[Hey superqueeros, still Valerie Anne filling in for Heather Anne! Which hopefully explains any gratuitous screenshots of Skye's face.]
Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Ward was the worst, Coulson got a secret message that lead the team to Providence (the secret base, not the city), and Ward was sent back in undercover to get into Skye’s hard drive.
We open on a crazy man sucking the life out of a grumpy man and stealing his truck, all with an eerie calmness. He’s wearing an ID bracelet that reads “Daniels” and looks an awful lot like he escaped from somewhere we wish he had stayed.
Back at Secret Base Providence, Ward is giving the team his version of what happened at the Fridge, complete with flashbacks to remind us that he’s a slimy lying liar. What pisses me off the most is that he has Simmons all worried about him and begging him to take it easy. He also says he killed Garrett, which is the lyingest lie of all.
Ward slyly says, “Oh but thank goodness Hydra didn’t get their hands on this here hard drive, we should probably make a few copies and each have one on our person at all times just in case, especially me.” Skye probably would have done it, too, but Coulson needs her for something more important first. See, a bunch of supercrazies have escaped from the Fridge. And I don’t mean supercrazy as in really, really insane. I mean psychotic in a dangerous way with the added benefit of actual superpowers.
Coulson asks specifically about a man named Marcus Daniels, and sure enough, that’s our life-sucking friend. Coulson says he’s going to round up a team and go fetch the supercrazies, but May and Skye think perhaps they should all stay put, out of Hydra’s reach. Coulson says he doesn’t care about what’s safe, he cares about what’s right, because he’s Coulson. Patton Oswalt…er, I mean, Eric vehemently disagrees with this plan. He’s still a little miffed that Coulson came with an entire team of unvetted people. To correct this, Eric says everyone must undergo orientation, aka a lie detector test.
Things he learns: May has been married, Triplett is a legacy, Skye doesn’t have a last name because the orphanage tried to call her Mary-Sue Poots and she was not having any of that.
Nice flannel, Mary-Sue. Yeah, no, I tried, doesn’t work.
Probably the most telling set of answers is what they would want to see in a box they opened on a deserted island. May: machete, Triplett: cell phone, Fitz: Simmons (sweet yet a little creepy), Simmons: The TARDIS (BE CUTER I DARE YOU), Skye: her laptop, though she quickly talks herself out of it.
While Ward goes in for his orientation, Coulson takes FitzSimmons and Triplett on a mission to stop Daniels. His power is the ability to absorb electricity/energy, which is why a simple poke killed that guy dead. Luckily, Triplett knows how to fly a plane and FitzSimmons can construct light sources on planes, so off they go.
During his lie detector test, Ward says he would want a pistol in his box, and almost blows everything because he’s a lying liar. However, he manages to beat the system when Eric asks him why he’s really here, at Providence, because Ward says Skye, which sounds innocent enough, but is decidedly not innocent, in any way, shape or form. Alas, Eric buys it, and gives him his lanyard.
May finds Coulson and is PISSED that she wasn’t asked to fly the plane to go get Daniels; not only is she his usual go-to pilot, but she was there last time they took him in. But Coulson still doesn’t trust May, because he doesn’t think her ideas of “right” and “wrong” align with his, not anymore. Personally, I’m grateful, because otherwise all Skye would have had to protect her from Ward was Eric.
Coulson and his mini-team head to where they think they’ll find Daniels: the hometown of his “light in the darkness.” They arrive just as he found her jogging alone in the middle of the night in an empty park and scoop her up in a car. Fitz and Coulson throw a bunch of little lights into the air around him and point light guns at him, but Daniels tells them that the Fridge made him stronger. He knocks them both to the ground and disappears into the night.
Back in Providence, Skye figures out that Eric is using their shiny new lanyards to keep an eye on Team Coulson via digital Marauder’s Map.
This gives her an idea. Eric figures out that she wants to hack the NSA and she nods like a little kid who just suggested they climb a tree, but he says absolutely not. Ward comes in and plays along, casually mentioning once again that perhaps they should decrypt the encrypted hard drive. You know, just for funsies. Skye brushes him off and says they’ll have to take a field trip before they can do that. With Ward’s second opinion, Eric gives his okay, so Skye skips off to the control room, saying she’ll have footage of the Fridge break-in after an hour or so, shrinking Ward’s timeline just a bit.