We’ve gotten a better understanding of the characters in these past 6 episodes, but it was of course time to dig into their hierarchy of SHIELD. If anything gave you a clue as to the type of team they are going to have to be, this episode gave you a reason why.
There was a great balance of action and character moments. It was only a matter of time before Fitz and Grant were put together for a mission. They don’t have the best relationship and this helped them come to a better understanding of one another. Grant of course thinks of himself as a baby sitter for them trying to keep them safe being the main combat ready agent on the team. Then you have Fitz who is out there with something to prove. He is seen as the one who is most afraid, and he doesn’t like that image of himself, he wants to be at the same level as the rest. You could see that when Grant saved Simmons when he didn’t have the physical skill to. Aside from the fact that their extraction was a lie, that didn’t mean these two weren’t seen at their best. Fitz more being able to stand his ground knowing that he was a liability, and being able to hold some sort of offense to support Grant.
Fans were in for a treat when it came to the appearance of Victoria Hand. It was very obvious that with her inclusion into the story that she had to be the bad guy. Maybe not to the extent that we’d expect so far, but she is definitely not someone to be trusted. Saffron Burrows as Victoria Hand was the perfect fit. She had a strong presence, great talker, imposing due to her position and above all she really had that nonchalant attitude towards people she thought were disposable.
This episode definitely gave some hints towards the Captain America movie to come. SHIELD is not what we would believe it to be at this moment. As Tony would point out, there are secrets so far deep and now you have further reason to believe him. If anything this may be what starts to expose SHIELD for what corruption may be within. Starting with Victoria Hand, and ending with those at the head like the man we saw in the Captain America trailer.
Coulson, May, and Skye were very much the backbone of this episode. Constantly focusing on that one phrase, “Trust the system”. Seeing how Skye questioned the ethics behind trusting it when they knew their own were in danger, and then seeing how stressing this to Coulson started to make him question it himself. You like May because she is very supportive and allows people to make their own decisions, she has enough trust in them to do so. It was funny though when she let Coulson talk to himself to try to find the answer.
It’s worth mentioning the emotion you felt from Skye finding some clue as to what happened to her parents. It felt very genuine and you sympathize with her more knowing that what answers she got, wasn’t all that she needed to hear.
All in all, I think this was the best way to position the story from the previous. It is actually a step up in improvement from the last episode. Not only are they acting more as a team, but you see the dependence that they put on each other when they know trust is not something to hand out. Many questions were answered, but at the same time, just as many were raised. Who killed Skye’s mother? Was she an agent? Where’s her father? How much trust can Coulson really have left with SHIELD knowing how much they are keeping from him and the risk they’d put his team in? And could this be the start of more action between Fitz and Simmons beyond the lab? That much alone is reason enough to keep watching this show or go back and get caught up.