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Agents of SHIELD Recap: “Seeds”

This week we visit the Hogwarts of SHIELD, complete with a scheming Dark Lord behind all the conflict, some Marauders, an adolescent business plan tested on the student body, and a female British braniac who loves homework more than life. I promise I won’t refer to Fitz as Seamus for the duration of my recap.

In our post titles intro, a bunch of SHIELD academy students (including curly-haired Cally and lank-haired Seth) take a celebratory dip in the pool, only to have it start turning to ice (but I wonder what kind?) with supernatural speed, trapping Seth’s leg. Fortunately, class loner Donnie is there with a pool skimmer to bust his leg out and nobody is permanently hurt.

A highly advanced freezing device is discovered, and it turns out it was based on some discarded techniques developed by none other than youngest graduates of SHIELD Academy’s Science and Technology division Fitz and Simmons, the Science Siblings. They are called to the school to investigate the device and its origin, and also to give the student body The Talk about “Potentiality” and reassure them of their safety like the Big Damn Science Heroes they are. Other exposition handed out over breakfast includes Coulson’s been holed up in his office and is barely talking to anyone since they rescued him.

Can I say that one of the things I genuinely like about SHIELD is how often the characters are depicted while eating meals or snacking? Sure, there isn’t quite the same character development in these scenes as in, say, Firefly or Battlestar Galactica, but it’s hard to think of a character as having no human vulnerabilities when they’re grabbing a handful of pretzels from a large bowl.

May and Coulson drop the kids off at school so they can go to work: in Mexico City. May has found a lead on Skye’s ultimate origin, and is going to try her damnedest to use it to get Coulson out of his funk. They know the woman who dropped Skye off at the orphanage is a fallen SHIELD agent, but her partner merely disappeared. Recently, however, SHIELD surveillance found him in the background of a Mexican teenager’s selfie, so that’s not a horrifyingly wide reaching and precise use of facial recognition technology, no sir.

Skye, Ward, and the SSibs meet up with Agent Weaver, the headmistress (or whatever) of SciTech. She’s confident the person who put the device together is one of her students, narrowed to the top 10% smartest because of the complexity of its design. Then she escorts the SSibs to their lecture hall while Ward takes Skye to visit the Wall of Valor, a memorial wall with the names of fallen SHIELD agents (at least the ones whose deaths are non-classified, no one ads, but can be safely assumed).

While there, Skye points at the plaque and name drops Bucky Barnes, which, while exciting, is a little hamfisted under scrutiny. Of the dozens of names on there, she just happens to feel like saying “Bucky Barnes” out loud? I didn’t get the sense from Captain America or The Avengers that Bucky’s exploits, and the effect his death had on Steve Rogers, were common knowledge in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the way that they are in the Marvel Comics Universe, so as far as I know none of the characters have any reason to single his name out as notable. This could have been explained with the list of names being chronological (it’s reasonable to claim that Bucky was the first SHIELD agent to fall in the execution of his duty), but Skye points to the middle of the display as she says it. The episode could even have just showed the name as one of a few random ones in a closeup and give the audience the same jolt.

Anyway, back to the SSibs, who give a speech about the values of scientific caution that’s right in line with SHIELD’s weird conservative attitude about emerging technology. You know, the one Reed Richards and Tony Stark and Hank Pym would probably all blow raspberries at. With a machine designed for never ending raspberry blowing. A never-ending raspberry-blowing robot, or N.E.R.B.R. It can also destroy Galactus and get grass stains out of fine Italian suits. Fitz and Simmons drop some even crazier names than Skye when they say SHIELD was formed to combat Hydra, and that the department has even fought AIM. Scratch that theory off, “Centipede is really AIM” believers. More Marvel nerd baiting is interrupted by a student in the audience (Donnie again) who suddenly starts to freeze solid from the feet up.

A device is located under his seat, and one good kick from Ward disables it while Fitz and Simmons keep Donnie from dying. Meanwhile, Ian Quinn (remember, the eeeeevil industrialist from the episode with the gravity machine?) engages in a tense conversation by phone where somebody has done something to disappoint him. He eventually tells them to “take care of it before I arrive.” I’m certain this is completely unrelated to the other events in the episode.

The Team sends an unfrozen Donnie back to his dorm room as Agent Weaver explains the sort of student he is. See, Seth, the guy who nearly got frozen at the episode’s opening, fingered Donnie as a weird loner who was hanging around the pool. She says he probably wasn’t hanging out with the other kids at the pool, because they were “popular” and he wasn’t, like SHIELD academy is a middle school and not a post-post graduate institution full of adult scientists. But I’ll table a further discussion of the emotional age the episode depicts SHIELD academy students exhibiting until the end of this recap. Donnie is smart: too smart for the academy, really. He’s obviously bored and is so socially awkward that he can’t make friends even among fellow academics, so she’s been thinking of graduating him early (just like the SSibs) and assigning him to the Sandbox. (That’s the SHIELD equivalent of the Giant Warehouse at the End of Raiders of the Lost Ark except there are actually Top Men there.)

But enough about freeze rays and inexplicably immature PhD-havers, lets go to Mexico City! Coulson and May drive Lola up to their stakeout, waiting for former Agent Richard Lumley. May holds up a one sided conversation, asking Coulson if he’s so wrapped up in knowing the truth about what SHIELD did to him that he’s going to defect like Lumley. Coulson calls her bluff on talking just to get him to open up, and since when does she even like Skye and want to help her? May says Skye proved herself last episode, and that’s a getting-stale conflict I’m happy to be done with. Coulson is worried that if SHIELD could change his memories of a traumatic event, they could have changed who he is fundamentally. May reassures him he hasn’t changed, and dares him to call her a liar. He doesn’t.

I do love me some wounded warriors propping each other up with tough love.

Coulson concludes by saying he’s tired of secrets, and May blurts out she’s been BANGING THE HELL OUT OF HER HOT YOUNGER COWORKER BECAUSE SHE’S GOT GAME LIKE EA but their target arrives at the same time and they go on the chase.

Ward points out they won’t get anywhere by directly asking students for what they know, since a large part of SHIELD training is teaching them to keep secrets. It’s better they try to infiltrate the student population and manipulate information out of them. To that aim, he, Skye, and Simmons infiltrate the student hangout in the campus boiler room (so situated because it’s the only place on campus free of SHIELD surveillance equipment), while Fitz is ordered to go befriend Donnie since Donnie is kind of a giant Fitz fanboy. Turns out Donnie’s got some inventions in his room that impress even Fitz, like a miniaturized nonlethal pressure gun. But Donnie has even bigger stuff going on, and is glad to show him his quarter-size prototype for a very powerful battery. He’s still got some kinks to iron out before he can build the full version, though.

Meanwhile, May and Coulson corner Agent Lumley, and even keep him from swallowing a standard issue secret agent cyanide pill. He is immediately relieved when he finds out they are from SHIELD, and he knows why they are there. He explains that more than twenty years ago, he and his team were called in to investigate an 0-8-4 in the Hunan province of China. An entire village had died trying to protect it. Then an entire SHIELD team. When he and his colleagues went in, they found one remaining dead agent, cradling the 0-8-4, a baby girl, in his arms. They never saw her use any supernatural powers, but once they brought her back to SHIELD, his team started to be systematically rubbed out. In order to save their remaining lives, and the girl’s, they decided to erase all evidence of her and her origins. The dead agent’s stolen level 8 credentials served to lock her file, and they ordered the foster system to move her every few months in order to keep her safe.

Which sounds to me (I did this research for writing, I swear) like the sort of early childhood development situation that would produce an adult almost completely incapable of connecting emotionally to other human beings, but if the proper thing to do with orphans is to dress them up in green, yellow, and red and teach them to punch Two-Face in the noggin, I guess I can accept Skye being a relative social adept.

Coulson and May let him go, because Coulson thinks SHIELD probably isn’t any safer than elsewhere for him, and with his final words in the episode, Lumley warms him to stay away from baby 0-8-4.

In the Boiler Room, Skye makes a successful Gather Information check and figures out Cally, the curly haired girl who was reluctant to get into the pool, was first in line for a promotion to the Sandbox until Donnie came on the scene. Ward makes a successful Bluff check and gets her to darkly admit Seth and Donnie getting frozen was “probably the best thing that happened to them all year.” He pounces on her weird attitude and she says she only said it because it let them meet Fitz, and they’d been talking about meeting him when he came to visit for weeks.

But… our SHIELD team were only called to SciTech after Seth got frozen.

Simmons calls up Fitz to tell him Donnie and Seth are now topping their list of suspects, and Fitz is all “no, Donnie’s great, I just helped him fix his science thing ooohhhh… I bet that was totally the evil science thing wasn’t it.” He dashes back to Donnie’s room, but Seth and Donnie are both there readying their “product” and Seth shoots Fitz with Donnie’s nonlethal gun.

A commercial break gives the whole team time to rendezvous on the Bus, where Coulson refuses to say where he and May went. Seth and Donnie are missing, as is their device (devICE GET IT?). Fitz is confident that Seth manipulated Donnie, and if they’re thinking of the invention as a product, that probably means they have a backer interested in purchasing it. As it turns out, Seth’s dad works for Ian Quinn. “This is Quinn’s MO, he finds young talent and he takes advantage,” says Skye. “Kinda like SHIELD?” I mutter at the show that had two scientists telling a room full of young scientists about how dangerous their special science brains are to humanity, and they should definitely be telling SHIELD agents all about their new discoveries just to be safe, even as the agency spies on them 24/7.

Skye corners Coulson to ask why he hasn’t looked her in the eye all briefing, and he tells her he doesn’t want to keep secrets from her anymore, and explains what he and May found out in Mexico City.

Meanwhile Seth has been arguing with Quinn over the phone. A large part of their deal was that the ice weapon would remain a secret: now that SHIELD knows it exists, Quinn is far less interested in shelling out cash for it. But Seth and Donnie have already reached the point of no return by assaulting a SHIELD agent. Quinn promises (obviously lying) that if they give him a good show with it, he’ll send in a helicopter to ferret them off campus (they are apparently hiding in an empty parking structure? yeah, a lot of cover there) and give them the agreed upon massive sum of money. He hangs up and immediately tells his pilot to turn around.

Then he asks a pretty lady who is on a prohibitively expensive vehicle like a private plane, yacht, or submarine but is not dressed like a stewardess to “freshen up” his drink because that is the writing equivalent of sticking a great big plastic sign next to a character with an arrow labeled Really Really Evil Guy Right Here.

Seth and Donnie argue as they prep the machine, going through the usual mutual blaming of each other for the plan going sour that happens when a couple of sorta-bad folks get betrayed by the bigger bad. They turn the device on and it appears to fizzle. Until a few hours later, when they realize it has created a superstorm.

I mean, I’m assuming it’s a few hours later, nothing in the plot really happens, but suddenly it’s daylight and we can see Seth and Donnie and their pickup truck are in the middle of an empty parking lot.

The super storm gets super bad, and Donnie finally breaks down and starts trying to “reverse the process” his machine started like we knew would happen as soon as we realized Seth was the “connection” and Donnie was the “brains.” The SHIELD team know where Seth and Donnie are (because the eye of the massive storm is directly above them and the ice machine) but can’t get there on foot. So May flies the Bus over the storm, into the eye, and then hovers down it like the badass pilot she is. (Coulson grabs Skye’s hand as they make the rough descent, and I get some of those involuntary dad feels that I get.)

To be fair, if I knew more about meteorology or aeronautics I have a feeling I would feel less positive and more cynical about May’s piloting skills in this episode.

While the SHIELD Team was working that out, though, the ice machine gets struck by lightning as Donnie and Seth are fumbling with it. It gets fried, but Seth is tooootally dead. Too bad, he’s gonna miss out on some sweet ice powers. SHIELD gets Seth’s body and Donnie out of there as the storm dissipates.

Now that Donnie perceives himself to be responsible for his only friend’s death and has secret ice powers (Donnie Gill is the alter ego of the second Marvel character to go by the super villain name Blizzard), he gets graduated early and shipped off to the Sandbox, which, it goes without saying, is where our other nascent supervillain Doctor Franklin Hall (Gravitron) is hidden. Maybe they can get together and start an I Hate Ian Quinn club and trash him on message boards.

Haha, no they’ll probably team up by the end of the season with a third villain yet to be revealed and fight the main characters.

May asks Coulson if he heard her when she said she was banging Ward like a box of nails and says, “Yeah, whatever, you’re grown freaking adults. Also f*cking adults, hahaaaaa high five.” Then there’s a montage as he saccharinely describes how Skye’s ability to see the bright side in what she now knows about her origin (that instead of abandoned, she’s been protected all her life) has made him feel better about his life or something, and that it’s how we respond to adversity that matters more than what has happened to us. Cue shot of Donny using his new ice powers.

Lightning! Try and get struck by it, kids, it’ll almost certainly give you superpowers.

STINGER: Coulson calls up Quinn and tells him not to fly over any countries with SHIELD jurisdiction, or he’ll be blown out of the sky. Quinn tells him the Clairvoyant says hello. Then they kiss. (They don’t kiss.)

“Seeds” was a nice little episode. I loved the look into SHIELD training, however silly it was in places (see below), I’m all for introducing more infamous Marvel Universe characters to the show, and I’m curious to see where this “Skye is an 0-8-4″ thing is going to take us.

Speaking of silliness and SciTech division: you need a PhD just to get in? Look, I know the Marvel universe has an above average number of science prodigies, but the student body as shown here is waaay to young to all have science PhDs. Even assuming they all went straight to graduate school they should be in their late twenties, not acting like seventeen year olds (and I’m not just talking about Donnie, mostly about Seth). Even if the Marvel Universe has a lot of combined masters/PhD programs, the student body seemed implausibly young to me.

I’m curious as to whether we can interpret Skye’s origins in Hunan province as SHIELD confirming that Skye, like her actress, has at least partial Chinese ancestry? Certainly it’s not a huge reach to assume Skye’s race and Chloe Bennet‘s race match up, but we know from a lot of recent experience that many people will take any excuse to assume a character is white unless their race is spelled out for them in plain, undeniable terms. (Cynically, I’m wondering how many viewers out there are thinking to themselves that part of the mystery of Skye’s origins is how a white baby ended up in China.)

While I think challenging audiences to relate to more characters whose status as a person of color cannot be willfully ignored or glossed over by folks who don’t want to think about it that much is probably more… productive? effective? towards the goal of encouraging those people to accept and welcome diversity in media, I’ll admit that pushback against the erasure of multiracial identities is a cause close to my heart. Society is very comfortable viewing race as an either or sort of label (for lots and lots of different reasons), and this leads to the concept of “coming out” as biracial, because many if not most folks will assign your features to whatever closest single racial background they can match them to, rather than considering you might be mixed race. I myself, a biracial person, am not completely innocent of this.

The identification of characters played by actors who “pass” as other than they personally identify complicates this even further. Is Zoe Washburn black and Latina if Firefly never confirmed to her be multiracial like Gina Torres? Did Battlestar Galactica present Admiral Adama as Hispanic like Edward James Olmos, if his blood relations are portrayed by non-Hispanic actors?

Personally, I’d be really excited if SHIELD would clearly state and canonize a multiracial identity for Skye, provided the character has one (and Skye isn’t like, a Skrull or some other kind of alien, for example), if only to confront some folks with the complexities of multiracial identity who might not have thought about it before. But maybe that’s just the “me with a bug up her butt about being mis-identified by both strangers and US government surveys as white intend of biracial white/Latina” talking. (And yeah, I’ll be the first to admit being the kind of biracial that passes for white counts as winning the multiracial genetic lottery in American society today.)

A final plea: AIM was name dropped this episode and oh my sweet lord can we please have M.O.D.O.K. in SHIELD. I will never ask for anything for Christmas ever again.

Previously in Agents of SHIELD

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  • eric bouchard

    Solid, if unspectacular episode. Quite ok with that.

    - So is Skye a demi-godess?…a clone?…some genetic experiment gone bad? Any crazy theories?
    - as usual…loved daddy Coulson and mommy May.
    - THey are slowly but surely bulding their supervillain stable.
    - it would be insanely cool to have stan Lee as the big bad.

  • Amber

    Speaking as someone who is constantly surrounded by post-graduate scientists: high school is a fairly appropriate description of general behavior. No matter how old, no matter how smart, there are always cliques, popular kids, outcasts, and gossip.

  • Aeryl

    I didn’t see them being struck by lightning, as instead SHOCKED by the machine, which is what gave Donnie his superpowers.

    And yay for more superpowers! Especially Skye!

    As far as the age/maturity disparity, it seems to me as if SHIELD picks these kids up in adolescence, rush them through college, and then lock them up in the Academy together, where they finally begin having the normal late teen experiences we had, because they are finally at a away from home facility WITH THEIR PEERS. So I don’t have a problem with it.

    I also loved that Coulson called out SHIELD’s behavior as the same as Quinn’s, TO Skye, especially since Quinn’s said the same thing.

    And +1 to the gaming references!

    And also, about the Bucky reference. That was obviously part of tying the events of the show into the events of the upcoming Cap movie. And I don’t see Skye talking about it, as it meaning something that’s supposed to be common knowledge. She’s the superhero geek of the crew, she’s looked into all of the Avengers, especially with access to their SHIELD files. She could probably tell you who Tony’s roommate was MIT, what universities Banner’s accredited at, and what size shoe Clint wears, so knowing that Steve’s BFF was the co founder of the Howling Commandos and “died” in the line of duty, isn’t that off for me.

  • Anonymous

    I was setting myself up for a nonsense reveal that May is her mother even though it makes no sense.

    A few episodes back, she mentioned finding out that she was dropped off at the orphanage by an Agent Chang and speculated that she could have been her mother, so I assume she thinks of herself as having Chinese heritage. But I guess of last night, the question is now “Is she from Earth?”

  • TheChief

    Susana, as a person who is also biracial (white/hispanic), I do agree increasing multiculturalness. It was weird for such a worldwide organization to be so homogenous with this team with Agent May being the token non-white. I hope they can handle that correctly in the future.

  • TheChief

    Susana, as a person who is also biracial (white/hispanic), I do agree increasing multiculturalness. It was weird for such a worldwide organization to be so homogenous with this team with Agent May being the token non-white. I hope they can handle that correctly in the future.

  • Anonymous

    So glad you guys are doing these recaps; I missed last night’s episode because of work.

    I must object to the idea that May’s “GOT GAME LIKE EA.” That would suggest that she’s got game like busting out mediocre sequels each year, and we all know that Agent May’s got some fiiiiine game. :P

  • Aeryl

    Got game like Ubisoft? Got game like Bioware? Got game like Blizzard?

  • Kris

    She’s secretly an ice giant. She’s going to end up trying to kill Fury and take over SHIELD.

  • Bittersweet Fountain

    Truth. The number of pranks that happen in my office of engineers–who all have post-graduate degrees–is ridiculous.

    Seriously, we had to have a meeting about it. We now have enforceable “pranking etiquette” rules. Engineers and scientists are all just big kids.

  • Anonymous

    She’s half Inhuman, smuggled out of Attilan hidden in the Himilayas and got halfway across China before they caught up with her. After Guardians comes out the show will start addressing more extra-terrestrial topics and expand on this. So sayeth me.

  • KryptoBunny

    Ugh, that is something that drove me CRAZY about Battlestar Gallactica. Because there was also nothing about that character that implied that they realized he was Mexican-American — and I guess maybe that’s because future, blah blah, but it also might be because he “presents” as white — which is to say that on tv and in movies, it seems like it’s usually all about skin tone and other blatantly obvious “racial” characteristics. Skye, I’d say, presents as white, too. And on the one hand, it would be cool if they acknowledged that she has Chinese heritage, but on the other hand, I’m not sure how far that heritage counts towards “diversity” on a show that’s rather full of white people with brown hair and bland features, Skye among them. Because while it’s great to acknowledge that, you know, people have all sorts of backgrounds, we’re still at a point where this show thought it was cool to only have one main character who is obviously non-white, AND to make her the muscle of the group because tokenism.
    Which isn’t to say that SHE doesn’t really have that heritage, or anything. It’s just to say that Hollywood sucks about race, and this show isn’t really taking many positive steps towards changing that on this show.

  • Anonymous

    This was a big step in the right direction. An actual comic character poised to return as a villain, some answers instead of just playing the mystery card, and the quippiness was toned down. And I actually liked the changes they made to Donnie’s origin.

    I have to wonder if line where Coulson says he’s sick of mysteries was acknowledging the complaints about how slow and boring the first half of the show was.

    Also calling it now, Skye is an Inhuman.

  • imaginaryannie

    So, are Skye’s powers the reason that “Computers come naturally to her?” That would be neat.

  • CyberIstari

    Theory in our house? Stan Lee will be the Clairvoyant. ;)

  • Aeryl

    That’s awesome, even if I don’t think it’s true.

    But then again, it would explain how he knows everything! HE WAS THERE!

  • Anonymous

    I meant to point that out a few episodes ago but I forgot and now, I’m stuck trying to remember it with my dubious memory: I think the agent who got killed saving Skye, long presumed to be her mother, had an asian name. It was quickly mentionned in passing by Coulson and May. If that’s the case, we have to presume that Skye is asian in the show.

  • Aeryl

    Yes, it was in The Bridge, Skye mentioned an Agent Chang who dropped her off, and posited that could be her mother. So she considers herself of Asian descent, even if the audience* refuses to.

    *Not the audience HERE, but I’ve heard the idea that Skye, played by a Chinese American actress, could be Chinese scoffed at by fans elsewhere.

  • Revolution of Eva

    The lampshaded excuse that William Adama had in BSG is that his wife was a blonde white woman – thus is son Lee is played by a white British actor, but their explanation is that he just looks like his mother. Stranger things have happened. That, and they sort of imply that they’re a bit more multi-racial (Edward James Olmos always wore blue eye contacts, to try to look more like his on-screen son).

  • Keith D. Hoffman

    I love all your awful puns. And that as the show gets more complex, your reviews get more detailed as well. But mostly the puns! Cudos.

    This episode really made me happy by having some of the “slow” character development stuff and past procedural tv action stuff come to fruition. Just the part where Ward assigned Fitz to talk to Donnie and make a friend, and the girls then give him the “Aww, you really DO care!” I really enjoy things now that they are rolling and they don’t have to establish anyone’s character every chance they get.

    Also, Coulson really does layer on the dad feels lately. I’m about to call my own dad and ask him why he wasn’t as good!

  • Revolution of Eva

    Out of blind curiosity Ms. Polo, because you bring it up, what is your ethnic background? I’ve googled and you’ve mentioned before that you are biracial, you liked B’lanna Torres on Voyager, etc. but you didn’t mention specifics. I ask because this has been and will be a recurrent topic on SHIELD so long as Skye (played by a white-passable half-Chinese actress) remains a cast member.

    I, also, checked off a mental box when they mentioned that she was found in Hunan province, hoping that this would acknowledge that she is of part-Chinese descent….though the info about her being an 0-8-4 shoots down by theory that she’s really Melinda May’s daughter who was given up for adoption because May had to choose between her dangerous career as a super-spy or being a mother.

  • Aeryl

    Yes, but which of her adopted siblings is she going to torment endlessly while she does it?

  • Anonymous

    It was a good ep (despite some silly concepts) and I generally liked it, but I wish we could get more people who do something bad and the experience shocks them into being Good Guys rather than supervillains. I heard all the guesses about Blizzard before I watched and if I knew more Marvel history the name would have been a red flag, but dang, I really wanted him to turn out to be OK in the end. That reveal was much more depressing than it really warranted. Maybe because I have a soft spot for asocial supergeeks.

    While another supervillain origin story was disappointing the fact that Coulson flat-out told Skye everything about her origin (or as much as he learned of it anyway) was a really nice touch and I’ll be interested now this “no secrets” policy of his will work out.

    At a guess I’d say Skye is probably going to be a technomancer, or something along similar lines. Maybe her daddy was a TRS-180. Heh. No, probably not, but it’ll be fun to see who/what her parents were.

  • Aeryl

    I think it’s interesting that they are still playing close to the chest in re what was done to Coulson. Coulson now knows the extent of what was done to him, but WE don’t.

  • Alex Young

    I have not watched the episode yet but I need to clarify something – Seamus is Irish, Fitz is Scottish.
    If it turns out that something like this happens to fitz, then i take it back ;)

  • Mark Matson

    I was so sure May was the mother after the previous episode. I guess not.

  • Mark Matson

    Obviously, there is no such thing as Hispanic on BSG, but we know Adama’s parents are from Tauron, not Caprica, which seems to be largely Hispanic(ish). They get more into that in “Caprica”.

  • Aeryl

    Her mysterious background seems somewhat similar to Miss America’s.

  • DJRM

    I see some people are on the Skye=Inhuman theory and I agree. Marvel is pushing the Inhumans lately and I am guessing they will play a part in Phase 3-4 of the cinematic universe. Also I bet Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch will be Inhumans instead of mutants in Age of Ultron.

  • Anonymous

    I liked the reveal about Skye’s origin, and I’m very curious to see where that goes from here, especially if, as the episode implied, she has some kind of power (beyond the whole ‘being amazing at computers’ thing).

    I have a stupid terrible awful theory that will never be canon ever about Skye actually being one of Loki’s children (since he does have half-human kids in the comics). Chances of it happening? Less than zero. Did this episode give me hope that Skye will be related to aliens or Inhumans or something really cool like that in some way? Absolutely.

    Also she knew to look for Bucky’s name because she works for Coulson. Coulson’s probably gushed to his team about Captain America several times, I’m not surprised that his was the first name she’d look for.

    …though I am surprised they actually put him on the wall as ‘Bucky’. Isn’t his first name James?

  • eric bouchard

    It makes the most sense, comics-wise. My own theory would be that she is either half-Skrull or Half-Kree.

  • Ryan Colson

    This episode had me hating Skye more than ever, that Mary Sue needs to go..

  • SuperFubar

    I wonder if they will ever utilize Graviton.

  • eric bouchard

    Now that him and Blizzard are in the same place…i would imagine a prison break is coming.

  • Anonymous

    My biggest question about that right now is WHY? Much as I love Coulson, Hand did raise a good point about how no single agent is worth that much trouble- and she didn’t even know the full extent of what was done. Fury doing it because Coulson’s his best right hand is possible, I guess, but the extremes he went to seem a little improbable. Was it his, um, direct contact with the scepter? Because unless there was some hinky thing that happened offscreen at some point that’s the only significant event I can come up with to justify “moving heaven and earth” to bring him back from the dead.

  • Anonymous

    She’s still a bit of a Scrappy Doo and I don’t think I’ll ever really enjoy the character, but even though what we’ve learned of her origin (and likely what more we’ll learn) is over-the-top I’m starting to get curious about what lunacy the writers have concocted for her.

  • Anonymous

    I’m almost positive Guardians of the Galaxy is going to allude to the possibility of Kree genetic testing on Earth in the past. Even as an offhanded mention from Ronan the Accuser or something.

    There’s a reason Marvel has suddenly given the Inhumans such a huge push in their comics and are making them more like mutants out of nowhere.

  • Anonymous

    Donnie’s partner should’ve been named Gregor Shapanka.
    If you need a PhD just to get in the door, it’d be nice if all the students didn’t look like prodigies.
    So Skye is even more of a Mary Sue MacGuffin now? I don’t know why telling her this (Coulson was much better about sharing than the Doctor was with Clara) was supposed to “destroy” her though. At least she’s not May & Coulson’s offspring.
    This was a better episode than usual, but it needed a better climax. Donnie & his pal had already deactivated the device when tthe Bus made its big entrance. I’m not a fan of the ice disappears once the devices are turned off contrivance. I’d even accept them saying Thor took care of the polar vortex offscreen.
    I admire Quinn’s superdickery.
    It seems odd that Graviton & Blizzard will team-up later as a threat given that both realized their inventions were too dangerous.

  • Anonymous

    As my grandfather used to say: My son went to Puerto Rico to discover his roots, and came back with an Irish girl from Michigan who cooks better flan than my wife.

  • Anonymous

    Clearly I need to brush up on my Harry Potter.

  • Anonymous

    My thought is mostly that of prototype. I mean, every Life Model Decoy/Cloning/Resurrection Process/etc needs a test subject, a first agent to go through the process. Coulson got Loki’d at the right time, he’s a good agent, a friend of Fury’s, close with the Avengers. Why not him. I mean, they need to test out that brain-scanning-rewriting-robot thing on someone. After selecting Coulson, it makes sense to keep tabs on him and go to great lengths to recover him when he was captured.

  • Penny Marie Sautereau

    I got a little weepy at the look on Skye’s face as Coulson started telling her the truth.

  • Lup Lun

    I was under the impression she was drawn to that particular name because what kind of momma names her kid “Bucky”?

  • Alan Kistler

    Just as long as MODOK looks like MODOK. I was highly disappointed that they gave him a proportionally correct body in the new AVENGERS ASSEMBLE cartoon.

  • Alex Young

    Seamus Finnegan is a pretty solidly irish name =p
    That said, on another review someone commented complaining that fitzsimmons accents’ were too thick to understand! They said they have to use subtitles sometimes.
    Is it just me that thinks their accents aren’t “thick” at all?

  • Anonymous

    That makes sense, too. And turning Coulson into a guinea pig sounds like the kind of thing Fury would do. For the good of all of us, of course. Even the ones who are dead.

  • Herostratus356

    The look on May’s face in the pic at the top makes me think Coulson just shared his thoughts on women’s studies with her.

  • Skol Troll

    Ms. Polo, your recaps of AoS are getting better by the week. This week’s recap was hilarious and well-written.

    OK, I’m done sucking up. ;-)

    I’d like to retort this: “Even if the Marvel Universe has a lot of combined masters/PhD programs, the student body seemed implausibly young to me.”

    “but if the proper thing to do with orphans is to dress them up in green, yellow, and red and teach them to punch Two-Face in the noggin, I guess I can accept (under-21 superduper brains) being a relative adept.”

    It’s what I love about comics: it only MOSTLY has to make sense.

  • Skol Troll

    I like that the series could become Coulson’s Bus of Truth vs. S.H.I.E.L.D. It would be interesting to see how a shadow-organization like SHIELD handles their special soldier on his truthiness quest.

  • Anonymous

    Mental Organism Designed Only for Kittens!

  • Anonymous

    BSG replaced Racism with Planetism.

  • Anonymous

    for the longest time I actualy kinda thought that May was Skye’s mother… I’m… kinda disappointed that she’s not :(

  • Travis

    I’m not sure, but I think Inhumans may be on the Fox side of things. They are more a branch of the Fantastic Four franchise than the Avengers franchise.

  • Travis

    If it makes you feel better, Blizzard in the books is fairly good-natured, as far as super-villains go. And he’s tried reform a couple times.

    The episode was actually fairly true to the character. He’s a decent enough guy, but succumbs easily to peer pressure and has a problem with falling in with the wrong crowd.

  • CyberIstari

    No, the women in this house think they’re adorable, not “thick”. But then, anglophiles here, so…

  • Aeryl

    The only thing I can figure is that the movies made pretty explicit that Fury relies on Coulson a lot. He obviously felt he was irreplaceable. In addition to having the opportunity to try it, who better on, than you devoted right hand man, your “good eye”.

  • The Gaf

    For Bucky though- Captain America and his sidekick Bucky were used as propaganda props in the Marvel Universe. Everyone would know him.

  • Aeryl

    What was done in the Marvel Universe is different than what was done in the MCU though. Bucky wasn’t 15 in the MCU, and Cap’s time as a propaganda tool was prior to the formation of the Howling Commandos, prior to Bucky even knowing that Captain America was his friend Steve.

  • Brett W

    I thought AIM was still a legit business in this universe and hadn’t fully come out as being evil terrorists yet. Sure there was that business with Killian in Iron Man 3, but the REST of AIM doesn’t seem to have ditched their public image.

  • Katie Frederick

    To be fair, “Bucky” is his nickname. His full name is James Buchanan Barnes (Bucky comes from his middle name). Which does question why his nickname was on the memorial instead of of his proper name. The theory is though that since Peggy Carter and Howard Stark were two of the foundering members of SHIELD, they probably put that name up since they both knew him as Bucky.
    (Though I do like the idea that Skye knows her Cap history and recognized the name of Cap’s best friend)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t think there is a rest of AIM since Killian was running the company. There was supposedly a deleted scene where Ellen Brandt (Man-Thing’s ex-wife) kills some its top folks to cover his tracks. So as far as SHIELD & the public are concerned, AIM was a legit front for Killian’s ssupervillainy.
    This speech doesn’t mean that Centipede is definitely separate from either AIM or HYDRA though. Its supersoldier program is named Project Centipede, but the actual organization hasn’t named itself yet. They’ll probably reveal themselves closer to the season finale for Winter Soldier synergy. If they are a version of AIM, however, I want them to start wearing yellow cleansuits ASAP. I can’t believe they couldn’t fit that unobtrusive fanservice into Iron Man 3 for even a scene.

  • MeatyStakes

    How dare you to use the term Mary Sue, in here.

    HOW DARE YOU!?! *flings self from mountain top*

  • Brandelyn

    Considering her ‘obsession’ with Tony Stark (since she did cosplay outside his tower at least once before) and the Avengers (per episode 1) I think she knows her history.

  • Brandelyn

    To be honest, I didn’t know that Skye nor the actress was part Chinese. She looked a little Hispanic (I’m from Texas so I jumped to that first) to me. But someone told me she was and I googled it and I found in the interview that Chole plays her as biracial Chinese. At least, that was the impression I got.

  • MeatyStakes

    As a non-native english speaker (who has lived his whole life on a spanish speaking country) I say to that commenter “put an effort”.

  • MeatyStakes

    “Is she chinese-alien?” is what I’m wondering.

  • Brandelyn

    It might also cause a lot of conflict which we might see play out even more after Winter Solider since it’s about S.H.I.E.L.D.’s tactics going too far and being pretty fascist.

  • Brandelyn

    That is interesting. Since Coulson wasn’t the only one killed by it but he was the only one whose body was still intact since the others were destroyed when the portal imploded.

  • Brandelyn

    Well, she could have taken it that everyone she was supposed to know and love as her family was murdered BECAUSE of her. That everyone who has ever tried to protect her was tortured and murdered for the same reason. That she could have taken it that she was a cursed being who brings nothing but despair and death to those around her like that agent said.

  • Brandelyn

    I thought it wasn’t because of tokenism but that the character is badass and they wanted a badass actress to play her and who better than Ming-Na Wen?

  • Cellism

    Interesting. Haven’t seen any direct implications of that in terms of Fox owning but I know Kevin Feige has talked about in vague terms in relation to the MCU. I do know that Quicksilver utilised the Terrigen Mists to try and get his powers back following M-Day and since Black Bolt is part of the Illuminati along with many key Avengers figures (especially Doctor Strange) I’m pretty sure it would fall under the Avengers banner?

  • Robozebra

    Yeah, I work security for a dorm that houses graduate students. A lot of the residents hang out at the desk when they’re bored (we are fun people) and I’ve gotta say, the gossip is not much different from high school.

  • Heather Lynn

    I had the same theory when explaining the episode to my (comic-loving and marvel movie universe loving but hating Shield the show) boyfriend – that she was related to Thor and Loki in some way. I’m really hoping she’s an alien, although the biracial thing would be awesome from a feminist point of view. I just feel that the fans have more active and interesting imaginations than the writers for this show though =(

  • Heather Lynn

    Given the fact that they can’t be mutants due to Marvel not owning the movie rights to X-Men, it would certainly make sense.

  • Heather Lynn

    Personally, I subscribe to the fan theory that Coulson was a kid when Captain America first came to fame (back in WW2 days) and was one of the people who tried to become a super soldier like Captain America because he was such a fan – which would also make him a very valuable asset to S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • Heather Lynn

    Apparently an interview with the showrunners said that they’re playing a slow game, so that all the stuff set up in the first half of the season will have a resolution in this half of the season, as well as set up stuff for next season… not the greatest reason for being boring (and the music choices, OH GOD, I was ready to quit the show just for that!) but at least it sets up why things were left hanging so much in the first half of the season.

    I feel like you can tell that Joss Whedon is not as involved in this show, since it’s his brother and sister-in-law running the actual show, simply because of how not tight the show is. Dollhouse had a slow build and it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as this show has been at times. I really wanted more from them than this, but I’m glad I stuck with it.

  • Kol Drake

    I did a quick check on Marvel characters ‘by powers’ and came up with few that might fit the AoS universe… though one that MIGHT was the High Evolutionary… same dude associated with Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch and later, Adam Warlock.

  • Kol Drake

    RE: Skye’s ‘origin’ and ‘the Clairvoyant’ — IF one would consider the Clairvoyant as being the High Evolutionary, being ‘found in China’ and being a 0-8-4 might make perfect sense… seeing as how the HE was also associated with Quicksilver & Scarlet Witch, his beastie men, and later, Adam Warlock. Bet they could shove in some link to the Inhumans and make that whole corner of the MU available.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. I do like the show, and I feel like there are great things about it, and that there’s a lot of potential there…but we haven’t fully hit it yet. We’ve gotten close a few times, but not consistently.

    Even with what we do know about Skye’s origins, we still don’t really know about her past…she could be biracial, an alien, an Inhuman, half-alien…anything! I hope they do tie her back to aliens in some way (and I’m so glad I’m not the only one with the stupid Skye is related to Thor and Loki theory).

  • Anonymous

    I never thought that May was Skye’s mother (or that Coulson was her father, for that matter). That would have been the lazy, all-too-convenient fan fiction-esque solution. As lame as AOS’s writing has been I couldn’t see the writers doing something so ludicrous.