S.H.I.E.L.D is falling. Again. This time, though, it’s S.H.I.E.L.D. taking down S.H.I.E.L.D.
Yeah, it can be a little confusing, but “One Door Closes” shines a light on why exactly there are two separate S.H.I.E.L.D.’s by looking at the organization’s fall, and the seeming demise of its latest incarnation.
“Closes” opens with Bobbi making good on her promise from the end of “Love in the Time of Hydra.” She wastes no time in returning to Coulson’s headquarters to begin the overthrow. Life seems to be as average as it can be on the base. Coulson and Mack are working on Lola, and Simmons is consoling Skye via video chat about her isolation.
Bobbi returns during a quiet moment, and uses the opportunity to plant a chip in the headquarters’ control room and then begins drilling into Coulson’s desk for Nick Fury’s toolbox.
And suddenly, life isn’t quite so average as the base is thrown into upheaval. Coulson is confronting Mack about a bug he found in Lola. Mack explains that he’s working for S.H.I.E.L.D., and though he’s not lying to himself, he is lying in Coulson’s mind. The S.H.I.E.L.D. director also realizes Mack isn’t working alone and warns May, who discovers Bobbi in Coulson’s office. Bobbi escapes, until May catches up with her for an epic showdown in the base’s lower level.
Bobbi sets off an EMP bomb during the brawl, which cuts all the lights and allows Bobbi and Mack a moment to flee their captors. Bobbi runs into Simmons, who pulls a brilliant bait-and-switch, playing dumb about the takeover only to knock Bobbi out. Mack, meanwhile, approaches Fitz, who is investigating the control room for any bugs on Coulson and May’s directive.
While these two talk, a group of “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. agents blast their way into the building. Calderon, Gonzales, and a group of agents take the facility, with a little help from some knockout gas. Only May escapes, and while everyone else may be under guard, the Cavalry is sneaking through the shadows.
The now-captured Coulson and Gonzales argue about the merits of their respective S.H.I.E.L.D.s. Gonzales views Coulson as a puppet put into power so Fury could ensure his legacy. He knows Fury kept secret after secret from his team, and Gonzales is determined to uncover every one to prevent any future secrets from harming the world, and he wants Coulson’s help in understanding the toolbox.
To Gonzales, Fury is the reason S.H.I.E.L.D. fell. Coulson, however, is pretty sure that was all Hydra’s fault.
Their argument is cut short when May swoops in and ices Gonzales and his guards. She rushes Coulson to a secret elevator, telling him to flee and find Skye while she surrenders to this new group. He needs to be safe because without him, there is no S.H.I.E.L.D. in her eyes.
And with S.H.I.E.L.D. taken, the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. has one more immediate goal—capture Skye.
NEXT: Skye’s Cabin in the Woods[pagebreak]
Skye is going stir crazy in her cabin, and her anxiety grows when she thinks she hears noises outside. They at first appear to be nothing, but then she finds they belong to a visitor, the man with no eyes, Gordon, stopping by her remote locale.
He’s there to tell her his story—when he was changed by the Terrigen Mist, he had a mentor (Skye’s mother, of course) who embraced him. But when Skye was changed? She was shunned, treated like a hazard, something to be monitored and feared, not loved and respected. He then goes on to explain Skye’s own powers to her. She has the ability to tap into the vibration of any object around her and manipulate that. If harnessed properly, she could do incredible things.
Gordon promises to take her to a place where people like them can safely grow into who their powers actually make them. The promise of a school for gifted youngsters is appealing, but Skye remains hesitant about abandoning her team, and more specifically, Coulson. So Gordon teleports away, offering to return whenever she’s ready.
And Skye shows some signs that she may be ready. When she washes her hands, she vibrates the water to take on a new shape.
Unfortunately for Skye, Bobbi, Calderon, and their men have arrived to capture her just as May warns her to run. Chasing her through the forest, Bobbi wants Skye taken alive, but Calderon seems happy to take her dead or alive. He proves this by firing on Skye when he and Bobbi find her in a clearing. In retaliation, Skye unleashes her powers, decimating a group of trees into splinters, leaves, and branches, while knocking Bobbi and Calderon back with a powerful wave of force.
Shaken by what she’s done, Skye calls out for Gordon. He teleports Skye away, with Bobbi more frightened than ever. But Bobbi has plenty on her mind to worry about as it is…
NEXT: The Day S.H.I.E.L.D. Fell[pagebreak]
A good chunk of this episode explores how the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. came to be in the wake of Hydra’s assault in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Mack, Bobbi, and Gonzales are all on the same S.H.I.E.L.D. ship, and even Hartley’s along for the ride. Lucy Lawless makes a triumphant, if too-brief return as her knife-loving agent, to aid in their mission.
That mission begins as a directive from Fury himself given to Bobbi. She believes she must complete Fury’s mission alone, as it’s essentially a suicide mission. But Mack refuses to let her. The ship is largely occupied by Hydra agents, and she would likely be dead before she ever made it to the core.
She allows them to tag along, and when the group finally makes it to the ship’s server core, they deliberate about whether it’s worth sinking the ship. Mack believes they can fight their way out and save the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents—they don’t have to follow Fury’s orders, he argues. Bobbi at first disagrees but is then swayed to fight the good fight for freedom with her new team.
Gonzales initially believes Bobbi should follow Fury’s plan. But in the present, he reveals to Coulson he’s glad she didn’t listen to him. If she did, all of those agents who survived would be dead. In his mind, that’s Fury’s fault. It’s that decision that has led to the two S.H.I.EL.D.s fighting.
And while it looks like this “real” faction is winning, don’t count Coulson out just yet.
- Tag: Coulson, at a tiki bar, is approached by Hunter, who proves which side he’s going to fight for. He signs a napkin, considering it his contract for that permanent position Coulson offered him.
- Coulson will let Mack look at Lola only with supervision. And finding out his dad’s connection to the car a few weeks ago gives his love of it so much more meaning.
- Skye finds another Avengers nod at the cabin, when she discovers a Hulk fist-shaped dent in the wall.
- Fitz and Simmons really need to be friends again, especially now that they’re under new management for the time being.
- Bobbi’s betrayal may be tough to take, but there’s no denying Mockingbird’s badass showing this week. From her gun-toting entrance during the flashback to her throwdown with May, she really brought the action, but Adrianne Palicki also succeeded in selling Bobbi’s conflicted feelings.
- Gonzales thinks of Coulson as little more than a second Fury, one the original Fury was willing to bring back from the dead using alien blood. “I didn’t ask for that, but I’ve come to appreciate the gesture,” Coulson hilariously deadpans at the comment.
NEXT WEEK: Coulson may be on the run, but he’s doing all he can take back S.H.I.E.L.D. and save Skye.