I kind of feel sorry for the people who gave up on this show early on, because Agents Of S.H..I.E.L.D. just keeps getting better and better - with this week's episode, the ominously titled End Of The Beginning, clearly setting wheels in motion for the season's final run towards its (hopefully) epic conclusion.
Coulson and crew, aided by agents Triplett (B.J. Britt) and Garrett (Bill Paxton) are closing in on the true identity of The Clairvoyant, but continually run afoul of Deathlok aka Mike Peterson (J. August Richards). There's a shot where Skye (a full agent as of this episode) is looking at a scanner image of Deathlok that just perfectly nails his comic book look (see below).
End Of The Beginning is like a S.H.I.E.L.D. greatest hits with returning appearances by agents Blake (Titus Welliver), Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernández) and Hand (Saffron Burrows), as well as a gentle prequel to Captain America: The Winter Soldier - with Sitwell being called away to the Lemurian Star (as seen in the movie's opening). All we were missing was Fury and Hill - but I wouldn't be surprised if they didn't pop up later.
With the hindsight given by viewing The Winter Soldier this week, it's interesting to see how the traitor behaves, but - to be honest - almost everyone is starting to starting to behave slightly shadily and what wonderful, textured television it makes. Because who said there had to be only one traitor on the show?
The agents track down The Clairvoyant (Brad Dourif in one of his least demanding roles), but it all seems a bit too easy doesn't it?
Coulson thinks they've been tricked ... and then things really start to fall apart.
It was also interesting that he referred to Centipede as a "program" rather than an organisation, because I'm now beginning to suspect that everything in this season is tied in to the conspiracy unmasked in The Winter Soldier - thus addressing the enigmatic hashtag "ItsAllConnected".