Sorry this is a little late, I haven’t been well but I got there in the end :-).
We’re in Hong Kong with a street magician who has the mystical patter down pat but unfortunately his tricks are lame and obvious, according to the onlookers (actually, they do have a point) – but then he looks over and sees a girl in a flower dress:
and wants to impress her (completely understandable) so he makes fire appear on his palm and throws it at the audience. She is duly impressed, introduces herself as Raina and flatters him enough to get an invite back to his place which strikes me as being a very bad idea.
And I’m not wrong, because after he demonstrates the fire thing, some tinfoil people pop into existence out of nowhere and attack him.
Ooh, the bus has a nice ass!
Ward and Skye are playing Battleship and she’s kicking his butt! They are very cute, when she makes him say ‘you sank my battleship’, his face! I am liking him more and more.
AC and Melinda May are watching – Melinda May says she heard him moving around this morning before she even started Tai Chi – please let us see this at some point – and then when he says he just has a little extra energy to burn (Momo!! Clue!?!) she says she could lay out the mats downstairs and they could go a few rounds, just like the old day OH PLEASE LET US SEE THIS AT SOME POINT AS WELL!!
AC is saved by the bell as they get word that the magician, also known as Chan Ho Yin, has disappeared. They knew about his abilities and suspect it’s because he lived near a nuclear power plant that caught fire. Or something. I’m not paying attention because look at what Melinda May is wearing!!
Skye finds out that SHIELD has a list of people like Chan Ho Yin, who have unusual abilites and finds it ‘drastic with a side of creepy’ – I like that there’s a hint of the other side of SHIELD here, they’ve been portrayed as being the super-good-guys so far but they’re not really that noble. More realist than idealist.
Then Melinda May starts speaking Mandarin (yes?) to TZI MA! Otherwise known as MING-NA’S GRANDFATHER!! ALL THE HAPPY DANCES!!! (edited to add: this was supposed to say ‘Ming Hua’s grandfather’. Oops. Not that I’m fixated on Melinda May or anything, nooo…. 😉 ).
She introduces him as Agent Kwan, Chan Ho Yin’s case agent, and Skye and FitzSimmons wave to him. Awww!
Chan Ho Yin had broken the rules a couple of times before (saying they were hampering his artistic expression) but this time he was taken by professionals who left behind a piece of aluminised material – or as Simmons claricas, fireproof clothing. Eek. Someone found out about him because The Rising Tide hacked into the database. Well, this is awkward.
Ward believes that Skye didn’t do it. So do I.
Chan (I’m just going to call him this now) wakes up in a very nice room with Raina; he thinks she works for SHIELD but she doesn’t. She says she’s a friend and he replies ‘English isn’t my first language but that word means something different than you think’ heh heh. She wants to help him master and increase his power – he doesn’t bite but she tells him that if he leaves he’ll just be forgotten. And then she gives him a superhero name: Scorch. Oh dear. He says he was given this power for a reason and then says he just wants people to see what he can do, which… surely isn’t the reason? I mean, that’s a bit of a ‘meh’ reason to give someone a superpower, isn’t it? ‘I’m going to give you the ability to make fire come out of your hands because I want people to see you can do it’ ummm…
ANYWAY he’s totally falling for it because he’s an idiot.
Skye is reverse-hacking the hacker and FitzSimmons are giving a running commentary using a lot of terminology that goes something like: “gibberish gibberish gibberish and then Bob’s your uncle!” and then this happens:
AC: You get any of that?
Ward: Only the ‘uncle’ part.
SO glad to know it’s not just us. The hacker is this bearded wonder:
Skye has tracked him to a cafe in Austin, Texas and it turns out that he’s the superstar of hackers – he hacked into the Kremlin and got the picture of Putin shirtless on horseback, and hopefully some other stuff as well otherwise wow, what a waste of effort. AC tells Melinda May to change course for Austin and she replies ‘just did’ OMG THIS WOMAN CAN FLY A PLANE WITHOUT EVEN NEEDING TO BE IN THE SHARP END someone get me some oxygen please…
I don’t actually know what’s going on here, but I included this screencap because AC looks like he’s about to spank someone and I thought it was funny :-).
Ward’s superspy abilities are apparently on the fritz, because the guy makes him in about three seconds and legs it in a car.
Wow, this didn’t look quite so ‘lingering glance’-y in the episode, did it? Oops.
SHIELD gives chase, but he re-programmes the streetlights to cause a gridlock and escapes. Nifty.
He goes back to his place and it turns out the reason he clocked Ward is because Skye warned him! And she tells him he could have ruined everything and he’s a dumbass! But everything she says sounds completely different when you know what she’s up to :-).
And then they shag, as you would.
When Skye is getting dressed and not being able to find her top, we see that she keep a SIM card in her bra. They are so cute together.
But Skye tells him she has to get back but she can’t do it unless she finds her…
and then she opens a door to find Melinda May holding the garment in question and she says ‘top’ to Melinda May and Melinda May replies ‘you’d better believe it’ ;-).
So Skye is in BIG TROUBLE even though I can see her position – he’s her friend, she couldn’t have betrayed him. But then I can see AC’s point of view. And I love Simmons being all supportive when the others are just radiating disappointment.
They take Skye and Miles back to the bus in handcuffs (*sniff*) and Simmons tells Skye that she missed a button in a really sweet way.
Raina and Chan (I’m not calling him Scorch because ridiculous) are in a lab where she’s given him the serum that caused all the other subjects to explode and it works amazingly well. This is obviously not a good thing for him.
Skye and Miles are talking in the honeycomb room (does this have a name?) about how SHIELD are awful people (Miles) and also about how they’re just trying to save someone’s life (Skye) while FitzSimmons are trying to find out more about Miles but have only managed to discover that he runs a zombie pigmen mob in Minecraft.
I don’t play Minecraft, but the combination of this face with the words ‘zombie’ and ‘mob’ suggest to me that this is not an indication that Miles is an all-round straight-up guy.
Melinda May is hopefully not trying to make AC feel better because if she is, she’s completely failing.
Tilt head slightly to the side in sympathetic manner. Nailed it.
Aww, poor AC is getting an attack of the self-doubts. Just look at this face!
Aww, sweetie, we still believe in you! He says his gut instinct is telling him that Skye is still hiding something and then Simmons rushes into the room in a very British way to say that they’ve got something on Miles – he was paid a million dollars to get the information on Chan. Skye is furious and Ward is visibly softening towards her (NO NOT LIKE THAT WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU). It turns out that a woman in a flower dress *significant look* paid for the information, and Miles traced the payments back to an eco-research lab that studies centipedes. Skye and Ward exchange a significant look of their own here.
At said Centipede lab, Raina and a lady scientist are being ruthless about Chan – his blood platelets stop the serum from combusting. Unfortunately for Chan, this means they are going to drain him of platelets. Bummer.
I just HAD to include the lady scientist’s ‘Oh my God, you gave him a name, didn’t you?’ face :-D.
There follows an entire scene of clarica that I’m not going to bother recapping, but this screencap makes me laugh because it looks like FitzSimmons are saying ‘there was THIS MUCH CLARICA!! We’ve never seen anything like it!!’.
Miles is trying to guilt-trip Skye by saying he took the money so that she wouldn’t have to join SHIELD to find what she was looking for. Wow. He really is a dumbass.
AC, Kwan, a redshirt and The Cavalry (*sigh*) invade the building where Chan is being held and Melinda May kicks some SERIOUS BUTT!
They find Chan but he doesn’t want to be rescued – he re-injects some of the platelets and burns Kwan to a crisp. NOOOOOOO!!!
Meanwhile, the Centipede guys have locked down the building and Ward lets Skye and Miles out so they can help.
Melinda May tries to reason with Chan but he just responds with fireballs. Melinda May asks AC if Chan’s file said anything about him being homicidal and he says ‘just said he was kind of a tool’ LOVE THIS LINE!! Especially since they’re trying to save him anyway.
Meanwhile, Ward and Skye are breaking into the facility because Skye can’t hack into it to re-open the doors unless she’s inside. Once Ward has taken out every single guard singlehandedly it takes Skye about three seconds to open the doors because she is just.that.awesome. AC tells FitzSimmons to uncuff Miles because they’re going to need his help and he looks unsufferably smug because of this.
Raina has abandoned the ruthless (now literally Ruth-less GET IT??) doctor at the lift (I’m British, I say the wrong words for things like ‘elevator’, as you should know from last week 😉 ) and Chan catches up with her and burns her really horribly but in the process, burns himself pretty badly as well because he has hardly any platelets left. Then Melinda May attacks him with more of the serum, like this:
Stabbing with STYLE! which (on account of said lack of platelets) makes him explode like the others did. Umm… did they not think to bring the stuff FitzSimmons invented in the premiere to neutralise the serum? They must have realised that Centipede would have had to have given Chan the serum to see if he was immune to it. But still, they didn’t, so here they are with one very pissed off pyrotechnic maniac who is about to go boom and they’re sensibly running for their lives. Miles is re-positining the vents to direct the blast up to the roof – clever – and they all make it out in time (yay!).
Back on the bus, AC gives Miles a bracelet that will restrict his ability to hack into things and… God, I don’t know. Track him or something. Maybe it makes toast. He’s now stranded in Hong Kong with no money to get home because SHIELD gave the million dollars to Agent Kwan’s family (awww! People like doing nice things for him, don’t they?). Then he orders Skye to his office. Eek. Miles tells her that she’s not who she used to be. She tells him that he’s not who she thought he was. The dumbass.
Ward and Melinda May are drinking Scotch: Ward says ‘make it a double’ and Melinda May says ‘is there any other kind?’ LOVE HER!!
In AC’s office, we find that Skye did have an ulterior motive for joining SHIELD: she’s trying to find out what happened to her parents and the trail ends with a document that was redacted by SHIELD. AC says maybe he can help her but she might not like what she finds; she replies “it can’t be worse than what I’ve imagined” *sniff*.
I just love AC being the father she never had here, bringing the tough love. And then he lets her stay but on the condition she wears a bracelet like Miles’s and she just does it because she really is sorry but then what could she really have done differently? Betrayed him? She would have felt just as bad about that.
In the after-credits bit, Raina is visiting some dude in jail where they have a very cryptic conversation that is a little boring. But the upshot is: Stage 1 is almost complete, and there’s a Stage 2 and even a Stage 3. Raina wants him to touch base with ‘the clairvoyant’, but ‘the clairvoyant’ doesn’t like being touched, apparently. Raina says we all have to do things we don’t want to do. I sympathise. After all, I still have to choose from approximately three thousand equally beautiful screencaps. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it ;-).
Screencaps from kissthemgoodbye.net, with thanks.