Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 7 Review: The Writing on the Wall

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Another excellent installment this week as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 7 finally gave us some answers about the alien glyphs.

Coulson appears to be cured now that he understands it's a city map. The director sure did struggle for those answers though and Clark Gregg was up to the task.

There might be hope for Fitz after all. And speaking of hope, what's Ward up to now? His gift to Coulson was an unexpected surprise.

Well mystery alien tattoo guy turned out to be a murderer. Not just any murderer mind you, but one connected to the GH formula trials. Though this character wasn't as interesting as I thought he would be, the situation certainly gave Coulson a chance to shine this week. Wasn't Clark Gregg fantastic in this episode?

Coulson's gone from carving 2 to 3 times a month... to weekly... to every day. "It wants us to know" he tells Skye. It was interesting watching poor Coulson unravel, as well as let his team in on the secret. I've been waiting for that, it was an important move.

May gave specific instructions, you go on a date with a crazy wall I have to chaperone.


Speaking of Skye, she seemed so certain in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 6 the alien writing was a map, I assumed she knew its purpose. Not so much, Skye tried matching the map to constellations, genomes etc with no luck. Guess if she had all the answers the mystery would be solved too quickly right?

I loved when she said "it's all connected." Marvel's been using that marketing slogan in reference to the Marvel Cinematic Universe a while now. This helps solidify the theory that the series is slowly unlocking clues about The Inhumans. I'm going to have to read up on that corner of the MCU because I'm not familiar with it at all.  

Elsewhere, the team tracked Ward and though Triplett had a clear shot I loved Ward knew S.H.I.E.L.D. was there. He was one of them, he knows the drill. Pretty impressive he had C-4 strapped to his body. The guy is so unstable you never know how he will react. Brilliant the way he made Bobbi on the bus as well. Brett Dalton is killing it this season. What a difference from Ward 1.0 right?

The random art teacher turned out to be a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, but more importantly she had been drawing the alien map as well.

Skye: You two don't have a single thing in common unless you have some Enya albums you've been hiding.
Coulson: No, nothing in common at all.
Skye: I take that back.

Though the whole "A Magical Place" thing started to bug me last season, it was cool to see the phrase on the painting. Finally the alien map started making some sense when Coulson informed us each person is drawing a different section.

The carving of the symbol on the corpse was brutal. The show is tougher and much darker this season. With each episode I understand the decision to switch over to the 9:00 p.m. time slot more. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is clearly not for the kiddies anymore.  

Learning that both the art teacher and her killer were T.A.H.I.T.I. patients was exciting. Were the writers about to go the way of Fringe's Cortexiphan trials? Doesn't seem like it, however the thought did occur to me.

Simmons: She had GH.325 in her blood.
Coulson: A T.A.H.I.T.I. patient?
Simmons: Whoever killed her also had GH.325 in their blood.

Simmons mentioned "hypergraphia" was one of the GH formula's side effects. Memory replacement was used to treat it, which is why the compulsion wasn't triggered in Coulson right away. When Simmons asked if either he or Skye were experiencing symptoms, I hoped he'd tell her the truth.

Anyone else surprised when Coulson said they'd have to torture the information out of him?

I was put in charge of the T.A.H.I.T.I. project so those people are my responsibility. If going back in this machine saves even one life, then it's worth the risk.


Coulson's flashback sequence was intense. Loved the shaky visual effects as the patients became more unstable. The host is thousands of years old, predating the pyramids we're told. Who exactly is the giant blue alien?

By the way, seeing Coulson's exposed brain was as disturbing as the first time they showed it last season. I'll never get used to that image. It was a rough scene, but as I mentioned Gregg was outstanding this week.

So Coulson remembered the killer, but I was shocked he locked Skye up and went to solve the case on his own. These little twists are fun and unpredictable.

The conversation between Mack and Fitz gave me hope that his condition is reversible. Though Iain De Caestecker has been phenomenal this season, I miss the old Fitz. Bring him back S.H.I.E.L.D. writers!

Fitz: He'll recover, he did before. Besides brains never delete files they just lose connections, but there's always a back up. It's just a matter of digging and finding them.
Mack: So you've got back up files too?

I was a little disappointed that Ward contacted HYDRA. Then, we learn he killed all the agents and delivered Sunil Bakshi to Coulson. Definitely a turn of events I wasn't expecting. Is this unhinged Ward trustworthy? Will you miss the beard? Looks like Senator Ward's in trouble.

Ultimately, Coulson and our killer are enlightened when they see the 3D model of the mysterious alien map. So it's a city, but in what galaxy? On Earth? Yup a whole new can of worms just opened up Ha!

Glad that Coulson is cured though, it was time to put the alien writing arc to rest. I absolutely loved that Coulson finally shared all the details with his team. That makes me happy, not sure Fury would have been that transparent.

Well that does it for me, what did you think of "The Writing on the Wall?" Where's this city? Is Coulson cured? Is Ward a good guy? Surprised he called Skye? Your turn fellow S.H.I.E.L.D. fanatics, hit the comments below and share your thoughts with me. Look for our Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. round table later this week.

Don't forget you can watch Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. online via TV Fanatic if you want to re-watch an episode or happen to have missed one.

The Writing on the Wall Review

Editor Rating: 4.7 / 5.0
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Rating: 4.7 / 5.0 (55 Votes)
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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 7 Quotes

Skye: You two don't have a single thing in common unless you have some Enya albums you've been hiding.
Coulson: No, nothing in common at all.
Skye: I take that back.

May gave specific instructions, you go on a date with a crazy wall I have to chaperone.