Coulson taking another trip down amnesia lane was pure torture on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 7. However, the payoff was certainly worth it as his hypergraphia appears to be cured. Not to mention, the alien glyphs in 3-D revealed a city.
Join TV Fanatics Jim Garner, Allison Nichols, Christine Orlando, Kathleen Wiedel, and Henry A. Otero - plus Andy Behbakht of the Helicarrier Podcast as we discuss the T.A.H.I.T.I. project, Ward's surprising "gift," the alien glyph reveal and more.
Were you surprised the mystery alien tattoo guy turned out to be a murderer? Did you expect him to be ex-S.H.I.E.L.D.?
Jim: I was not surprised he was a murderer, he had that feeling when he walked into the tattoo shop. Being ex-shield on the other hand, that was a bit of a shock.
Andy: Wasn't a big surprise that he was a murderer because judging from the preview photos that came out before the episode, made him look crazy. I expected him to be a former agent as the promo was teasing about the T.A.H.I.T.I. project having something to do with it so it made sense.
Allison: I wasn't all that surprised either. I was surprised at how he reacted during the T.A.H.I.T.I. trials. He was creepily calm and put together while everyone else was losing their mind.
Christine: He seemed pretty creepy so it wasn't a shock when he took out that knife but ex-S.H.I.E.L.D., that one I didn't see coming and it was a pretty good twist.
Kathleen: Totally not surprised that the creepy tattoo dude turned out to be a creepy psycho murderer. When I first watched the episode, I was somewhat surprised he turned out to be SHIELD, but it makes total sense in hindsight.
Hank: Like everyone else said, alien tattoo guy being the killer didn't surprise me. However, the fact he was ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. and part of the T.A.H.I.T.I. trials threw me for a loop. I never realized there were so many test subjects, or that the memory wipe was performed on others. Great stuff!
Share your thoughts on the new details about the T.A.H.I.T.I. project and Coulson's intense flashbacks.
Jim: First, I'm surprised they had so many test subjects right out of the gate. You would think they would have started with 1 maybe 2 just to make sure it was safe. Then again, this was SHIELD and they were really blind to what was happening right inside their own walls. Regardless, Coulson is now going to carry some more guilt baggage around.
Andy: It was a L.O.T. of new information and it makes the project a lot deeper and creepier. I'm so tired of seeing Coulson in pain so much because hasn't he suffered enough after, you know, that little incident in The Avengers? This was some of Gregg's most compelling performances ever and I'm hoping for Coulson to be able to catch a break in the next few episodes.
Allison: I agree with Jim, it was surprising that so many people were tested. It doesn't seem like the smartest move. The doctor was also surprisingly calm about the side effects that the people were experiencing. You would think she would be a little more concerned.
Christine: I'm with Andy, enough with torturing Coulson. I really wish the poor guy could take a vacation to the real Tahiti…or maybe he'd prefer Hawaii at this point instead. I wouldn't blame him if he never visited the lovely island from his nightmares.
Kathleen: I think Coulson would rather go to Alaska than anywhere tropical at this point, but I agree with the others - let's give poor Coulson a break! Anyway, it was nice to see all the backstory fitting together. Coulson's flashback dovetailed nicely with the video message Fury showed him about the T.A.H.I.T.I. project. It was very enlightening to see the degeneration of the various test subjects from rational human beings to being driven utterly mad by their compulsions. Not a vision I'd like to look forward to, myself.
Hank: As Jim and Allison mentioned it was crazy there were so many "volunteers" for the trials. These new details definitely made the T.A.H.I.T.I. program more intricate and volatile. I'm even more surprised Fury subjected Coulson to that torture. Couldn't agree with Andy more, Clark Gregg knocked it out of the park this week. Please S.H.I.E.L.D. writers, quit torturing poor Coulson.
Does the conversation between Fitz and Mack about the brain's back up files give you hope for Fitz?
Jim: Short of saying "Don't worry the writers won't leave me this way" that conversation was as big of message as we are likely to get that they have good plans for Fitz.
Andy: Oh totally. There is a reason why that memory machine was back (still don't get why it wasn't destroyed last season) and I bet that he will be using it himself sooner or later. I could see it happen in episode 10 (the mid-season finale) and it will end on a cliffhanger with us not knowing if the machine helps him or not.
Allison: I'm hoping this is a little bit of foreshadowing. It's a small enough moment that it could be. What will be interesting is seeing who makes the first move to find Fitz's back up files. This would be a good way to get Simmons and Fitz back on friendlier terms.
Christine: It wouldn't surprise me at all if it was used on Fitz but that there ended up being a consequence, like perhaps his intellect and communication function goes back to normal but he can't recall his feelings for Simmons any longer.
Kahtleen: It does sound like major hint-dropping to me - and a good way to get some good Fitz-Simmons scenes, especially since she's the biochemist of the pair. I have to say how much I love the Fitz-Mack pairing. Mack is wonderful with Fitz, getting him seemingly-unconventional therapy like playing video games to improve his hand-eye coordination. Just plain awesome.
Hank: Kathleen you're so right, the Fitz-Mack pairing is incredible and healthier for him in my opinion. The "brain's back up files" talk is definitely a hint Fitz will be sitting in the memory machine at some point. Though I want genius-Fitz back, his journey this season has helped showcase Iain De Caestecker's immense talent.
Talk about Ward dodging S.H.I.E.L.D. at every turn. Did you ever imagine he'd turn on HYDRA and deliver Bakshi to Coulson?
Jim: I wasn't surprised he could dodge SHIELD, he knows how they work, so that would be fairly straight forward. However, I was a bit shocked that he turned on HYDRA. For the first time in his life he is actually in control of it. Now, what he does with it is going to be interesting.
Andy: He is a crazy cookie right now so it wasn't really a surprise, although I'm so worried about what SHIELD will do to Bakshi because I love him. I'm excited to see what will happen with Ward next week, especially now that we know that he is going after his brother.
Allison: I figured he would do whatever it takes to get back into Skye's and the team's good graces. Ward isn't loyal to HYDRA. He made a point when talking to Skye to say just that. Ward doesn't really fear HYDRA all too much either. He is smart and takes advantage of his position - HYDRA knew he worked with Garrett and was a double agent for him. What they didn't count on was Ward being on a redemption mission of sorts.
Christine: Ward has become a real wild card. I didn't expect him to turn on HYDRA but now his focus seems to be split in two: Get closer to Skye and get revenge on his brother. Both should be interesting to watch.
Kathleen: Grant Ward is completely Froot Loops nuts at this point. He's giving Skye and Coulson "gifts" apparently to win back their affection, but it's only a matter of time before he realizes that it's not working - no matter what he does in the future, it won't erase the crimes of the past. Once he realizes this, all bets are off.
Hank: I thought it was great the way Ward was toying with the new agents. Like seriously this is the best you've got now Coulson? When Ward met with HYDRA I was kind of disappointed he returned to them, but then he killed the agents and delivered Bakshi to Coulson which I loved. Wasn't expecting that at all. I can't imagine Coulson would "officially" take him back, but at the same time he's not going to reject Ward's "gifts."
We learned the 3-D the alien glyphs reveal a city. Any theories about this city? Is it on Earth? Or in a different galaxy?
Jim: I suspect the city is on earth, or at least was. I'm guessing Mayan. Then again, maybe it is a Kree city or Kree world that we haven't seen yet. should be fun to see where this goes now that the "scribbling on walls" part is done.
Andy: I'm agreeing with some websites out there that the city is Attilan, the home of the Inhumans. I'm still learning about it so I can't say more than that, but I definitely think it's Attlian because they are giving so many Inhumans teases at this point that they are literally saying "We are bringing in the Inhumans to the show".
Allison: I honestly don't know. I have zero comic book knowledge. so I can't even guess. I don't think it is a human city, or at least a modern human city. There would have to be a really good reason why an alien was so focused on a human city. Perhaps the city has religious connotations for the alien. I am just throwing out random thoughts right now. I know nothing.
Christine: I don't know enough about the Marvel Galaxy back story to even guess but I'm thrilled that Coulson's done with all of that etching. The twist that the "map" was actually a 3D blueprint for a city was pretty cool.
Kathleen: I agree, it was really cool seeing the carvings come to life in 3-D. I was actually reminded of a scene in an episode of Doctor Who with Martha Jones looking at a holographic map - "What, there's more? In 3-D!" Not having read any of the comic books, I really couldn't offer up any theories about the city, but I'm willing to go with Andy's Inhumans angle.
Hank: Commenter Fritz left me a note in this week's review about Attilan. I immediately googled it and read up on the ancestral home of the Inhumans. The city's been located everywhere from the North Atlantic Ocean... to the Himalayas... to New York and even the Moon. While this is the most exciting theory, I'm trying to control my expectations in case the writers go with something else. I am currently brushing up on my Inhumans!
Please share YOUR thoughts on the mysterious city and all the other topics in the comments below.
Here's your first look at next week's all-new Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 8.