Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2.18 Recap, Frenemy of My Enemy

Fitz meets Mike, Hunter and Coulson in San Francisco, where he barely escapes his tail by climbing aboard the invisible jet, parked on the top of an empty parking structure. (I don’t know what San Francisco the writers are thinking about, because there would never be an empty parking structure in San Francisco.) Fitz tosses the toolkit to Coulson as they fly out of there. Coulson admits they need to find Skye – but first, he has to make a deal with Ward. They head down to TJ and grab Agent 33 in a taqueria, holding her hostage to get Ward to come in. Coulson makes him an offer: he helps Coulson get in touch with Dr. List, the new head of Hydra, and he lets Ward walk, free and clear. He will have to go through the Tahiti protocol, but then he will get a new lease on life. Ward agrees. That night, Mike returns with Ward and 33. In the trunk is Bakshi. He is happy to comply with whatever they need.

Bakshi has reached out to Dr. List for a meeting. Fitz freaks out about the whole thing, especially working with Ward, but Hunter and Coulson calm him down. Mike will go in as Bakshi’s bodyguard, and they will watch the entire meeting through his eye. The meeting takes place on a private jet. When List asks how Bakshi escaped unscathed, he says he didn’t – he was captured by the government but Mike helped him escape. The government turned him into a killing machine, but Bakshi is offering him to Hydra. With a compliance upgrade, he could be quite useful to Hydra. Back on the plane, Coulson panics, thinks Ward sold him out, and it quickly turns into a hostage situation. Mike is worried – this wasn’t part of the plan – and he readies the rockets on his wrists. Ward assures the team that Bakshi knows what he is doing, so 33 releases Fitz so he can send a message telling Mike to play along. Mike stands down, but one of the Hydra techs in the room sees an anomaly on some tech – there is an “incident” and they need to head there. Coulson will tail them.

Cal is ecstatic over how well family dinner went, and Jiaying plays along. The people of Shangri-La are uncomfortable with him because he is an outsider, but he is fine staying in his room. Jiaying arranges for Gordon to take him home so he can pick up a few things to make his room more homey. What she doesn’t tell him is that Gordon is taking him home for good. When Skye finds out, she is nervous. Cal will feel abandoned and he will take it out on the people around him, wherever he lands. That is of no concern to Jiaying, but as a SHIELD agent, it is of great concern to Skye. She convinces Jiaying to let her go with him, hoping to soften the blow.

Home for Cal is Milwaukee, where he had a private practice. He is exuberant about having a “daddy-daughter” day, talking about all the wonderful plans he and Jiaying had for Skye. Skye isn’t warming up to him at all; she feels like he still sees her as a child, that he is stuck in the past. While on the street, she bumps into a couple guys. Cal wants to kill them, but Skye calms him down and sends him to get ice cream sandwiches. While he is gone, she calls May on the phone she lifted from the guy. She doesn’t have much time, and she has no idea what happened to SHIELD. She tells May to come get Cal, and leaves the line open so Simmons can get a trace on the line.

Back at SHIELD, when Simmons finds out that a special laser is being brought in to open the toolkit, she confesses to May that she gave the real cube to Fitz. May tells Bobbi, who is very disappointed in Simmons. They have figured out that Fitz is now with Coulson, and Mike is probably with them, so rather than tossing her in a cell, Bobbi has Simmons hack into Mike’s cyber-eye so they can see what is going on. Simmons feels betrayed by May, who insists it was important to get out in front of the lie.

All the storylines converge at this point, and it is pretty obvious where the stories are going at this point. The “incident” on List’s computers was Gordon dropping off Cal and Skye in Milwaukee. It is something List calls “quantum entanglement” and Coulson and Hunter figure they are tracking Skye. Bakshi and the team arrive at the empty office building where Cal used to have his practice (he owns the building; now it is just a big “stash pad”) and fan out. Upstairs, Cal hears a noise and grabs a scalpel, taking the lead. It turns out it is just Lincoln, who has been following the pair. Cal is insulted, and figures out that this was a goodbye. Skye weakly promises to visit, but Cal is enraged and throws Lincoln against a wall. Bakshi and his men hear this and move towards the noise. Before things can get more heated between Cal and Lincoln, Hydra arrives, and he instructs Lincoln to get Skye out of there while he begins killing. Skye runs, past Mike, which means Coulson sees Skye and he moves in with Ward, Hunter and 33. Hunter and 33 pair off, and Hunter is clipped. Ward and Coulson move in together and find Mike roughly around the time that Simmons hacks into Mike’s camera. Second SHIELD sees Coulson and Ward “working together” and it is like their worst fears have come true. Hydra tosses a flash bomb that paralyzes Lincoln and Mike, shutting off the video connection. Skye is running, and she sees Ward. She is horrified – but then sees Coulson and rushes to him. Gordon shows up to take Skye home, and Cal jumps into the blue bubble just in time to hitch a ride back. A Hydra agent is about to shoot Coulson, but Ward steps in and kills the agent first. “We are outmanned and outgunned, and our only back up is Fitz. It’s your call, boss,” he says to Coulson.

Bobbi and Mack roll into the office less than an hour after Hydra has cleared out. They find Coulson, who doubled back after Hydra left, and has been waiting for them. He promises to tell them everything back at the base. He holds his hands up, showing he is unarmed; this isn’t a trick. “Take me to your leader.”

This was a fun, action-packed episode, but it was almost painfully predictable. Not that this show is ever surprising, but I felt like the red herrings they set up were obviously just that. For example, Ethan, the backpacker who went on “vacation” and Gordon couldn’t find, was clearly set up to make the audience think that is the “incident” List is investigating. It’s almost insulting. Sure, it is possible that Ethan (who apparently mattered enough that his 30-second scene from last week was included in this weeks “Previously On” montage) will have a purpose at some point, but tonight isn’t that point.

You can check out the promo for Episode 2.19 of the series in the player below. Titled “The Dirty Half Dozen,” the episode is officially described as follows:

“Gonzales and Coulson must find a way to put their differences aside and work together against Hydra, even if it means teaming up with someone they don’t trust.”

Written by Brent Fletcher & Drew Z. Greenberg and directed by Kevin Tancharoen, “The Dirty Half Dozen” is set to air April 28. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airs Tuesdays at 9 P.M. EST on ABC.