The agents are scrambling for a solid victory. Will they get one this time? Find out in this week’s episode recap of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. You know the drill: spoilers to come.
Picking up right where last week’s premiere left off, we see the fates of Hartley (Lucy Lawless), Idaho, and Hunter after Creel flips their van. Yup, Hartley is definitely dead, and so is Idaho. Hunter is the only merc left alive. Agent May, rolling up on a stolen motorcycle, tries to get him out of the SUV. Hunter refuses her help, however. Catching up to Creel is more important. Reluctant to leave, May hops back onto her motorcycle and starts her pursuit of Creel. Just as Hunter is able to cut himself out of the SUV, the military charges in; they’re still a little peeved S.H.I.E.L.D. infiltrated their base and stole a couple valuables.
Meanwhile, May finds Creel in a stolen truck casually driving down the highway. Coulson demands she stand down and follow him covertly. C’mon, this is Agent Melinda May we’re talking about. No one pisses her off and leaves the scene without something to remember her by, at least. But she relents to Coulson’s orders and switches to surveillance mode.
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Tripp and Skye make it back with the Quinjet. Skye notes that when Hartley grabbed the Obelisk, it showed the same symbols Garrett drew when he went crazy. A clue! As big as this news could have been, Coulson is a little preoccupied with the fact that their little hidey hole has been compromised no thanks to Hunter’s capture. If that’s the case, they’d have to clear out immediately and burn the place down. And they just changed the bathroom tiles…
Elsewhere, Mac, a new recruit in the engineering department, starts working on the Quinjet’s cloaking device. If you remember from last week, Fitz has been unable to make their own cloaking device. Since the Quinjet had one of its own, they needed to steal it from the military to reverse engineer the device and outfit it to the S.H.I.E.L.D. bus. Mac immediately starts tugging at our heartstrings in this episode: while everyone throws Fitz pitying looks, Mac feels genuine sympathy and even tries to work with him. Fitz-Mac… MacFitz…! Oh, that works!
We jump back to Hunter who is not taken to military jail, but is instead thrown out in the middle of an open field. There, Major Glenn Talbot makes a grand entrance via helicopter. Yes, this is becoming one of those “let’s make a deal” scenarios. Talbot wants Hunter to go back to S.H.I.E.L.D. and sell Coulson out. In return, he gets $2 Million and a proper burial for Huntley. You see, Hunter had the love feels for Hartley. Since Hartley used to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, she’d be branded as a traitor and get stuck in a pine box in some “popper’s grave.” If Hunter held up his end of the deal, Hartley’s record would be cleaned, and she’d get a proper send off. The merc’s got morals after all.
Fitz, feeling utterly useless, stumbles upon Creel’s DNA results. Hallucination Simmons, whom we shall now identify her as Head-Simmons, is immediately intrigued. Fitz takes the packet and scurries off all sneaky like to see what he can come up with to stop Creel.
Speaking of Creel, he’s waiting for his contact at a diner — May is outside. Stalking. Waiting. Briefly we see that Creel somehow absorbed the Obelisk into his body, and he’s having a really hard time controlling it. A waitress accidentally bumps into his infect arm, and minutes later, turns into a petrified corpse. Seems like his rubberized hand, which he used to grab the Obelisk, didn’t work out so well.
Hunter comes back to S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ. Coulson already knows about the deal he’s made with Talbot and they start making their own negotiations. Hunter’s terms are generally the same: give Hartley a proper burial, plus he wants Hartley’s and Idaho’s pay given to their respective families. All Hunter really wants is a chance to take Creel out. This guy…he’s going to be our lovable rogue, isn’t he?
Fitz is already close to figuring out how to hit Creel wear it hurts when Mac walks in seeking advice on where to install the cloaking system. Unwilling to talk any more about the damn cloaking system, Fitz blows him off. Concerned, Mac gently pokes and prods at what Fitz is working on now. Head-Simmons likes Mac for his straightforwardness, and convinces Fitz to let him in on how to stop Creel. “I didn’t solve this today” is all Fitz can say on the matter.
Hey, remember Raina? She’s back! She wants the Obelisk. In return, she’ll give him a piece of ultra rare material called carbine, which is made from stardust and is much stronger than diamond. Creel doesn’t take the deal, but he does take the carbine and runs off. Disappointed, Raina contacts Coulson to tell him about Creel and the Obelisk…and the tracker she placed inside the carbine. Our team — May, Triplett, Skye, and Hunter — immediately leaves to track down Creel, who’s on his way to another drop point with Hydra.
Meanwhile, Mac and a small team of scientists are trying to speak Fitz who’s desperately trying to explain that he’s thought of a device to destabilize Creel’s powers. “I didn’t solve this today!” Fitz repeats. Mac, finally getting with the program, realizes that they need to look through old plans in their database. Boom, got it. Team MacFitz for the win.
The team finds Creel and his Hydra handler. As soon as they check in with Coulson, Hunter takes out May, Skye, and Triplett with his Night Night Gun. They’re called Icers now, but that’s just lame. Then, in the dumbest of dumb moves, Hunter stomps through the courtyard with Triplett’s sniper rifle, attracting huge amounts of attention. This includes Creel’s, of course. Why he didn’t just try to take him out from Triplett’s position is beyond me. Hunter takes the shot, but Creel transforms just in time. Creel gives chase, and Hunter immediately regrets his actions (Run! Must go faster… Faster would be better!).
Amidst the chaos, Raina slips in and steals the case holding the Obelisk before the Hydra agent realized what was happening. Sneaky, sneaky.
Creel and Hunter fight it out a bit; or rather, Creel throws Hunter around, and the merc stupidly keeps getting up. Just before Creel deals the final blow, Coulson pops up from nowhere and stabs a device in Creel’s back. This immediately destabilizes his powers and he’s turned to stone. For now… Maybe. We’re not entirely sure at the moment.
Afterward, Coulson tells Hunter to “sell him out” to Talbot.
Talbot and a legion of soldiers pull up to meet Coulson in the middle of a field. Thinking they have the upper hand, Talbot is not at all interested in making a deal with S.H.I.E.L.D. With a wink and a smile, Coulson shows just how big his proverbial balls are, taking both the Quinjet and the bus out of cloaking. The bus, by the way, as some new heavy artillery. You’re move, Talbot. Yeah, that’s what we thought.
The epilogue of the show gives us yet another “Oh snap!” moment, like last week’s reveal of an un-aged Kraken. This time we see that Raina is taking orders from a new threat. Who is he, you ask? Oh you know, just SKYE’S DAD.
Follow Christina Janke on Twitter @IntrotoGeek!