Later, on the S.H.I.E.L.D. plane (apparently fixed to the tune of however much more money), a sweaty Ward is hitting the heavy bag when Skye appears, hands wrapped for punching. He mildly tells her she's late, to which she complains that she's tired from the morning's workout. "I thought I was joining S.H.I.E.L.D., not 24 Hour Fitness." I suppose living in a van and eating on the run isn't great for your conditioning, but still -- you get one of those, Skye. Ward seems to agree as he tells her next time, she'll do fifteen push-ups for each minute she's late and while she may not love training, the strength she'll gain could come in handy if, let's say, she finds herself hanging off the side of a building. Show of hands of those who think that set-up is going to pay off soon?
He starts her on a simple jab-cross combination and having done some martial arts myself it pains me to see her not turning her body into the cross as Ward instructed, although that's still better than her complaining about all the hard work and how Fitz/Simmons don't have to do this. Ward replies that this is the life of a field agent; he then shows her up by asking the techs what their morning rituals are like, and Simmons excitedly babbles about "atomistic attribute drills" which sends Skye back to her ineffective punching in less than three seconds. Heh. Ward then does some more obvious first-act gun introduction as he says that every field agent has a defining moment in which he or she either acts or bails, and Skye at least gets more into the rhythm of the punching as she asks what his was. The show really needs to set up its themes without writing them on a whiteboard and waving them in front of us, no? When he declines to reply, she suggests she get Coulson to give him more of that truth serum, to which he points out that his "Level One overshare" (hee) got her to cooperate? "I hate to tell you this, rookie, but we don't have a truth serum." Whether he's telling the truth now or he's putting her on, that's awesome. Ward has really grown on me since the pilot. Skye then gets a respite from further physical activity when May's voice announces that they're changing course (to Colorado Airfield North) and will have an imminent briefing, but she looks like she's too busy wondering if Ward even has a Gramsy to enjoy it.
Sometime later, in one of the plane's open lounges, Coulson announces that a S.H.I.E.L.D. transport with a "Priority Red" protected asset was attacked, and when he goes on that the asset is "Dr. Franklin Hall" the Canadian physicist, Fitz/Simmons have the world's saddest orgasm before Fitz tells them Hall was once their chemical kinetics adviser and was crazy enthusiastic about science. Skye is predictably the only one in the room to be favorably impressed with the invisibility of the attack, and then -- as we cut to them on Exposition Highway in Sterling CO -- Coulson explains that Hall is one of a select group of scientists S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps on the move to protect them from enemies. Furthermore, Priority Red means that security should have been -- Coulson sees one of the SUVs in a tree -- "heavy." Going to the trouble of putting an SUV in a tree for the sake of wordplay on a double meaning? That's money well spent in my book. That said, two ground escorts with no visible weaponry and no air support we could see was "heavy" security by S.H.I.E.L.D. standards?