“Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” recap (1.10): A Christmas Story

Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Coulson died, OK? Before the Battle of New York, while working with The Avengers to take down Loki, Agent Coulson was shot in the chest and he died. But he came back to life. Get that through your thick skulls, you morons. Agent Coulson died but didn’t die. Don’t make me say it again. Anyway, so Agent Coulson died, previously, and then he came back to life. No one knows why. One person that got murdered one time was Agent Coulson, but S.H.I.E.L.D. gave him new life in Tahiti. It’s a magical place. A magical place to go if you die and want to get reborn, like what happened to Agent Coulson.

At Havenworth Federal Penitentiary, former military badass/bonaners lunatic Edison Po is rescued from prison by a team of supersoliders who bust through the roof during lunch time. They are all equipped with those Caterpillar arm-bands like the kind Mike Peterson had in the pilot. You know Mike Peterson: the guy whose head almost literally exploded. Po meets up with Raina, the woman from the pilot who gave Mike Peterson his superpowers in the first place, and she bitches about how S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps crashing their lairs and blowing them up and if that wasn’t annoying enough, they’re also having to give their supersoilders new blood all the time so they don’t start asplodin’ like the first test subjects. Po decides to meet up with The Clairvoyant to see if he can help them find Mike Peterson because Mike Peterson seems to be doing just fine, thank you very much, and he’s still got his Caterpillar attached to his arm.

CLARK GREGG, J. AUGUST RICHARDS“FitzSimmons said this suit is bullet-proof, so it definitely prevents stabbings too, right?”

But oh ho, not so fast, Po! Mike Peterson is now in the employ of S.H.I.E.L.D.! All he ever wanted to do was make his son proud and buy him a set of Avengers action figures, and those things aren’t cheap. So now he’s just pushing bulldozers around on football fields and waiting for his shot at redemption. Enter: Agent Coulson. Coulson invites Mike to come hang out on the bus and help them track down Po and his new gaggle of supersoliders. So Po goes to the bus and Simmons fawns over his hot bod while Skye and Fitz glare at him with envy in their eyeballs. Mike Peterson thanks FitzSimmons for saving his life. That paralyzing laser gun they built actually stabilized his Caterpillar and that’s why his body never blew up into a billion pieces. They’re so happy that someone has finally acknowledged their Ravenclaw excellence, they build him a super-special super-suit. Wade grumbles in the corner about, “It’s cheating if you have superpowers.” And Skye is like, “I’d love to watch you say that to Thor’s face, man.”

While the bus is piloting itself around the clouds above America, Ward and May do some sparring with their fists and their feelings. May kicks Wards ass right to the ground and he expresses an interest in boning her and she expresses an interest in punching him in the dick and Coulson watches from the doorway and expresses an interest in them shutting it down. To distract her from Ward’s boners, Coulson calls May to his office to reiterate for the tenth time that Skye cannot know the truth about the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who dropped her off at an orphanage lo, those many years ago. A normal person goes, “OK, cool. I won’t tell her.” But Agent Melinda May decides the best way to make Skye stop digging around for info on her parents is to make her cry. So May hurts her feelings eleven ways and tells her to stop being selfish and concentrate on the supersolider mission. Skye sobs alone in her room. Coulson listens and feels real bad.

(P.S. During their conversation, Skye tells May she is thinking about “changing teams” and May’s eyebrow says she is v. interested in that kind of research.)

(I’m going to regret saying that the way I regret that I one time shipped Amy Pond and River Song, aren’t I?)

BRETT DALTON, MING-NA WEN“Mister, I’ll make a man out of you.”

After she gets her cries out, Skye puts her hair in a Katniss Everdeen side-braid and gets to work. She discovers that one of the people who visited Po in prison was a woman called Raina and they had a nice little chat about someone called The Clairvoyant. Mike Peterson recognizes Raina as the woman who recruited him into Operation Caterpillar. So Coulson and Ward drive Lola on down to the University of Ohio, dressed like Men in Black, to tell Po’s sister that her brother won the lottery, so please have him call them. She does not do that. Instead, she calls her brother, and S.H.I.E.L.D. tracks the call. They decide to ambush Po and his supersoliders at their top secret warehouse, but those guys are just lying in wait. They beat the hell out of Ward, the semi-hell out of May, and they stab Mike Peterson in the chest with like some rebar.

MING-NA WEN“I’ve got to start training with someone better than Ward; I wonder if Agent Romanov has some free time.”

OK, and this is where things get tricky. Mike Peterson does manage to incapacitate one of the supersoliders and it turns out he’s got one of those eyeball cameras like Akela Amador had earlier this season, which means Caterpillar Corp. is the big bad behind all those weirdo heists and things. Through the supersolider’s eyeball cam, Raina and Po see Coulson and Mike Peterson and Po declares that they have found the solution to their Caterpillar volatility problem. You think he’s talking about Mike Peterson, but no: He’s talking about Coulson. (Who once was dead, but now is alive. Was blind, but now he sees.)

Back on the bus, Mike Peterson stares lovingly at a photo of his son, which is clue number one that he’s about to die. Then he tells Skye he was finally able to afford to buy him a full set of Avengers action figures. Imminent death clue two. Clue three: He calls his son to tell him he’s finally going to get to come home and see him. Clue four: Raina’s babysitting that kid.

Mike Peterson and Coulson make plans to meet Raina to work out some kind of exchange for Mike Peterson’s son. But surprise! Mike Peterson is a double-crosser! He agreed to come here with Coulson to hand over Coulson so Raina would hand over his son. Coulson’s like, “Ah, man. This blows. But I would have done the same thing, probably. Best wishes, Mike Peterson.” Then the supersoliders drug him and drag him away — while Skye and Simmons and Fitz and Ward AND EVEN MAY just sit and watch with their mouths agape. May finally calls for backup, even though they should have called Iron Man before they walked into this trap in the goddamn first place. Once Mike Peterson gets his son to safety, he goes back for Coulson, but Caterpillar Corp. blows up a tanker on the bridge and Mike Peterson gets blasted to smithereens.

Up in the air, Raina is like, “Let’s talk about the day you died.” And Coulson is like, “How did you know I died?” And Raina is like, “It’s literally all you talk about.” And Coulson goes, “Well, it was magical.”

And away they fly into the night like Santa Claus’ sleigh to unlock the mystery of Jesus’ resurrection, which is how S.H.I.E.L.D. would like to wish you a Merry Christmas.

What did you think of “The Bridge”?