Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 17: “Turn, Turn, Turn” Review

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In “Turn, Turn, Turn”, the events in Captain America: The Winter Soldier shake up Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Meanwhile, could the real Clairvoyant’s identity be revealed?

Spoiler Warning: This article will spoil major plot points in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled review of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 1, Episode 17.

Let’s Discuss What Happened!

Turn, Turn, Turn:  If I didn’t know there are six more episodes to follow, I’d think this could be the season finale. From beginning to end, the intensity and action is on full throttle. The stakes have never been higher while the premise of the show is turned upside down, inside out. The odd scheduling of a couple of weeks off and on, makes more sense knowing the show wanted to line up this episode with the release date of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Captain America 2 did the initial heavy lifting, now the show can explore the aftermath of the dissolution of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Don’t Trust Anyone:  Taking a serialized approach to the story telling allows the beginning of this episode to hit the floor running. The opening scene has all the agents forced to admit their deceptions to each other. Everyone’s been keeping secrets and what a wonderful web of tangled lies it is.

Playing off the distrust of one another added to the suspense from Simmons not knowing  if she could trust Triplett to Victoria Hand possibly being the Clairvoyant or working for Hydra. Coulson’s loyalties were never in question for me, at the same time, I could understand from Agent Hand’s perspective why she believes he’s with Hydra after listing all the reasons.

Although I correctly guessed that Victoria is loyal to S.H.I.E.L.D. her merciless and cold-blooded tactics could pass as villainy. Yet those same exact traits make her a formidable adversary for Hydra if she’s were still alive. She’s a comic book character on a comic book show so is it possible she’s could be revived somehow like Skye?

Hail Hydra: Casting guest star Bill Paxton as Agent Garrett added a fresh energy to the team. In the back of my mind, I had a sneaking suspicion that he would be revealed to be working for the enemy but I didn’t peg him as the Clairvoyant and he never confirmed it. His behavior was pretty erratic, one moment saying Victoria Hand couldn’t be the Clairvoyant, then calling for her death, of course his reveal explained why.

Even with Hydra’s message to come out of the shadows, a tiny nitpick is that Garrett’s cover is blown after all this time by absent-mindedly letting slip a fact he couldn’t have known. The real Clairvoyant is a mastermind who would be better at compartmentalizing secrets.

After watching The Winter Soldier on the weekend, my hunch was that Dr. Arnim Zola, the scientist whose mind is contained within computer drives, could possibly be the Clairvoyant.  The Clairvoyant’s obsession with how Coulson was brought back to life would correlate with Zola, who may want to be resurrected in the flesh. With all the twists and turns in this episode, I’m not prepared to rule anything out at this point.

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Look Up Boring In The Dictionary: A scene that felt out of place is Skye telling Ward, “If we get out of here, let’s have drink” in the middle of a supposed life and death situation. It sucked, so to speak, much of the tension out of that scene. With Ward working with Hydra, it does put a different light on his reason for killing the fake clairvoyant last episode.

There’s a brief exchange on the bus with Ward telling Garrett what’s worth saving and he looks towards Skye. This could suggest he truly does care for her or just reinforcing his trust with Skye so she’ll would hand over the back up hard drive of classified information. After Ward asks to go to the Fridge, it tips his hand that he’s up to something. By shooting up the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents at the end, its hard not to believe he’s a traitor but this show could be setting up a very big misdirection.

The Wrap Up

“Turn, Turn, Turn” raises the bar for the series so far and there’s still several more to go before the season finale. Within the story’s break neck pace are some memorable character moments. Fitz’s teary-eyed reaction makes him that much more endearing while Coulson’s and May’s share some of their most compelling moments together.  For fans of MCU and Captain America: The Winter Soldier who are looking to find out what happens next in the battle between Hydra and S.H.I.E.L.D., the final run of episodes is set up to answer that very question, at least from our agent’s viewpoint.

What do you think about Ward as an Agent of Hydra? Where do you rank this episode among your favorites?

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Posted on April 9, 2014, in Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., Television and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 30 Comments.

  1. I liked it. Finally we have a bad guy that I recognize. Hail Hydra. SHIELD v. HYDRA is the whole story. It’s the CONTROL v. CHAOS. of Marvel comics. I loved it when they went to commercial from the Hydra logo. That was cool. But I also hated that Skye was flirting with that agent ( I can’t think of his name) He’s been boring up to this point. I sincerely hope he is a bad guy and not just “eye Jacked”. He was so boring otherwise. They don’t totally spoil CA:TWS. They don’t say that Fury is still alive. But if you didn’t watch it over the weekend you were mildly lost. They could have split the agents up along Good or Evil familiar lines but finally using the H word makes for a better connection to the comic books. But at least it gives us an answer to why they have been spreading out the episodes. Trying to sync it up with the movie. Which means the show plot will use movie titles for things when the movies change but it didn’t really change the plot of the show. It’s still the same story but now the clairvoyant works for Hydra..

    • I love that Hydra logo too. I was trying to look for that exact logo and put it in this post but I couldn’t find it in time. The flirt and kiss scene was out of place. It seemed like the producers are talking directly to fans when they called him boring. I think a lot of fans like this twist. If it’s true, it’ll be cool to see it play out but I was warming up to him. After watching CA: TWS, last episode’s ending.made more sense. I’m liking this classic battle between Hydra and SHIELD. I’m also like that the big game changers in the movies have ripple effects on the show. Coulson’s team was one of many but now it seems they are the core group remaining, if the other top agents are missing in action.

  2. Good commentary. Honestly, my suspicion is that the show is setting up a turn about. Even if it isn’t one, I don’t think Ward’s hydra connections will be simplistic. And I agree the show is actually getting good. Who would have guessed?

    • Thanks! Yes, I think we’ll learn a lot more about Ward’s hydra connection next episode. Since the second half of the season, the producers started making adjustments and the quality has improved.

      • Agreed. Which is the only reason I’ve seen the second half. I has given up on the show, but kept hearing it was getting good. So went back for another try. Turns out it is good.

  3. “Turn, Turn, Turn” was a perfect title for this ep–I think this is the one where the series turns around from being frustratingly not quite there to being there THERE.

    I was watching it with my mom and when the reveal about Garrett happened, she said, “I saw that coming. I watch too many TV show and read too many mysteries, no one can fool me anymore.” Then—lol.

    I’m sure there are a lot more reveals coming–can’t wait.

    • It has taken a while for show to get going but now it’s arrived or at least in a much better place. Perfect title indeed, I’m not familiar with the song but I think Garrett was listening to it in his aircraft.

      Haha, yeah before this episode I never would have guessed it. I hope we can go back to earlier episodes and spot some clues knowing what we know now.

      I’m also pretty sure there’ll be more twists and turns coming too! Great hearing from you!

  4. Good recap and another great episode! The slow pace this show had in the beginning is really making sense now – between developing the relationships with the characters and syncing up with the movie, it’s paid off to stick with this show.

    I’m with you on never doubting Coulson’s loyalties. I did suspect someone from inside S.H.I.E.L.D. to the be clairvoyant but never thought it would have been Ward. I read an interview with the executive producers where they explain how Ward worked to gain the trust of the team and really explained how they tied it all together. Makes me want to go back and watch all the previous episodes! Sooo agree about the Skye/Ward scene. Even watching it I said out loud “this is so necessary.” Such a forced scene and zero chemistry. Hopefully we are done being tortured with this forced pairing now that Ward has been revealed as part of Hydra (or maybe he’s not?).

    Loved Fitz in this episode. Thought they kept true to his character by having him hide under the desk by grabbing the gun and shooting just in time to save May. He’s not the hero dude to come sweeping in but he will do what needs to be done in an unexpected way.

    Haven’t had a chance to see Winter Soldier yet but will be happy when I do so I can really see all the connections. Will also be interested to see if May is able to gain Coulson’s trust back. After all she wasn’t a traitor to the team, just watching to be sure Coulson was Okay.

    Does Ward still have the drive that Skye gave to him? If so, will be interesting to see the fight to get it back or if Hydra is able to access and use the info before Coulson and his team can get it back.

    • Fans who stuck with show got rewarded. It would for hard for new fans to jump in on this episode and make sense of things. Even regular viewers were taken for a wild ride.

      I’ll have to read that interview with the exec. producers. I guess it does make sense how Ward worked to gain the trust of the team though I can’t think of any other major clues off hand that hinted at his Hydra connections before these last two episodes. Ward and Skye have no chemistry, when they kissed it was like a grandmother’s kiss haha. The last scene without dialogue that just focussed on Ward’s expression is a bit ambiguous. Does he feel guilty at killing those agents and betraying his former team? I think we’ll get some answers next episode.

      Yeah Fitz is great in this episode. He had a chance to switch sides but he was defiant, willing to take a bullet on the kneecaps. That’s a good point that’s he’s not the action-hero yet he was able to save May from beneath the desk.

      Since I saw Winter Soldier, it was interesting seeing these agents in the first 10 – 15 minutes of the episode try to figure out what’s going on. It must have been a big surprise to learn the twist along with the agents. May will have to work at repairing her friendships and trust with Coulson, maybe Nick Fury can put a good word in for her though he’s not exactly been truthful to Coulson either.

      I think Ward still has the drive, I don’t recall him giving it back. He convinced Skye to back up the info on the drive, very sneaky of him. I like this set up of a power struggle between Hydra and SHIELD – I guess it’s been going on all along without us knowing.

  5. Hey dude, I know I’m a bit late to the party here, but I didn’t get around to see the episode until early this morning. So yeah I decided to swing by and see what you were saying about the episode.

    I did like this episode a lot, it was probably the best episode of the series so far. It was full of genuine twists and turns that I didn’t expect at all (I’m fairly dumb to be fair). I totally feel ya on the whole finality of this episode, were there not more episodes to come one could easily assume that this was a good cut off point for the show. Though I am glad that there is more to come because I believe there to be a few more loose ends to tie up.

    The whole trust issue in this episode was well-executed as you could see that not only the characters in the show had trust issues but you as an audience member had trouble trusting people too. I felt real bad for Coulson and May, both are long-term friends but because of all the secrets and lies and now the whole Hydra scenario it has put them at odds with each when trust is really required yo. Oh and that sceen with Fitz shedding tears was heartbreaking, it was just a small touching moment. As for Garrett I too don’t think he’s the Clairvoyant as Coulson accused him of being the bad guy in question but he didn’t claim to be, plus I think there might be a higher power involved. I wouldn’t have called Arnim Zola were he not blown to bits, I still want it to be the Leader, if he could be brought back into the MCU I would be so happy and it would make so much sense.

    Also if you have the time I would love for you to check out my review I did today yo. :)

    • Hey man, never too late, the parties just getting started haha.

      I put this episode at the top of the series too so far. So much happened in this episode, it sets up how the rest of the season will play out. Glad it wasn’t the finale as there’s too many answered question.

      So many characters that couldn’t be trusted. Just when they had us thinking one way, they’d swerve left. Good point, this episode had the audience members not knowing who to trust. Coulson had trust issues from earlier episodes and to learn his closest friend was keeping the secrets he was searching for must have messed him up. Then to top it off, May confessed she put the team together not him … ouch! Garrett doesn’t talk or act like the Clairvoyant, my hunch someone else is pulling the strings too. That’s right Zola’s computer got blown up. It’ll be cool though if he got inside the internet. I’m not familiar with Leader but I’m sure you know your comic book characters.

      Looking forward to checking out your review! :)

  6. This episode was CRAZY!!!
    I’m not sure how i feel about “Mirror Universe Ward”, but I’m amazed by the fact this episode not only remained static in the ratings, it may have actually hurt the series overall!

    • So many twist and turns it really is crazy! I think next episode will delve into Ward which should help clear things up. I’m pretty surprised too that the ratings didn’t get a bump from last week’s cliffhanger and the Winter Soldier. The show does well with certain demographics and is an improvement from what was in that timeslot last TV season, so that helps the chances of this show sticking around.

  7. Really solid episode, definitely the most high-stakes we’ve seen so far. I was really curious how the fallout from “The Winter Soldier” would impact “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and I really liked how they tied the episode into the events from the movie. So far the show has raised more questions than it has answered, but I think that’s a good thing. The show has more layers and complexity to it now. I’ve also wondered if Dr. Zola might be the Clairvoyant; it will be interesting to see what turns out to be the real truth. Was also really surprised by Ward turning traitor at the end, though I sense we haven’t heard the real story there either. I also felt the conversation between Ward and Skye felt forced, too casual for the middle of such a serious situation. However, Ward’s actions at the end of the episode maybe cast the conversation in a different light. Perhaps he was trying to deflect suspicion or distract Skye, or maybe he ultimately wants to recruit her to HYDRA? I’m really curious to see the next episode!

    • I planned on watching TWS the first weekend and I also wanted to see it before the next Agent’s episode. This episode’s surprise reveals leads to a number of questions to be addressed. Plus there’s still long-standing mysteries like who is the Clairvoyant that I think aren’t answered yet. What would be cool if they did a flashback episode and portrayed all of Ward’s action’s in a different light knowing what we know now. Getting close to Skye could be another tactic, it’ll be interesting if he was trying to recruit her into Hydra.I hope next episode will continue with the quality! Thanks so much for commenting. :)

      • I would also like to see a flashback episode that takes another look at Ward’s character. His betrayal was a really interesting twist; I didn’t see it coming and I think it definitely helps to make his character more interesting

        • Another thing I’m curious about the twist is if the show plans on keeping Ward as a regular character next season. I’d imagine the team will find out very soon about Ward’s betrayal. So far I’m liking the twist, it’ll be interesting to see how the writers handle it.

  8. Damn dude, it looks like I am missing out. Skye was irritating and her character bugged me by never taking anything seriously. Looks like she is still like that! However, her looks kind of make me hate her less. What a beauty! Anyways, I quit watching this after the first four or five episodes. After watching Winter Soldier, I am seriously regretting that I chose not to keep up. It was hard to get into!

    • If you’re interested in catching up I’d say episode 13 is a good one to start. And this cross over episode with Winter Soldier is the best one so far. Skye is a polarizing character for sure, I hasn’t won over all the fans yet.

  9. This was definitely the best SHIELD episode yet. Well, I haven’t seen the one from yesterday…but this one was great! Lol. I don’t love the Skye/Ward thing, and I thought his behavior in that scene you mentioned was so obviously not like him. From that moment, I suspected he might be part of Hydra. We’ll see what they decide to do with him, I guess…

    • I think it’s the best too! It’s a pretty hectic episode with all the twists and turns. Not knowing who to trust and what to believe made it a lot of fun. Something was up with Ward, in that scene with Skye but I couldn’t but my finger on it. Good hunch about Ward, I only suspected him when he asked to go to the Fridge. It’s going to be interesting to see what they do next with Ward. :)

  10. Just watched this episode so very late reading this review. I thought it would be good if Ward was a traitor but I thought he was too boring to be part of Hydra. This is definately a step in the right direction for the show. Just feel sad for Coulson and co when they find out Ward is a baddie.

    • This episode helped shake up the show in a good way. I like this direction for Ward even though he doesn’t come across as a “Hail Hydra” guy. It’s a pretty huge betrayal, Coulson and Co aren’t going to take the news well. Good to know you’re catching up on the show and thanks for checking out the review.

  11. The most stunning part for me in this episode was when Victoria Hand was testing Simmons and Triplett. I thought the others would have to rescue those two somehow, but when it turned out Hand was just testing them, that was funny and thrilling at the same time.

    It’s definitely a very exciting roller coaster episode. I was very surprised at Ward turning out to be a traitor but at that point, with all the twist and turns in the series so far, I was thinking he was just bluffing Garrett (with Hand’s collaboration by pretending to die). But this doesn’t seem to be the case, now having watched the next two episodes. I don’t know how I feel about this, him turning out to be a villain. On one hand I don’t really care for this character, on the other I think plot developments should be convincing. This one seems a bit too random, with nothing to lead to it, or perhaps I had missed something in the previous episodes. I hope a compelling reason will be revealed about why Ward is among the bad guys, if that’s really the case :-)

    • I really liked the Victoria Hand scene too. I had a hunch she wasn’t with Hydra, even though she ordered the kill on Team Coulson. It’s a good moment for Simmons too for sticking to her true loyalties which kept Hand from killing her.

      After this episode, I wasn’t exactly convinced Ward was truly a bad guy either despite shooting Hand, I also thought Hand might still be revived somehow … of course that didn’t happen. There weren’t any hints in previous episodes that I can think of that Ward is Hydra except for killing the fake clairvoyant which felt out of character with the Ward we know. In episode 21 there are flashbacks to Ward’s relationship with Garrett that might help explain things.

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