What Are Coulson's Secrets On 'Agents Of 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'? Gonzales Is Very Concerned About His Rival Director

In last week's episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Love in the Time of Hydra," we met "the real S.H.I.E.L.D." and its director Robert Gonzales, right along with a reluctant Lance Hunter. Both Hunter and the audience learned that Gonzales and his cronies seriously have it in for Coulson. The dueling director certainly doesn't agree with the other agent's methods, but he also seems convinced that Coulson is hiding something. Something big. Whatever this monumental secret is, could Coulson be keeping it from the audience too?

I don't think so. Since his alien scribbling compulsions have subsided, Coulson has been largely straightforward with his team. Or at least that's how it seems. Gonzales' major gripe with Coulson's methods is that "leadership should operate with transparency and not from the shadows." He and the rest of "the real S.H.I.E.L.D." associate secrets with Nick Fury. They also associate secrets (and thereby Coulson) with the deaths of Triplett and Hartley, who was pretty cozy with Gonzales. It's a confusing philosophy coming from an organization tasked with combating evil and ensuring national (or international — we don't know this S.H.I.E.L.D.'s scope) security. Surely the ends must sometimes justify the means, and signing up for this gig means accepting some level of risk. Still, they've got beef. "Nick Fury simply kept too many secrets," Agent Weaver says. And she uses the past tense here, because one of Fury's best-kept secrets is that he's very much not dead.

To me, this feud isn't about secrets. It's about alien secrets. What "the real S.H.I.E.L.D." doesn't like about the way Coulson's organization functions is its willingness to engage with aliens and alien tech. (Hanging out at the pier with Lady Sif: not cool.) I bet their mistrust of Coulson began when he was resurrected by Fury with unearthly means. And it only deepened as they received intel on those lingering side effects — like his gibberish Pictionary sessions. It's not that Coulson goes to great lengths to veil his intentions. It's that, to them, he's an unknown element — a threat in ways this S.H.I.E.L.D. can't even put into words.

So, if the alt-S.H.I.E.L.D. is anti-fraternization with anything alien, they would definitely have a problem with an Inhuman being on Coulson's payroll. Skye is tucked away at a Fury safehouse and benched from active duty — Coulson made sure of that — but surely Bobbi and Mack have reported back to their real boss on her volatile powers. The challenge of how to handle this newly unleashed Skye has already led to dissension in the ranks. But the bond between Skye and Coulson means that he'll do anything in his power to protect her. And therein lies the threat to "the real S.H.I.E.L.D."

The above promo for this week's showdown is pretty clear: this fight comes down to Skye. And whoever comes out on top will be in charge of her future. "You need to run, now," Agent May warns her as Skye is pursued by what looks like a helicopter. "They're coming for you." Who's got secrets now?

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