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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 E14 "T.A.H.I.T.I."

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Not a magical place.

Coulson goes on the attack to save Skye—enlisting the aid of Ward's former S.O. John Garrett—and uncovers shocking truths about his own life and S.H.I.E.L.D.

  • Bond One-Liner: Garrett tells a dead mook "No hard feelings, Bob" after looking at the ID on his corpse.
  • Break the Haughty: Quinn's smug facade gets shattered in this episode repeatedly. First, May's assault leaves him shaking and begging for mercy, then when Garrett tells him that the Clairvoyant has abandoned him to face trial for his crimes, Quinn can do nothing but remain quiet.
  • British Stuffiness: After Garrett jokes to Fitz about them walking into horrible death in the secret lab, he reacts to Fitz's horrified look by saying that "you Brits are too serious". Fitz recovers his composure enough to give one of his usual sardonic jokes right back, to Garrett's amused approval.
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  • Cool Plane: The Bus' coolness is lampshaded. After seeing the fully stocked minibar, Triplett jokes to Ward that the brig where they're holding Quinn must be between the jacuzzi and the squash court.
  • Concealment Equals Cover: The two guards at the Guest House hide behind a wire-frame shelf with objects on it, and a shelf that seems to be open except for boxes on it. Since the whole "office" was designed to facilitate an ambush, it might be bulletproof. The glass door certainly is.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: May gets this on Quinn; beating him bloody for shooting Skye.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Played with; the meaning of "T.A.H.I.T.I." is not explained in this episode.
  • Good News, Bad News: The good news for Quinn is that he still has his tongue.
  • Healing Potion: The G.H. serum basically acts as this (albeit an intravenous one); seconds after it is injected, the patient begins to heal in ways human science could never manage. It fixed Coulson's heart after it was split in two by Loki's spear, and in this episode the injuries to Skye's stomach and intestines.
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  • Heroic BSoD: After Coulson sees what's in the T.A.H.I.T.I. room, Garrett finds him wandering down the hall like a zombie.
  • Human Resources: The G.H. serum is extracted from the mangled body of an alien.
  • It's All My Fault: Fitz, Ward, and Coulson all feel some measure of personal responsibility for Skye getting shot. May, on the other hand, blames the guy who shot her and retaliates accordingly.
  • It's Personal: Coulson and Garrett both have personal reasons for being after Quinn — Coulson for what he did to Skye, Garrett for killing three of his team members.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Garrett starts off his interrogation of Quinn by grabbing him and threatening to remove his tongue.
  • Kick the Dog: Quinn mocks Garrett about the agents he lost trying to track Quinn.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Quinn gets one courtesy of May; hurting defenseless people is something of a sore point with her, especially when she knows them well.
    Quinn: But you can't!
    May: Why?! Because you're defenseless?! Like she was?!
  • Not So Stoic: The normally calm and unflappable May delivers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to Quinn for wounding Skye.
  • One-Word Title: Played with; the meaning of the acronym T.A.H.I.T.I. is not explained in this episode.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: Two guards are killed and a facility housing a potential source of a Healing Potion is destroyed in the team's effort to save Skye. The loss is considered unfortunate by Team Coulson, but the fact that they broke into a secure facility they had no jurisdiction over, prepared to do whatever it took to save their teammate, is washed over. The narrative treats it as them doing what had to be done to save a teammate.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: The guards at the Guest House are clearly friendly, ordinary men doing their jobs. Whether they know what they're guarding is unclear, but they know it's more important than one girl's life. They express some admiration that Coulson's team managed to get past the door, and one of them even warns them about the timer before he dies.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Garrett surprisingly turns out to be one; after a tense meeting where he and Coulson both lay out their reasons for wanting their hands on Quinn, they come to an agreement and work fine together.
  • Rule of Cool: Instead of forcing Coulson's plane to land and then board it, Garrett's plane just docks with it. This fits in perfectly with a comic-book styled TV show.
  • Sadistic Choice: Quinn reveals he shot Skye as a ploy to force Coulson to discover the means behind his resurrection, since she cannot be saved by ordinary medical intervention. Either he finds the secret and thus gives that knowledge to the Clairvoyant, or he lets Skye die to prevent that from happening.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Dr. Streiten has disappeared following Coulson's confrontation with him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Mocked and defied by Garrett to Quinn at the end.
    Garrett: It turns out the only psychic power your buddy has shown is the ability to predict that if you tell a rich, entitled dirtbag he's going to get away with murder, he'll believe it.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Coulson defies orders, gives Fitz-Simmons a classified document above their clearance level, and attacks a facility even he doesn't have clearance for, all in order to save Skye.
  • Sequel Hook: Lorelei, the villain of the following episode, shows up in the stinger.
  • Ship Tease: Two in one scene: Skye and Simmons, and new Agent Triplett and Simmons.
  • Spy Speak: When the team arrives at the Guest House, they are greeted with "How was the drive from Istanbul?" None of them know the counterphrase, it's not listed in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s database, and the guards refuse to respond in any way other than repeating it.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: Two counts and two different outcomes
    • Coulson and Garrett both want Quinn and it escalates to Ward and Triplett coming to blows, but once they talk things over they agree to work together.
    • The guards at the Guest House refuse to grant Team Coulson entry and it comes down to a shoot out.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Garrett's interpretation of why the Clairvoyant isn't bothering to rescue Quinn.


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