The pre-credits portion explains what Coulson has been up to that has annoyed all of his co-workers – and let’s just say that it clears up a certain plothole that I wondered about in the recent Avengers movie. Patton Oswalt has described this week’s episode as an hour long additional scene for Age of Ultron, and while that’s a bit of an exaggeration, this does tie Agents of SHIELD into the SHIELD we saw in that movie.
The main thrust of the episode though concerns the increasing pull on Skye from two different directions – her heritage as an Inhuman, and her loyalty to SHIELD (or at least to Phil Coulson). She’s happy to try to help broker a peace, but she has no reason to trust Gonzales, which means that she’s very likely to believe negative things about him.
She’s not the only one with trust issues: Mack’s resignation doesn’t come as a great surprise, but what will be rather more unusual for this series is if it’s a resignation that’s actually going to be followed through, rather than being the cover for something else! There’s some intriguing scenes with May that feed neatly into the game that’s being played by Ward and Agent 33 (is she a third of the agent that Barbara Felton played back in Get Smart?) and once again, I’m seriously wondering if there is a game plan for a third year or whether this branch of SHIELD is going to fold having served its purpose…
Verdict: Much more engaging than last week’s, this both builds off Age of Ultron and sets up a strong finale for the show. 8/10