This week on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD we get some more overlap from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Cobie Smulders, aka Maria Hill, returns to the show. Also, all of the loose threads from the first season continue to come together as we race toward the season finale!
Meanwhile, Skye and Ward are on the plane and headed to the GPS coordinates she needs in order to unlock the hard drive. The coordinates lead them to a diner in LA–apparently the same one where Skye met Mike Peterson in the first episode of the show. Skye tells Ward that even with the coordinates, unlocking the drive will take at least an hour, which causes Ward to freak a little. However, Skye manages to hold it together long enough to stall for time and allow some local authorities to arrive. Ward goes all Jason Bourne on them, but Skye slips away. Unfortunately, Deathlok has been trailing the pair and picks that moment to step in and take control. Skye wakes up on the plane, where the cyborg convinces her to tell him how to actually unlock the drive by almost killing Ward. She spills the beans and they are off again, but not before Maria Hill, with Coulson and team in tow, can confront the plane and try to get them to stand down. All of this is really just a diversion for Coulson himself to sneak onto the plane to rescue Skye, at which point Agent Coulson becomes my new favorite superhero. They manage to escape, but only just, by jumping out of the plane–in a scene that was seriously the most awesomely fun thing I’ve seen on this side of Captain America 2. The episode wraps up with Ward and Deathlok still in possession of the plane and the drive, but the rest of the team back together again. They have time for one more surprise and a quiet moment in a motel in LA before fade out.
Once again, Agents of SHIELD shows that it’s best when it’s crossing over with the Marvel Cinematic Universe without allowing it to overwhelm the show itself. Cobie Smulders does a great job as the newly privatized Maria Hill, who gets to kick a little ass and sling some witty banter, but not before Coulson reads her the riot act for abandoning her post. At this point, with the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier still resonating through every frame of the show, the universe that SHIELD inhabits feels appropriately large–to the point of being oppressive. This adds a wonderful tension to everything that Coulson and his team do, and Hill herself has to remind the super agent that there is no one left to help them–no more backup, no more secret bunkers. It’s just them against the world.
Watch it. I hope that SHIELD can keep up this level of quality for the next couple of episodes and end the season nice and strong. I know that everyone is assuming that the show will be renewed for a second season, and while I also believe that is true, the official renewal still hasn’t been handed down. So, warm up your sets for the next two weeks and follow along as Agents of SHIELD comes crashing into the station for its big finale!