“Is Science & Technology what you imagined, Agent Ward?”
“Yep – no uniforms, no rope course, no defined muscularity on anyone.”
“No marching in place, no IQs in double digits.”
Episode 1.12 “Seeds”
Directed by: Kenneth Fink
Written by : Monica Breen & Jed Whedon
After the giant revelations of last week that advanced the Coulson/death storyline, this week’s episode went a long way toward advancing both Skye’s origin and deepening her character. There’s been an attack at SHIELD Academy and Cardward (he’s actually either growing on me or getting better so I may have to start just calling him by his name…..no I’m too stubborn), Skye, Fitz and Simmons respond. We learn there are actually several different SHIELD “Hogwarts” (as Skye calls them) for the different divisions and they have a pretty spirited rivalry going on. While the rest of the gang visits academia, May and Coulson head to Mexico City to follow-up a lead on the SHIELD agent who dropped Skye off at an orphanage when she was a baby.
Coulson is not taking the death thing well. He’s done what he wouldn’t earlier in the season and requested his full file from Nick Fury (though I doubt they’ve spoken yet….that is going to be something to see). He’s been locked in his office in the Bus going over his own autopsy pictures until May physically drags him out to go to Mexico.
At the Academy Fitz & Simmons are rock stars as the youngest ever graduates and they address the student body when another attack happens, as they first, a kind of ice bomb. Fitz befriends the victim whom reminds him a lot of himself in his Academy days, while Skye and Ward find a very cool Easter Egg: the SHIELD Wall of Valor. Similar to the wall the CIA has for agents fallen in the line of duty, each has a memorial star on a granite wall. Skye, who has been reading everything she can on SHIELD, makes a point of finding and pointing out Bucky Barnes’ star (who we Marvelites will know is not so dead and The Winter Soldier).
As it turns out, the loner who was attacked is actually the attacker. He and another student have been working on this cold bomb for Ian Quinn (who we learn is part of Team Clairvoyant) and he wants a demonstration before purchasing. So these two literal geniuses, go and set an atmospheric cold bomb off in the Shield Academy parking lot.
Back to May and Coulson who track down the partner of the SHIELD agent slain dropping off Skye. He’s been in hiding for over twenty years. A five-person team was sent to retrieve a 0-8-4 (which we know from episode 2 is “an item of undefined origin”) and three died getting the item out. This agent and the partner slain at the orphanage found the 0-8-4 (Skye) covered in blood and asleep in the dead agent’s arms. All he knew about her was that she was supposed to have some kind of powers, but to keep her safe they decided the only way to go was to put her in the foster system with orders to have her moved every few months.
Back at the Academy, the cold bomb has created an arctic superstorm and killed one of the dumb dumbs who set it off. May and Coulson, in a fantastic action piece, fly into the eye of the storm in the Bus and airlift everyone out. The exposure to the bomb, though has (in the great Marvel tradition of bomb exposure being an awesome thing) transformed the other student and he discovers at the close of the episode he has ice powers. I’ve heard they were going to use Avalanche this season and here he is.
Skye takes the news of her origin much differently than Coulson was expecting. Rather than seeing it as she’d been a victim of a tragedy, she saw it as she finally had found this giant family in SHIELD that she’d always dreamed of, protecting her since she was an infant. Skye’s hardcore on the path to become a super SHIELD agent and now we know there’s an aspect to her we have yet to discover. Her faith in SHIELD gives Coulson enough hope to start again with this small family he’s created for himself.
This is one of the best episodes of the series to-date. The slower episodes from early in the season are paying off as foundation now for big reveals and increases my confidence that they have a very defined idea of where everyone is headed in their storylines. PLUS, this episode had more Lola than any episode yet, so how could it not be a:
The next episode of MAOS is not until February 4th and all we know is that it is entitled “T.R.A.C.K.S.”