So the attitude of tonight's episode seems to be the motto for the back half of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: no more secrets. It makes for a disorienting show, one that seems like it's still trying to play catch-up. But despite the sudden change in pace for the show, "Seeds" seems to have found a happy medium between the superhero procedural from the show's first nine episodes and the action-drama from the last two. And we get another big reveal, one that's much less expected: Skye was an 0-8-4 retrieved on a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission.
The reveal seems a little undeserved. Tonight's B-story focuses on Melinda May trying to get Agent Coulson's mind off his medial resurrection by looking for Skye's parents. And what do you know, despite having no evidence of Melinda May doing any previous research, they find the partner of the woman who was killed dropping off Skye and get the information from him just like that! For the small amount of effort expended on that storyline, we get a huge payoff: apparently, not only were Skye's parents killed trying to protect her, but an entire village was. She was found on a S.H.I.E.L.D. mission and determined an "object of unknown origin" with supernatural powers that have seemingly not yet revealed themselves. Oh yeah, and nearly every agent around her died trying to protect her.
This could be a potential solution to the show's superhero problem. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been reluctant to use not just other Marvel superheroes, but any superheroes at all. Having one of the main characters imbued with some sort of supernatural power could make this show a lot more interesting.
Not only did this episode create another potential superhero, but it made another supervillain, and one that's actually Marvel property. Donnie Gill starts off as an incredibly smart, lonely kid who lures FitzSimmons to S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy to help him create a frozen doomsday device to sell with his new friend to a venture capitalist. But when the device goes awry, it kills his friend and imbues Gill with new powers, giving him the ability and the motivation to become Blizzard (who later becomes one of Iron Man's foes). Oh, and that venture capitalist? That wasn't just any venture capitalist, that was the evil Ian Quinn from episode three. And it looks like he's working for Caterpillar, too. Look at you, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., calling back to previous episodes and working in overarching villains! Shows grow up so fast.
"Seeds" feels like the first real cohesive episode for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. As with most Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episodes, there's still a lingering feeling of wasted potential: many moments between characters felt a little stale, and the show is still miles behind other Joss Whedon shows in terms of witty dialogue. But we had an A-story that wasn't just a standalone superhero procedural, a B-story that moved along some major plot points, Agent Coulson neatly trying the two stories together at the end, and some real warm moments between characters (Melinda May's concern for Coulson in particular was a good exploration of their relationship). All in all, a solid episode.
Oh yeah, and Coulson totally knows that Ward and Melinda May are doing it now. A pointless admission from Melinda May, but I like to think that Coulson high-fived her off screen.