Bill Paxton drops by to help the team save Skye from a couple pesky bullet wounds in her stomach. If that's not enough for you, there's some more surprises as to that whole resurrection bit..
Skye is rushed into a SHIELD ER in Sweden, while the team sits in the waiting room. Her intestines have been perforated by two gunshots, and all that's left is whether or not to keep her on life support. Furious, Agent May goes into the holding cell on the Bus and takes out her frustrations on Quinn (the shooter) for a few punches. Coulson pulls her off of him, because she needs to fly them to SHIELD and the doctors who brought him back.
As they fly, Coulson busts out his file for Fitz/Simmons and tells them to get acquainted with the medical parts of the operation, damn their low clearances. The radio comes on and it turns out they're in violation of a direct order; they were supposed to hand over Quinn in Sweden.
Three planes have arrived to make sure to follow orders; Agent Garrett (Bill Paxton, ladies and gentlemen!) and Antoine Triplett dock up top and come down. It turns out Garrett was after Quinn as well, having lost three of his own men to him. Ward and Trip catch up, old buddies, but Ward doesn't cooperate with handing over the prisoner, to where they throw down until Coulson orders him to stand down. Apparently, Garrett will interrogate Quinn on the Bus. Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons are baffled by the procedure and they've called another doctor to help. Said doctor calls and says he didn't treat Coulson.
Garrett and Coulson come into the interrogating room; Quinn is flippant until Garrett literally grabs his tongue and breaks down the situation. They want to know about Cybertek and Deathlok, and he spills that he only shot Skye because the Clairvoyant ordered him. They're skeptical about the Clairvoyant, but his "power" is apparently how he offed Garrett's men. He couldn't see how Coulson came back from the dead though. Basically, they have to treat Skye in the same way, allowing the Clairvoyant to see how, or she'll die.
Fitz, digging in Coulson's file, says a drug called GH-325 gave him some cellular regeneration, and Simmons has a friend patch him into the Triskelion's historical archives so they can do some digging. They find a place called The Guest House (GH) that Nick Fury visited at some point, and manage to find a map written out in holographic ASCII.
Coulson, Ward, Simmons and Garrett suit up to go visit the Guest House, a compound in the side of a mountain, since no communication goes through. A voice over intercom insists "how was the drive from Istanbul?" and Coulson levels that they need help. Receiving no help, they decide to shoot out the cameras and come in.
Dropping in through an elevator shaft, coms cut out due to the depth of rock between them. Simmons hacks the door to a antechamber open, and the guards start blind firing. Ward and Garrett return fire, and Coulson tosses out a flashbang. One guard is taken out, the other wounded. Deeper in, they follow the trail of blood to the other guard. The guard somewhat recognizes him, and mentions "the timer;" the whole place is rigged with Semtex explosives, enough to collapse everything. Ward and Garrett work on disarming it while Coulson and Simmons look for the drug. Back on the Bus, Skye starts flatlining.
Coulson walks in and manages to find the area where he regained consciousness during brain surgery. They also find the room with all the compounds, and they rifle through it all, until they find a locked container with the drug. Coulson also finds a door marked T.A.H.I.T.I., sending Simmons up with the drug while he goes in.
Ward and Garrett use some Semtex to blow the doors open. Ward and Simmons go up after them while Garrett goes after Coulson. He finds him wandering in a daze, yelling to not give her the drug. Too late, as on the Bus Simmons is handing it over at that very moment. Garrett and Coulson run on the deck just as the explosives go off, Coulson rushing in and yelling to stop, but Fitz has administered GH-325. Skye starts to breathe again, but her pulse spikes. She gasps and convulses, but stabilizes. Skye is saved, but Coulson doesn't seem too happy about it, wandering off.
Garrett and Trip go grab Quinn, letting him know they have his confession, so he's done. May asks Coulson why he wanted them to not give Skye the drug; he lies and says he didn't want her to suffer, but we see him in the TAHITI room following the GH-325 container to a chamber inside the wall. He pulls it out, and there's a body inside. It's blue-tinted, surgical marks across its chest, bald, seemingly missing eyes and its lower torso, intestines floating freely, fingernails long.
Lastly, we see a newly married couple in Death Valley. The bride goes to check out of their roadside motel, and the groom goes to start the car, until a redhaired woman in Asgardian dress grabs his water bottle. She says she'll need his loyalty in order to remain free. The bride runs out of the main office as the car speeds off; in the car, the groom declares his unending loyalty to the woman who declares herself Lorelei.
Man, what was that!?
I seriously don't know what that thing was in the container in TAHITI. It looked like a cross between Coulson and Dr. Manhattan from Watchmen. Does this mean Coulson is a clone, and that was the original, with body parts removed? Is that some weird alien and the GH-325 was being extracted from him? I'll have to scour the internets and see some theories as to what that was. But seriously guys, this is what we all wanted from the beginning. This is weirdness and crazy spy intrigue that actually matters to our cast. So now I'm wondering what will happen to Skye and to a lesser degree if Fitz/Simmons is about to become Trip/Simmons.
Bill Paxton in this episode was good, a convincing superior officer and hard man of the spy game. When he "grabbed" Quinn's tongue, I was ready to confess myself. The problem I have is that he's so intense and "present" in the moment that it made Clark Gregg's Coulson seem almost distant, and not just when he was in a haze. These two apparently know each other, but then you'd think their approach to the situation would be a little more uniform. It was basically Coulson piping in here and there as Garrett gave orders to Ward and Simmons and blew stuff up. Hopefully if he comes back they can work on that; I hope they wouldn't bring in Paxton just for a one episode shot.
So next episode Lorelei from Asgard is going to make things hard for everybody, and we have Lady Sif AKA the one everyone really wants Thor to end up with dropping by. We're still finding out things about Coulson's resurrection, and Skye may be in for surprises. Centipede is still out there, and in about a month Captain America: The Winter Soldier is going to drop, and there's a promised huge impact after that movie. Stay tuned.