YOUR FACE! YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE!
“Did I beat Captain America’s time?”
“Not even close.”
Rin says: GUNN YOU ARE ALWAYS WELCOME HERE.
I wish he was allowed to stay this way though. Just look at his happy hopeful naive face.
Sophy says: OH MIKE PETERSON. YOU WERE SO FULL OF HOPE IN THE FACE OF HOPELESSNESS. AND SO DELIGHTFULLY LAME ABOUT IT. LIKE A PUPPY THAT’S NOT BIG ENOUGH TO JUMP ONTO A TABLE BUT KEEPS THROWING HIMSELF AT IT ENTHUSIASTICALLY.
Beer and its many uses
Rin says: Sophy hates beer and still put this in. That’s how pretty this shot was.
I’m kind of thirsty now.
Sophy says: I DON’T HATE BEER WE JUST DON’T GET ALONG. If it was always this pretty things might be different.
Best Reminder that Joss is back :’)
“We talked about this.”
Rin says: Such a Whedon move. Honestly. Give us adorable Mike throughout the episode and then BOOM EXPLOSION. He lives for that shit, and he is cruel.
But I think my favourite thing of the long list of things to be favoured, is Skye’s scream after the car they think Coulson is in explodes. It was so visceral and showed just how much Coulson has come to mean to Skye. Sure we’ve been going on and on about how he is her father figure and they’re all becoming a family etc. but now we know for sure that if she lost Coulson her world would seriously crumble. And my heart. Everyone did a spectacular job though and it’s moments like this that make me appreciate our cast. They are all so wonderful. Just look at May after the explosion, how for a moment she is lost and unbelieving and then when she sees the helicopter she’s full of determination and vengeance. Like, she would legit make an exemplary vengeance demon.
Let’s not forget Coulson and all the ways he is the best. HOW many people get betrayed and handed over to seriously evil people, then immediately let your betrayer know you understand they had no other choice. MOST PEOPLE WOULD NEED AT LEAST A FEW DAYS TO COME TO THAT CONCLUSION, NO? Such is the greatness of Coulson and probably the number one reason why everyone on the team loves and respects him so much. (When I say everyone…….. :-s) He’s the real deal. Later on he’s going to be tested in so many ways by so many different people, his whole world will practically fall apart, but well. That’s what makes Coulson, Coulson. Forever fighting the good fight, because it’s the right thing to do. Such a Buffy.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD WHEN SKYE SCREAMS THOUGH. And at first she’s focusing on Mike because Mike is the person who’s just walked away from her and because the idea that Coulson was caught in that blast is something that she needs time to even conceive of because NO. And then a moment later she says his name so softly like she doesn’t have breath for more. And that’s when you know how much Coulson has come to mean to her. Well, you’ve been knowing it for a while but that’s when you really feel it because I think that’s when she really feels it. It’s not that SHIELD is her big break – it’s that he is. I don’t mean to say that she she doesn’t love the work or that she doesn’t also love her co-workers, but like Rin said Coulson is the Buffy round these parts. He’s the leader. He’s the glue, even when he himself is falling apart. And that’s because he fights the good fight, very specifically.
And fighting the good fight specifically means somebody else’s child is more important to him than… well… him.
I think my favourite thing is that it’s not just that Coulson is okay with being the leverage. It’s that he’s telling Mike to be okay with it. I think that’s actually the kindest thing you can ever do for another human being – make their terrible choice your own so that they don’t have to bear the burden of it, at least not alone.
We talked about this.
When Mike is ready to kill Raina to try to undo this thing he’s done, Coulson stops him. He reminds him what’s at stake if he tries to save him. He actively validates Mike’s original choice to sell him out by advising him to do the same thing in the moment – more than that, actually – he tells him there never was a choice. Because that’s the kind of person Coulson is. And I don’t mean he’s moral, even though he is. I don’t mean he’s noble even though he’s that also. I mean that he understands what love is. He values love, above all things. And what love is stronger or more unique or more above-all-things than the love of a parent for their child?
(Are there a lot of fanfics where Coulson becomes a dad? Because there should be. Like I know he’s already Skye’s dad basically but still, Coulson/Baby Coulson, does fanfic know where this is at?)
But with all that fangirling over Coulson you know what’s so great? The guy that sold him out is basically a baby Coulson that’s grown up. Honestly, that’s what Mike is. I’m sure there are a lot of people who think he’s a terrible person for making this decision, but the thing is that Coulson has never been put in this position and you guys even he knows what he’d do and it’s exactly this.
And it’s not like Mike wants to sell Coulson out to save his son. In fact, he almost doesn’t do it – without Coulson’s help he might have killed Raina in that moment of self-hate – in that moment of empathy with the man standing next to him – the man who’d taken more chances on him than anybody else in his life. He might have killed Raina and signed his little boy’s death warrant and honestly, in those circumstances, neither Mike nor Coulson would have wanted to keep on living themselves.
This is what it means to be good. To make impossible choices for the sake of other people and to live with those choices, impossibly. To give yourself up with gladness when you know that it’s right.
And by the way. Shipping with Whedon is a long process. You don’t pick your winners overnight or even over the first season, okay? But all I’m going to say that as much as I’m enjoying Skye/Ward (YES EVEN NOW, MORE ON THIS IN LATER RECAPS) and as much as Skimmons is one of the best things that’s ever happened to TV, when I look into the future all I see is Skye/Mike. All I want is Skye/Mike.
Okay that’s not true I want a lot of things. But still. Can we just take on board that Mike got his kid to safety but not just any safety – SKYE safety. And then he could die. I’m not saying he knew any megasplosions would be happening but he still had to know there was a good chance he wouldn’t be coming back from this. But he still did it. And when he did it he proved that what mattered to him was not his own happiness – not him/his son. Just his son. Just the idea that he’s okay. Just the idea that he’s with someone who will put him first and be the last man standing when he’s in trouble. And that man… is Skye.
Skye who crept into his room on the ship for sweetly envious heart to hearts about what it means to be a parent and have that bond with someone. Skye who wanted to see pictures of his little boy and said he was a cutie and gazed.
And okay yes, you could say she was just kind of there – that Mike left Ace with her because she was the one who’d gotten out of the car. But I don’t buy that. In Whedonland symbolism is a thing, and as much as I’m sure it’s going to be a long and rocky and EXHAUSTINGLY AMAZING road… at the end of all of this I can see Mike/Skye/Ace being a little family. With Coulson and May as their parents. A family in which only two people are related by blood
REMEMBER WHEN I PANICKED THAT MAYBE COULSON AND MIKE WOULD BE OKAY BUT WARD MIGHT BE ACTUALLY DEAD? Might have been for the best.
Best Reminder that Joss is LOL
“When did you stop talking?”
Rin says: FIRST AND FOREMOST. SIMMON’S JUMPER. I AM NOT OKAY.
ABOUT THREE EMBARRASSING SENTENCES AGO.
There is nothing cuter than Simmons being a fangirl. Except when Fitzsimmons fangirl together.
I love that she is drooling over Mike and sneakily takes unnecessary manual measurements of his body. She would totally use science as an excuse to cop a feel. And Fitz gets jealous, as he tends to do whenever Simmons is around anybody that isn’t him, but the moment Mike starts talking about how they saved him he’s completely into it and giggling right along with everybody else.
Fitzsimmons and the way they are around each other and other people is probably my favourite thing to come out of tv this year. Not even lying.
Sophy says: Lame Simmons is one of my favourites Simmonsessseses. And I also like it when she’s kind of a horndog, right? Because the adorable female geek is so often a sexless creature – it’s nice to break the stereotype.
PLUS I LOVE HOW OBVIOUSLY JEALOUS FITZ IS. I mean he’s not even trying to hide it? He’s as transparent as Quinn Fabray is a gay window. But at the same time he can’t help but fanboy Mike himself, especially when Mike does and tells them they saved his life with their brilliant minds. And I guess he can’t be jealous at that point because he’s moved into that Fitzsimmons mode where they are an actual unit and being jealous over someone that’s part of you would be kind of unnecessary?
Meanwhile Mike is just totally unfazed by all fawning and jealousy and keeps on smiling. Seriously he was a puppydog and they basically turned him into this.
Cutest of the Scoobies
“Don’t ever do that again.”
Rin says: URGH. This show is too good at making all the ships work that sometimes I don’t know where to store all of my different feelings. I especially love the May/Ward ship though because I guess it’s the one that has the least amount of endgame written all over them. They’re not supposed to work together and yet they do, and that’s what makes them so interesting.
I don’t know if this was a planned way for Ward to get closer to May or if it was really just two people finding comfort in each other because of how similar they were. There is definitely a darkness within May that we still don’t exactly understand, but realise is there — and I think that’s what drew Ward to May. Plus she’s May. She’s fucking awesome okay? If you have a chance with her, DO NOT SAY NO. And this show is so damn clever that they made us all take Grant’s backstory and expect that to be the full story. We never expected there to be an entire life that we didn’t know about.
Sophy says: This ship sank hard!!!!!!! I don’t see it floating to the surface. Ever. Not even in pieces. The pieces will just stay at the bottom of the ocean forever. Having said that, nothing’s ever off the table on a Whedon show. Except Giles/Buffy, come on you people, what is wrong with you HE’S HER DAD? Don’t get any ideas about Skye/Coulson either. Illegal.
But yeah, like Rin I can’t help but feel that the connection between Ward and May was a genuine thing – or as genuine as it is possible for a thing to be when you’re faking your entire personality. But even if it was – even if there was a part of Ward that was being real with her – I can’t see her giving a rat’s ass about it. Because it’s moments like these that make his betrayal even worse for her – even more humiliating. Because she marches up to him all “Your head needs to be on the op, not on me” and it’s bad enough that he cuts her down to size in the moment by saying the move to protect her was strategic and not to flatter herself… but to later find out that everything he’s done has been strategic for devious ends? To later find out that his mind actually was on the op – his own personal Team Evil op – even when it should have been on her vagina??????????? Rude.
But you know, at the time this was super adorable. Especially the part where Ward offers to pour May a scotch and she fumes at him to not ever do that again and everyone including Ward knows she doesn’t mean getting her a drink, but he still takes the opportunity to be cute and all “Brandy then?”
And I just realized what’s so brilliant is that on 9/10 other shows a scene like this would have been a precursor to May/Ward becoming an actual relationship. On 9/10 other shows ‘Don’t flatter yourself’ would have been flirtation.
But Ward means it. He is that cold. May does mean that little to him. This textbook super adorable scene between two coworkers with benefits who are starting to have feelings and not ready to admit it to each other… was actually not a textbook anything.
And I’m going to take a moment to comment on what happens immediately following this scene which I also don’t think is textbook. Let’s discuss May’s animosity towards Skye.
The most obvious way to interpret that is as the manifestation of buried jealousy – which is the manifestation of buried feelings for Ward beyond the ones where you’re touching each other. I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Ward may have gotten under May’s skin like he got under everybody’s skin, but I don’t think she was ever falling for him. And I don’t think she would take it out on Skye if she was. I actually think there’s more to the Skye/May story that is coming that will give us a fuller picture of why she goes in so hard on her in this episode.
Because there’s got to be a reason beyond “Skye’s annoying.” Because sure, she’s a little annoying, which I personally love, but she’s not the nagging brat May makes her out to be – not by a long shot. There is no question that May’s comments to her were uncalled for – there is no question that they were unnecessarily harsh. There is no question in my mind that they were coming from a very personal place.
Obviously she was projecting hard when she told Skye angrily, “If you can’t put aside your personal attachments then you shouldn’t be here.” Obviously she was angry with herself for being the one who brought her relationship with Ward into things – when all she was trying to do was make sure it stayed out of things. Obviously she was humiliated by the idea that some newb she’s shagging after work is cooler about it than she is. Obviously she was flustered by what Skye overheard or didn’t overhear.
But the passion of her attack on Skye was still disproportionate in a way that makes me think only she would have received it – not Simmons, not Fitz, not Mike Peterson – even if the circumstances were exactly alike. And her meanness this week? It’s kind of hard for me to not connect it to her stealthy appreciation of Skye last week when she was talking to Hannah last week.
THERE IS MORE TO THIS.
Please sir, we’d like some more
“One was especially rewarding.”
Rin says: WARD IS AN ASSHOLE.
This is all assholery.
But sejaglejgaj CELLIST. They’re setting it up for the inevitable arrival of the cellist and I love them so much for who the cellist is and epic epic epic. There are hearts in my eyes right now.
It’s kind of amazing to go back and see what Ward was like before everything went down. And I did read that the cast only found out about Ward when they were filming the 15th episode, so it makes sense that Brett was only playing Ward the only way he was meant to be played, and it wasn’t an act the entire time. BUT I still think it’s kind of brilliant that he was able to find so much more within the character, after having done so much with him already. I could keep going on about how much I love what this show did with this character, but it deserves to be talked about when it actually happens so I’ll save it till then.
Sophy says: Ward is several assholes stapled together. He is the human centipede.
Moving on. What I love about Joss shows is that important things are whispered in – not telegraphed in a super obvious way. When I first saw this scene I was intrigued enough by the hint at Coulson’s past – or rather at a personal life that seems not to exist these days – that I would pick it for this category regardless. But I didn’t realize the cellist would be more than a memory – more than a moment of bonding with one of his team – FUCK YOU WARDEPEDE. Because we were going to meet her. Sooner than you’d think. And she was going to be played SPOILY SPACKER. And I still haven’t really recovered from that fact.
And Brett didn’t know he was going bad? SERIOUSLY? He must have peed himself when he found out. Because honestly, as much as I love lame, bound up saviour-Ward, playing him for the next 15 years would have been a little dull compared to playing scheming, messed up, Wardepede. YES THE SHOW WILL RUN FOR 15 YEARS.
But I love, love, love the little red herrings in the script – things that you read one way when you think Ward’s kosher and a whole other way when you know that he’s not. “Maybe if she’d been in the agency.” We all think he’s trying to find a roundabout way to talk about his relationship with May, right? NO HE IS NOT. He’s digging for info on possible relationships of Coulson’s within the agency because what good is some random cellist Coulson doesn’t even see anymore?
GOD HE IS THE WORST. I LOVE HIM.
Rin says: I cannot wait until we get to the episode with the reveal. SO MUCH GUSHING over the writers and creators will be had. You don’t even know.
Head In Hands
“Maybe don’t look so excited about it.”
Rin says: Always so adorable. She will never not geek out when it comes to awesome science, nevermind how inappropriate her excitement might be.
And again I must stress. HER JUMPER. Have mercy.
Sophy says: That jumper is kind of relentless isn’t it.
Imagine if Simmons and Cosima from Orphan Black met up. I can’t say what would happen except that COPHINE WOULD BE OVER SORRY.
COSIMMONS WINS SCIENCE.
Rin says: I usually hate crackships and everything they stand for, but Cosimmons would be the exception.