S.H.I.E.L.D. has fallen once again; and in its wake the so-called Real S.H.I.E.L.D. is working to eradicate everything Nick Fury stood for or worked to protect. This isn’t the S.H.I.E.L.D. that would look kindly upon the Avengers; but rather sides with the Council and sees any super-powered individuals as immediate threats to be exterminated. Can Coulson and Hunter retake S.H.I.E.L.D. while Skye learns to control her powers? It’s time to take a closer look at this week’s episode of Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. “One Door Closes”.
As “One Door Closes”, Another Opens:
As you could guess, this week’s Agents of SHIELD episode title is a reference to the old saying “As one door closes, another opens”; and this episode gave us just that! While the Gonzales’s Agents of SHIELD found one door close they day Hydra took over, they found a new one open. Similarly, Coulson now finds himself with one door slammed in his face; but he too shall make another one open with Hunter at his side. Though far away from SHIELD similar, Skye is dealing with a similar dilemma as she meets the enigmatic yet kind Gordon. With the new SHIELD taking over, that route is now closed to her until Coulson can get back in control. Ergo, she must embark on a new path along with Gordon and the other Inhumans.
Screw Protocol – A New SHIELD Is Born & Continues:
As the episode begins, we find ourselves back on the day S.H.I.E.L.D. fell (ie: the day of The Winter Soldier/”Turn, Turn, Turn”) with Mack, Bobbie and other members of Gonzales’s team all fighting for survival against Hydra. With various weapons and enhanced tech, it was Mockingbird’s mission to destroy the ship before Hydra could claim any of it. Though while Gonzales is at first on board with this idea, the others propose that they instead take the ship back and ‘screw Fury’s orders’. With such a small team, this is an incredibly uphill battle that they shoul be commended for; however, this is also the moment that their problematic viewpoint began.
They hold it against Nick Fury that he went against the Council at numerous times. This is the same council that ordered the nuke strike on New York, so from there you can already tell that their true regards are misplaced. Following this line of thinking, they refuse everything Nick Fury stood for and see everything he’s touched as corrupted, which lends a hand to why Gonzales is quick to judge Coulson as ‘changed’ despite not truly knowing him before. They disregard the S.H.I.E.L.D.’s legitimate heir and wish to recreate everything in their agreed vision. Though just as the Council they respect so much was dirty and ill-advised, so too is this new S.H.I.E.L.D.
They’ve made it this far because they’ve agreed; but the main mission has only been to instate the ‘Real S.H.I.E.L.D.’. Will they still get along so well when different matters come up? Coulson doesn’t think so; and we know that he’s right as we see conflicting opinions already in this new S.H.I.E.L.D. During the mission to ‘reclaim’ Skye, Bobbie tells the agents that Skye is still an Agent so treat her with respect and use icers only. Though once we see the soldiers in action that is not the case. Not only does the original soldier Skye encounter go straight for the real gun; but so too does one of the other supervising officers – the same man who disagreed with Bobbie last week.
With S.H.I.E.L.D. now seemingly all of Gonzales’s, we will see how the ‘council’ of members starts to disagree with each other about how things are handled. This episode showed Mack and Bobbie trying to protect their former team members, as the rest of this new S.H.I.E.L.D. shows little to no regard for them or what they’ve done. With the majority of this new S.H.I.E.L.D. seeing all powered individuals as ‘monsters’ to be exterminated rather than people – or former agents – Bobbie and Mack will have to decide if this new S.H.I.E.L.D. is truly the untainted beacon they thought it was.
Learning To Love What You’ve Become – Skye & Gideon:
Since Skye first transformed, we met the enigmatic character known as Gordon. What was his allegiance? What were his aims? Well after seeing him take in Raina and rebuff Skye’s father’s outrageous methods, he seemed to be a force of good. Well this episode gave us even more support for that as Gideon finally met with Skye.
There was no coercion or forcing Skye’s hand. Gordon seems to actually want what’s best for her, not for some ulterior motive; but to be that guiding light to fellow Inhumans similarly to how Skye’s mom was for him. This all once again brings up the juxtaposition between Inhumans like Skye and Gordon that started a few episodes ago. When Gordon got his powers, the first thing that happened was he was embraced for what he became. Skye on the other hand lived in fear and saw those around her fight because of it.
Up until now it’s only been Fitz thinking her powers could become amazing if she learned to control them; but now Gordon has instilled that as well. It’s here that we see Skye take off her gloves and actually play with her powers a bit by the sink. This is nowhere near the training she’d need; but it is the first time her powers actually make her smile.
I feel like Gordon is indeed that force of good. I mean the show can’t be Coulson vs everyone. Gordon and the other Inhumans could indeed be that new group to work alongside Coulson. Hell, considering the way trademarks and rebranding has gone with Marvel characters, I wouldn’t be surprised if Gordon’s group is the MCU equivalent to the Xavier School for gifted youths – and Gordon its handicapped yet capable leader. Only time will tell; but one things for sure – Gordon’s a pretty good guy. I mean the fact that this teleporter ‘knocked’ and asked permission to come in is a vast departure from her father and Ward who have usually just busted in and dragged Skye along. Gordon is giving Skye a choice and respecting it, and that places him in the same realm of Coulson.
Excelsior – Easter Eggs, References & Other Important Points:
- The ‘Retreat’ previously housed the Hulk, as Skye learned from the massive fist mark in the wall.
- Protocol ASTA06 was to blow up the Iliad in case its cargo ever risked being stolen.
- “The most dangerous kind of pain is the pain you can’t feel” I can’t help but wonder if these words by Mack will have a deeper importance later.
- The device hidden in Coulson’s model car was a vibranium scanner, which means the Toolbox is made of the same stuff Captain America’s shield is.
- The FitzSimmons dynamic slowly moved back together this episode as we not only saw Jemma go to hold Ftiz’s hand; but also call him “Leo”.
- Speaking of Jemma Simmons, admit it, you thought she was going to ruin something or reveal where Skye is hidden when she bumped into Bobbie. Instead, she actually tricked her and took her down. Way to go Jemma!
- “Fury’s secrets didn’t bring SHIELD down, Hydra did” The fact that Gonzales’s group refuses to see that is what still makes them ‘the bad guys’ rather than simply ‘differing opinion’ – also the fact they want to kill Skye and all empowered individuals.
- The mysterious quote read: “Weaver ever tell you what happened to her at the Academy that day? HYDRA released an enhanced on them. Found Weaver fighting to protect the ones that were left behind. She was actually going toe to toe with that monster.” This garbled line was initially thought to reveal a persons name; but was actually just to show that all ‘enhanced’ beings are monsters in their eyes.
- Was it just me, or did anyone else think Coulson was ACTUALLY in Tahiti this time when he met Hunter?
So do Coulson and Hunter have a chance of taking down the new S.H.I.E.L.D.? The odds are certainly against them; but you have to remember the new S.H.I.E.L.D. fought similar odds when they beat back Hydra. IF they could defeat a superior force with skilled small numbers, then Coulson has that chance too. The counter attack begins next week, so stay tuned for the next Declassified.