In this week’s episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the team goes up against one of their most difficult opponents yet. How do you combat against something that is invisible, after all? Well, let’s find out as we take a look at Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 3 entitled ‘The Asset’.
As I said, this week’s episode, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team will have to face one of its most impossible targets yet; something they can’t even see.
When the episode starts rolling, we see your average, run-of-the-mill semi-truck rolling down the street. There’s nothing to see here; move along. Only, there was something to see there, and that was no ordinary truck.
With the open road in front of him, it should be smooth sailing for the driver. Yeah, well…we all know how things are never what they seem.
Suddenly, a voice comes over the radio. The driver lets them know that the cargo is secure. Then, we see a black SUV pull out from behind the semi and take the point. There is another waiting patiently behind the semi.
Out of absolutely nowhere, the SUV at point flies into the air and lands on its hood. The semi does everything they can do avoid hitting it. Suddenly, a display screen appears in front of the driver. (See…I told you things are never what they seem.)
After making some adjustments, the driver pays attention to the road once again.
The second SUV now takes the point position; however, that doesn’t last too long either, as it is thrown from the side of the road. We now know that the driver of the semi is Agent Mack of S.H.I.E.L.D. This means that he is transporting some rather abnormal cargo.
Now, no matter how impossible this may seem, is where this gets even weirder.
At this point, the entire semi is lifted into the air, and Agent Mack seems to be pressed into the back of his seat. Suddenly, the SUV comes crashing to the ground; the cab is in shambles. Mysteriously, the cargo seems unharmed.
Then, we see a piece of construction equipment come out from behind some trees, and people dressed in camo carrying guns to join it. I think it is safe to say that this is far from a normal day.
The machine starts to rip away the outer lining of the cargo container. Boxes upon boxes, well…what look like empty boxes, are being tossed from the inside.
Now, the truth is revealed. We see a reinforced door with keypad security on it. After they use a welding tool to break through the door, an older, balding man with glasses is strapped to a chair.
Are we there yet?” he asks.
The mobile headquarters seems to have been restored to its former glory. Agent Ward is preparing to train Skye. She doesn’t seem too interested in learning the basics. He gets has her work on her punches with a punching bag. She doesn’t seem to be giving it much effort whatsoever.
You wanted to be a field agent, like Coulson, but…if you’d like to switch disciplines.” He says as he turns to Fitzsimmons.
He asks them what their SO made them do. After the two of them begin to describe their adventures, Skye starts to get the point.
She tries to get Agent Ward to open up to her about his defining moment. She says that if he can tell her everything with Coulson’s little truth serum, that maybe he could open up to her again.
You mean my Level One overshare that miraculously got you to cooperate?” he asks. “I hate to tell you this rookie, but we don’t have a truth serum.” He says.
She looks more shocked than she probably should be.
Just then, it seems like Agent Ward is saved by the bell, or should I say mission. Melinda’s voice comes over the radio.
Changing course. Briefing in 3. S.H.I.E.L.D. 616 with new orders, set for Colorado Airfield North.” May says.
Coulson tells the group that a few minutes ago, a S.H.I.E.L.D. transport was attacked while carrying a priority red protected asset off Route 76 near Sterling. He tells them that the protected asset was Canadian physicist Dr. Franklin Hall. Fitzsimmons seems to be very disturbed, as they had history with Dr. Hall. Fitz tells Coulson that he was their chemical kinetics advisor their second year.
Agent Ward asks who the attackers were. Coulson tells him that they are invisible. Skye seems way to amused considering that an asset is missing.
When they land, Coulson tells them that Hall was one of a few scientists that S.H.I.E.L.D. is protecting. Skye asks him what Priority Red means. Coulson tell her that security should have been…heavy. I pause only because as Coulson was uttering that word, he looked up and saw a car stuck up in a tree. It almost reminded me of when Harry and Ron got his dad’s flying car stuck in the Whomping Willow as Hogwarts. (Sorry…random Harry Potter reference.)
Agent Mack is recounting his story for Agents Coulson and May. He tells them that they came out of nowhere. He says that what makes this real scary is that they knew their route and were waiting for them.
You saying they were working with someone inside S.H.I.E.L.D.?” Coulson asks. “Sorry to say, it had to be.” He replied.
Simmons sees something in the air that she cannot explain. She asks Fitz what she is looking at, but he tells her that he is not the one wearing the goggles that he designed, so he doesn’t know. When he gos to take the goggles from her, she tells him to wait.
She picks up a handful of sand from the ground and throws it into the air. The sand starts to spin and dance in midair. It would seem that the electrostatic field seems to have created something.
When they finally deactivate the field, they find a small metal piece the size and shape of a ring.
Back in the lab, Fitzsimmons, May, Skye and Coulson are analyzing their newest find. Coulson says that either someone has hacked their communications, or that they are working with someone inside S.H.I.E.L.D. This cannot be good; however, before we all go jumping to conclusions, let’s see how this plays out.
Skye was just about to volunteer for some research work in lieu of her physical training with Ward when he appeared telling them that was already completed. He has narrowed the search down to three suspects.
Coulson sends Ward off to further investigate. Just as Coulson goes to turn and walk away, he is stopped by Skye. She tells him that Ward told her that they do not have a truth serum.
Did he? Ward said that?” Coulson asked. “Yeah.” She replies with a nod. “Interesting.” Coulson says as he walks away.
Before Skye can go after him, Agent May walks in and hands Skye a folder that is probably a foot thick. She tells her that it is every communication out of HQ since they decided to transfer Dr. Hall. May tells her to read them all.
In Barnroof Point, Colorado, Agent Coulson is patiently waiting for a man on a horse. The man asks Coulsonn who he is.
A concerned citizen. Who happens to be a member of a giant bureaucratic organization that’s tracking your every move.” Coulson replied.
Then man tells him that he hasn’t done anything wrong. Coulson tells him that he only wants to know who paid him. The man draws a gun on Coulson and tells him that he was paid enough not to answer questions like that. Almost in an instant, Agent Ward snatches the weapon away from him, forcing him off of the horse, and slamming into the ground. Ward now has the gun trained on the man.
The man tells him that they only give him money for his equipment and that he doesn’t know a face and hasn’t heard a name. When Coulson asks the man how he was paid, he points to a saddle bag. When they relieve the horse of the bag, a number of gold bars fall out of it.
Back at the lab, Fitzsimmons is examining the gold bars. Simmons tells Coulson that the bars are only about 92% pure, and that the rancher got cheated. Coulson asks if they can determine the mine based on the impurities. Of course they can! These two are geniuses, remember?
Fitz tells him that it’s from a mine in Tanzania. Coulson now knows who they are dealing with; Ian Quinn, the head of Quinn Worldwide.
In the Republic of Malta, we see Quinn walking with a woman while he is on the phone. After he concludes his conversation, he hands the phone to is companion.
Quinn walks into the room where they are holding Dr. Hall. He asks his men why the Doctor is tied up, and stresses that he is obviously not a threat. He apologizes to Dr. Hall.
Quinn takes a seat in front of him.
We come to find out that Dr. Hall was never really kidnapped, but he was working with Quinn. Apparently Quinn has made quite the fortune off of Dr. Hall’s ideas. So…it was Dr. Hall who was the leak from inside.
Hall tells him that he picked an excellent location. Apparently, S.H.I.E.L.D. can’t come after him in Malta.
Quinn tells him that he bought the old Prime Minister’s estate and moved his entire business there.
Quinn puts a small item on the table in front of him. It looks exactly like the item that Fitzsimmons recovered from the site of the kidnapping.
Back in the S.H.I.E.L.D. lab, Fitzsimmons has discovered that it is Gravitonium that powers the device. Skye, not able to speak nerd, asks them to tone it down a little. She asks them how the device works. Simmons tells her that the gravitonium distorts gravity fields within itself causing an angulating amorphous shape. Fitz tells her that when an electric current is applied to it, the gravitonium solidifies and the gravity fields erupt randomly, distorting the gravity around it.
They have uncovered that all research on gravitonium links back to Dr. Hall. They also discovered that Dr. Hall attend Cambridge at the same time as Ian Quinn, effectively linking the two of them together.
Quinn tells Hall that it has taken him a lot of work, but that he finally located it.
Ian tells the doctor that he is not going to try to convince him with money or other such rewards, and that the only way he would come around is if he sees it. Quinn hits a button and the doors open to reveal a large full size generator.
He tells him that he plans to use this with or without him, but he is offering him an opportunity to complete his life’s work.
To be honest, it didn’t really take a lot of arm twisting to get Dr. Hall to agree to his plan. Dr. Hall is so determined that the work be completed properly; how could he possibly resist?
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team has determined that it will be a very large task to infiltrate Quinn’s compound. They have pretty much ruled out every possibility, when Skye mentions, like 30 times, that she can go in for them. She is not a actual “member” of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team, so she wouldn’t be breaking any international laws, or “stupid rules” as Skye likes to refer to them as.
The team, or more so Agent Ward, begins to go on about how she doesn’t have the proper, training, clearance, etc.; however, she has the one sure thing that will get her on the inside…an invitation.
Now that this issue is settled, the team preps to send Skye in undercover. Agent Ward still believes that it is a rather large risk to send her in. He tells Coulson that he has tried over and over again to work with her, but that she won’t fully commit to being an agent. Coulson tells him to stop thinking like an agent and stop thinking like a person.
Ward tries to teach her once again, this time he tries to relate to her on a more personal level. He tells her about when he was a child, and the things that he had to go through to get where he is today. He tells her thaht this was his “moment”, like she asked him earlier.
It seems that his story touched her, as she starts to pay closer attention to what he is trying to teach her.
Fitzsimmons goes over all of the tech that they are sending Skye in with.
Melinda is determined that she does not want to see any more action. She tells him that this two person extraction team they have planned is far more than she signed up for. He tells her that this is why she is not on it. Coulson plans to go in himself.
Hall is one of ours, and is in trouble. I need two men to get him out; Ward makes one.” He says. “So that’s why I’m going in. You forget, I saw plenty of action with the Avengers. “ Coulson says. “And you died,” May whispers.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team is now ready to move out.
Everything is now in motion in th Republic of Malta. Skye is all dolled up in her pretty pink dress, and ready to infiltrate Quinn’s compound.
When she is approached by a man at the party, Skye has to think quickly on her feet. Thankfully, she has May and Fitzsimmons inside her earpiece feeding her all the information she needs to know.
Skye puts eyes on Quinn, and decides to approach him. Surprisingly enough, Quinn knows who she is as soon as he tells her his name. He knows of her affiliation with the Rising Tide, and tells her that he reads her site.
Quinn tells her that he is impressed on how she broke through his back door to get an invite to the event. He tells her that he would like to employ her services before someone else snatches her up.
Quinn starts to give his presentation to his party guests. He tells them about all of the institutions, including S.H.I.E.L.D., in the US that are prohibiting the people of America from advancing their technology, and that they sweep in and take everything for themselves. Well…except today.
He tells the story of Gravitonium. He tells of the ability to control gravity; enabling oil drilling without the drill, and an ability to move a supertankers worth of cargo with a swipe of the hand.
Skye sneaks off from the presentation to find a way to get Coulson and Ward into the compound.
When she doesn’t see a lock or a keypad to the door, they tell her to look for a reception desk.
As she asks the group what she is supposed to do, she is walked up on by Quinn.
What are you trying to do?” he asks.
Unfortunately, Quinn doesn’t fall for her story about the pen. Who would have thought?
He asks her what she is really doing there. She tells him that she was trying to get a look around, and see how things really work there. Quinn is less than pleased.
She insists that he hear her out, while she writes something on a piece of paper. When the camera pans down, we can see that she has written the words, “SHIELD is listening” on it. Wait…who is she really working for again? Now Quinn seems pretty intrigued.
As the team is trying to figure out the exact location of Dr. Hall, the feed from Skye’s receiver goes dead. Did she hit a dead zone? Had Quinn finally had enough, or did she kill the communication herself? Hmm…
Well, it turns out I was right. She did ditch the communicator herself; with a splash into her wine glass. What makes matters worse is that I can’t tell if she is pulling some sort of really convincing undercover operation or if she is really playing at her own end. Well played…
She tells him that ever since she helped them on one case that she has been recruited and that she has the ultimate infiltration, a bunk on their plane.
As for her “reasoning”, she tells Quinn that she likes to keep her options open, where as S.H.I.E.L.D. had no others in this situation.
Quinn tells he that S.H.I.E.L.D. likes to offer a home to people who have nowhere else to go; however, he could offer her something better.
Back on the ridge where Coulson and Ward are waiting for their way into the compound, a team of men (presumably Quinn’s) are scaling the Cliffside. Coulson and Ward make fairly quick work of them; however, now Coulson is a little more anxious and wants to know where Skye is. Yeah…she’s just chilling, kicking it casual style with the enemy. You know the usual.
Or is it?
Quinn proceeds to tell her that she could operate however she wishes, free to do what she does with “big brother” looking over her shoulder; however, before she could do this, she would need to tell him exactly what S.H.I.E.L.D. sent her into his compound to do.
She pulls out her compact, well…the one that Fitzsimmons gave her. Once the light flashed green, she sat it down on the table and brought the link up for the S.H.I.E.L.D. team to get in. Now that is a clever rouse, Skye.
Once the link comes online, Fitz scrambles to get everything in motion.
Just as Agents Coulson and Ward start to take fire on the ridge, Fitz is able to reset the security system, granting them access past the lase wall of death that they stumbled upon when they reached the top of the cliff.
Once in, the Agents split up; Coulson goes after Dr. Hall, while Ward heads in to extract Skye.
Just as Quinn is beginning to question Skye’s story, Quinn’s security team busts in and tells him that there has been a breach in security. He picks up the compact she set on the table, realizing that it was a communication device, ripped it in half and threw it to the ground. Quickly, he draws his weapon on Skye.
Coulson finds his way into the lab where Dr. Hall is working feverishly on the Gravitoniium, but gets a rather interesting surprise; Dr. Hall has decided to work with Quinn.
I’m sorry Mister Coulson; I’m right where I am supposed to be.” Dr. Hall says. “I’ll be honest; our strategy did not take into consideration you saying that.” Coulson replies.
Pretty much at the exact same time, Melinda is able to pull up Dr. Hall’s alias profile I the S.H.I.E.L.D. database. I think she has come to the same realization that Coulson has.
Well, well, as things are almost always not what they seem, we are brought to another stunning realization. Dr. Hall isn’t really working with Quinn after all. He truly believes that this technology is far too dangerous for anyone, not even S.H.I.E.L.D. to possess, so it is his intention to destroy the Gravitonium, taking Quinn’s compound with him.
Suddenly, the gravity field erupts, and Coulson is sent flying across the room. When he awakens a few seconds later, he fills in the S.H.I.E.L.D. team about what is going on at the compound. Fitzsimmons is shocked by the revelation that their teacher had anything to do with all of this, even if in such a small role.
Coulson, being the “sentimental” that he is, pleads with Dr. Hall not to do this. He tells him that his team is on the island and that they do not deserve this.
Dr. Hall says that he, much like Coulson is trying to protect people by destroying the technology.
Suddenly, the earth starts to rumble, even in the main house.
Quinn tells Skye that he did not kidnap Dr. Hall, that he set him free. He says that he could have done the same thing for her.
He tells her that her only way out of there is to tell him what S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing. Quinn says that she is expendable, and that she basically doesn’t matter to S.H.I.E.L.D. because they sent her in with nothing. Well…almost nothing.
Just like Ward showed her, Skye was able to quickly take the gun from Quinn and turn it on him. I guess she was paying attention after all.
Now she has the gun trained on them, but as Quinn so quickly pointed out, does she have what it takes to pull the trigger?
All of a sudden, she turns and jumps off of Quinn’s balcony and into the pool below. He sends his men to retrieve her. Before they can get very far, the earth shakes once again. This time, he sees a pen spinning all by itself on the floor. Now, he knows what is really going on.
He calls for an evacuation and tells them to ready his chopper.
Down in Quinn’s lab, the gravity is getting more and more distorted by the second. Coulson is trying his best to reason with him, even pulling out his association with Fitzsimmons, but it was to no avail. Dr. Hall said that S.H.I.E.L.D. is guilty of the same things that Quinn is; experimentation without consequence.
The people on the rest of the island are starting to panic. We see Skye made it out of the pool, and is now running through the courtyard. Unfortunately for her, it is not long before Quinn’s men catch up to her.
Fortunately for her, Agent Ward wasn’t too far behind her.
This man really is a one man wrecking crew. He summarily destroys each and every one of Quinn’s men while hardly breaking a sweat. He tells her to follow his orders, and everything will be just fine.
Coulson and Hall continue to argue over the semantics of the situation. Hall thoroughly believes that he is doing the right thing, and that the lives of a few innocent people were worth saving millions.
We have to live with the choices we make, but sometimes we have to die with them too.” Dr. Hall said. “I understand. You had to make a hard call. And now I have to make mine.” Coulson replies as he shoots out the glass to the controlled portion of the lab containing the Gravitonium.
Suddenly, Dr. Hall is pulled through the glass and right into the center of the Gravitonium. Slowly, but surely, he is enveloped by the tar looking substance.
With a burst of energy, everything is back to normal; however, Dr. Hall is gone.
Back in his office, Coulson is giving orders to S.H.I.E.L.D. operatives for the containment of the Gravitonium. He says that he wants no one to know about this, and that he doesn’t even want it slated for the slingshot. He says that if anyone finds out about this, he would hold him personally responsible. It’s what Hall would have wanted.
Again, Coulson is having difficulties disassembling the weapon. He is getting frustrated saying that this should be just muscle memory, but he still can’t seem to do it. I wonder if this has anything to do with his miraculous resurrection.
Agent May tells him that he is making a habit of these close calls. He tells her that if she wants off the plane, then she can leave. She tells him just the opposite. That she wants in. He asks her if this is her watching his back or supporting the cause.
Same thing.” She says. “And you are a little rusty.” She says as she walks out.
It would seem that Skye is a little more committed to the cause now. She is thoroughly committing herself to Agent Ward’s physical drills now. They start to discuss a little bit more about their personal lives, including her trips through multiple foster homes.
Just when you think the episode is over, it really isn’t. If you don’t know by now, you have to stay until the very end of every episode, or you will more than likely miss something.
As the Agents turn the lock for the final time on the contained Gravitonium, the Agent removes the card from the door, making it unrecognizable to anyone. On the inside, we see a hand struggle to escape the flowing liquid.
Wait…did we just watch the rebirth of a supervillain?
I guess we’ll have to keep watching to find out.
Here is a look at the trailer for next week’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Make sure to check back with us next week when we take a look at Episode 4, which is entitled ‘Eye Spy’.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.