RECAP: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – S1E16 “End of the Beginning”

by Stephen Huynh

This week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. starts with Agent John Garrett and Antoine Triplett checking into a S.H.I.E.L.D. safe house before getting attacked by Deathlok. But before we get too excited, Agents Garrett and Triplett easily fend him off and sends him flying through the roof. Literally.  

 

Agents Garrett and Triplett are later seen accompanied by veteran S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Victoria Hand (Saffron Burrows), Felix Blake (Titus Welliver) and Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) as Coulson and The Bus pick them up on an air carrier ship.

 

Coulson’s called a meeting of the top brass in order to finally bring down The Clairvoyant. His reasoning for bringing them all together? To avoid The Clairvoyant’s psychic powers by putting a few hundred feet between the mysterious villain and them. Garrett starts to debrief the team about their attack by Deathlok. He believes it was because Triplett and he were getting too close. They’ve narrowed the list of possible suspects to 13, a list that S.H.I.E.L.D. used to interview people who they believed has psychic powers. Coulson then reveals how he plans to catch The Clairvoyant-utilizing Skye. [If you asked me, The Clairvoyant it totally a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent all along. Betrayal is nothing new. And if we were really going deep into this theory, it’s totally Felix Blake. He just looks like the bad guy and makes me want to hate him]

 

Skye is called into the meeting with the Top Brass by Agent Ward. She then begins to explain that in order for their plan to work, the agents will be split into pairs with each person receiving different information, not knowing the full scope of the mission until they both reach their target destination. However, she’ll need access to top-level S.H.I.E.L.D. files. How will she ever do that?

 

Congrats! Welcome to S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Skye Whatever-Your-Last-Name-Is! Coulson hands Skye her SHIELD agent badge and congratulates her on all of her accomplishments since joining the team. According to Coulson, she’s passed every SHIELD agent requirement test and I’m choosing to believe that she did this off-camera. But now this leads me to wonder how exactly hard is the test to become a SHIELD agent? Also, now that you’ve been given clearance, couldn’t you look up the mystery behind your parents? Huh, Skye? Meanwhile, the team departs for their destinations. [Hm. Which of the three teams has it right? My money’s still on Blake being the Clairvoyant so Team 2 is where I’m at]

 

Team 1. Agents Ward and Triplett are sent to a prison in the UK and share some heavy conversation before actually getting inside. HUGE foreshadowing, Triplett lets Ward know that when they find the Clairvoyant, he better stay out of his way.  Interestingly enough, Ward tells Triplett that they’ve all got axes to grind but they’ve also got a mission to do and bringing the Clairvoyant in alive is a top priority.

 

Team 2. Agents May and Blake are sent to an assisted living home  in Georgia after Thomas Nash, a comatose patient.

 

Team 3. Agents Coulson and Garrett arrive in Muncie, Indiana and are sent after some genius with ties to the Yakuza.

 

Ward and Triplett go inside the prison only to find the visitors desk unmanned by any prison guard or person, while Coulson and Garrett are detoured by construction workers. But the real story here is with, I guessed it, May and Blake. While May’s off on her own, Blake gets attacked by an upgraded Deathlok. After Blake attempts to appeal to Deathlok’s fleeting humanity, Deathlok crushes Blake and puts him into critical condition. [I guess I was wrong about Blake. He went down like a trooper].

The rest of the team regroups and recounts their own individual missions. Every other lead turned out to be a dead-end but their suspect, Thomas Nash, who turns out to be a ghost/cover up at the care home.

 

Back on the plane, Simmons and Fitz have a somewhat flirty moment while Simmons packs her bags to go to SHIELD HQ as the resident specialist on the Deathlok program. She’s excited to go because then she’ll have the resources to analyze Skye’s changed blood. But Simmons and Fitz are interrupted by Agent Triplett. [Poor Fitz! You need to make your move soon man, before Triplett gets in there. Simmons and Fitz, I honestly cannot wait for these two to become a thing. I really do ship this pretty hard.] 

 

Coulson then realizes that Agent Blake had shot Deathlok with tracking bullets. The team tracks Deathlok to an abandoned racetrack in Pensacola, Florida where they breach the place with a flood of agents. But what kind of SHIELD operation would this be without toys?

 

Fitz releases his advanced toy cameras to scout the place out and to our surprise, gives us a badass look using the “multi-spectrum overlay” camera to see the cybernetics and workings of Deathlok. It really does look amazing and just like his comic book counterpart.

 

The team follows Deathlok down a stairway and into the sub basement level of the racetrack. Instead of finding their target, the agents find a creepy, paralysed guy on life support with all kinds of wires and tv screens all around him.

 

The man speaks through the surrounding TVs and it is incredibly creepy. After surrendering himself over to SHIELD custody, he blatantly confirms himself to be both Thomas Nash and The Clairvoyant. Well, that was anticlimactic. The agents flood into the room and listen intently as Nash answers all of Coulson’s questions with ease. Nash goads Coulson by recounting the time when Skye was on the brink of death.  “She has something we want and she will die giving it to us. I have seen it.” – Thomas Nash. He continues by telling Coulson that it’s “inevitable” and that something evil is coming for him and Skye. But before Nash can finish his evil vow to continue coming after Skye, Ward shoots him in the heart. [Ward totally just killed for the woman he loves.]

 

[I honestly don’t really see a problem minus the fact that The Clairvoyant surrendered over to SHIELD custody and was completely harmless. But still, he was a bad guy and threatened the man’s love? What would you do?] Ward is escorted to the back of a SHIELD vehicle and everyone around him just looks like he committed the greatest of all crimes. [Are people forgetting that SHIELD works high level missions everyday? They kill people all the time. I mean it’s why they have guns…]

 

Skye and Coulson meetup to review the day’s events. Coulson admits to Skye that they had no real proof that Thomas Nash was The Clairvoyant other than the word of a dead man. Coulson goes on to point out how all of Nash’s communication was through television, which could have been easily recorded or even transmitted elsewhere. For all we know, Thomas Nash was a puppet paralysed in the chair and couldn’t even speak while someone spoke for him, and consequently got him killed by Ward.

Skye and Coulson quickly realize that because The Clairvoyant knew information that was all apart of their SHIELD profiles, he isn’t really a clairvoyant at all but a SHIELD agent. A SHIELD agent with the clearance high enough to attain all the information in all of their files except Coulson’s information about Tahiti because Fury never put it in any files.

 

Coulson then rushes to interrogate Ward, believing Ward was ordered to shoot the Clairvoyant. Coulson’s behavior here is extremely illogical because  the only reason they came to their theory that the Clairvoyant is a SHIELD agent was essentially because Ward was goaded into killing Thomas Nash. According to Skye and their theory, the Clairvoyant utilized Ward’s psych evaluations and knew just how to get Ward to shoot Nash even without his cooperation.

 

Meanwhile, Fitz discovers that Agent May has her own secure line on the plane which is against regulations. Then again, he was there to create his own secure line to talk to Simmons while she was at HQ, so who really is in the right here? After a brief awkward moment between Fitz and May, Fitz gets the hell out of there and runs into Skye. Fitz tells Skye about the line and is then ordered by Skye to cut the line, while Skye runs to get Coulson and Ward. Having done as he was told, Fitz runs for his life as May chases after him with her gun drawn. [Noooo May. I so badly didn’t want you to be a bad guy.]

 

While Fitz hides in the lab behind bullet proof glass, Coulson and Skye both draw their weapons on May and we now have a standoff between what used to be a team. May tells the both of them that they all don’t understand. She’s not able to tell them anything about who she’s reporting to. [My bet is that she’s answering to Fury OR an illuminati type group that’s like for the good guys but their dealings are super shady.]

 

Before the two parties can begin their all out gun fight, the Bus suddenly turns itself around. Coulson then shouts at May, “If you’re not doing this, then who?!” Against all clichés, the camera cuts to HQ, where low-and-behold, we see Agent Hand who says “When that plane touches down, take out everyone on board except Agent Coulson. He’s mine.”

REVIEW for this episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Although I really enjoyed the whole dynamic of having the agents split into groups, the mystery behind the Clairvoyant and I’m excited for the rest of the season, I was sorely disappointed in this episode again. It really was such an easy cop-out for them to make it so that the Clairvoyant isn’t at all a psychic. What’s even more disheartening is to hear that SHIELD’s official stance is that there’s no such thing as psychics, showing us even further how far this show is stepping away from super powered beings. The producers and almost everyone involved in this show really wants to establish this show as part of the overall Marvel cinematic universe but I really just don’t get that feeling. I mean I see attempts when they feature guests from the Marvel universe but that’s just it, they’re just attempts. There’s nothing really holding the audience to the idea that this is occurring in the same Marvel universe as a man in armor or a giant Hulk rampaging through the streets.

The next episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Turn, Turn, Turn” is set to premiere Tuesday, April 8 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. is set to show on April 8th.

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