Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Nothing Personal Review -

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Mania Grade: B+

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  • Episode: Nothing Personal (Season 1, Episode 20)
  • Starring: Clark Gregg. Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Elizabeth Henstridge, Adrian Pasdar, Cobie Smulders
  • Written By: Paul Zbyszewski & DJ Doyle
  • Directed By: Billy Gierhart
  • Network: ABC
  • Studio: Mutant Enemy, ABC Studios, Marvel Entertainment
  • Series:

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Nothing Personal Review

T.A.H.I.T.I. Revealed

By Tim Janson     April 30, 2014

T.A.H.I.T.I. Revealed

“Nothing Personal” might not have had as much action as the past few episodes of MAOS but it made up for it with revealing several secrets.  Agent May tracks down Maria Hill in Washington D.C. and finds out that she is now working for Stark Enterprises.  Hill is unaware that Nick Fury is still alive.  May relates to Hill that Coulson has found about the Tahiti Project and is currently hiding out in the Providence base.  As Coulson and the remaining team search the base they discover Koenig’s body and that Skye has left them a message revealing that Ward is a HYDRA agent.  

Before they can go after Ward and Skye, Major Glenn Talbot and a squad of soldiers seize control of the base (with Maria Hill’s help). Talbot demands that Coulson and his team turn over any and all information to him.  In his first full appearance as Major Talbot, Adrian Pasdar nails the all of his obsessive, bull-headed glory.  Even though Hill tells Coulson that S.H.I.E.L.D. is truly gone, Coulson refuses to believe it and convinces Hill to help the team escape.

Skye is still playing along with Ward, not letting on that she knows he is working for HYDRA.  They head to the diner where Skye first met Mike Peterson so she can decrypt the hard drive carrying the information that Ward wants.  Skye secretly alerts police that Ward is a wanted fugitive.  As the police confront Ward, Skye attempts to escape but is stopped by Deathlok. Back aboard the plane, Ward tries to convince Skye that he did what he thought was right and still professes his love for her.  But when Skye refuses to help, Dealthok shoots Ward with a device that causes him to go into cardiac arrest.  Skye relents and agrees to help to in order to save Ward’s life.

Maria Hill manages to stall Ward long enough for Coulson to sneak aboard the plane before it takes off.  Coulson frees Skye and they escape in Coulson’s car, Lola…which turns into a jet!  Once safe, Skye tells Coulson that she left a surprise for Ward on the hard drive.  May tells Coulson that she discovered who was behind T.A.H.I.T.I. and has him watch a video that she found on a USB drive buried in Coulson’s “grave.”  The video reveals Coulson himself telling Fury that the project is too dangerous and leaves its subjects unstable.

Ok so now we know Coulson himself was behind the T.A.H.I.T.I. project and wanted it discontinued, warning Fury of the extreme side effects.  From this we can gather that Fury completely ignored his warnings and proceeded to use the procedure on Coulson anyway, wiping his memory in the process.  Despite his loyalty to Fury, something tells me Coulson is not going to be too happy to see him.

And of course, now the rest of the team knows about Ward. Fitz takes the news the hardest, at first refusing to believe it and then flying into rage at being betrayed.  The Skye haters might question Ward, regardless of all he has done, still being in love with Skye and attempting to sway her.  But give the writers points for this…they could have taken the easy way out and just made Ward a one dimensional villain…a Nazi as Skye called him…but this gives depth to his character.  He may be a traitor and cold blooded killer but Ward is still a guy with feelings.  He doesn’t see himself as being evil.  In his own megalomaniacal way Ward sees it as doing his duty to Garrett.  We still don’t know what Garrett did for him when he was younger (although this will be revealed next week apparently) but whatever he did it was apparently enough to earn Ward’s faithful devotion.

Skye saving Ward was also nicely crafted.  Despite her hatred for Ward she still saved him.  But this wasn’t about love.  This is about the morals that separate heroes from villains.  She doesn’t want to cross that line and be responsible for his death.

As it does too often, S.H.I.E.L.D. fast tracks its way through plot elements it deems unimportant.  Coulson and Hill taking out Talbot and two soldiers?  Ok, I am willing to accept that.  But did Talbot really show up with only a handful of soldiers?  Would there not have been a squad stationed outside the base as well standing guard?  And then there is Ward taking down a handful of cops as easily as he ordered from the diner’s menu. Sometimes the writers fall into the trap of wanting to do so much that they tend to gloss over details.  And why was the USB drive buried in Coulson’s empty grave?  I hope it wasn’t just for dramatic purposes because otherwise there doesn’t seem to be much point.  If you didn’t want anyone to see the video then why not destroy the drive?  But could May or Hill have hid the drive in Coulson’s grave without Fury’s knowledge?

A solid episode overall that seemed to be the bridge to the season’s last two installments.


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ElBaz13 4/30/2014 8:10:49 PM

Another great episode. Has been good in the second half.

Loved seeing Maria Hill kick ass (plus Cobie is hot). Funny how she name dropped Man-Thing.

Skye was great in this. She's not a dumb character. Leaving the hidden message for the others and stalling Ward. Loved her scene which she called Ward a nazi.

Agent Triplett is definitely a cool new character (and a Howling Commando descendant!), hope he sticks around if there is a season 2.

As for Ward, yeah, he turned bad since he murdered a lot of people but it seems like he has no choice, almost like Mike Peterson. So, are Hydra holding his family hostage? It has something to do with that I'm sure. Brett Dalton loves to hashtag "it's all connected" in his tweets.

Finally, funniest line of the night "If I come out, will you shoot me? cuz then i won't come out"


wildwestie 4/30/2014 9:47:14 PM

 Wasn't the location of the drive one of Fury's riddles, as Hill suggested, so it was up to May to figure it out?

Also, I am probably reaching but I thought the Coulson on the video was saying Fury wanted the serum for an Avenger who was severely hurt. It made me think this was Cpt Mar-Vell, warning that the serum was unstable and not to be used, that the real Coulson was the one he was referring to as the one that got hurt, even though he wasn't an Avenger.

like I said, a reach and maybe not hearing it quite right, and hoping Coulson is actually Mar-Vell and doesn't know it.

Moz72 4/30/2014 10:14:22 PM

 By the way, anyone catch Hill, during  her phone conversation, mention the difficulty of explaining to congress what a Man-Thing is? 

masbro76 5/1/2014 3:36:56 AM

Good episode! Ward is making a good villian, all the best villians were not trully evil, they just thought what they were doing was right to them, like Vader, Maggnetto. No Moz72, I didnt catch that, but sounds interesting, I'll have to check it out again on Hulu.

Higgy 5/1/2014 6:00:11 AM

Moz, I caught that reference.  I lol'd when I heard that.

Wildwestie, that message was kind of confusing.  I almost took it as, this was a backup plan to revive any of the Avengers with the serum, had any of the died during the fight.  But after the testing was done, Coulson was against it unless they reprogrammed the person's brain.  It was a little hard to really understand when you don't know all of the elements that they're hiding.

I love the character of Triplett.  I hope he's a mainstay on the show.  Although I'm really starting to wonder about Simmons and if she is or isn't a Hydra agent.  She has that look that she could possibly be evil.



Chance375 5/1/2014 6:38:51 AM


I  agree with you regarding Simmons.  I think it would be great if she was, but I  think Fitz' reaction was a bit too over the top.  He could be over compensating.

Chance375 5/1/2014 6:40:50 AM

I  just wanted to add that it is great to have a place where I  can read and discuss shows like this.  My wife bailed on Shield after 2 episodes and my friends all think I'm crazy for sticking with it.  Granted these are the same friends who haven't seem Cap 2 yet.  Again, it's nice to have a place to discuss the show!

monkeyfoot 5/1/2014 6:58:06 AM

For me I think this was the best episode of the series so far. Action, FX action, drama amongst the characters, and finally the biggest reveal about Tahiti (..."Oh!"....).

I had no problem with Ward taking out all the cops. That's what he does. That's his specialty. He's supposed to be Steven Seagal Jr. with all his training.

I remember after he and Garrett took the Fridge he found the Asgardian Beserker staff. I'm thinking it will come back before the season's end. Maybe he's got it stored somewhere because he has the strong link to it and I'm wondering if by the season finale he will be using it again.

Though Coulson's memories were erased. We know that Skye's weren't after being saved with Kree blood. I have a feeling the madness from the infusion and whatever makes her an 084 will collide in some way in a big reveal. I just don't know if it will be this season or the next (hopefully).

ElBaz13 5/1/2014 7:00:08 AM

I tweeted to BJ Britt on how cool Triplett was and hopes he comes back if they renew the show. He answered me back personally which is pretty cool.  I like his character too. If he replaces Ward, even better. The dude is loyal and has Howling Commando blood. He will never go Hydra!


Same here. A lot of my firends ditched the show so I have no one to talk about with. I will get the series on blu ray and binge watch it with the kids though. They love the MCU.  I think they will like this.

Also loved the interaction between Ward and Hill. Good stuff.

rogue188 5/1/2014 7:41:10 AM

I am glad I stuck with the show. The car falling through the car scene was fun. As Tim Janson mentioned, there are definitely some leep needed here with somewhat sloppy writing. I see this on Arrow too, and it bothers me. Regardless, AoS is finally hitting its stride. I can't wait to see Sam Jackson and the encounter between Fury and Coulson.

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