You know how Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. loves to turn inane plot points into “More You Know Moments?” Like how Coulson knew there was something wrong with him only to have Melinda May tell him “There is….you died and came back to life?” Well, this episode, cloyingly entitled “Seeds,” does that yet again! On top of that, we have a trip to X-Men: First Class, learn sorta/kindof a bit about Skye’s backstory and absolutely nothing about Coulson.
A group of kids are enjoying hijinks in a swimming pool when water turns to ice, almost trapping one of the kids inside. This wouldn’t be particularly fascinating if we didn’t realize this was some type of S.H.I.E.L.D. facility. The SHIELDies detail that the school is the infamous “Academy” everyone talks about and there’s a long-standing rivalry between the science academy (where Fitz and Simmons went and were royalty) and the operations academy (where Grant went and was awesome in his own way). Skye, always the Debbie Downer, feels left out because she probably went to a regular public school. Fitz and Simmons are tasked with going to the school to calm down the students while everyone else figures out how this next-level freezing tech was developed, and by whom.
Everyone shows up at the not-Professor Xavier school for Fitz and Simmons to deliver their talk. Meanwhile, Skye and Grant take a trip to a mural dedicated to fallen agents where Skye flippant, but totally intentionally, refers to “Bucky Barnes.” You know, in case you forgot Captain America: The Winter Soldier was coming out soon. And you thought this series was a gimmick! During Fitz and Simmons’ talk one of the student’s from the pool, the son from Prisoners, turns into a dude-sicle only to have Fitz save his life. The SHIELDies are puzzled as to which students could afford the technology to do something like this.
In case you were wondering where Coulson and Melinda May are, they’re following the fantastic storyline of….discovering Skye’s past. Seriously, Coulson had his brain played with and was resurrected for reasons unknown but we’re going to move on and find out about a girl who I have no reason to believe serves any purpose! I could understand if she exhibited some type of power, but all I’ve seen is her ability to use a computer and generally give googly-eyes. Am I missing something? May and Coulson go to Mexico City to track down one of the remaining agents associated with the person who turned Skye into the orphanage. May says she’s doing this to get Coulson’s head in the game, because searching for answers on his problems are unimportant. And when did May suddenly feel for Skye? She’s been acting against her all this time and after last week she decides “Never mind, kid’s cool?”
Of course, it wouldn’t be a “More You Know” episode if Coulson didn’t tie Skye’s story into his own. In this case, he vows to reveal secrets and stop keeping people in the dark. This leads to the weird reveal from Melinda May about her and Grant’s affair. I’m happy they haven’t focused on that too much because I still find it ridiculous and pandering in a way, but why feel the need to announce it at all? It’s no one’s business but May and Grant’s, unless there’s some weird policy about intra-office dating that’s never been explained? Coulson ignores it and the duo finds Agent Lumley who realizes they’re there because of “the baby girl.”
Agent Lumley tells a story about encountering a “084” (a mysterious object of unknown origin). Him and Agent Avery – the agent who took Skye to the orphanage – discovered an entire town, and an entire SHIELD team, were massacred with the only survivor being a baby girl…who was the 084! Dum, dum, dum! Avery and Lumley knew the baby wasn’t safe so instead of taking her to SHIELD (mind you this was well before the whole “SHIELD is evil” story the series is developing so why not turn her in?) they decided to have Avery take the baby to an orphanage. Skye was subsequently moved from home to home for years out of protection. There’s no explanation as to why she’s important, all we’re told is where she goes death follows.
Back at X-Men: Sequel’s Soon Don’t Forget, Fitz befriends young Donnie, the frozen kid. Fitz learns Donnie is a genius with big ideas and no friends. Donnie’s trying to create a battery with infinite energy and Fitz gives him some advice. Meanwhile, Simmons, Grant, and Skye are hanging out with a bunch of high-schoolers in a boiler room/teen club (that’s not weird or off-putting) and discover Donnie and kid attacked in the pool were friends and planned the scheme to learn Fitz and Simmons to the Academy. Fitz realizes Donnie only wanted his help and is subsequently clubbed by the other kid named Seth.
Donnie and Seth are discovered to be working with the mysterious Ian Quinn – the guy I barely remembered from earlier episodes – who wants a demonstration of the enhanced freezing machine purely to get out of dealing with them. The demonstration works, but it ends up creating a massive ice storm. Newly back from Mexico, Coulson and Melinda May enter the eye of the storm to save everybody. The machine explodes and Seth ends up dead with Donnie feeling guilty about his role in the scheme; Coulson, in a nice bit of business, stops Seth’s resuscitation efforts in tribute to letting people die with dignity. Donnie ends up being sent to the magical place where all SHIELD baddies go, leaving the audience with the belief he’s suffering from Princess Elsa disease (or, probably more accurately, that he’s Donnie Gill, soon to be The Blizzard of comic fame).
We can’t end the episode without Coulson telling Skye the exact same things Lumley told him. Similar to Coulson leaving before hearing about why his brain was being poked, the music comes in and we never learn why Skye was so important. There’s a few ways this can play out and I have a sinking feeling they’ll try to tie in Skye’s past with Coulson’s death, kill two birds type thing. Honestly, Skye’s background provides no interest to me. I want to know why a dude’s brain was being played with! We’re also continuing to follow the thread of SHIELD possibly being a terrible organization which is real easy to do when none of the big players from the films stop by regularly. Skye is morose while Coulson gives a hammy speech about her realizing SHIELD has been her family all along. Ugh, stitch it on a sampler and let’s move on. Oh, and don’t forget that ice hurricane. Yep, we move away from that to discuss Skye’s fantabulous upbringing I could care less about. Coulson gives Quinn the Taken spiel about finding him, only to have Quinn drop the mike by telling him The Clairvoyant says hi.
Another blah episode of Agents of SHIELD. The various threads range from “interesting, why don’t we know more” to “I could care less and it’s all the show talks about.” The trip to SHIELD Academy could have been intriguing but it was dumped in favor of a baddie who continues to provide little threat. Unless you’re telling me about Coulson’s brain, I don’t want to know. Apparently, the show is out of gas again because we’ll take another hiatus and return February 4th.