The road to hell is paved with good intentions… and on Agents of SH.I.E.L.D., they have a pretty good chance of causing your death. Or at the very least, a lot of trouble as “Scars” proved. Gonzales and his “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. compatriots may have thought they were doing the right thing, but look where that put Edward James Olmos—dead.
But at the heart of “Scars,” more so than good intentions, is perspective. Coulson thinks he’s doing the right thing, while Gonzales and his team believe they have the truth on their side. Gonzales sees his plight to be the same as Jiaying’s, while Jiaying see the scars they each bear as being worlds apart.
Those divergent perspectives lead to conflict and, as “Scars” proves, all-out war. So how do we get to that point? Let’s take a look, with some light spoilers for Avengers: Age of Ultron in mind.
“Scars” reveals that Theta Protocol, all along, has been the reconstruction of a helicarrier, one believed to be destroyed in the Hydra coup. And that helicarrier is instrumental in the salvation of Sokovia. The revelation that this is thanks to the secret work of Coulson and Fury leaves Gonzales and his team initially angered, but they come around as Coulson admits his faults.
He suggests they prevent the secret-keeping by uniting—he’ll retain his role as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. while operating under the advisement of Gonzales and his panel.
They agree, and it’s a good thing because they’re about to face the very real threat of the Inhumans… or at least, the threat that Raina causes them to be. She’s had visions of a stone of Kree origin that Jiaying and Gordon confirm could spell their end. Gordon and Raina go to find it, conveniently located on Gonzales’ ship but are quickly found out by May and Bobbi.
The vessel goes into lockdown as the Inhuman duo runs back to Afterlife. Coulson confronts Skye about the stone, but she’s unaware of its importance. She claims Lincoln, who awakes in the medical wing and is immediately distrustful of S.H.I.EL.D., is uncertain about it as well. They still lock the stone down under heavy support while Gonzales reveals they were able to follow Gordon’s teleporting signature back to Afterlife.
Knowing Gordon’s location, they want to chase after him. What they can’t plan for is that Gordon is warned by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s imminent arrival by Raina.
Ah Raina, the clairvoyant Inhuman (pun intended) is the spark that ignites the powder keg of mistrust at Afterlife. She tells Gordon that S.H.I.E.L.D. quinjets will rain fire from the skies. Jiaying is already suspicious of Raina, and even consults Cal about how much faith to put in Raina—he’s not interested in giving Raina much of a pass for her previous behavior.
But Raina, as selfish as Cal expects her to be, goes so far as to tell Gordon that if Jiaying talks with S.H.I.E.L.D., the warfare will begin. Maybe she could try meeting with them herself, she suggests.
Instead, Jiaying will remain the representative for Afterlife. Coulson sends Skye and Lincoln back to her to offer the chance of a meeting between the two sides. Skye convinces her mother of the idea, expecting that Coulson will come, unite the two sides, and bring everyone some peace and quiet.
Peace is not a word Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is familiar with, and that plan immediately goes awry. Coulson’s decision to go as the delegate is outvoted, Gonzales and his crew believing he’s too invested to properly broker peace and do what must be done. Coulson acquiesces, showing them he is willing to listen, and stays behind while Gonzales and Weaver head to Afterlife.
NEXT: Gonzales is a horrible negotiator.