Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "Seeds" Review: Ice, Ice, Baby

By Kaitlin Thomas

Jan 15, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S01E12: "Seeds"

For an episode that didn't sound very promising in episode description or name, "Seeds," much like the similarly odd-titled "F.Z.Z.T." from earlier this season, exceeded my expectations. One could argue it's because they weren't that high based on the very little we knew of the episode, but I think that would be unfair here. This episode—silly superstorm effects aside—succeeded in making us laugh and making our hearts hurt, plus it was another origin story for a potential villain. It also answered, at least somewhat, the mystery of Skye, but that's something else altogether.

After some students at S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy (the science and technology division, not operations) were involved in an accident in which an indoor pool suddenly froze over, Fitz and Simmons were called in to speak to the students and find the culprit behind the device that turned all moisture in a certain radius to ice. I don't know if the writers just understand their characters better than the others, but FitzSimmons are continually developed in a more integrated, less obviously clunky way than everyone else. We still don't know that much about any of these characters, but we do know quite a bit about Fitz and Simmons through actual storytelling and less conspicuous exposition. You could argue it's because they're the two characters who don't really have "mysteries" surrounding who they are, and can be developed more easily, but I think it's also that the writers are able to play them off each other because of their close history and friendship in ways they cannot do with the rest of the team.

But Fitz also got to shine on his own in this episode, which is not something that happens all that often. Fitz connected with Donnie Gill, the brightest student at the Academy, as they bonded about similar upbringings and their love of science. It felt completely sincere, and in a way it was, but it broke my heart when I realized what was actually happening and who Donnie would be come through this encounter. Fitz will undoubtedly blame himself for the part he played in Donnie becoming Blizzard, but based on the show's history in the matter, we probably won't be seeing Donnie anytime soon now that he's in S.H.I.E.L.D. custody.

In addition to Fitz's interactions with Donnie and Simmons this week, the writers also gave us a bit of Handsome/Fitz in "Seeds," which is always nice because it softens Handsome's hard demeanor and makes him feel slightly more human than his usual robotic self. His sexual relationship with May is also meant to do this, but so far it's seen little success. In fact, I'd nearly forgotten about their secret liaison entirely until May decided to bring it up to Coulson during a trip to Mexico. They were searching for a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who'd gone off the grid in the wake of the murder of his partner—the woman who brought Skye in—and May was being particularly chatty because Coulson was not. But during a stake out still doesn't seem like the best time to drop that kind of knowledge bomb. 

Skye's parentage, along with the mystery of what happened to Coulson after New York, has been one of the series' longest-running threads, and "Seeds" attempted to uncover a bit of that mystery. Skye was an 0-8-4, or an object of unknown origin, that S.H.I.E.L.D. had been called in to retrieve and protect 24 years ago. This could, of course, mean many things, especially knowing that the members of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team who rescued her were eventually killed off one by one until there was only one of them left—the man named Richard Lumley who Coulson and May tracked down in Mexico. The news that Skye might not be completely human is not something I had considered, knowing that the series isn't about people with superpowers, but it's a pretty cool move in general.

Does this new revelation suddenly make Skye more interesting? Not really, because we still don't know what it all means, but it has shined a little light on who she is, and it kind of answers why she's the de facto main character of the series after Coulson. It also resulted in a quiet moment where Skye felt like she'd finally found the place she's always belonged. I'm a sucker for stories about unconventional families, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is certainly attempting to state its case that S.H.I.E.L.D. is one with episodes like "Seeds." And to be honest, I'm just kind of glad, much like I was last week, that we've learned something about this long-running mystery. Now that we know how Skye came to be in S.H.I.E.L.D.'s care, we can move on to the why, which I assume will probably be Skye's new focus for the rest of the season. Whatever comes of this story, I certainly find this arc more enjoyable than if May, or the agent who brought her in, had been her mother. 

I don't think it would be wrong to declare "Seeds" one of the strongest episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to date. Yes, we had to suspend our disbelief a bit to accept Skye's "origin story," but the episode tugged on viewers' heartstrings while also finding moments to make us laugh. And I certainly can't argue against an episode that introduces a future villain and name-drops Hydra, because it ties the series back to the world of comics in a real way. Some viewers will undoubtedly be frustrated by another episode that asked as many questions as it answered, but I'm not really worried about that at this point. We're still in the middle of the season, and the writers are making progress, even if it's slow-going. 


– This week saw the return of Ian Quinn, who we first glimpsed in the series' third episode. Truth be told, I did not see this coming, but considering the role he also played in the origin story of Graviton, I shouldn't be surprised. I do find it interesting he knows, or is involved with, the Clairvoyant. 

– "My room was exactly like this, except there was a lot more laundry on the floor." (Fitz just gets me.)

– "Simmons is probably smarter, technically, but that's because she likes homework more than life itself."

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  • MightyMad Jan 23, 2014

    OK... Bucky wasn't in S.H.I.E.L.D.

    Hell, even in the normal 616-verse, his disappearance pre-dated by A LOT the creation of the organization. And, in the first Cap movie, he literally had nothing to do with them!

    So stupid... if you're going to start name-dropping folks, at least try to make it believable.

    [Geek rant over.]

  • ObeyMyBrain Jan 24, 2014

    But Bucky was part of the organization that created Captain America and worked to bring down HYDRA, the Strategic Scientific Reserve. Perhaps they started a memorial list that was kept and added to after SHIELD was formed?

  • ManojMajhi Jan 23, 2014

    The big reveal about Skye's origins (sort of...) was my best moment in this superb episode. However it got me thinking. My thought Skye is the antagonist to the Clairvoyant. The big good against the big bad?! MAoS super powered defender in the longer story arc?

  • MichelPilgrim Jan 22, 2014

    So far I like Coulson, Skye and Ward. Maybe the others can die in a dramatic episode and make the series become more interesting? I think I'll still watch it coz I'm a Marvel fan, but I don't like what the show runners are doing with it. It's like no one cares and they just manufacture boring stories coz they know people are gonna watch. The episode had some good moments though but it's still missing something. This series has no soul.

  • thierryfournier79 Jan 18, 2014

    Skye is an alien... just learn Lady Sif will be on the show. so Skye might be Asgardian!!! hmmmm interesting

  • raymundf Jan 18, 2014

    Here's a wild idea. An 084 found in Hunan, China, revered by a small rural Chinese village that gave their lives to protect her, and hunted by a secret but powerful organization. Could Skye actually be the human form of the dragon Fin Fang Foom?

  • Houmid Mar 05, 2014


  • spiderratsquee Jan 18, 2014

    I believe that Skye is actually Going to be Captain Marvel, and her Parents were Kree. I doubt they are going to introduce the inhumans, unless whedon got the rights to YET another marvel Series.

  • Houmid Mar 05, 2014

    I think you're right about Skye being a Kree. Since they can't drag mutants, Spidey, or the FF into the series due to contract reasons, aliens, gods and and tech work. Although the story of Ms Marvel was originally due to Carol Danvers being exposed to a Kree device which fulfilled her wish to be like Captain Marvel. Could go any direction at this point though.

  • LiviaJones Jan 18, 2014

    She's Mary Marvel and Billy is out there. Yeah...I have no idea what she is.

  • Houmid Mar 05, 2014

    You're mixing up your Captain Marvels.

  • WildPict Jan 17, 2014

    I liked this episode. I loved how Coulson struggled with his new understanding about what happened to him in "Tahiti", and how that changed his decision about how much he told Skye. That's really shows growth in his character, along with the amazing response Skye had to her news.

    I don't understand why Donnie would go bad guy, he had seemed so affected by the death of his friend. And he didn't seem to want to be involved in the whole deal in the first place. If he does go bad, I hope he's conflicted about it.

  • PatriciaSnche Jan 18, 2014

    I agre with you and i do hope that this is just the beginning of a no-trust-SHIELD-anymore path. Coulson has shown already that he's not always ok with SHIELD decisions/methods and I think now he'll start to questioning everything that comes from above and I like that :)

    On Donnie's issue... I didn't like that last hint of Donnie going bad and I hope (and believe) that he'll be conflicted about it too.

  • marcelopuebla50 Jan 17, 2014

    Poorly written ep. with not a thing in it until the last few lines said by agent Coulson. A massive waste of my time. I'll try to endure it till the end of the season with the hopes that JOSS Whedon will actually get involved in this.

  • Caviezelized Jan 16, 2014

    "Agent Ward and I are having sex."

    Best line so far, which is kind of sad when you stop to think about how wrong the whole "Mayward" hookup is, on so many levels. Honestly, this show wasn't a big step up for me. We got into some darker territory in the last episode that was good, and some emotionally resonant material in "F.Z.Z.T," but otherwise, still bland, still boring.

  • vcivi Jan 16, 2014

    Ok learning about Skye was interesting, but actually the only cool part was the end, with the storm....!!! The rest of the episode was really boring..
    Loved how Coulson followed the guy who was climing the stairs with his car...that was fun, how he was hanging in the air...

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