Coulson’s past protégé is more than meets the eye on this episode of Agents of SHIELD.
Since the launch of YouTube and the upswing in flash mobs, the good people of Stockholm have evidently become oblivious to crowds of oddly-dressed people carrying suitcases attached to their wrists. Rather than the terrorists they initially appear to be, the group is in fact hired ex-military security tasked with transporting a few million dollars’ worth of diamonds across the city. The subterfuge doesn’t work out so well when a young woman is able to correctly identify the masked man carrying the gems and neutralize an entire subway car of his compatriots in order to get away with the stolen diamonds.
The heist comes to the attention of the SHIELD team (obviously, or it would have been rather pointless to show it at the beginning of the episode). Skye is able to use the vast social media network to get an image of the thief, Coulson’s former student, Akela Amador. He asks his team to keep this under SHIELD’s official radar until he’s able to talk to Akela one-on-one.
Meanwhile, Amador is using the diamonds to purchase an access card. The team finds her temporarily, but she’s able to shake them by pushing the away team van into a ditch and running off. Skye, Fitz, and Simmons have just a smidgeon of warning, as they’re able to tap into the video feed of Amador’s bionic eye. Through that, they learn that someone is controlling Akela’s missions.
Against Coulson’s orders, May uses the information from the video feed to confront Akela in her hotel room. An epic hand-to-hand fight ensues, which almost disappointingly ends with Coulson swooping in to tranq Akela. Ward goes on Akela’s mission instead, in an effort to keep the still-unidentified bad guys from activating the failsafe in her eye and killing her instantly. FitzSimmons work on deactivating the failsafe while Ward works his way into the secret room of what appears to be a research facility. The point of the entire mission was to lay eyes (and thereby recording video) on an odd, possibly alien, diagram.
Fitz has to pull Akela’s bionic eye rather quickly when Ward accidentally catches a glimpse of himself in a reflective surface while fighting his way out. Coulson uses the intel they’ve gathered to find Akela’s handler, who has his own kill switch activated when Coulson confronts him. The SHIELD team has no more information about who’s behind all this than they did when we started. Akela is turned over to SHIELD custody with Coulson’s promise that they’ll stand by her when she goes on trial.
Alright, so action- and backstory-wise, this was a better episode than we’ve seen in a while. I may be biased on that, largely because my current least-favorite character had such a minor role this week. Seriously, though. I really enjoyed the interplay between Coulson and Amador. The mentor/protégé relationship between them gave us some great insight into the Coulson of old. Also, who else was desperately hoping to see how Coulson looked through her fancy bionic eye?
From some of the promo stills we’ve seen, it looks like we’ll be seeing May going further back into her role as “The Cavalry.” I, for one, am most heartily looking forward to that. What about you?
Coulson: “She stop saying ‘bang’ when she pulls the trigger?”
Coulson: “Between Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr, people are surveilling themselves.”
Things to Ponder:
- I’m curious to know exactly where in the SHIELD hierarchy Coulson’s team lives. There was an awful lot of not telling the bosses in this episode. I’m guessing they aren’t as autonomous as I thought.