Last night's Agents of SHIELD was just crushing, because it seemed as though the "good guys" were a step ahead of Hydra, for the first time since Captain America 2. Of course, it was too good to last, because this show loves to torture its characters (and us.) Spoilers ahead...
There were two main storylines in "...Ye Who Enter," neatly divided into two teams with two different missions. Coulson leads a team including Bobbi, Fitz/Simmons and Mack to the ancient alien city that they've found in Puerto Rico, with the aim of destroying it before Hydra can weaponize it. Meanwhile, May, Skye, Tripp and the Koenigs rescue Raina from Hydra agents bent on bringing her to Whitehall so she can help them use that alien artifact, the Diviner.
Neither of these missions exactly goes according to plan.
Raina and the Kree
When we catch up with Raina, she's with some guy whom she's probably conning, and then she mistakes Agent 33 for Melinda May because Agent 33 still has Melinda's face. (Well, most of it.) Raina winds up being chased by Hydra goons around Vancouver, only to be rescued by the Koenig brothers, both played by Patton Oswalt.
But when Raina hears that Whitehall has the Diviner, she becomes eager to fall into Whitehall's hands — because Raina reveals that she, like Skye's mother, can hold the Diviner without being harmed. Raina (and probably Skye) are among the "worthy" who can use the Diviner to find the hidden ancient city left behind by the Kree — and enter the city unharmed.
We also get a bit more detail on Raina's backstory — as we previously heard, Raina was out on the street when Skye's father found her, but she was with a group of "special" kids whom Skye's dad took in. Raina had already heard legends about the Kree visiting Earth from her grandmother, and Raina believes that people like she and Skye are the chosen ones of these alien benefactors. "We're human," she says. "We just have the potential to be more."
Side note: I guess our gang still don't know for sure that the alien whose blood saved Coulson and Skye actually was a Kree, do they?
How many Koenigs are there?
We meet a third Koenig "brother" in this episode — Sam Koenig, who teams up with Billy Koenig to rescue Raina. It's one of the few straight-up comedy bits in the episode, with each brother claiming the other is shorter. And when Billy makes a report to Coulson, we keep hearing Sam in the background talking about wanting to hook up with Melinda May.
A weirded-out Trip asks them how many of them there are, and they say there are 13 of them — then claim they were just messing with him. But we never actually learn how many of the Koenig brothers there are — or whether they're just identical triplets, clones, life model decoys or something else.
They do regard themselves as irreplaceable, however, because when Ward shows up, they're pretty pissed at him for killing their brother Eric.
Skye vs. Melinda May's doppelganger
The episode begins with Skye having a nightmare about being trapped in a weird brick maze, before being confronted with a scary box, and an evil Coulson and Melinda who are apparently sacrificing a baby because she's tainted fruit from a tainted mother. (And then Skye herself turns to stone as if she's touched the Diviner.)
And then later, Skye winds up fighting a Melinda May lookalike, Agent 33, in a sort of reprise of the May/33 fight scene from a while back. Except that this time around, Skye basically loses, and has to have Lance Hunter pull her fat from the fire.
The dream sequence is a huge pointer that Skye is not okay, and that she subconsciously knows that the secrets the team is about to uncover could be pretty ugly — as she says to Simmons later on, the whole thing is "messed up," between her psycho dad and the alien city and everything else.
So Bobbi is back together with her on-again, off-again sweetie, Lance. She describes this whole situation to Simmons as a roller coaster and says that she'll know if the ride was worth it when it's over, which it isn't yet.
We see Mack looking anxiously at Bobbi and Lance together, and commenting that a storm is coming, and it seems at first that he's just referring to their relationship probably heading for another speed bump. Later, though, when he's alone with Bobbi in the cockpit, he starts asking Bobbi about her relationship with Lance — and it turns out that he's worried about something else. He wants to know if this means Lance is in on their "deal," especially since Isabelle Hartley (Lucy Lawless) is dead.
Bobbi says that she's sharing a lot with Lance, but she's not sharing that particular secret (whatever it is) with him. And then... we don't get to find out any more about this secret, which just lingers there for the rest of the episode, adding one more layer of unpredictability.
Coulson's speech about acceptable losses
One of the best bits in the episode comes when Coulson and Bobbi are in San Juan, wheeling and dealing to get more information and access for the old fort that conceals the shaft leading to the ancient city.
Bobbi is surprised that Coulson isn't planning on taking the Kree superweapon for himself, since that's what the old SHIELD director, Nick Fury, would have done. On a similar note, Fury would have had a number in the back of his mind of "acceptable losses" — the number of civilian casualties he would consider okay on this mission.
Coulson points at the random people in the market they're in, including small-time merchants and tourists, and says they're the point. Keeping them safe is why SHIELD exists, and he doesn't believe in acceptable casualties.
It's a really nice, grounding moment in an episode that's mostly about making the tough choices. And of course, Coulson ends the episode deciding to blow up a tunnel and leave one of his own for dead.
Mack saw trouble coming
I'm going to be pretty pissed if this episode was Mack's swansong, since his relationship with Fitz has been a high point this season and he never got to work on Coulson's car, Lola. Mack keeps saying that he sees trouble ahead, and then they send him down the mysterious dark spooky shaft by himself after Fitz's robots conk out.
Skye tries to warn Coulson's team that nobody can enter the city unless the Diviner has deemed them "worthy," but she can't get through — and it's already too late. What they bring back up isn't quite Mack any more, he's a superpowered monster with rage issues. Nothing seems to stop him, and Fitz almost has to shoot him with real bullets, until they finally tase him... and he falls back down that shaft.
Coulson decides that wasn't really Mack, and he's going to blow up the tunnel, which I'm just guessing isn't going to work that well.
Fitz and Simmons
If this was Mack's last episode, then he spent a lot of it trying to get Fitz and Simmons to talk to each other, which is extra sad. The two science geeks' storyline continues to be the emotional core of the show.
We finally get Simmons' version of what happened after they were trapped at the bottom of the ocean by Ward. Fitz told Simmons about his feelings for her, and then she barely had any time to process this information before water was rushing in and he had given her the oxygen. Then he was in a coma for nine days, and when he woke up he couldn't speak at all.
Simmons can't bear to lose Fitz, even if she doesn't feel the same way about him that he does about her — but she's never told him how she feels. And she doesn't really get a chance in this episode, either.
When the two of them finally speak, Simmons tries to open up to Fitz, but then he tells her that he just wants to quit working in the lab. He can work in the garage with Mack, and work for Simmons instead of with Simmons — because she's more capable than him, and thus she should be in charge. He basically tells her to stop waiting for him to get "better," because it's not going to happen.
Later in the episode, Mack can't do his trick of interpreting for Fitz, so Simmons has to do it instead, in a way that sort of cuts Fitz off. She winds up speaking for him, about the challenges of mapping the tunnels leading to the city.
Ward has decided what side he's on
Meanwhile, Melinda May's team loses Raina (and Skye), because they forgot about the tracker they had implanted into Raina. Ward uses that tracker to home in on their jet and surround it with Hydra jets. They basically have to hand over Raina and Skye, plus a tablet that Raina claims holds a map to the hidden city, in order to avoid being shot down.
When Skye asks Ward why he's working with Hydra after having handed over Bakshi to SHIELD just a little while ago, Ward says he's definitely decided which side he's on. (And I'm just guessing it's SHIELD's. He doesn't shoot down their plane, and he's clearly playing his own game, rather than being loyal to Hydra.)
Of course, Ward's disobedience in not shooting down the SHIELD plane does not go unnoticed — and at the end of the episode, Whitehall orders Agent 33 to rectify the error. She, in turn, gives a "go" order to take out that jet.