Donnie finally gives in to Seth and triggers the device, which causes the moisture in the air to start to freeze and hail and ice to fall from the sky. They create a superstorm due to seeding the clouds, with its eye fixed right on their location. They hide in their truck, but they start to question what they’ve done and head back out to try to reverse the device and end the storm. However, the device explodes, burning Donnie’s hand and through Seth through the air. May pilots the Bus down into the storm using its vertical takeoff and landing abilities, and the team jumps out and rescues Donnie and Seth, whose heart has stopped. Simmons tries to revive Seth with an AED, but Coulson eventually stops her efforts once it’s become apparent that there’s no chance. Donnie is furious at himself for causing the death of his friend because of his greed and ambition. Fitz tries to help but Donnie isn’t interested in listening, and some agents arrive to take Donnie off to the Sandbox, not as an Agent but to hold and watch him.
Coulson finds May in the Bus’s bar, and she asks him if he heard her confession about sleeping with Ward from earlier, and he says that he did. He tells her he trusts her, and she says that if the relationship becomes a problem she’ll end it. She then asks whether Coulson told Skye the truth, and he says that he had to. She worries about the effect that it’ll have on Skye, and Coulson confesses that it shattered her world, putting an end to her search and it should have put an end to her story. But, he says, she told him that it was actually the beginning of her story. Up until now she had thought that she had never belonged, that all of those foster families had never wanted her or cared about her, but in fact SHIELD was watching out for her. She says it’s not about the family she’ll never have, but about the one she’s had all along. Coulson confesses that instead of destroying Skye’s humanity, her reaction has instead restored a little bit of his humanity.
We see Skye visiting the Wall of Valor, which now has new meaning for her, as she seeks out Agent Linda Avery’s name and gently touches it. Coulson tells May, “The world is full of evil and lies and pain and death, and you can’t hide from it. You can only face it. The question is, when you do, how do you respond? Who do you become?” As he finishes these words, we see Donnie sitting in the back of the SHIELD vehicle taking him away to be a prisoner, and as he runs a finger along the window he leaves behind a trail of ice.
After the credits, Ian Quinn calls Seth wanting an update, but Coulson answers the phone instead. He tells Quinn that they’re familiar with his work, and that while they’re not going to do anything to him at this moment, if his plane should cross into the airspace of a country allied with SHIELD they will shoot him out of the sky. Quinn thanks him for the warning, and before hanging up says he wants to deliver a message. He tells Coulson that the Clairvoyant told him to say “Hello”.
Another great episode this week. We got some emotional moments from both Coulson and Skye, as one deals with the emotional aftermath of his revelations while the other confronts some new information head on. We got a fun look at the Academy, which seems like most other colleges and particularly the science vs. operations rivalry. (As an engineer, I can very easily relate to this feeling.) We got another glimpse of a comic book character (more on that below), as well as some further expansion of Centipede and the Clairvoyant. Next week’s episode is the final one of SHIELD’s original 13 episode order, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store.
Skye’s backstory was obviously the most important part of tonight’s episode, and I can definitely say that none of my theories were correct. I would never have guessed that Skye was an 0-8-4, and I can’t wait to see what the consequences of that are going forward. Where did she come from and who/what is she exactly? Lumley said that they never saw her exhibit any powers, so for all we know she might be just an ordinary human or she could be something else entirely. Maybe she’s Asgardian, or perhaps from another realm/dimension? Who killed those agents in an attempt to get her and why did they want her? So many questions!
However, much like the revelations about Coulson last week, the actual answers to the mystery are not as important as the effect they have on the characters. I love how the show drew parallels between Coulson’s and Skye’s reactions. Coulson is angry and betrayed, unable to trust anyone anymore, but Skye found the positive in the situation, which gave Coulson an example to live up to and restored a bit of his humanity. I hope we’ll get to see the two of them helping each other heal as the series moves on.
I loved the emphasis on family in this episode. From the way the SHIELD agents were willing to sacrifice themselves for an innocent child to Skye’s emotional return to the Wall of Valor, which now has a deeper meaning for her. But the best was Coulson’s reaction to Skye. I loved how he reached out and held her face in his hand in a loving, supportive, fatherly way as she cried. And then later, when the Bus was descending into the eye of the storm, he held her hand. At first it seemed like merely a “don’t be scared, we’re not going to crash” gesture, but I think it was more of a reminder that he is still there for her, to support her. (On a related note, I loved how Coulson’s confession to Skye was filmed. I liked how the audio slowly faded out and we just got to focus on Skye’s reaction to the news, instead of having to hear the same information over again. It was a much more emotional way to film the scene and it worked out beautifully.)
Every week it seems like we learn a little more about the Clairvoyant. It seems like he’s had a hand in everything that has happened on the show thus far, and now he’s got Ian Quinn working for him as well. Just how big is this organization, and what is their ultimate goal? What did they want Donnie’s freezing machine for?
Let’s not forget about Donnie Gill. Much like the last episode that featured Ian Quinn, which gave us a glimpse at Graviton, tonight’s episode ended with a tease of the formation of a supervillain, in this case Blizzard. Blizzard originally appeared in the 60’s, though Donnie Gill didn’t appear until the 80s. Blizzard fought against Iron Man and the Avengers, before eventually trying for redemption and joining the Thunderbolts, a group of reformed supervillains. Like Graviton, it’ll be interesting to see if SHIELD brings Donnie back, or if this was just a tease for comic fans.
Damn, next week’s episode looks like a doozy. First we have some comedy, with May moaning that she hates undercover work and Simmons showing off her horribly lying skills as she awkwardly calls Coulson her father. Then things get serious, as the tease promises that the episode will be a game changer and it even looks like someone might die! I would think that the cast is pretty safe, but this is a Joss Whedon show so we know that no one is ever safe. We’ll also get our first cameo from Stan Lee, which is like SHIELD finally being baptised as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe! I can’t wait!
What do you think? Did you enjoy “Seeds”? What did you think of the revelation that Skye was an 0-8-4? What do you think that means she is? Did you like the family aspect of SHIELD that was explored tonight. Did you recognize Donnie Gill from the comics? What do you make of the news that Bill Paxton has been cast for four episodes, as a SHIELD agent with a taste for action and a background with Coulson? Are you excited for next week? Let me know in the comments!