Agents of Shield’s “Girl in the Flower Dress” delivered on what Marvel universe fans had been yearning for – another “exceptional” character with superpowers.

The exceptional in question, Hong Kong street performer Chan Ho Yin, possesses pyro-kinetic abilities that passerby assume are simply a magician’s illusions. Frustrated with the lack of appreciation for his unique skills, Chan erupts, blasting fire every which way while shouting, “This is not a trick!”

After his public outburst, the eponymous girl in the flower dress – real name Raina – appears to happen upon “exceptional” Chan and woos her way into his apartment with strategic compliments about his talents. Of course, it was all a scheme and Chan soon finds himself kidnapped by a squad of men wisely outfitted in flame retardant suits.

At SHIELD HQ, Agent Ward (Brett Dalton) continues his efforts to forge a relationship with Skye (Chloe Bennet). Though he may want to stick to his earlier reservations about the new team member, as she’s yet to cut ties with her Rising Tide network. Since Chan had already been identified by SHIELD, Quan notices his disappearance and realizes that his location must have been leaked by the Rising Tide. Boldly making a move to throw the heat off of her, Skye tracks the leak to her Texas-based buddy Myles Lydon. She then tells Myles that SHIELD is coming for him. While Coulson tries to get to him, Skye gets to him first and the two eventually get caught in act by May (Ming-Na Wen).

When Chan wakes up, he’s duly curious about where he’d been taken and why. Raina informs him that she only wants to help him reach his full potential. She even stokes his ego further by suggesting he go by the name “Scorch” and telling him he could be the next Captain America. Little does Chan know that Raina is actually employed by Centipede – the group that’s injecting “exceptionals” with a serum to make them even more powerful that has heretofore led to internal combustion. Chan’s purpose is to provide blood platelets to take away the fatal side effect of the current serum. As he loses platelets, Chan himself becomes less able to sustain the heat of his own powers.

May and Coulson, who’s down on himself about trusting Skye, head to Hong Kong to track down Chan at the Centipede headquarters. And though Miles had thought that Centipede was simply an eco-research group, he’s caused some serious problems for SHIELD. When the agents find Chan, he’s not too keen on trusting the new people who claim to have his best interests at heart, so he loads himself up with more serum and uses his powers to kill Agent Quan.

Despite burning his arms when activating his powers, he then takes aim at Coulson and May. Thankfully, Ward and Skye are on the scene and the hacker gets to work on opening the lockdown. Scorch then proceeds to head for Raina and Dr. Debbie who are making for the elevator. Saving herself, Raina shuts the door on Debbie, who becomes Scorch’s next victim. Then, Coulson and May give Chan a double dose of the serum to make him combust. Proving his worth, Miley rigs the ventilation system to route the explosion out through the roof.

In the end, Coulson lets Miles off with a warning about meddling in illegal hacking and his very own locator bracelet. Before he leaves, Miles tries to convince Skye that he’s a changed man. Meanwhile, Skye tries to convince Coulson that all her hacking was done in the name of finding the truth out about her parents. He offers to help her uncover the redacted document that outlines their fate, but makes sure she knows she better stay in line when he saddles her with the same locator bracelet he put on Miles.

While the SHIELD team deals with their internal issues, Raina pays a visit to an imprisoned Centipede member. She tells him Debbie is dead, but that they’d solved the combustion problem. Stage 2 of the super soldier program is a go.

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays on ABC at 8/7c.

– Chelsea Regan

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