Once again, after a long break, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD returned to Tahiti. This time, it’s the Tahiti that isn’t a magical place. It’s where more answers about Coulson’s resurrection were revealed, including one that may save Skye.
“No single agent is that important”–Victoria Hand, “The Magical Place”
“People like us, we need people like him”–Melinda May, “T.A.H.I.T.I.”
Both quotes describe Phil Coulson, but that also applies to Skye. A month ago, she was shot by Ian Quinn (David Conrad) when she learned that Mike Peterson was turned into Deathlok, working for the Clairvoyant because he has no choice. She suffered mortal wounds that were almost like those suffered by Coulson after Loki stabbed him in The Avengers. That makes the connection between him and Skye that much deeper. That’s why he’ll do anything to save her, as Nick Fury did even more to save Coulson.
The episode may have more talk than action, but it did introduce Bill Paxton as Agent John Garrett, and B.J. Britt as Anton Triplett. It also revealed what may have saved Coulson, but at a cost that may make some wonder if it’s worth it.
As the episode begins, Skye is in intensive care, suffering severe injuries to her abdomen and intestines. She’s at Death’s door. Meanwhile, Quinn is being held in an interrogation room. May walks in and does her best Hulk impression, short of tossing Quinn around like a rag doll. Coulson tells her to back off, although Ward doesn’t blame her. The crew then finds out more about what happened to Coulson, including a declassified file that even puzzles Fitz and Simmons, especially the part where Coulson’s heart was cut in half.
Then Garrett and Triplett show up, asking why they don’t have Quinn yet. We learn that Garrett is an old friend of Coulson, while Triplett knows Ward, too. Their reunions are interesting, to say the least. Apparently Garrett has been chasing Quinn and his activities, including something called “Deathlok.” Quinn won’t say what that is, but talks a lot about the Clairvoyant and how he’s all-seeing and so forth. He says if Coulson does find out what saved him, so will the Clairvoyant. Coulson and Garrett want to try anyway.
Fitz, meanwhile, says Coulson’s treatment involved something called GH325. He’s able to track it down by using a quaint tactic called “following the holographic paper trail.” They find a super-secret SHIELD facility hidden in a mountain. It was a medical facility but only two guards are there. Coulson asks nicely to come in, but the guards keep asking “How was the drive from Istanbul?” Since they don’t have the counter-sign, the crew hacks its way inside. It has to fight off some determined guards, but Fitz is able to find the mysterious GH325.
They also find out the facility is wired to self-destruct. That doesn’t stop Coulson from finding the place where the mysterious surgery was done. As he starts to remember what happened, the look of horror on his face is unforgettable. Still, he has to learn more, when he sees a door that says “T.A.H.I.T.I.” He goes in, and finds out something that makes him suddenly tell the crew not to give GH325 to Skye.
The crew escapes in time, but Skye gets the drug anyway. Her body severely convulses, then stabilizes. It looks like she’ll live long enough to recover, and tell them who Deathlok is. It might happen at the end of next week’s episode, or the one after that.
Paxton adds some real muscle to the show as the no-nonsense Garrett, and he’ll be back later this season. Hopefully, Triplett will return, too. It would be great if he was involved in the battle against Centipede, especially when Deathlok returns.
So why didn’t Coulson want GH325 inside Skye? It’s because of how it’s made… from part of an 0-8-4 preserved in a hyperbaric chamber. It’s only known as GH. He was worried she would suffer, as he did. It didn’t happen that way, but this leads to more questions. First off, what was that body, and what side effects might emerge from the drug? That has got Coulson worried. Since the facility is destroyed, no one else will use GH325, unless that body is found.
The episode was a little light in action, but it shows the crew getting together to save Skye, as it got together to save Coulson. It’s reportedly the start of a story arc called “Uprising.” With the crew bending a library full of regulations to save Skye, does that mean it’ll go rogue, and justify it? Can Deathlok also rebel eventually, with help from Akela, who was practically the prototype for him? Also, will Skye be back to her old self, or just be a bit different, just like Coulson? For those who think the show isn’t “super” enough, it is now.
Oh, and a red-headed woman is wandering around Death Valley, wondering why Midgard is so desolate. This shows she’s from Asgard, but no matter. She’ll just hypnotize a new groom to desert his bride, and have him help in her evil plans.
Her name is Lorilei (Elena Satine), and it looks like she’ll have all men in her power. It’s not as if one of the Warriors Three will go to Midgard (or rather, Earth) and interfere… yet.