The Asgardian business in last week’s ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ didn’t do a lot for me. Fortunately, this week’s episode stays focused on the storylines that I actually care about.
This may have been explained in the past, but I was confused on the point so I’m grateful for the clarification here that Skye’s father Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) is not an actual Inhuman as her mother was. His rage powers are the result of his own scientific experimentation. In episode ‘One of Us’, Cal travels the country in an old RV camper, collecting other minor-league losers from S.H.I.E.L.D.’s so-called “Gifted Index.” Among them are a guy who’s good with technology (who cracked the Index for him), another guy with super steroid strength, and a girl with razor blades for fingers (Drea de Matteo from ‘The Sopranos’, looking like absolute hell). Cal is building a little army in order to rescue his daughter (who doesn’t actually need rescuing, not that he wants to believe that) and expose S.H.I.E.L.D.’s disgraceful treatment of their kind.
After his latest liberation from a psychiatric facility (a guy named Angar whose voice can cause instant catatonia in anyone who hears it), Cal leaves behind a message that leads Coulson back to his own hometown in Wisconsin. Of course, Coulson recognizes this as a trap, but goes anyway.
The last we saw of them, Lance had pried a little too much into Mack’s business, and Mack knocked him unconscious. For most of this week’s episode, he chains Lance up in a safe house until he and Bobbi can figure out what to do with him. Bobbi, meanwhile, lies to Coulson about Lance running off due to their relationship issues and Mack going to search for him.
Skye has voluntarily locked herself in the powers-proof cell on board the Bus plane. Although she can mostly control her telekinesis while she’s conscious, she has nightmares when she sleeps that trigger earth-shaking episodes. Coulson asks May to bring in a psychologist who has consulted for S.H.I.E.L.D. in the past to evaluate her. At first, Skye resists talking to Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood) until she finds out that he happens to be May’s ex-husband, at which point she tries to wheedle him for gossip about May’s personal life.
Cal has Angar knock out a bunch of football jocks on a high school field. May tries to trick him by pretending to hold Skye as a hostage. Upon seeing his daughter again, and not being able to tell what power she gained during her transformation, Cal asks, “What’s your thing? I was hoping it’s wings.”
Coulson knocks out Angar before he can unleash another scream. May fights the tough guy. Bobbi takes out Knife Fingers Girl. Just as Cal starts to rev up his rage power, a forcefield appears around him from out of nowhere and No Eyes Guy teleports in, grabs him, and teleports out with him again.
Skye gets all agitated by everything happening around her and starts to lose her shit again, but manages to suppress it in time. This leaves her with bruises on her arms. One of the S.H.I.E.L.D.ies (Simmons, I think?) checks her out and determines that, when Skye pushes down her telekinesis, what she’s really doing is directing it inward toward herself, causing hairline fractures on the bones throughout her body. Obviously, that’s not terribly good for her. Dr. Garner recommends that she leave S.H.I.E.L.D. and try to avoid stress for the rest of her life. Good luck with that.
Elsewhere, Mack unchains Lance and brings him to a new secret base with an old S.H.I.E.L.D. logo on the wall. He tells Lance that he and Bobbi are working for “the real S.H.I.E.L.D.”. Ooooh…
No Eyes Guy brings Cal to… a room somewhere. Cal demands to know why he didn’t grab Daisy (Skye’s birth name) too. After all, isn’t it this guy’s job to bring the newly transformed into the Inhumans fold and teach them about their powers? No Eyes Guy tells him, “You’re making too much noise.” Cal insists that it’s time to speak up and make their presence known to the world. No Eyes Guy smacks him down with a reminder that, “You’re not one of us. You’re a science experiment.” Ouch.
I liked this episode a lot more than the last one (which I didn’t actually dislike that much, honestly). For one thing, it’s just a lot of fun to watch Kyle MacLachlan be a ham. Blair Underwood is also a solid addition to the cast (assuming he sticks around for any more episodes). I look forward to learning more about the Inhumans and finding out what the alternate S.H.I.E.L.D. is all about.