‘One Door Closes’
While the Avengers are busy contending with a maniacal mass murdering robot this weekend, things are really starting to heat up for Coulson and his team over at SHIELD HQ. Betrayals, torn loyalties, double crosses, a coup d’état and a literal earth-shattering finale, ‘One Door Closes’ was pure Marvel and then some.
Flashing back to ‘The Day SHIELD Fell’, we see what transpired between the likes of Mack, Morse, Agent Hartley (a returning Lucy Lawless) and Gonzalez on that fateful day. In the flashbacks, we find that Agent Morse has been detailed by Fury to sink the ship to prevent its cargo from falling into Hydra hands.
While for the most part, these flashbacks didn’t really reveal much about how “the real SHIELD” first began, it did open up the world of SHIELD, further reminding us just how big and multifaceted the Marvel Cinematic Universe really is. The flashbacks never amounted to much more than an extended shootout with limited stakes, but they did reveal (albeit right at the last minute) the code and the reasoning behind Morse and Gonzalez’s team in their defiance of Fury’s orders. It showed that in this brand new world there are no villains any more, but merely grey areas and fractured loyalties.
Meanwhile back in the present day, another insurrection with eerie parallels to the HYDRA uprising comes to a head when Gonzalez makes his move on Coulson and his team. Coulson confronts Mack about who he’s working for and then, in one of the episode’s best scenes, Simmons brilliantly attains the upper hand on an unsuspecting Morse. Gonzalez then makes his move on Coulson’s base capturing Coulson and his team.
There is some excellent interplay between the characters this week. This “real SHIELD” are obviously not Hydra, but it’s clear that their way of running things doesn’t gel with Coulson’s more secretive approach. Gonzalez suggesting that Coulson may possibly be an alien messenger thanks to the alien blood pumped into his system was an understandable reason as to why Gonzalez may be suspicious of Coulson’s motivations. And indeed, with Fury’s toolbox in play, questions about how much Coulson knows and what he’s holding back has steadily begun to rise to the surface.
Who will Coulson’s team side with? Will they stick with Coulson or switch to Gonzalez? Whatever happens, loyalties are bound to be tested. There’s no denying that almost all of Marvel’s output within the MCU thus far, TV or otherwise, have suffered savagely from a lack of convincing villainy. Thankfully with the “real SHIELD” we may finally be afforded some compelling conflict within a show that has suffered so much from a lack of it.
At Banner’s retreat, Skye is visited by blind teleporting Inhuman Gordon, who finally reveals a little more of the mythology around the Inhumans and the process of Terrigenesis. These scenes veered occasionally into the realm of the expositional, but it did convey a sense that Skye may very well have to face up to the idea that she may never be able to join her friends at SHIELD again. As if to confirm such a hypothesis, Gonzalez’s team is sent in to capture Skye, which leads to a blistering and Earth shattering finale.
All in all, this was a terrifically action packed episode that left Coulson and his team in a very interesting place: Skye is now God knows where with Gordon, Coulson and Hunter are on the run, and the “real SHIELD” is now in control. Where it all goes from here is anyone’s guess.