great start to the episode, showing the team firing on all cylinders with a nice blending of humor throughout. This episode is able to effortlessly play up what we’ve learned of the characters so far, and add some pretty good action scenes in the meantime.
After having leaped from the train, Coulson and Ward are able to make their way back to “The Bus” and in yet another comical scene, have absolutely no idea how to use the giant “holotable” that Fitz and Simmons use effortlessly. This also gives a chance for Ward and Coulson to awkwardly discuss his relationship with May, and surprisingly lets loose a piece of information that hadn’t really been revealed in the Marvel movie-verse, where the Abomination has been since his appearance in The Incredible Hulk. Apparently, the Abomination/Emil Blonsky (Tim Roth) is being held in a “cryo-cell” in Alaska, which Coulson threatens to send Ward to. This is a perfect example of how to incorporate the Marvel Universe into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in that you can have an off-handed comment like that which most people may miss, but the observant fans will be able to take note of.
May appears, instantly killing the original informant, Russo, who had helped the agents get on the train in the first place! We’re then treated to her side of the story as the grenade which had seemingly made the train invisible had actually locked Ward and Coulson in a frozen state. Russo manages to capture May, and tries to convert her to the side of Centipede, the big bad of the season. In a particularly bad-ass scene, Russo stabs May in the shoulder and as he walks away, May pulls out the knife, cuts herself free, and stabs him with it! She then, after having killed Russo, tells Coulson and Ward what’s actually happening and stitches herself up with Coulson’s help, right as Ward moseys in. The groundwork for a pretty interesting love triangle as Ward is clearly developing feelings for the brickwall that is May, and she really could give a flying fig.
The team finds the now-abandoned train with an unconscious Simmons, wondering where Skye and Fitz are. The episode then shows the tech team’s story as the nerdy duo of the group encounters another Cybertek merc, who, in a struggle with Simmons, accidentally sets off another one of their stun grenades that is actually a more advanced version of the team’s “stun guns”. Fitz then pops the unconscious mercenary with his stun gun twice for the unconscious Simmons, which is odd considering he was already knocked out. For a second, I actually did a double take as I thought Fitz had killed the guy, which honestly would have been a good moment for the lab rat of the group.
Skye infiltrates the mansion where the package had been placed from the train, and is promptly caught by Quinn and goons to reveal that the shipment was none other than Mike Peterson! Peterson wakes up and is given a new robotic leg by Quinn, beginning his road to becoming Deathlok, which, in the comics, was actually a cyborg assassin from the future with robotic enhancements. In a particularly creepy scene, Quinn begins goading Peterson to kill Skye, and he refuses, leaving the room. Quinn then SHOOTS SKYE twice in the stomach!
Peterson/Deathlok then kills a roomful of the mercenaries in Quinn’s mansion for having led S.H.I.E.L.D. right to them. The team then storms the mansion, finding Skye and placing her into whatever tube was holding Peterson originally, which somehow saves her life? Ok, before I keep going, they never really explained that the tube was anything other than a tube that held Peterson, but I guess it was some kind of healing…tube? If Skye had been placed into the tube and it froze her with some sort of cryogenic effect, I could buy that, but she instantly starts breathing again once they throw her in there! What a confusing turn of events. The team each begins crying and tearing themselves up for what happened to Skye and the episode ends there.
Overall, I was really ready to give this episode an A, as everything was really moving along well in the show. The team was working well with one another, the humor was there, the action scenes were perilous, and there was a real sense of danger throughout. Cue the final scenes where it seems like Skye is going to pull through thanks to magic tube! This could have been a real chance to prove that this was a show where anything could happen, where even one of the main characters might not make it through. As it stands, it looks like we’ll see Skye pull through in the upcoming episode and loss a certain amount of tension that could have been gained. In summation though, I really dug the episode and it was a strong showing on nearly all fronts.
S.H.I.E.L.D. seems to be a roller coaster with slight highs and crushing lows, so hopefully we can see more episodes like this one after this next month long hiatus (most likely due to the Olympics).
Agents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.:
- “In like Quinn” That has to be the worst magazine cover of all time.
- “Someplace affordable with big portions.” Perfect interpretation of Americans, Fitz!
- “Now is your chance to do better!”
- “You made time for your work…AND YOUR PROSTITUTES!” “Prostitutes? Plural?”
- “I can’t deal with Asgard today.”
- “Holotable…on. Holotable…activate.”
- “It’s never happened on the…Bus…sir.”
Watch the promo for the next episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: