YOUR FACE! YOUR BEAUTIFUL FACE!
Skye as May.
Rin says: There is probably nothing better than Skye pretending to be May. Her outfit, her aviators, her super lame serious faces.. it all worked.
YOU CAN SPEND THE NEXT FIVE YEARS IN THE FRIDGE.
She’s the best. And I love that the guy was equally as lame. It was like a classic lame-off. Skye should continue to go undercover as often as possible.
Sophy says: Chloe Bennett is so good at being lame. And Chloe Bennett as Skye as May is just the ultimate in lame.
ROPHY THINK WE LIKE LAME.
There was actually a really swish and badass cap of Skye holding her gun but I chose the lame one because lame.
Scoobies in Creepy Dummy Town
Rin says: It’s universally acknowledged that manequins are creepy as fuck. EVEN MORESO WHEN THEY ARE OF CHILDREN. And setup in houses to look like they’re enjoying a family dinner. If you wanted this place to seem like a deranged psycho lived there, then congratulations! Mission accomplished. I guess it would act as a pretty good deterrent to keep the nosy neighbours out.
It does make for some beautiful shots though. I’ll just have to grit my teeth and bear the creepiness in order to enjoy the beauty of it all. Pants before fear is what I always say.
Sophy says: PANTS > FEAR. But they still end up on the floor.
And has there ever been a time when the presence of dummies didn’t spell evil? I SAW A DUMMY IT GAVE ME THE WIG THERE REALLY WASN’T A STORY THERE.
Have I mentioned how much I love that the gang always kind of stand in a line and look pretty, like basically at least once per episode? Because I love that about them.
Best Reminder that Joss is back :’)
“Please. Let me die.”
Rin says: You really didn’t need to fucking include the shot of his BRAIN. That’s something no one wants to see again, so thanks for that. I don’t even know what we can say about all of this except holy shit this is fucked up. BECAUSE WOW. Sure, we always knew Tahiti was a lie from the way everyone would whisper behind Coulson’s back. I think this is one of the times when honestly, ignorance is bliss. He didn’t need to know this is what really happened to him, and even though all of us were so eager to uncover the truth — I’m not sure many of us foresaw it as being this awful. I’d take imaginary massages and cocktails on a sunny beach any day.
But this is a Whedon show okay? When they brought Coulson back from the dead to have his own show, they would never do it in a way that was simply a gimmick. Getting brought back to life isn’t a walk in the park, it’s not just a click of the fingers and SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER! It’s about having to walk through the fucking fire (see what I did there?) because that is the price. It’s why not every character in a fantasy world can be brought back to life. Only a special kind of person can come out of the other side, not so much unscathed, but at least not completely broken. This is Coulson’s Bargaining parts 1 and fucking 2.
This is his test. We’re going to truly see what kind of a man Coulson is after being exposed to his worst memory/experience that he didn’t even know existed until now. As well as a betrayal of trust from the organisation he quite literally gives his life to.
It’s horrible and the worst and I’m so glad it was Skye and May who found him and rescued him from any more pain. It was heartbreaking to watch, but also heartwarming at the same time when Coulson almost smiles when he realises Skye is here, telling him to ‘Come back’.
Ugh I was crying just rewatching this scene.
Sophy says: WHY WOULD I NOT INCLUDE THE SHOT OF HIS BRAIN THAT IS THE BEST PART?
The brilliance of this is that it is brutal and extreme and wrong and fundamentally altering. If we didn’t see Coulson’s brain exposed like that we wouldn’t fully grasp how invasive this reanimation procedure was. We wouldn’t understand just how violated Coulson has been and how changed he has been in deep, dark places. If we didn’t hear him pleading for death like a kid pleads for lollies in a shop we wouldn’t get it.
There’s a reason they took his memory of this. Because it’s too much. Because it’s so much that if he knew it happened to him – if he could remember the feeling of it happening to him – he wouldn’t be Coulson anymore.
That’s the irony – Shield had to interfere with this man’s brain in order to make sure he was still in charge of it. They had to make him less him so he would still be him at all.
Yes, this is Coulson’s Bargaining 1 & 2. And this is where our show loses its innocence for the first time, because this is a fantastic world where people are ridiculous and lame and dress up as Melinda May and stand in pretty lines and put shaving cream on people’s faces while they sleep and some of them wear cardigans a lot. It’s a world in which the good guys keep on truckin’ and it’s okay to be brave because if you die there are actual ways for you to come back.
But it’s a Joss show. And Joss understands that death is the ultimate consequence and if you take it away you have to put something in its place – something big. Buffy was altered by her death – permanently and profoundly. And then she made choices as a result of that alteration that altered her further. She may have continued to live and she may have continued to avert apocalypses and maybe she even wound up being something like happy, but she didn’t continue to be Buffy Summers. Not exactly.
Coulson hasn’t been Coulson, either – however subtle the difference may have been people have been noticing. He’s been noticing. And now he knows why – he remembers why – he has felt why all over again. And I think the only reason he’s able to go on with things and not be a blubbering lunatic at this stage is because his re-experiencing of what was done to him was a finite thing. Coulson knows what he suffered now, but he doesn’t fully remember living it. He lived the brief flashes Raina subjected to – those are his. But the rest – the full extent of the trauma he endured – that’s still asleep inside him.
The consequences of Coulson’s death and resurrection have not been played out yet. This is only the beginning.
I cried a bit when Coulson said Skye’s name. And then she smiled that little relieved smile that was almost kind of giddy when she was asking him to come back and he did and it feels like it’s for her. And then he smiles. And they are father and daughter, I don’t care who the heck is dripping bloody goop everywhere in the season finale.
AND SHE PUNCHED RAINA IN THE FACE. SHE JUST WALKED IN AND PUNCHED HER. And then May just yanked the cords out of the power socket. It seems neither of them was in a mood to be trifled with.
Rin says: What you said about Buffy really upset me. Buffy as a character and a show is kind of a lifer, huh. I will never stop feelings things about her, and her life and how she is one of the greatest characters we will ever know.
Best Reminder that Joss is LOL
Sometimes it’s the little things.
Rin says: IS THAT A ROOMBA? Haahahaha. It reminds me DJ Roomba from Parks and Rec
AND THEN AGAIN. THE LAME GUY. And Skye getting the security guard to get in the drivers seat while the guy tries to salvage his pride by telling the other guard that his assistant usually does this stuff. Ahhh SHOW. You are so silly sometimes, I love you.
Sophy says: LITERALLY THE FIRST THING I SAW WAS TOM’S FACE WHEN SHE ASKED IF THAT WAS A ROOMBA. I COULDN’T FOCUS ON WHAT WAS HAPPENING BECAUSE ALL I SAW WAS TOM’S FACE. AND THEN IT ZOOMED OUT AND I SAW TOM AND DONNA DANCING.
And then I was back. The lame guy was just the best – he could so easily have been a nothing character, there only as a plot device and something for Skye to be funny about. But they put the effort into the character and the casting and even the props so that he was actually funny in his own right, if only for a few little snippets of screentime. That’s when you know your show cares. When the people who don’t matter still kind of do.
AND THE SHIELD AGENT. THE WAY HE SWERVES INTO A CASUAL POSE OF CASUALNESS WHEN SKYE TELLS HIM NOT TO TOUCH LOLA.
Adorbs. He should be a regular.
Cutest of the Scoobies
“Remember our safe word?”
“Landscaping! I should not have said that.”
Rin says: Okay, so there could be a Covert Affairs type spinoff with Skye and Simmons, but it would be about the worst spy/handler team ever.
WHY HELLO DR NUGENT.
And the way that Simmons puts on an accent on top of her normal speaking voice. It’s just. So stupid. These two idiots.
Sophy says: OH MY GOD YES. SKIMMONS WERE BORN TO BE IN A COVERT AFFAIRS SPOOF.
“Right as rain. Old chap.”
And then how May just took the phone. And Skye’s face is all MOM CAUGHT US SMOKING OH NOES. And then it becomes obvious that May actually organised for Skye to be kicked off the plane out of respect for her skills and in complete acknowledgment that they need her, which. Basically this was May’s way of saying “You are part of this team/family,” and I love that when that moment comes it looks like it’s exactly the opposite. Just when Skye feels most rejected by May is right when she is actually being welcomed into the fold once and for all.
And it’s not just that way for reasons of epic Skye/May feels either. Part of the reason May had to look like the big dumb betraying jerk person on the plane for a few minutes there was so that she would have time to tell Ward that he doesn’t have to assume the worst of her and later we could all rewatch that scene and just guffaw. At the time it was this adorably tender moment where May opened up just a little bit to Ward and let us all know that she doesn’t actually love everyone assuming she’s some kind of cold-hearted tyrant. But now? Well. Just. Lol.
This episode is a big one that way. May seems briefly to be a bad guy who doesn’t care about a member of the team, heralding that time she’ll seem to be an actual bad guy who’s working against them all. This happens so that Ward, who is actually the mole, can stand up for this team member – something he would do in his own interests anyway, whether because he likes Skye despite himself, or, more plausibly, because he doesn’t want to lose an excellent subject for his manipulation. And then of course he’s just soooo gung-ho about getting Coulson back that he has to bust into the interrogation room with his unorthodox methods that get results. Which is probably partly a tactic to seem super invested in Coulson’s safety like all the rest of these kids are and also probably because basically his job was always to get information out of Coulson about his resurrection so it’s kind of handy to have him around and, you know, alive.
GOD HE IS SUCH AN ASSHOLE IN RETROSPECT. And the best part is that as much as this episode was throwing us of the scent it was also giving us information that should have had us wondering about Ward. He was willing to risk murdering a man to get answers. He lied coolly and extremely well to his colleagues to get access to the man to do that. As much as he appeared to care about Coulson and Skye and the mission generally, these are not the actions of a well-balanced individual.
If they can do it with you they can do it to you, right?
Meanwhile, does anyone else think Skye was secretly a bit disappointed that she got a fancy satellite phone thingy from Fitzsimmons instead of one of the Simmons sandwiches?
PROSCIUTTO AND BUFFALO MOZZARELLA WITH A HINT OF HOMEMADE PESTO AIOLI.
Rin says: I had forgotten this was the episode where May said that! I remember we both sort of gasped about it and quoted it at each other at the same time because it was such a great line and had us swooning over May and just wanting to love her and show her that we cared about her and tell her she’s a beautiful tropical fish etc..
REMEMBER WHEN WARD THREW AWAY THAT SANDWICH AND WE WERE ALL LIKE, OMFG WARD YOU ARE SO EVIL!
It was written on the wall you guys. It was fucking written on the wall with homemade pesto aioli.
This game of rock/paper/scissors
Rin says: Could the whole episode have been this?
Sophy says: I vote for an Agents of SHIELD spin-off in which Fitzimmons are just Fitzsimmons 24 hours a day. Like the Truman show only with Fitzsimmons.
Also what the heck is up with them calling it Roshambo? Seriously who calls it Roshambo CAN WE SPEAK AMERICAN? I was brought up saying “Scissors Paper Stone” but you don’t see me rocking the boat.
I think my favourite thing is that they are playing to see who will open the roof thereby risking murdering this guy, right? So obviously the deal is that the winner doesn’t have to do that? In which case it’s super adorable that Simmons feels so sorry for Fitz and his pathetic scissors that she just goes ahead and does it herself anyway.
THAT’S MY HEADCANON ANYWAY.
Rin says: WHO THE FUCK CALLS IT SCISSORS PAPER STONE?
It’s scissorssss paperrrr rock!
Sophy says: What. Who the hell calls it that. Get off the boat.
Please sir, we’d like some more
“What makes you so sure this machine will even work?”
“It worked on me.”
Rin says: Why is Raina so evil? What are her motives? Is that what we want to know more about?
Sophy says: WELL. This was the first episode that I really found Raina interesting. Previously she was just menacing in a comic book villain kind of a way and I probably had more thoughts and feelings about her outfits than her. But in this episode I felt like there was a glimmer of humanity to her. Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying she might be a good person or anything, but this was the first time I realized that she probably actually does have an entire backstory and set of motivations that we don’t know about.
I’ve said this before, but people are rarely straight down the line evil in Joss shows. I mean, even the Mayor loved Faith, right? I just want to know what Raina loves, because I’m pretty sure it’s not just power. Because she’s done awful things and she was doing awful things in this episode but there were also moments when she didn’t seem cold. When she didn’t seem entirely disingenuous either.
I could be wrong but I feel like there is more to her than meets the eye – or I feel like there should be. Her chemistry with Coulson was interesting and surprising to me and worth capitalizing on from a writing standpoint. Again, I’m not saying I ship it or that I ever would, but I would like to see their dynamic explored further. And I’d like to find out exactly what she meant when she said the machine worked on her.
What did Raina remember? What did she ever need to forget? I don’t know about you guys but I’m thinking it has something to do with flowers.
Rin says: Oh right totally. There has to be more to the story as far as Raina is concerned. A person this driven has to have something huge behind it all, and it’ll be really interesting to figure out what her motivation is. AS WELL AS THE FLOWERS. STOP LYING TO US ABOUT THE FLOWERS.
HE’S ALIIIIIIIIIIIVE. In the worst way possible.
Rin says: Oh Mike. This is only the tip of the iceberg too. There’s still a whole lot of berg to get through before it gets better.
Sophy says: This show is really, really, really mean to Mike Peterson.
Head In Hands
Rin says: MAY ADMIRING SKYE AS MAY FOREVER? SKYE/MAY FOREVER?
Do you think Skye has prepared an emergency outfit of all the other members of the team in case she has to go undercover? Like she keeps plenty of cardigans on standby incase she needs to be Fitz. Maybe Tatiana Maslany is her role model, who knows.
BUT ALSO. YOU KNOW. LATER ON? WHEN SOME TWO PEOPLE PRETEND TO BE OTHER TWO PEOPLE AND IT’S THE CUTEST THING EVER? This show is totally getting in on the fun that Orphan Black gets to have. So much impersonation. <3333
Sophy says: AHHHHHH CAN WE JUST? YES WE NEEDED FOUR SCREENCAPS BECAUSE LOOK AT THEIR LITTLE FACES. I think sometimes Skye snuggles that jacket at night.
Oh god. The two people pretending to be the two other people. These are the reasons we need to hurry up with these recaps, am I right?
Rin says: All three of us would snuggle into the jacket at night. Swapping stories about the awesome things Melinda May did today. We’d call ourselves, “May’s Girls”.
Sophy says: I sort of feel like the makings of the next rophydoes t-shirt are in there somewhere.