Wednesday, February 5, 2014

TV Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1-13 - T.R.A.C.K.S.

Last night’s episode used an unique storytelling devise – filling us in on the action from various viewpoints until we got the full picture.  It can be a risky viewpoint, but it was executed perfectly for this episode.  I loved it!

We start with our team on the plane getting their assignment.  Quinn, the billionaire from the last episode (and an earlier one), has bought some device and is using a train in Italy to transport it to wherever he is hiding.  The team is going to sneak onto the train under cover and tag whatever it is so they can track it to Quinn.

Everyone seems to get into place, and it seems to be going well.  Simmons’s antics to spill the tracking powder in the passenger car was a particular highlight.  (It also provided Stan Lee the chance for his cameo.  Pointless to the episode but so much fun.)

But then things go wrong.  The earpieces go out just as they’ve found the package.  Coulson heads out to the location to find no one there.  Then Ward comes rushing in followed by several bad buys.  One of them has a grenade.  Ward and Coulson jump off the train, which promptly vanishes after the grenade is thrown.


Now we join Ward, who was supposed to head down the train and actually tag the item.  He is attacked just outside his compartment and manages to get away.  He warns Simmons to go join Fritz and Skye in the baggage compartment until he can come back for them.  More guys start to follow him, and he races into the compartment where Coulson is.  We see them jump off the train and it vanishes.  Then Ward and Coulson get up and try to figure out what to do. They find May’s glasses, which means she isn’t on the train any more.  The first step is to get back to the train.  Fortunately, they find a local’s truck in the orchard where they landed already hotwired.  They make it back to the plane where they use the data table to start trying to figure out what exactly that grenade is so hopefully it will give them a clue to where the train is.  While waiting for the results, they get a call from the local Italian police (aka Morris, Chloe’s ex-husband from 24) who they replaced on the mission.  His team is dead and he wants to meet up.  However, when he arrives, he promptly dies thanks to May’s knife in his back.


Now we pick up May, who was using special glasses to track the men guarding the package so it would lead them to it.  (The powder Simmons spilled earlier was designed to work with her glasses.)  Just as the earpieces wig out, someone starts shooting at her.  She uses a parachute to get off the train, but someone is still shooting at her.  She kills them and then finds Coulson and Ward on the side of the track frozen in place.  She hot wires the car, intending to go back and get them to take them to the plane, but is attacked by Morris and his crew.  She kills all but Morris, who then escapes, but she manages to stow away in his vehicle and finish him off at the plane.  While she patches herself up and showers, we get a lead on the train.  It had changes tracks, but they found it still in Italy.  Obviously, they’ve figured out it hadn’t vanished, it just kept going down the track while Coulson and Ward were frozen.  The trio gets back to the train where they find Simmons on her own in the baggage compartment freaking out.  She has no idea where Fritz and Skye are.


And this is the last time we flashback to events from a different point of view.  We rejoin Skye and Fritz as Simmons joins them.  Unfortunately, they are discovered, and Simmons and the bad guy both get stunned with a gun.  Before Simmons recovers, the train stops and the package is unloaded.  Fritz and Skye follow it to a mansion where Quinn is hiding.  Fritz turns on a tracking device so the rest of the team can find them while Skye goes inside.

Once inside, she finds Mike, the man who everyone thought died on the bridge back in December but really has been patched up by this group and implanted so he can be controlled like others we’ve seen earlier this season.  Then Quinn walks in, catching Skye and waking up Mike from the cryo unit where he was sleeping.  Mike is giving a bionic leg and then told to go start his mission for the Clairvoyant.  Quinn wants Mike to kill Skye, but that isn’t his order.  Instead, he goes upstairs and starts killing henchmen.  Quinn, however, shots Skye twice in the stomach.  Those were his orders.

While Skye is bleeding out, the rest of the team finds them and rushes inside.  Simmons uses the cryo unit to keep Skye alive temporarily, but they need to get her to a hospital if they are going to save her life.  Naturally, in all this confusion, Quinn and the rest of the team escape.

For the final scene, we see Mike watching kids at play.  He writes a note asking the person on the other side of his monitor if he can see his son.  The answer?  Not yet.

Also this episode, May tells Ward that she confessed to Coulson about their relationship.  Ward then talks to Coulson about it in a very awkward scene.  Coulson tells him that if this relationship gets in the way of the job, he’ll make sure both suffer the consequences, but he also hints that, at least for Ward, there might be some feelings behind their relationship.

I think that about covers it.  As I said, the narrative technique where was brilliant giving us a piece of the puzzle and leaving us with more questions until the end.

Will Skye’s injuries reveal why she is this unknown object?  My guess is yes, but we will have to wait a month until March 4th to find out.

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