And we’re back! After a month long hiatus, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns with an episode that promises some big guest stars entitled “T.A.H.I.T.I.” When last we left off, Skye had been shot and the team began scrambling to find a way to save her as she clung desperately to life. Along with this predicament, Marvel’s Deathlok has been introduced through the character of Mike Peterson who continues to work for the nefarious Centipede and the mysterious Clairvoyant. This week, the team meets Agent Garrett, a grizzled super spy who shares a past with Agent Coulson, played by Bill Paxton. Will his arrival be game over for the agents? Hit the jump for our recap.
Our episode begins with the team bringing Skye to the closest S.H.I.E.L.D. facility as a waiting prep team does their darndest to make sure she sees another day. From here, the team beats themselves up over what each could have done differently in the case of making sure that Skye hadn’t been shot. We’ve seen this scene quite a lot in many different instances during the show’s run time and honestly, it’s past tired at this point. Heck, we saw this scene at the end of the previous episode with everyone wondering what they could have done differently/grieving. Ward approaches May, who is driving the Bus at the time, and wonders if it’s even worth it for them to fly halfway across the world to try to save Skye at this point. It’s an odd question as they don’t seem to be doing anything else at the moment.
Luckily, the monotony is curtailed by the arrival of Agent Garrett and Agent Trip. Paxton has great rapport with everyone on the cast and I’m glad to hear that he’s going to be a recurring character on the show, as nearly every one of the noteworthy quotes came from him. Apparently, Garrett and Trip have a history with the maniacal businessman Quinn, who was responsible for bringing Skye to the brink of death with two slugs to the stomach. The duo interrogates Quinn to no avail while on the other side of the plane, Fitz and Simmons discover that the same drugs used to resurrect Coulson may have a chance to bring Skye back to life.
Now, let’s talk about the “Admin Cube.” In trying to discover the secret location of GH-325, the drug used on Coulson, Fitz and Simmons use the “Admin Cube” which is a data storage cube housing all of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s administrative files. Seems unlikely in and of itself but this sequence just completely encapsulates one of the major problems with the show, of which there are many. So Fitz, while navigating the giant cube’s contents in an arguably neat looking scene, runs into a roadblock wherein he can’t decipher the cube’s secrets and asks aloud, “What would Skye do in this situation?” Well apparently, Skye would just push all the numbers forward and instantly solve the uncrackable high security puzzle with no problems whatsoever. Why even include this scene at all if there was no tension or drama to be had, and our heroes could just effortlessly solve it? It goes back to my problems with the show just being too “clean” and effortless when it comes to how problems are solved for our heroes.
From here, the team visits an underground bunker where the drug can be found, but are encountered by two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents guarding the installation asking for a password. Shockingly, the team simply mows through them, killing them both in a firefight. This sort of rubbed me the wrong way as we’ve seen them use those stun guns on numerous occasions to take down villains. When they’re encountered with fighting two of their own in a secret facility they just kill them? That’s pretty strange.
The group manages to find the drug and races back to give it to the flatlining Skye, but not before Coulson comes across a door labeled, “T.A.H.I.T.I.” Now I know that more than likely this won’t be explained, but man I’d be dying to know what exactly that stood for. Coulson, horrified at the contents of the T.A.H.I.T.I. room, runs back to the team, begging them not to give Skye the drug. It’s too late however as the drug is injected into Skye and her heart rate stabilizes. It’s later revealed that the thing that shocked Coulson so badly was the drug was being produced by half a blue man inside of a tube. As to the identity of the blue man? I want to lean toward it being a Kree, which is an alien race that populates the Marvel universe and would work as a good tie in to the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie coming this summer, but I’m not entirely sure. I could easily see it being a frost giant from Thor or some remnant of the Chitauri from The Avengers. Yet another mystery to add to the ever growing pothole of mysteries swarming around the show.
We’re left with the stinger of a villainous Asgardian arriving to Earth, enchanting a recently married man to take her out of Death Valley to cause chaos. This is of course leading into the arrival of Thor’s Sif, played by Jaimie Alexander, in next week’s episode as another way of more closely tying the world of the Agents to the Marvel movie verse.
This episode was serviceable at best, and grating at worst. It took us from point A to point B, sprinkling in another mystery while going through the motions the show usually follows. Surprisingly little to no humor to be found in the episode outside of Paxton, and the episode suffered for that. The team dynamic just seemed to retread old ground and I found myself mostly bored, which for this show, should be considered a cardinal sin.
– Nice drop of “616” For the nerdy among us, we know that’s a reference to Marvel’s reality number in the millions of alternate realities the characters of the funny books come across.
– “They scratch my paint, I’m gonna be pissed.”
– “How’d Coulson score such a sweet ride?”
– “I’m sure he’s tucked between the jacuzzi and the squash court.”
“Sounds catchy right? Like a wrestler from the 80s.”
– “Your Clairvoyant say anything about me knocking your teeth in?”
– “What if they don’t want to help us?”
“I’ll say pretty please.”
– “Humor son, you Brits are too serious.”
– “You said there was good news.”
“I did? Oh yeah, you still have your tongue.”
– “I seek passage from this Valley of Death to a new land.”
Watch a promo for next week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., guest starring Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif: