In the world of espionage, double crosses and double agents happen all the time, but in a world where gods also walk the earth, super heroes and super-villains tear cities apart, and men fly through the air wearing high tech armor, things can be just a bit more dangerous and unexpected. And what is up with those red face masks? Join me after the jump for my thoughts on the newest episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” – “Eye Spy.”
Diamond Kibuki Theater
Our opening is all red masks and our elusive title character of the episode too. In Stockholm, twenty-five men in suits with handcuffed briefcases and red face masks, followed by a woman, march almost flash mob style through a square and onto a train. They all turn to the woman and she stops the train.
Seconds later when the train stops, red masked men are all down, one has lost a hand and his case. The woman has escaped and is checking out some diamonds in the bloody case. Just what the heck is going in here? My inner geek hopes for a Red Skull connection but I don’t think it’s coming, at least not this early in the season, that is.
Red Masked Answers
Cut to the Bus, a great special effects shot of our heroes’ plane, I might add, and catch up with our crew. Episode writer Jeffrey Bell, who previously worked on “The X-Files,” “Angel,” “Alias,” “Spartacus: War of the Damned,” and the second episode of this series, gives us some brief Joss Whedon style banter and characterization. They’re on their way to, you guessed it, Sweden.
Once there, Clark Gregg as Agent Coulson gives us the scoop. Somebody has been heisting diamonds, so one firm in Sweden, hoping to circumvent it, went to extremes. Only one of the red masked men actually had the diamond shipment, but our mystery knew which one easily. Superpowers are suspected, hence SHIELD was called in.
Skye tracks down the woman through simple social media, earning her keep for another fifteen minutes or so. The culprit is found to be another woman from Coulson’s past, just like in “0-8-4,” a believed-dead agent he trained, named Akela Amador. Feels like to Coulson, this one is personal. He wants to find her before telling his superiors.
Akela has some kind of ‘seeing’ power. At first thought to be telepathy of some sort, it appears to be some sort of cybernetic eye she has. When our team discovers this, Fitz maintains that the technology is at least a decade ahead of anything he’s seen. Does this discount a Life Model Decoy as how Coulson survived death by Loki in the Avengers movie?
As it turns out, Akela is being controlled. Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) goes to confront her and as it works out, the team sets about saving her, and tracking her controller. When she was lost years ago, someone nursed her back to health, implanted the eye, and has been using her ever since. Unfortunately, her handler, when they found him, turned out to be just as controlled as Akela was. I thought for sure we might be headed toward an appearance by the Controller.
The objective for Akela was an equation on a blackboard, possibly alien. Lots of great espionage to get there. Ward does a great cardboard James Bond. So we have a mystery enemy using thought dead agents, an alien formula, higher technology, and that’s not to mention the Rising Tide or Vanchat. Things are getting deeper…
Fitz and Simmons continue to amuse, remind me of “Torchwood,” and grow as individual characters. They are a lot of fun, and I loved watching them ‘operate.’ I’m awaiting more depth for Ward other than letting other characters bounce off him, and hitting and shooting things. Skye does more bouncing off of Coulson this episode than Ward, her usual target. Nice to see Coulson taking a more active part, as opposed to just leading.
Speaking of Coulson, Akela notes that he’s different than he was when she knew him. He’s been different since the battle of New York. The mystery continues. Maybe he’s an LMD, maybe not, but I’m sure we’ll find out soon. Next time, things get hot, in more ways than one…