Jan 8 2014 5:10pm

Tell Us About Your Dreams. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “The Magical Place”

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 episode 11 The Magical Place review recap

Watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. climax can be very uncomfortable.

The year is 2014 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is BACK and ready to answer the question that’s been on everyone’s mind: Why am I so tired. What really happened to Coulson after he got stabbed in the heart by Loki? Are you ready for the answer? Because I guarantee that you are, and yet, the show doesn’t seem to believe me.

When we last left our ragtag team of jet-fuel-guzzling agents (Do they ever land in between missions? Even if just to do some laundry?) they had just finished doing a really poor job at preventing their leader from getting kidnapped by Centipede. They also watched their new super-agent get super blown to super bits while his son looked on, but hey, this show isn’t called “Various Pieces of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” so we’re sorry J. August Richards but we’ll have to get to you in the post-credits scene. We’re here for Coulson’s story!

Centipede wants to know how S.H.I.E.L.D. brings its agents back to life because they’re having the hardest time just keeping their handful of super-soldiers alive at all and they figure that the secret to that is probably locked away in Coulson’s mind, just past the room screening James Bond films 24 hours a day but before the one containing his dissertation on the parallels between The Avengers and the Avengers. (Who do you think convinced Fury to name them that in the first place?)

Towards that end, Creepy Joe from the previous episode (I don’t remember his name and I refuse to look it up) hooks him up to a theta-wave generating machine so that Coulson will go to sleep...and then wake up...and then Creepy Joe will ask Coulson about his dreams?...except he’s not...he’s just beating the crap out of Coulson and...actually none of this makes sense.

Favorite Thing #1: Raina then shows up and says as much, at which point the Clairvoyant calls Creepy Joe, kills him via the phone (what did you THINK emoji were for?!?), and puts Raina in charge.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 episode 11 The Magical Place review recap

Because Raina knows all she has to do is level with Coulson with some Real Talk which Favorite Thing #2: THANK YOU. Someday I’m going to be at some event where I’m forced to speak for more than one minute and whomever is there is going to have to endure a lengthy tirade about how incredibly tedious torture/interrogation scenes are in visual media. Yes, even Game of Thrones season 3. Yes, even The Princess Bride.

Raina immediately keys into the fact that, kidnapping aside, they’re still essentially helping Coulson, and this is how she plays it. So S.H.I.E.L.D. needs to keep secrets for the greater good? We’ll accept that premise, she says, mostly with her eyebrows. But how do you think the cellist in Portland felt when they told her you were dead? And how would she feel if you showed up again? You’re alive now, but it doesn’t seem like you get to be happy about that. Look at all the pain S.H.I.E.L.D. is causing you and they won’t even tell you why! Is this is a worthwhile organization that does this? Listen, Coulson, you and Centipede both want to know what happened after the Battle of New York. This is a win-win situation here.

Coulson is swayed by my summary of Raina and Coulson’s scene and Coulson gets to work telling us about his dreams.

In the meantime, everyone is looking for Coulson! And not just our plucky agents but a lot of other S.H.I.E.L.D. The Bus is swarming with agents that the show regulars get to boss around, all of them now marshaled under Agent Hand’s command.

Favorite Thing #3: Having Agent Hand lead Coulson’s team changes the team dynamic in an instant, which is good because the show has had trouble establishing that there is a team dynamic in the first place. Hand’s management style is effective but suitably different enough to cause real tension. She does some things that certainly seem smart from her perspective—like giving Skye the boot, no, don’t pack, get out of here now—but which we and the team know aren’t. And even though you see May’s “we don’t need her on the plane” shenanigans coming from a mile away, it’s still nice to see that May is picking up leadership pointers from Coulson.

The show also manages to have Hand be antagonistic without dumbing her down. Well, not dumbing her down too much. Her line about how she didn’t “understand why a level 8 agent is so important.” was particularly headsmacking. (BECAUSE AVENGERS.) It was also nice to see Hand taking point on wiping out Centipede. Out of the various people trying to recreate superpowers, Centipede seems to have gotten farther along the reverse-engineering-superpowers path than any other organization, and it’s about time S.H.I.E.L.D. put some muscle behind shutting them down.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 episode 11 The Magical Place review recap

Once Skye is sent off to the unemployment line she launches an investigation of her own and manages to be the first to track down where Centipede is hiding Coulson. There’s some weird bits with an internet cafe and OnStar and cute leather coats and tracking funds involved and honestly aside from her amusingly mimicking Agent May I kind of tuned out of that portion because, ha ha!, what the fuck is Rob Huebel doing on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and not down at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater? I spent a lot of Skye’s screentime wondering if they were going to let Huebel be funny, because he is extremely funny.

(The skit in that link got into my head immediately and never, ever left. Dear friends, if I’ve ever told you that we should “take this to the corn maze” or really just whispered the words “corn maze” now you know what I meant. CORN MAAAZE.)

It turns out that Coulson is being kept somewhere just as cool and just as ominous as a corn maze: a nuclear test town! Essentially, a mocked-up town built and staffed with creepy mannequins so that we could test the effects of nuclear weapons on populated areas back in the Good Ol' Days. Creepy enough for you? It’s a pretty good location idea for a secret base. There’s enough infrastructure there to allow you to cart in smaller infrastructure, like generators, toilets, water, lights, that can be hidden in the buildings already there. Nuclear test towns are also far enough away from civilization that you won’t be spotted coming to and from the base. If you’ve got the money (and patience) you could probably get up to all kinds of nefarious deeds in a nuclear test town. Like making meth!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 episode 11 The Magical Place review recap

But that’s another show. On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. the only nefariousness we’re getting up to is watching Raina listen to Coulson describe his first memories after his death. He’s getting a massage on a beach in Tahiti,, really relaxing because who’s drinking all those piña coladas, Coulson?

As Coulson digs deeper, Tahiti begins to flash in an out. Ron Glass (the doctor from the pilot episode) reappears, horrified by what’s happening, Nick Fury appears, deeply focused on Coulson, and another woman stands by in scrubs. As Tahiti falls away we see that Coulson is being operated on. And “It’s a magical place” isn’t what he’s actually saying.

Coulson’s team is mere feet away from springing into the room where Coulson is digging up memories he’s not even supposed to have. Can they wait just another minutes? Just one more? We really want to see this. We’re about to get...

Actually, we’re about to get the visual of a terrifying spider robot picking at Coulson’s exposed brain while he begs “Please let me die.” over and over.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 episode 11 The Magical Place review recap

While it’s an evocative scene that is certain to add to the ceaseless scream of our collective unconscious, what it ultimately amounts to is the “revelation” that Coulson had a bunch of operations, some of them seriously messed up. It still doesn’t really answer how Coulson was able to survive, or why S.H.I.E.L.D. would keep this a secret from him. The reveal only barely affects Coulson as a character. It’s not going to raise his level of suspicion of S.H.I.E.L.D. much higher than it already is, and it’s not going to make him refuse to accept how he was revived, is it? So what does Coulson do with this information?

I wonder if the showrunners knew this reveal was going to be anti-climactic, because the episode is pretty entertaining otherwise. The three plotlines whip between each other at a frenetic pace, so when one of them sags the other is there to pick up the slack. This episode the team was so effective I was actually worried they would rescue Coulson before he could show us what really happened. And seeing what really happened is still well-staged enough to be shocking, even though it doesn’t end up amounting to anything.

I know it’s pretty par for the course for television shows to dole out answers in a piecemeal fashion like this, but the mystery of Coulson’s death isn’t quite strong enough to sustain that kind of taffy-pull. And honestly, I’m not so excited for the details behind Coulson’s resurrection as I am for the implications that this kind of information would have on S.H.I.E.L.D., the Marvel universe, the characters, and Coulson. Can S.H.I.E.L.D. really cure death? That’s one hell of a brave new world coming our way! Are there unseen moral implications to the technology in use? Was that spider robot perfected on prisoners by Hydra during World War 2, for example? We just weren’t given enough information to know.



  • Mike Peterson is alive! And not well. He’s burned a good percentage of his skin, is back on Extremis, got a cybernetic eye implanted, and lost half of his right leg, all thanks to Centipede. It seems likely that Centipede will figure out a way to fit him with a cybernetic leg, in exchange for their “care.” And considering that Richards has a son that he’s trying to be a hero for, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re seeing Deathlok in the making.
  • I wonder how the phone killed Creepy Joe. Was he frozen? That might explain the veins and blue skin. Or maybe...massive, immediate silver poisoning? (Probably not.)
  • Next week’s episode features someone with ice powers. If they manage to squeeze in a “What keeled the dinosoahs?” joke I will be so happy.
  • While Coulson is recapping his death, we see a brief glimpse of him drawing away from a white light surrounded by stars. Asgard? Valhalla? Eru Ilúvatar sending him back Gandalf-style? Considering Ron Glass’ character’s insisting that they moved “heaven and Earth” to bring Coulson back it makes me wonder if Asgard played a role.
  • There's also some weird black goo in his IV. (The X-Files!) Three notchmarks and...inanimate carbon rods?
  • I’m going to have my next birthday party at a nuclear test town. (I’ll rent a moon bounce.)

Chris Lough is the resident Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recapper and is curious. Brain? What is brain?

Christopher Bennett
1. ChristopherLBennett
I don't think this revelation was anticlimactic, because it moved it away from being just some plot-twist gimmick ("You're really a Life Model Decoy!") and made it about something far more interesting -- human feelings. ("You went through unbearable trauma and we thought erasing your memories of it and hiding it from you would be a kindness.")

Let's face it, the mechanics of how Coulson was brought back are irrelevant. Comic-book and sci-fi characters are brought back from the dead all the time. The only thing that makes it meaningful is its emotional impact on the characters. What they've done here is moved the Big Secret away from being about plot gimmicks and made it a character story, a story about well-intentioned people hurting and lying to their friend because they thought it would help him, and that friend discovering that emotionally complicated truth they didn't think he could bear to live with and now having to learn to live with it. That's genuinely interesting, a thousand times more interesting than finding out if the McGuffin they used was Asgardian or Chitauri.

So no. It's not anticlimactic in the least. It's the most powerful thing this show has done yet.
2. Paigecm
This episode (especially in re: the Coulson revelations) made very little sense to me. Why is Coulson so important? That was practically malleted into our heads: how much Nick Fury cares about Coulson. And this doesn't make sense from what I know of the Avengers Universe -- Coulson is not some keystone without which everything crumbles.

As a friend of mine said, this only makes sense if we imagine some torrid Fury/Coulson slash (Yuletide '14 writers, I'm looking at you!); but otherwise, this is beginning to remind me of Stephen Ratliff's Marissa Picard TNG fanfic.
3. Tumas
On the subject of the killer telephone call, we've already seen Obadiah Stane try it out on Tony Stark to get his chest reactor in Iron Man.
Christopher Bennett
5. ChristopherLBennett
@2: Maybe Coulson isn't important. Maybe it's just that the technology to resurrect an agent didn't exist until just after the Battle of New York, and Coulson was the first test case.
Kalvin Kingsley
4. KalvinKingsley
Based on how Creepy Joe looked when he died, my assumption was that the Big Bad had somehow gotten ahold of the thing that Obie Stane uses on the Ten Rings guy and Tony in Iron Man, and "upped the ante", change it from simply incapacitating the target to killing the target.
Chris Nelly
6. Aeryl
I loved that we are still dragging the mystery out. I love being tantalized. What's the glowing green thing, am I off base by thinking it could be another Infinity Stone?

I love that Coulson stayed loyal, and didn't slip anything while learning for himself what happened. And the reason SHIELD lied to Coulson was explained by Dr. Book. He begged for death. They didn't want him to remember that.

Skye was incredible this episode. I like how they showed her using the things she's been taught, and her own skills to get the job done. Which you missed if you weren't paying attention. I loved how the bracelet restricted her, yet also opened her up to thinking outside the box, which she is VERY good at. Imitating May, luring the guy home, manipulating OnStar, using the bracelet to hack his phone, it was all brilliant stuff, culminating when she used the moves Ward taught her to deal with the security team. It worked that they made them essentially mall cops, if not, it wouldn't have been believable. So I'm seeing improvements on the tactical stuff.

If anyone was shortchanged this ep, it's FitzSimmons, though there are some disturbing implications to Fitz's new ruthlessness that I am looking forward to exploring.

Again, I have a hard time understanding the problems people have with this show. Is it perfect? No, but it's perfectly enjoyable.

I continue to love May with all my heart. In RL, I am the same stoic close mouth person that people always assume the worst of me too.
Chris Lough
7. TorChris
this is beginning to remind me of Stephen Ratliff's Marissa Picard TNG fanfic.

HAH. That is a seriously deep cut. Like if b-sides could have b-sides. Best comparison ever.

On the subject of the killer telephone call, we've already seen Obadiah Stane try it out on Tony Stark

Ooh! Nice catch, Tumas. Especially since Centipede is already all wrapped up in producing Extremis. The debris Stark leaves behind is causing all sorts of trouble...

@ChrisBennett. I still wonder if the "reveal" is going to something as straightforward as Coulson suffering from PTSD. One of the hallmarks of PTSD is that traumatic memory remains un-integrated into your normal memory, which was that final scene to a tee.

That also leaves me wondering how Coulson reacts to images of Loki...
Chris Nelly
8. Aeryl
@2, Fury had a very complicated relationship with Coulson, he was his "One good eye", the one agent he could rely on to get the job done.

Also, don't forget, this story is likely tying into Winter Soldier, where a fracture within SHIELD seems possible. Fury needs everyone he trusts.

Of course, what makes this "level 8" operative so important NOW, is the resurrection, which no one but the medical team, Hill and Fury, know about. They had to know that's what Centipede is after.

@1, I agree. Although I still want to know HOW.
9. Paigecm
@8, oh, okay, that's true. I've apparently succeeded in blocking Iron Man 2 out of my head completely. (Mostly I'm happy about that, but I didn't mean to forget the part about Coulson being Fury's "one good eye."

And you're right, a Winter Soldier tie-in would also make sense.

I *want* to like this show. I like it enough that I keep watching it, even though I end up annoyed.
Brian Haughwout
10. bhaughwout
I agree that this episode's point was showing the HOW and changing the question to WHY -- that's why Hand's question wasn't "headsmacking" in any regard. The point is that another Level-8 like Victoria Hand wouldn't have the sort of full mobilization for recovery (and constant queries from Fury & Hill themselves) that Coulson was, so *something* was different about "A.C." That was also the point raised at the end, with the medical staff asking why -- in ethics and in procedure -- that SHIELD was doing all this to bring him back even against his own will.

In the first half of the season, everyone was asking "Is this really Coulson or some LMD/magical construct?" Now we've learned enough to know that it IS actually him, but not enough to know WHY he was brought back and truly HOW he was (although it took multiple procedures and about a week's work "moving heaven and earth"). This means that the second half will be a process of discovering that for both the audience AND Coulson. As mentioned above, this also thematically ties the period of distrust that he'll go through into the release of THE WINTER SOLDIER, where the question of SHIELD's lies and machinations are a main point -- obvious tie-in material.

As for Peterson, listen carefully to Hand's briefing that Ward first walks into partway. Before switching to talk about the search for Centipede and Coulson, she's discussing "one fatality" and search teams having found "partial remains" at the site of the explosion. As a viewer, this saddened me at first, but it all made PERFECT sense at the last scene when the sheet was lifted and we saw the severed leg -- SHIELD found *those* remains, truly assumes that Mike is dead (also per Raina's conversation with Coulson about "dying a hero") and WON'T be coming looking for him.

Between all those, as well as Skye's maturing as an agent and Fitz's darkening (separating him as an individual character vs just part of the FitzSimmons amagamation), I have high hopes for the second half of the season. Unlike many of the hypercriticals online, I've enjoyed MAoS so far -- it's not HBO-grade cable cinema-classic, but it's an enjoyable 42 minutes of ABC television for me to DVR each week and unwind with, and its been getting better as (A) the characters develop and (B) the writers & producers now have a full season-order to work with.

I'm looking forward to the conflict of Coulson's search for answers versus his nature of being a company man, and I'm hoping to see Mike Peterson in the lion's den fighting his way out and giving us a better look at the enemy. And with THE WINTER SOLDIER coming out in three months, I'm looking forward to the buildup on more looks at the inner workings of the agency now that we know the characters on the Bus.
Christopher Morgan
11. cmorgan
You think Inanimate Carbon Rod made SHIELD employee of the week? Or Time's Man of the Year?
Rajan Khanna
12. rajanyk
I thought I caught a quick flash of what looked like Asgard (or at least someplace suitably cosmic) in that rush of images and the "moved heaven and earth" thing led me to believe that maybe they leveraged Asgardian tech? Though I don't know how. Although maybe as Aeryl surmised it's more like an Infinity Gem or something else from the cosmic realm and it will tie into Guardians of the Galaxy.
13. KAsiki
Liked the episode. On the regen... Depends on how far forward they want to keep the mystery proceedures going. Who is to say next year it isn't ultimately found out to be the first time they found out Scarlet witch is that powerful.

It is odd seeing the Clarivoiant is so powerful, yet blatantly seeing he isn't as powerfull as claimed. For someone who claims to know everything sheild knows yet doesn't know who else is in on Coulson's not death just seemed like this odd claim in a solid episode.
John C. Bunnell
14. JohnCBunnell
Creepy Joe from the previous episode (I don’t remember his name and I refuse to look it up)
On the plus side, this recap is much more thorough plot-wise than earlier installments. But I have to register a protest here. It's the job of a professional recap-writer to supply accurate story details -- like the names of significant characters, especially those who appear in more than one episode. I think it's disrespectful to readers to deliberately deprive them of proper detail. If I'd been writing the recap, I wouldn't have written this line, and if I were an editor reviewing the column prior to its posting, I would not have let the line pass.

did look up the name before commenting on the prior episode, because my ear rendered it as "Poe" -- but there's a screenshot from the ep itself that confirms that others' spelling of "Po" is in fact correct.]
Alan Brown
16. AlanBrown
I just hated that brain being zapped by a metal surgical spider thing scene while you scream in unimaginable pain. It was repulsive. If that is what really happened, and not some sort of dream, I will be really disappointed.
I thought this whole show was about how ordinary folks, albeit ordineary spy folks, with Coulson being the uber-ordinary person we could identify with, were dealing with a world where suddenly superpeople and aliens and stuff had burst on the scene. This whole 'move heaven and earth to keep Coulson alive' thing undermines that whole premise to me.
And it also seems like a lot of backstory and character motivation stuff, like, "Yes, you know what it is like to lose your father," gets dropped rather clunkily into the dialogue here and there. That really grates on my nerves. Show, not tell, guys...
Bottom line, while I want so much to like this show and for it to succeed, I instead saw another episode that had some good moments, but overall left me wanting more (or maybe, like Coulson, just wishing it would all be over).
marian moore
17. mariesdaughter
Excuse a poor girl who grew up reading DC and not Marvel....but Asgard is Heaven now? I thought Asgard was a real place that ancient humans merely thought was Heaven because it was up-there-somewhere. Are we going to have people die and go to Asgard now?
Liz J
18. Ellisande
Oh it better not be Asgardian anything that brought Coulson back, because that would mean they managed to bring him back from exactly the same wound Frigga died instantly from, even though he was dead for days. Bad enough they fridged her, and then the show saves one of her own people through heroic measures not taken for her (everyone just stood around in the movie), but to have her own tech save Coulson? I'm gonna NOPE that idea. I'm sure most people won't care, but it'll irk me terribly.

I feel like the longer they drag out this Resurrection thing the more convoluted and ultimately unsatisfying it'll get. I hope they'll surprise me and it'll all come together, but the writing's still too Scooby-Doo for me to really believe it.
19. James Moar
but Asgard is heaven now?
While the films have played the Asgardians as otherdimensional beings rather than gods, in the comics they are gods (with wriggle room about what exactly that means). Valhalla as a destination for dead heroes does appear there sometimes.
20. Colin R
The afterlife totally exists in Marvel Comics--after death, characters have gone to Hell, Hel, Hades, Valhalla, and Heaven (that I've read, I'm sure there are more afterlives). As far as I can tell they remain cagey about what all that means--whether these are distinct places that people go to, or different interpretations of the same places, or whatever.

But certainly in the Marvel Universe, heroes have sometimes turned up Valhalla without much explanation other than that it suits the story.
Chris Nelly
21. Aeryl
@17, I found it to be a clever play on words indicating something supernatural, not that it's implying Asgard is a direct analog for Heaven in the MCU.

Apparently, Valkyrie designs were made for Thor 2, but the character wasn't added, so my guess is that Marvel has plans to make Valhalla an actual place.

As far as Frigga goes, by all indications, this resurrecting business is apparently very traumatic, and not worth it in the long run, some might say(like Coulson). For all we know, if it's a known Asgardian procedure, Frigga may have been adamantly opposed to undergoing the resurrection process, had a living will. From what I've seen of Frigga, taking her rightful place amongst the Valkyries is her due, I personally don't want to take that away from her.
Christopher Bennett
22. ChristopherLBennett
@20: Yes, supernatural beings and realms exist in the comics, but the Cinematic Universe is consciously more grounded, because there's still concern that general audiences wouldn't be as tolerant of fantasy as the comics audience is. So Asgard and the other realms are emphatically established as alien rather than divine, Odin is actually given the line of dialogue "We are not gods," and Coulson's team can't go two weeks without reminding us that psychic powers don't exist.

So no, they are absolutely not saying Asgard is heaven. What fans are speculating is that Asgardian technology, the resources of highly advanced aliens, might have been used to perform a medical feat beyond Earth science.
Nick Hlavacek
23. Nick31
It seemed odd to me that the doctor (I like @6's "Dr. Book") seems scared of Coulson when he's confessing that the method used to bring Coulson back to life was horribly painful and that Coulson begged to be allowed to die. What does he think A.C. is going to do to him? Yes, I can see how he would expect Coulson to be unhappy with being lied to and would be remorseful about not stopping the torture Coulson endured, but he's acting like Coulson will go nuts when he hears the news. Overall I was underwhelmed with the revelation about how Coulson was brought back. If the mystery now is really "why" (and it is a mystery), they didn't do enough in this episode to make it the new focus. Still, it'll be interesting to see where it goes from here.
24. Colin R
An Asgardian afterlife probably already exists, implicitly--they haven't been shy about referring to the Nine Realms, one of which is Hel.
Chris Nelly
25. Aeryl
@23, I think the mystery is still how and adding why is changing the dynamic a bit, for the better IMO.

Dr Book's reaction makes sense, if you recall what he said "We didn't want you to remember being that thing" The disassocation with Coulson's humanity in that statement, reveals that Coulson's initial recovery changed him in a very profound way, in a way that makes him not quite human anymore(think back to the pilot when he dodged that flying car door). Dr. Book is scared, because he doesn't know the extent of what Coulson remembers, if he remembers being this inhuman creature, if recalling the procedure has caused him to degenerate back into that creature, or if Coulson wants revenge. He says "that thing" as if he expects Coulson to know what he's talking about, but "that thing" wasn't revealed to us or Coulson, but Dr. Book's fear gives a very clear foreboding of what "that thing" is and what it's capable of.
Christopher Bennett
26. ChristopherLBennett
@23: I didn't see Dr. Streiten's reaction as fear that Coulson would harm him physically, but fear that his colleague might hate him for his role in what happened.
Chris Nelly
27. Aeryl
@26, We'll have to agree to disagree on that, I think he was terrified.
Christopher Bennett
28. ChristopherLBennett
@27: Yes, he was afraid, but people can be very frightened of admitting hard truths or facing up to actions they're ashamed of. I would be very happy if the motivations here were personal and emotional and dramatic rather than just being about sci-fi or action-adventure plot points. I think TV today has gotten so caught up in intricate plotlines and secrets and twists that it sometimes loses sight of the value of simple human emotion as a driver for storytelling.
Church Tucker
29. Church
I'm not as quick as others to dismis the LMD concept. I think PC had a mini-singularity, and the robot was reading briefly revived synapses and trancribing them to something more permanent. They did, in a sense, let him die but his consciousness was kept afloat as they eased him from carbon to silicon.

Or something like that.
Chris Nelly
30. Aeryl
@28, Why can't we have both? I am very moved by the thought that Frankenstein feared what his monster might do to him, as I am intrigued by what exactly Frankenstein IS, and HOW he came to be.
Chris Nelly
31. Aeryl
Also, if I haven't already, I'm calling Hand as the Clairvoyant's mole inside SHIELD.

A) she's the only non MCU SHIELD person we've met, aside from the smart ass guy who touched Lola, so that makes her most likely and B) it makes her statement from this episode about "not understanding" a positively Whedonesque misdirect.
Terry Dickerson
32. orcaman
*delurk* Mike Peterson becoming Deathlok would be super duper awesome on a bed of awesome beans. With a side of awesome. In fact, that was my first thought when we saw how physically torn up he was.
Christopher Bennett
33. ChristopherLBennett
@29: You're forgetting that Dr. Streiten said that he was brought on board for Coulson's seventh operation. What we saw was not the procedure that resurrected Coulson, but the one that erased his traumatic memories and created the Tahiti illusion. So he was already restored to flesh-and-blood life by that point. And we've seen overwhelming evidence that he's still flesh-and-blood now. He's had physicals that haven't found anything wrong with him. He's got horrific scars on his chest. He was bruised and bleeding in this episode.

Not to mention that Centipede was trying to find out how he was brought back to life. If he were a robot, they'd already have that answer after examining him. But they couldn't find anything about him that was different from a normal human being, except for the fact that he wasn't dead anymore.

@31: I think Victoria Hand is the Clairvoyant. Po and Raina avoided using any gender pronouns when discussing the character. And if Coulson's right that psychic powers are a fraud, then Hand may just be using the pretense of clairvoyance to conceal the fact that she has access to SHIELD secrets by other means.

And while Hand may not have been seen in the Cinematic Universe before, she is a character from the comics, wherein she was a lieutenant of Norman Osborn's when he ran the HAMMER organization. Which means she has a history of association with villains, although apparently it was with good intentions and she's been kind of a morally ambiguous figure since then.
Chris Nelly
34. Aeryl
Even better. So then what's her endgame? She leading all the nefarious villains directly into the hands of SHIELD? That's a comic book plot if I ever saw one.
Andrés David Aparicio Alonso
35. adapar
Regarding the Clairvoyant: it does not need someone with telepathic abilities as everyone in-show assumes. There is already someone who "clearly sees" everything, the one who controls all those eye implants.

And regarding that thing Coulson was: the green stuff made me thing "gamma". That would play nicely with thing...
Christopher Bennett
36. ChristopherLBennett
@35: I'd hardly say "everyone in-show" assumes it's telepathic, since all the SHIELD characters are adamant that there is no such thing.
Andrés David Aparicio Alonso
37. adapar
@36 They don't pursue the alternatives, they just keep saying "no telepath, no such thing" and making faces of "what if" instead of investigating. While they don't seem to believe it, they seem to be expecting it. (A bit convoluted now that I re-read :)
Nick Hlavacek
38. Nick31
@33 - yes, I could see them having Hand be the Clairvoyant. I'm not sure if I like that or not. They're not doing much to make us like her, and it would be somewhat very predictable if she turns out to be a villian. (Obviously, since you have in fact predicted it.) On the other hand, do I really want the gut punch of finding out that it's someone we like and trust? I'll be disappointed if it's someone we haven't already seen. In any case I think they will stretch this out for a while. After all the season is only half done. :)
Alan Brown
39. AlanBrown
In the new Captain America movie, it looks like Cap is taking on SHIELD, or at least a rogue faction of SHIELD. And the comics have been rife with that sort of spy versus spy stuff. So we can probably expect a lot of internal conflict in the organization. I think Hand will end up on the other side of the conflict from Coulson and his team. But I doubt she will be the Clairvoyant. It wouldn't make sense for her to use SHIELD to roll up her own organization.
40. tigeraid
I enjoyed the episode. A bit darker, edgier, and for once Skye didn't look like a moron.

Can I just say, Clark Gregg acted the hell out of this episode? Loved it. The rest of the cast is meh so far, but he's got some chops.
Chris Nelly
41. Aeryl
@39, I imagine her doing it as an elaborate plot to consolidate all the bad guys into one place, then using SHIELD to pick them up.
43. Talon
I love Agents of SHIELD but there is a few things I want to see added to the show during season II. First the BUS is replaced with the original Helicarrier that SHIELD used during the Avengers movie. After Hydra gaining all of the tech from the Fridge Coulson will need the Helicarrier to level the playing field. Second Agent May is killed during the finale of season I protecting Coulson then is resurrected as a Valkyrie but with no memories of her past life but then she rejoins Coulson's team in the middle of season II. And finally I want to see the characters Carol Danvers, Mockingbird, Jessica Drew & Quake added to the show. We need more women on the show besides Sky & Simmons.
Christopher Bennett
44. ChristopherLBennett
@43: There is no way in hell that the show could afford to recreate the movie's Helicarrier sets or the expensive digital effects used to extend the sets and create the views out the windows, not to mention all the extras they'd need to represent its crew. The Bus is the best they can manage on a TV budget.
Chris Nelly
45. Aeryl
I would also rather see most those characters in movies vs a TV show.
Christopher Bennett
46. ChristopherLBennett
I think there are already rumors about Carol showing up in the Avengers sequel. But I think Mockingbird could be a good addition to the show. Since Black Widow's already so prominent -- and involved with Hawkeye -- in the movies, including Bobbi there could be a bit redundant. And since she's non-powered, "Agent Morse" could fit in better on a TV budget than a high-powered, FX-heavy character like Carol.
47. Talon
You have a point on the helicarrier. But what about the SHIELD Mandroids? Granted they would be expensive with the CGI even if they just use one or two of them for only few episodes per season would be amazing. Also having more SHIELD none powered characters would be great.

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