If the initial premise of “Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” felt a bit too good to be true, tonight we learned that’s because it was. The most interesting reveal in “Turn, Turn, Turn” didn’t have to do with who is or isn’t HYDRA, but instead that Nick Fury initially set up Coulson’s SHIELD team to rehabilitate his former star agent.
May tells Coulson that Nick Fury recruited her to watch over Coulson because Fury knew Coulson would go to May. Because of that, May put together a list of necessary team members that would end with Coulson choosing Fitz, Simmons and Ward.
That reveal also makes it clear why May didn’t want Skye around. It wasn’t that she disliked the hacker, but because Skye’s inclusion in the team meant that she was a wild card. All these explanations put the rest of the series in much better context, and also makes everything that came before that much more interesting.
Now, as for HYDRA. What an excellent execution of the “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” plot in the TV show. Somehow “Agents of SHIELD” actually did have us going back and forth questioning who is HYDRA and who is not. Hand, surprisingly, is not HYDRA, but rather one of the few who isn’t. Same with May, who was only acting on Fury’s orders. And the twist that Hand only is attacking Coulson because she thinks he is HYDRA as well is a great one.
Of course, it was pretty obvious from the beginning that Garrett is the Clairvoyant. Again, a solid twist, though those episode 18 pictures sort of gave it away. Coulson, as it turns out, was betrayed, but not by those he hoped. The why and how of Garrett’s betrayal isn’t clear, but it’s obvious he was turned a while ago.
Bonus squee-worthy “The Winter Soldier” moment of “Turn, Turn, Turn”: Fitz being the person who created “the mouse hole” that Fury and Maria Hill used to escape in the movie. Adorable. Adorable adorable adorable.