Kelsey McNeal/American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Tonight, the team extracts a possible telekinetic who seems to cause catastrophes wherever she goes. Where’s the best place to put someone like that? Why, on the bus, of course!
The episode begins with a woman attempting to buy items from a gas station convenience store. The owner confronts her on his dead friend, Jack Benson, who died in a laboratory accident. Jack’s wife blames the woman, who was in charge at the time. The woman tries to leave but the owner wants answers. When she asks him to leave her alone, cans fly off the shelves and strike him.
The owner asks if she did it but she says she didn’t. Outside, the gas pump nozzles are pouring gas on the ground. She holds her head and prays “not again.” A huge explosion goes off outside.
We join the team pretty much where we left off last week, with May getting dressed in her hotel room and Ward emerging from the shower in a towel. This isn’t the first time they’ve hooked up, as Ward suggests they do what they’ve done previously and arrive back to the bus at different times so no one suspects anything.
On the bus, Skye is excited by the prospect of the woman, Hannah Hutchins, being a telekinetic, especially since as Coulson says, they’ve “never verified one.” Fitz and Simmons tell Coulson they can analyze the lab instruments to see if there’s a connection between the particle accelerator she was responsible for and her newfound telekinesis.
Coulson: “Well, it does use giant magnets to fire billions of subatomic particles into their antiparticles at the speed of light to create miniature big bangs so, seems like a good place to start.” Simmons raises an eyebrow and Fitz is stunned silent. Coulson scoffs, “I read.”
Coulson tells Skye she’ll be staying in the car, as it’s a delicate situation with Hannah and May will be going in. Skye, in disbelief: “It’s a delicate situation, so you’re bringing along warm and fuzzy?”
An angry mob has formed outside of Hannah’s house when May and Coulson arrive. May stands watch while Coulson and Ward go up to Hannah’s porch. You’d have to be new or an idiot to mess with May. She’s got a glare that can make a plant wither and die from ten feet away. Not literally, although I’ve seen no evidence so far to the contrary.
Hannah is an emotionally broken person watching the people hate her. One throws an egg at her, hitting the door. Suddenly, a police car starts up on its own and speeds toward the crowd. Coulson runs to push a man out of the way. Clark Gregg’s stuntman goes above and beyond, jumping up so high, the man is tackled to the ground in a crotch to face life saving attack.
The mob blames the car on Hannah and an officer pulls a gun on her. Ward tries to calm him down. Hannah backs away, very upset, with her hands up and May shoots her in the back, with what I’m assuming is the night-night gun. Otherwise, this would be a pretty short episode. Coulson: “So much for the welcome wagon.”
At the particle accelerator lab, Fitz and Simmons lament that they graduated three years early from SHIELD Academy and couldn’t pull a prank on any freshmen. Simmons realizes Skye is a freshman. She says to Fitz, “Why not give her the full SHIELD Academy experience?” Fitz replies, “It would be unjust to deny her such a thing.” And it’s on.
Hannah is passed out and locked down in a secure room on the bus. Coulson says he wants May in there to gain her trust and explain the full situation to her. Once she’s awake, Coulson and May enter her room and find her anxiously praying. Coulson tells her no one was hurt and May asks if she was mad at the people in her neighborhood. She says no and blames herself for the deaths and accidents that happen around her. I kind of really adore her.
Skye, Fitz and Simmons watch on a screen from the lab. Simmons reports Hannah’s brainwaves show she’s upset and Skye counters that of course she is, since May shot her. Fitz: “Things got out of hand. May sorted it out. She’s the Cavalry.” Skye asks where the nickname comes from and FitzSimmons share a conspiratorial let the pranking commence glance. Except, May is super touchy about the whole Cavalry thing so perhaps this isn’t the best idea, darlings.
Fitz, with dead serious intensity: “Imagine if you will, a heavily secured compound. Manama, Bahrain. Multiple SHIELD agents are taken hostage, tortured for information. May’s mission: eliminate the threat.”
Skye: “You mean, kill people.”
Simmons: “Not people. Entire squads of mercenaries. Almost a hundred.”
Fitz: “More than a hundred.”
Simmons: “More than a hundred men, heavily armed. Her vehicle got totaled so she rode in–”
Fitz: “And, um, she had an M249 in each hand.”
Simmons: “Right. In each hand. And she rode in on a horse.”
Fitz: “Hence the name, the Cavalry.”
Fitz and Simmons pop up the holographic 3D rendering of the whatsit they’re researching and Skye pulls out a disc from the holograph. Fitz slaps her hand and says, “No! You do not touch that! Two semesters minimum of holographic engineering before you get to touch this!” Skye: “All right! I get it. I didn’t go to your stupid SHIELD Hogwarts or whatever.”
Skye leaves and FitzSimmons high five victorious over their Calvary story.
Hannah explains to Coulson and May the trouble with the coupling on the particle accelerator. Coulson tells her they think she developed telekinesis somehow from the accelerator. Hannah swears it’s not her and confides she believes she’s being punished by God and haunted by demons. Quick, call the Winchesters.
While Coulson discusses this with the team, an out of focus figure behind him suddenly vanishes.
Skye asks Coulson and May to let her talk to Hannah. She shows via internet searching that Hannah is nice and cares about people, always wishing friends a happy birthday. That’s why she was a safety inspector, because she cares. Coulson says no and Skye throws a barb at May about shooting first, asking questions later. That’s inadvisable, Skye.
An item in a display box falls off of Coulson’s shelf, despite being glued down. Even though there’s a possibly dangerous telekinetic on the bus, which is in flight, this worries no one. Except me. I’m pretty concerned.
Skye bitches about May to Ward, saying you can “catch more flies with honey than napalm” and says May needs to get laid. Ward pauses and Skye doesn’t notice, spouting off the horseback part of FitzSimmons’ Calvary story.
Ward clears it up, saying, “Story gets bigger every year. It wasn’t a hundred guys. It was twenty. Trained assassins. May crossed them off with one pistol. No support.” Skye: “She rescued a bunch of agents?” Ward: “There definitely wasn’t a horse.” Level unlocked: Calvary explanation secured.
Ward’s knife goes missing and inside the secure room, the doorknob starts rattling. Hannah begs God for forgiveness. In the lab, Fitz tries to scare Simmons by wearing a gas mask but fails miserably.
Skye finds that Hannah’s co-worker, Tobias Ford, filed safety complaints in Hannah’s department before the incident.
Fitz goes to a supply closet to fetch couplings for Simmons’ test. He picks up a broom and says, “All I need now is a little bit of twine and an unsuspecting victim.” The blurry man creeps up behind him but disappears when Fitz turns around.
Simmons finds a red, broken bit on the holographic simulation and says, “It’s as if the explosion tore open some sort of window–” Tobias, appearing behind her: “To hell.” He slams a massive wrench at her, missing and destroying the lab table. How about you tone down the dramatics a bit, undead Tobias?
Tobias disappears and Coulson runs in. Simmons tells him Hannah was right about someone else making these things happen.
Misty Tobias pulls the cords out of a panel on the bus, which causes a total power failure. Coulson: “Plane’s lost power. We’re going down.” I’m in no way an engineering expert but I’d think an all important, flying, SHIELD mega base should have some sort of power fail-safe instead of just pull these wires and down we go.
May, scrambling to get behind the wheel of the bus, tries to manually land the plane with Ward as co-pilot. May lands the bus in a field without any sort of headlights.
The team regroups with flashlights and Coulson agrees to let Skye tell Hannah she’s not crazy. Simmons realizes Fitz is missing. Fitz pushes his way through a door that was jammed by Ward’s knife. He runs into Ward and Simmons, who tell him it wasn’t a prank.
Coulson raises a high tech periscope to alert SHIELD HQ they’ve crashed. Outside, Tobias smashes the periscope with his wrench, resulting in an error on Coulson’s digital display. Coulson, frustrated, “Nineteen nineties technology at its best.”
Skye tells Hannah from outside the door that it’s not her fault and everyone’s okay. Hannah says God is punishing her and she deserves it. Skye comforts Hannah by telling her she doesn’t deserve it and a nun once told her, “God is love.” She goes on to say God wouldn’t punish Hannah for a mistake.
May orders Skye to help Coulson and Skye tells May not to hurt Hannah more than she has already. This seems pretty harsh and appears to be driving a bigger rift between May and Skye so Skye will be extra hurt when she finds out about Ward and May hooking up.
FitzSimmons discuss how the lab was trying to create a portal which resulted in Tobias being between worlds. Ward clears the area where the cords have been ripped out but Tobias appears behind FitzSimmons, locking them in. He then attacks Ward, like the scrappy little portal jumper he is.
Tobias materializes back in with FitzSimmons, choking Simmons with the wrench. Ward busts through the door and Tobias pops up behind him, knocking him out with the wrench. Tobias’ hand starts fading, probably from the whole Nightcrawler routine, and he screams.
Skye snarks to Coulson about the Calvary and Coulson says not to call her that. He tells Skye the real story, that they were the welcome wagon and it went bad with the followers of a “gifted individual.” May didn’t have a gun but tried to get everyone out. She managed to take out the threat but wasn’t the same after.
Skye asks, “Did she lose anyone in there?” Coulson, solemn: “Herself. May used to be different. She was always quiet, she just–she was warm. Fearless, in a different way. Getting in trouble, pulling pranks, thought rules were meant to be broken. Sound familiar? But when she walked out of that building, it was like that part of her was gone.”
Coulson and Skye hear a thud and discover they’re locked in the room. Tobias appears and Hulk smashes the comm before chokeholding Skye with the wrench. He demands to get access to Hannah.
FitzSimmons inform May that Tobias disappears a bit every time he materializes somewhere. They suggest waiting him out since he can’t get in to Hannah. That’s a great idea in theory but angry portal hopping undead guy is a little wrench happy.
Tobias chases May, who leads Hannah off the plane. Hannah: “What are you going to do?” May: “Fix the problem.” I wonder if whatever May went through is similar to Coulson’s trip to Tahiti.
Ward, FitzSimmons, Coulson and Skye break out of their rooms and regroup, only to be scared by Fitz’s gas mask mop person popping out of a closet. Fitz screams the loudest and Simmons yells at him. Fitz defends himself by saying, “Pranking was your idea and obviously, I rigged this little beauty before I knew there was a dimension jumping psychopath in the mix.”
May uses Hannah as bait and fights Tobias when he appears. Tobias overpowers May but she recovers and beats him to the ground. She instructs Hannah to stay put. He charges May again before being knocked down by a falling beam.
Meanwhile, Skye figures out that Tobias filed the reports and protected her from the guy at the gas station and the mob at her house because he likes her. Dude. Next time? Give her a card. Or send some sort of friendly email. Chocolate is nice, too.
May asks Hannah to tell Tobias she’s not trying to hurt Hannah. He stops fighting and insists he’s being sent to hell for messing with the couplings so she’d go see him. Tobias begs for Hannah’s forgiveness to save him from hell. Hannah says only God can do that and May replies, “And he won’t.” Brutal honesty, check.
May explains he can’t undo what he’s done and he has to move on so he stops dragging Hannah down with him. May: “Trying to hold on to this life, clinging to the person you thought you could be, that’s hell.” May calmly tells him, “Let the girl go,” and he does.
Coulson asks May what she said to Tobias and she replies, “Same words you said to me in Bahrain.”
The power restored and the case resolved, Skye tucks a sleeping Hannah into her bunk. Coulson tells Skye she sees the good in people, wants to help May and figured out Tobias, all of which will make her an intake evaluation asset in the future.
Skye enters the cockpit and asks if May minds if she keeps her company. May says nothing, which Skye takes as an invitation to sit.
Later, Simmons, Ward, Coulson and Skye are playing Upwords. Simmons plays aglet, which is the little plastic thingy at the end of your shoelace, if you ever need to know that for game shows or trivia contests. Fitz walks in with shaving cream on his hand and eye and tries to pin the prank on one of them. They all deny it. May, listening in the cockpit, gives a small smile. Aw, May! We’ll recover you from your personal hell prank by prank.
This episode was written by none other than Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen, two of my favorite Whedons and the executive producers, showrunners, awesome expert extraordinaires of this show. Just between you and me, I love them. Shh, don’t tell.
I loved the ongoing dynamic development of the team in this episode. Each week, the group connects more to each other and to us. May has always been the quiet, intense one who gets the job done but tonight, we got to see why she’s that way and why only Coulson seems to completely understand her.
There’s no new episode next week but in two weeks, on December 10th, it’s back, with J. August Richards, our beloved Gunn from Angel and the trying hard to be a hero, Extremis-infected guy from the pilot. From the preview, it’s clear May is not happy to see him suit up and be an agent.
What did you think of this episode? What was your favorite part? Let me know in the comments!