This was an explosive issue to say the least. Not only has Skye’s association with the Rising Tide now come back to bite her, but they also are treading in dangerous waters to achieve the perfection of the Extremis formula. This episode reminds you that with everything up to now that has happened, and all the new enemies stepping up, the Rising Tide still stands tall as the most threatening to their goals as a team.
Right away we are introduced to Tommy who was nothing more than a street magician who kept his powers to himself. Off the bat we know that he is another new character they have created to fit this world. Much of this episodes strength came from his character and how he wanted something more out of life. So much that he was blinded by who was really helping him and who wanted to use him. The anger he felt from feeling held back, frustration from feeling used, and the pain of having what made him special sucked right out of him. That is what’s in store for anyone with powers and what drove home why this team is designated for this task. Rising Tide wants to exploit these people like Tommy, and Skye associating with them does no favors.
Skye has a secret that jeopardizes her relationship with the team right when they need her most. People may complain about the time she gets on-screen compared to the other characters, but it’s obviously not without reason. We see S.H.I.E.L.D. from the perspective of those who are a part of the organization, yet with Skye we get an outside perspective and one that challenges their ideals. Especially from her friend who basically stood very firm on things she now doesn’t quite believe in and gave both Ward and Coulson a hard time. Whether people like it or not, it has to be emphasized that while S.H.I.E.L.D. wants to protect the world from what they don’t understand, the world will still fight back to exercise their right to what they have or know. This doesn’t make the teams job any easier, and when they take a risk on someone like Skye, things will get tense. That is what put Coulson in this position and from the last episode we saw that that isn’t the guy he really wants to be or can be.
What’s great is that aside from Skye or Quinn, we have another face that stands out from Rising Tide. The elusive girl in a flower dress is definitely someone who poses a threat to them and she has already made more progress than others have hoped to achieve. She’s smart and she knows how to manipulate people, “Oh damn, they gave him a name.”, that is one thing you take from this episode because this woman got him to do exactly what she wanted and more. Scorch was a great name and a good choice as many were anticipating to hear Sunfire. From this episode you see that she will play a bigger role to come and she has great potential with her methods which are pretty inhumane.
There is no going back from here. The momentum has really picked up and you see how far they are willing to take things, there’s no campy, or light, only when it has to be and things have reached that point where jokes are more scarce. S.H.I.E.L.D went there and there’s no going back after this performance. They have to all be this good if the show wants to keep viewers coming back.