“MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 2 Episode 7 “The Writing on the Wall” aired on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, at 9:00 p.m. on ABC. In this episode, Agent Melinda May (Ming- Na Wen), Agent Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse (Adrianne Palicki), Agent Antoine “Trip” Triplett (B.J. Britt) and Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) hunt down double agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), who escaped custody while being transferred into the custody of his older brother, Senator Christian Ward (Tim deKay). Meanwhile, back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Phil Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) searched for answers behind the mysterious alien symbols he carves every day finally reached and end. However, in doing so, he uncovered the disturbing truth of why he had Project Tahiti shut down years ago. Read on to learn more about this episode.
The episode opened with a woman letting the man covered with alien symbol tattoos all over his body from the previous episode into her apartment in New York. The woman, an artist, remarked on how it seemed as if they knew each other from before, but she could not figure out how. The man then showed her his body, which was tattooed with strange alien symbols. At seeing this, she seemed to recognize it. The man then came at her with a knife and told her that he would help her remember.
At the SHIELD headquarters, SHIELD Director Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) stopped carving the same alien symbols on the wall for a while as he noticed that Agent Skye (Chloe Bennet) had been watching over him, as per Agent Melinda May’s (Ming-Na Wen) instructions. Skye then revealed to him that lately that she hadn’t been sleeping well as she had noticed that everything that was happening was connected — double agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) had information on her alien father, who also currently had the Obelisk which had the same alien symbols on it, which, in turn, was connected to the blue alien host from where the GH325 serum in Skye and Coulson’s blood had come from. It seemed like pieces from a puzzle, but they did not know exactly what the entire picture was. The only thing that they did know was that the entire thing was probably a map. However, Coulson told her to continue working on trying to figure out what it was a map of as he now writes every day and night, which made it hard for him to actually function.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Agent Antoine “Trip” Triplett (B.J. Britt) saw Ward enter the bus station he was stationed at. There, Ward got his "go" bag complete with cell phone, money and passports from a locker. However, before Trip could make any move in order to bring him in alive, Ward casually brushed his jacket open and revealed that he had a lot of C4 on him, which he could easily detonate if they come near. Coulson then instructed May to send Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) and his ex-wife, Agent Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse (Adrianne Palicki), to the next station so that they could determine where Ward was going to go next. However, due to the explosives strapped to Ward, they were instructed not to engage.
Coulson was then interrupted by Skye, who revealed to him that a woman with the same alien writing carved on her flesh had been found dead at her apartment that morning. Coulson then recognized her as a S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent but could not remember exactly who she was. After checking out her apartment, they discovered that she painted the same alien symbols in her artwork. Back at headquarters, Coulson realized that all of the symbols that had been painted, written, or carved were all pieces to the puzzle. However, there were a few symbols or pieces that were missing. Couslon also revealed that the woman who had died was a Level 6 S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent named Rebecca Stevens, who died five years ago of cancer, whose body was retrieved by Leo Fitz (Iain de Castecker) and Alphonso ‘Mac’ Mackenzie (Henry Simmons), so that Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) could perform an autopsy on her to find out how exactly she had died.
Meanwhile, at the Atlanta bus station, Ward got on to a bus headed for Dallas. He then deliberately sat down beside Bobbi, whom he complimented, as he had almost missed her completely. He told her that he had recognized that she was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent as she was still reading the same page in her book when she was outside. He then told her not to do anything while he got out of the bus, or else, the entire bus would blow up. He then boarded a bus headed to Boston. However, he did not realize that Hunter, dressed up as a cowboy was on that particular bus in order to follow him.
Back at headquarters, Simmons informed Coulson and the others that Agent Stevens died of cardiac arrest due to the pain of the carving that was done on her, which was consistent with usual ritualistic murders. She also revealed that whoever had done it had carved the symbols, which she recognized were the same as the symbols that John Garrett had been drawing. She then asked Skye and Coulson if they had been experiencing any urge to write down any symbols, as they had discovered that — thanks to the fact that Stevens had foreign tissue and blood under her nails as she had put up a fight — both Stevens and her killer had high levels of GH325 in their bloodstream. She asked this as all of those who had the GH325 serum in their bloodstream had all turned into dangerous psychopaths. Because of this, Coulson realized that Stevens and her killer must have been patients under Project Tahiti. As he did not remember anything at all about it, he decided that they would have to torture it out of him as he had decided to go into the Memory Machine, which Raina had subjected him to before in order to remember how he had survived before, despite Skye’s and Mac’s objections. Simmons then decided to monitor him closely, and Skye asked Mac to be on standby just in case they had to hold Coulson down. Fitz also had to explain to him that the Memory Machine helped Coulson get back his memories, as they had been replaced. Coulson then instructed Skye not to pull him out until they figured out who exactly the murderer was.
As he went under, he was guided by Skye, who told him to focus on Stevens. He then found himself at the guesthouse where he encountered six other patients, including Stevens, who told him that they had never felt better. Most of them, like Stevens, had volunteered as test subjects as they had incurable illnesses, like cancer. One of them however, asked him on how long he would be staying there. As they had all seemed fine, Coulson had recommended immediate release for all of them.
However, his heart rate started to spike, as he remembered that he had seen the alien symbols for the first time right after he had recommended to release the Project Tahiti patients, who had started writing the symbols everywhere and slowly became unhinged. However, the one who had asked him regarding the duration of his stay seemed calm and composed and asked the same question again. He then had told the lead scientist that they had to shut down the project, but she responded that since the host from which they had taken the serum from might be implanting its own memories on the patients that they could probably save them by creating a psychic schism by erasing their minds and by replacing it with new memories and identities. At this, he suddenly remembered undergoing the very same procedure after he died. Coulson then told Skye that one of the new identities that was given out was a certain Luis Seever.
Meanwhile, Hunter followed Ward to a bar called Goldbrix Tavern. He then alerted his fellow agents as Mr. Sunil Bakshi (Simon Kassianides), a member of Hydra, had just walked into the bar. Inside, the bartender welcomed Ward back, and Bakshi expressed his surprise at seeing Ward, as he thought that he had died. Ward then asked Bakshi for a meeting with Daniel Whitehall, especially since he could guarantee Bakshi with a face-to-face meeting with Coulson himself. As the situation had dramatically changed because of Bakshi’s presence, May decided to go down as no one at headquarters was responding to their calls.
Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Coulson realized that the murderer of Agent Stevens was targeting those who had been under Project Tahiti, as Luis Seever had died in Miami, where they had found carving behind a religious painting. He then realized that the patient who had been calm and composed, Sebastian Derrick (Brian Van Holt), an assassin from the dark side of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the murderer, as he had carved on himself before. Before he had been taken away, Derrick insisted that he needed to know. Skye then shut down the machine after Coulson hallucinated that he was seeing himself being taken away instead of Derrick.
After reporting to May what had happened, May instructed that Coulson be locked up and to be kept under observation until she returned, as they currently had a “Ward situation” to take care of. Skye then forced Coulson to calm down at gunpoint, after Mac tried to hold him down and after he had pushed Simmons roughly away. On their way down to the holding cell in the basement, Skye informed him that Sebastian Derrick was the murderer and that the only other remaining survivor was Hank Thompson, who lived not far from there. To Skye’s surprise, Coulson pushed her into the holding cell and muted the entire area so that he could take care of Derrick himself.
Hank Thompson did electronic repairs and welding and had a humongous train set, which his son played with. At gunpoint, Coulson tried to explain who Thompson was before and showed him the pictures of the symbols which he claimed that he did not recognize. However, as Thompson mentioned that he had told someone else the same thing, Coulson realized that Derrick was also there. Right on cue, Derrick came and knocked them both out.
Back at the S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters, Mac commented to Fitz that he could not fathom the fact that he had to hold down his director, whose brain was jumbled up. However, Fitz told Mac that Coulson’s only problem was that his memories had been replaced and that all brains had a back-up. At that moment, Simmons noticed that according to the monitor, Skye was locked up in the holding cell. After Skye informed them about what had happened, Skye and Mac went to Hank Thompson’s place to get Coulson back.
In front of the Goldbrix Tavern, despite Hunter and Bobbi’s constant bickering, May instructed them to get a clean shot at Ward. However, they discovered that Ward had fled and that he had captured Bakshi, whose mouth was duct taped and was labeled “For Coulson.”
Back at Thompson’s place, Derrick tied up both Thompson and Coulson and realized that Coulson was also like them. However, Coulson told him that he was also looking for answers, as the carving and writing of the symbols were also driving him crazy. Derrick said that he cut himself and the others, as he had discovered that the only way he remembered was when he hurt himself and did not understand why the other could not remember. Thompson was able to get off the ropes but attracted unwanted attention when he made a sound. However, he was able to get Coulson free. Thompson then ran out with his family where they were seen by Mac and Skye.
Inside, Coulson and Derrick struggled with each other. By the time Mac and Skye got to them, Coulson was trying to strangle Derrick with a wire and was forcing him to look down. However, Coulson explained to them that he was only trying to get Derrick to open his eyes and look properly, as the missing piece of the puzzle was underneath them. Once Derrick saw it, he calmed down. Skye then saw that the train set that Thompson had built was the missing piece — a blue print of a city.
Afterwards, Derrick was given to the authorities, as he had committed crimes even before he was part of S.H.I.E.L.D. He talked to Thompson and gave him a chance to become an agent again, but he refused. Coulson then revealed that the compulsion to write or carve had stopped as they had figured out what exactly they had been looking for — a 3D map of the alien city that all the symbols led up to. Now, their mission was to find this alien city before Hydra does.
While Skye started to look into Bakshi’s cell phone, she received a call from Ward who asked them if they had gotten his present — Bakshi. He then told her that they would soon see each other again, but as of the moment, he had some personal matters to take care of. Ward then zipped up a bag full of ammunition and a newspaper with his older brother on it.
And that was all for the recap of “MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Season 2 Episode 7 “The Writing on the Wall.” For more news and updates, including spoilers and recaps, on “MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” and other television shows, keep o following Movie News Guide (MNG).
Catch “MARVEL’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” every Tuesday at 9:00 p.m. on ABC.
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