Justin Lubin/American Broadcasting Companies, Inc.
Tonight, Mike Peterson (J. August Richards) from the pilot returns to help on a mission involving Centipede, a mysterious man who was broken out of prison and the even more mysterious Raina.
The episode starts with a prison break. The prisoner gets prickly when one of the hired Centipede breakout artists doesn’t refer to him as sir.
On the bus, Skye is looking up all female agents active when she was born to possibly find her mother. She lands on one, Agent Shane, when Coulson walks in. He tells Skye he asked May to look into the super restricted files to help the search. Skye says she was hoping this would stay private. Coulson replies, “Agent May specializes in private.”
Coulson and the team discuss the prison break and figure the Centipede project has perfected Extremis enough that subjects don’t burn and explode. The prisoner, Edison Po, stabbed someone in the eyes at a diner a little while back, then finished his meal.
Skye: “Po doesn’t look crazy.” The entire team shoots her a look. She continues, “I’m kidding. The guy is a walking mugshot.”
SHIELD HQ has chosen Peterson (J. August Richards) to help with this mission. When we see him, he’s in SHIELD training, dragging a bulldozer. He hopefully asks his trainer, “Did I beat Captain America’s time?” Trainer: “Not even close.” Coulson meets him to explain they need him.
At the bus, May, standing next to Coulson, sees Peterson and says, “This is a bad idea.” Coulson alerts her that Skye might come to her for help finding her mother. May says, “One mistake at a time,” as Peterson approaches. Peterson is positive and more than ready to prove himself as a reliable member of SHIELD.
The team discusses their discomfort with working with Peterson, Ward especially, when Peterson walks in right behind him. Peterson apologies for how the Union Station mess went down in the pilot. Skye: “That’s bygones and water, under a distant bridge, far away.”
The team finds one of the Centipede soldiers was Brian Hayward. They decide to travel to question his sister, Laura.
Fitz and Simmons give Peterson a physical, with Simmons manually taking his measurements. They ask him how his Extremis has been stabilized and he explains their gun froze him and allowed his body to regulate. Peterson tells them they saved his life. FitzSimmons are very excited. Simmons, about their gun not even scarring him: “It would be a shame, especially when you’re so well formed and symmetrical.” Then, to Fitz, “When did you stop talking?” Fitz: “About three embarrassing sentences ago.”
Ward and Coulson take Lola to meet Laura Hayward. Coulson talks about his past love, a cellist. She doesn’t know he’s alive.
Skye and May analyze prison video without audio of Po and Raina. Using SHIELD’s lip reading program, they find Po said, “The clairvoyant does not like to be touched.” Peterson walks in and says Raina was his Centipede recruiter.
Elsewhere, Raina explains to Po they must move every few days to avoid SHIELD. It’s hard on the Extremis soldiers. Po: “Then it’s time to stop running.”
Coulson insists to May and Skye that Centipede can’t have a psychic because “they’re a myth.” Skye: “So was Thor.”
Ward poses as a member of the gaming commission and tells Laura her brother won $50,000. She says she’s not close to her brother but immediately calls him after Ward leaves. Using the card Ward gave her and SHIELD tech, Coulson is able to find that Brian is in Oakland, California.
Skye visits Peterson in the bus’s high security holding cell and they talk about his son. Coulson interrupts them to hand Peterson his fancy SHIELD bodysuit. FitzSimmons are very proud of it and Simmons is fond of how Peterson looks in it. Trust me, J. August Richards looks good.
The team is attacked in the warehouse Raina just vacated by Brian and other Centipede soldiers. The night-night gun only very temporarily works on one Centipede soldier. Peterson is stabbed, badly, but despite Simmons’ warnings, Coulson doesn’t tell Peterson how hurt he really is.
Brian begs for his life but is killed when his eyeball chip is activated by Raina. She can see everything he sees and that’s who he was begging. Po is also watching and Raina marvels at Peterson still having powers after so long without the syrum. Po advises he’s how they’ll move to the next level with the project.
Raina asks to know what the Clairvoyant looks like but Po refuses, saying he’d hate to have to put a knife through her pretty eyes. Creepy. He insists he’s told the Clairvoyant all about her though.
May rips Ward a new one for taking a punch for her in the field. He tells her she’s faster so it was a tactical decision. Ward also throws in he can separate the personal from work and tells her, “Don’t flatter yourself.”
With the worst timing ever, Skye shows up and May takes it out on her. Harshly, May says Skye has to figure out why she’s with SHIELD and that they have a mission that isn’t finding her parents. She adds, “If you can’t put aside your personal attachments, then you shouldn’t be here.” Skye is visibly hurt.
Coulson watches as Skye rips up her printed searches in her room. She sobs and Coulson raises his hand to knock but thinks better of it and walks away. Poor Skye. Frowny face.
Peterson talks to Coulson in his office. Coulson has heard Peterson trains all the time but he hasn’t seen his son, Ace, since Union Station. Peterson wonders if his son is better without him in his life. Coulson says Peterson has to think about Ace before he commits to SHIELD.
Peterson calls Ace, who says he has a new friend. Raina takes the phone and says, “Hello, Mike. Remember when I said I could change your life?”
The team discusses the situation. Raina wants Peterson for Ace. HQ told Coulson they’re to stand down. Peterson says he wants to hand himself over so Raina doesn’t kill his son. Coulson: “I promise you. We’re gonna get your son back.”
The meeting spot is a closed bridge. Coulson tells May he’ll escort Peterson to the meet point. May expresses she doesn’t like any of this plan and Coulson tells her, “There’d be something wrong with you if you did.”
Fitz explains he’ll activate his bloodhound tracker after the trade to find Peterson. Ward fails to find a good shot as the meet is happening behind a truck. So, he’s useless. Raina explains the trade is Ace for Coulson. Peterson apologizes to Coulson and grabs Raina’s neck. She says her life is nothing to her employer. Coulson tells Peterson to stop.
“Let’s finish this,” Coulson says. Ace is released and Peterson is full of guilt. Raina injects Coulson and he goes unconscious. Peterson hands Ace off to Skye and races to save Coulson. The vehicles on the bridge explode and Skye lets out the best scream of all time.
A few seconds later, the car Coulson was seemingly in explodes and a helicopter flees the scene, shooting at Ward. May puts on her angry eyes.
Coulson is safe on the helicopter and tells Raina he’ll never give her what she wants. Raina: “We want you to tell us what happened the day after you died.”
Wow. It looks like when Agents of SHIELD returns in January, we’ll finally find out what happened to Coulson post-death. Tahiti, anyone?
What did you think of this episode?