Things are heating up on this episode of Agents of SHIELD!
A pyrokinetic man under SHIELD jurisdiction in Hong Kong is kidnapped by a woman in a flowery dress (hence the episode title) and her cronies and taken to a secret lab. Good opening! It would appear that Mysterious Flower Dress Woman (eventually referred to as Raina) found her intel on Chan Ho Yin from the Rising Tide, who grabbed it from SHIELD itself. All eyes are now on Skye, who offers to help track the leak in order to prove her innocence.
The trace leads to Austin, Texas and a man named Miles Lydon, a member of the Rising Tide. Skye is the first one to find him, after which she proceeds to keep “finding” him for a few more hours. In his room. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. The SHIELD team track her down immediately post-“finding.” No one is amused. Both Miles and Skye are cuffed and loaded back onto the Bus, which is now headed to Hong Kong on a rescue mission.
Unfortunately, Chan isn’t so much in the mood to be rescued. Raina has given him a superhero name and convinced him that the new serum they’re testing is his ticket to fame and glory. Unfortunately for him, what they’re really doing is trying to find an agent that will keep the Centipede serum from the first episode from making people go all explodey. Chan’s blood cells are perfect, so Raina’s boss gives the order to drain him. They do, leaving just enough to keep Chan alive and somewhat kicking.
The serum has continued to have its roid-ragey side effect, causing Chan to kill his SHIELD handler and attack Coulson and May. Miles and Skye are on a side mission, making sure that the servers are up and running and that they can get the doors to the secret facility open so that May and Coulson can escape with Chan. Chan is still in hardcore murder mode, so May injects him with a double dose of the serum, causing his powers to turn on him. The flames are dissipated harmlessly into the atmosphere, thanks to Skye and Miles’s efforts. Skye, clever opportunist that she is, also takes the time to download a heft y chunk of the files on the lab’s server.
Coulson fits Miles with an anti-technology tracking bracelet and turns him loose in Hong Kong to find his own way home, then turns to Skye. She comes clean about her reasons for joining Rising Tide in the first place. Her life’s work has been a search for her birth parents, which has led her to a single document, heavily redacted by SHIELD. Coulson offers to help, but not without first fitting her with a bracelet just like the one he gave to Miles.
Meanwhile, Raina has escaped the burning lab and gone to visit her own boss in prison. He tells her to talk to “the clairvoyant” and proceed to Stage Three.
Well done, SHIELD. This episode did a good job of pulling me back in a bit. I’ve read in interviews with some of the cast that the show starts a little slow and then builds quickly. Joss willing, this is the start of the quick build. Skye’s having to deal with some actual consequences this episode certainly nudged her character up a level or two.
I’m hoping we’ll be seeing a lot more of Centipede in episodes to come. I think the show is suffering from the lack of a cohesive, episode-to-episode story arc. Bringing in Centipede as a Big Bad could be exactly what SHIELD needs in order to find its footing.
Simmons: “He’s got no family records, his apartment’s under an alias, and he plays a lot of Minecraft where he runs a rather nasty mob.”
Fitz: “Is it zombie?”
Simmons: “Zombie pigmen.”
May: “His file say anything about his being homicidal?”
Coulson: “Just said he was kind of a tool!”
Things to Ponder:
- So does this mean that Skye is distancing herself from Rising Tide? I’d definitely like to see that.
- Please tell me the person pulling the strings at Centipede is going to be someone we know from the Marvel universe. Pleeeeeease?