Television Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Episode 114 - T.A.H.I.T.I.)

Photo: ABC
Finally! Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back after a month long hiatus and...

...wait, before I go further, this review will have spoilers, so, if you haven't watched the episode and don't want to know what happened, please stop reading and come back later..

...in other words, consider this your SPOILER ALERT...

 Anyway, let's start again.  Finally! Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back after a month long hiatus and a cliffhanger that left us with Skye's (Chloe Bennet) life hanging in the balance.

At the beginning of this episode (T.A.H.I.T.I.), we see the team transporting Skye's cryogenic tube to a medical center at S.H.I.E.L.D.  But, Skye's condition is critical and things are not looking up for her.  Coulson (Clark Gregg), however, knows that this can't be the end for her given the fact that he was brought back from the dead.  So, he desperately tries to get a hold of Nick Fury who made his resurrection possible.  Not being able to get through, Coulson decides to track down the doctors who brought him back to life and, at the same time, debriefs the rest of his team on what he knows happened to him.  He orders Fitz (Iain De Caesteckerand Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) to figure out how he was brought back and to try to contact Dr. Streiten (Ron Glass) who was there for Coulson's resurrection.

Photo: ABC
The team is then intercepted for breaking orders by Coulson's associate Agent John Garrett (Bill Paxton), who was Ward's (Brett Dalton) former supervising officer, and his current specialist Anton "Trip" Tripplett (B.J. Britt).  Garrett and Coulson verbally spar and we learn that Garrett and his team had been tracking Ian Quinn (David Conrad) until Coulson's team interrupted things in Italy.  While Garrett is insistent that he needs to bring Quinn in immediately, Coulson manages to convince Garrett to keep Quinn there for the time being while he is able to interrogate him.

Garrett starts to ask Quinn about Cybertek and the Deathlok program, but the conversation goes to Skye.  Quinn reveals he shot her under the orders of the mysterious Clairvoyant.  It turns out it was part of the Clairvoyant's plan to continue to get Coulson to find out about his miraculous recovery, the only thing that the Clairvoyant can't see.

In the meantime, Fitz-Simmons review the files and try to figure out how it is all possible and how this chemical called "GH-325" was part of the recovery.  After receiving a call from the medical center, though, they also find that Dr. Sreiten had gone off the grid and all of Coulson's records have been falsified.  Coulson reminds them that S.H.I.E.L.D. is full of secrets and orders Fitz and Simmons to figure it out.  May, while agreeing they should also do what is humanly possible, points out that they could be playing into the Clairvoyant's hand.

Photo: ABC
Fitz-Simmons get to work, using all the tech at their disposal, and manage to find an isolated bunker called the "Guest House" which they surmise is the "GH" in "GH-325."  And, so, the team, including Garrett and Trip, are off to the Guest House.  The "away team," consisting of Coulson, Garrett, Ward and Fitz, prepare themselves for anything.  When they are unable to give the entry password, they break in.  However, during the course of their invasion, the guards set a timer with enough explosives to bring the mountain on top of them down around them.  Also, they find themselves now locked into the facility.  They have 10 minutes to find what they're looking for and get out.  Fortunately, Fitz manages to find the GH-325 quickly.  They're about to make their way out when Coulson discovers a door marked "T.A.H.I.T.I."  Coulson says he'll catch up.

In the meantime, Garrett works with Fitz and Ward to break back out of the facility.  They get the door open, but they can't find Coulson.  Garrett finds him in a daze and when Garrett tells Coulson Fitz is on his way to get the GH-325 to Skye, Coulson starts freaking out asking them not to give it to her.

But, it's too late, Fitz gets the chemical to Simmons, who administers it to her before Coulson could get there.  And,  while, at first, Skye begins to convulse, she ends up stabilizing.  Coulson continues to look dazed and confused.  Garrett and Trip end up taking Quinn away, telling him that the Clairvoyant's ploy didn't work.

May then goes in and asks Coulson why he changed his mind about giving the drug to Skye.  Turns out that Coulson, while looking in the T.A.H.I.T.I. room discovered the torso of some kind of blue humanoid in stasis.  Although, Coulson just tells May that he was afraid that Skye might suffer like he did.  But, for some reason, she didn't.

Photo: ABC
In the epilogue, we're transported to Death Valley where we see a mysterious woman walking.  She walks up to a man at a motel.  The man is newly married and his bride is settling the bill at the motel's office.  It turns out the mysterious woman is from Asgard and she needs his help if she is to remain free.  She controls his mind to drive her away.  And, in the end, we learn her name is Lorelei (Elena Satine).

Oh, my joy!  Well, it's taken half a season, but with both T.R.A.C.K.S. (the last episode) and T.A.H.I.T.I. (the current episode), I am finally feeling like I'm in for the long haul with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  I thought it was a great twist that the Clairvoyant was the puppet master in this situation all so that he can find out about Coulson's resurrection.

But, the big mystery is who the blue humanoid could be.  I kept rewinding it to try to get a good look.  I'm wondering if it is a Kree?  The Kree are one of most well known alien races in the Marvel Universe.  They are a technologically advanced race that are physically stronger than humans.  The Kree also have a connection to the original Captain Mar-Vell and the current Captain Marvel.  They also have a connection to the Inhumans, who many are speculating might become the Marvel Cinematic Universe's answer to mutants.  And, given that Ronan the Accuser, who is Kree, is a villain in the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy, I'm wondering if they could conceivably be introducing the notion of the Kree into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.  It will be interesting to see who it turns out to be.

Photo: Marvel
In this episode, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is introduced to Agent John Garrett (Bill Paxton) who Marvel fans know through his appearances in comic series such as Secret Warriors and Elektra.  And, Bill Paxton brings a certain gravitas to make his being a seasoned S.H.I.E.L.D. agent both believable and enoyable.  While he will be featured in a few episodes, I enjoyed Garrett working with this team.  I think it's also fun seeing Coulson having somebody on his level that he can spar with in a way that he can't with May.  While I don't know if he should be a regular, I'd love to see him on a recurring basis.

Whereas Elizabeth Henstridge's Simmons shined in the last episode, it was nice to see Iain De Caestecker's Fitz shine in this one.  I like that the two of them have slowly added more dimension to their characters.  No longer are they the one dimensional socially awkward nerds that nobody understands, but two integral members of the team.  I loved the scene in which Fitz starts thinking outside of the box to solve the mystery of where Coulson's surgery took place.

Also, once again, I loved Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) in this episode.  We've seen Melinda May tough.  We've seen her reserved.  We've seen her keep her emotions to herself.  But, progressively through the season, we've gotten more glimpses into who she is.  When she hears that there may be no hope for Skye, we see that she is somebody who cares about her team.  She might not have been demonstrative toward Skye, but you could tell she does respect and care for her.  To see her beat Quinn (David Conrad) was not only kick ass, but it was like a mother bear defending her cub.  It was raw emotion expertly played by Wen.

Next week, Asgard comes back to Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and I'm super excited.  Unlike the references in Episode 108 "The Well," the next episode features characters fans have heard of.  At the end of this episode, we see the arrival of Lorelei who is known to comic fans as the sister of Thor's enemy Amora the Enchantress.  And, Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander), who we all know from both the comics and the Thor movies, will be coming to bring her back to Asgard.

See you back here next week!

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