The three rogue SHIELD agents end up in England, Hertfordshire to be precise, as two of the agents don’t quite get what they’ve wanted for “The Honeymoon.” Simmons is glad to be back in England, if a bit nervous, and Fitz seems to still be channeling his earlier shift to supervillain when he talks about not looking back. When they had him in custody, Hydra big-shot Gideon Malik apparently identified the place they’re going as an important R&D facility, so the three agents are hoping for more leads here.
Coulson and Talbot are walking in a winter wonderland, and really not enjoying the experience as they flee from Hale’s Hydra (Hail, Hydra). Coulson encourages the out of condition Talbot to keep going, and Talbot fluctuates from self-pity to blaming Coulson for leaving him captive for so long to being sorry for spilling secrets to Hale. Talbot’s had a rough time while he’s been off screen. There’s some banter between Coulson and Talbot about what SHIELD has been up to and how surreal it is before Talbot slides into self-pity again, understandable as it is. As those two keep trying to get away, Ruby gears up and goes after them.
Tensions are high on the Zephyr as they desperately search for their missing leader. Deke, with less emotional investment than the others, wonders if the clues from Robin have even happened yet, a reasonable concern when dealing with someone who sees through time, but doesn’t sort it well. Their new recruit pilot, Davis, lands them so they can do a more direct search. Just when Ruby about has her prisoners recaptured, Daisy makes a last minute rescue. She orders everyone else to get back to the ship while she squares off with Ruby and her Xena-disc. Really, why did Hydra decide that was the best weapon to give their super-soldier?
Ruby and Daisy face off in a fight that matches banter with blows as Ruby calls Daisy prettier in person. This follows the pattern of a lot of superhero fights on tv lately, with a lot of showy choreography and the combatants seeming to forget they have powers for most of the battle. Why Daisy still goes hand to hand with people when she can just blast them from a distance, which is much safer and better tactically, I don’t know. Deke disobeys orders to try and help, and manages to get shot as Hydra reinforcements show up. Daisy retreats, helping the wounded Deke back to the ship, while Hale gives Ruby a disapproving look.
They get airborne and call the Lighthouse, hoping to get medical help standing by. They don’t get an answer, and the next scene shows us some of why. Piper brings food to Fitz’s cell, and finds Mack locked inside instead. Piper’s question about where they went is answered as we see the trio infiltrating the base, finding a few fake warning signs along the way. Yoyo uses her new enhancements to help get them in, leading to some really unfortunate comments from Fitz.
Daisy and Deke argue aboard the Zephyr, which goes on until he falls over, coughing up blood. That’s never a good sign. They finally get back and Mack offers an update that brings most of the agents up to speed and confuses Coulson, who has missed a lot. For lack of a better option, Mack with his mechanic’s hands and Piper with her medic training get drafted into trying to save Deke’s life. That’d be an irony— surviving the future destruction to die decades before you were even born.
Hale and Ruby argue about how the escape was handled, and Ruby is sent to her room, which has been redecorated in her absence. Hale doesn’t trust either Ruby or Creel, which is smart on her part. While Ruby gets grounded, Fitz, Simmons, and Yoyo continue their rogue mission. They find something suspicious about one of the upper floors, and then get some confirmation of their suspicions when Ivanov shows up with some super-mechs backing him up.
Piper and Mack continue their improvised surgery (a phrase to strike terror into anyone with a brain) using a tablet for reference. They show their inexperience with a bad decision about anesthesia and not wearing surgical masks, but that might be part of this weird trend on hero shows and movies against covered faces, whether it makes sense or not. Coulson tells Talbot about the future, and Talbot wonders if he should have stayed in his cell. Can’t really blame him for that. Talbot questions sending Daisy on missions, and Coulson hints at an old injury acting up not telling the general how bad it is. Then we get to the most emotional scene of the episode, when May drags Coulson away and takes him to task for his recent decisions and his general acceptance of his fate. She questions him putting too much on Daisy, and then things turn a lot more personal, which leaves Coulson stunned as May makes a smirking exit.
Strucker goes to see Ruby, using his weird new memory trick to get her cell open. They debate what to do next, and he asks her some questions she’s never thought to put to herself. It’s a really interesting moment for her. Ivanov checks in with Hale over cell phone, but the report is interrupted when one of Fitz’s diversions kicks in outside. Simmons cleverly finds a secret door that lets them into an armory of sorts. The chamber that there’s been so much talk about is in here, and it looks a lot like something that played a major part in an Avenger’s origin.
Hale talks to her aide about Ivanov and contingency plans. When the general goes to check in on her daughter, she gets a few surprises in rapid succession. Ruby and Hale have a very sharp discussion which doesn’t go at all how Hale expected. Strucker is doing his own part of their plan, and it takes a toll on the Hydra Science Division. Ruby joins him a few moments later.
Daisy brings Talbot some new clothes, triggering a few flashbacks for the man. They talk about his near death at her look-alike’s hands. He makes a request that is heartfelt but Daisy can’t really help him with. Talbot rants about his own shortcomings and fears. Daisy makes a compromise offer and then gets down to business with Talbot.
Fitz engages in some sabotage, and he and Simmons have a talk about their “Can we change the future?” paradox. Yoyo passes on a dire warning from her future self. Their argument about the news stops when the mechs show up. Yoyo comes up with a good plan, but finds a downside to her recent upgrade which none of them saw coming. It was ugly, but believable.
Side discussions during surgery happens on medical shows, which I get. They have a certain amount of experience to go with their training. Mack and Piper have neither, but chat about what Yoyo and company are up to anyway as they work on Deke. The surgery doesn’t exactly go smoothly.
Fitz and Simmons may have a fix for Yoyo’s new problem, but they can’t do it in the middle of a fight. They come up with a new plan which has Fitz and Simmons in a running battle while Yoyo tries to go for help. Instead, she finds Ivanov, and there are two desperate fights going on in the complex. Yoyo finds out something really important about the mechs during her fight, which Fitz hopefully can exploit in the future. Just when things are looking better for our heroes, there’s another unfortunate development.
Piper and Mack have a very entertaining post-op scene with Deke. They gave him the good drugs, that’s for sure, and he babbles about some of his feelings. Piper gets in a lot of amusing lines in response. Fitz and Simmons have a brief burst of optimism, and then things get worse. The wrap up scene is between Talbot and Daisy which is emotional and tragic and, while it ends with a nasty twist, isn’t the one I was expecting, so points to the writers for that. Next episode is going to be really complicated.
What I liked: I feel really bad for Talbot. He’s been through a lot, and he’s not done suffering yet. Fitz and Simmons had some good scenes together, and Yoyo’s new problem, while unexpected, makes a lot of sense. The post-op scene was great. Ruby’s realization make me really curious about what else Hale has been up to that we haven’t seen. The May telling off Coulson scene was great.
What I didn’t: Daisy only using her powers sometimes in a fight doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. The combined intelligence of Fitz and Simmons, not to mention the practicality of Yoyo, means they should have come better prepared than they were. I feel really bad for Yoyo’s new issue, and the reveal about Talbot near the end.
It was a good episode with a lot of pieces starting to fall into place. I’ll give this a 4 out of 5. I’m really hoping they get another season, although that’s still up in the air.