If you`ll indulge me for a sentence, we`ve just (finally!) got our Sky viewing card today (after switching way back on 28th April...), and for the first time we saw M.A.S. in glorious HD. Wow.
Throughout this episode are flashbacks relating to the relationship between Ward and his father figure, Garrett, which nicely inform the scenes between them in the present. We begin fifteen years ago, as Garrett springs the teenage Ward from juvie, slowly toughening him up and brainwashing him to become the perfect Hydra tool. Ward's relationship with his own family, it is hinted, is unspeakably horrible; he is easy prey for the cynical and charismatic Garrett. There is a slight indication that Ward may not be entirely beyond redemption- he doesn't shoot the dog- but the episode still ends with him dropping Fitz and Simmons, locked in a box, into the waters of the Caribbean. We have to wait a week to see whether they survive.
At the other end of the episode, Coulson annd his team, now permanently augmented by Howling Commmando descendant Trip, face the fact that they are now just a bunch of vigilantes with no status and no support. They are resourceful, however; Coulson has worked out that Cybertek is behind everything and, armed with some of Tripp`s family heirloom James Bond gadgets and the hilarious sight of Couson and May trying to be scientists, they set out to investigate its HQ.
This whole sequence is hilarious, from Coulson and May channelling Fitz and Simmons via their earpieces (complete with Coulson`s accidental lapse into Caledonian vowels!) to Skye and Trip, hacking equipment at the ready, being told to "Get ready for a large file transfer", only for a file cabinet to crash out of window, followed by our two infiltrators.
It seems that Garrett was the first Deathlok, back in 1990, and he remains a bionic man. There`a a twist, though; he`s dying, and stands to die within a month or two unless the GH-25 serum works and, after an attack by an outraged Fitz, Raina is forced to use all of her synthesised forum to save his life. What has he become...?
If that wasn`t enough cliffhangers already, we get another; Raina has discovered something big about Skye`s past, something that involves her parents being monsters...! I can hardly wait for the finale.