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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 E22 "Beginning of the End"

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Now that HYDRA has revealed themselves and S.H.I.E.L.D. has been disbanded, Coulson and his team are on their own to take down the now-missing Clairvoyant. The finale will address Ward's true allegiances as well as answer questions about Skye's lineage, who's controlling Deathlok and what the Clairvoyant wants with Coulson.


Tropes:

  • Agony of the Feet: For his treachery, Ward finds himself on the business end of a nail gun courtesy of a very pissed-off May. Three times.
  • Anguished Declaration of Love: It's played with, but it's there.
    Simmons: Why would you make me do this? You're my best friend in the world!
    Fitz: Yeah, and you're more than that, Jemma. But I couldn't find the courage to tell you. So please, let me show you.
  • Anti-Climax: After rising from the dead, Garrett has a machine build himself a new prototype armor, begins spouting HYDRA's classic phrase and looks ready to wreak some havoc... only for Coulson to hilariously vaporize him from offscreen with the beam weapon from "0-8-4", leaving him a puddle of gore on the floor and casually walking away without even giving him the dignity of a Bond One-Liner.
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  • Anywhere but Their Lips: Simmons' reaction to Fitz's feelings for her. Though considering it was really more like Everywhere on Their Face but Their Lips, Fitz doesn't mind in the slightest.
  • Armor-Piercing Question:
    • After Team Coulson defeats Hydra and capture Ward, Coulson tells him exactly what he plans to do to Ward, and he leaves Ward with a question to mull over:
      Coulson: You've devoted your entire life to a deranged narcissist who never gave a damn about anyone, and now he's dead. You've got the rest of your life to wrestle with the question — Who are you without him?
    • Earlier in the episode, when Raina was leaving, she told Ward that she believes Skye could be his in the future. He responds:
      Ward: Wow, you really are crazy. Skye detests me. She thinks I'm a monster.
      Raina: Are you? Is that your true nature? Or is that what Garrett made you to be?
      Ward: [visibly lost] I don't know.
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  • Aroused by Their Voice: Garrett playfully says Skye's voice sounds "husky" over the phone.
  • The Atoner: Mike lets Ace return to his sister's care. Skye tells him Ace wouldn't care about Mike's burns, but Mike says he has to make up for what he's done.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Coulson and Triplett are looking for a vehicle they can steal so they can breach the defenses around the Cybertek compound. Fate delivers them a missile-armed APC.
  • Backup Twin: Eric Koenig from Providence really is dead, but Billy Koenig is still running The Playground. He even gives an opening speech that is almost word-for-word the same one that Eric gave Team Coulson in "Providence".
  • Badass Boast: When Skye and May break into the super-soldier control room, Skye warns the room that she has a bomb, and they should know what that does. She also has May, and they should know what she does.
  • Batman Gambit: May lampshades this in the beginning, noting that Coulson's plan relies on a risky gamble. Specifically, they're counting on the super-soldiers being recalled to protect Garrett, thus leading Coulson to him.
  • BFG: Fury delivers Coulson's Destroyer-based gun from The Avengers, which he uses to take out a bunch of super soldiers.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Fury, twice.
    • Pulling Fitz-Simmons out of the ocean.
    • Showing up right after Coulson learned that Garrett severely outmatched him.
  • Big "NO!": Simmons screams one as Fitz pushes the button on the device he's rigged up to perform his Heroic Sacrifice, despite her begging him not to. It's abruptly cut off as the water hits her.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Garrett is killed by Mike (and later again by Coulson) and Ward is arrested. HYDRA's super soldiers and Mike are free from their control. Fury leaves Coulson in charge of rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. as its new director. However, Fitz, while alive, may never be the same again. Mike, ashamed of everything he did, leaves his son with his aunt so he can make amends. Quinn and Raina escape, with Quinn in possession of the gravitonium and Raina visiting Skye's father to give him a picture of his daughter. Finally, the episode ends with Coulson compulsively writing the same alien script Garrett did earlier in the episode.
  • Body Horror: We once again see how Cybertek augmentations are installed onto subjects, with contacts drilling themselves into various spots on Garrett's body. Judging from the way Garrett screams, it's not a pleasant process.
  • Bond One-Liner:
    Fury: Think he learned his lesson?
    Coulson: He learned something.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted; Coulson's BFG runs out of charges just as his remaining opponents are Garrett and Deathlok.
  • Brick Joke:
    The Avengers
    Coulson: [points Destroyer gun at Loki] Even I don't know what it does. [activates it] Do you wanna find out?
    "Beginning of the End"
    Coulson: [activates Destroyer gun] I know what it does.
  • Buffy Speak: Coulson lapses into it at the end of his rant to Fury.
    Coulson: ...Stupid stupid stupid! And cruel! And very stupid!
    Fury: Yeah, I got that.
  • Call-Back:
    • The 0-8-4 from "0-8-4" appears again, this time being used by Coulson to vaporize Garrett.
    • Garrett scrawls the same alien script seen in "Eye Spy", and Coulson later fills out a more complete version, linking it to the GH serum and its source.
    • In "Providence", Eric Koenig mentions playing video games with his brother as one of the things he does for fun. In this episode, we discover his twin brother was also working alone in a different secret base.
    • Ward's insistence to Skye that everything he did was because he was following orders to carry out his mission is reflected in that when he doesn't have any orders to follow and no obvious mission, he seems utterly lost.
    • Fitz-Simmons have nearly the exact same "more than friends" conversation that they had in "The Girl in the Flower Dress", but about themselves rather than Skye and Miles. (See Meaningful Echo, below.)
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: Coulson meets Fury while under fire and they proceed to have a fairly calm conversation as bullets fly around them. Later, when confronting Garrett and Deathlok, Coulson and Fury spend the stand-off snarking at Garrett's GH325-fueled insanity.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Fitz's defibrillator transponder. He mentions it being set to a S.H.I.E.L.D. frequency that nobody will be listening for. Turns out Nick Fury was listening, and shows up in time to save Fitz and Simmons' lives.
    • Quinn goes into great detail how Cybertek's medical machines can rebuild injured soldiers. After nearly being killed by Mike, Garrett uses one to rebuild himself completely... and then is vaporized by Coulson.
  • Clipped-Wing Angel: Cyber-Garrett versus the 0-8-4.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The HYDRA agent carrying the Berserker's Staff calls May "The Cavalry". May does not like being called "The Cavalry".
    • The gravitonium from "The Asset" appears once more. Garrett claims to be able to sense its "soul", a reminder that Franklin Hall is still in there.
    • Upon being handed the Destroyer Gun he once shot Loki with, Coulson says "I know what it does."
    • Deathlok's Finishing Stomp on Garrett is highly similar to how he rendered Agent Blake comatose in "End of the Beginning".
  • Crazy-Prepared: Cybertek's super-soldier call center drills for every sort of emergency situation, including someone taking over the place with a bomb. However, there's one situation they didn't plan for: someone discovering their emergency plans and exploiting them.
  • Cross-Referenced Titles: The title echoes that of "End of the Beginning" (S1 E16), which marked the start of the "Uprising" arc that this episode concludes.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Garrett rips a general's rib out, then stabs him with it. (This was not shown in the Channel 4 airings in Britain.)
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: May grabs the Berserker's Staff and then fairly effortlessly cleans the clock of the Centipede soldiers.
    • Coulson (after being Punched Across the Room by Garrett) vs. a squad of Centipede's super-soldiers. Also counts as a CMOA... for Coulson that is. After being given the Destroyer gun by Nick Fury, Coulson easily wipes the floor with them.
    • Happens again shortly afterward, when (as shown in the page image above) Deathlok (seemingly) kills Garrett. The fight itself consists of Deathlok crippling Garrett with a missile before stomping the HYDRA agent to death.
  • Deadly Euphemism: The Cybertek "incentives program". Meaning they kidnap your loved ones.
  • Dead Man Switch: Skye straps a bomb to the project head for Centipede and tells him that it will go off if she doesn't send a signal once a minute. Subverted when the backpack the bomb is supposedly in is revealed to contain a Hulk action figure.
  • Death by Irony: Garrett is killed in the middle of saying how unstoppable he is, and how he can't be beaten... by Coulson, who treats it as more or less an afterthought and doesn't even mention it again. To add insult to injury, he's killed by an old HYDRA weapon.
  • Death Glare: Ward has to settle for this during Coulson's speech, on account of May having fractured his larynx.
  • Didn't See That Coming: Coulson is caught off-guard by Garrett having super-strength.
  • Dies Wide Open: Garrett, although subverted in that he's Not Quite Dead.
  • The Dog Bites Back: As soon as Mike knows his son is safe and there's no-one around to make his head explode, he shoots Garrett with a rocket, then stomps on him.
  • Do with Him as You Will: "Mister Peterson is free to do whatever he wants."
  • Dying Declaration of Love: Fitz tries one to Simmons, but she refuses to let him die.
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Commander Fury steps in to aid The Team in the Final Battle.
  • 11th-Hour Superpower: Fury drops by and gives the Destroyer gun to Coulson. He makes good use of it.
  • Faking the Dead: Hilariously lampshaded when Garrett and Deathlok face off against Coulson and Fury. Garrett quips this is probably the world's only tag-team match between four dead guys.
  • Finishing Stomp: How Deathlok takes out Garrett. It doesn't take, but luckily Coulson is around to finish the job.
  • Foreshadowing: Albeit one that takes a good long while to become relevant. Garrett tells Raina that he can see the Gravitonium's "soul", which at the time seems to be an indicator that he's just going mad. It's actually a hint that Franklin Hall's mind is still active inside the Gravitonium.
  • A God Am I: Several of Garrett's last few declarations head into the territory, such as "I am the key to the future universe. I'm the origin of all things!" and "You need me to translate the words of creation!"
  • Go Mad from the Revelation:
    • Whatever the serum showed Garrett, it's done quite a number on his sanity.
    • Coulson is also displaying hypergraphia, one of the reported side effects of GH-325.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: Mike stomping on Garrett's head.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Samuel L. Jackson reprises his role as Nick Fury, showing up to help Coulson stop Garrett and appointing him the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D. Then he goes off on his own mission at the end of the episode.
  • Hammerspace: Fury produces the Destroyer Gun seemingly from thin air.
  • The Heart: Coulson's role as this is made abundantly clear here. For all the regulations and secrets and manpower, it's people like Coulson that make S.H.I.E.L.D. work.
  • He's Back: Nick Fury arrives with new support and a BFG.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted by Fitz. He rigs up a medical oxygen canister as a breathing device for Simmons, since his broken arm is going to prevent him from getting to the surface fast enough. Determined not to let that happen, she drags him to the surface with her, saving both their lives. Fitz isn't in good shape, though, on account of having no air. He isn't seen for the rest of the episode.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation:
    • Coulson believes Project T.A.H.I.T.I. was wasted on him because it was supposed to have been used on a fallen Avenger. Fury informs him, to Coulson's utter speechlessness, it was.
    • Simmons refuses to acknowledge that she saved Fitz's life, insisting that it was the other way around.
  • Higher Understanding Through Drugs:
    • Played with. Garrett and Raina believe he has acquired this as a consequence of being injected with the distilled GH-325 serum (everyone else thinks he's just gone completely insane).
      Garret: You hear the dying breath of an old world, general. But a new world is coming. I've tasted it on my tongue.
      General: ...this is your strategy consultant?
      Quinn: ...he's part time.
    • Regardless, he seems to have learned an alien language from nowhere, which Coulson also demonstrates in the stinger.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: May throws the Berserker Staff away. Quite literaly, taking out a large amount of HYDRA goons... but conveniently losing the staff for the rest of the series.
  • Hollywood Healing: Nick Fury's arm is no longer in a sling. It's not clear exactly how long after Captain America: The Winter Soldier this episode takes place, but it's probably less than the 3 to 6 months normally needed for a broken arm to heal.
  • If I Do Not Return: Once the super soldiers are recalled to protect Garrett, Coulson leaves Triplett with the APC and has him call the military for help, adding that he wants the place burned to the ground whether or not he's managed to escape it by then.
  • I Have Your Wife: Cybertek's "incentive program" is an euphemism for "hostage family member".
  • I Just Want to Be Special: Raina wants superpowers of her own, or believes she has some yet to be discovered because she asks Garrett "What will I become?"
  • Immune to Bullets: Garrett, who is shot center mass by Fury numerous times, yet just gets right back up with a mildly bloody mouth to show for it.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Coulson tells Ward that he won't be physically tortured when he's interrogated for information about HYDRA, but May cuts in to assure him that there will be some.
  • Karmic Death: Garrett, who headed this faction of HYDRA and used technology to cybernetically augment his entire body, is vaporized by technology of HYDRA origin.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Garrett taunts Skye about having killed Fitz and Simmons, sarcastically praising their valor.
    • There's a rare pre-emptive version when it's revealed that Ace Peterson was far from the only family member of an Unwitting Pawn Garret had kidnapped.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Ward does this to May, repeatedly. Fortunately, May comes across a nail gun.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: Garrett is vaporized in the midst of saying he's unstoppable.
  • Kung-Shui: May and Ward wind up fighting in an under-construction wing in the Centipede building, complete with loose boards, flimsy walls, and plenty of power tools still plugged in.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Fitz saved Fury's life with his Mousehole device in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, so it's only fitting Fury ends up saving him and Simmons here.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: Nick Fury was revealed to be alive at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier, several weeks before the series does.
  • Literal Metaphor:
    • "Bring down the house" leads to May using the Berserker Staff to knock out most of the brick columns holding up the ceiling of the underground hideout they're in.
    • Their "ace-in-the-hole" was Mike's son, Ace, in his cell.
    • The "noisemaker" they deploy as a distraction is one of the old S.H.I.E.L.D. gadgets that's made to look like a child's noisemaker.
  • Little "No":
    • Skye upon learning that Fitz-Simmons have gone MIA.
    • Simmons after realizing that Fitz's escape plan was only for her, not for both of them.
  • Lock-and-Load Montage: Team Coulson gears up for the assault on the Cybertek compound, all the while discussing the plan.
  • Make Sure He's Dead: Coulson hangs around Cybertech in case Garret revives from Mike's stomping, and when he does, Coulson blasts him into goo with the HYDRA 0-8-4.
  • Meaningful Echo: Fitz-Simmons' conversation leading up to Fitz's Dying Declaration of Love is almost word-for-word the conversation they had about Skye and Miles way back in "The Girl in the Flower Dress", but with the speakers reversed and themselves as the subjects:
    [from Episode 5]
    Fitz: Why would Skye do this to us, for him? I thought she was our friend.
    Simmons: I think she is, Fitz. He's just obviously more than that.
    [from Episode 22]
    Simmons: Why would you make me do this? You're my best friend in the world!
    Fitz: Yeah, and you're more than that, Jemma.
  • Mondegreen:
    Garrett: You remember that speech you used to give us, Nick? About how one man can accomplish anything once he realizes he can become something bigger? Well, now I am.
    Fury: ...A part. A part of something bigger.
    Garrett: Is that how it went?
    Coulson: Not a great listener.
    Fury: If you tell me this whole HYDRA path thing you took is because you misheard my damn "One Man" speech—
    Garrett: I am the key to the future of the universe. I'm the origin of all things.
    Fury: [to Coulson] You got it, right?
    Coulson: Totally.
  • Mythology Gag: Garrett's look after he rebuilds himself again looks a lot like Garrett in the comics.
  • Nail 'Em: How May wins her fight with Ward; she grabs a nail gun and puts three nails through his foot, pinning him to the floor.
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: Garret's revival and cyborg upgrade at the end of the episode. He starts monologuing to the empty room, only for Coulson to walk in and casually zap him with the HYDRA 0-8-4.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Quinn was on the cusp of selling the US military the idea of replacing all their special forces (and Secret Service protection details) with Centipede troops, which would have placed HYDRA-controlled operatives in position to seize control of the US military and government... and then Garrett wanders in, freaks out everyone, and kills one of the generals.
  • Not Himself: Ward notes this of Garrett when talking with Raina. It doesn't sit well with Ward.
  • Not Quite Dead: Despite Mike seemingly killing him, Garrett gets up again and has himself cybernetically-augmented... only to be unceremoniously vaporized by Coulson.
  • Not So Different: Ward says this to Skye, alluding to the "darkness" Raina says is inside her.
    Raina: Maybe you can be monsters together.
  • Now or Never Kiss: Fitz-Simmons, after a fashion.
  • Oh, Crap!: The project head for the Centipede control division has a subdued one when May reveals she knows about the default directive for the super soldiers.
  • Older Hero vs. Younger Villain: In the May vs. Ward fight, we have the old-guard S.H.I.E.L.D. loyalist vs. the new-guard HYDRA infiltrator.
  • Passing the Torch: Nick Fury names Coulson the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Plot-Driven Breakdown:
    • During the fight at the barber shop, May throws the Berserker Staff into a pillar to collapse the whole foundation, trapping the super-soldiers but preventing her from using it in the final battle.
    • Coulson's BFG happens to run out of charge after taking out the super soldiers but before he can put down either Garrett or Deathlok.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner:
    • Coulson gets one at the beginning of the episode, when The Team is in the HYDRA base under the barbershop, surrounded by Centipede super-soldiers and a HYDRA agent armed with the Berserker Staff:
      Coulson: Who do we talk to about getting haircuts?
    • May gives a standard, but nonetheless effective one right before the assault on Cybertek:
      Coulson: What do you say? You ready to change the world?
      May: No. [loads gun] I'm ready to kick some ass.
    • Ward confronts Skye at Cybertek:
      Skye: I have a weapon much better than a bomb that will absolutely destroy you.
      Ward: Why's that?
      Skye: Because you slept with her, and she's really pissed off.
      [cue Agent May punching her way into the scene]
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Just before Ward is knocked unconscious:
    May: I think I've waited long enough for this. [roundhouse-kicks Ward in the side of the head]
  • Punched Across the Room: Coulson is on the receiving end of this from Garrett after he punches the latter with no effect.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • Ward is hit with this all over. Skye mocks him as a Yes-Man to Garrett, then Coulson grills him on having dedicated his life to a self-serving sociopath. Even Raina takes a jab when Ward gets in her face about Garrett's behavior.
    • Garrett gets one courtesy of Coulson, explaining how he will never win because he only cares about himself instead of thinking as a team... moments before Skye frees Deathlok from his control for a major karmic payback.
  • Rebuilt Pedestal: While Raina was disappointed that Garrett wasn't actually clairvoyant, in his new state of mind, he shares her goal of improving humanity.
  • Reset Button Ending: A minor example in that the US Military is seen cooperating with Coulson and his team at the end, suggesting that they aren't considered fugitives any more and that the new S.H.I.E.L.D. might not be considered hostile.
  • Rousing Speech: Coulson gives one as the team head to Cybertek. See Pre-Asskicking One-Liner for May's response.
  • Running Gag:
    • From the time the character was first introduced, Garrett is constantly spouting off things that other characters have to correct because he's mis-remembered them.
    • Nobody gives Garrett any respect.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Raina and Quinn leave after Garrett kills one of the military officers that came to inspect Cybertek's facilities. Coulson's team attacking the place gave them their own "incentives program" to do so.
  • Sequel Hook: All over the place.
    • Coulson is left in charge of rebuilding S.H.I.E.L.D. as its new director.
    • Fitz is still in critical condition, and it's left unclear as to what long-term damage he may suffer.
    • Raina visits Skye's father to give him a picture of his daughter.
    • Quinn and the gravitonium are still out there.
    • Both Garrett and Coulson write out an alien language for an unknown purpose.
    • Hilariously subverted with Garrett, though. We find he's survived his pummeling at Mike's hands, broken out of the steel box he was sealed in, and killed the guards. He uses the cybernetic-augmentation machine to painfully rebuild himself into his armored form from the comics and become an even greater threat, declaring how powerful and unstoppable he's become as evil music rises... aaand then Coulson casually vaporizes him with the HYDRA 0-8-4. It's implied that Coulson had it trained on him while he was climbing into the machine, and let him go through the agonizing process before blasting him. Coulson doesn't even mention Garret nearly returned with a power-up, he just treats the whole thing as if he chucked a bit of litter in the garbage. The important thing is he found the stray death ray. Hey, that thing could have hurt someone!
      Coulson: Hey, guys... I found it! I told you it'd be in here.
    • Coulson tells Ward that he will have to figure out who he is without Garrett.
  • Ship Tease: When Fitz finally tells Simmons he likes her, in a roundabout way, he's smothered with kisses.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: In a literal application of this, when Ward tries to talk May down after she has him at her mercy, she fractures his larynx to shut him up. Coulson approves.
  • Slasher Smile: Garrett is rocking a pretty good one at the end.
  • Take a Third Option: Simmons' response to Fitz's above Anguished Declaration of Love. Only one breathing module, to use on just her (Fitz ruling himself out as an option)? Nope. She shows him right back — by saving them both.
  • The Slow Walk: Mike does this toward Garrett after shooting a missile into his chest, then finishes it off with a stomp.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Garrett's Motive Rant is met with a constant line of snark from Coulson and Fury, who are put off by just how crazy Garrett's become.
  • Squick: In-Universe, this is both Ward and Quinn's reaction to their boss pulling out a man's rib and then stabbing him with it.
  • The Starscream: Garrett intends to be this to HYDRA as his vision of a new world is "bigger than HYDRA". His plans are cut short by Coulson.
  • The Stinger:
    • Raina gives a picture of Skye to a man whose hand drips an unknown substance. "I've found your daughter."
    • Coulson is later seen sleeplessly scrawling out the same strange patterns as Garrett.
  • Storming the Castle: Team Coulson assaults the Cybertek facilities to stop Garrett once and for all.
  • Stunned Silence: Coulson's reaction upon being told what Nick Fury thinks of him.
    Fury: [justifying using Project T.A.H.I.T.I. to resurrect Coulson] It was a "break glass in case of emergency" situation.
    Coulson: Yes, but that emergency was supposed to be the fall of an Avenger!
    Fury: Exactly.
    Coulson: ...
    Fury: And I'm damn glad I did it, too.
  • Team Shot: Team Coulson (minus Fitz, but including Triplett) strikes a pose amid heroic music as the episode approaches its close...
  • Tempting Fate: "Now I'll be unstop—"
  • Title Drop: Garrett says he's going to change the world, and mentions the title. In a broader sense, he also mentions an "uprising" against HYDRA, the title of the arc.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Zig-zagged. They trumpet the presence of Nick Fury, though more through showing a face than saying a name (and it was spoiled by a press release anyway), and May is shown using the Berserker's Staff to take out the super-soldiers which had cornered them in the last episode (can't very well kill off all your main characters, after all). At the same time, however, there's the conspicuous absence of Fitz-Simmons, leaving their fate genuinely up in the air.
  • Transhuman: What Garrett has effectively become after taking the GH-325; super strong, immune to bullets, and afflicted with some kind of madness marked with alien writing.
  • Tron Lines: Garret's new cyborg getup at the end has orange glowing lines lighting up... for the few seconds he has it, at least.
  • Trust Password: Skye convinces Mike she has his son by having him repeat what they said to each other in the pilot:
    DAD, WHAT ARE WE?
    WE'RE A TEAM.
  • Übermensch: What Garrett believes himself to be; the bold visionary who will bring in a new world! Nobody else except Raina believes him, ever.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: It's a double subversion in that they do discuss The Plan but in such a way that it goes over the audience's head.
    Coulson: Trip will crest the ridge, use the noisemaker to grab a three-wheel, maybe something with more fireworks, and open a window for you two. You crawl in, grab the dealer, force his hand, he'll get us our ace in the hole and then Bob's your uncle.
    Skye: Roger that.
Trip goes over the mountain, uses a literal noisemaker to grab a car, uses it to blast a hole in the wall, they enter Cybertek, grab the leader, and get him to lead them to the hostages—specifically, the one literally named Ace. At which point, they win.
  • V-Formation Team Shot: The team settles into it on the back ramp of the Bus when they arrive at the Playground.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ward goes into one when Garrett is going bonkers, and seems utterly lost without having a role or any orders to follow. He's relieved when he's told to get Skye just because he's been ordered to do something.
  • Villains Want Mercy:
    • When May nails Ward's foot to the ground, he tries to talk her down. She responds by fracturing his larynx and kicking him unconscious.
      Ward: ...wait, wait!
      [May punches Ward in the larynx]
      May: I think I've waited long enough for this.
      [May gives Ward a roundhouse kick in the head]
    • Garrett tries to get Coulson to call off Deathlok after the latter is freed from all blackmail. Coulson doesn't go for it.
  • Visionary Villain: Garrett says he's had a vision of "a world that's waiting beneath the surface of this world", specifically referring to the evolution of humanity. How much of this is serum-induced insanity and how much is genuine revelation (and how mutually exclusive those two possibilities are) is hard to say.
  • We Can Rule Together: In the final showdown, Garrett seems to think that Coulson saw whatever he saw and expresses mild surprise that Coulson doesn't already share his goals in decoding it, even suggesting he should be spared because "You need me to translate the words of creation!" While Coulson blows him off entirely and chalks the whole thing up to GH-induced madness, The Stinger has Coulson reproducing the same symbols Garrett scratched on the glass door. What this means for his future sanity remains unclear.
  • We Have Reserves: Quinn complains that Garrett taking the only sample of the GH serum before it could be reproduced meant they wouldn't be able to provide accelerated healing capability for the Centipede soldiers, which would result in casualties. Raina counters that since Quinn was working with HYDRA, there should be no shortage of volunteers from their ranks.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: The serum made Garrett very powerful and very nuts.
    Fury: You didn't tell me he'd gone this crazy.
    Coulson: He's really stepped it up a notch.
  • Woman Scorned: Ward believes May to be this, which Skye lampshades when she introduces May as "much better than a bomb" and finishes with "you slept with her." Ward claims that "The Ice Queen got her feelings hurt," but May's rage at Ward comes more from two primary sources — what he did to Fitz-Simmons, mirroring her anger at Quinn for shooting a defenseless person; and his betrayal of the team, as she told Skye in the motel room.
  • You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!: The project head's reaction to Skye's "bomb" being a Hulk action figure.
  • You Wouldn't Shoot Me: Ward is confident Skye won't detonate her bomb since she wouldn't let him die in "Nothing Personal". Skye says he's right, but she has something much more dangerous than a bomb: a decidedly unhappy May.

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