MARVEL'S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. - "Seeds" - Coulson and May uncover startling information about Skye's past, while the team is swept into a storm at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," TUESDAY, JANUARY 14 (8:00-9:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Kelsey McNeal) ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, IAIN DE CAESTECKER
(Photo: ABC/Kelsey McNeal)

Welcome to Series Issues. Spoilers ahead.

Avery is the name of the agent that left Skye in an orphanage when she was just a baby. In Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD Episode 12: Seeds the team splits as May and Coulson follow a lead into Skye’s past and the rest of the team investigates a mysterious freezing incident at the SHIELD Academy of Science and Technology.

Fitz and Simmons revisit their alma mater and are received as two very popular graduates. They’re there on a mission, though. Someone froze the pool using a device based on discoveries made by the popular duo. During a lecture, another student named Donnie is frozen instantly. The team quickly intervenes. At Ward’s suggestion Fitz talks to Donnie and empathizes with the seemingly solitary student who’s been working on more than a few marvels of his own.

Meanwhile May and Coulson find Agent Avery’s partner, Richard Lumley, in Mexico. He has a startling revelation, Skye was classified as a 084: an object of unknown origin. This classification seems to imply she’s not actually of this world. Hopefully the show either doesn’t go overboard with this or goes completely balls to the wall.

At the Academy we soon learn Donnie is actually working with one of the students that almost got frozen at the pool, Seth. They used the incident to draw Fitz and Simmons to the school. Actually Fitz inadvertenly resolves the problem that Donnie has with one of the machine parts that he later uses to power the device. Fitz discovers them but he’s knocked unconscious by Seth. The two kids take their completed machine and hide out.

Turns out Seth got the parts for the machine from returning villain Ian Quinn (David Conrad) who’s not willing to buy the finished product until he sees a demonstration. We last saw Ian Quinn in Episode 3: “The Asset”. Quinn is not really interested in seeing the results of the device since he learns that SHIELD is already on to Donnie and Seth. As soon as he hangs up, he orders his pilot to turn the plane around. The kids turn on the ice machine and generate a giant hail storm.

The team reunites. Coulson decides to tell Skye the truth, so no more skulking around on that front. She’s very shaken about it but we don’t learn her response to Coulson until later. There are more pressing issues as May flies the plane above the storm and into the eye. Donnie is trying to revive Seth after the device got hit by lightning while they were trying to stop it. The Bus rescues them both but Seth is already dead. May manages to get the plane back on the air above the storm.

Donnie gets his wish of going to the Sandbox but on completely different terms. As he’s taken away he notices he’s gained ice powers. Agent Coulson calls Ian Quinn to let him know his plane will be shot on sight the moment he flies into the airspace of any nation allied with SHIELD. In return, Quinn lets him know that the Clairvoyant sends his regards.

The episode has its strong points, but the re-introduction of Quinn is a bit weak. He was much more threatening in Episode 3. I did like Fitz and Simmons as the whiz kids coming back to school, but the whole ice machine plot didn’t quite felt like a threat. I guess the whole point is to plant the Seeds of a new villain. However, I’m sure the main reason for the title is that Skye’s search for her origin is going to take a turn into the eerie and unexplained.

Not a huge challenge for SHIELD, and really hoping we get a more serious level of danger the next episode. I’m still riding the Bus until the end of the season, but save for a few scenes I could’ve skipped this mission. I can’t recommend it which is a shame after the strong last episode.

High points: Mentions of Hydra, AIM and Bucky Barnes. Lola gets to hover. May does some fancy flying and you can tell it’s dangerous because she takes off her shades. The Boiler Room.

Low points: The threat is a hail storm that will pass on its own. The main villain doesn’t do anything scary.

(Sources: ABC)