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TV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1 Episode 20

04.29.2014

NOTE: Join us every WEDNESDAY as we review the latest episode...

EPISODE 20: "Nothing Personal"

SYNOPSIS:  Just when there's no one left to trust, Agent Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) returns to team up with Coulson as S.H.I.E.L.D. is being destroyed around them.

BREAKDOWN: (The following column contains MAJOR SPOILERS, so I don't recommend reading this if you haven't watched this episode).

With Skye deducing Ward's trye HYDRA allegiance and the rest of the team returning to an abaondoned Providence base, it seems like the final round of episodes this season is headed towards another "Rescue Skye" plot thread.  But, with the teased reintroduction of Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. may still have some tricks waiting for us.

The episode opens with Hill on a phone call discussing a Senate hearing she is attending when she encounters Melinda May.  May divulges that Coulson knows about T.A.H.I.T.I. and wants Hill's help to convince Coulson he needs help.  Back at Providence, the team finds all security footage is erased except for May leaving and Ward and Skye boarding the Bus, mysteriously.  As Fitz and Simmons gather food, they discover the body of Agent Koenig (Patton Oswalt) and a note left by Skye revealing that Ward is HYDRA.

Ward and Skye head towards the Los Angeles diner where she first met Mike Petersen/Deathlok to unlock the hard drive.  The least convincing element of Skye and Ward at this juncture of the season is how a rookie agent like Skye could fool a seasoned pro like Ward without him having a clue she knows his secret allegiance.  As the team analyzes and deduces that Ward killed Koenig, Fitz breaks down with anger while Coulson says they need to pull together to save Skye.  Okay, so maybe that is our mission after all.

Ward presses Skye to quickly decrypt the hard drive but she stalls for time so Coulson and crew can get there.  Coulson and Triplett discuss options but are soon met by armed special forces led by Colonel Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) there to take them into custody.  As Coulson asks how Talbot found the Providence base, Maria Hill steps forward to say she guided the way.  She tries to convince Coulson to cooperate but he doesn't trust her for lying to him about his resurrection.  Coulson tells Hill that Ward is HYDRA which is enough to get her to side with the team and they take out Talbot and his men.

May travels to Coulson's grave and finds a Level 10 encrypted flash drive in his empty casket.  Back at the cafe, Skye talks to Ward about being undercover while cops began to gather, making them nervous.  Skye reveals she knows who Ward truly is and the cops try to take them into custody.  Skye gives up willingly but Ward fights back.  As Skye escapes in a cop car, Deathlok descends and takes her down.  Back on the plane, Ward and Skye argue and he still tries to convince her HYDRA was just a job and that his feelings for her are true.

Skye tries to plead with Deathlok to not hurt her but he refuses to help her and demands to know how to unlock the drive.  She refuses saying there is still good in him.  Deathlok stops Ward's heart to force Skye's hand and she tells how to unlock the drive.  Before they can take off, Hill and her plane demand Ward stand down.  Their two aircraft face each other as Coulson gets enough time to sneak aboard.  Coulson rescues Skye and they climb into Coulson's car, Lola, and they reverse out of the Bus, falling 30,000 feet and using the thrusters in the convertible to safely land.

In a motel room as they review their weapons, Hill tells Coulson once and for all that S.H.I.E.L.D. is gone and they will not be "getting the band back together".  Coulson looks like he finally understands the reality of the situation but still refuses to fully accept it.  Fitz and Simmons both tell each other they are not HYDRA while Skye and Triplett talk to Coulson about relaxing until they get back to work.  Coulson promises Skye that they will get Ward and she reveals she left a little surprise within the hard drive for them.   Coulson then returns to his motel room to find Melinda May waiting.  She shows Coulson the drive she found at his grave which shows Coulson himself issuing his resignation from Project T.A.H.I.T.I. which he himself headed.  The episode ends with Coulson just saying "huh".

MARVEL CINEMATIC UNIVERSE REFERENCES:

May and Hill discuss Alexander Pierce, Nick Fury, and how they relate to Coulson.  The Red Skull is name checked as founder of HYDRA.  Natasha Romanoff is mentioned as better eye candy than Maria Hill.  Tony Stark is mentioned as Hill's employer.

BEST LINE:

"If I come out, will you shoot me?  Because then I won't come out." - Coulson to Colonel Talbot

COOLEST SCENE:

While kind of goofy, seeing Coulson and Skye survive a skydive in Lola was pretty cinematic with a funny punchline to the scene.

DO WE (REALLY) KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO COULSON YET?  OR WHAT SKYE'S POWER IS?  OR WHO THE CLAIRVOYANT IS?

T.A.H.I.T.I. is revealed to have been a project that Coulson himself worked on in order to find a cure to save a "mortally injured Avenger" but was cancelled due to the alien DNA used on the patients leading to mental deterioration and eventual psychosis.  The only delay to the deterioration was the full replacement of memories within the subject.  Coulson urged Fury to cancel the project.

EPISODE CLEARANCE LEVEL: 9/10

Another solid episode wraps up a lot of the loose plot threads from the last few weeks and gives us some much needed insight into Coulson's resurrection.  We now can see a chink in Ward's allegiance to Garrett as the rest of the team pulls together even more.  With only two episodes to go, AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is wrapping up in a very strong way.

NEXT ON MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.:

Episode 21 "Ragtag" - Ward 's betrayal and HYDRA's shocking secrets are revealed as Coulson's team goes undercover on a mission that leaves no one unscathed.

TELL US WHAT YOU THOUGHT OF THIS EPISODE BELOW!

CLICK IMAGE TO OPEN GALLERY & SEE MORE PICS...

Source: JoBlo.com

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4:21PM on 05/12/2014
Also Maria Hill name checks The Man-Thing in this episode. Which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
Also Maria Hill name checks The Man-Thing in this episode. Which is pretty damn awesome if you ask me.
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11:29PM on 04/30/2014

I liked it......a lot!

You finally saw Skye show some backbone and what makes her special. Ward thought he could just cry on her shoulder and be forgiven, but she called it like it was......he chose the side of evil. Deathlock was slightly better than he's been, but they still haven't gotten the character right. Coulson was back to being a bad-ass and I liked Hill & May's contribution. It felt "bigger" than many of the previous episodes and I started to actually think about what happens with Shield, it's agents,
You finally saw Skye show some backbone and what makes her special. Ward thought he could just cry on her shoulder and be forgiven, but she called it like it was......he chose the side of evil. Deathlock was slightly better than he's been, but they still haven't gotten the character right. Coulson was back to being a bad-ass and I liked Hill & May's contribution. It felt "bigger" than many of the previous episodes and I started to actually think about what happens with Shield, it's agents, and the conflict all world governments would now have with Hydra.

It was what I hoped this series would be in the first place.
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6:30PM on 04/30/2014

Confused....

How could Coulson head the TAHITI project that involves alien DNA, when he was stabbed and killed by Loki before the attack on earth was issued? I'm just assuming the alien DNA they used was from the Aliens that attacked New York so this makes no sense.
How could Coulson head the TAHITI project that involves alien DNA, when he was stabbed and killed by Loki before the attack on earth was issued? I'm just assuming the alien DNA they used was from the Aliens that attacked New York so this makes no sense.
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8:54PM on 04/30/2014
We saw the alien they were extracting DNA from. It was very obviously a different race.
We saw the alien they were extracting DNA from. It was very obviously a different race.
11:31PM on 04/30/2014
Pretty sure the alien in question was a Kree. Coulson headed the project with the "Area 51" blue guy and recommended it be terminated....but when he was killed, Fury decided it was worth the risk to do anyway.
Pretty sure the alien in question was a Kree. Coulson headed the project with the "Area 51" blue guy and recommended it be terminated....but when he was killed, Fury decided it was worth the risk to do anyway.
12:21PM on 04/30/2014
When Maria hangs up the phone, she says "I have to go, Pepper".
When Maria hangs up the phone, she says "I have to go, Pepper".
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9:16AM on 04/30/2014

Bad CGI and horrible acting... But damn I love Cobie!!

Cobie is the only person on this show with any talent. Clark Gregg is just phoning it in and reading one liners at this point. He seems bored already. The rest of the cast is a bunch of talent-less pricks only there for eye candy and horrible attempts at comedic sidekicks.

Season 2 (god forbid...) needs to just star Cobie and follow mainly her character between the next set of Marvel movies. Maybe take place a month before Ultron or something. Show us more of the Baron Von Strucker character
Cobie is the only person on this show with any talent. Clark Gregg is just phoning it in and reading one liners at this point. He seems bored already. The rest of the cast is a bunch of talent-less pricks only there for eye candy and horrible attempts at comedic sidekicks.

Season 2 (god forbid...) needs to just star Cobie and follow mainly her character between the next set of Marvel movies. Maybe take place a month before Ultron or something. Show us more of the Baron Von Strucker character in the show.
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8:51AM on 04/30/2014
I really hope they reintroduce Coulson and even parts of his team back into the films. No question this show deserves more seasons. To have this kind of connection between a show and a series of films is unheard of, and it makes for great tv! Proud to say I've been a fan all season!
I really hope they reintroduce Coulson and even parts of his team back into the films. No question this show deserves more seasons. To have this kind of connection between a show and a series of films is unheard of, and it makes for great tv! Proud to say I've been a fan all season!
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8:26AM on 04/30/2014
I enjoyed this episode a lot. Bad CGI be damned.
I enjoyed this episode a lot. Bad CGI be damned.
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11:17AM on 04/30/2014

The problem (and risk for Marvel) of making the Marvel Universe into a TV show.

The problem (and risk for Marvel) of making the Marvel Universe into a TV show.
2:59AM on 04/30/2014

Another MU reference

Hill makes reference to Man-Thing when she's on the phone in the beginning.
Hill makes reference to Man-Thing when she's on the phone in the beginning.
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12:09AM on 04/30/2014
I hope Cobie Smulders becomes a series regular in Season 2!
I hope Cobie Smulders becomes a series regular in Season 2!
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11:59PM on 04/29/2014
really enjoyed this episode had me in suspense when coulson trying to get skye i really cannot wait til ward get his ass kicked or die she should have let deathlok kill him well since i have been enjoying agents of shield let the down votes begin
really enjoyed this episode had me in suspense when coulson trying to get skye i really cannot wait til ward get his ass kicked or die she should have let deathlok kill him well since i have been enjoying agents of shield let the down votes begin
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3:09PM on 04/30/2014
really only one minus im very disappointed i was hoping for at least 50 down votes lol
really only one minus im very disappointed i was hoping for at least 50 down votes lol
11:33PM on 04/30/2014
I think they figured out how to block the smart phone votes (which is what I heard allowed a person to vote 40 or 50 times). I haven't seen one of those massive negative things in a week.
I think they figured out how to block the smart phone votes (which is what I heard allowed a person to vote 40 or 50 times). I haven't seen one of those massive negative things in a week.
11:54PM on 04/29/2014
Do you think that mortally injured avenger was Ant-Man, rather Hank Pym?
Do you think that mortally injured avenger was Ant-Man, rather Hank Pym?
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12:35AM on 04/30/2014
Pretty sure it was a hypothetical future situation they were preparing for. Guess it would have been when they were first putting the Avenger Initiative together, circa Iron Man.
Pretty sure it was a hypothetical future situation they were preparing for. Guess it would have been when they were first putting the Avenger Initiative together, circa Iron Man.
3:24AM on 04/30/2014
What about stark - remember in Iron Man 2 when the reactor was killing him ? If this is a project that has been running for some time perhaps it is traced back to that - that being said this is the best adaptation of film / tv series cross over you have to hand it to marvel they know how to keep continuity I just hope they don't cancel the series !
What about stark - remember in Iron Man 2 when the reactor was killing him ? If this is a project that has been running for some time perhaps it is traced back to that - that being said this is the best adaptation of film / tv series cross over you have to hand it to marvel they know how to keep continuity I just hope they don't cancel the series !
1:43PM on 04/30/2014
DOOKIEMERCURY, you misunderstood. It was for a POTENTIALLY mortally wounded Avenger, not an actual one. It was a "what if" plan. Now, as far as the spoken of TEST subjects...
DOOKIEMERCURY, you misunderstood. It was for a POTENTIALLY mortally wounded Avenger, not an actual one. It was a "what if" plan. Now, as far as the spoken of TEST subjects...
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