Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S2E7 - "The Writing on the Wall" Recap

The tattooed man seen at the end of last week's episode goes home with a woman who is sure she knows him from somewhere but can't remember the exact details. The man then admits that they know each other and that he's travelled a long way to see her. She is alarmed when she sees his tattoos and he draws a knife, saying he'll help her remember, carving the glyphs into her.

Skye and Coulson are still trying to put all the pieces of this mystery together but Skye's not able to determine what the map is and where it's going to. Coulson's need to carve is increasing and he can't turn it off. May's out on a mission, but she'll be back soon. Senator Ward is covering up Ward's escape - only he and team SHIELD know he's escaped. Tripp and May are tracking him down. Tripp watches from afar as Ward obtains a bag from a train station. Coulson wants him brought in by any means necessary but Tripp is unable to approach him, as Ward discretely flashes a bomb to warn him and the team to stay back. For now, they can only continue tracking him without apprehending him.

Skye brings Coulson news of the dead woman with the markings carved into her. Coulson is certain that she is a SHIELD agent and that he's seen her before. Skye and Coulson sneak into the crime scene to learn more and find a back room full of paintings of the glyphs. One painting even has "a magical place" written on it. Coulson puts her paintings together and determines that she is putting the same thing together as him but she has pieces he doesn't have yet, though she still has some missing. Skye is able to determine that she was indeed a SHIELD agent, Rebecca Stevens. Her records show her as having died five years prior from cancer.

The body is retrieved and Simmons is to perform the autopsy. Meanwhile, Coulson is able to determine that Bobbi is there to track him and warns her not to try anything or everyone will be blown to smithereens. He switches off the bus she had followed him on, onto another, where Hunter is waiting in disguise, complete with a cowboy hat and a ridiculous accent.

Simmons shares her findings with Coulson and Skye. She also had GH-323 in her blood, as did her killer who left behind some skin samples under her nails. It appeared she was also a TAHITI patient and asks Coulson and Skye if they have had any compulsion to write, a question Coulson evades. Coulson wants to go back into the mind machine, believing the information they're looking for is in the part of his brain that SHIELD buried. Simmons insists on hooking him up to other machines to monitor his health and well-being. Coulson orders Skye to not pull him out until they have everything they're looking for.

Coulson has a memory of meeting and recruiting Rebecca Stevens, along with five other patients. They were fine at first but then things started to go wrong. Everyone's starting to lose it while Coulson just sits back and watches. On the outside, he says that the program needs to be shut down and the Host (the blue tank alien) be terminated. A doctor tells Coulson that new memories being planted into the peoples' minds will allow them to live normal lives, although they'll never be agents again. This was the only way to stabilise them from the Host's psychic problems.

Team SHIELD in the field is still tracking Ward, who has gone to a bar where he is met by some Hydra agents he called, including Bakshi.

Coulson is able to give up the names of the six patients. They're all dead, having been killed by one particularly unstable patient, Sebastian Derrick. He had grown particularly angry at Coulson, demanding to not have his identity erased. Coulson's not holding up too well. Skye calls May to tell him what he did and she orders them to lock Coulson up until she gets back. Coulson, after calming down from Skye pulling a gun on him, agrees that this is the best course of action.

There's only one TAHITI patient left, Hank Thompson. He tricks Skye by locking her in Ward's old cell and apologises, saying he has to take care of this personally. Hank Thompson is now a welder. He's build a large model city that his son can run model trains around. On a side note, Mack advises Fitz to play video games to aide in his recovery. The team learns that Skye is locked up who tells them what has happened and that they need to go after Coulson. Coulson has gone after Thompson and holds him at gunpoint, saying he needs to pick his brain. Thompson insists that he doesn't know anything and he even told the other guy the same thing… oh yes, Sebastian's there and he knocks Coulson out with a blow to the head.

Team SHIELD-in-the-field goes in to apprehend Ward, but he's long gone. However, he has left behind a gift, Agent Bakshi with a note duct-taped over his mouth: For Coulson.

Coulson and Thompson are tied up in Thompson's workshop. Sebastian rambles about how pain is what he uses to get the patients to remember. This is why he carves the symbols into them. He went after Coulson first but he was already dead. He even takes his top off to show the full painting. He wants answers too about what it all means. Thompson is sawing away at his restraints and Coulson is piecing together that the answer isn't two-dimensional upon looking at Thompson's model city. Thompson gets his family to safety while also getting Coulson free, who starts fighting Sebastian off. Thompson is the one who has cracked the code.

Thompson encounters Mack and Skye on the road and points them in the direction of his place. Coulson has Sebastian in a headlock and is imploring him to look and see the answer. He become emotional upon looking down at Thompson's model city. From above, they can see that the markings were a blueprint of the city. Coulson gives Thompson his personnel file and offers him the opportunity to come back, which he respectfully declines in favour of a life with his wife and son. He also says that if they ever need any welding, they'll know where to find him.

Coulson has lost his urge to carve, and Bakshi is now in Ward's holding cell. He gives the team a pep talk to let them know that the pieces are coming together. The puzzle's taking shape. Hydra is trying to solve the same puzzle but they had more resources than them. But now they have the blueprint of this place, something Hydra doesn't have yet. Finally, a topless Ward shaves the beard of evil off and buzzes his hair. Haircuts are symbolic and therapeutic, don't you know? He calls Skye up and says he'll be sending more gifts her way now and then. He also says that Coulson can do better than the new recruits. He closes the call with a promise that he'll be seeing her soon. He's donned a fancy suit and looks at a newspaper with a picture of his brother on the cover. Looks like a family reunion's in order!

Some theories are floating around that this city of the blueprint is Attilan, the home of the Inhumans. This makes sense, as that has already been announced as a show of its own. Thoughts?

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs on Tuesdays on ABC at 9PM.


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