We’re right back at the Creel Crash from last episode. Helpful mercenary/SHIELD agent Lance Hunter struggles to get out of the overturned SUV, as his two friends Hartley and OtherGuy lie dead. A motorcycle pulls up, Hunter scrambles for his gun, ready to go out in glaze of glory. No worries, it’s Melinda May! They argue about getting him out or whether May should go after Creel, who has the mysterious alien obelisk. Hunter wins, May leaves him a mini saw to cut himself out (Always be prepared!) and takes off. After he pulls himself out of the wreckage, military soldiers pull up and surround him. Not a good day!
Meanwhile May is barreling down the road, weaving the through traffic like a geek at at Dragoncon, to try and capture Creel. She spots him and gets ready to lay down the hurt, but Coulson orders her to stand down. She doesn’t want to! Coulson insists, so May does, reluctantly.
Trip and Skye bring home the newly stolen Quinjet. Shiny! Agent Mac is ordred to start on reverse engineering the Quinjet’s cloaking device. Skye lets Coulson know that mysterious obelisk Creel stole has the same symbols Coulson has been drawing on a blackboard. She yells at him a bit, and then he drops the bomb about Hunter getting captured. So he might spill the beans about their location, and they have to be prepared to leave, just after they put in the new bathroom tile. Between Coulson’s carved walls and bath tile, they should buy stock in Home Depot! Remodeling is so annoying!
Soldiers dump Hunter in a grassy field and drive away. A helicopter shows up and lands, General Talbot pops out and offers Hunter a lift out of the sunny grass meadow. Dude, you just broke into his base and stole something, stay in the meadow! He doesn’t, of course and off they go.
Commercials, stuff for geeks! Enjoy Olive Garden and the unending pasta bowl.
Back to the base, as Mac, Trip and Skye are taking a look at the Quinjet’s cloaking device. They lament needing Fitz and then Skye disses Simmons for walking out on not only him, but the entire team. Fitz walks in and things get awkward! He’s supposed to be the mechanical genius of the team. Fitz tries to help, but his umm, what is it…yeah, his memory laspes impede things. Which sucks, ‘case they could really use his help.
Talbot talks to Hunter on the helicopter, reminding the ruggedly handsome mercenary of his glories in the military. Then Talbot tries to convince Hunter to turn Coulson in. Seems a Senator wants Coulson’s head and is willing to do just about anything to get him. Talbot points out that Coulson risked his team to steal stuff off a military base. Point for the General! Finally, Hunter demands two million and proper burial for Hartley in exchange for selling Coulson. He wants out and something nice for his deceased friends. Talbot agrees! FOR THE RECORD- Talbot mentions during this exchange that he doesn’t have a sense of humor and we feel better knowing that he knows, he’s kinda a dick. Maybe not %100 a dick.
Back at the base, Coulson is using a nifty looking interface to look for something. It’s a very Stark Enterprises interface (we have a moment of kitten seeing itself in the mirror hope at this idea). A knock on the door brings Skye, who updates him about Trip and Mac working on the cloaking device. Not having success! Coulson breaks the news that Hartley and the OtherGuy are dead. Skye demands to go back out in the field. Coulson tells her if she really wants to help she can go pack up Hartley’s personal belongings. Skye recommends he ligthen up and try Yoga. He says he tried it but he’s really not flexible. Ha, so true on many levels! Unlike Talbot, Coulson has a sense of humor!
Back to Fitz, who’s still thinking Simmons is there with him. She’s encouraging him to help elsewhere, since he can’t help with the cloaking device. She mentions trying capture Creel and defeat his abilites. Oh look, there’s a file with Creel’s DNA and genetic stuff. The lab won’t miss it for a little while, right?
Speaking of Creel… we see him hanging out in a diner and waiting for someone, while a weird alien infection sits on his arm. Doesn’t look like Neosporin will take care of that! (perhaps a band-aid?) As the waitress tries to clear his table, she bumps against him and gets jolt, like static electricity. Then she starts feeling weird. Switch to May, who’s outside the diner keeping an eye on things and updating Coulson. She hears a scream and runs inside! The alien infection that was on Creel’s arm is now on the waitress’s arm and taking over her whole body. Not a good look! Creel is a terrible tipper.
Commercials, commercials, commercials. Walking Dead returns October 12th!
Back to diner, where the waitress’s is body is being loaded into an ambulance by a Hazmat team. Then a security alarm at SHIELD HQ. It’s Hunter! He’s pulled up in a sweet ride and is met by Trip who stops and frisks him. Can’t be too careful! Once inside, Hunter meets with Coulson, who realizes Talbot made him a deal. Evidently Hunter evaded the military soldiers who were tracking him. Coulson agrees to pay Hunter money that was owed to him, Hartley and that OtherGuy, in exchange for getting in the strike team going after Creel. WIN WIN!
Fitz and FakeSimmons talk technobabble about Creel’s powers. Mac bugs him about the cloaking device, Fitz blows him off, then Mac asks what he’s doing. There’s a bit of hemming and hawing, then Fitz gives him the data on Creel.
Skye packs up Hartley’s stuff as Hunter walks in and talks with her about Hartley’s life and her personal effects. Evidently Hunter and Hartley met via Hunter’s “crazy” ex wife. Okaaaay? He tries to get Skye to be a mercenary, but she turns him down, saying SHIELD is her life now. He warns her that it’s not a life, just a job. Clearly not a company man!
Creel heads back to his truck/home/communications center, which has his materials supply and tries to absorb things to get rid of the infection. It doesn’t work! Then a phone call! Mysterious Hydra villain tells him to go to a new drop site, while Creel asks for help with infection. Hydra promises he’ll be cared for once they have the mysterious alien object. Uh huh. Creel tosses the phone away in anger and then from the shadows, Raina appears! We are so delighted to see Raina, as we tire of not so villainous Talbot and cranky Creel.
Commercials! Stuff, stuff and more stuff!
Creel and Raina talk, she offers him a special gift in exchange for the obelisk. It’s a special material, three times harder than diamond and has the ability to hold energy. Stardust? Whose dropping off stardust? Yeah, give that to the Absorbing Man, that’ll work out well! She notices the spreading infection, but he ignores her desire to help and tells her to bug off, ’cause Hydra is very dangerous Then he takes the special gift and splits. Don’t expect a thank you card!
Back to SHIELD HQ. They’re discussing Creel and where to look for him. Then they get a mysterious call, while Skye notes he can turn any part of body into various materials. Yes, your mind can get in the gutter on that. The phone call is from Raina! She talks to Coulson about Garrett and how he gained powers and special insight from the goop that Coulson and Skye were injected with. She tells them about the special gift and its embedded tracker and gosh, wouldn’t SHIELD like to know about that. . The team mounts up, with Trip promising to pack some major hardware. Coulson questions Hunter going on the mission, because of that whole deal with Talbot thing, but relents once May chimes in. Scout’s honor! HA!
Mac and Fitz are working with other lab geeks on defeating Creel’s powers. Fitz is able to communicate that he has a solution to disabling Creel, but can’t quite remember where the plans are. So Mac works with him to go through the electronic files and find it. Always have a lab buddy! And good records!
The field team is arming up with Hunter, Skye and May preparing their ICERS (aka guns that don’t kill), while Trip gets into sniper position. Data comes in from Fitz about Creel, Trip spots Creel in a plaza, who has the obelisk in a briefcase, while he talks to someone. As Hunter, Skye and May prepare to move out, Hunter shoots the other two with an icer, knocking them unconscious. Not a team player!
Commercials, one has a goat in it!
Back to the field team. Hunter ices Trip and grabs his BFG. Meanwhile Creel is freaking out with the Hydra agent, worrying about the spreading infection. The agent tells him to calm down and remember his training, which seems to put Creel in relaxed trance. Trigger phrase? Is Creel just a Hydra tool? Can he do Yoga? Hmmm.
Hunter marches into the plaza and whips out the sniper rifle and fires it at Creel. Too late, he switches to that special material and the bullet bounces off! Creel goes after Hunter, beats him a little and when he goes in for the kill, Coulson shows up! Putting a techy looking device on the Absorbing Man’s back freezes him into stone and the day is saved. Go Phil!
Flash to Hartley’s funeral (boo, no more Lucy Lawless), as Hunter watches from a distance. He drops off a necklace to her sister’s car, where Coulson joins him. He offers Hunter a job as a SHIELD agent. Hunter thinks he nuts and reminds him he shot three of his agents. Coulson gleefully notes one of them is May, who holds grudges! After more comforting man talk, Hunter accepts, then Coulson asks him to keep his deal with Talbot and bring Coulson in.
Mac and Fitz are checking out the device they built to take down Creel. They bond a bit and Mac takes the time to ask Fitz how he’s doing. He glances over at FakeSimmons and says “Ok”. Sigh! It’s gonna be a long therapy session.
Skye and May talk about Coulson. Skye knows something is up, that he isn’t quite himself, which May vehemently denies. Then she confronts Coulson about what the hell is wrong him. She notes it’s been about 18 days since his last “episode”. He agrees and says he’s probably overdue, but that he’s tired. May says that’s what she’s here for. They cover the windows, turn down the lights and get special device from a desk. No, not that. Coulson gets a special knife and starts carving strange symbols on a blackboard as May photographs them. Creepy! Also, has no one heard of chalk? Is Coulson allergic to chalk?
Back to Raina, who stole the obelisk! Some guy says she did well and then commands her to pick up the alien device that infects people. (He is wiping his hands like he just did some work, that’s reassuring right? RIGHT?) She hesitates, but he insists, knowing she wants to know. She grabs it and the device comes alive with glowing symbols similar to what Coulson was drawing. Oh it doesn’t kill or infect her either. She asks him to show her how it was all possible. He tells her to bring him his daughter and he’ll show both them. It’s Skye’s dad! This is going to a weird ass reunion.
Another grassy field! Coulson is standing in it as Talbot and his entourage pull up. Coulson turns over Creel, then asks for Talbot for deal, promising to turn in criminals in exchange for the general laying off a bit. Talbot says no and he’s going to take Coulson in. Then the Bus decloaks and Talbot has his mind changed. The stolen Quinjet decloaks also, Coulson hops on it and our heroes take off before they run out fuel.
The Upshot of this Episode- We are feeling like our plucky team is getting their feet on the ground and that perhaps there is some background stuff going on, besides our team. It feels very SHIELD. There may even be someone playing Galaga somewhere. Fitz feels slightly less hopeless since he seems to have learned to chat with Mac. We didn’t have to see Ward and NuSkye is ok. AND we are so glad to have Raina back in play and she has a new playmate.
Rules to add to the Agent’s Guidebook:
Don’t shoot Agent May, even if it’s with an Icer. She likes to savor her grudges. That’s the worst kind of office prank war to start.
Coulson has become an artist. Agent May is documenting his growth.
Always ask your fellow agents how they’re doing.
Carry a handheld saw. Or laser cutter. Or mini torch. Something, anything useful to get out of tight spots.
World domination IS SO 1945!