The path to answers was littered with brains in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, episode 11. Check out our recap and share your thoughts on “The Magical Place”!

Here’s what happened on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 1, episode 11, “The Magical Place.”

The first lead

Team Coulson (sans Agent Coulson) work together to track down a fellow named Vanchat, who has sold Chitauri metal to Centipede. Agent Victoria Hand thinks they will be able to use him to trace the organization.

Agent Coulson has been missing for 36 hours. Hand has taken control of the Bus, which is packed with her agents. She is having Vanchat interrogated and is determined to destroy Centipede. Hand mentions that poor Mike Peterson’s burned remains have been found.

Skye quickly pisses off Hand after trying to hack into S.H.I.E.L.D. records in plain sight. Hand is livid. Ward says she’s a member of the team and can help, but when asked, May says she won’t. Hand orders Skye off the plane.

Skye is furious, and desperate to find Coulson. FitzSimmons sneak Skye a satellite phone and Ward tells her that she has a few minutes before being collected.

“Don’t touch Lola,” she tells another agent as she walks off the plane.

Skye’s the limit

At a cafe, Skye tries to hack S.H.I.E.L.D., but her bracelet stops her. She locates a man named Lloyd Rathman, buys a hot leather outfit and steals his car. Skye deliberately crashes the car so she can be towed to the guy’s house and quickly researches his exploits.

When Rathman gets home, Skye, in her leather outfit, tells him that she is Agent Melinda May, and that he is in a lot of trouble. Skye guides him through his records to money paid to Vanchat. She finds Raina in the list and drives off in another one of Rathman’s sexy cars.

Meanwhile, on the Bus

FitzSimmons do science, and Ward takes over the interrogation of Vanchat. When Vanchat refuses to talk, Ward straps himself in. Watching in the lab, FitzSimmons electronically remove the ceiling panels in the holding cell. After nearly being sucked out of the plane, Vanchat agrees to, you know, chat.

Using that information, Hand directs the plane to Sydney. S.H.I.E.L.D. is desperate to find Coulson, which bewilders Hand. “It’s unprecedented; this kind of response for a Level 8 operative,” she says. “No single agent is that important.”

“Coulson is,” Ward says.

In the cockpit, Ward gets on May for letting Skye get tossed. May tells him that she got Skye far away from the prying agents – she is outside the system now, where she works best. “You don’t have to assume the worst of me,” May says softly, as Victoria Hand sends over new coordinates for a Centipede helicopter in the Mojave desert.

Coulson feels the heat

Coulson receives a massage in Tahiti… or so it seems, until he wakes up in a shadowy room after being tortured by Edison Po. Po wants Coulson to share his memories, or else The Brain Machine will rip them out of his mind. Coulson says he’ll die before he lets them know anything.

Unfortunately for Po, the Clairvoyant cannot see anything that happened after Coulson died. For some reason, Coulson is different.

Yeah, because he’s Coulson, and he’s awesome.

After Coulson tries to escape – outside, he finds Po and a desert town populated only by creepy mannequins – Raina joins the torture team. She has been busy with “their other subject,” but Po wants her to use her (apparently literal) powers of persuasion to subdue Coulson.

The Clairvoyant calls, and is clearly unhappy. He speaks to a thrilled Raina. When she hands the phone back to Po, it latches onto his ear and fries his brain like a veiny purple potato.

The way to a man’s brain

Raina plays Good Cop with Coulson. She admits to working for the Clairvoyant, who gives them guidance for the “changing world” precipitated by S.H.I.E.L.D. Centipede has supersoldiers – they can make them and murder them – but they cannot bring them back to life.

Which is, of course, why they need Coulson’s memories.

Raina says that The Brain Machine helps uncover memories buried in the subconscious… as long as he doesn’t resist. “I want what you want,” she tells him. “The secret S.H.I.E.L.D. is keeping from you.”

Finding no path of entry through his feelings of duty to S.H.I.E.L.D., Raina goes for Coulson’s heart. She talks about the life he might have had with an unnamed woman who we must assume is the oft-mentioned cellist.

Coulson tries to resist, but when Raina mentions Tahiti, he reflexively responds, “It’s a magical place.” Pushed over the edge with doubt and frustration, he tells Raina to turn on The Brain Machine.

Hitting the dirt

Skye calls on the satellite phone as FitzSimmons show May and Ward how to hack the Centipede soldiers with a dendrotoxin arm bracelet. Simmons says “manscaping.”

Hand wants to go to Centipede’s lab, but May insists on going to the deserted farm Skye has located. Ward insists that they are going to get Coulson.

Skye and the team arrive in Mannequinville. Ward manages to knock out one of the Centipede soldiers with the dendrotoxin arm bracelet as the rest of the team searches for Coulson.

“Let me die.”

With Coulson back in The Brain Machine, Raina tells him to think back to his first memory after he died. At first, he sees Tahiti… until Dr. Streiten shows up in surgical gear.

Coulson remembers Fury’s face, green tubes and an operating theater. A flash of the cosmos, and then he is lying on a surgical table. Coulson becomes aware that a creepy-ass, bug-like machine is probing at his exposed brain with needle appendages. He begs to be allowed to die.

Back in reality, Skye bursts into the room and decks Raina. May unplugs the machine as Skye begs a dazed, weeping Coulson to come back to himself. To her relief, he recognizes her.

Back on the Bus…

Raina and a bloodied-but-besuited Coulson exchange a Look before she is led away to a land with no flower dresses.

Hand tells Coulson that there is no word on the Clairvoyant. Coulson thanks the team quietly and takes off Skye’s bracelet. He says that Centipede learned nothing from him, and that what he saw was not real – “They were just messing with my head,” he says.


But that evening, Dr. Streitan gets into his car to find Coulson waiting in the back seat.

“After New York… you were dead for days,” Streiten admits. Fury “moved heaven and earth” to bring him back, doing terrible things to Coulson’s mind and body. His suffering, the doctor says, was “ungodly.” They wanted to remove that memory, so he would remain Coulson – not “That thing.”

“What did I become, doctor?” Coulson asks.

“You lost the will to live,” Streiten says. “We tried to give it back.” He apologizes, but Coulson has walked off into the night.

In the tag…

A hideously burned Mike Peterson awakens in a dark cell. His arm and face are hideously burned, one leg amputated above the knee. But the worst change is not aesthetic; it is the ominous words of Centipede’s ocular implant crawling across his vision: “Stand by for further instructions.”

What did you think of ‘The Magical Place’?

Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?