Have I mentioned recently how glad I am I stuck with this show? Because I am. It is showing the typical Whedon storytelling, and we are in the good parts where the action is ramped up and we can't miss a second. It will be interesting to see how the show proceeds to tell stories for season two, assuming it does tell stories for season two.
But that's speculation for another time. For now, let's look at what happened tonight.
The episode picks up where the last one left off. Triplet, Coulson, Fitz, and Simmons have returned to the base only to find no one home. They have video of only the exit doors, so they know May left followed several hours later by Ward and Skye. When Simmons and Fitz decide to make some food for everyone, Simmons finds the body of Agent Eric Koenig while Fitz finds a hidden message from Skye - Ward is Hydra. He refuses to believe it for a while until the autopsy confirms that Ward was the only one who could have killed Eric.
Coulson and the team start trying to track down their plane and find it in LA. They are ready to take off after it when someone breaches security. It's Colonel Talbot (again), and he's come to arrest everyone. However, he's not alone Agent Maria Hill is with the team.
Coulson manages to get alone with Hill and eventually talks her into going after Ward and Skye. They knock out Talbot and his team and take off for LA.
For Skye's part, she has done her best to get some kind of weapon, but Ward is too smart for that and keeps her unarmed. She had told him that the location to decrypt the drive is the diner in LA where she first met the team, old encryption codes die hard. So they sit there and Skye gets to work. The only problem is, she lied. In reality, while the drive is "decoding," she's really send out info on the location of Ward so he will get arrested and she will be away from him even if she is arrested, too. The plan doesn't work, however, and Ward recaptures her. This time, however, there are no secrets; each of them knows which side they are really on.
At which point, enter Deathlok, aka Mike Peterson. When Ward is still unable to get the location out of Skye, Deathlok stimulates his heart to give him a heart attack. Despite her hatred of Ward, Skye can't stand watching him die, so she gives in and gives up the location, anywhere in the world but flying at a certain altitude, and Deathlok revives Ward.
They are about to get away when Triplet and Hill arrive, attempting to get Ward to surrender. He doesn't do it, but the diversion works - Coulson has snuck onto the plane. After rescuing Skye, he intended to take out Ward - until he learns that Deathlok is on board. They quickly get in the flying car from the pilot (lots of call backs to the pilot), and back out. The flying part takes a bit to get started, and they almost crash, but Coulson gets it started just in time.
The gang goes to a cheap motel to regroup. Fitz and Simmons are still processing that Ward was bad, but Simmons promises Fitz will never lose her. Their non-relationship relationship is so cute, and I am rooting for one of them to make a move (which won't be until next season if we get a next season, I know). Meanwhile, Agent Hill goes back to her new job at Stark Industries, which is now the leading company for global security (when we first saw her, she was on the phone with Pepper Potts). Before she goes, she encourages Coulson to consider letting his team turn themselves in - after they catch Ward if they absolutely must. And Skye reveals that she put a few surprises in the drive that will hamper Ward and Deathlok when it is decrypted.
But you'll notice I haven't talked much about May. She was off on her own for much of the episode. A conversation with Hill at the beginning made her question who was behind Project Tahiti because it didn't seem that Fury was really in charge. So she digs up Coulson's grave and finds a drive inside with a level 10 message. She shows up again for the final scene. Coulson apologizes and welcomes her back, and then May shows him the message.
It's from Coulson. He's been working on Project Tahiti. However, it isn't working. All those who they have experimented on slowly go crazy after a little while. Memory wipes help, but they aren't fool proof. Coulson on the video suggests that the project be scrapped immediately. The Coulson watching the video's reaction, an understated "Huh," is so incredibly funny.
Naturally, this means that in addition to tracking down Ward and Garrett and stopping them, we need to worry about Coulson and Skye going crazy. And, for that matter, we seem to have forgotten that Skye is one of those rare objects that we need keep under wraps. I hope we get back to that.
Only two episodes left this season? I so can not wait to find out how this is going to wrap up, especially considering they have to tie in to the movies, too. We are in for a wild and crazy ride.