Post Mortems

S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: Skye Meets Her Maker — Plus Scoop on That Return

Agents of SHIELD Deathlok Returns

This week on ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Skye got the 10-cent tour of the Afterlife, Nick Fury’s “toolbox” fixed a broken relationship and Coulson called in for very special “backup” when Gonzales’ team closed in on him and Hunter.

MOM’S THE WORD | Having summoned sightless (?) Gordon to whisk her away after she quaked all over Bobbi and Kirk Acevedo, Skye woke up to a most unusual “acupuncture” session, which she learned was to help her finish healing from her transformation. Her “transitioner,” Lincoln (played by The Tomorrow People‘s Luke Mitchell), says the place that she has been taken to is called “Afterlife,” and that for everyone’s safety only Gordon knows the way in/out. Lincoln explains that most of the people there have been waiting to be “chosen,” but Skye “jumped the line” — and via the old-school method, with a diviner in a Kree temple, the first time that’s been done in thousands of years!

Lincoln breaks the news to Skye that the transition is irreversible, but surmises that she is actually more curious than afraid. So he shares his own gift — the ability to amass and channel electrical charges, in such a way that he can even levitate her. “We’re connected to something extraordinary,” he notes. “Don’t walk away from it.”

Lincoln can’t divulge details about Skye’s father or Raina, though we see that Cal is being held in a drab, windowless room. When he divines from visiting Gordon that Skye is nearby, Cal gets aggressive, to little avail. “Your lack of discipline has risked everything,” Gordon tells Cal. “It has sealed your fate, and the fate of your daughter as well.” Meanwhile, over popcorn, Lincoln slips that Raina is also at Afterlife, “on her own path” yet deserving of “the same care.” Quaking Skye finds and confronts Raina, who scoffs at Skye’s laments, countering: “You wanted to follow me [into the temple].” Porcupine-y Raina further taunts Skye by saying, “I am on the outside what you are on the inside” — just as Jiaying shows up to play peacemaker. “What you two were in the past is not what you are now,” she tells the girls. Then, to (shhh, her daughter!) Skye, she says: “I have chosen to be your guide. All I ask for is a few days. If you don’t feel a connection, we never need to see each other again.” Afterward, Jiaying visits Cal to affirm, “You were right — it’s Daisy, our daughter.” Though she won’t let him see her.

BOX-ING MATCH | Elsewhere, Gonzales is determined to get inside Fury’s toolbox, but Fitz declines to provide any know-how, and thus packs his bags and leaves. Simmons suggests to Gonzales the solution isn’t a technological one but a lab one, and offers her input. Later, Gonzales talks to May about Coulson’s alien transfusion and apparent death wish. “Are you loyal to Coulson or to SHIELD?,” he asks. “They’re the same,” May flatly answers. When she says he’s wasting time on a witch hunt for powered people, Gonzales notes that such individuals can lose control — to the point that they need to be “put down,” as “the Cavalry” once did to someone in Bahran. But May’s unflinching. “When Coulson’s ready, he’ll find you,” she warns. “He’s the one man you can never put down.” Later, Gonzales offers May a seat on the board, believing that Coulson should have a strong advocate and stressing that if the organizations remain pitted against each other, “SHIELD will fall again.”

WHO’S THE ‘BAD OPTION’? | Meanwhile, returning to the safe house where Skye had been kept, Coulson and Hunter review video of her quake-out and subsequent exit via Gordon. Feeling they’re “out of options” — and lamenting that he lost Skye and SHIELD in the same day — Coulson invites the “real” SHIELD to the cabin, assuring Hunter that backup is on the way. Alas, said reinforcements don’t arrive by the time SHIELD rams through the Hulk-proofed door, so Coulson and Hunter get led away into a Quinn jet… which they manage to seize after their “backup” finally arrives… in the form of Mike Peterson aka Deathlok! (Coulson to Hunter: “I wanted to see the look on your face. Priceless.”) As they jet off, Mike reports that HYDRA’s Dr. List is collecting and experimenting on powered people like Skye. The only way to stop him, says Coulson, is by resorting to “our bad option” — Grant Ward.J. AUGUST RICHARDS

Then, in the final, crowd-pleasing coda, Simmons reports to Bobbi and Mack that Fury’s unopenable “toolbox” is nothing but junk, while Fitz hops into a cab… with the real toolbox, because Jemma had deftly fashioned a fake. (As an added bonus: she also slipped him his favorite sandwich, prosciutto and mozzarella, with a hint of pesto aoili)

IS DEATHLOK BACK, FOR GOOD? | Discussing his surprise S.H.I.E.L.D. encore, J. August Richards says, “Yeah, Coulson has had Deathlok in his back pocket… so he pulls me out of hiding to help out.” And help he did, thanks to some nifty new toys (hello, wrist rockets!). “As you can see, I got a lot of upgrades,” Richards smiles. “The character has been evolving since we saw him last. This is like Deathlok 2.0.”

Because not only has Mike’s cyborg self been outfitted anew (“I have three USB ports, Firewire… the thing on my arm makes cappuccinos,” Richards jokes), but the man inside has adopted a new POV. “Every time I come back, I feel like I’m playing a completely different character,” the actor effuses. This time around, “Mike Peterson is owning his role as Deathlok, and that’s a whole different performance.”

Richards notes, “Coulson and Mike have actually been secretly working together since we last saw Mike” — in part because Mike “looks up to” Coulson and sees his redemption in that relationship. As for others on Coulson’s (splintered) team getting a gander at Deathlok 2.0, he hints, “There was a lot of unfinished business… and I think you’ll get to see that played out a bit.” (With reporting by Scott Huver)

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59 Comments
  1. I’m incredibly excited at the prospect of Ward, Coulson, Hunter and Mike team up! I’m so stoked Mike is back.

    Am I the only one wondering who stripped Skye when she was unconscious btw? Because eww.

  2. laurelnev says:

    FANTASTIC episode! So glad to see Gemma learned from her UC work at Hydra well enough to pull it off again! But how is Skye’s mom alive, and did Cal know she was the whole time? I thought he found her remains chopped into pieces? I LOVE seeing Dichen again, but I’m a little confused right now.

    • JeffDJ says:

      I’m curious about Skye’s mom too. Did someone put all her pieces back together again somehow like humpty-dumpty? Personally, I think her return tonight was much more interesting than Deathlok’s?

      • laurelnev says:

        Agreed…although Mike’s return was cool too, and I can’t WAIT to see how they integrate Ward back in.

        • acurat says:

          The whole “Skye’s mom” thing was completely confusing… but I guess that was the intention. I doubt the show will ever clear that up.

          • Neen says:

            Maybe that’s her power. She can put herself back together again, like the Blob or something. Idk, its too early in the morning to think so hard…..lol

          • laurelnev says:

            Supposedly, Skye’s Mom’s power is healing, so I guess she’s REALLY good at it! Those funky scars seem to indicate she was sliced up pretty badly at some point! Guess she can only heal herself so much? I LOVE Dichen, so I’m glad to see her back and intrigued at what her character may turn out to be. Wonder when she will be revealed to be Skye’s mom and who will be the one to out her.

      • Terry Swain says:

        I just read in another article that Cal put her pieces back and let her natural healing do the work. When Skye was taken from them in led to them arguing constantly and splitting up. Not sure where the article got that info from though.

      • Gerald says:

        She did have noticeable scars on her face where she was presumably put back together. So she can heal herself from being torn to pieces, but that last little bit of scarring she couldn’t heal…..

      • Badpenny says:

        I assume Calvin put his wife’s pieces back together and her regen did all the work.

    • Karen MT says:

      I think the lines/scars on her face are a hint there.

    • aplwrites says:

      The only reason we know anything about mommy dearest is from what daddy dearest told us/skye. We have never received any empirical evidence. It’s likely that she was dissected like he said, but obviously not killed, leaving that out because HE wants her, and he probably never wanted her to end up at Afterlife with her mother.

  3. stacy says:

    So happy about FitzSimmons!!! And Deathlok…and Ward. But really, been waiting for FitzSimmons love since last May. It was worth the wait…

  4. Vivi says:

    Loved the episode! Hunter/Coulson were so much fun (well, to be honest, they could to anything and they still would be my favourite characters on the show). I saw the “crowd pleasing coda” tweet on Twitter and I had so many theories and they were all totally wrong, but yeah, finally Fitz-Simmons is back (although I saw it coming after the lab scene…). Very pleasing indeed. I never was a fan of the Peterson character, but… nice one. And now they are going to find Ward, that should be interesting.
    As for the Inhumans part of the episode: while I´m glad to see Luke Mitchell back on my screen (still miss TTP) I´m not sold… don´t know, can´t get into the whole Inhumans thing…
    And I´m still afraid that they are gonna kill of someone before/in the finale… fingers crossed they don´t.

    • Don't get it... says:

      Is it just me or is the dude who plays Deathlok really soft? Definitely not the raw soldier from the comics. I hope they kill him off.

  5. hipster says:

    It’s unfortunate this show started so rocky last season and shredded that many viewers. I can’t think of a recent drama that improved so much in quality storytelling from freshman to sophomore season as much as AOS has.

  6. abz says:

    I love this show. Hate having to wait a week between episodes, but its worth it. I’m just disappointed in the ratings. I really hope it gets another season. It’s so good. Seeing Coulson and Ward back together again should be interesting. I knew FitzSimmons was back!

  7. Bruce Enzer says:

    Since Fury shows up in the Age of Ultron previews, I wonder how they are going to wrap up this split shield arc in the next few weeks. I am predicting a tricky merger in the end, but I can’t wait to see how they get to that point.

  8. Juan says:

    I love Fitz and Simmons. They are just so cute and I’m so happy they are mending the relationship. Loved May in this and Her unwavering loyalty. The prospect of diff powers added to the show is really exciting and I can’t wait to see the cavalry story.

  9. TVPeong says:

    She made is favorite sandwich!! FitzSimmons is back :)

    • TVPeong says:

      Glad to see Mike Peterson again too

      • Almost... says:

        Eh… Richards is totally not doing this role justice. So corny. I’m supposed to believe he’s badass? Uh-uh. This is Deathlok, son! Looking far more forward to Marvel: The Netflix version.

  10. Kristina says:

    It took me forever to find this quote. But this is from “The Things We Bury”

    Daniel Whitehall: Then why? What do you have to gain?

    The Doctor: I have nothing to lose. I’ve lost everything important to me. And I want to kill those who took it… and finally be reunited with my family.

    The Doctor: Reunited?

    Daniel Whitehall: In the afterlife.

    Yeah… blew my mind.

  11. So Happy says:

    Next Tuesday night come already so I can watch next weeks episode! :0)

  12. This was one of my favorite episodes of the season.

  13. Bark Star says:

    The wrist rockets and shooting down the QuinJet looked terrible. Some really bad effects for a really great episode.

  14. I’m thinking eventually both versions of shield are going to come together under the leadership of Coulson. Bobbi and Mack will redeem themselves. I’m not sure Gonzales is going to be part of the combined team, but I’m thinking he will.

    Some new threat, probably somehow related to Gordon is going to force the two teams together.

    • laurelnev says:

      I’m with you on everyone but Mack. He is SO anti-Coulson at this point, I’m not sure he’ll ever be a part of our core gang again. But I’m looking forward to seeing Bobbie realize how wrong she has been. As I’ve said in other comments, the fact Bobbi was sent to save Gonzales on “the day SHIELD fell,” and rather than destroying the remnants, was convinced to help forn a “new, more democratic organization.” They all thought THEY were all that was left, and have NO CLUE Fury is alive and appointed both his successor and his successor’s babysitter. And until you’ve been lanyarded by aKoenig, there is NO WAY you can call yourself “real SHIELD”!

  15. Nick says:

    One of the best episodes yet!

  16. BuckFarack says:

    You know, when Fitz jumped into a cab, I kinda wonder if the cab driver might be Jake Lockley, one of the aliases of (drum roll here) . . . Moon Knight?

  17. Gerald says:

    I was pretty stoked to see Luke Mitchell show up finally. He’s great. Kinda got the Gambit thing going on. I hope when the Afterlife “Falls” he joins Coulson’s team. But I hope he gets more than “I thought you knew” lines. That seemed to be the phrase he used the most.
    Glad Fitz and Simmons are reconciled and working together.
    Glad Coulson is trying to keep the damage to the other Shield agents to a minimum, but did he tell that to Deathlok?

    • Fido says:

      the whole “don’t kill those Shield people, cos they’re not bad, just a tad mis guided” order did kinda go out the window when Deathlok turned up with his big fists and rockets – though maybe the one he shot into the plane had a rubber tip. :) – the insiders were knocked out causing it to crash rather than being shredded and/or vaporised.

      • Katherine215 says:

        But did that plane blow up? For some reason, I thought maybe it was an EMP or something similar that he shot in there, because I thought the plane just sort of fell down like it lost power. And it wasn’t very high off the ground.

        • Matt Webb Mitovich says:

          Just kinda safely crashed, implying no loss of life.

        • R.J. Howell says:

          No, you are right about it being an EMP missile. It exploded with a blue flash that immediately shut down the electronics on the plane and caused it to fall and crash a bit with minimal “explosive” damage, thus keeping the agents inside from getting blwon up.

  18. Katherine215 says:

    If we could have an episode of Coulson and Hunter shenanigans every so often, I’d be a happy camper. Their scenes were cracking me up. Not excited at all about Ward’s return. I’m hoping Luke MItchell’s character can join the team; I’d much rather he play a big role than Ward.

    • Deathlok sux says:

      …and just when I thought they got rid of the absolutely HORRIFIC J. August Richards who is supposed to be Deathlok, they bring him right back in. sigh… The way they’re portraying such a great character is beyond me.

      • Katherine215 says:

        I like him. I haven’t read the comics so I don’t have anything to compare him against, and imo he’s done well.

      • Carla Krae says:

        JAR was fantastic on “Angel”, so blame the writers if you don’t like this interpretation, not the actor. They can only work with what they’re given.

        • I disagree says:

          Eh… He’s always been mediocre. Even on Angel I never thought he was supposed to be a “streetwise” vampire hunter. The guy didn’t have any edge at all to pull it off. You can tell Whedon wouldn’t know what street means at all… Richards is totally boring.

          • You think that J. August Richards was mediocre? Please don’t tell me that you feel that Brett Dalton is the greatest thing since Swiss cheese. Richards can act circles around him.

          • I disagree says:

            That’s actually not saying much. I think this is the worst Marvel product since they were bought by Disney. I never thought Whedon was that guy.

  19. m3rcnate says:

    Okay so question: Is anyone on Coulson’s side? lol. I am on the new Shield’s side personally…all of their points are 100% on the money and unlike them, we have actually witnessed every decision Coulson has made and why…and i still think he isn’t fit to lead and the group is WAAAAAAY too loyal to him (like the other guy said, its loyalty to SHIELD first THEN loyalty to the Director).
    I am 100% on the new SHIELD’s side. Fury was bad for SHIELD with all his secrets and what not (look at what happened to SHIELD under his tenure as Director) and Coulson seems to be bad for SHIELD when hes at the helm.

  20. I HATE IT! I HATE the idea of Ward working with Coulson’s team again. He’s getting an easy redemption because he’s over six feet tall and looks like a male model. He’s getting an easy out because the fan girls squee over his looks and the fan boys revel in his uber masculinity. And the fact that Mike Petersen didn’t protest against Coulson’s suggestion really disturbs me. Was it really important that Mike blindly accept everything that Coulson does?

    I already hate this show, thanks to Season 2. And I’m beginning to hate Coulson and Company, as well.

    • Agreed says:

      I tried watching this show, I couldn’t anymore, then I tried again because everyone said I was nuts… But now I’m done. And one of my favorite characters Deathlok… is NOTHING like he is in the books and the actor, for lack of better words, isn’t charismatic, but he’s indicative of a Whedon production.

      • When “Deathlok” failed to respond to Coulson’s suggestion that they seek Ward’s help, I realized that this show had officially jumped the shark. Worse, I think Deathlok had suddenly acquired a lobotomy, which allowed him to accept Coulson’s suggestion without any conflict.

    • Anne says:

      I can’t wait for ward and coulson to work together. To me ward is the most interesting character on the show because his motivations are completely murky. I have no idea what he’s going to do next or if it will be bad or good. Can you say that about anyone else on the show? He’s got a dexter vibe going, all of they other characters are starting to feel the same.

  21. hehehaha234 says:

    Sneaky Simmons is awesome!

  22. Angelstorm says:

    I’m super confused – didn’t skye’s mother die ? How is she alive again ?
    Or did I miss / forget something ?

  23. Vetteliv says:

    Can somebody please help me out here? I must have missed something… Lincoln said to Skye that she jumped the line and changed old school: with a diviner in that city, nobody has done that in forever. So how did Lincoln get his power? What’s the new way to change in the mist?