Cal is putting together a team of evil indexed individuals. There is Levi, a computer genius who once had a chip in his arm to prevent him from getting within 100ft of technology, and Francis, a former mafia enforcer who was being kept in a cage, medicated to remain docile. They are in Coney Island to recruit Karla, a woman who grafted razors to her fingernails as protection against an abusive boyfriend – unfortunately, she couldn’t control her violence to her boyfriend, so she was fitted with metal gloves. Levi removes them and the quartet head off in an RV that is just missing a psychedelic paint job.
They first stop at a maximum security psychiatric hospital with a secret basement ward where they house mentally unstable indexed people. There are two down there, but Cal is only looking for one: David, a man whose vocal chords were mutated so that even the slightest whisper can make a person comatose. They leave a message for Coulson: “Fight on.” This is not an allusion to USC’s motto; instead it refers to the high school in the Wisconsin town Coulson grew up in. Bobbi and Coulson are following them, but call in May and the rest of the team when they are led to Wisconsin.
But first, let’s check in on Skye. She has been practicing controlling her powers, and seems to be doing a good job at it. Even still, Coulson tells her they are putting her on the index, and she needs a psychiatric evaluation. There is only one person he and May trust: Dr. Andrew Gardner, who it turns out is May’s ex-husband. He is aboard the plane, talking to Skye when May gets the call to meet Coulson in Wisconsin. Andrew is pissed that she took off without informing him. When Skye hears the reason they are going to Wisconsin, she insists on being put in the field, which both Andrew and May disagree with. May relents when she realizes that Skye is Cal’s one true weakness.
When Cal and his team arrived at the high school, they put on headsets and unleash David onto the football field during practice, putting several dozen kids into comas. This is the scene that greets Coulson and Bobbi when they arrive, but they hide in the shadows until the rest of the team arrives. That is okay for Cal; he is having too much fun with the PA system in the stadium, pretending to call a game between him and Coulson.
May comes onto the field with a gun to Skye’s head, typical bargaining chip. Cal wants Coulson to admit what SHIELD does with “inhumans,” how they inhibit their potential. He knows that, even though SHIELD brainwashed Skye (Cal insists on calling her Daisy), May won’t kill her. Cal hands the microphone to David, who readies a mighty cry. Before anything can happen, Gordon shows up with his forcefield. I guess the forcefield contains the scream, because Gordon disappears with Cal and David is neutralized. Andrew takes Skye to the sidelines while Bobbi, Coulson, and May beat the hell out of Cal’s band of rogues. Skye watches Coulson beat Levi with his own toolkit, while Levi begs for mercy. Things start to quake, but Skye swiftly gains control over it – until her hands turn purple and blotchy and she passes out.
Skye wakes in the interrogation room on the bus. Turns out, Skye wasn’t controlling her powers; she was merely directing them inward. The bruising was caused by capillary ruptures, and there were no less than 75 hairline fractures, mostly in her arms and upper body.
Cal, meanwhile, has been transferred to the room we first saw Gordon in, but this one is trashed, thanks to Cal’s temper tantrum. He is mad that he didn’t rescue Skye. Gordon says Cal is here because he was making too much noise. “You are not one of us; you are a science experiment.” Cal is escorted out of the room, but we don’t know where he is going next. I assume he is going to meet with Jiayang.
Mac has taken Hunter to a safe house, chaining him up in a bathroom while he figures out what to do. Bobbi assures him she is sending in an extraction team. Unsurprisingly, Hunter is pretty pissed off. When extraction finally arrives, Hunter is hooded and taken away. We next see him in a windowless hallway, two guards behind him, Mac in front. He removes Hunter’s hood and reveals that he and Bobbi are part of SHIELD – the “real SHIELD.” It uses the same eagle logo, but with stars on the eagle’s chest.
Overall, I was kind of unimpressed with this episode. There was some great humor (mostly spawning from the idea that May was married at some point), but basically it felt like the episode vacillated between bland psychobabble (when Andrew is evaluating Skye), boring relationship nonsense (like Simmons worrying that her relationship with Fitz will never return to normal because he lied to her), and awesome action. Though we got a little bit of insight into Skye’s condition and Bobbi and Mac’s secret, I feel like a large chunk of this episode was filler.
You can check out the promo for Episode 2.14 of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in the player below. Titled “Love in the Time of Hydra,” the episode is officially described as follows:
“Coulson and his team are still reeling from a shocking revelation that leaves the team fractured as they must decide what to do with one of their own. Meanwhile, Bobbi and Mack reveal their true allegiance to Hunter, while elsewhere, Ward and Agent 33 embark on a personal mission.”
Written by Brent Fletcher and directed by Jesse Bochco, “Love in the Time of Hydra” is set to air on March 24. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs Tuesdays at 9 P.M. EST. on ABC.