The S.H.I.E.L.D. team is still licking its wounds and laying low in a secret base in the Canadian wilderness run by S.H.I.E.L.D. agent/housekeeper/lanyard obsessive Eric Koenig (Patton Oswalt). After learning from Ward that HYDRA has released several S.H.I.E.L.D. prisoners from the fridge, Coulson splits up the team in order to track down the dangerous and possibly super-powered threats, one of which has some interesting connections to Coulson's past. Meanwhile, Ward continues his secret mission to decrypt the hard drive and eliminate his former team.
Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, and Triplett head out to find Marcus Daniels, a super-powered sociopath with the ability to absorb energy. Meanwhile, May, Skye, Keonig, and Ward hang back at Providence.
Ward, fresh from raiding the Fridge with Garrett and the rest of HYDRA, reports that the terrorist organization has gotten their hands on a load of top secret S.H.I.E.L.D. weaponry and has freed all of the prisoners being held at the base. Coulson decides to go after a specific prisoner, Marcus Daniels, who can absorb energy and kill with a single touch. May and Koenig protest against leaving the base, but Coulson demands that the team do as much as they can to protect innocent civilians. Agent Koenig agrees to let a splinter team leave the base, but only if they pass an advanced lie detector test (one that even the Black Widow supposedly couldn't outwit). Each member of the team is individually strapped into the machine and asked a volley of non sequiturs ("What's the difference between a egg and an rock") and other, more pertinent questions, and the ones that pass get an official lanyard from Koenig. When it's Ward's turn, the machine spikes when the agent is asked questions about his loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. Koenig pulls a gun on him, and asks him why he's really there. Ward answer that he's there for Skye, which satisfies the test, and more importantly, Koenig.
Later, Coulson, Simmons, Trip, and a very jealous Fitz leave to find Daniels. Coulson reveals that he was the one that imprisoned Daniels all those years ago, and that the man has an obsession with a cellist in Portland named Audrey (Amy Acker). Triplett and Simmons rescue Audrey from an attack by Daniels and take her to a safe house. The cellist reveals that it was Coulson that originally saved her all those years ago, and that the two were in a romantic relationship before Coulson "died" in the battle of New York. Coulson decides not to tell Audrey that he survived in order to protect her feelings. The team decides to use the cellist as a decoy to lure and capture Daniels. They set up a fake practice session as a trap and blast Daniels with light in order to overload his powers. Coulson manages to kill Daniels, but doesn't reveal himself to Audrey.
Meanwhile, May decides to leave the team after being brushed off one too many times by Coulson. With May gone, Ward moves in on eliminating his former team. He kills Keonig and stashes his body away in a storage room. After doing away with Koenig, Ward tells Skye that he's a bad person and that the two of them are too different to pursue a relationship. Skye reassures Ward that he is a good man and kisses him. Later, Skye finds Koenig's body and deduces that Ward is really a HYDRA agent. Ward, still thinking Skye is oblivious, whisks her away in order to decrypt the hard drive. Coulson returns to Providence with half of his team missing, and the jet gone.
Most Valuable Agent Award:
This MVA award this week goes to the dearly departed Agent Koenig. May heaven be filled with awesome Call of Duty sessions and many glorious Lanyards.
Mission Highlights and Other Observations:
- "Nothing bad ever happens when you work with something called darkforce..."
- Fitz is so lovably flawed. He's pulling far ahead as the best character on the show.
- "If I was the grandson of a Howling Commando, I'd have that tattooed on my chest"
- Robin Scherbatsky, former agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. is returning next week.