A lot has happened since we last left Coulson’s crew just one week ago. In the real world, Captain America: The Winter Soldier was released this past weekend, setting box office records and generally getting rave reviews. In the process it changed almost everything about the Marvel Cinematic Universe and by extension our beloved Agents of SHIELD. (Needless to say, there will be spoilers ahead for Captain America: The Winter Soldier.) Never before has a film had this level of impact on a TV show, and tonight’s episode resolved several mysteries, altered the lives of our heroes for good, and set the show on its path going forward. So without further ado, let’s jump into “Turn, Turn, Turn,” written by our married showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen and directed by Vincent Misiano.
Tonight’s episode opens with some rock ‘n roll, with Agent Garrett (recurring guest star Bill Paxton) listening to “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” by Blue Oyster Cult while heading back after Ward supposedly killed the Clairvoyant. He’s reading a book with his feet propped up when two planes show up on his radar. He tries to call SHIELD to ask what’s going on but gets nothing but static, as the planes seem to be jamming his transmission. Suddenly they fire two missiles at him, and he grabs the control stick and pulls some serious evasive maneuvers to try to lose them. Just as they’re about to collide with him, he manages to twist the plane just right so they collide with each other instead. However, the two planes pull up beside him and as he looks out his window he notices that one of them has the SHIELD logo on its side.
Coulson, May, Skye and Fitz are still in the middle of their standoff (well, Fitz is technically behind protective glass in the lab). Coulson is furious with May, and he convinces her to drop her weapon. He’s full of questions, most urgently what is their new destination, but also who has she been talking to on the encrypted line? She says that she didn’t reroute the plane and has no idea where they’re heading. She explains that HQ can override their systems and they must be responsible. As for who she’s been reporting to, she finally confesses that it’s Director Nick Fury, but she says that’s all she can tell him. They’ll have to hear the rest from Fury, himself.
Coulson doesn’t believe her, and he still thinks she’s been talking to the Clairvoyant, because someone has obviously been feeding him information on their activities. May points out that Fitz was doing something in the communications room when he discovered May’s secret line, so he could be the mole. He denies this, confessing that he was trying to contact Simmons, hoping to find out more information from Skye’s blood about the mysterious GH-325 drug. Coulson tells him to open the door to the lab, but he refuses, however Coulson wants to know who Simmons has been talking to at HQ, because she might be in terrible danger.
At HQ, Simmons is running tests in a lab when Trip walks in. She quickly tries to hide what she’s been doing, particularly as she seems to be trying to access things above her clearance level. He wants to know why they’re not sharing information, particularly if she might have had access to a miracle drug that could have helped Blake after his run in with Deathlok. She eventually closes the door and confesses to him that she’s trying to upload the sample information to the Academy and to Agent Weaver, however as a Level 5 agent she doesn’t have that ability. Luckily Trip is Level 6 and can get her through while everyone else is busy with whatever seems to be going on in the building. He tells her that she’s a bad liar, to which she responds, “I know, but I’m getting better at it.”
On the Bus, Skye is only getting noise on all of the SHIELD channels, which can’t be a good thing. Suddenly they get a scratchy call from Garrett who is still being pursued by the two SHIELD drones. He wants Coulson and the Bus to use their guns to defend him, but the problem is they don’t have control of their systems. Coulson cold-bloodedly shoots May (with an ICER), and orders Fitz to get the guns up and working. They drag the unconscious May up to the cage where Ward is still waiting, and Coulson briefly fills him in and tells him, “She’s a sleeper… I mean the other kind of sleeper.”
Fitz gets the guns working just as Garrett gets in range. Coulson mans them and takes out the first drone, looking like Han Solo shooting down TIE Fighters. The second drone is a little more problematic, especially as Garrett doesn’t have much fuel left for action. Coulson suggests that he “play dead”, which sounds kind of ominous to the watching Fitz. Garrett agrees and flies right at the Bus with the drone behind him. Coulson fires two missiles and Garrett maneuvers so that they fly on either side of him and hit the drone behind him. “Boo-yah,” Coulson exclaims.
Down at the Hub, Victoria Hand informs her team that they’ve received an encoded message. She reminds them that they swore an oath of loyalty to each other. Clearly HYDRA is finally out in the open among SHIELD, and it seems like Hand is a part of the evil organization.
On the Bus, they’re receiving a repeating code that Skye is trying to decipher. Garrett storms in and says, “Can I ask the obvious question: what the hell?” Coulson fills him in and Garrett explains that he got their trajectory and they’re headed straight to the Hub. Coulson comes to the conclusion that Hand might be the Clairvoyant, which confuses Garrett because he thought Ward shot the Clairvoyant just the other day. However, as they’re talking Skye decodes the message. It says, “OUT OF THE SHADOWS, INTO THE LIGHT.” That fades away and is replaced by decrypting letters which eventually spell out “HYDRA.”