Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 1.03 – The Asset

This recap brought to you by a South-Eastern Australian Merlot. And jolly nice it was too.



The episode starts with your typical truck driver, driving his truck, as truck drivers do (I have no idea if this is actually a truck. Over here it’s a lorry but that probably won’t mean anything to anyone but me and Jayne. I’m taking a wild stab in the dark here but not with a lot of confidence, I have to say) but then all of a sudden it comes under attack! From nothing! Well, obviously not nothing, but something invisible. Ooooh!

The truck driver, it turns out, is not a typical truck driver at all, but an Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.!! Which just goes to show, you should never judge a book by its cover! This is great, but then the truck does this:


Which is not so great. The attackers go from very high-tech to very low-tech and cut open the truck with a digger. No, really. Inside is a man strapped to a chair who is miraculously unscathed, given that he’s just been hoisted fifty feet into the air and then dropped on his arse. He adjusts his glasses and says ‘are we there yet?’ which is amusing but, in light of the rest of the episode, makes not one particle of sense.


On board the bus and Ward is teaching Skye to box because it’s better than doing… whatever FitzSimmons just said they were doing, which will forever be a mystery to me, along with most of what they talk about (BUT I STILL LOVE IT).

Skye calls Ward ‘Mr Fun Machine’ but not in a good way. Heh.


OK, last week was Melinda May’s episode, this time around it’s Skye’s origin story. So there will be lots of screencaps of Skye. Oh the hardship on our poor eyeballs ;-).

But first, a screencap of Ward:


For serious, is this guy real? I mean, actually real? His jaw looks like it was made with a set square! Anyway, he says everyone has a defining moment. Skye asks him what his was and says she could just give him truth serum again. He tells her there’s no such thing as truth serum. Spoilsport (also, pants on fire. Ward doesn’t have the people skills to pull that off).


Thank you, Maurissa Tancharoen and Joss Whedon, for this screencap of Melinda May in aviators at the controls of a plane.


And thank you too, Jed Whedon.

Um… plot! Yes! The team have just found out that the Asset – aka, FitzSimmons’ ex-professor Franklin Hall – has been kidnappered and FitzSimmons are understandably distraught.


This is the best screencap in the history of anything. I just want to gaze at its perfection and not bother to do the rest of the recap *sigh*.

Incredibly, the truck driver agent is still alive and says it had to be an inside job because the people who attacked them knew the route. Finding out what they attacked the convoy with means goggles, people. Goggles for everyone!



(Simmons wins because hers are green).

Turns out, it’s this tiny little thing that Coulson calls ‘something big’. Hmmm. It makes sand fly around when electricity is… something. I dunno. I just work here.

Coulson is worried by this development, but Melinda May is wearing her ‘seriously? I could handle this by myself, twice, before breakfast’ face.


Aaaand, let’s see that from the side:


Oh yeah.

Ward’s identified the owners of the digger from the tyre treads (yes, really) so he and Coulson are going to check it out. Skye asks Coulson about the truth serum and he kind of says that Ward was lying but also kind of doesn’t answer the question and then leaves, and Skye makes this face:


With added bonus smirking Melinda May in the background. Excellent.

Coulson and Ward find the digger guy who was paid in gold bars which came from a mine in Tanzania which is owned by this guy, Ian Quinn:


who is an old friend of the asset (aka Franklin Hall). Oh, and they’re in Malta because Malta doesn’t look too kindly on government agencies like S.H.I.E.L.D. interfering. He’s found something which Frank had a theory about a long time ago which has something to do with the little big thing that throws sand and trucks around (sounds a lot like my four-year-old, actually. Beach trips are FUN! *nervous twitch*).


Frank is Remus Lupin’s science-y and not-werewolf-y brother, isn’t he? Totally.


Skye is a high-school dropout and doesn’t understand what FitzSimmons are on about (although I don’t really know what difference that makes. I have a degree and it’s still gibberish to me #love). Fitz explains: these green things are wibbly bits. Wibbly bits are bad because they are gravitonium, which makes gravity go screwy (I believe this is the scientific term, yes).



I love this cap because it perfectly sums up Simmons and Skye. Simmons is all enthusiasm and ‘yay!’ and Skye is all ‘WTF is this even English?’.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch in Malta, Quinn is telling Frank that the little version is all very well, but thinking small is for wimps, so he’s made a REEEEEALLLY BIG ONE!! but he doesn’t know how to control the gravity fields, which is why Hall is there (because he’s too lazy to figure out how to do it himself).


On the bus, much discussion is going on of how to get into the compound to get Hall back. Fitz wants a trained monkey (what?) and Skye’s in the background saying that she could get in but no-one’s paying attention to her. By the time Coulson finally listens, she’s got an invitation (fine! an evite) to Quinn’s imminent swanky party. Heh heh.




Totally pertinent screencap.

Ward is doing the whole ‘are you sure about Skye?’ thing because he can’t train her, pretty much, and Coulson tells him to stop thinking like an operative and start thinking like a person. Ward says ‘but I don’t know how to do that’ (OK, he doesn’t, but he might as well).


And then he says ‘hey, I’m more than just a chiselled jaw you know! Look at these awesome cheekbones and cute little elfin ears’ FFS. It worries me that I don’t fancy him. He is so completely my type. Maybe I have no crush left over because the girls nicked it all. Anyway, now he’s teaching Skye how to disarm an opponent.


This is not what it looks like.


Not actually sure what this looks like, but equally sure that whatever it is, it’s not that.


Skye manages to get him to tell her his defining moment, which was when his older brother used to beat up him and his younger brother for no reason (er, is that not what brothers do? Sisters too, for that matter) and Skye’s looking all sympathetic, but actually…


…she’s stealing his gun. Awesome.

FitzSimmons are Q-ing and give Skye a powder compact because there is no wireless access to the systems in Quinn’s compound. Makes perfect sense (oh, it does really, I just can’t be bothered to explain it).


Melinda May’s telling Coulson that it’s not that she’d like to be going, but she thinks she ought to be going because she is so much better at this stuff than he is. He tells her she’s not going and that he saw plenty of action with the Avengers. And then Melinda May says, as he walks away, ‘and you died’. *sniff*

(you know, I think she might know more than she’s letting on as well).

Skye rolls up at the party looking smokin’ in fuschia:


Oh yeah, this is me at parties. Where’s the FOOD?


And she even has Attractive Eating Face, how is life fair? (Answer: it’s not, I did know that).

(Sidenote: Skye darling, as someone who is almost certainly old enough to be your mother I can say this with some authority: bras are your friends).

Skye spots Quinn and schmoozes her way into conversation with him, only for him to tell her that he invited her because he wants to offer her a job. Eek. Skye does what any of us would do in this situation: alcohol. Attagirl.


Then Quinn makes a boring speech but luckily, unlike the partygoers, we have a distraction because Coulson and Ward have landed on the beach and are perfectly camouflaged against the sand.


I mean, really. Coulson’s wearing a SUIT for heaven’s sake!

Also, the gravitonium is being put into the big sphere thing, which just has ‘recipe for disaster’ written ALL over it. Honestly, have these people not seen Spiderman 2?

Skye’s trying to find somewhere to drop the magic compact but she gets rumbled by Quinn! Oh no! And she’s a terrible liar! A pen, Skye? Bless.


She’s doing the lip thing again, what was I saying? Um… oh yes, she tells him that S.H.I.E.L.D. is listening… unexpected. I like it. Rash, but inventive.

Now Skye is in Quinn’s office and she’s pretending (obvi, because she’s not going to betray them otherwise she’s not going to be on the show very long) that she might be interested in his offer. He’s trying to convice her that S.H.I.E.L.D. = Bad, but she’s not convinced because yay! She did the thing! And the barrier is down so Coulson and Ward are in! *flag waving*

But Skye’s in trouble! Noooo!

Coulson finds Hall in the lab – but Hall won’t leave and Melinda May finds out at about the same time as Coulson figures out that Hall was the one who gave away the location of the convoy. As soon as he heard about it he realised that he had to bury it at the bottom of the ocean. So he’s seen Spiderman 2, at least. Then the machine activates and things go a bit… screwy.


No kidding.

Melinda May’s frustrated because she can’t do anything from the bus *sigh*.

Hah! Quinn is pointing a gun at Skye and she disarms him, and then his goon says ‘kid’s got balls’ and she replies ‘thanks, but… yuck’ SKYE YOU ARE MY HEART.


Then Quinn asks her if she has what it takes to pull the trigger and she just goes ‘nope!’ and jumps out of the window into the pool! #love

In the lab, things have not got any less screwy:


This is what it looks like, btw. Reminds me of those plasma balls that were around in the Eighties, remember those? Also Spiderman 2.


Quinn’s done a runner on account of gravitational screwiness (the wuss) and Skye is captured by goons but only for about three seconds because Mr Fun Machine just turned up and beat the crap out of them. Oh yeah. And then Skye looks like she wants to throw herself into his arms but just sort of… pats his Kevlar. Not a euphemism.


FitzSimmons tell Coulson that he needs to find a catalyst to stop the reaction because Hall is determined to destroy the machine even though it will also destroy the complex. He says “we have to live with the choices we make… but sometimes we have to die with them too”.

Unfortunately for him, Coulson doesn’t feel like dying for someone else’s choices today, and shoots out the glass floor they’re standing on – Hall falls into the machine, which looks like a particularly horrible way to go (or not).


Back on the bus, Couson is lamenting his lack of muscle memory when it comes to guns. Hmmm. Melinda May comes in to tell him that she wants to be handling the combat missions from now on because he’s ‘a little rusty’. Hmmm.


Skye’s back with the boxing but taking it more seriously. This is her Serious Punching Face:


She tells Ward that she was a foster child and when she was nine, she was placed with a family she really liked but they didn’t want her to stay 😦 :-(. Poor Skye!


And then she starts punching the bag and looking all fierce, like this:


And it’s just the most adorable thing in the world. Like a kitten trying to pounce on your ankle. And she’s decided to join S.H.I.E.L.D. They are her family now *sniff*.

I think Skye and Ward are supposed to bond over their childhoods and then take it from there. I’m still not sure I ship them. I get more of a Harry/Hermione vibe, you know, the ‘brother/sister I never had’ kind of thing.


This just does not look like a precursor to sexytimes to me.

Meanwhile – hidden away in a super-secret vault – Dr Hall is not, in fact, dead, but is probably feeling really really queasy:


When he gets out of there (because you just know that he will) man, is he going to be pissed.



Screencaps taken from, with thanks.




    Best. Just. I loved it. Loved it. Thank you Joss, or Jed, or whoever wrote that line!!! Because ACA Skye! A C freaking A!!!!!! I’ve been kind of lukewarm on Skye thus far but I really liked her this ep. Realizing her limits and taking a header out the window, very unexpected and refreshing in a real sort of way. Thumbs up from me.

    1. I loved that line as well! And ACA about realising her limits, it’s just what we were saying the other day about different kinds of strength – Skye can barely defend herself physically but she’s resilient and resourceful and doesn’t crack under pressure. Under different circumstances, the way she ran to Ward when he saved her from the goons would have been ridiculous damsel-in-distress-ing, but because they’ve shown how tough she is in other ways, she doesn’t need to be able to take out five guys singlehandedly so it seemed like a natural reaction.

      I liked the little arc of this episode too, the way her attitude towards the training changed when she realised how much she really needed to know it. Also that she wasn’t working out in a tank top and hotpants, so high five to the wardrobe department for that one.

      1. re: Skye’s workout outfits — it’s COLD in airplane hangars!!

        1. It is! And poor FitzSimmons, they have to work down there!

          1. They do? Their lab isn’t in a different part of the bus? Us that airplane nothing but sitting rooms?

            1. heymomo · · Reply

              I thought the lab was up top somewhere too! Don’t they walk from the comfy room into the lab at some point?

              1. There’s definitely a lab downstairs – they drove a car through it last week, remember, and Simmons said something along the lines of ‘the lab doors can only be opened from upstairs’. Unless there are two?

      2. ACA about the clothes. Her workout clothes were actually a little raggedy, like they are.

        The same can be said about Ms. May’s clothes. The leather is sexy as sh/t, but not…exploittive? *sigh*

        1. It looks unisex. Unisexy. Unlike (for example) Black Widow’s outfit, which is still sexy but very much a female comic book character’s outfit. On a related note, if anyone doesn’t know about, go there, immediately! It’s hilarious.

    2. I think that line was also a subtle way of reminding us that you don’t need a pair to be brave, capable ans strong. In that moment, she’s all, “I am a chick, yeah, but I am still strong and I am gonna take your gun.”

      The Whedons: Feminists since the early 90s.

      1. “I think that line was also a subtle way of reminding us that you don’t need a pair to be brave, capable ans strong.” >> Brilliantly put! I think that’s one of the reasons why I love Skye (and Joss Whedon) so much, because she is just that – brave, capable and strong without being strong in a BAMF kind of way. I can relate to this because I am not physically capable at all really but I’d like to be just a little Skye-like in other ways :).

  2. Loved this episode, best one so far for me. But that’s probably because Skye is my favourite character. I get the awesomeness of Melinda May but I suppose Skye is more relatable and real to me. She had so many good lines in this ep and the way she handled the Quinn situation was fantastic, all the while looking amazing in that fuschia dress. I don’t see the romantic connection with Ward either by the way.

    More of this please!

    1. Skye is my fave too. I like MM, but Skye is awesome.

      1. Skye is awesome and is shaping up to be the heart of the show. She is the everywoman in a crazy circumstance that we have all come to love about Joss (Buffy, Fred…et al.) I love watching her and I find that she eats up the screen.

        Melinda May is BAMF eyecandy, and I look forward to getting to know her. But I really appreciate that the maverick badass in this show is a woman, not some stoic dude. Been there, done that.

        And, for the first time I liked Ward. He’ll come around. Now to the delicate balance between keeping FitzSimmons funny and clever, but not leaving the out of the character development loop.

    2. heymomo · · Reply

      So, does anyone still think Skye is “dark” or is she committed to the team? Did her moment with Ward change her mind?

      1. I think she’s committed but she’s still going to feel pulled in different directions. Not that she’ll betray them or anything, just that she’s not going to be able to just forget about her principles and her loyalty to The Rising Tide. I’m wondering whether the ‘I’m in’ is going to come back and bite her at some point.

  3. cvc-eve · · Reply

    My first one to watch and I enjoyed it and the only thing I don’t like about your recap is the lack of south eastern Australian Merlot that I was able to Share with you. No insight to add until I get a better idea on who is who but thanks! Also, for some unexplainable reason I DID NOT expect the guy to fall into his device, so that was cool…..well…not for him I suppose.

    1. Good to know Alicia is only drinking the good stuff!

    2. *sniff* if only we could all sit and watch together, with wine. That would be so awesome.

      I didn’t see the fall coming but I knew he was going to be still alive at the end. And he didn’t look like he was enjoying it, did he? Poor guy.

      1. ACA–We can’t even virtually watch it at the same time…time zone koalas. I’ll find a lovely Australian red for the next one. You know, in solidarity.

        1. *fistbump*

  4. Crumpet_B · · Reply

    If no one else calls it a lorry, how do they do tongue twisters? Also, has anyone else ever been to Malta? I have & I remember it being very much less Southern California looking, maybe it’s a different Malta though, one off the coast of SoCal & not the one in the Med. Fun fact for you all house/mansion on the SoCal Island of Malta is the house used in the godfather film, you know the house of the guy who wakes up with a horses head in bed? That’s the one! Oh that house is for sale at the moment if you have like $40m+ to spare.

    1. That’s a good point! They must just have to do the seashells one, which isn’t half as much fun.

      $40 million?? Good Lord. It is gorgeous though. I’ve never been to Malta but I want to go one day.

    2. heymomo · · Reply

      I watched this ep with one of my BFFs who just came back from Malta (business trip) the week prior. She said it looked much more like SoCal than Malta too!!

    3. Wait wait! What’s the lorry tongue twister?

      (Also, Alicia, you did perfectly well. That is a truck, fer sure.)

      1. Try saying ‘red lorry yellow lorry’ really fast, over and over. 🙂

  5. Crumpet_B · · Reply

    OMG! It’s Professor Quirrell. He looks well for a man who had he who cannot be named living on the back of his head, maybe drinking unicorn blood did do him some good after all. How lovely that the nice people at S.H.I.E.L.D have been looking after him. Bless.

    1. Andrea_Briz · · Reply

      Quirrell! Well spotted. I thought he looked familiar. And yes, he does look well. Or he did until he fell into the machine thingie.

      1. Quirrell! Of course it is! And I said Lupin. Oops. Must have been the wine :-).

  6. cvc-eve · · Reply

    Quirrell!! I did not recognize but glad you pointed him out! *unicorn blood* *snort*. And the house with the horse in the bed, classic! Let see, 40mil, let me check my back pocket.
    Still checking.
    Um no.

    1. Have you tried down the back of the sofa?;-)

  7. cvc-eve · · Reply

    Checking under the sofa….and…..aha! Got it! Oh, 40cents, not 40 mil.

    1. All I have is Lego and Cheerios, so you’re doing better than me!

  8. heymomo · · Reply

    “Couson is lamenting his lack of muscle memory when it comes to guns… because he’s ‘a little rusty”. They are hinting this SO HARD! Are we allowed to discuss our own theories here? It’s not a spoiler if it’s just a theory, right? I’ve got evidence from the other eps too!!

    1. You even need to ASK????

      Out with it!


  9. heymomo · · Reply

    Loved the final scene… this is how evil villains are made!!! You bet he’s getting out of the grease machine, Alicia!!

  10. Alicia, great recap!

    First, Jebus, Maria and Josephine. Melinda May is so hot. That’s all I’ve got. I want to write erudite and funny things about this episode, but I can’t. I think this is what it is like for straight girls when watching AOL. I am actually a little breathless.

    *fans self*

    Oh god, and the aviators. I can’t with her.

    1. “I think this is what it is like for straight girls when watching AOL.” >> Sage FTW!!!

    2. The aviators! Imagine her slowly taking them off and looking you right in the eye….

      I’m not helping, am I? 😉

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