Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: Home Is Wherever The Big Plane Is


There’s a truckdriver driving a big truck, and at first I think, oooh suspicious evil truck, and then I see the truck driver, and I think, oooh, victim.  Because on shows like this suspicious evil truck drivers are clean-shaven, and the victims are not.

But I’M TOTALLY WRONG, because it turns out the truck driver is just in a cunning disguise of stubble, and actually nifty screens appear on his windshield and he’s escorted by black SUVs that are sucked up into the air.  He’s Agent Mac, working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and he’s got some precious cargo in the back of that semi.  Which is unfortunate, because the semi gets sucked up into the air too, and when it crashes back down, some construction equipment rolls out (seemingly on its own, Bob the Builder-style) to tear into the trailer.  Also men with guns.  Who tear into the semi to find….an annoying guy in a chair.


Flying truck. From

Back on the Big Plane, Ward is giving Skye a hard time for being late and unenthusiastic about her training.  Skye: “I don’t ever want to do another pull-up again.”  Word, girl.  Or actually, you’ve got one over on me, because I’ve never managed to complete a real pull-up in my entire life.  Which, as Ward points out, would mean that if I was hanging off the side of a building, I would bite it. 

Ward tells Skye that she must commit to this program (clearly he’s watched the Bourne movies too many times), and that it’s his job to make sure she survives when her defining moment as a field agent comes.  Skye asks what Ward’s defining moment was, Ward ignores her, she jokes that she should give him some more of that truth serum from the pilot episode, and Ward says, “You talking about my Level One overshare?  Hate to tell you this, rookie, but we don’t have a truth serum.”  What???  He’s lying.  Right?  Says Skye.  And me.


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The team is called together to be briefed about the semi kidnapping, and it turns out the annoying guy in the chair was Dr. Franklin Hall–and FitzSimmons moan in sadness about poor darling Dr. Hall, who had been their advisor and must be therefore be rescued!  (Don’t they know he’s annoying?)  The attackers are invisible–“Cool!” says Skye.  “Also terrible.”  Unshaven Agent Mac survived being dropped out of the sky in a truck, and points out that since the invisible attackers knew where they were going, it must have been an inside job.  Simmons calls Fitz over to look at something, which turns out to be an electromagnetic whirlwind or something (fake science bothered me less when I didn’t have to explain it to the internet) caused by a tiny little thingamajig.

Coulson tell Melinda May to check over all communications re: Annoying Dr. Hall to make sure they don’t have a mole, which sounds like a crappy job.  Skye tries to get out of pull-ups, fails, asks Coulson about that truth serum business.  Coulson looks amused and neither confirms nor denies.  Melinda May delegates her crappy job.  Skye thinks to herself, yo, having the rookie do this job might mean Annoying Dr. Hall has to sit around being kidnapped longer than is perhaps absolutely necessary.  Only she says it with fewer words because she’s been hanging out with Ward.

MingNaWenSHIELD_article_story_mainMelissa May is not amused

The guy who sold the guys with guns his excavator (known as Benny from Bob the Builder in this recap, because I have a toddler) apparently lives in the Wild West, because he’s riding a horse with a saddlebag full of gold.  The gold was his payment, because the guys with guns knew he fancied himself a cowboy, and it came from a mine owned by an engineer by the name of Ian Quinn.  Who is in Malta and currently in possession of Annoying Dr. Hall.  Who is much less annoying when compared with Ian Quinn, who is smirky and smarmy and idea-stealing, not to mention person-stealing.  (I’m not sure why I found Dr. Hall so annoying at first, but I really did.  He asked “Are we there yet?” when surrounded by guns, which is basically what my toddler would do, so maybe that’s it.) 

Dr. Hall, it turns out, invented the tiny little thingamajig that makes an electromagnetic whirlwind, and Ian Quinn needs his help to make more of them.  Also he already made a really big one, but he doesn’t know how to control it.  Because that’s always a really good idea.


Scottish accent = likeable. Always.  From

Scottish accent = likeable. Always. From

Fitz talks in his Scottish accent that is really growing on me as most Scottish accents tend to do and explains what the thingamajig does but I still totally don’t understand so I’m not even going to recap it.  EXCEPT–the thingamajig is made using gravitonium, a special gravity-distorting element (yay for Comic Book Elements!  What do you suppose the periodic table looks like in ComicBookLand?).

They talk about how to get into Ian Quinn’s compound, which is surrounded by walls of death lasers.  Fitz wants to send a monkey to disable the death lasers with his adorable monkey hands and hey, you know what I was complaining about last week, how I didn’t like Fitz and Simmons and couldn’t tell them apart?  Now I can!  I like Fitz cause he’s funny with monkey hands!  Skye says, how ’bout me instead of a monkey?  Everyone says that’s crazy talk.  She argues with them while checking facebook on her iPhone, saying that she can go in to Malta because she’s not officially an agent and won’t cause an international incident, and they say okay, but you suck, and she holds up her iPhone–gasp!  Not facebook!  She just got herself an invitation to Ian Quinn’s compound with her special Break Into Stuff App!

Ward invades Coulson’s privacy since Coulson is apparently dressing…or maybe just picking out a suit that looks just like all his other suits.  Ward is expressing concern about Skye, because she has not committed to the program.  He’s tried being nice, he’s tried being mean, but nothing is getting it done.  Coulson says, hmm, maybe stop being such a robot.  If you’re a person, maybe she’ll become a robot.  Seriously, that’s what he said.  Not the most sense-making advice, but Ward takes it and tells Skye that he got to be a robot because his brother used to beat him and his other brother up, Peter Wiggin-style.  And you would think Skye would be all, “aww, now I want to listen to you, sweetie,” but instead she steals his gun out of his pants while he’s telling the story.  She just went up several notches in my book.


[Laura: I have no idea if this gif even fits, but I like it! From here.

Coulson goes over the plan  which somehow involves a compact.  Melinda May takes him aside and says, Getting in after Skye lets us in is a two-man job.  I said I wasn’t doing this.  You keep reneging on our deal.  Coulson says, No I’m not.  I’m going in with Ward, not you.  “I got plenty of action with the Avengers.”  Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah.  Melinda May mutters, “And you died.”  Which is a fair point–he fired a big gun, and then he died.  That’s it.

Skye’s dress is not nearly fancy enough for this party.  But with the help of Melinda May in her ear, she is able to navigate her way through the hoity-toity folks.  (Though my husband and I were both “Stop touching your ear!  Didn’t you watch Casino Royale?

22392-25165-15567__scaled_600Quinn and Skye

And then she slinks her way over to Ian Quinn and grabs his attention–which really makes no sense, as you would think she would want to go under the radar.  And her plan fails spectacularly, since he catches her sneaking around his compound.  She flirts with him and then pulls out the big guns, holding up a sign saying “S.H.I.E.L.D. is listening,” and ditches her earpiece.   Nothing like playing on people’s paranoia and sense of self-importance.  Ian Quinn reheheally wants to steal somebody away from S.H.I.E.L.D., and says that S.H.I.E.L.D. may be offering Skye a home, but he’s got something better.  (I’m thinking, this gal doesn’t really rank anything higher than a home.  She was living out of her van.  She has no last name.  Home is a mirage to her).  She pulls out her compact and that makes it possible for Fitz to do something that  lets Coulson and Ward into the compound.  (Coulson and Ward, by the way, have been fighting security-type people, and Coulson kind of sucks).

[Laura: But look at him waggles his fingers! From “Why Agent Coulson rocks”]

Once Coulson and Ward make it into the compound it becomes obvious that sultry Skye is not actually defecting from S.H.I.E.L.D.–so Ian Quinn pulls a gun on her.  But no worries, Ward is on the way…sort of.  He’s taking forever to find her.  Coulson, on the other hand, instantly finds Dr. Hall in the basement laboratory.  “Dr. Hall, I’m from S.H.I.E.L.D., not to worry, we have an exit strategy.”  Dr. Hall says, “Oh, I’m sorry Agent Coulson, but I’m right where I’m supposed to be.”  Coulson stops.  Uh.  “Well, I’ve got to be honest with you, our exit strategy did not take into account you saying that.”  (Ha!  See!  I told you he was annoying!)  Melinda May finds out (just right at this moment–timing is excellently unbelievable in this episode) that Dr. Hall was the source of the leak.  Guess she got stuck with that crappy job after all.

Dr. Hall wants to destroy the thingamajig, and all the  gravitonium that was put into it, and he’s planning on doing that by turning it on and letting it do its thing.  Gravity goes wonky, yo.  Also apparently the thingamajig will kill everyone in the vicinity, though as Dr. Hall points out, this way it won’t kill everyone in the world.  Dr. Hall pours himself a drink, and he seems very skilled at this crazy gravity thing, since the scotch pours sideways and he still manages to get it in his glass.

SHIELDEp3sqDr. Hall being annoying

Ian Quinn is pretty annoyed with Skye since she’s joined with Big Brother and all, and Skye responds with a rambling but very sweet description of S.H.I.E.L.D. as the big brother who defends his little brother against the other brother with the cake.  Melinda May is very frustrated with her new behind-the-scenes job, so frustrated she almost makes an expression (also going through the files was a bitch and she’s really mad about that, I’m thinking).  Ward still can’t find Skye, but that’s okay because she uses the steal-your-gun move he was trying to teach her (the one where the gun is pointing at you, not when it’s stuck in the other guy’s pants.  That one she already knew) and there’s a really stupid exchange about balls that should have been cut.  She jumps into the pool, Ian Quinn says “Get her,” but then his pen starts floating cause of the crazy gravity, and he just rolls his eyes and says “Hall…sigh…we have to evacuate.”  I kind of love Ian Quinn–years of work and planning and kidnapping and science-y stuff, and all he gives up is an eye roll and a sigh.

Dr. Hall keeps expounding on how he is more noble than the rest of us, and says “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s search for an unlimited power source brought an alien invasion!”  “Fair point,” says Coulson–except it’s totally not!  First of all, the alien invasion was because Loki is jealous of Thor, and frankly S.H.I.E.L.D. was making a really big bomb, not an unlimited power source.  So they were absolutely in the wrong, but not for the reason you’re citing, Nobler Than Thou Dr. Hall.



Ian Quinn escapes, and Skye is attacked by a bunch of guards who didn’t get the evacuation order–she hasn’t looked scared the whole time, but now she does.  No problem though, because Ward finally shows up and dispatches all the guards.  Skye rushes into his manly arms, but Ward goes all professional on her and pushes her away, telling her (in a nice, concerned way) that if she follows his orders, he’ll get them out of there.  They find the secret basement lab really fast too–there must be signs pointing the way, or something.  Coulson cuts the thingamajig’s power source, but it’s too late, it won’t shut down.  FitzSimmons tell him he needs to use a catalyst, shove something in the thingamajig to start a chemical reaction.  So he shoves Dr. Hall.  It works, the thingamajig shuts down.

  Screen shot 2013-10-10 at 3.08.38 PMBye bye!

They lock the thingamajig up in the same storage vault where The Arc of the Covenant is kept (for some reason Coulson doesn’t want it Slingshot-ed up to the sun.  Wonder why not?)  Coulson is practicing his taking-apart-a-gun-really-fast skills, because he doesn’t have them anymore.  (Because he’s not really Coulson?  Because he’s evil?  Because he’s a robot?)  Melinda May comments on his rustiness, and says “I don’t enjoy running back end.”  Coulson’s had it with her–I don’t wanna be in the field, I don’t wanna be stuck on the plane, wah–and he snaps that she can go ahead and pack her things if she’s going to be so annoying.  Melinda May says, um, no, actually I was saying I do want to be in the field.  “So you’re committed to the cause?” asks Coulson.  Melinda May says whatever, this isn’t the Bourne Ultimatum. 

Skye practices her boxing and opens up to Ward.  She was in and out of orphanages and foster homes, and so has learned never to want or depend on anybody.  One time she really tried–she really really wanted this foster home to want to keep her, but they sent her back.  Everybody always sent her back.  “Hoping for something and losing it hurts more than never hoping for anything.”  Ward tries to reassure her that they won’t send her away, but she shrugs and says “It doesn’t matter.  I already want this.”  I have committed to this program.  Actually, it’s a very touching scene, and everybody seems sincere, while also human–which makes it too bad when Skye makes a joke about the truth serum, and Ward goes right back to calling her Rookie.

skye and wardBoxing ‘n bonding

And of course the final scene is a hand reaching out of the thingamajig.  Duh duh duh!


Superhero Count:  1/2?  That hand was totally a supervillain-in-the-making.

Pithy Line:

“You sacrificed yourself.”

“And my card collection.”

Overall Grade: A-

I really liked this episode!  Apart from feeling like I was in Treadstone sometimes, I thought things were funny, well-paced, and exciting.  The gravity stuff was pretty cool, I gotta say, and characters are starting to develop more.  The villains were decent too–Dr. Hall was kind of one-note, but Ian Quinn was great.  Yay!

Watch it on ABC Tuesdays at 8pm EST! Also on Hulu Plus the day after.