Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D: T.R.A.C.K.S. (1×13)
Summary: The team goes undercover on a train in an attempt to track down Ian Quinn. Things go wrong. It’s basically a better version of ‘The Train Job’ with more sadness and Stan Lee.
I have not been this stressed watching an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. since ‘FZZT.’ Oh god, why is everything awful right now?
The episode in a non-linear fashion tells of an undercover mission the entire team takes on a train going through the Italian countryside in order to track down Ian Quinn. It’s basically what would have happened if Joss Whedon and Tim Minear had more time to write ‘The Train Job.’
Without describing every single plot thread, this is what happens: the team makes it onto the train where they begin to track down a Cybertek package that is believed to be on its way to Quinn. May is in charge of finding it, Fitz and Skye are left to track it and Coulson, Simmons, and Ward are tracking the security team. However, it all hits the fan when the team realizes that they were sold out from the beginning and have to outrun the team run by Carlo Mancini. May is kidnapped and stabbed, but manages to escape and kill the man that sold them out. Ward and Coulson get back to the bus after being frozen by something similar to the Night-Night Gun and struggle with the tech. Simmons is sent to warn Fitz and Skye and similarly frozen herself. Fitz and Skye manage to escape and follow the package to Quinn.
Also, Stan Lee makes an appearance in a really hilarious scene with Simmons yelling at Coulson while assuming her undercover alias. That’s the happiest the episode gets.
What happens next is the saddest. It’s end of Dr. Horrible sad.
Skye makes it downstairs of the estate Quinn is staying at to find that Mike Peterson is still alive and being kept in a hyperbaric chamber. Quinn catches her downstairs and wakes Mike up to install the Cybertek device he purchased on him: a mechanical leg. He wonders if Mike would kill Skye, but he says those aren’t his orders. He walks out of the room without saying a word to Skye, even though she tries her best to reach out to them.
That’s when Quinn shoots Skye. Twice. On supposed orders.
Yeah, if anyone wants to see what heartbreak looks like, it’s the last ten minutes of this episode.
The rest of the team finds the estate thanks to the tracker Fitz and Skye set. Right around the time Mike throws Mancini through a window and has to escape since the Clairvoyant orders him not to engage S.H.I.E.L.D. The team catches Quinn and ask him where Skye is, which just makes him be all obnoxiously coy about it. They split up and May arrests Quinn. I kind of wish she had broken his nose in the process or something.
Coulson manages to find Skye, who’s lost a lot of blood and has no pulse. This is worse when you know she used the last of her strength to crawl for the door and cry for help. Coulson starts to crumble, but Simmons takes lead on the situation when they get downstairs and she notices the hyperbaric chamber. She gets the rest of the team to get Skye in there and manages to get her breathing again once she gets her core temperature down. Good Simmons.
The team makes it back to the Bus with Skye in the chamber and Quinn in custody. Simmons is terse since there isn’t a lot of time to help Skye before she maintains permanent brain damage and she ends up breaking down in front of Fitz in a very private moment after walking away from the rest of the team to clean up Skye’s blood from her hands.
Meanwhile, Ward gets angry and May tries to tell him not to blame himself for what happened. He looks May right in the eye and tells her that he doesn’t blame himself. Wait… what? Ward, are you seriously mad about the fact she told Coulson about you two doing it and then proceeded to let Coulson tend to her instead of you? You’re being irrational. Go home, Ward. You’re drunk.
Or maybe it’s classic misdirection and he’s going to punch Quinn in the face? I guess we’ll see in the next episode.
Meanwhile, Coulson just keeps a silent vigil next to Skye’s chamber. I DIDN’T ASK FOR THESE FEELINGS WHEN I STARTED THIS SERIES. I DID NOT.
In the end, we see Mike watching kids at a playground like some creep we know he isn’t. He asks the Clairvoyant if he can see Ace, to which the Clairvoyant responds “Not yet.” The zoom in on his leg reveals that it was a part of the Cybertek project titled Deathlok, meaning that we’re digging deeper into the Marvel Universe now.
Oh gods. This episode is fantastic in a classic Whedon heartripping way. Everything was funny or suspenseful, then it was terrible and stressful. Not to mention cliffhangery. The next episode doesn’t come out until March 4th. WHY? IS SKYE GOING TO LIVE?! THERE ARE SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT HER.
Yeah, if you’ve quit Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you might want to watch this episode and give it another shot because the plot is kicking into high gear. High, gut-punching gear.