Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1E11 - "The Magical Place" Recap

The team tracks down a man named Vanchat, who is selling Chitauri metal to Centipede. They plan to use him to get to Centipede. Coulson has been missing for 36 hours. Agent Victoria Hand takes control of the Bus, which has been jam-packed with agents of her own. She has Vanchat interrogated and Skye gets in trouble when she tries to hack money trails to help find Skye. Hand orders Skye off the plane, and Ward speaks up in her defence. Hand asks May if Skye will be of any help "on the plane," and May replies, "No." Skye and Ward are upset by May's seeming betrayal. Ward escorts Skye off and before she gets off, FitzSimmons sneak her a satellite phone that will only work once before her bracelet shuts it off. Ward tells her that she won't be picked up for twelve minutes (meaning that's the time she has to escape). As Skye heads off, she tells one of Hand's agents, "Don't touch Lola."

Coulson is getting a massage in Tahiti, before waking up in captivity. Po is torturing him to get answers and Coulson is hooked up to some sort of machine. Coulson tells Po that the Clairvoyant is a fraud. Po says that the Clairvoyant saw Coulson die, but simply cannot see how Coulson was brought back from the dead. Coulson is willing to die before giving them any answers.

Skye sits in a cafe, trying to hack into SHIELD but the bracelet shuts her out and all the wifi down for the others in the coffee shop. Skye heads out and and finds a man named Lloyd Rathman. she buys a sleek leather jacket and then steals Rathman's car. Skye crashes Rathman's car so that the onstar (or non-copyright version of that) will come tow her back to "her place." She begins searching Rathman's place and when he returns home, Skye pretends to be "Agent Melinda May, with SHIELD." She begins listing the illegal activities he has taken part in and bluffs, saying he will receive immunity if he helps her. Unbeknownst to her, he triggers a silent alarm.

On the Bus, FitzSimmons continue their work in the lab and Ward insists on taking over the interrogation of Vanchat because the current agent is "lulling him to sleep." He heads in and when Vanchat refuses to talk he straps himself in and FitzSimmons, who are watching from the lab, begin removing ceiling panels in the holding cell. Vanchat is nearly sucked out and then he screams that he will talk.

Coulson is brought back to his room and is shown to have snuck a metal piece he will use to pick the locks on his restraints. He then takes out the next guard who comes in. Coulson runs outside to find that  he's in the middle of the desert. Po tells him there's nothing for hundreds of miles and has a guard bring him back inside.

Through Vanchat's now willingness to talk, Hand orders the plane to set off for Sydney. Hand can't understand why everyone in SHIELD is so frantic to know about Coulson, saying that no single agent is important. Ward tells her that Coulson is.

Coulson's torture session is joined by Raina, who chides Po for his methods, wanting to use her own instead. The Clairvoyant calls Po and asks to speak to Raina. She is pleased with whatever she hears and hands the phone back to Po. It latches to his ear and kills him. Raina chats with Coulson, admitting to work for the Clairvoyant. She says she's been given guidance for the changing world. Though Centipede has super-soldiers, they cannot be brought back to life. Raina tells him she'd like to turn the machine back on, and explains its technology, telling him if he "rides the waves," he'll be able to uncover the secret he has been searching for - the one that SHIELD has ben keeping from him.

Ward visits May in the cockpit and asks why she didn't stick for Skye. May tells him that Skye is no use to them on the plane, where there are agents monitoring her every move. May wanted Skye off the plane, where she would work best - off the system. She tells Ward he doesn't have to assume the worst of her. They're then radioed by Hand, who tells them to head to the Mojave desert where they have tracked a Centipede helicopter.

Raina continues to prod Coulson. She reminds him that he lost his chance at a normal life and mentions a woman Coulson once loved that loved him too. Coulson is alarmed by Raina's knowing that she was a cellist and details about their relationship. She tells him that SHIELD is lying to him and when she mentions Tahiti, he reflexively responds, "It's a magical place." Coulson reaches his breaking point and now wants answers. He tells Raina to turn the machine on.

Skye has Rathman log in to access some accounts. She tracks down connections to Vanchat and backtracks the payments to find Raina. She leaves the house in one of Vanchat's luxury cars. She uses the satellite phone to call Simmons. May takes the phone and asks Skye what she has found. Hand wants to stay on course to the Centipede Lab, but May insists that they go to the farm that Skye was able to locate. They split up.

Skye and the rest of Coulson's team arrive at the farm. Coulson flashes back to his Tahiti vision but then begins to remember Fury's face, tubes, and being operated on. Outside, the team are fighting off the soldiers and Ward uses a newly developed dendotoxin bracelet from FitzSimmons to take down a Centipede super-soldier. Coulson remembers Dr. Streiten showing up in the surgery, saying that what they're doing is wrong. Coulson begins begging, "Please let me die," repeatedly. Skye storms into the room after hearing Coulson screaming and socks Raina in the face. It's awesome. May unplugs the Brain Machine and Skye pleads with Coulson to come back. He begins to come out of his state.

Raina is taken into SHIELD's custody. Hand tells Coulson that Director Fury is relieved. Centipede operations have been taken down all over the globe but they've yet to track down the Clairvoyant. Hand welcomes him back and heads out. Coulson is reunited with his team and thanks them for their work in saving him before telling them to get back to work. He then removes Skye's bracelet. He tells her they didn't learn anything and he says what he saw wasn't real - they were just messing with his head. Yeah. Right.

Later, he sits in the back of Dr. Streitan's car. He tells him he knows about Tahiti and that they weren't operating on his heart. Streitan tells him he wasn't dead for a few seconds, but for days. Director Fury moved heaven and earth and used "ungodly" procedures to bring him back. He says they should have let Coulson die like he wanted to. After what Coulson had been through, they wanted to restore the man he had once been so they gave him a pleasant memory, not wanting him to remember what they had done to him. Coulson asks what he had become and Streitan tells him he had lost his will to live. They tried to give it back and apologises before Coulson leaves.

Finally, we see Mike Peterson who has several burns from the accident. He wakes in a cell and also finds that one of his legs has been amputated at the knee. He calls out to see if anyone is there and he then gets a message from a new Centipede ocular implant: "Good morning, Mr. Peterson. Stand by for further instructions."

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays on ABC at 8PM.


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