ABC Television Network
Mission BriefingCoulson's team has been sent off the grid, but they're not out for the count yet. The team decides to track down Garrett and Ward through Cybertek, a technology company that has repeadedly appeared in the team's dealings with The Clairvoyant and HYDRA. Meanwhile, we get flashbacks to Ward's past, detailing his history with Garrett and his initation into HYDRA.
Mission FalloutAfter a drug kingpin with known ties to HYDRA is murdered by Deathlok, the team wonders what the connection is to Garrett and HYDRA. Coulson discovers that all of their run-ins with Deathlok, Ian Quinn, John Garrett, and the Centipede project all route back to one central point: Cybertek, the tech company that built Deathlok. Luckily, Cybertek has a public office in sunny Palo Alto, so the team decides to infiltrate the office posing as former S.H.I.E.L.D. scientists on a job interview. Tripp unveils an old suitcase full of vintage WWII-era spy gear that the team can use on their mission.
The present day action is intercut with flashbacks to Ward's past with Garrett. Fifteen years ago, Ward was a troubled teenager serving a stint in juvie for burning down his old house and nearly killing his older brother, which may or may not have been his intention. A younger agent Garrett shows up and offers him an ultimatum: train and become an agent of a secret organization, or spend the rest of his life in jail. Ward takes Garrett up on his offer, and the two break out of the facility. Garrett takes Ward to a secluded forest and leaves him there, seeing if Ward has the mettle to become an agent of Hydra.
Back in the present, May and Coulson go undercover inside Cybertek. They manage to sneak into Cybertek's mainframe, but discover that the company only uses hard copies of files. Coulson and May find files on the Deathlok project, which reveal that Garrett was the original Deathlok. His body was partially rebuilt after an explosion fatally injures him. Coulson jettisons the files out of a window, and the team escapes the facility. The file reveals that Garrett needs the GH-325 serum to repair his body since it's starting to reject the aging cybernetic implants, and help bolster his centipede soldiers.
On the captured bus, Raina begins synthesizing a new batch of GH-235 from the information stolen off of Skye's hard drive. Garrett suddenly becomes ill, and reveals that he only he only has a month left to live unless Raina can successfully recreate the serum. The team manages to track down Garrett and Ward in Cuba, and specifically, to a barber shop that has quite a suspicious amount of electronic activity radiating from its basement. Elsewhere, Fitz and Simmons track down the bus but are captured by Ward. Once on the plane, Fitz gravely injures Garrett with one of Tripp's gadgets, and Garrett tells Ward to kill the two agents before he dies. Ward finds Fitz and Simmons, who have locked themselves into a containment room on the plane. Fitz pleads with Ward to help them, but his pleas fall on deaf ears. Ward jettisons the containment room out of the plane and into the ocean. There's no turning back for Ward now. In a last ditch effort to save Garrett, Rayna injects Garrett with an early version of the GH-235 serum, which appears to heal him. While scoping out the basement of the barbershop, Coulson and the other agents run into centipede soldiers armed with stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry.
Most Valuable Agent AwardThis weeks MVA award goes to Tripplet for dusting off all of his Grandad's Howling Commando stuff. It all sure came in handy during the mission, but it also gave Coulson a chance to let his geek flag fly.
Mission Highlights- "Get ready for a large file transfer."- "I want my plane back."- Ward: "Give me one reason not to blow your head off." / Garrett: "I brought Tacos?" - Next week is the long-awaited season finale. Hopefully, we finally get some answers about Skye's parentage.
ABC Television Network
Mission BriefingWhew that was a doozy! Episodes upon episodes of languorous table-setting has finally led to this: definitively, the most engaging episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. yet. The show's recent shift into high gear is probably thanks to the upcoming Marvel flick Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which promises to have game changing consequences for the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization.
The newly-minted cyborg Deathlok (formerly Mike Peterson) begins attacking S.H.I.E.L.D. agents in classified locations, which means one thing: S.H.I.E.L.D. is getting close and the Clairvoyant is getting nervous. The agency has narrowed the Clairvoyant's possible identity to 13 gifted individuals, but as is always the case, things aren't quite what they seem.
The AgentsAll of the usual subjects are geared up for this mission, plus a big cast of supporting agents, including Agents Victoria Hand, John Garrett, Blake Felix, Jasper Sitwell, and Antoine Triplett. This is the most agent-heavy episode of the series yet.
Mission FalloutS.H.I.E.L.D. decides to have a big pow wow on the bus to discuss the best ways to finally close in on the could-be psychic. Skye gets promoted to a full-fledged S.H.I.E.L.D. agent thanks to her skills and her ability to get shot, and is able to narrow down the most likely Clairvoyant subjects down to three.The agents decide to split up into groups of two, in order to go after each subject, with Skye running backup via laptop. The duo of May and Blake draw the proverbial short straw, and get attacked by a upgraded Deathlok, who's now sporting a fancy new gauntlet equipped with missiles. Blake is nearly killed, and May is momentarily incapacitated by one of Deathlok's rockets. S.H.I.E.L.D. wrestles up a tactical team to go after Deathlok and suspect Thomas Nash after it's discovered that Blake was able to implant a tracker into Deathlok. The team tracks down the signal to Florida, and move in on Nash. After dodging Deathlok, Coulson and Garrett locate Nash, who proclaims himself to be the Clairvoyant. Nash states that a unknown force is coming after Coulson and Skye, and that Skye will die giving the force something they want. Ward shoots Nash and kills him after being pushed to far, and is apprehended by S.H.I.E.L.D.
After the mission, Coulson has doubts that Nash was really the Clairvoyant. Coulson and Skye puzzle out that The Clairvoyant's knowledge of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s movements and intel must make him higher up in the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization. Coulson confronts Ward, thinking he's working for the Clairvoyant. Meanwhile, Fitz discovers the encrypted line that May used to communicate with her handler at the end of the last episode. May discovers Fitz snooping around and gives chase. Coulson finds May, and the two engage in a classic Mexican standoff with Skye pulling her own gun on May. Coulson demands the identity of the real Clairvoyant before the jet is rerouted via Victoria Hand, who commands her agents to kill everyone on board when it touches down. Could Hand is the Clairvoyant? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
The Most Valuable Agent AwardWe're giving agent Felix Blake the honor this week for getting stomped on by Deathlok and having the sense of mind to implant Deathlok with a tracker. Good going Blake.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations- We really enjoyed the banter between Coulson and Garrett this episode. It really gave the characters a sense of shared history.- Simmons and Triplett continue to throw googly eyes at each other, but their attraction feels rather forced.- We’re not totally convinced that Victoria Hand is the real mastermind behind the Clairvoyant. There’s still a handful of episodes for S.H.I.E.L.D. to throw acurve ball or two our way, and it will be interesting to see where everyone’s allegiances lay once the dust settles. - Judging by the snippet of Captain America: The Winter Solder shown at the end of the episode, we're guessing the events of the film will play a large part in the next episode. You might want to try to catch the film before next Tuesday in order to be all caught up. It's nice that we’re finally seeing some more connective tissue between the television show and the films.
This was the first new episode of Shark Tank in 2014 and it was quite a good one. Then again, I may have just been really hungry for a new episode after the Christmas/New Year's lull.
First in Tank
First was Thomas Hill, a former NFL Draft Pick who had been let go due to an injury that he had suffered in college. Tired of seeing kids be obese, he created Bounce Boot Camp, which was an inflatable bouncy obstacle course that also had stations for other exercises. He wanted $30,000 for 20% and had visions of one in each city in America. It would cost $40,000 for someone to get one. The problem was that the Sharks found the business model to be flawed. He was also only devoting one day a week to this, since he had a job as a pharmaceutical rep. That is fatal to try to get a deal with a Shark. They need nearly fanatical devotion to that product, but they gave Hill a lot of good advice since they loved what he was doing and sent him on his way to go out and hustle. Second In Tank
Next in the Tank was Dr. Jim Lewis, a forensic pathologist who was selling Wall Doctor RX. I was glad he wasn't marketing home forensic equipment. He wanted $150,000 for 20%. The product was a patch that was placed over a hole in any wall and then two days later, removed, leaving a spackle -like substance over it which would need to be sanded over. Sensing a great opportunity, four sharks - Kevin O'Leary, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner and Daymond John made individual offers of varying amounts and equity, ranging from twice what Dr. Lewis asked for all of it to $150,000 for 15%. The doctor tried to get a little too cute, asking Greiner and Herjavec to work together, with both of them balking quite hard at it despite his cajoling. Only the fact that they loved the product kept them from telling him to sticking it where the sun don't shine. Dr. Lewis finally took Herjavec's deal but was made to sweat since Herjavec didn't like that he had originally wanted Greiner to join with him. He was acting like he was going to retract his offer, but finally relented, making everyone happy.
There was an Update about Nuts and More, who had gotten a deal with Herjavec and Mark Cuban. Things were great: they had generated $1 million in 7 months after they appeared on the show. The company had grown to 12 employees and locked in a deal with Whole Foods.
Third In Tank
I admit that I was befuddled at how Eyebloc even got on the show. The presentation started with C.J. Isakow stomping in, wearing sunglasses. He looked like a heavier version of Andre from The League. He immediately jumped into a pitch about how webcam security is at risk, with hackers being able to to take over the camera and view what is going on. His product? A little doohickey that could be placed over the pinhole of the webcam. He was charging nearly $10 apiece. and wanted $50,000 for 10% of his company. The Sharks correctly laughed him out of the room, pointing out that they could just stick a Post-It note over the hole and not pay 10 bucks for it. He had sold a whopping 45 of them. I'm astonished the producers thought this might even be something the Sharks would consider.
Last In Tank
The last entrepreneurs were Brian Whiteman and his "Baby Mama" Julie. Yes, he actually introduced his wife like that. They wanted $150,000 for 20% of Groovebook, an app that allows people to get a book of photos from pictures from their smartphone for $2.99 a month, they could get a book of 100 photos that were perforated for easy removal. They showed a picture of young John, which prompted a bunch of "You had hair?" cracks. The thing that made them able to do that for so cheap is that they owned their own printing press. They were still far from even being close to breaking even and they wanted to keep the prices low so that everyone could get them, a sentiment that made all the Sharks roll their eyes. Cuban and O'Leary eventually joined for their own deal after the Whitemans almost shot themselves in the foot with a new $6 million valuation, where they would handle the one-off things and the Whitemans could still own some equity, whereas Herjavec and Greiner wanted 50% of the company. Both sides were basically yelling at each other that their deal was horrible (I love when billionaires get snarky at each other). The Whitemans took the Cuban/O'Leary offer of $150,000 for 80% of the rights to license Groovebook (I have to keep reminding myself not to type GrooveShark) to other companies. It ended with Whiteman sweeping his wife off her feet and carrying her off the set - I think that was a make-up for the 'baby mama' intro.
Highlight Of The Night
Seeing Cuban, Herjavec and John act like little kids horsing around with each other in the Bounce Boot Camp segment. It's like they all became 12 years old again.
"I think I ripped my trousers. But I'm good." -- John after doing the Bounce Boot Camp.
"It got a little confusing there." -- Herjavec to Dr. Lewis after they had sealed their deal with a hug.
"Only to you, Robert." -- A clearly exasperated Cuban immediately thereafter.
"Don't lose those (samples). I've already sold them on Amazon." -- Isakow to the Sharks when distributing examples of Eyebloc.
"You could use this as home plate in your cockroach baseball league." -- Cuban commenting on Eyebloc.