Marvels Agents Of Shield
Credit: Ron Tom/ABC
ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Season Three

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s midseason return finally gave us (and Coulson) the truth about Tahiti. Spoiler: It wasn’t such a dream vacation after all. Let’s get down to business.

Just as Mr. Vanchat was about to make a sale on some Chitauri metal, he was rudely interrupted by what one woman thought was the world’s smallest Roomba. Instead, it was a S.H.I.E.L.D. device. Cue May and Ward’s big entrance, and let the butt-kicking begin!

Within the first five minutes of the episode, it was apparent that Coulson’s absence had brought the team together. Honestly, had a mission ever gone that smoothly for them? Definitely not. Teamwork makes the dream work, kiddies! And having helicopters full of armed men on the roof, well, that doesn’t hurt either. Five minutes in, and the team — headed up by Victoria Hand — had brought Vanchat onto the bus for questioning.

Without Coulson, Hand had turned the bus into an agent-filled, briefing-obsessed environment that wasn’t very productive for Skye. And when the team’s least agenty agent tried to hack the system, Hand decided to kick her off the plane. May strategically decided not to defend Skye’s work on the bus, causing Hand to instruct Ward to pack up Skye’s things. But before she left, that crazy teamwork thing happened again. FitzSimmons packed Skye a “sandwich” that was really a phone to call them “in case of emergency,” and Ward gave her a quick heads up so she could get out that place before the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents showed up to escort her out. It seemed Skye was back out in the real world of cyber cafés for her search to find Coulson.

Meanwhile, Coulson was stuck in a desert town with Po, a few super soldiers, and a lot of desert. According to Po, the Clairvoyant could see that Coulson died, but what he/she couldn’t see is what happened after, how they brought him back. In the search for answers, Po turned to using force. He was just starting to electrocute Coulson when Raina showed up. As Raina and Po argued over the proper method of persuading Coulson, the Clairvoyant called Po. I knew something was off when he/she asked to speak to Raina. Seconds later, Po’s phone killed him. It sounds weird, but it happened. I think.

Still out pounding the pavement, Skye had an idea. She saw an article about a wealthy businessman with offshore accounts. In a matter of minutes, she’d found him, gone shopping, stolen his car, wrecked it, had it towed back to her house, put on her new jacket (and some sunglasses), and told the rich man her name was Melinda May. She worked for S.H.I.E.L.D.

Rich boy tried to claim he was a “legitimate businessman,” but we all know no legitimate businessman would say that. Rookie mistake, dude. After taking down two security guards — from rich boy’s front gate or something? — Skye had him look up one of his offshore accounts. However, the legitimate businessman apparently had his legitimate secretary handle all the computer stuff, which meant he wasn’t useful at hacking, using a mouse, etc. Instead, Skye had one of the security guards help her get to Vanchat’s account. From there, she was able to find Raina and get a location for Coulson. The girl grabbed the Lamborghini from the garage and used her sandwich to call Simmons.

With the team on the way to get Coulson, he tried to stay strong. However, Raina used some pretty persuasive words. She had this machine that would help uncover secrets buried in the subconscious if he would let it. And after bringing up Coulson’s dead parents and that time Coulson gave up his chance at love, he was in. He wanted to know what S.H.I.E.L.D. was keeping from him.

Victoria Hand sent her people to one place, but Ward took his team to help Skye. Once there, they battled with a few super soldiers before finding Coulson inside. He was in the middle of a rather enlightening memory. He wasn’t on a massage table in Tahiti. He was on an operating table, begging for the doctor’s to let him die. But thanks to Fury’s orders, there was a robot of sorts poking and prodding at his exposed brain as he cried out in pain. He screamed “Please let me die!” just as Skye punched Raina and May unplugged the machine. Coulson was back. Thankfully, in the present, no alien was re-wiring his brain.

Back on the bus, Hand informed Coulson that Centipede was taken down around the globe. They hadn’t found the Clairvoyant, but he/she couldn’t hide for long. Hand left to take Raina in for questioning. And with her red highlights gone, Coulson thanked his team for their work. Skye’s reward? Getting her bracelet off! But that’s all she got. Coulson wasn’t ready to talk about what he’d found out. “They were just messing with my head” goes down as the understatement of 2014… thus far.

Next thing we knew, Coulson found one of the doctors from the operating room. The doctor quickly confessed that Coulson wasn’t dead for a matter of seconds, but rather a matter of days. Fury had teams of scientists trying procedures that no good doctor would ever allow. That particular doctor was brought in on the seventh operation. Coulson’s neurological damage was catastrophic. After what he’d been through, they wanted to restore the man he once was, which is why they gave him the memory of Tahiti. According to him, Coulson had lost the will to live. They simply wanted to give it back. I’m no expert, but I think they could’ve done a better job.

In our final seconds, we learned that Mike is ALIVE!! He’s burned, and he’s missing his right leg below the knee, but he’s alive. However, don’t get too excited, because my favorite character is now worse off than ever before: Centipede has him, and they’ve injected one of their eye cameras. Mike is one switch away from actually being dead at any second. Awesome.

What did you guys think of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s return? Was “Tahiti” what you expected? And what’s next for Mike? Sound off in the comments below!

Episode Recaps

ABC's "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." - Season Three
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) assembles a team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents to handle strange new cases.

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