Tonight, the S.H.I.E.L.D. team gets taken to a whole new level. Just when you thought you were part of the cool kids club when you got acquainted with Level 7, here they come with a Level 8 mission. Let’s take a look at tonight’s all-new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. entitled ‘The Hub.’
The Daring Escape
You know when you start an episode with Agent Coulson with a bag over his head and his hands tied behind his back, that you have pretty much entered the turn and run phase.
The men send someone in who is supposed to torture Coulson for them. Unfortunately for the bad guys, he works for S.H.I.E.L.D. Suddenly, we see Ward and May who have come to extract Coulson.
With very little effort, they make it back to ground level with little effort.
Now, this is an interesting way to start an episode.
The Well-Hidden Intel
On the bus, Agent Shaw is now being examined by Simmons. She sticks this thing up his nose that looks rather uncomfortable. She pulls a capsule from his sinus cavity. That just could not have been comfortable. It contained all of the intel that he uncovered while undercover. Coulson tells him that they will push this through to the hub, and that they are heading their now in fact.
When Coulson tells Simmons that they are on their way to the Hub, she is all kinds of excited.
Everyone wants to be a part of the mission, but Coulson turns to them and tells them that it is classified; clearance level eight. Well, this is new.
Skye can’t seem to comprehend why they can’t know about it. They all try to explain to her that there is a hierarchical structure that S.H.I.E.L.D. is based upon. Ward tells her that every agent can’t have the intel on every mission. He says that makes the entire organization vulnerable.
When they finally arrive, Skye is spellbound. She seems like a kid in a candy store.
Each member of the team, except for Skye, gets a badge. When she asks about hers, Coulson points to her bracelet and tells her that is her badge. He tells her that she has a long way to go to make level one.
After a short walk through the building, they catch up to Agent Sitwell. He shakes Coulson’s hand and tells him that Agent Hand is waiting for him in the situation room.
Sitwell tells them that the Level 7s can join them in the briefing. When Skye tries to follow them into the room, the bracelet sets off an alarm and bars her from entering. Coulson comes walking back to the door. He tells her that they will be back. Soon after, Fitzsimmons run off to have a look at a new piece of tech.
Did they really just leave Skye all alone in one of the biggest collections of S.H.I.E.L.D. information anywhere? Oh, boy…
Coulson, Ward, and May head down the hallway to the briefing. Coulson introduced himself to Agent Hand, and then introduces May and Ward. Agent Hand has a slight lack of people skills.
She tells them the intel that they recovered from Agent Shaw shows that a separatist group has created a weapon called the “overkill device”.
She tells them that they plan to use the technology in the next 24 hours to declare their independence from Russia and Georgia. They believe that the technology emits wave that allow them to set off weapons from a great distance. She tells Coulson that if they are caught, they could use S.H.I.E.L.D.’s own weapons against them.
She tells Coulson that she needs a two man team to sneak across the disputed border undetected and disable the weapon. Unfortunately, she needs someone who can disable it on sight. This means she needs Fitz.
When they find Fitz, he is busy arguing with a door that is trapping his cart. This is going to be interesting.
While Fitz prepares for the mission, he can tell that Jemma is worried about him. She is continually trying to give him something that is going to help him on the mission. Finally, he tells her to stop worrying about him.
He tells her not to do anything rash while he is gone. You know…like jump out of an airplane. As a going away present, she made him his favorite sandwich.
May tells Coulson and Ward that the device needs to be disabled by 6:00 a.m. tomorrow in order to avoid the attack.
Fitz is all about business and just wants to get in there and get the job done. After Fitz and Ward head off, everyone seems to go their own way; everyone except for Coulson and Skye. Why does she feel the need to question every single decision Coulson makes? She asks him if it is advisable for them to stay behind. He tells her that they people who put these operations together are the best of the best, and that they know what they are doing.
Fitz is trying his hardest to interact with Ward, almost to a fault. They are waiting for one of Ward’s contacts. Ward tells Fitz that he does like new people, so he needs to keep his head down and his mouth shut in order for this to work.
They head into a silent bar. Everyone seems to be watching a match on television. Ward walks up to th bar and strikes a simple conversation with a man. He rises from his seat and asks him once more if he is really friends with Yuri. The man at the bar tells Ward that Yuri is dead, and then him and a few others draw weapons on them. The man tells Ward that he has no friends there.
Back at the lab, Skye, Simmons, and May are all standing around and preparing for their next move. Skye presses May for more information on the mission. May tells her that they know what they are supposed to know, and when there is more information, then they will get it.
May tells everyone to clear out because she has diagnostics to run and then she needs to reboot.
Skye just can’t control her compulsions. She tells Simmons that everyone else may be ok with knowing nothing, but she’s not and needs answers. And she wonders why no one trusts her?
She tells Simmons that she knows just who to ask; Coulson.
It would seem that everyone in S.H.I.E.L.D. knows what happened to Coulson, but Coulson. Him and Hand begin to talk, and when she starts to mention his recovery, things start to get awkward.
She tells him that it must be good to be back in the big leagues.
Two of my agents are the key to this operation. I never left the bigs.” Coulson says.
She tells him that they need to hope that they are as good as they think they are.
In the Field
In the field, Ward and Fitz are discussing their backup plan. None of the options that Ward puts in front of him really appeal to him. I think things went wrong somewhere about the time that Ward asked Fitz how attached he was to his finger.
A woman walks in and tells them that she heard they were looking for their friend Yuri. She says that he was friends with separatists, and asks them if that’s what they are. Of course they both say no.
They tell her that they are here to combat them, and that if they can just get them across the border, then they can complete their mission. She tells them that they have given her no reason to trust them, and trust is indeed everything to her.
Suddenly, they are alone and in the dark. This can’t possibly be good. Especially for someone like Fitz who is not exactly an expert at this kind of field work.
The Nosey Little Sidekick
Back at the Hub, Skye catches up to Coulson. She is pressing him once again for information about Ward and Fitz’s mission.
I know this is hard for you to hear, but you don’t have the clearance.” Coulson says.
This girl just will not give up. Before walking away from her once again, he tells her to trust the system. Simmons asks her how it went. Skye told her that Coulson is acting like a robot version of himself right now. Unfortunately, he really is just towing the company line.
Skye tells her that if they want the truth, they are going to have to get it themselves. Just think, she can’t understand why no one tells her anything. Hmm…let me think about that for a second.
Simmons tells her that she can’t be a part of this, as she enjoys following the rules. She says it makes her feel nice. Skye brings up the fact that there are more and more men in tactical gear filing in, and this is supposed to be a two man mission. This means one of two things. Either this is a bigger deal than they originally believed, or something has gone horribly wrong. Not sure what it is that Skye and Simmons could do to fix that, but I guess it’s the thought that counts.
When Skye mentions to Simmons that there is a possibility that they are being tortured right now, all of a sudden her tone changes. She can’t bear the thought of Fitz being tortured. Suddenly, she is all in for Skye’s hair brained idea.
Coming Out of the Dark
In the bar where Ward and Fitz are being held, it turns out that no one left them after all. The power in the entire place has gone out.
Good thing they have someone like Fitz there who can fix just about anything. After a little maneuvering, the lights, and the game they were all watching come back on.
I think they may have just earned some of that trust the woman was speaking of.
Finally, Ward and Fitz have talked their way out of the bar and on the road. Thanks to a little quick thinking by Fitz, they are no one their way over the border. For no reason, the transport suddenly stops. Ward tells Fitz to stay put while he investigates; however, before he can make any movement, shots are fired. Suddenly, he decides it’s a better idea to stay in the vehicle.
As two men approach the vehicle, two kegs come flying out, and right behind them are Ward and Fitz. They fight their way past the initial insurgence; however, when more arrive, they decide it is best to haul tail.
The Red Tape
While May is quietly and calmly performing what looks like Tai Chi, Coulson comes in to discuss the current situation. He talks about how he likes the current set up because everyone is on the same page, and there is no red tape or anything like that to wade through.
Then he starts to ask her a string of questions about things he already knows the answer to; so much so that he answers them for himself. He wants to tell the entire team about the mission, but he knows that it is only for people with Level 8 access. He asks her what she would do, and then replies with I know, I know…trust the system.
Honestly, I think he could have had this conversation with a mirror. He already knows the answers, but it seems like he needs to hear them out loud.
He thanks her for the talk and walks away. Well…that was productive.
The Hair Brained Plan
Skye is created a decoy crawler that will make it look like she is simply browsing around on Facebook while she is actually hacking into their system.
Jemma is definitely not used to this kind of operation. She finishes every one of Skye’s sentences. Simmons uses a special spray to open the hidden panel in the wall where she is supposed to attach the flash drive. Before she can do anything, she is approached by Agent Sitwell. Simmons almost panics, giving everything away.
Needless to say, I think she is caught.
He begins to question why she is there, what she is doing, and if she has authorization to be doing it. At this point, any hope she had to talk her way out of this went out the window when she responded to Skye. Out of nowhere, and so very out of character for Simmons, she shoots Sitwell with an energy weapon when he attempts to radio the incident in.
While he is passed out on the ground, she inserts the flash drive. Then, of course, she moved his body out of the hallway.
Skye tells her that she is terrible at this. Skye tells her to go and get May for help, even if she has to tell her it is an accident. Skye only has a certain amount of time to get what she needs before they are on to her.
The Daring Escape
Back in the field, Fitz and Ward seem to have avoided their pursuers. Night is starting to fall as Fitz begins to make small talk with Ward. Suddenly, Fitz starts breaking out the food like they are on some sort of a picnic. Ward looks at him like he is insane.
Ward takes the sandwich from him and throws it pretty far away. Fitz is quite taken aback by this. He can’t believe that Ward just threw his food away. Ward tells him that they are being tracked by dogs, and him bringing out the sandwich is only going to lead their assailants straight to them.
Just as Fitz begins to hurl insults at Ward, Ward leans over and puts his hand over Fitz’s mouth. All of sudden you can hear dogs approaching. I guess Ward wasn’t so crazy after all.
After the sounds stop, Ward hands Fitz something. He tells him that if he is hungry to eat that. He tells him that it is odorless. Unfortunately, it is probably tasteless as well, but at the end of the day, it is better than starving.
Sky is finally into the protected system. She has the entire SH.I.E.L.D. database at her disposal. She finds the mission that’s he needs; however, at the same time, she also finds a menu for redacted documents. This could contain the information she is searching for about her parents.
She is now faced with the decision of doing what she risked everything to do, or walking away from it and looking for the information on her parents. She now has less than a minute to make her decision. After a long, and kind of awkward pause, she decides to do what she broke in for.
She finds out that Ward and Fitz were sent in; however, there is no plan for extraction. S.H.I.E.L.D. sent the two of them in there to die. Well…there goes any chance of trusting the system.
Just as she finds this information, Coulson appears in front of her and closes her laptop.
What did I tell you?” Coulson asks. “You told me to trust the system, and the system sent Ward and Fitz in there to die.” Skye responds.
In the morning, Fitz is still going on about the sandwich. Come to find out, they are lying in the middle of the road in a sleeping bag that looks like the dirt. Suddenly, they can feel a truck coming. They raise the cover to make it look like the truck is going over nothing; however, it is quite the opposite.
As the truck passes, Ward and Fitz are off in the right direction.
Trusting The System
Apparently, Skye thinks it is a good idea to speak rather loudly and directly to Coulson as they walk through the center of the Hub. He tells her that he told her previously that he would look into the documents regarding her parents for her. She tells him that is not what she was there for.
She is furious that, from the looks of it, Ward and Fitz have been sent in there to die. She says that once they disable the weapon that there is going to be a huge air strike with no plan for extracting Ward and Fitz.
He pulls her into a secluded hallway. He tells her that she hacked into a secure system with Level 8 information on it, things that she had no business seeing, and things that she may take out of context. He asks her if she really wants to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent, to which she says yes.
He says that if S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps a secret from her, than there is a good reason.
“One day I may have to trust you with a secret, and I need to know that you can keep it.” He says to her as he turns and walks away.
She stops him before he can get all the way out of the hallway.
Can I ask you one question?” she asks Coulson. “What?” he replies as he turns to face her. “Did you know there was no extraction plan for Ward and Fitz?” she asks. “That’s classified.” He replies halfheartedly.
You can clearly tell that Coulson hates keeping secrets from his team, but it is what has to be done in the name of security.
Penetrating the Line
As the truck comes to a stop, Ward and Fitz quickly roll out from underneath. Piece by piece they make their way across the yard. Ward signals for an extraction, but soon figures out that there isn’t one coming.
Fitz puts a device on the wall that allows them to see who and what is inside the room. Fitz finds two men with automatic weapons. All of a sudden, a third man enters the room and begins attacking the guards. Oh look…it was Ward dispatching of the guards. Man, he really is like James Bond at times.
Once inside, they locate the weapon. The thing is huge. Fitz starts to analyze the device.
After some strategic drilling, Fitz is into the core of the device. They have approximately 10 minutes to get the thing disabled before everything goes topside.
Coulson finally confronts Agent Hand. I think it is safe to say that he is not pleased.
She tells him that Agent Sitwell is in the infirmary because one of Coulson’s agents rendered him unconscious. Coulson tells her that it was a misunderstanding and that he will handle it internally.
He then questions as to why he was not informed that there was no extraction plan for his men. He tells her that he is Level 8 and that he had a right to that information before he sent his men in. She asks him what good it would have done. She also tells him that people like Barton and Romanoff don’t go into mission with extraction plans.
Wait…did she really just liken Ward and Fitz to Hawkeye and Black Widow? Really?
She tells him that Agent Fitz is new to the field and that such knowledge would cause him to lose focus on the mission. Coulson tells her that should have been his call. It is his team, after all. She tells him that she isn’t sure that he would comply.
I guess it doesn’t feel as good when you are fed the same line you feed everyone else. Trust the system.
Disabling the Device
Ward tells Fitz to explain to him what needs to be done to disable it. Fitz tells him that they will follow the extraction plan, and that he will be done in a minute.
Ward finally breaks it to him that there is no extraction plan. Once they disable the device, and set it they are on their own.
Fitz tells him that he is not leaving, and that he can handle this. Ward tells him that he is trying to look out for him. Fitz tells Ward that he is every bit the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that he is.
Turns out that Coulson told Fitz to look out for Ward as well, and that is just what he is going to do.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. team, well…Coulson’s team, decides that they are going to get their guys back. May tells them that they don’t need a battalion for an extraction and that three can pull it off. May, Skye, and Simmons are walking through the plane when they see Coulson standing on the balcony. He tells them that four is better.
Looks like Coulson is in.
Back on site, Fitz and Ward have just finished their mission. Fitz pulls the last wire, and Ward sets the beacon. Back at the Hub, Agent Hand sees the beacon go live and she puts their plan into action.
Ward tells him that they need to get out of there before they realize that the device has powered down. Just as they turn to walk away, the alarms start to go off. Looks like they are going to need a new plan.
Suddenly, explosions start to ring out. Ward tells Fitz that the S.H.I.E.L.D. assault has started. He tells Fitz to head up the stairs and to take out as many of their weapons as he can with the device.
Rather quickly, all of their assailants weapons are rendered useless. Ward is able to fight all of them off by hand.
The two of them make it out of the building just in time to see a wave of enemies approaching.
Just when they start to think that they are doomed, a huge shadow starts to form over their heads. They look up, and there is a rather large plane hovering overhead.
It’s the extraction team.” Fitz says. “Better” Ward says. “It’s the cavalry.”
May puts the plane in the perfect position to aim the thrusters at the enemies approaching Fitz and Ward. They are all kind of stunned by the site of the plane. Suddenly, the thrusters engage and they are all blown back. Way back.
Back to Normal
Back at the Hub, it is apparent that Agent Sitwell is feeling better. He walks into the war room and finds Agent Hand watching over the board. She asks him if Coulson’s team was clear. He tells her that they were and says that he thought there wasn’t going to be any extraction team.
All our resources were needed elsewhere, and it’s Agent Coulson’s team. They didn’t need one.” Hand says.
Back on the plane, Ward thanks Coulson for coming to get them. Coulson tells him that they take care of their own.
Fitzsimmons have an awkward, yet endearing moment together. She asks him how the sandwich was. Just before she starts to think that she had done something wrong, he tells her that it was delicious. Can’t these two just kiss and get it over with already?
Skye tells Ward that she thought she was going to have to find a new supervising officer. He tells her that the truth is, he was in good hands. Looks like Fitz might make a decent field operative after all.
Fitz asks her if anything exciting happened at the Hub. She tells him with a completely straight face that she shot a superior officer in the chest. Fitz is so shocked that he just can’t say anything.
Skye is sitting alone in her bunk when Coulson walks up. She apologizes to him for earlier. He tells her that he wanted her to know that he didn’t forget about what he told her earlier.
He tells her that he found the redacted file about her parents that she was looking for. He tells her that the document wasn’t about her directly. He says that it was about the person that dropped her off at the orphanage. Come to find out, it was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.
Coulson tells he that the Agent was unidentified. They don’t know if it was her mother, or someone who just found her. Coulson tells her that he put in a request to dig deeper into the files, but right now, that is everything he has. He apologizes to her that it wasn’t more.
She leaps forward and hugs him. She tanks him for doing it for her.
As Coulson walks back into his office, May is sitting at his desk. He asks her if she finished reading the file yet; she nods. She asks him what he told her.
The truth. I told her that a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent dropped her off at the orphanage.” Coulson says. “But you didn’t tell her why.” May responds. “I can’t.” Coulson says. “Some secrets are meant to stay secret.”
Coulson asks May if she will help him find out what really happened. She tells him she can try.
From the looks of the file, Skye’s mother may have been a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent herself; one whose life ended way too prematurely.
Later in the evening, Coulson heads back into his office. He makes a call into headquarters for access to a restricted file; a death and recovery file. One that happened in Tahiti. The voice on the other eend tells him that he doesn’t have security clearance for that file.
Coulson tells him that he is Level 8 and has every right to that file. The voice tells him that he does not, and asks him if he would like for him to submit a formal request to Director Fury. Coulson says no and hangs up the phone.
How long will it be before Coulson can no longer take it anymore? What exactly are they hiding from him, anyway? It would seem like S.H.I.E.L.D. has more questions than they do answers sometimes.
I wonder how long it will be before Coulson finally breaks and loses all faith in “the system.”
Here is a look into next week’s all-new episode of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesday nights at 8:00 p.m. on ABC.