Season two’s second episode carries the whirlwind momentum of the premiere, as Coulson & Co. continue the hunt for Carl “The Crusher”, but when do we get to catch our breath?

My first shot at reviewing AoS last week was heavy on the recap. I’m assuming if you’re reading this, you’ve already viewed the episode. You know what happened. So, let’s discuss.

The opening picks up right where episode one left us, another flipped SUV (Marvel must have a whole warehouse of those things – see also: Captain America: The Winter Soldier). May comes to the aid of Lance Hunter before hopping on her hog to pursue Creel. General Talbott takes Hunter, and we see the exercised restraint of newly-anointed Director Coulson. He and May engage in the good ol’ “Stand down/Do you copy?” trope, and May follows orders. I have a feeling we will see this happen many more times this season.

Coulson seems hellbent on capturing Creel to get his hands on some intel. SO hellbent that he barely bats an eye when Skye informs him that the obelisk contains the very same markings that she’s been trying to decipher (per Coulson) for months. How long is this going to keep up? The gang is really messed up, we get that. It’s a post “Winter Soldier” world, and everything Coulson has known is in shards. We’ve spent two episodes swept away in the current of Creel, and I’m just hoping we get some more one on one between Coulson and Skye that lasts more than a second. When Skye was introduced in Season One, she was our guide. She was us. A fresh face, with new eyes, being brought into this new world. Now that she’s just one of the gang, where are we? Who is our guide? Coulson does still keep the quips coming, so there’s some ol’ Agent left in ‘em.

Team Fitz or Team Simmons?

Fitz continues to break our hearts as he stammers and stutters his way through another episode. Newcomer, Alphonso “Mac” Mackenzie, seems genuine in asking Fitz for help with refitting the cloaking device for The Bus. The interactions between Fitz and “imaginary” Simmons are wonderfully acted, and a torture for us viewers. I just wonder how long this can hold up. I mean, how could she leave him like this?! How?!

Fitz eventually warms up to Mac at the urging of not-so Simmons, but what do you think? Can we trust Mac? Is he HYDRA? It’s a question that we are going to have to ask ourselves all season long. Trust. No. One.

Let’s talk about Lance

After being taken from the scene of the SUV accident to an open field, he’s scooped up in a chopper by General Talbott. They play a round of let’s make a deal. Talbott seems to have made Coulson his “white whale”, and it’s pretty extreme.

Director Coulson a greater threat than Creel?! Don’t think so.

Anyway, back to Lance.

It looks like Lance is totally going to sell out Coulson, but then he shows up back at HQ assuring Director Coulson that he just wants Creel … and a proper burial for Hartley … and a lot of money. Seems pretty shady, right? Well, not to Coulson who sends him off with his team, and then he totally double crosses said team. Even after Coulson had to swoop in to save the day, he still offers Lance a spot on the team. You figure Coulson has been burned so many times, he would have learned his lesson. I suppose he’s got one of those feelings again. You know, like he did about Skye, who seemed to be a mole, then wasn’t. Or like the time he thought his most beloved Agent May was the mole. After all that, it turned out to be Ward … you feel me, right?
Flower Dresses, Still In Season

Speaking of old friends, we get to see Raina again. I knew it was just too easy for Creel to wrestle that “gift” from her. Of course it was fitted with a tracking device! Of course! They always are. Raina still seems to have a boner for Garrett and his “enlightenment.” I admit, I’m stumped by this. She’s slippery, and managed to outlive most of the men she follows in her quest for this enlightenment.

Which, speaking of which … KYLE MACLACHLAN!

It’s revealed that he’s Skye’s father, and knows a thing or two about the obelisk. “It let you live.”

Have you noticed that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is obsessed with “The Quest?” Every major movie property, and now S.H.I.E.L.D., has revolved around obtaining an artifact of some sort. Most recently, we followed The Guardians of the Galaxy on their quest for another Infinity Stone, and now we have: The obelisk/Original 084! Next week, we’ll still be chasing it.

Next week we will also still be wondering about Coulson, the GH-325, the blue alien body, Skye, and …

Those Damned Carvings!

May and Coulson have a chit chat in his office, they discuss the fact that it had been 18 days since the Director’s last “episode.” Then, May draws the shades and Coulson draws on the wall…and weeps. WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?!? If this ties into Marvel’s cinematic properties, I will give the biggest bravo to them. With that being said, there better be a damned good explanation for all of this. What about you readers/fellow viewers? Any theories?

And another thing …

  • “He’s changed.” “We all have.” This exchange between Skye and Agent May sums it all up. This family has gone beyond dysfunction, but seriously … when will this show slow down enough to fix it?
  • “I didn’t solve this today!” The fact that imaginary Simmons aids Fitz in gathering his thoughts and words is a good sign. It means those ideas are still there, in his head. He’s just going to have to solve the problem.
  • Seriously, Skye’s dad is Kyle MacLachlan.
  • Seriously, how awesome was that last scene of The Bus de-cloaking? Maybe it’s back on The Bus where the team starts to heal.
  • Kyle. MacLachlan.

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Daniel J is a writer living in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s spent a lifetime compiling an impressive backlog of pop culture knowledge. He comes in handy at bar trivia.