Good guys, bad guys, S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, sometimes it’s hard to tell who’s who, and it’s even harder to tell that when you’re talking about the deadly world of espionage and double agents. Everyone lies for a living, no one tells the whole truth, so who can you trust? On this series we have seen more than a few turncoats and double agents, and it’s not over. Meet me after the jump for my review of the aptly titled “Nothing Personal.”
Hill on the Hill
We open on former Agent Maria Hill, as played Cobie Smulders, leaving a Congressional hearing with the caption ‘Washington DC.’ My first thought us that after the events of Captain America The Winter Soldier, shouldn’t that ‘Washington DC’ caption say ‘What’s left of Washington DC’? She’s on the phone with Pepper Potts, as folks who saw the movie know she was last seen at the Stark Human Resources department at the end of the aforementioned flick. There’s also a great Man-Thing shout out that makes me wonder if the Man-Thing movie might be an unofficial, now official, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Hill’s tails are taken out one by one as former Agent Melinda May comes out of the shadows to confront her. I guess Mom’s contacts from last time worked out. They confer on Coulson, Fury, and T.A.H.I.T.I. before the police finally show up. I love Hill’s comment about their response time – if they were her agents, they wouldn’t be for long.
Agents of Nothing
Providence is empty and the Agents of Nothing are left pondering over erased security cameras and the missing Bus and Koenig. They see May leave, and they see Ward and Skye take The Bus, hand in hand, but little else. Fitz and Simmons decide that pancakes are the answer to boosting everyone’s spirits but find something else. What they find is Koenig dead and a message in his office that says Ward Is Hydra. Not good, sooo not good.
On The Bus Skye is also not doing a very good job of pretending she doesn’t know Ward is Hydra. He suspects her tactics for decrypting the flashdrive, and disarms her. He has to know. She’s a lousy poker player, and as we discussed last time, he’s one of the best. I just hope she’s a better kisser than she is a liar.
Once Simmons examines Koenig’s body, she determines it was definitely Ward that killed him. Fitz refuses to believe it. I guess Ward’s friendship with him and Triplet hitting on Simmons has unhorsed him more than anyone thought. Though grounded, Coulson figures out what Ward is really after – Skye’s encrypted flashdrive, and once she decrypts it, she’s dead.
Meanwhile at the LA diner where Skye first met Mike Peterson in the first episode, she struggles through her own stalling tactics with Ward as well as her own encryption. Yeah, he definitely suspects. I’m worried he might just kill her anyway. The Bride thought Skye was playing him. Either way, cracks are appearing in the trust of many if our cast members, even after the big fall out.
Adrian Pasdar’s Glenn Talbot is as much a schmuck in this TV series as he’s always been in the comics. Talbot and Hill have raided Providence and taken our Agents of Nothing into custody. Hill offers Coulson a deal. It doesn’t go well, as a matter of fact, it goes so unwell, that Hill and Coulson together fight their way out of Talbot’s clutches.
Meanwhile in LA, Skye springs her trap, The Bride was right. Instead of working on her encryption, she was reporting Ward to the authorities as a wanted fugitive, and a Hydra agent. The best part was when she turned her laptop around to show him his rap sheet, and Skye says, “Hail Hydra.” The police pounce, and knowing full well that won’t stop Ward, she steals a police car to make her getaway – right into the arms of Deathlok.
Deathlok was shadowing Ward and brings her back to The Bus. Ward tries to explain his side to Skye, that it was nothing personal. She freaks out a bit, calling him a Nazi – because that’s what he is. The Red Skull founded Hydra, and he was a Nazi, making Ward’s excuse of just following orders just plain evil. Face it, Ward, this relationship is not going to work out.
When Ward’s Nazi charm doesn’t work on Skye, the bad guys go to plan B. Deathlok threatens to kill Ward if she doesn’t decrypt the flashdrive. Unfortunately, unlike Ward or Deathlok, she’s a human being and relents. And that’s a damn shame. Again, props to Brett Dalton for making us hate him so much with his performance.
Maria Hill distracts Ward long enough to allow Coulson to sneak onto The Bus. He collects Skye and makes a run for it, unfortunately he doesn’t know that Deathlok is on The Bus. New plan, run for it, get in the Lola and escape. This is what we comics fans have been waiting for since this series started, especially since we have been teased a time or two. This is a S.H.I.E.L.D. car, and just as much as a fixture in the S.H.I.E.L.D. mythos as the helicarrier, the Howling Commandos, or Scorpio – S.H.I.E.L.D. cars are cool, cuz they fly.
And now we just don’t get to see the car, Coulson’s private car The Lola, fly, we get to see it fight. Lola takes on Deathlok and Ward before dropping out of The Bus for some great aerial footage. This was edge of the seat television as we watch its engines kick in finally and Coulson and Skye land in one piece. This was awesome, everything I could have asked for in The Lola and more. And now, I ask – more please.
And finally, the answer, or at least some of the answer we have been waiting for for quite a long time comes to the forefront. May returns to the group, but not after digging up Coulson’s grave, and discovering a flashdrive of her own. She presents the evidence she has found on Project T.A.H.I.T.I. to Coulson.
He watches in silence and disbelief as it’s a communication to Nick Fury from himself, outlining the dangers of the Project T.A.H.I.T.I. program. It was designed to revived an Avenger who had been killed but had proven too dangerous to use. Only memory alteration and replacement seemed to allow it to work properly. It seems after Coulson’s resignation from the project, it was used on him…
Next week – the secret origin of ex-Agent Grant Ward!