I just cannot get into this show. I feel bad for saying that. I am the official recapper, after all. I gave myself five episodes to like it. This is episode four. My brain is realizing this is not a Joss Whedon show; it is a show with his name as a producer only. It is still hard to not compare S.H.I.E.L.D. to Buffy. In a Swedish plaza, scary white men in red masks carry briefcases and look menacing. Where is Lizbeth Salander when you need her? The episode’s main character is shown following these scary men onto a subway. She shuts her eyes and turns off the lights on the car. The lights come back on and reveal all the scary men are hurt with a bit of gore thrown in. The briefcase has been take from a man by detaching his hand.
We cut to Melinda flying the bus. Coulson interrupts her and they briefly chat about him wanting to learn to fly. She chides him and says she loves flying for the solitude. Punchline! Fitz-Simmons and Ward are discussing Night-Night Gun 2.0. Why does it matter? I don’t know. Coulson and Skye have a bit of a chat about figuring out how someone is stealing diamonds. Coulson’s briefing of the theft brings up that he knows the perpetrator. They debate ESP/telepathy because that was Skye’s first thought. Skye goes on Instagram and figures out someone saw the crime before it happened. The thief turns out to be a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent that Coulson trained, Akela.
We are headed to Belarus! Skye and Coulson discuss protégées because Akela was also a Coulson trainee. Skye is comparing herself to Akela.
Akela is meeting some gentlemen in her hotel, where she shows off the stolen diamonds. They make an exchange for a passcard to some building. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are in a van heading to the Belarussian town. Worthless banter blah blah blah. The lines fed to Fitz and Simmons seem to be making fun of nerds, not having fun with the nerds. It is like a Big Bang Theory version of nerds. And there it is: the the joke that’s not really funny to trans* people about girls and boys having different parts. Skye basically says boys have penises, girls have vaginas. This almost made me turn the TV off all the way.
Coulson and Ward make it to the hotel where Akela is staying. The feed that Skye has been thinking was TV turns out to be some sort of camera watching the van. Akela rams the S.H.I.E.L.D. van and flips it over. Back on the bus, Ward is trying to convince Coulson that she doesn’t care about him anymore. Skye believes she can hijack the feed. The big reveal is that Akela’s eye is the camera. They take turns watching the feed. Coulson goes to relieve May and she is gone.
What do you know! May went to confront Akela. They have a bit of a fight and Coulson uses Chekov’s Gun 2.0 to get her knocked out. Akela is afraid her handlers will kill her via a killswitch in the implant, but Coulson reveals they hijacked her feed and put it into Clark Kent glasses for Ward to wear. Akela gets a whole 7 minutes of exposition to explain what happened to her. Skye and Ward are using the Clark Kent glasses to complete Akela’s latest project while Fitz-Simmons try to get the eye out of Akela. Coulson is headed to find her handler.
Fitz and Simmons begin surgery on the eye while Ward does his thing. Oh look, a homophobic joke for frat boys. It goes like this: How gross is it that Ward has to seduce the bearish guard. It’s funny because Ward is super heterosexual. Instead Ward takes the frat boy route and beats up the guard after trying to have a bro down over sports and girls. Fuck it—I am almost done with this show. Alien script is apparently the mission. Some random math equations maybe. Really? I had to suffer through all this crappy acting to get some Good Will Hunting shit?
Coulson finds the British handler, played by a poor man’s Nick Frost. The Belarussians are alerted to Ward’s presence in their compound and start going after him. Fitz and Simmons get the eye out and get it disarmed after calling Ward who tells them to cut the wires – he accidentally looked into a mirror and blew his cover. The British Handler also had an eye implant and dies after seeing Coulson’s badge.
May escorts Akela to the waiting S.H.I.E.L.D. task force. Akela makes some comment about Coulson being different. Skye and Coulson chat some more. It ends with Fitz trying to cheat at poker against Ward by having Skye use the backscatter glasses from her bunk to read Ward’s cards. He abandons the scheme when Skye points out that she’ll be able to see him naked, but she sneaks a peek at Ward anyway.
Yet again, I am feeling disappointed. The best part about this episode might have been the new Thor 2 trailer that played during one of the commercial breaks. This is not a Joss Whedon show. The humor is too crass, too lowest common denominator, and too masculine. This show is just not something I really care to like. I know the first season of Buffy was awful [Ed. note: I don’t think it was as bad as this] but there were flashes of brilliance of what was to come. I don’t see that here. I can’t even tell if this show is better than Alphas or Heroes. Use some freakin’ Marvel characters, OK guys? I want some random C list villains and heroes. I do not care if it’s Squirrel Girl. Please make it Squirrel Girl!