What is the Theta Protocol? It’s been an ongoing mystery on Agents of SHIELD for quite some time, and with tonight’s episode, we’ve finally, sort of, maybe figured it out.
Tonight’s episode of SHIELD featured a reunion of the “Dirty Half Dozen,” the six original team members from season one, embarking on a mission to take down a major HYDRA operation. Things got very awkward.
But first, let’s skip ahead to the end of the episode’s big reveal.
Time to Bring in the Avengers
We’ve been wondering about the enigmatic “Theta Protocol” since December, and now we have an answer… sort of. Towards the end of the episode, Coulson contacts Maria Hill about what he found in the HYDRA database. He reveals that HYDRA is in possession of Loki’s scepter, and that they are holding it in a base in Sokovia.
Maria Hill asks Coulson, “Theta Protocol. Is it ready?”
He replies, “Yes it is. Time to bring in the Avengers.”
That sort of implies that assembling the Avengers is Theta Protocol, but if that’s the case, what the heck does Coulson have to do with that? With Maria Hill working for Tony Stark (and out of Avengers Tower no less), she seems to be in a way better position to get the team back together.
I’m guessing we haven’t seen the last mention of Theta.
Theta wasn’t the only big reveal of the episode, we also got our first look at Skye completely in control of her powers. Compared to the abilities of the rest of her SHIELD teammates, it almost seems like cheating.
She’s gotten so good at it since leaving Afterlife, she was able to resuscitate Lincoln, instead of you know, exploding his chest.
Also, if you didn’t happen to notice, those totally weren’t ICERs that the SHIELD agents were using. Skye just straight up murdered like 10 dudes. Stone cold Skye, stone cold.
Speaking of Inhuman abilities, Raina’s visions are getting way more accurate. Instead of just the blur of imagery she got with Cal’s dinner, this time she was able to accurately predict how a pretty complex event would turn out.
In an Age of Ultron lead-in, Raina was also able to see Loki’s scepter being held by HYDRA, and the coming of Ultron’s army. That end-of-episode freak out also confirmed that she doesn’t need to be asleep to see the future, and if she ever learns to control those powers like Skye did, we’re looking at what could be a MCU game-changer.
Bye Bye Bakshi
Sunil Bakshi finally met his end today, at the hands of Simmons no less. It turns out he was loyal to Ward after all (those HYDRA brainwashing techniques are crazy effective).
While he wasn’t Simmons’ intended target, the fact that she was willing to kill someone with a Splinter Bomb of all things shows just much she’s changed since those simpler Season 1 days.
Sokovia gets name-dropped about a bajillion times in this episode, and it’s no surprise why. That’s where Doctor List fled after the SHIELD raid in this episode, and if you’ve read the Age of Ultron prequel comic, you’ll also know that it’s also the location of a very important HYDRA base.
Why is this particular installation so noteworthy? It’s where Loki’s scepter (and an Infinity Stone) is currently being held, and even more importantly, it’s where the twins, Wanda and Pietro Maximoff, received their superpowers (as seen in the Winter Soldier stinger scene).
We’ll be seeing a lot more of this location in Avengers: Age of Ultron this weekend.
War is Coming
The tease for next week seems to foreshadow a big confrontation between SHIELD and the Inhumans. With both Skye and Lincoln under SHIELD custody (and with Gonzalez admitting he has no plans to release them), it makes sense that the Inhuman faction would be looking to save two of their own.
If battle lines are going to be drawn between the two factions of SHIELD and the people of Afterlife, we’re going to be seeing characters like Skye and May choosing a side, possibly for good.
With just one more episode to go before the two-hour season finale, there are a few loose ends that still need to be addressed:
- Where is Deathlok being taken? All we know is that he’s headed to some kind of facility for repairs and rehabilitation. Is it the same place he was built? A SHIELD lab? Somewhere new?
- If Theta Protocol is assembling the Avengers, then why the hell was Coulson buying up bunk beds and spending ludicrous amounts of SHIELD’s budget? I’m guessing that while Theta might involve bringing in the heavy-hitters, it also involves Coulson building a team of his own, a plot-line that will hopefully be picked up again before the end of the season.