S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Maria Hill's Kick-Ass Return, a Dash of Pepper (Potts) and a New T.A.H.I.T.I. Truth

COBIE SMULDERSAnd that, kids, is how your Aunt Robin kicked some serious ass on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Former S.H.I.E.L.D. bigwig Maria Hill resurfaced on the ABC series this Tuesday, and though things were frosty between her and Coulson at first – seeing as she led General Talbot to Fury’s Providence bunker — the two ultimately wound up again on the same side, fending off the troops so that they could hunt down Ward, who’s absconded with Skye.

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Skye meanwhile played along with her Hydra hunk’s ruse, claiming she could geo-unlock the encrypted drive at the same diner where she first met Mike Peterson. But that was her own trap, where she sicced the cops on Ward — only to get stopped in her fleeing tracks by Deathlok.

Back abroad the Bus, Ward insisted to Skye that he’d never hurt her, but there are other ways to make her talk — namely, by having Deathlok put Ward’s life in danger with some heart attack gizmo. Skye gives in, ‘fessing that the Bus needs to hit a certain altitude for her to decrypt the drive, which she does — though not without, we later learn, leaving Ward and Deathlok a “little present” on said drive, before she escaped the Bus midflight with Coulson via Lola.

As word spread of Ward’s true agenda, Fitz took it hardest. Later, he even found himself asking Simmons — for the record — if she was Hydra, because he simply wouldn’t be able to take it if she was.

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Toward hour’s end, Coulson had two illuminating conversations. First, Maria Hill  broke the bad news that despite his most fervent wishes, S.H.I.E.L.D. is not intact, not even in an unofficial capacity. Her advice to him: Wrap up the unsanctioned personal mission against Ward and Garrett, and then call it a day, letting his team go their separate ways — or, you know, come work with her at Tony Stark’s place. (At the top of the episode, we heard Maria’s side of an amusing phone conversation with Pepper Potts.)

Then in the tag, Coulson found May in his motel room. She came bearing fresh hell intel — the truth about who was behind T.A.H.I.T.I.. It came in the form of a video message Coulson had left for Fury some time ago, declaring the program to be “too extreme.” Coulson cites degraded mental health and such as the side effects, and how they only can be stemmed by memory wipes. Thus, he recommended the termination of the tests ASAP, the costs being “far too great.” Coulson’s shell-shocked response upon realizing his onetime role in shepherding that which one day would save him: “Huh.”

What did you think of this week’s S.H.I.E.L.D.?

 

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89 Comments
  1. Very Total Recall, heh.

  2. Amanda says:

    Can Cobie be a series regular now?

    • Badpenny says:

      Cobie’s husband lives and works in NYC. She’s been waiting to be able to live on the same coast as her husband for a couple of years now. She’s in no rush to take another LA job.

    • Aeol says:

      It’s been said in clear and certain terms that she’s not jointing as a series regular.

  3. jujube says:

    This episode was amazing, many reference to the universe, actions and suspense! How come it is not officially renewed yet?!?!

    • CMG says:

      Only because ABC doesn’t make a habit of doing early renewals. Even shows that are a 100% lock for renewal don’t get an early pick-up. They announce their renewals and cancellations at the upfronts in mid-May (May 13 in the afternoon, this year.)

      • precisely, CMG… that was the “joy” of working for an ABC affiliate for 15 years… never knowing what you were selling for the following fall. There were obvious shows that were getting renewed every year. We’d all be sitting there watching the new schedule being rolled out, night by night.. and at the end we’d all be “where is XXX? or where is YYY?”

  4. M says:

    Auntie Robin is the best

  5. Tom Charles says:

    Whedon is the master of the huh

  6. Patrick Maloney says:

    Was the price Marvel Studios had to pay for making such great stories both in movies and with television was taking Maria Hill, one the most exciting characters in comics, and turning her into the most boring one on television. I felt my eyelids get heavy every time she was on. And I feel the TAHITI stuff is getting too tedious now, you either reveal everything or stop interrupting the story for reveals that aren’t really big… I mean we all know the side effects are bad and Coulson’s involvement is too logical and too small of a reveal.

    • Badpenny says:

      The fact that the people who were given TAHITI went bonkers isn’t “big” to you? Both Phil and Skye have the serum in them. And now we understand why May was watching Phil – to see if he was going to lose it due to the serum. Those are big deals. It also seems like a good way to get a biochemist like Henry Pym involved next season… :)

      • Patrick Maloney says:

        We already knew that Coulson and Skye were always in danger of suffering side effects. I just don’t see why they couldn’t have kept this information until they were ready to reveal the whole thing because this isn’t important enough information to warrant that it be at the end of an episode.

        • Dj says:

          I disagree a major plot point on the show is that Coulson couldn’t trust May because of her role in TAHITI and his questions of who ran the program. That is a great way to end an episode. Plus it could play into when Fury comes back.

          • wingsstef says:

            Also why the need to know the whole thing at once? The slow reveal that causes the fan theory wheels to turn is much better. I mean it’s not that they clues have not be coming, because they have been.

      • lovemunkey187 says:

        Like the idea of of introducing Dr Pym to the world, but where would that leave things with the forthcoming film?

  7. James D says:

    Holly Hulk’s Underoos how did this show get so good so quickly. another fantastic episode questions are being awnsered, while more are being asked. one thing i’m not so sure about is by the looks of it they’re going to turn Ward back to the good side while i can see the story potentail there next season I’m really hoping he’ll stay bad Brett Dalton exceedingly excells at it and has made the character so much more intersting. Can’t wait for the next episode.

    • elf says:

      Ward killed Agent Hand and many others in cold blood. Short of him dying then getting the same alien goo and memory wipe process that Coulson went through, there is absolutely no redeption possible. That doesn’t mean we couldn’t see him recur in a “48 Hours” style scenario where he’s released from custody to help ferret out other Hyrda operatives, but even that would be a stretch.

      • Whedon has a history of redeeming seemingly nonredeemable characters. Spike, Faith, Andrew, Anya, Willow, hell I’ll even throw Lila in their too, they were all redeemed after taking lives and potentially destroying the world. It seems like something he enjoys to do, I wouldn’t be surprised to have Ward turned back into a hero sooner or later.

      • Rick Katze says:

        Yuh, except that Ms Hand also didn’t always play nice sending two of Coulson’s team on a suicide mission without bothering to tell themthat there was no extraction plan.

    • JimC says:

      It’s real simple. They started a storyline that IMOP was greatly needed and they did it by integrating with
      the movies. Catastrophe of the week simply wasn’t enough to make this show work. Viewers were dropping like flies….I think they saved the show by doing this, so kudos to whoever came up with this idea.

  8. Anne says:

    I, for one, am getting very worried about Jemma’s chances of survival through the finale. Between her line to Fitz tonight about how he’ll never have to be without her, and the uncanny resemblance of the Simmons/Fitz/Triplett triangle to Angel’s Fred/Wesley/Gunn, there seem to be a lot of tiny signs that have me worried. Anyone else?

    • Badpenny says:

      I doubt ABC would get rid of 2 main characters in the first season. We’re already losing Ward to what amounts to an occasional guest star role next season. I don’t think they want to lose anyone else – plus Elizabeth Henstridge isn’t an expensive actor for the show.

      • Lucy says:

        Do you think we’ll lose Ward? I feel like the Garrett/Hydra line will definitely continue for a while – mainly because I think Age of Ultron will deal with some of the fallout after Winter Solider – but I can see Ward’s main Hydra line coming to an end this season when he has to make a definitive choice of Garrett or the team and Skye. Apparently we’re getting another sleeper agent though, and the main theory around is Simmons which, following that conversation, I wouldn’t find impossible to believe, and I agree with you, it’s far more likely than her dying.

        • Badpenny says:

          Ward’s story has no where to go. There is no way to redeem him. He has killed SHIELD agents and shot police. He will be used as a pop-up foe occasionally in season 2 but after that he will either be captured or killed. He will never be part of the team again.
          .
          As far as Jemma, it is far more likely that she is going to get into a relationship that causes problems for Fitz. If the team gets a new sleeper agent I think it will be him – he seems like the most emotionally unstable and the loss of Jemma will push him over the edge.

      • Tenney says:

        I would be OK with losing Ward; he kind of bores me as a good guy. Ward becoming Hyrdra has been the most interesting thing about him. Maybe Triplett can replace him on Coulson’s team?

        • mangolovenet says:

          Agreed! In the limited amount of time that Agent Triplett’s been onscreen, I’ve liked his character far more than Ward’s. Plus, I like that his presence is helping Fitz realize just how much Simmons means to him.

    • ANON R says:

      There’s been things swirling around that implies what might happen to her and sad to say the preview didn’t help any in lessening my worries. I know for a fact that I will NOT take it well if Jemma doesn’t make it.

      • Christina says:

        I’m hoping the swirls are just out there to throw us off. I really REALLY won’t be able to accept them killing of Jemma, especially since the dynamic between her and Fitz is what kept me watching from October to March.

    • I think that Fitz/Simmons will end up being the Xander/Willow of this world. I’d be surprised to see them go anywhere for long term. Instead I imagine a great deal of will they won’t they semi love scenarios before they realize they love each other like friends and Fitz is secretly in love with Ward…. #PartiallyKidding

      • Belegil says:

        If this is the Xander/Willow, then Jenna would secretly be in love with Skye… # PartiallyKidding #FingersCrossed

      • thi86 says:

        Elizabeth confirmed in the Paleyfest that Fitz and Simmons relationship is purely brother/sister thing, so i don’t think Simmons has any romantic feelings for him. For me, they always look like brother and sister, and i would prefer that they keep this way.

    • wingsstef says:

      I hope they don’t kill Jemma, but it could happen. It would cause a major thing with Fitz, and she already almost died earlier in the season. Rumor is that at least one character is dying by the end of the season, I don’t think they meant Agent Hand. It could be Ward though, or both.

  9. sarah says:

    Wow, this show did the slow burn into being amazing. And can we have Aunt Robin and Phil running the show from now on? And, please, redeem yourself Ward. This show has developed itself into a freaking great show.

    • Patrick Maloney says:

      Why do you want her running the show? Because she was on a sitcom you used to like? Why do you want a character that you can’t even bring yourself to use her actual name running the show?

      • Badpenny says:

        Why is it difficult to understand that someone likes Hill? She’s been in a couple of Marvel movies. She was second in command of SHIELD. Logically secret SHIELD needs a leader. Coulson is going to need resources and information from someone. Why not Hill?

        • Patrick Maloney says:

          Because she has not done anything to prove to me that she can be anything besides Fury’s lap dog

          • Badpenny says:

            Everyone in tv/movie SHIELD Is Fury’s lap dog. You think Black Widown isn’t? Hawkeye isn’t? Coulson isn’t? Captain America isn’t? Up to Winter Soldier everyone was Fury’s lap dog.

          • Patrick Maloney says:

            Let’s go down the list… Actually of them can be answered with a simple fact. All of those characters had agendas and purposes larger than just serving up plot. Black Widow is running from her past, Hawkeye is the skilled hired gun, Captain America is literally the man out of time. And what is Maria Hill when she’s not all like “What do you need, Fury? Come on, boss, give me something to do?”

          • elf says:

            What an idiotic post. You’ve seen the character for a few minutes in two films and two TV episodes. The fact that the character is (well, was) #2 at SHIELD is enough to imply she has an excess of every possible skill necessary for the job.

          • Rick Katze says:

            And Tony hired her. Not to mention from the one-sided call that she also has a good relationship with Pepper. Definitely not a lightweight if she’s in that company.

  10. ANON R says:

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Please let nothing bad happen to Simmons.

  11. I’ve been all in on this show since the beginning, but I think I might be done now. The constant comparisons between Ward and Natasha, painting him as the more skilled individual, are laughable. And I don’t feel like they did Maria’s character justice tonight, either. I don’t want this show anywhere near my MCU characters, to be honest. (It’s too bad they probably can’t get Scarlett Johansson to make an appearance, because I’d really like to see her kick Ward’s ass.)

    • Patrick Maloney says:

      I hate to disagree with a fellow person who liked the show from the beginning but I would barely call Hill a MCU character, at least one that could be damaged more than Cobie Smulders and the studios already have.

      • Hill is 100% an MCU character. You can not like her MCU version (I’m assuming you’re a fan of her comics version- as am I, I just consider them separate entities), but that doesn’t discount her being an established Marvel Cinematic Universe character. I personally love Maria in the MCU, so seeing her used as a prop character for AOS is a little disheartening. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved seeing her on AOS, but I don’t trust these writer’s with her at all.

    • wingsstef says:

      Umm, but Agents of SHIELD is part of the MCU, so they are MCU characters as well. However, the way I understood it, Ward is the one that made the comparison to Natasha. Ward also thinks he’s right, but he’s part of Hydra, hence he is not right. Agent Hill on the other hand, has lots on her shoulders at the moment. She is on the short list of people that know Fury is alive, she is dealing with Stark and Government who don’t believe her that more danger is coming. She’s kickass. So is the Black Widow of course, which I imagine is busy now, trying to deal with several factions since she lost her cover.

  12. Ashley says:

    So impressed with this episode, especially the plane scene between Chloe and Brett. I initially thought of Brett’s portrayal of Grant as very wooden but now I get that that was all on purpose. The scene between them tonight was so well done, I’ve had to rewatch it several times just because I thought it was SO GOOD. Fitz’s reaction to the news was also amazing, and I love the addition of Maria Hill. Hopefully she can crop up more in the second season (hoping and assuming they get one), as well as adding Triplett as a regular. So happy. It took a long time to hit its stride, but it’s done so and now it’s one of my favorites on television at the moment.

    • HSM says:

      You’re absolutely right. There were so many times I thought, Ward is cute, but so wooden, couldn’t they find a more dynamic actor for this role? I was always disappointed. But watching those scenes tonight, when he was so animated, I realized he was literally acting the whole time. I want to go back and watch a few of the earlier episodes now that I know what he’s up to– like when Skye was shot and when he rescued Simmons and the bard scene with Skye before he left and slept with May.

  13. Kat says:

    Skye’s rant on the Bus was AMAZING. That was my favorite part of the episode. This show has gotten so great…crazy to think that there are only 2 episodes left this season.

  14. Dj says:

    Loved the episode the only thing I would have wanted was a scene with Coulson telling Hill if SHIELD was done why would Fury reach out to him.

    • elf says:

      Fury’s message was for Coulson only. He’s not above keeping secrets even from his right hand. And just because SHIELD is finished as an organization doesn’t mean that the people involved still won’t try to accomplish their goals, whether with help from the government or as fugitives from it.

  15. Khorrie says:

    Is it just me, or did they contradict movie canon tonight? Based on this episode, Fury and Coulson have known about aliens for quite some time, yet in “Avengers”, Fury says it was the events of “Thor” that clued them in to possible alien threats. I know SHIELD was always Hydra now and Red Skull knew about aliens (as per CA: TFA), but it obviously wasn’t common knowledge in the agency. So are we meant to believe that Fury was lying and they knew about aliens before, or that they happened to find random alien dude with regenerating blood properties between the events of “Thor” and “Avengers”?

    Man, I confused myself just typing that.

  16. Joey Padron says:

    Good episode. It was good to see Cobie on show again. Surprised by end of episode.

  17. Andrew says:

    Did no one notice the dropping of a very intriguing MCU character at the start of the episode? When she is on the phone to Pepper Potts, Maria Hill mentions “Man Thing”.
    Now that would be interesting to see how they could bring that character to life.

    • spotteddog says:

      I heard the Man Thing reference as well, Andrew, but somehow totally missed the fact that Maria was talking to Pepper. This is why I am in the habit of watching AoS episodes at least twice – too easy to miss stuff.

      • Jane says:

        The beginning of the episode was cutoff for weather warnings where I live and I didn’t even know about it until I read this article. Is there a clip of this conversation some place?

        • Aeneades says:

          There have already been a small Man-Thing Easter egg previously as Man-Things ex-wife was one of the AIM agents in Iron Man 3 (even sporting the facial scare Man-Thing gives her in his comic origin story).

      • Heidi says:

        In IM3, the female AIM agent (played by Stephanie Szostak) is named Ellen Brandt. And that’s the name of Man-Thing’s wife in the comics. She even has the same scar on her face. Lionsgate owns the rights to Man-Thing, so we probably won’t see him in the Marvel-verse anytime soon.

    • N tTVf says:

      I want to apologize in advance, I don’t know a lot about the Marvel universe and characters, so I don’t know much about Pepper Potts or “Man Thing.” But when Maria Hill mentioned ‘Man Thing’, I just assumed she was perhaps referring to Barney Stinson.

  18. arial2 says:

    Mike’s/Deathlok’s comments near the end may have made Ward think a little harder about his blind allegiance. His face seemed to indicate some internal turmoil dawning. Clark Gregg comes up with some of the best facial expressions for his character, Phil Coulson. And I’m so glad Melinda May is back with the group. I think it’s a toss up between Lola and the plane for the best inanimate actor on tv.

  19. Doesn’t anyone watch the previews for the next episode ??? In that preview, I think we saw how they might redeem Ward. Not saying I want them to but the seed had already been planted.

    This weeks episode was good. Very good. The show went from Blah to I gave to watch it the day it comes out. So improved!!!

  20. Kim R says:

    I am one of those viewers that have liked AOS from the beginning. Last night’s episode was great! If there is a plan to somehow make Ward acceptable again I will be interested to see what that might be. I love Phil. Love him. :)

  21. alexandrrina says:

    I actually cried at that FitzSimmons scene at the end…

  22. Wendi Gottsegen says:

    I am really disappointed that the show seems to have backed the story line into a corner. It appears there are only a handful of Shield agents still alive. If I were an agent I would take the people I loved and get lost. I really want to have the ole Hollywood ending . . . you know, everything ends well and everyone is happy! Oh well, I hope the ending will be really breathtaking . . .

  23. FenwayFrank says:

    One thing that hasn’t been discussed is the fact that Coulson’s memory was wiped when he was brought back by T.A.H.I.T.I and Skye’s wasn’t. So if Coulson’s recommendation to Fury was to shut down the program because it caused catastrophic problems in test subjects that only mind-erasing could fix, isn’t Skye headed for trouble by the end of this season or certainly next?

    • Blake says:

      I was assuming there would be a difference since Coulson was dead vs. Skye being alive when each were given the serum/drug/alien blood. That and I guessing Skye might be part-alien. :)

      • FenwayFrank says:

        Both good points. But in the interest of drama, having Skye on the edge of losing her mind–or worse–because she received the magic serum would be very interesting. So for that reason alone, they might go for it.

    • spotteddog says:

      I suspect that Skye’s reaction will be different because Skye is already half-Kree

  24. N tTVf says:

    I’m not a knowledgeable fan of Marvel Comics, movies and SHIELD – just a casual fan, so I can’t make any intelligent, useful comments regarding the storyline of last night’s show. I just tried to keep up with it as best I could.

    But that said, I really enjoyed watching Maria Hill/Cobie Smulders back on my tv set – fun to watch her. And yes, as I watched, from time to time, I’d say out loud things like ‘awesome’ and ‘legendary’, and ‘way to go Robin’, but I think that’s okay. I probably sound like poor silly Ted sometimes, but it’s only been four weeks since HIMYM went off the air, and I miss her already; I miss the gang, but particularly Robin/CS. So, last night’s SHIELD was my ‘fix’ until who knows when.

    And yes kids, your aunt Robin traveled the world, but she was never alone.

  25. BRIAN says:

    IM HOOKED BRING US MORE

  26. Den says:

    I’d rather crap in my hands and clap, than watch this rubbish.

  27. Amoreese says:

    Unlike other’s here I have not read the comics so I don’t have anything to compare the characters to. I like them. I like the chemistry of the actors and enjoy watching every week. I am also a SkyeWard fan, so obviously I want him to be deep undercover and not evil, though he does a good job at evil. At the same time he could be major kick butt as a good guy, they just need better writing. I look forward to seeing them all develop (if they keep the show) and grow. Not everything comes out perfect the first time around. A lot of the times it takes tweaking. I really hope they don’t kill any one off, but if they do I think it will be Triplett (sorry Triplett fans, he came in a little late to the show, that’s why I think that)

    I really want this show to be great. This last episode had me feeling all kinds of emotions.

  28. Very good episode. lots of action and suspense. This show keeps getting better and better. I think the season finale is going to be mind blowing, and i can’t wait!!

  29. Agent Zero says:

    Remember Skye is of unknown orgin so she is not fully human IMHO, which is why she may not suffer the side effects of the serum. This series has gotten really good and the momentum built over the last few weeks. I think a lot of viewers jumped ship way early because of the lack of tie in to the Marvel movies and then Winter Soldier dropped and it was on. I know it has to be tough on the cast and crew knowing they have a good storyline but waiting to see it unfold one week at a time.

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