We're starting to see some pieces fall into place. Several of the beginning episodes have felt a little directionless as just the 'mission of the week.' With the return of Centipede and the Coulson's decision to actually go after them rather than wait for another incident, we're seeing the show move forward a little.
We also have the return of Mike Peterson, from the first episode. This gives the show (or at least episode) some of the Marvel superpower-action we've been longing for. With Peterson's return, there is also the continued theme of redemption. The majority of the team isn't crazy about the idea of working along side Peterson and it gives just a little more tension to spice things up. Peterson's appearance also means the return of Extremis as well.
To even bring things together even more, we see the return of the "Girl in the Flower Dress" (from Episode 5). It turns out she was the one that recruited Peterson into Centipede.
A great point is brought up that is a continued downfall of the series, where's the back up? They've been after Centipede for some time and there are great risks. Sure they brought in a superpowered Mike Peterson but it would make sense that Centipede would have plenty of their own super soldiers. We keep seeing these big dangerous missions and the almighty S.H.I.E.L.D. insists on using a small and still pretty inexperienced team.
What about the cliffhanger that was advertised?
The episode's plot does build up with a nice juicy twist at the end. Things get a little crazy but the final scene and scenes from the next episode (in three weeks) do reveal a tiny bit which takes away a little of the shock.
It looks like the show is starting to become what many of us have been asking for. It's not quite there but getting close. We're definitely seeing the potential and it appears we'll finally get some solid answers about Coulson in the next episode.