‘Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D.’ Reveals T.A.H.I.T.I. & Tony Stark’s Takeover?

Published 12 months ago by

agents of shield season 1 episode 20 coulson hill Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D. Reveals T.A.H.I.T.I. & Tony Starks Takeover?

[This is a REVIEW of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 20. There WILL be SPOILERS.]


As Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. closes in on its first season finale, Maria Hill drops by and provides everyone with some much needed information, while Ward and Skye’s relationship becomes even more complicated. You want to know about T.A.H.I.T.I.? Ask Coulson.

In this week’s episode, “Nothing Personal”, written by Paul Zbyszewski & DJ Doyle, Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen) successfully tracks down Agent Hill (Cobie Smulders) who – after S.H.I.E.L.D.’s fall – is now part of Tony Stark’s new privatized security force. Elsewhere, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) discover Ward’s (Brett Dalton) allegiance to HYDRA, while Skye (Chloe Bennet) is whisked away by the traitor and coerced to decrypt the team’s hard drive. When Deathlok (J. August Richards) threatens the life of someone Skye may (or may not) care about, it’s up to Coulson (Clark Gregg) to save the day before HYDRA obtains the information contained on the drive. Meanwhile, May robs a familiar grave, and Coulson finds out the truth about T.A.H.I.T.I.

Agent Ward has been the series’ superstar ever since the Captain America: The Winter Solider tie-in episode, and in this week’s episode the double-agent goes above and beyond and now has viewers confused as to his allegiance. At times he’s cold, angry and aggressive, pushing Skye to decrypt the hard drive – while other times he decides to waste precious time to reassure Skye of how he feels, even after he’s been discovered to be HYDRA. If one were keeping score, Ward still likely falls on the villainous side; however, with the status of Victoria Hand still unknown, there’s a very good chance that she could still be Ward’s chance at redemption. Even so, at this point, is it worth bringing Ward back to the “good” side? And if he does, who will ever trust him again?

agents of shield season 1 episode 20 ward deathlok skye Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D. Reveals T.A.H.I.T.I. & Tony Starks Takeover?

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may have set up Ward to be a strong nemesis for season 2, yet the series has always been more than a TV show, and as such Ward’s rank – or anyone’s, really – in HYDRA can only go so high, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe will need to be able to seamlessly takeover the story without having to think about how ABC’s Grant Ward is going to step into their expensive productions. Even so, this week’s episode does a terrific job at progressing the MCU post-Captain America 2, going as far as (perhaps) revealing Tony Stark’s future role in S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0 which, if anything, may be a clue as to how Marvel will keep Robert Downey Jr. around after his Iron Man days have come to an end.

Right now, it’s absolutely clear that the producers of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. are attempting to close the gap between their theatrical counterparts as much as possible. Agent Maria Hill may not be Nick Fury, at least in the theatrical sense; however, on TV, she’s an exposition machine, and her appearance, while perhaps not carrying as much weight as Fury’s, is able to delve into the mechanics of this ever-growing universe without having to worry about coming off calm, cool and collected while wearing an eye patch. When Fury does finally make an appearance in one of this season’s final episodes, it’ll be interesting to see how much his broad strokes to the story help propel a series which has put in much work to right itself.

This week’s tale is very much a Skye and Ward episode, and next week’s episode will largely be Ward-only – so it makes sense for them to attempt to build up the relationship of the series’ (formerly) weak characters by toying with their emotions, allegiances and generally making what is known – Ward’s betrayal – now not so clear. If anything, Ward and Skye’s heavy-handed pairing helps create enough doubt in the character of Grant Ward that viewers will now be interested in seeing the past of the used-to-be Boy Scout. Of course, like anything on TV, one episode can change everything – for better or worse.
agents of shield season 1 episode 20 skye coulson Agents of S.H.I.E.l.D. Reveals T.A.H.I.T.I. & Tony Starks Takeover?

The big reveal in this week’s episode is Coulson’s Total Recall moment with T.A.H.I.T.I., where “former” Coulson reveals to “new” Coulson that it was he was behind the T.A.H.I.T.I. experiment. More so, the “former” Coulson reveals that T.A.H.I.T.I. – originally created to heal mortally-wounded Avengers – is too dangerous to use and that the side-effects of its use can cause you to go insane, especially if you are aware of the tampering. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now has quite a bit to play with, thanks to this bit of information.

Is Coulson justified or insane? Both? What about Skye? This week’s episode poses as many questions as it asks, and it won’t be until the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1 finale that viewers will know whether what all being showed is actually important to the overall story, or what direction they’ll take in season 2. No matter what, Nick Fury has much explaining to do.


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns next Tuesday with “Ragtag” @8pm on ABC. You can check out a preview of next week’s episode below:

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  1. It just keeps getting better and better!!! Coulson is a Pimp!!! I also am a fan of Triplet, Skye is coming along as a Very strong character in my opinion.

    Make mine Marvel!!!! & Hail Hydra!!!

  2. I really want to know who the second person on the encrypted line giving Mike Peterson orders. I want Ward to be a full on antagonist he’s more fun like that. I don’t know if they’ll change the name of the show next season. Makes sense if Shield is gone.

    • it’s Ultron!!!

  3. I am really likin this show, warts and all, and plan to buy the DVD set when and if it becomes available. There is no way they can avoid giving this show at least one more season (thank goodness!). I would really like to see Ward come back to the good-guy side at some point (maybe Hydra has mind-controlled him somehow?). I think he has the potential of the whole team to become the top “james Bond” boy-scount good-guy and dedicated agent to save the day, despite what has happened in recent episodes. I keep praying he will be back to the side of “The Light”! I also like Coulson quite a bit. The writers are starting to find their way a bit better as the series goes on, searching for a main thread to follow.

    • Boy, my spelling and capitalization is pretty crummy when I first wake up before my cup of hot chocolate gets me up and revving! Sorry!

      • Honestly, it’d be pretty sick if he was “redeemed” to the good side… I mean, c’mon, he’s ruthlessly murdered so many people. He’s got stuff to pay for.

        • Next weeks episode will show us were he really stands imo. But yeah, if he was a double? Triple? Agent that would be odd. Unless he’s Fury’s ultimate secret agent, since he’s always compared too and sometimes alluded to being superior to Black Widow for the deep cover stuff. In any case, he’s now very fun to watch and turned into a lightning rod for the show.

          • Well if Black Widow basically gave herself up as a double agent at the end of CATWS, maybe just maybe, Ward is Fury’s only remaining double agent? If Fury suspected that HYDRA was taking over SHIELD all along, then it stands to reason that Ward could be Fury’s secret weapon, seeing how he’s alluded to be being as good if not better then Romanov.

        • True, but so did Black Widow, whom Ward has been constantly compared to.

  4. After watching this episode, I hope Ward just stays evil throughout the whole thing. He’s a much better character for it. I’m even hoping that he becomes von Strucker’s second in command for Age of Ultron. Yes, that sounds crazy but would be so good. Also, that bit where Skye is calling him a Nazi was so great.

    • How do you know all this?

      • Maybe because he has kids and that is the target demographic he is referencing.

  5. This so is ridiculous. . That’s why I watch Arrow..

    • I watch both. Mainly because I love the Arrow show itself, but also got tired of my sister watching AOS and asking me alot of questions thinking all of this was in the comics.
      Arrowis better but I enjoy the Marvel Cinematic universe better than DC and the behind the scenes look at the Marvel universe is more interesting than anything else on at 8pm on a tuesday lol

      • I like both AOS and Arrow. Both are good, each in their own ways, different from each other though they are.

    • so true. skye lovefest is nauseating.

    • I assume you are only able to watch Arrow on Tuesday nights when they air new episodes of AoS? I assume so, because unless someone is forcing you to choose between the two shows, why would you post this seemingly unrelated info here?

      Me? I’m going to watch Arrow tonight.

  6. Uhmmm…Agent Hand is clearly dead. They showed Ward shoot her, her dead body after the fact and talked about it in this episode as well.

    • I don’t think it is all that clear.

      • Melissa T even said Hand is gone, dead… done.

      • Both the actress and writers said shes dead, move on! And even if she wasnt, so what? The guy has killed countless others. You cant explain all those deaths away.

        But great episode! It get better and better.

    • Just like what Melinda May said to Maria Hill, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

    • It seemed pretty clear that Coulson was dead in the middle of “The Avengers”. And that Bucky was dead in the middle of “Captain America”. These are comic book stories, remember. Characters are dead until they’re needed again.

  7. Great episode. What do you guys think about the Garret is Ward’s brother now, especially after viewing the trailer of the next episode?

    • Is the gap between them Old enough to be a Dad-Son relationship? thats what i am thinking about Wards dedication to garrett

      • Like that theory too. I definitely think the age difference is wide enough.

    • Clearly there is a mentor relationship.
      I think this goes back to the water well flashbacks Ward has…
      …that he has been brainwashed and was likely an orphan raised by Garret.

      He has the ability to go good again but he probably knows so little of it other than pretending to be good.

  8. As much as I hate to say this, Ward CAN’T either “stay evil” or “be good” again. Doesn’t work like that. He’s killed too many SHIELD to ever be trustworthy again, but his weakspot for Skye is to much a liability for Hydra. For that matter, for Coulsen, because now we know Skye can’t kill him either, which means either side can use either one to blackmail the other.

    That leaves three possibilities:
    1)Ward dies – either saving Skye or because Garret decides he’s too much of a liability, because after all, he is still pissed about Skye’s gunshot wounds, and what if he starts to resent Garret and Hydra for why he can’t be with Skye…

    2)Ward becomes a reoccurring opportunistic villian/ Skye’s bad habit ex that she just can’t completely shake

    3)Ward becomes the “Jayne” character on the bus. He’s good at killing people and has nowhere left to go, wanted dead or alive as a Hydra agent or wanted dead by Hydra for betraying them. I don’t think this last one is likely.

    Also, I’m 30% sure that Trippet is Garrets last ace in the hole. He’s either a way for Ward to save Skye and the team OR he’s more likely Ward’s replacement on the bus for next season.

    • I don’t think Trip will be a double agent, A, they’ve already done that with ward, B, they made
      Earlier reference to him being related to one of the howling commandos which would allude to
      A long family history in shield.

      • Trip being a legacy is actually the main reason I think the possibility exists that he’s Garret’s stooge. Otherwise, it’s obvious that he’s the new cool black cast member who’s there because , of all the cast, he is most qualified to be black. Kinda like Ernie Hudson in the first Ghostbusters – the very definition of “token.” At least they picked a good actor.

  9. This show is so good.

    I still think J. August Richards need to figure out how to play Deathlok better. Maybe he should recall his Gunn character from Buffy.

    Skye should have let Ward die (if for anything, for killing Oswalt’s Koenig).

    AoS should be a year-long series.

    • Yea Richards needs help. Whenever he’s in a scene I wanna be excited to see Deathlok but his acting falls flat.

      • Thank you, glad other people said it. This guy is a terrible actor. That was made clear to me in the pilot. Hes improved a bit but not by much IMO.

  10. This show has really found itself, it started off with everyone thinking it was a joke but the second half and really since the Cap tie in its been great.

    I have a feeling Ward will die, he will turn on Hydra to save Skye and give his life for her showing that he really loved her and he had some good left in him.

    But keeping him as the bad guy for next season would also work since he has been out of the standouts of the show.

  11. I will not accept a reformed Ward at all! He murdered Koenig and was going to murder May if she hadn’t been leaving on her own… the blood of too many good SHIELD agents is all over his hands – there is no coming back to the good side after all of that. It will be disappointing and lazy storytelling if suddenly he is sorry and all is forgiven. I am loving the more assertive Coulson these past few episodes, though.

    • Well, there was still good in Darth Vader that Luke drew out after Anakin slaughtered an entire temple of Jedi kids if you recall. I would think that act is more horrendous than Ward taking out equally trained agents.

  12. Hmmm, I did like how they mentioned Man thing, then showed clips from next show in the swamp. Also, the Red head in IM3 was the ex wife of Manthing. Thinking they are leading to something here.

  13. Ok, just want to clear the air on this Coulson thing….
    Is the Coulson in the video post-operation Coulson? And then if so, after he records the video, they wipe his memory? Guess I’m just confused on the timeline for him and the operation/video/real-time

    • Possibly, I was thinking it was pre-operation. Whenever the project was first created. But he wouldn’t know the side-effects of the procedure unless it had been already used on someone.

    • there’s no way the video is post-op Coulson. In fact it might have been mere DAYS before Loki and New York. And yes, Nick Fury IS that much of a bastard that he would condemn Coulson to a fate that Coulson had just told him was unconscionable, IF Fury thought there was strategic value in it. Fury is the type that genuinely cares about his chess pieces. He doesn’t sacrifice anything or anyone needlessly, but he doesn’t hesitate either.

    • Ok I think I got it. So before The Avengers or something, SHIELD had this operation/procedure planned for if anything happened to the Avengers it could heal them. But before it was tested on an actual being, after other testing/research/whatever, Coulson came to the conclusion it was too dangerous for anyone to be used for. But, after Couslon’s death, SHIELD/Fury decided to do it anyway. So the video is Coulson pre-death, recording/documenting that the procedure is too dangerous to be used. Thanks all!

      • Its easy… the video was on a thumb drive in Coulson’s casket. Therefore it MUST have been pre-op. Thats the only way it could have been recorded and then placed in a casket that in all likelihood was buried less than a week after he “died”.

  14. “We’re privatizing global security”


    • Possibly Tony is the founder of H.A.M.M.E.R. or S.W.O.R.D. (since he is afraid of the alien encounter) and puts Maria Hill in charge of it?

  15. This episode was great… until Skye and Coulson got into “lola” and it turned into the delorian from Back to the Future. What was the deal with that? That scene pulled me out of the episode way too much. This show is turning out to be really good and I think it’s because they weren’t doing as much of this stupid, ultra-cartoony s***. I’ll keep watching it, but I fear they haven’t learned that lesson yet.

    • @Rob W:


      C’mon, it’s a comic-based world. I thought it was funny how they landed at LA Live with their hair all messed up and got charged parking by the attendant.

      Fitz called his weapon the Night-Night Gun. Ward can beat multiple trained agents and police by himself. Skye can hack anything. Coulson was revived by alien guts. It’s ALL ultra-cartoony.

      I guess I just don’t expect as much from AoS.

    • Not enough flying cars for me. The undercarriage equipped with Stark Reversion Technology®, no less. (see CA:TFA)

      First time “Lola” has been used since Ep 1. (That’s why they call it a “Pilot” I guess)

      • It’s been used in more than just the pilot, not as prominent I suppose, but they did use flight mode in at least one other episode, “Seeds” I think.

        • Aye, the one where Coulson and May go to Mexico and find out that Skye’s a 187 or whatever the code was.

          [yes I am aware that 187 is the police band code for a murder]

          • 084

            • Cheers

    • It the same universe with god like aliens, 70 year old super soldiers and a rich guy who flies around in a flying suit but the flying car bugs you.

      This isnt Homeland, its a comic book based show. That what happens in the Marvel world.

      • I think he meant the cgi was cartoony cuz I thought so to.
        I love Lola though. In the comics Cap is always flying around in his red hover car. Glad they included that in the show.

      • cap is 95, not dead.

    • Actually, “Lola” isn’t a reference to “Back tothe Future” OR just something random scifi-y. Lola is a deliberate call-back to CapAm: 1rstAvenger. If you recal Steve and Bucky take two girls to a World’s Fair kinda thing and Howard Stark is showing off a hover-car(that breaks). Lola is an early Corvette, so early 50′s gives him about ten year to get the tech working, ergo, Coulson was entrusted with Howard Stark’s personal sportscar. Probably well BEFORE he was entrusted with the bus, because of his love of historical knick-knacks.

      Lola’s “thrusters” are the first reliable version of the repulser lifts that Tony’s suits use.

  16. I wish the writers wrote in a line for the Clairavoyant to say “Fear is not an option” during his screen time cleverly somewhere within his formal introduction lol

  17. Ward should become a villain from the comics, with his own agenda, apart from Hydra or SHIELD.
    Make Ward Taskmaster!!

    • Actually that would be a great move on their part. Nice.

  18. Also I can’t believe no one has mentioned this:

    “Three minutes and twenty-seven seconds? REALLY? If you were my agents you wouldn’t be for long.”

    I think Maria Hill will have reoccurring guest status next year.

  19. Ward has no chance to be redeemed and rejoin the team. He’s murdered several agents and police. My guess is that he’ll be redeemed through sacrificing his own life for the team.

    • Not the team….. Skye, 1 gets you 100 he’ll go all Costner complete with elongated Nooooooo and take one for Skye….. probably from Deathlok

  20. Is it me or is this show just something to keep Josh Whedon’s old acting friends busy since they’re far too inept to be cast in his big films?

    • Seems likely. That way, they can pass it off as “hey, it’s just a goofy show aimed at children, who cares about the dodgy acting?”.

      Soap operas have the same function over here, giving the crap actors employment when they won’t be cast in real TV shows/movies.

      • Yes, let the hate flow through you….

        This show obviously HAD major problems. This show obviously doesn’t have them any more. Knowing you hate anything regardless, of any quality, with Whedons name attached and knowing how good this show has become, after reading your comment I literally LOLed. Mostly positive comments and happy commenters, and you pick one of the few negative ones as if it’s gospel truth. Like it or not, this show has turned into something good. Making fun of the acting? In this episode? Did you even watch it?

    • Which old friends…. apart from Richards and a guest spot for Amy (who has her own successful and acclaimed show) there’s been no-one else.

      No Gina, no Nathan, no Jewel or any of the Firefly crew, not even Balders.
      No Eliza, no Tahmoh or anyone from Dollhouse
      No Danny, SMG, Fraiser, Mr & Mrs Denisof (yes I know Alexis was in Avengers but we’re talking AoS), Tony Head, etc.

      So one season recurring support cast and a guest appearance. Not exactly the best example of nepotism going.

      I will concede the point that the Whedon players don’t have the most impressive movie CV’s but for small screen, most of them seem to be doing ok so they can’t be too bad.

  21. Anakin Skywalker was redeemed in the end, and this after having killed a bunch of jedi kids.

    • He was only redeemed by sacrificing his life for someone he loved. If Ward is redeemed and not bumped off doing, i’m not gonna be happy.

  22. This was one of my favourite episodes yet. Really liking the way the show is turning out. Ward has become a much interesting character to watch even though I wanted him to stay a good guy.

    Took longer than I hoped to get this show really going but it deserves at least another season.

  23. Thoughts…

    1. Did anyone catch that Hill said (on the phone) “Gotta go Pepper”

    2. Man-Thing shout out was awesome

    3. I think this episode pushed the idea of Civil War forward. Especially the conversation between Coulson and Hill about government wanting more control.

    4. Stark will become the head of whatever department the Government sets up to watch international threats. Stark will create Ultron and other robots to take out world threats. (Hulk for instance) Stark will be blamed by many Avengers for attacks on fellow Avengers leading to Civil War.

    5. Like ScottySummers said above, maybe it will be revealed that Ward is Taskmaster. In the comics Taskmaster was a sleeper agent of Fury’s. Plus he trained Agents. Both of those characteristics pretty much fit Ward this season. Except the Fury part of it which we may find out is true. OR he can just stay as a sleeper agent of HYDRA who later becomes anti-hero.

    • Can you elaborate on the Man-Thing reference? I must have missed that.

      • maria hill was on the phone (apparently with pepper potts) and was talking about being questioned by congress/senate, and she was repeating some of the questions, and at one point said “…and who, or what, is a man-thing?” then started on the people following her, then said “pepper i gotta go.”

  24. yet another fantastic episode the 180 this show has taken is very commendable. it’s gotten so good that I now don’t want it to end, but alas we’re down to brass tax with only two episodes left this season. by the looks of it Ward will at least slowly be turned back to the good side (from my impression at least) I’m mixed about this a week ago i would of said keep him heel, and i still lean that way only because Brett Dalton really excels at being a heavy. Yet a part of me is really curious about how they would go about turn him back and seeing how he attempts to regain the groups trust. either way i wait with bated breath for the rest of this season and what IMO is an inevitable season 2.

  25. I hope Triplett joins the main cast if there’s a Season 2.

  26. I’m not sure Ward is beyond redemption because of the all the “blood” on his hands.

    Look at Bucky. We know eventually what will happen to him.

    Maybe Ward has one of those eye implants like Deathlok and had to follow certain orders. Oh, and yes, since Deathlok is a “good” guy in the comics, he may be redeemed and so there is another example.

    But they should keep him bad at least until midway Season 2, when they reveal that Simmons is actually Hyrda too (duhn duhn duhn).

    • It’s not the same thing as with Bucky, though (at least, from what we know so far). His mind was wiped and then reconditioned with brainwashing. Ward seems to be acting out of free will.

  27. If Ward is redemmed it should be via Redemption Equals Death.

    • If they choose to kill Ward, I rather it be a Heel Face Door Slam.