The third episode of the season starts out with a trucker driving on a highway and being guided by two SUV’s for protection. One of them suddenly flips into the air, then the other, until something finally lifts the truck into the air and drops it. Men jump out with a crane and open up the cargo to find..a man? The man simply asks “are we there yet?”. Meanwhile, Agent Ward trains Skye for being a field agent and readying her for her “defining moment” as an agent. May comes over the speaker to tell the team to assemble where Coulson tells them that a S.H.I.E.L.D. transport was attacked. He informs the team that an asset was stolen, the asset being Dr. Franklin Hall whom Fitz and Simmons seem to adore. The team goes to the site to investigate where the driver is being taken care of. The truck driver tells them that someone in S.H.I.E.L.D. had to be the one to organize the attack. Fitz and Simmons are able to pinpoint what caused the cars to suddenly flip in the air, something in appearance very small but very destructive.
Ward narrows down the list of suspects to three while Fitz and Simmons work on the device. Coulson sets after one of the suspects and finds him horseback riding, but when he pulls a gun on Coulson, Ward knocks him out. He’s found carrying gold where Simmons analyzes it and is able to trace its origins. Dr. Hall has been kidnapped by a man named Ian Quinn who is able to fly under the radar of S.H.I.E.L.D. (or so he believes). Fitz and Simmons explain to Skye that the tiny device they found is able to influence the force of gravity around it. Skye recognizes the fact that Quinn is a mogul in the community though, making him seemingly untouchable. The team discusses their options about how to get in including monkeys, covers, and e-vites (oh my!). Skye steps up and offers to go undercover since she received an invite because of being part of the “Rising Tide”.
Ward feels that its too big of a risk for Skye to go in because she’s not really trained or dedicated to what they’re doing. He continues to train her with self defense to be ready for anything. She doesn’t seem to take the training seriously so Ward finally tells her how he got so good by telling her his “defining moment”. He was beat up by his brother which forced him to be able to defend himself. May also discusses her concerns with Coulson about how dangerous the mission would be to get Dr. Hall out. Skye attends Quinn’s party where he offers her a job with him as he’s a fan of her work with the “Rising Tide”. He makes an announcement about his work that he’s having Dr. Hall work on. Skye takes this time to sneak into the mansion to hopefully find where Dr. Hall is but Ian finds her. She attempts to get out of it but just as he’s about to call security she stops him and writes “SHIELD IS LISTENING” on a piece of paper. Is Skye turning on the team with Quinn’s offer?
The team listens in on Skye’s conversation with Quinn but it goes quiet and she’s thrown her earpiece into a glass of champagne. She discusses her involvement with S.H.I.E.L.D. with Quinn and why they really wanted her on the team. Skye says she’s been gaining intelligence on them and biding her time while Quinn tells her that they wanted her because of the threat she poses. Coulson and Ward run into trouble with perimeter guards just as Skye gets her “makeup” in range of a wireless point. Fitz is finally able to break down the laser barrier so that Coulson and Ward can get inside. Guards come in to inform Quinn about the security breach and he figures out what Skye has done. Quinn pulls a gun on Skye when Coulson finds Dr. Hall working on his gravity project. However, Dr. Hall doesn’t go with Coulson but instead decides that he has to keep working but this causes everything in the room to gravitate towards them and Coulson is thrown off his feet.
Coulson wakes up to find Hall increasing the power to the gravity generator. Skye turns the tables on Quinn and gets his gun away from him using the move Ward showed her. She can’t pull the trigger though so she jumps off the balcony to the pool. Quinn tells his men they need to evacuate by helicopter as Dr. Hall’s gravity generator makes everything unstable. Dr. Hall tells Coulson that he merely wants to destroy the technology because no one can handle it. Skye tries to make a break for it but is caught by Quinn’s men but Ward easily takes them out. Coulson tries to convince Dr. Hall to do the right thing but he’s resigned to dying to destroy it. Coulson has to make a hard decision to use Dr. Hall as the catalyst to stop the gravity generator once and for all. May finally tells Coulson that she wants in on the action. Ward finds Skye training on her own and he finds out that she’s been in foster care. She’s finally ready to start working with the team and they begin training together. The gravity generator is sealed away in a chamber where Hall’s hand is seen reaching out before being sucked back in.
“The Asset” was another solid spot in the series. The team had their hands full with tracking down Dr. Hall as well as Quinn to discover what he wanted with him. Quinn, however, never seemed too threatening (minus the gun in Skye’s face) but the real danger seemed present in Dr. Hall’s resigned behavior. Coulson had to make a difficult decision to “sacrifice” Dr. Hall to save the rest of the team and everyone in the surrounding area. Coulson proved that he had what it took to do what was necessary, but what about Skye? She had a promising first start but she even had to admit to herself that there were some things she wasn’t ready for. While trust with her is slowly building, there’s still a feeling that she’s not all in. Her “Rising Tide” arc has to come into play at some point. However, her growth with Ward has been leading her story in a new direction. The team is finally coming together with the addition of May and Skye’s loyalties to what they’re doing. It’s still early in the series though and anything is game to happen. What’d you think of tonight’s episode? Are you ready for a big bad or happy with the episode to episode arcs?