Thursday, April 17, 2014

Elementary: No Lack of Void (2x20)

I'm on a serious time crunch and I'm behind on my reviews and also I have a life outside of watching TV, believe it or not, so this is going to be an exercise in speed-typing.

Joan is asked to examine someone who collapsed in a holding cell, and she finds that the man is dead, from anthrax poisoning. The hunt is on to find the people responsible. Through many twists and turns, Joan and Sherlock first think the anthrax is tied to a radical political organization, but eventually discover a simpler truth: two brothers wanted to poison their cows with anthrax so they could make millions on the insurance. 

Meanwhile, Sherlock's friend Alistair dies of a drug overdose. Sherlock wants to figure out what triggered the overdose, because Alistair had been clean for decades, and Sherlock is afraid of what this means for his own future sobriety. He acts out, behaving recklessly on the case by following dangerous men into a mysterious dark space. At one point he even gets covered in a powder that he initially believes to be anthrax, but it turns out it was fake. Joan is really worried about him, but Sherlock assures her that he's not close to a relapse. In the end, he visits Alistair's grave and tells him that he loved him very much and that he will be missed.

I honestly don't know if I have a single complaint about this episode. You know, at first when the anthrax thing happened, I was wondering if we were going to have a plot thread where we thought Joan or Sherlock was in danger from the anthrax, and then we'd get to see lots of freaking out and worrying. And that's all well and good, but you know what I love about this show? It's a show about two consultants. They get in to some sticky situations, occasionally, but they're not in imminent threat of dying nearly as often as characters in procedural crime shows usually are. In a strange way, it's much more realistic. I love that.

Joan really took the lead in the anthrax case, in a certain sense. She's very well composed and very astute. She took on parts of the case without Sherlock at all, and was able to make some important discoveries. You go, girl.

Sherlock's emotional journey in this episode was actually a bit difficult to watch at times. My favorite bit was when he acknowledged that he was making Alistair's death all about him, and that he needed to work out his feelings about it all. Also, Sherlock's continued devotion to his sobriety warms my heart. He assures Joan that he would have talked all of this out with her eventually, even if she hadn't pushed him on it. He wants to be honest about what he's going through. And seriously - that scene at the end with the graveyard was really touching. I teared up a little bit!

Yikes. This is really short. Well, I did tell you I was in a hurry!

9/10

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Grey's Anatomy: I'm Winning (10x19)

Okay. Jumping right in!

Christina gets nominated for a Harper Avery award, and while everyone else makes a big deal, she tries to play it cool. Meredith is seething with jealousy, but she covers it well, going overboard in showing her support by planning a champagne toast. Bailey is also very jealous, and at first refuses to talk to Christina about the nomination. Bailey has been stuck on her genome mapping project, and is just waiting for a breakthrough, hopefully one that can save the life of the boy with no immune system, who still hasn't been able to come out of his isolation. While working on a surgery with Webber, Bailey has a breakthrough about the genome project and rushes off to start working on it. She also finally tells Christina congratulations.

Christina tries to help the family with three kids with heart defects. It looks like the son might die, but Christina finds a possible solution. The only problem is, it's still in trials and doesn't have FDA approval. Owen calls the FDA and when he name drops Christina Yang, future winner of the Harper Avery, they get permission. It looks like the boy is doing well with the experimental treatment.

Alex decides to take the private practice job, to Jo's delight. Stephanie uses Shane as a swap monkey so she can work with Christina on the heart trial, and Shane will get stuck with Bailey. Derek and Callie get exciting new equipment that can map out emotions in the brain. This machine helps Callie realize that she wants another kid. She tells Arizona, and although they're both excited for Sophia growing up so they can get their lives back, they also decide they really want another kid. Owen and Christina celebrate her nomination, and Owen reveals that he thinks Christina will win. Christina agrees. April is overwhelmed by Jackson's extravagant spending. It seems she's not used to being married to a rich guy.

I realized when writing that summary that it was sort of a confusing episode to follow. Lots of twisting in and out of different plot threads. But that's not a bad thing at all. Sometimes it can make everything more interesting when it's all tangled up like this. What did I not like?

April and Jackson have just been sort of rubbing me the wrong way ever since they got married. I can't tell if we're supposed to think all these newlywed squabbles are adorable, or if they're the sign of larger problems to come. What's the endgame, here?

Really random little subplot that I didn't even mention above: Leah wants to see a picture of Ellis Grey with her first Harper Avery award. Richard has one he carries around in his wallet. Are we supposed to think that's sweet? It's just weird! Richard and Ellis had an affair that broke up a marriage, traumatized a little girl, and did countless other damages. I don't really look back on that whole thing with fond memories...

But ultimately, this episode was about Christina, and the stuff with her, I loved. Her attempt to be nonchalant about the award was really neat. I love the fact that she notices all of the extra attention, and really doesn't know how to process it. The moment when she was in the OR practicing for the surgery and the intercom was on, so she could hear everyone heaping lavish praise on her... that was priceless. And the scene at the end with Owen! That took me back to early days of their relationship. I hope she actually does win the award. It would be a fitting and positive way to say goodbye to this character that's stuck by us for so long.

Other things I enjoyed: Alex is taking the job! This should be an interesting change. Arizona and Callie want another baby! I loved it when Callie was getting her brain scanned and her pleasure centers lit up when Meredith walked in with Baby Bailey. At first, Derek thought Callie had a crush on his wife. Ha. The little girl, Frankie, running around the hospital and being friends with all the doctors. All of this stuff was delightful.

I'll leave it there! Despite a few less-than-perfect moments, I still overall enjoyed this episode quite a lot, especially for the way it explored Christina's character.

8/10

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Big Bang Theory: The Relationship Diremption (7x20)

Last time I wrote one of these reviews I managed to keep it very, very, short. Let's try and do that again.

Raj sets up a double date with Bernadette and Howard, so they can meet Emily. We learn that Lucy didn't approve of Raj dating both of them at the same time, so now Raj is down to just one girl. Howard predicts that Raj will mess things up with Emily, but when he finally meets her on the double date, he realizes to his horror that he recognizes her: years ago, he was set up on a blind date with her, but he clogged her toilet and was so embarrassed that he climbed out her window, never to see her again. Howard ends up being the brunt of all the jokes, instead of Raj.

Lots of gross, immature poop jokes. Not really my cup of tea. The only decently amusing bit was when Emily talks about her job, and we get the sense that something might be a bit... off about her, as she says she loves getting to cut people with knives. That could be funny to explore more in the future.

Sheldon starts to doubt that he'll ever get anywhere with string theory. Penny tells him that maybe it's time for him to "end the relationship" with string theory and try something else. Sheldon goes through a "breakup," letting Penny give him a new, more attractive look, getting drunk, trying to figure out a new scientific focus... he even drunk dials Stephen Hawking, and spends the night reading a geology text book, which he says his not a real branch of science.

There were a few decent moments in here, such as when Penny tells Sheldon that she understands what it's like to pour your heart into something and get nothing in return. Sheldon asks her if she's talking about her acting career, or her relationship with Leonard. I also liked Amy's "sex on a stick line," and some of Sheldon's messages to Stephen Hawking were okay. In particular, at one point he just says "I kiss girls now," apropos of nothing.

However, other parts of this plot thread really rubbed me the wrong way, such as Sheldon making a couple of insensitive jokes about Stephen Hawking's inability to answer the phone, and the way Leonard asking for his inhaler and showing visible signs of his health problems was supposed to be seen as a sign that he's not a good catch for Penny.

Yay, I kept it short! I didn't enjoy this one. I know that The Big Bang Theory is going to be around for years to come, but I might not stick it out until the end. It's trying my patience.

5/10

Monday, April 14, 2014

Parenthood: I'm Still Here (5x21)

Yikes, this one was a bit of a tear jerker. We didn't check in with Zeek and Camille this week, instead we focused on the other characters. Let's get started.

Adam, Kristina, Julia, and Mr. Knight are continuing to push forward with plans for the school. They find a historical building that Kristina really loves, but it looks like it will be difficult to get. Kristina learns that Gwen is dying, and goes to say goodbye to her good friend. Kristina is determined to get the building, and goes to Bob Little to try to get him to help. Bob is hesitant, but Kristina reminds him that it's the right thing to do. Gwen dies, and Kristina decides to name the school after her.

Amber brings Max to Hank's place a few times, and is impressed by how well Hank handles Max, and gets him to finish his homework. As Amber leaves Hank's place, she gets a phone call and learns that Ryan has been in an accident. She's panicking, so Hank offers to drive her. They wait at the hospital, where they can't see Ryan because he's in surgery. Sarah, meanwhile, isn't sure what to do about Hank. She can't decide if she thinks she could be with him again, and part of that is because of his possible aspergers. She rushes to the hospital when she hears about Ryan, to see Amber asleep on Hank's shoulder. Amber goes in to see Ryan, who is badly injured, but looks pleased to see her.

Natalie tries to talk to Drew, but he's still angry with her about sleeping with Berto. Finally, she demands Drew's attention long enough to talk about how she's feeling. She says that she felt forgotten when Amy showed up, and Drew ditched her. Drew doesn't seem ready to accept this just yet. However, Drew finally does go to Natalie, and tells her that he was angry, and maybe he just needs to scream it out. He then tells her that he doesn't want to be just friends, and he doesn't want to sleep around. He wants Natalie to be his girlfriend. Natalie says yes.

Crosby asks for Joel to come over and take a look at his floor. Joel doesn't want to get tricked in to doing the work for Crosby, so at first he tells Crosby to do it himself. However, after a talk with Peet, Joel does indeed go over to Crosby's and help him fix the floor. Jasmine and Jabbar are thrilled to be back in their own home! Joel realizes that he's a family man first, and he starts to make the first step towards reconciliation with Julia. He goes over to her house and asks her how she's doing with Zeek and Camille selling the house. The two of them have an actually pleasant conversation about something other than the kids. Julia, after having sex with Mr. Knight, goes over to his house and tells him it was a one time thing. He doesn't seem to mind, and they part amicably.

I guess that's it for the plot. What I realized when writing this is that most of these plots are interconnected very well. Sarah talks to Adam about Hank... Adam and Kristina deal with this school stuff... Julia is also mixed up in that, just as Joel starts making things better between them... and Joel came to his realization when working with Crosby on the floors. I like that. Without having one big unifying event, like a dinner or a party, we still got a real sense of how these families are tied up in each other - how they are simultaneously multiple families, but also one big one.

But let's look at a few weaker moments.

Drew and Natalie. I'm just not convinced. I'm not convinced that Natalie had any right to be mad at Drew for Amy, and I'm also not convinced that Drew had any right to be mad at Natalie for Berto. The whole thing was just... off for me. Natalie always acted like Drew was a good friend who she didn't mind sleeping with. She didn't seem to want a relationship until suddenly Drew wasn't available for one anymore. That doesn't seem to bode well, in my opinion.

Also, I get sort of annoyed with how much everyone is catering to Max. For example, in this episode he throws a tantrum, and Hank fixes the problem by agreeing with Max that adults are stupid when they change schedules. I don't think Hank should be reinforcing these harmful thoughts, even if it does help Max do what he's supposed to do in the moment. Maybe some more discussion of this is necessary.

But let's talk about the good stuff.

I loved, loved, loved the conversation between Sarah and Adam about Hank. It feels so realistic to me that Sarah would be struggling with the thought of dating someone with aspergers. It's not about Sarah being a bad, ignorant person, it's about her being a human being with certain insecurities and the knowledge that Hank has real problems with his relationships. She doesn't want to get hurt again. But she can see how hard Hank is trying to do better, and she's happy about it.

Mae Whitman's acting. Of course this is always praise-worthy, but she did a really good job with the breakdown when she found out that Ryan had been hurt. All of the scenes with Amber and Hank from that point on were just really lovely. It was so funny and yet unexpectedly sweet to see Hank let Amber fall asleep on him.

Joel! Finally, man, you're seeing some sense. I was getting so fed up with him over these past few episodes. Now maybe he's finally getting past some of this stuff? Of course, Julia sleeping with Mr. Knight will have to come out eventually, and I'm sure that will make things even worse for a while. But for the first time, I saw some hope that we're working towards a reconciliation between Julia and Joel, and I'm excited about that.

Crosby has gotten back into his house! I was a bit disappointed that the whole mold plot didn't give us more screen time for Crosby and his family. Crosby used to be one of the best things about the show, but lately I've been worrying that he's not getting enough interesting plot threads. Hopefully that will change very soon. I feel good about the fact that he's back in his own territory and can finish this season off on a strong note.

Yeah, I should mention - next week's episode is the season finale. Jeez! That went fast. All I can hope for is that this season of Parenthood leaves us off with some strong setups for next time. I hope they don't try to wrap things up in pretty bows, since I think a lot of this stuff needs some serious unpacking.

Okay, I'll stop there! I'm excited to see what the finale brings!

8/10

Parks and Recreation: Flu Season 2 (6x19)

Ahhhh! I'm so excited. Even though I'm not all that surprised... I'm very excited. Let us take a look at what happened in this lovely episode.

Apparently, it's flu season, and Jerry/Gary/Larry has been infected, so Leslie makes him stay in quarantine in the office. Leslie feels herself getting sick too, but she must power through. Leslie and Andy have to go find a leading act for the unity concert. Their first choice is a young country artist who ends up being a total jerk. Next, they go to a member of an old band that's broken up. Leslie and Andy convince him to get the band back together to play at the unity concert! Also, Leslie finds out that she doesn't have the flu - she's pregnant!

Meanwhile, Tom is trying to find a wine expert to hire for his new restaurant. While there, Tom must compete for the best wine guy with other restaurateurs. Tom loses out, but he ends up hiring Craig, who is equally knowledgeable about wine, even if he is wildly over the top.

Ben learns that his parents have sold the family's cabin. He's very upset about it, and wants to talk about it with Ron. Ron is... Ron, so he's not the best at listening to other people's problems. Ben gets very drunk. At this point, Ben and Ron run into the other Ron, the one from Eagleton. Eagleton Ron encourages Ben to let go of his anger. Ben is grateful for his help, but it doesn't work. He realizes that the reason he's upset about his parents selling the cabin is that he had always imagined going there with his own kids someday. He comes home and tells Leslie that he's ready to start a family with her. Leslie gets to tell him her big news!

So... flaws? I think Ben's drunk act was a bit... silly. Or not silly enough. It wasn't over the top or understated enough for me. It just sat somewhere in the middle. There was one moment that had me cracking up, though, when the other Ron emerges from the woods and Ben, wide eyed, just asks what's happening right now. That part was perfect.

There's this moment where Andy reveals that he knows Leslie is pregnant, but then it turns out he thought Leslie and Ben were getting a dog. I really wish they had just let Andy have this moment of intelligence and insight, rather than turning it into another stupid joke. It would have been a nice subversion of our expectations... instead we just got more of the same.

But for the most part, this episode was pretty great, and had a lot of funny jokes! Here are some of my favorites:

April acting like a wine connoisseur. This was just priceless comedy. She's such a weirdo, I love it. Craig is also hilarious. In the end, when he serves Donna, Tom, and April as a test of his abilities, he proved himself to be quite adept, but then he had to go and scream about how awful it was to drink red wine with fish. Really great.

Ron taking care of Ben. Even if drunk Ben wasn't the funniest, Ron caring for Ben was pretty sweet. It seems like no matter who you put with Ron, he ends up taking on that sweet, fatherly role. It's just too adorable.

When Andy is playing one of his songs for the band member, he was acting all high and mighty about his lyrics, which were basically just the same two words repeated over and over. That got a few chuckles out of me.

Also, Leslie's pregnant! They had better not put her new career aspirations on hold... I hope she still goes on to do big things, even though she'll now have a family at home as well. I'm so excited to see how this new surprise changes the whole show!

I'll leave it there. Can't wait to see more!

8/10

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Suits: No Way Out (3x16)

I'm so sad the season is over. I want... I want more. I want my weekly fix. It's odd - I watch a lot of shows that should be more compelling than this one... I watch a lot of shows with bigger fandoms... and yet somehow Suits always becomes the show I'm most excited about when it's on. It just... the characters are so dynamic. Every single one of them has complexities. Even the bad guys are well rounded. And that's not to mention that the Harvey/Mike bromance is one of the most understated and beautiful relationships I have ever seen on TV. Let's talk about the plot.

Mike is staying, which is good news... but only to an extent. Harvey is glad that his protégé is staying, but he still wishes he could tell Scottie the truth about what's going on. Mike gets to stay in the job he loves, but Rachel is mad at him for choosing to remain a fraud. Things get even more complicated when US Attorney Eric Woodall brings Mike in for questioning. At first, Harvey panics and thinks Mike has been caught for being a fraud, but it turns out it's about the Hessington Oil case instead.

Mike and Harvey quickly learn that this Eric Woodall guy is actually after Harvey - he wants Mike to turn on Harvey, which of course Mike would never do. Things keep getting worse - since Harold Gunderson was in on the Hessington thing, he's a major liability for them. As Harvey and Jessica start to question what they've become and how much bending of the law they've done recently, Mike and Harold get arrested.

Now, it's all down to Mike and Harold holding out - as long as they stick to their story, Woodall won't have any hard evidence against them. Mike is holding strong, but Harold is getting ready to cave. Harvey and Louis burst in on the scene. Harvey is Mike's lawyer, and Louis is Harold's. Louis goes in to convince Harold to stay quiet, while Mike and Harvey wait it out in the other room.

Harvey tells Mike that if it comes down to it, Mike should turn him in. Mike gets angry, insisting that he would never turn on Harvey, no matter what happened. Things escalate between them, and Harvey demands that Mike let him take the fall if necessary. Luckily, it looks like it won't come to that, as Louis convinces Harold to hold his tongue.

Scottie is increasingly upset that no one will tell her the truth about what's going on. She asks to be let out of her non-compete, and Harvey sadly agrees. He tells Scottie the truth about Mike, but she says she has to leave anyway. Harvey says he understands - he's just tired of lying to the people he loves.

Mike has realized exactly how much Harvey has had to sacrifice since hiring him, and how many times Harvey has twisted things around to help protect Mike's secret. Mike knows that he has to do the right thing to protect the people he cares about, so he tells Harvey that he's taking the job with Jonathan Sidwell. Although Harvey doesn't like it, he understands. This isn't going to be the end of their friendship, though - now, Mike is Harvey's client, which sort of makes him the boss!

I don't even know if I have anything to complain about. I guess if I were going to be picky, I'd say I really don't understand why Scottie was even here to begin with. Finally, Harvey tells her the truth, but she's just going to leave anyway? Was all of that just to give Harvey the opportunity to learn to open up? I think we've already seen that with him and Mike! I felt like it was a bit too casual of a reaction. Harvey says that he's committed a serious crime, and Scottie just shrugs it off. Also, did Harvey tell Mike that he was going to tell Scottie the secret? I feel like Mike should have been in on that decision.

But honestly. Let's not waste time on a few nitpicks. Let's talk about all the things that made this episode AWESOME.

First of all, Jessica and Harvey realizing how far they've fallen. What an interesting dynamic to explore. Both of them have done some very questionable stuff. Even some downright illegal stuff. And it was very satisfying to see them come to terms with it and make a conscious decision to try harder and do better.

Donna telling it like it is! I still hope we can give her another story line to herself in the future, but her role as Harvey's conscience is just so interesting and well done. She's honest with him, but she's not perfect - when Harvey asks her if she wants him and Scottie to succeed, she can't say yes... all she knows is that she wants Harvey to be happy. I know we didn't get to see it, but I hope that Mike came and told Donna that he was leaving, but that he had talked it all out with Harvey and that things are going to be okay. I think that Mike would want to go to Donna and tell her to look after Harvey now that he won't be around all the time.

Also, one of my favorite insights in this whole episode was when Donna and Jessica talked about Harvey and Mike. Donna says that she was okay with Harvey hiring a fraud because it meant that Harvey had found a protégé that he would be forced to look after and protect. It's what made Harvey into the man he is today.

Rachel getting mad at Mike. I'm sure some people thought she was being unreasonable, but you have to give the girl a break, here. She fell in love with a criminal. She has to live with the knowledge that if Mike gets caught, she could lose him. It's a tricky situation. Also, it was so sweet when the two of them hugged after Mike got released from the Attorney's office. She was just so relieved to see him and know that he was okay! I think their relationship will vastly improve now that Mike's not in constant danger of being discovered. But seriously, how awesome was it when Rachel called Mike out on the fact that he seems to prioritize his relationship with Harvey over his relationship with her? You tell it like it is, girl! (But for real, can we push forward with the whole "Rachel goes to law school" thing soon? I'd love to give her some more non-Mike related screen time).

Another great scene was the one between Jessica and Rachel. After all the turmoil they've been through together, it was nice to have a reminder that they're on the same side, and that they're going to be family soon, since Rachel will soon be a lawyer working for their firm.

Louis gets to be a bad ass! I just love the fact that Harvey tells Louis that they messed up, and Louis is all - okay, time to dig my firm out of the mud. Again. He just buckles down and goes to work. The fact that he and Harold have such a rocky relationship means that we, as an audience, were really unsure if Louis was going to be able to talk Harold down off the wall. I'm so glad Louis was able to succeed. Also - we have that awesome slow-motion moment where they all get out of the car. I'm so glad that Louis was there with Mike and Harvey! It adds legitimacy to the idea that Louis is really on an even playing field with these two. I'm happy for him. (Although... I will admit I'm slightly annoyed that we didn't deal more with how awful Louis was to Rachel in regards to paying for her law school.)

And you all knew I was going to save the Mike and Harvey stuff for last... let's just talk about how awesome this all was.

First of all, when Harvey finds out that Mike has been taken in to the Attorney's office, he just rushes down there right away, trying his hardest not to show how freaked out he is. So that was adorable. And then when he finds out Mike has been arrested... damn, I really would not want to be this Woodall guy.

The best thing ever was their conversation in the holding room. Harvey telling Mike to turn on him... Mike saying he never would - Harvey throwing a chair into the camera... yikes. That whole scene was just so intense and beautiful and Harvey is willing to go to jail to protect Mike and Mike will do anything to stop that from happening and Mike telling Harvey he cares about him and ahhhh.

At the end, when Mike tells Harvey he took the job with Sidwell, Harvey's reaction is to say "we just got out!" It's so cute-slash-really-depressing how Harvey frames his relationship with Mike as a "we." They're in this together. It's always been that way. But now, they're not going to be a unit anymore. We can tell that Harvey has really grown up since meeting Mike, though. He's sad that Mike is leaving, but he shakes his hand and says he wants to take him out to dinner. And then we get the very last bit, where Mike says that he's not exactly leaving - he's a client, now!

This was the perfect ending to an amazing episode. It's bittersweet, because everything is going to change now. But the very last moment of the season is some good ol' Harvey and Mike bantering, and we know that these two are going to be a part of each other's lives for a long time to come.

9.5/10

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Turn, Turn, Turn (1x17)

I have a feeling that everything leading up to this point has been some sort of trick. Like, we all thought this was a mediocre show at best, with a few standout moments and some okay characters here and there. We all thought we knew what we were getting. And now, it's like everything that's happened so far is meaningless. It's like it was all a prologue, and now we're finally getting into the meat of it all. Oddly, I think this episode shines so spectacularly partly because of how weak the rest of the season has been. This particular episode just shines above the rest. In a way, it's a reboot of the show. We're starting something completely different now. And boy, did we need this.

So. The Bus has been hijacked. Garrett's jet is being attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. drones. Coulson helps save Garrett and he comes back on board. The team are headed towards the Hub, with no idea what's awaiting them when they get there. Simmons and Triplett are at the Hub, so Fitz and the others know they need to get there to rescue them. Coulson thinks that May is the traitor, although she insists that this is not the case. She says she's been reporting to Director Fury. When she tries her direct line, someone answers and says that Fury is dead. May tells Coulson the truth - she was the one who assembled this team, and she was tasked to report on him, to make sure he didn't exhibit any signs of mental or physical deterioration because of what happened to him when he died. Although Coulson does believe May, he still feels betrayed, because May knew about "Tahiti" the whole time and didn't say anything.

Skye looks through S.H.I.E.L.D.'s network and discovers the truth: HYDRA has infiltrated. When they arrive at the Hub, they all split up to try and track down Agent Victoria Hand, whom they believe to be the Clairvoyant.

Meanwhile, Simmons and Triplett are working on trying to analyze Skye's blood, but as HYDRA infiltrates the Hub, they are forced to hide. Hand and some of her supporters show up, and after testing Simmons and Triplett's loyalty, she reveals that she is not part of HYDRA, but she believes that Coulson is. Fitz, Coulson, Garrett, and May manage to infiltrate part of the Hub and gain control, but Garrett makes a mistake - he mentions something that Coulson never told him, and outs himself as the Clairvoyant. Several S.H.I.E.L.D. agents enter the room at this point, and several of them turn on the rest, revealing themselves to be working for HYDRA. May and Coulson manage to take them down. Fitz even manages to help out a bit. They are able to capture Garrett.

While this is happening, Skye and Ward are trying to avoid getting captured by large groups of HYDRA agents. Ward admits his feelings for Skye and says that if they get out of this alive, they should get a drink and talk.

At this point, S.H.I.E.L.D. is in ruins. Nick Fury is presumed dead, and the rest of the agents have to go into hiding to stay alive. Coulson, May, Fitzsimmons, and Skye all get back to the Bus, hoping to repair it and keep themselves alive. Ward goes with Hand to deliver Garrett to the Fridge. He says that since Garrett was his S.O., he feels personally betrayed, and wants to see him delivered to his fate first hand.

While in transit, Hand tells Ward that she doesn't want to deliver Garrett to the Fridge. She wants him to die. She offers to let Ward take him out, in order to make up for killing the wrong man (Thomas Nash) earlier. Ward takes out his gun. He looks like he's going to take Hand's offer. Instead, he shoots the two guards and Hand, killing all three. Ward is a HYDRA agent.

Yikes. So if I had to talk about a few weaknesses...

There's this moment when Simmons tries to contact a fellow scientist to get help about Skye's blood, and we get a video call... it just felt awkward and didn't add to the frantic-ness of it all. I thought it was a weak moment.

The Ward and Skye scene went on too long. Obviously they're not building up a legit romance anymore... or I don't think they are... I'm just confused. And that whole scene where Ward expressed what he felt for Skye, and Skye kissed him... it just reminded me how boring Skye is. And how boring Ward is. Or how boring we all thought he was. In any case, that scene, paired with what happened later, made me very confused as to whether or not we're supposed to think Ward's feelings for Skye were genuine, or just part of the act. I really can't tell.

But now for the good stuff!

Garrett is a traitor! More than that, he's the Clairvoyant! When this whole HYDRA business came up, I really wasn't even too concerned about the Clairvoyant anymore. And then that seemed to come out of nowhere! And just... wow! That was enough of a shocker for me.

Hand's trick with Skye and Triplett. Nicely executed. She pretends to be HYDRA, and then she flips it around. I'll admit, I fell for it. Hand is a hardass, but she's not an enemy. I'm sad she's dead now, because it would have been interesting to watch her and Coulson work together.

Fitzsimmons! Fitz has a one-track mind throughout this whole episode. All he wants is to rescue Simmons from the Hub. When Garrett suggests that Simmons might be being tortured, Fitz goes straight into denial. And then when they're finally reunited, Simmons runs straight into Fitz's arms. Gah! So cute! I've been shipping these two since day one, and I'll be mightily displeased if nothing ever comes of it.

WARD IS WORKING FOR HYDRA! They basically took the most boring character ever and turned him into a giant, interesting question mark. See, at this point I honestly don't know - was Ward telling the truth about anything? About his boring backstory? About his feelings for Skye? About his need to protect his team, and his feelings of failure when he doesn't? I just don't know! I really hope that Ward is just out-and-out evil. Like, I hope they don't try to do a whole redemption arc, or show him feeling really guilty, or anything. No. I want it all to have been an act. I want a really interesting cold-hearted villain to come out of this.

I could go on, but if you've seen the episode, you understand why it stands miles above anything else we've seen this season. Finally, things are happening. The plot is pushing forward. Even the boring characters are becoming less boring. I really hope they can keep up this momentum for the rest of the season.

9/10