Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Clairvoyant arranged for Skye to get shot in the chest so Coulson would be forced to save her life with the same alien goop Nick Fury used to save Coulson’s life, which, when coupled with the Captain America: The Winter Solider trailers, led Coulson to believe maybe going off-book w/r/t S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol was going to be the legit heroic thing to do. He recruited Skye to help him because they share an emotional bond, and also they share Kree blood. Agent May, who apparently knew Coulson’s secret all along, overheard their covert tag-team shenanigans and promptly reported them to someone over an encrypted phone she keeps stashed in her locker.
Coulson has had it up to here with the Clairvoyant, so he calls the S.H.I.E.L.D. big guns to the bus to propose a new plan. Agent Victoria Hand is there, towering over everyone. Power suit. Pink stripe in her hair. The whole deal. Also Sitwell and Blake. Coulson wants to narrow down the list of 17 Clairvoyant suspects (all of whom tested positive for telepathy at some point) to three suspects and send three teams after each one of them, operating on a second-by-second basis so as to bamboozle their seer powers. All he needs is a super genius agent who is skilled in pattern recognition and also is his secret best friend who doesn’t trust S.H.I.E.L.D. anymore either.
Hand is like, “Too bad you don’t have an agent like that.” And Coulson is all, “Except for I totally do because — surprise! — Skye is getting a badge!” Skye is so happy. Ward, not so much, because he looooves her and doesn’t want her to get hurt again.
Skye starts to get suspicious when Fitz and Simmons request another gallon of her blood for research. They explain, quietly, that they want to send it off to some of their science friends for analyzing because the alien goop that saved Skye’s life has the potential to save zillions of other lives. The problem is that Coulson doesn’t want them to do it.
May overhears this little exchange and advises Fitz and Simmons to consult her if: a) anything weird does turn up re: Skye’s alien blood, and 2) if she and Coulson start acting cagey. She says she can “help.” She doesn’t do the air quotes, but they’re implied.
It has not been a very good year for Mike “Deathlok” Peterson. Injected with super-serum that nearly caused his brain to blow up. Almost killed. Recruited to S.H.I.E.L.D. Almost killed again. Recruited by the Clairvoyant. Burned up. Lost leg. Lost son. Cryogenically frozen. New robot leg. New robot eyeballs. Enslaved by the Clairvoyant. So when he gets a package at his apartment, he knows it’s not a birthday cake. It’s a gift from his omniscient captor: a mechanical sleeve for his arm that launches rockets and makes his eyeballs glow red. The Clairvoyant is finally ready to meet him in person.
Agent Hand has no interest in sitting around on the bus waiting for the action to start, so she heads back to the Hub to “coordinate” the “backup teams.” But really, there’s no action to be had anywhere. Trip and Ward come up empty-handed at their location, and so do Garrett and Coulson. May and Nash crash the nursing home where their catatonic oracle is supposed to be, but he’s gone. You know who is there, though? Deathlok. (“Mike Peterson is dead!” he wails.) He beats the biff out of Nash and even uses his fancy new rocket launcher arm to do collateral damage, but not before Nash manages to lodge a tracker bullet in his robot body with Fitz’s newest toy gun.