Agents of SHIELD: 117 “Turn, Turn, Turn” Review
Reviewed by Phil Boothman.
So after the hints and clues towards the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier in last week’s episode, with “Turn, Turn, Turn” we have a full-blown crossover and one of the most eventful episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. we’ve had all season. Not only is the true identity of the Clairvoyant revealed, but the episode sets our team off on a completely different track to the one they were previously on, and changes the overall tone of the show.
The episode opens with Garrett’s jet being attacked by S.H.I.E.L.D. drones soon after Victoria Hand, presumed to be the Clairvoyant, hijacked the bus, and he heads off to join Team Coulson who manage to shoot down to the drones even if they don’t quite manage to stop themselves being taken to the Hub. Speaking of which, Simmons and Triplett begin working on the investigation into Skye’s blood and the GH 325 at the Hub when a full-on assault on all S.H.I.E.L.D. facilities by HYDRA begins, with a large number of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents revealing their true allegiance and turning on their former allies.
Back on the Bus, Coulson locks May up in the interrogation room with Ward even though she has explained that her secret hard-line was to Nick Fury himself, who asked her to keep an eye on Coulson after he was brought back to life: Coulson still believes that May is a traitor and clearly doesn’t want anything to do with her any more. However, their personal gripes are largely put to one side as Skye uncovers a secret code in a signal on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s network which reveals the infiltration of HYDRA within the organisation.
When the Bus finally arrives at the Hub, the team manages to split up and escape into the facility before Hand and her men manage to get into the plane. Shortly after they arrive, Simmons and Triplett are found by Hand and a group of armed men who order them to swear permanent allegiance to HYDRA. Naturally they refuse, but instead of shooting them Hand welcomes them to the minority of loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agents attempting to fight HYDRA from within: the reason she forcibly brought the Bus in was that she believes Coulson may be working for HYDRA and wants to take him out herself.
Elsewhere, Coulson manages to take control of a computer room within the Hub with the help of May and Garrett, and Garrett urges Coulson to find and kill Hand for her deeds as the Clairvoyant: he also mentions Raina and the fact that she underwent the same memory-analysis procedure that Coulson did. However, Coulson states that he never told anyone about that, and realises that Garrett, and not Hand, is the true Clairvoyant, and a stand-off ensues.
In another area of the Hub, Ward and Skye talk about the situation they have found themselves in, and agree to explore the romantic potential between the two of them if they get out of it alive. Then Ward takes down an entire squad of HYDRA-loyal agents single-handedly with only a few injuries sustained and secures his place as team badass (joint with May, naturally).
Back in the computer room, May and Coulson manage to take down Garrett’s HYDRA agents and capture Garrett himself, while the rest of the Hub is retaken and (in archive footage) Captain America manages to take down the three Project Insight helicarriers that could have killed millions of people. However, Nick Fury is presumed dead after the incident and S.H.I.E.L.D. is branded a terrorist agency, forcing the remainder of the agents to become fugitives. Hand tells Coulson that she needs his help rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D., and Coulson accepts along with the rest of his team: however the group does split up as Ward decides to accompany Hand to the Fridge, where they plan to lock Garrett up in a deep, dark cell or ‘icebox’.
On the way to the Fridge, Hand offers Ward the chance to execute Garrett there and then, as revenge for everything he did as the Clairvoyant, including ordering Ian Quinn to shoot Skye. Ward takes his gun out, but instead of shooting Garrett he takes out the two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents guarding him, and then Hand herself, freeing Garrett. Thus, we are introduced to the possibility that Ward is, in fact, a traitor working for HYDRA: whether or not this is a fake-out and he is actually a double agent (which I always assume to be a strong possibility in these situations) remains to be seen, but for now as well as team badass, Ward is also team douchebag.
While many episodes of this season have been advertised as ‘game-changing’ or similar, “Turn, Turn, Turn” is the first that really deserves the hyperbole: this episode changes everything about the show, from the relationships between the characters to the general situation and tone of the series. Some explosive, seismic changes in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have occurred and, if anything, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the property most affected by the changes.