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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2 E21 "S.O.S., Part 1"

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S.H.I.E.L.D. puts everything on the line to survive a war that blurs the line between friend and foe. Coulson and his team will be forced to make shocking sacrifices that will leave their relationships and their world changed forever.

Tropes:

  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: The Inhumans seize the Iliad, while Cal is left to wreak havoc in the Playground.
  • Apologetic Attacker:
    • Skye apologizes to May when she uses her powers as a trump card in their fight.
    • Jiaying apologizes to the S.H.I.E.L.D. agent she drains to heal herself.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: The initial list of drugs Simmons figures Cal took includes steroids, amphetamines, gorilla testosterone, and "a drop of peppermint".
  • Bad Powers, Bad People: Having just revealed herself as a bad guy, it is shown that Jiaying's power of immortality is fueled by sucking the life out of other people.
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  • Be Careful What You Wish For: To quote:
    Mr. Hyde: You were looking for a monster?
  • Body Horror: It's light, but once Cal's transformation into Mr. Hyde kicks in, he turns into an evolutionary throwback with a large jaw, sloped forehead, and bulging veins.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Ward and Kara could have killed Bobbi a dozen times, but didn't do it because she hadn't suffered enough. They even go so far as to deliberately call the heroes in just to get some proper revenge, thus setting up their downfall.
  • Call-Back: Cal sings "Daisy Bell" while being held prisoner on the Quinjet. Earlier in the season, he sang this to Skye, explaining that it was his and Jiaying's lullaby for her.
  • Car Fu: Coulson pins Mr. Hyde to a wall with an SUV.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Ward and Kara do this to Bobbi, to make her admit to ruining Kara's life.
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  • Cryptic Conversation: Raina knows Skye won't believe her regarding the truth about Jiaying and thus doesn't say outright what she knows is going to happen. Instead she mentions things like how a "thorn protects a flower", foreshadowing how Raina (who is covered in thorns) will in death reveal to Skye (aka Daisy, the flower) the truth about her mother and give Skye the chance to protect herself from her mother's duplicity.
  • Defiant Captive: Bobbi refuses to apologize to Kara, repeatedly saying she'd "do it all again."
  • Distinction Without a Difference:
    Coulson: You're here to take out some S.H.I.E.L.D. agents.
    Mr. Hyde: No. I'm here to take out as many as I can!
  • False Flag Operation: Jiaying has her people steal a Quinjet and blow up the meeting room to convince her people to go to war and convince Skye that S.H.I.E.L.D. is evil. This also serves to destroy any evidence that she murdered Gonzales, instead of acting in self-defense as she claims.
  • Fingore: Ward administers paralytics and anesthetics to Bobbi before shoving spikes through her fingers lengthwise, stating that a well-trained agent can withstand immediate pain, but as the drugs wear off the pain will gradually build until she breaks.
  • Finishing Each Other's Sentences: Fitz with, of all people, Hunter.
    Hunter: Forget about the plane. Can you pull up the...
    Fitz: Footage of Bobbi. From the base. Before she left. Good idea.
    Hunter: You know, I am capable of finishing my own...
    Fitz: Sentences. Yes, you are. Sorry.
  • Gun Stripping: When a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent fires on one of the Inhumans after the Quinjet attack, Skye uses her powers to vibrate his weapon apart then beats him in hand-to-hand combat. Doubles as a Call-Back to when Skye self-destructed her own gun when she and Bobbi confronted Vin-Tak back in "Who You Really Are".
  • Heel–Face Turn: Raina proves she'd made one when she willingly faces death to prove Jiaying's duplicity to Skye.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Bobbi's justification for what she (indirectly) did to Kara while undercover for HYDRA. It was either risk the possible capture of anyone in the safehouse, or definitely lose two dozen agents.
  • Idiot Ball: The agents guarding the Kree stone are caught off guard by Gordon, who knocks one out and steals his weapon. Then they hear a ruckus outside, and every single agent turns to the door. Cue Gordon teleporting back in behind them with two other armed Inhumans, forcing the entire contingent to surrender because they were too stupid to guard their flank when faced with a teleporter.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Jiaying might have had a point about the Inhumans needing to be wary of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the way she jumps straight into "we need to kill all of S.H.I.E.L.D. and also any of our own people who don't agree with me" (with the reveal of her bad powers as icing on the cake) makes it obvious she needs to be stopped and effectively shelves the subtleties of the situation.
  • Kirk Summation: Bobbi points out that Ward's whole philosophy is based on him never taking responsibility for anything.
  • Life Drinker: Revealed to be how Jiaying's immortality works.
  • Me's a Crowd: Alisha can split herself into at least five copies.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: The shot of adrenaline that Simmons gives Cal turns out to be what stabilizes his Super Serum and fully transforms him into Mr. Hyde, after he'd been trying and failing to figure out what final ingredient he needed for a long time.
  • Normally, I Would Be Dead Now: One vial of the drugs Cal took, as Simmons notes, would put a normal person in the hospital. Given that he took three, they should've killed him already. In fact, they do eventually kill him, though Simmons manages to revive him.
  • No-Sell: Coulson, Fitz, and Simmons hit Mr. Hyde with at least a half-dozen ICER rounds. He claims not to be able to feel his legs, but can still walk just fine and is otherwise unaffected.
  • Not Worth Killing: After Bobbi's failed escape attempt, Kara decides to kill her. However, because Bobbi is both willing to die and unapologetic for selling Kara out, Kara can't go through with it because there's no satisfaction in it.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: During the fight for the Iliad, there's a moment that plays like offscreen teleportation, when one of the defenders breaks free of Alisha and runs, then finds her waiting for him in the doorway. It's not actual teleportation, though; Alisha's power is Me's a Crowd.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: While everyone else around him is advocating violence, Coulson is the only one keeping a level head and trying to work out a peaceful resolution. Even when he does have to resort to force against Calvin, he uses the minimal amount necessary.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Raina's last act is to expose Jiaying's duplicity to Skye by allowing Jiaying to kill her.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Since Bobbi doesn't care about her own life, Ward and Kara strap her to a chair with an automated gun trained on the door in front of her. The first person to open the door gets shot in the head. That way, she has to deal with someone losing their life because of her.
  • Slasher Smile: Cal, once he transforms into Mr. Hyde.
  • Super Serum: Cal's attempted super-serum is made of quite a few performance enhancers. The items that Simmons is able to conclusively identify are steroids, amphetamines, gorilla testosterone, and peppermint. Simmons giving him a milligram of adrenaline after he flatlines perfects the serum.
  • Surpassed the Teacher: Averted with the Skye vs May fight. May is still significantly superior in hand-to-hand, forcing Skye to use her inhuman powers to win.
  • Take That, Audience!: Kara, who helps torture Bobbi, declares that she will always "Stand with Ward", a reference to the segment of the fandom who puts Ward in leather pants.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Raina announces her intent to expose Jiaying, so Jiaying rather casually murders her. Skye happened to witness the entire event, and in so doing learns the truth about her mother. Raina knew this would happen, and was counting on it.
  • Trap Is the Only Option: May correctly guesses that the only reason Bobbi's cell phone is working again is because Ward deliberately turned it on. Still, if it means a chance to kill Ward and save Bobbi, she and Hunter are all for it.
  • Trojan Horse: Cal, as hinted in the previous episode. He's pretty transparent about it, and Simmons even flat-out calls him one (playing on how he mock-innocently called himself a "gift horse" when questioned on why he surrendered). That doesn't stop it from working.
  • Vampiric Draining: Jiaying's regenerative powers are fueled by draining the life out of other people.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Jiaying, who only wants to protect her people, but feels the only way to do that is to destroy the group hunting them.
  • Worf Had the Flu: Bobbi's been drugged and tortured, which allows Ward and Kara to overcome her when she escapes. Lucky for them, too, because even drugged and tortured it was a very close fight.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Raina had considered trying to run away from the death she knew was coming at Jiaying's hand, but instead chooses to Face Death with Dignity so as to provide Skye with the proof she needed about her mother's duplicity.

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