The latest episode of Agents of SHIELD
was arguably the best we've seen all season, but "Girl in the Flower Dress" didn't particularly lend itself to standouts.
In fact, even leading up to the moments I started writing, I not only debated who to give the Agent of the Week Award to, I also considered not giving it to to anyone. That's how weak the individual performances were this time around.
But I'm not in the business of taking weeks off (I'm looking at you, FitzSimmons!) and I like a challenge. So let's break down who does and doesn't deserve accolades for their work in stopping Scorch the Hong Kong street magician.
Skye's Not-So-Dark Secret
First of all, there's no way a potential spy can be lauded, particularly the week she puts the whole team at risk to protect her mentor/boyfriend/secret mission. She also loses some points for being associated/knocking boots with a guy whose big line is "Alright, suit. You asked for it!" before jamming some traffic signals to aid in his getaway.
And the way Miles Lydon delivered it had me expecting him to shoot an oil slick out of his tailpipe, Spy Hunter-style, only to have his own car spin out and crash into a tree. But no tractor-trailer would be coming to scoop him up before Coulson got to him.
Skye did hack the Centipede facility system and break the lockdown (and in, like, two seconds, to boot), saving Coulson and May from the combustible Scorch, and she also eventually came clean about the fact that she is desperately searching for information about her parents, but it's not enough to totally get her out of the doghouse.
Sure, her deep, dark secret wasn't anything devious or something anyone wouldn't understand, but then why was it all necessary? Couldn't she have gone up to Coulson right after she helped save the day in Moldova and been like, Hey, goober, be the father figure that you seem to be and tell me what happened to my folks.
I certainly don't think he would've made her wear a metal tracking bracelet after that.
Leo Fitz and Jemma Simmons Take a Breather
Seriously, what the heck happened to these two this week? They got in their usual witty dialogue, but they totally stayed on the sidelines. They were on the bus practically the entire time, and when push came to shove, they let the hackers do the dirty work while they looked on in admiration.
At least we know Fitzy still has the hots for Skye, and it was cute how devastated he was that she didn't tell them about her guy friend.
Coulson and Ward Get Duped
It was a fine time for all this to come to light, as Agent Grant Ward was finally starting to emerge from his RoboCocoon. He actually paid Skye a compliment and smiled before the truth came out and he went back into shun mode.
He did his usual butt-kicking as they breached the facility, but he wasn't very active other than that. Oh yeah, and he repeatedly lost at Battleship. Thankfully, these two looooove each other, so I'm sure he won't stay mad at Skye for long.
As for Coulson, he trusted his gut, and it kind of let him down. Everyone is temporarily suspicious of Skye now, even though her intentions will obviously prove to be noble in the end.
He gets some bonus points for acknowledging that a non-violent solution to the Scorch problem was not realistic and for recognizing that Skye was still withholding information, but even he didn't do enough to rise above the pack.
May Says "I Told You So" in 17 Words
May played her usual role as the stone-faced female Ward by taking down all the baddies inside the lab and eventually pumping Scorch so full of Centipede serum that he combusted on the spot. She also longed for the olden days, when she and Coulson would throw down the mats and go at it for awhile (double entendre much?).
But she also got a little snippy about her Skye warning coming true, beating around the bush because she "doesn't do petty" and won't say "I told you so." Instead, she tells Coulson, "When somebody breaks into my house, I don't usually invite them to stay, but that's just me." So why use 17 words when you can use four? She's supposed to be cold-blooded and efficient!
So Who Wins?
The hell with it. The fifth Agent of the Week Award goes to Hong Kong SHIELD Agent Quan Chen. He was monitoring Chan Ho Yin before his Scorch transformation, so he immediately noticed the abduction and was on the ground through the entire operation. And all he got for the hard work was a fatal fireball to the chest.
So let's pour out some Centipede serum for our fallen brother, Agent Quan Chen. We hardly knew ye, compadre, and you left us far too soon. I hope your family is enjoying the extra $1 million from Miles in addition to whatever death benefits come with being an in-the-field SHIELD agent. I imagine they must be pretty sweet.
You can watch Agents of SHIELD every Tuesday at 8pm on ABC.