Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Round Table: The Obelisk Absorbed

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This week, our resident S.H.I.E.L.D. fanatics discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 2.

Join staff writers Jim Garner, Allison Nichols, Kathleen Wiedel, Christine Orlando and Henry A. Otero - plus Helicarrier Podcast's Andy Behbakht - in a discussion about everything from Creel's return, to Hunter's betrayal and new BFF's FitzMack.

As always, your participation is most welcome, so don't be shy... jump in and let's talk S.H.I.E.L.D. guys!

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Shocking that Lance Hunter made a deal with General Talbot right? Did you think he'd follow through?

Allison: I didn't trust him. He has no loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. so it didn't surprise me when he did double cross Coulson and the team. What's great is that the writers made Hunter loyal to his friends, and so he didn't trade S.H.I.E.L.D. for Talbot, he played the game to get his friends what they deserved.

Jim: I agree with Allison, I didn't trust him at first, but as she pointed out he is loyal to his friends, so maybe it won't be to long before he is loyal to Coulson and the team. Either that, or Coulson should stop spending money re-tiling bathrooms.

Kathleen: I didn't find it shocking at all that Lance made a deal with Talbot. Lance is, after all, a mercenary. However, I am equally unsurprised that he didn't follow through with it. He's a lot less mercenary than he likes to claim he is, and as Allison and Jim have pointed out, he has a great deal of loyalty towards his friends. He single-handedly attacked Creel in an (ill-conceived) effort to take vengeance on their behalf, after all. Given the level of friendship he shared with Izzy, and the respect Izzy had for Coulson, I seriously doubted that Lance would follow through with handing up Coulson to Talbot on a silver platter.

Christine:  Not shocking because he is a mercenary. They tend to go to the highest bidder but I agree that it was nice to see Hunter at least loyal to his friends. If he's capable of loyalty he may eventually choose a side in this little war but until then he's a wild card on either side.

Andy: Well, since he is a mercenary, there is no telling what was going on in his mind, but I thought that he was going to follow it through once he iced May, Skye and Triplett. But luckily, he did it just so that he could stop Crusher Creel himself without getting anyone else hurt or killed.

Hank: As everyone mentioned because of his loyalty to Izzy and knowing she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, I guess I assumed (mercenary and all) he'd stick with Team Coulson. Hunter's back and forth throughout the episode makes me distrust him completely. At least Coulson's well aware of who Hunter is. Should make for an interesting partnership I think.

Creel accidentally absorbed the obelisk. What did you think of this turn of events?

Allison: It made me laugh, which probably sounds terrible. This shows that Creel is not stronger than anything. He is still human, even if he is a superhuman. Everyone has a weakness. It definitely was a cool twist.

Jim: I was less surprised by him absorbing the obelisk, and more surprised that Hydra seems to have an embedded psychological trigger phrase to make him compliant that also restored his control over the obelisk power he absorbed. I'm sure we will see more of this soon.

Kathleen: I found it somewhat satisfying. It's good to know that even the villains can screw up royally. From a viewer's perspective, it can be incredibly frustrating when the bad guys are always a step ahead no matter what the heroes do, so this was a nice twist of fate. On a side note, I wonder if Coulson would feel some sort of connection with Creel if Coulson were aware of Creel's clear mental conditioning courtesy of HYDRA - which is more ominous: compliance or Tahiti being a magical place?

Christine:  Oopsie. I felt worse for the poor waitress who ended up being collateral damage. Like Jim, I was more impressed that Hydra has such control over Creel. That could turn out to be a very dangerous thing.

Andy: I was intrigued by the fact that even though he is very powerful, he couldn't control it at first and I agree with Allison, it makes him still human. I was once again very happy with what they did with him in the episode. I was afraid that he was going to be killed off or so but they kept him and it allows them to bring him back later in the season.

Hank: I love Kathleen's answer. It gets old quick when the villains are always one step ahead our heroes. It was cool to see someone with such powerful abilities lose control. Great point Andy, on Arrow we're so used to the baddies being killed off it's refreshing to know Creel lives. He's a fantastic character!

Mack and Fitz worked together to save the day. Did you ever imagine the new guy would be the one to reach Fitz?

Allison: This was the best way to get viewers to fall in love with Mack. Instead of making it a competition between Fitz and Mack, they become friends. It's nice to see Fitz in a slightly less heartbreaking situation. Mack is no Simmons, but it is nice to see Fitz working and connecting to someone who is actually there.

Jim: I liked that it was the new guy, as Allison mentioned, having them team-up instead of compete was a nice twist for helping us really like the guy.

Kathleen: At first, I was a bit surprised Mack was the one to connect with Fitz, but when I stopped to think about it, it made more and more sense. Everyone else who knows Fitz remembers how he used to be. Mack, on the other hand, has no particular expectations of how Fitz is "supposed" to be. Furthermore, Mack's intuitive approach makes it much easier to decode Fitz's ramblings; that breakthrough ultimately saves the day.

Christine:  Not what I expected at all but I thought it was a great way to bring Mack into the fold. But I still can't believe that Simmons left Fitz there on his own. From the previews for next week, there's obviously a lot more to that story that we don't yet know.

Andy: I'm LOVING FitzMack (yes that's what I'm calling their ship). I never imaged that a new guy would be able to reach Fitz, but maybe that's why it was so genius. Hallucination-Simmons points out that Mack spoke to Fitz in a different way than the others and maybe that's why Fitz was responsive because he was being treated normally and not seen as the guy who is damaged. I want to see lots of FitzMack scenes in the next couple of episodes and I think this was a great episode for Henry Simmons (Mack).

Hank: Not expecting this team up at all, but like Allison said it was a terrific way for the writers to get us to fall for Mack. Christine is so right, still can't believe Simmons abandoned Fitz. I'm sure there's more to the story, but I can't help feel a little disappointed in her.

Hunter knocked out May, Skye and Tripp, how did you feel about his betrayal? Should Coulson trust his latest agent?

Allison: I am mainly excited to see how everyone reacts to Hunter joining the team. I want him to live in fear of May, and for her to just mess with him constantly. You don't cross May and live to tell about it. Hunter is definitely loyal. He proves that by everything he does for Hartley in this episode. I wouldn't send Hunter on too many solo missions, but I do think he can become a great asset to the team.

Jim: Coulson doesn't trust him fully, but he wants too. Coulson's warning about May holding and cherishing grudges was hilarious and I really think Hunter is going to end up regretting his choice to knock her out very soon.

Kathleen: Coulson understands where Hunter is coming from, emotionally speaking. After all, Coulson died doing something equally stupid when he went after Loki by himself in "The Avengers", though the specific motivations in both these cases are quite different. Coulson is willing to give Hunter the benefit of the doubt because Izzy spoke for him, and Hunter was loyal to Izzy. I suspect that Hunter is one of those people who gives loyalty when loyalty is given to them. All that being said, Lance should definitely watch his back, because Melinda May is most certainly going to take her revenge.

Christine:  Well, at least he didn't kill anyone but is that only because they made sure he wasn't carrying the lethal weapon? Like I said, Hunter is a wild card but Coulson has so few cards left I suppose he has to put him in play and see what happens.

Andy: I mentioned above that I got worried when he did that, but later on, it showed that he didn't want anyone else to die on the hands of Crusher Creel. I dig Nick Blood a lot as Lance Hunter, a character that I'm not familiar with from the comic books.

Hank: That's what I thought as well Christine. Had those not been night-night guns, our trio might be dead. Then again, they probably didn't trust him with a lethal weapon. Can't wait for May to dish out a little payback. Hope she gets him good Ha!

May is aware of Coulson's "episodes" and even photographed the alien writing. Surprising or what?

Allison: Once his monitor, always his monitor. I'm glad Coulson is letting someone in. He can't carry that burden all on his own while also trying to get S.H.I.E.L.D. running a bit more smoothly. I wish the rest of the team was aware of what is going on. Did they learn nothing from all the secret keeping that happened last season?

Jim: Not really surprised. She is the most senior agent after him and As Allison noted, she was assigned by Fury to monitor him, so it makes sense to keep that going.

Kathleen: Honestly, I'm glad they didn't try to draw out the "discovery" portion of this plot arc. How long could it possibly have gone on before someone noticed, anyway? At the very least, May and Coulson are doing their level best to control the issue and perhaps even learn something from his compulsive art project. It's clear how scared Coulson is that he's going to lose it completely, and, as Allison said, it's a good thing that Coulson isn't trying to handle this problem on his own. Right now, Melinda is Coulson's emotional anchor. Sooner or later, however, they will have to bring in others, the most obvious choice being Skye. She is, after all, the one in charge of the project of researching the mystery writing, plus she has a special affection for old "A.C." - enough to notice (and be worried about) a specific emotional change in his personality.

Christine:  May is Coulson's biggest ally and friend. They've obviously been through a lot together and he needs someone to know what's going on with him if he's going to survive. If anyone was to know, I'm glad it's May.

Andy: It makes total sense and wasn't really a surprise because May is one of the people Coulson trusts the most so I didn't react that much when it happened because I figured that she would have been one of the first persons he had told all about it.

Hank: Perhaps it was the way the scene played out that surprised me. Totally agree that if anyone were to find out about the alien writing May is the logical choice. At least they're trying to understand and document the "episodes," as Kathleen said. There's no way Coulson would be able to do that without May.

Why was Raina able to pick up the obelisk and how does Skye's father know so much about it?

Allison: Obviously the obelisk appreciates Raina's love of flowers. I don't know. Maybe because it could sense that Raina is curious and not power hungry. She is just so interesting in everyone who is special, and she really doesn't care for world domination or anything. Skye's father...I just have too many questions to even guess. I need a refresher of what we knew about him before this episode and then about twenty more answers.

Jim: First, I suspect that Raina is also gifted in a way that allowed her to touch the obelisk. On the other hand, Did we meet Skye's dad before? I remember Raina going to see "something" at the end of last season, but I don't remember us seeing a face.

Kathleen: You got me. I'm sure we'll find out more about the obelisk and Skye's Dear Old Dad in future episodes. He first appeared near the tail end of "Beginning of the End", the season 1 finale episode, as a mysterious blood-soaked figure. All we really know so far is that Raina works with (for?) him, and that he's super creepy and apparently knowledgeable about magic mystery artifacts. Stay tuned for more, folks!

Christine:  Jim's right. I'm assuming that is Skye's father but do we know that for sure? Is there any chance that Raina and Skye are related? Could they have some type of connection? We still have a lot more questions than we do answers.

Andy: It's those dresses, man. They have superpowers! OK, maybe not but I think it pretty much confirms that Raina has something super inside of her and I'm so psyched about Kyle MacLachlan playing Skye's father. There are theories going on right now on the internet that SHIELD is perhaps introducing the Inhumans to the Marvel Cinematic Universe via the show and that perhaps, Skye's father is one of them. I'm intrigued to get to learn more about him as the season progresses.

Hank: Allison and Andy make an amusing duo! My thinking is along the lines of what Jim said. Raina's always talked about being special, perhaps she truly is. Marvel spilled the beans on MacLachlan playing Skye's father in a press release, so that's a sure thing. I mentioned The Inhumans in last week's round table and it would be phenomenal if that's the direction Marvel is taking with Skye and her father. We'll see!

You're up fellow Agents! Join the discussion in the comments below and share your thoughts on this week's events. We'll see everyone right back here next week for #3.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 2 Quotes

Skye: Fitz would be crushed if he saw this. He's been working on cloaking since before Simmons took off.
Triplett: Still can't believe she abandoned him like that.
Skye: She abandoned all of us.

Hunter: Well that's just marvelous. Talbot wants me dead and now I have no funds to run with. Any tips?
Coulson: Yeah, don't run. Work for me instead.
Hunter: Creel must have hit you in the head. I shot three of your agents.
Coulson: Including Agent May, not a smart move.
Hunter: Is she the type that holds a grudge?
Coulson: Savors it actually. No doubt you've made some mistakes, so have I like letting you go after Creel but I felt for you.
Hunter: Yeah and I took advantage of that. How do you know I won't do it again?
Coulson: I don't, but the reality is I don't have a fleet of Hellicarriers, or Quinn Jets or thousands of agents at my disposal anymore. We're lucky we still have our George Foreman grill.
Hunter: You need warm bodies is that it?
Coulson: I need skilled assets in the field who are willing to step over the line. To do the wrong thing but for the right reason. I need you because I can't be you. Not anymore.