'Seeds' could be a game changer, but I've said that too many times before. Hopefully, this is the corner and it is turned. We'll find out on the next episode, I guess.
1. What is it?
Agents of SHIELD Season 1, episode 12, titled 'Seeds.'
2. Who's in it?
The series regulars, Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, Ming-Na Wen as Melinda may, Brett Dalton as Agent Ward, Chloe Bennet as Skye, Elizabeth Henstridge as Simmons, and Iain De Caestecker as Fitz. Guest starring this week is Dylan Minnette as Donnie Gill; Daniel Zovatto as Seth Dormer; Christine Adams as Agent Weaver; Maiara Walsh as Callie Hannigan; Boyd Kestner as Richard Lumley; and David Conrad as Ian Quinn
3. Who made it?
'Seeds' was written by Monica-Owusu Breen & Jed Whedon; the episode was directed by Kenneth Fink.
4. What is it about? (**Spoilers Ahead**)
'Seeds' opens with a group of teens breaking into the school swimming pool after hours. As two teens swim, another, Donnie Gill (Minnette) watches from the stands, while yet another, Callie Hannigan (Walsh) gets undressed. Suddenly, the pool begins to freeze over and Seth Dormer (Zovatto) gets trapped. Gill is able to free the teen as we learn that this is a SHIELD swimming pool.
Word gets to Level 7 of the strange attack at the SHIELD Science and Technology training facility, and Fitz (De Caestecker) and Simmons (Henstridge) are requested to come back and speak at their alma mater to give "the talk" about great power and great responsibility, as the attack could have been an inside job.
The visit to campus gives Ward (Dalton) a chance to teach Skye (Bennet) more about SHIELD, including showing her the Wall of Valor, which houses the names of SHIELD's fallen agents throughout its history.
Fitz and Simmons connect with their old teacher, Agent Weaver (Adams), and as they prepare to give the speech to a packed auditorium, Gill suddenly begins to freeze in his seat.
With another attack, Ward interviews Dormer to find out if there is any reason someone would target both him and Gill, and Fitz--seeing a kindred spirit in the young student--talks to Gill in his dorm room. Fitz is struck at Gill's inventions and even helps him solve an energy problem with a massive battery that Gill had developed.
In the "Boiler room," a student lounge that exists out of prying eyes of the faculty, Ward, Skye and Simmons are relaxing when Ward begins to question Hannigan about her connection to the attacks. There he learns that Gill and Dormer are friends and they were both looking forward to Fitz's visit to campus--even though it only happened because of the attacks.
Fitz leaves Gills dorm and begins to make his way to the boiler room, only to learn that Gill may not be innocent. Fitz realizes that he just solved a power problem that could be used for nefarious reasons, and when he goes back to the dorm, Dormer ambushes him.
With time running out, Dormer and Gill take the strange ice device and leave the dorm. Dormer calls Ian Quinn (Conrad) their financial benefactor, asking for help, but Quinn refuses since the two boys have alerted SHIELD to his project. Dormer, in trying to prove the device now works, turns it on and in doing so, he and Gill create a massive super storm that threatens the facility and all who live and train there.
Gill realizes what is happening and tries to shut the device down, but a bolt of lightning strikes the truck, killing Dormer and ruining the device. The Bus lands and rescues Gill. Coulson says that Gill will now go to the Sandbox--not as a researcher, but for observation. Fitz tries to reach out to the young man one more time, but Gill brushes him off, deeply upset that he inadvertently killed his only friend ever.
The last scene shows Donnie Gill, in the back of a SHIELD transport drawing ice sculptures on the window with only his finger--and the classic Marvel villain, Blizzard, is born.
The side story this week involves May and Coulson tracking down the agent, Richard Lumley (Kestner) that was once the partner of the SHIELD agent that dropped off Skye at the orphanage when she was a baby. Lumley--once confronted--explains that Skye was an 0-8-4 (SHIELD classification for an object of unique origin or powers), one that an entire Chinese village died trying to protect. After Agent Avery was killed, Lumley went into hiding, as someone very desperately wants the 084--Skye--back.
In the post SHIELD scene, Coulson calls Ian Quinn as Quinn is admiring the storm that his commissioned tech had created. Coulson tells Quinn that they will shoot him out of the sky if he ever flies in non-protected airspace, and Quinn tells Coulson that the Clairvoyant says "Hi."
5. Any revelations, tie-ins, easter eggs, etc.?
Bucky Barnes' name is read aloud off the SHIELD Wall of Valor, for fallen agents. And yes, Barnes was a member of the very first SHIELD unit--the Howling Commandos. There are mentions of AIM and HYDRA. And of course, a classic Iron Man Comic villain gets an origin.
6. Will we watch next week?
Yes, but there's a one-week hiatus with the next episode premiering on February 4 with Bill Paxton joining the cast in a recurring role. As Agents of SHIELD begins to shed its silly mysteries, a real story is finally--FINALLY--revealed. And this episode--in my opinion, the strongest of the season--is how this show should always be. It has ties to the source comics AND the Marvel Studios films, a ton of fresh references including many from earlier episodes of this series, and it gives us the origin of a classic Iron Man villain. These small-screen villains can play havoc going forward, not only as bit roles in later Marvel Studios films, but with a whole new slate of Marvel TV projects coming soon, there will be an established universe for those creators to draw from, which benefits everyone.
- Jon Hueber