We open on a stretch of highway in Colorado, a trucker driving a mack truck of office supplies checks in with home base to say all roads all clear. Behind this truck is a black SUV van who pulls ahead of the track and acknowledges the trucker then out of no where the van flips over. Another SVU van pulls beside it and it too flips over and the trucker checks back in with home base. We realize that this man is a SHIELD agent, an agent Mack, who managed to get his truck back under control after skidding due to the two vans flipping around him. The SHIELD operator tells Agent Mack to protect the cargo.
However, an invisible force lifts the truck in the air vertically and it slams down. A construction digger rips apart the truck and we see that the precious cargo is a nebbish looking man who asks if they are there yet.
Meanwhile, Ward is trying to train Skye to be an agent (as she wanted) by doing punching bag exercises, however, she isn’t taking the training seriously.
Coulson then gathers the troops to inform the agents that a SHIELD transport was ambushed and a Canadian scientist by the name of Franklin Hall (Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone’s Ian Hart (Professor Quirrell). He happens to be a mentor to FitzSimmons while they were at Cambridge.
Coulson and Melinda believe that they were either being monitored or there was a mole that tipped the kidnappers off to Hall’s route. The agents arrive at the scene and they soon discover a small interlocking ring device.
FItzSimmons determine that it is some sort of gravitational field, which is how the vans and truck were able to be lifted and flipped.
Coulson and Ward track the person that sold the kidnappers the construction equipment and he revealed that he was paid in gold. FitzSimmons discover that the man was ripped off and that the so called gold was mined from a mine held by Ian Quinn (Ghost Whisper’s David Conrad), a very rich man who made is fortune in the mining industry. He has moved to Malta and became and Malta citizen to escape the grasp of the US government.
We see that he is behind Hall’s kidnapping and explains to Hall why he kidnap him and that is to help power a larger version of the gravitational field. Quinn plans on powering the field with the rare element Gravitonium, which FitzSimmons tells us is very dangerous.
Coulson and team need to get into Quinn’s compound but it is heavily guarded and technologically secure plus he fears that any SHIELD agents caught during their operation while in Malta will cause them to be disavowed. The best chance was to go in during Quinn’s shareholder party but Coulson’s fears seem to put a kibbosh on it. However, Skye volunteers to go in but no one will listen until she tells them that she hacked into Quinn’s backend to get an invite as a member of Rising Tide.
Coulson agrees that it is the best plan despite Ward’s and Melinda’s reservation of how unprepared she is and her shaky loyalties.
During another training session, Ward tries to teach Skye how to defend herself when a gun is pointed to her face. Again, Skye is not taking it seriously until Ward reveals to her a personal moment in how his older brother used to beat him and his younger brother out and how it was a defining moment in his life. Skye seems affected by this.
The team briefs Skye on what to do. FitzSimmons gives her a compact that lets her determine when she is near WiFi so that our geek duo can lower the security for the two-man team to rescue Hall.
Melinda worries that she is part of the two-man team but Coulson assures her that it will be him and Ward.
We next see Skye undercover at Quinn’s shareholder party. She introduces herself to Quinn, who reveals that he is impressed with her Rising Tide connection and wants to hire her because of her mad hacking skills. Quinn makes his shareholders speech vilifying the US government, the EU and SHIELD for always trying to reign people like him and the work they do and he announces the gravitational field as his next project
Skye then starts to snoop for Quinn’s office while Melinda and FitzSimmons gives her instructions via an earpiece. But Quinn catches her and he wonders what is her motive for snooping. Instead of lying, she actually writes down on a piece of paper how SHIELD is listening to them.
This gains Skye entry into Quinn’s office and she dumps her ear piece into a glass of champagne. She tells Quinn that she only joined SHIELD to gain information from the inside. But did we truly believe that Skye would betray SHIELD, of course not. Skye opens her compact and we see it flash green; she places the compact on the table and FitzSimmons work their magic to lower the shield.
As this is happening, Coulson and Ward make their way to the compound and once the shield is lowered make their way to Quinn’s home for their rescue mission.
Melinda and then Coulson learn that it was Hall that leaked his route so that Quinn would kidnap him. He knew that Quinn needed him to make the gravitational field to work (it looks a lot like that sustainable energy field that Doc Ock had in Spider-Man 2). Hall wants to destroy it because it is too dangerous in the hands of Quinn.
Coulson wants Hall to turn off the device but he won’t listen and device goes on and the gravity in the room goes all out of whack.
Quinn realizes that Skye was playing him all along and puts a gun into her face. She manages to use her training to get the gun back and she admits that she doesn’t have the guts to pull the trigger so she jumps out of the window and into the pool below. Before Quinn and his men can go after her, the house shakes and he notices pens floating. Quinn escapes.
Hall is being unreasonable despite Coulson saying that FitzSimmons thinks that he is a good guy. FitzSimmons tells Coulson that a catalyst can turn off the device but Hall won’t help. So Coulson shoots ground, which is now the window that overlooks the room with the gravitational field and this causes Hall to be sucked in and he gets enveloped kinda of like how Venom enveloped Topher Grace in Spider-Man 3. This causes the device to turn off.
Coulson talks to an unnamed agent telling him to look away the gravitational field in an unnamed, unfiled, undocumented vault so that no one knows about it.
Melinda then comes in and tells Coulson that she wants to be back on the field so yay we get to see Ming-Na Wen kick some more ass.
One thing that was shown a couple of times throughout tonight’s episode is that Coulson wasn’t able to take apart a gun and thinks he might be rusty. But I think we all know it probably has something to do with his “death”.
The end scene is that we see the gravitational field in the vault and we that black liquid material that made up its core pulse and we then see a hand shoot out.
So it is obvious we have a villain in the making here with Hall and we probably haven’t seen the last of Quinn.
The Avengers mention of the episode: 1) The last time you wanted a sustained power source, aliens invaded Earth (or something like that) 2) Coulson mentioning how he fought with the Avengers.
Hopefully we will have episodes of SHIELD that focuses on Melinda or FitzSimmons and not just the dynamic between Coulson, Ward and Skye.