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"All we know for sure is the Clairvoyant's been a step ahead of us. Stealing plays from our playbook."
"And it's pissing me off."
John Garrett and Phil Coulson[src]

The Search for the Clairvoyant was an attempt by S.H.I.E.L.D. to apprehend the mysterious criminal known as the Clairvoyant.

Background

"The Clairvoyant sees everything except what happened to him."
Ian Quinn[src]

S.H.I.E.L.D., especially Phil Coulson's team, found themselves having to fight against an unidentified individual going under the alias of the Clairvoyant, who seemingly displayed mind-reading abilities and whose purpose was to figure out how Coulson had been resurrected. Due to the numerous crimes the Clairvoyant had perpetrated, from the Kidnapping of Phil Coulson[1] to the shooting of Skye[2], S.H.I.E.L.D. decided to investigate in order to put an end to the Clairvoyant's evil plans.

Actually, the Clairvoyant was John Garrett, another S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and Coulson's alleged friend. Garrett approached Coulson's Team after they arrested Ian Quinn and offered his help to find the Clairvoyant.[3] In fact, Garrett intended to direct the investigation into false leads so that S.H.I.E.L.D. would not be a threat to him and he could discover Coulson's secret. To that end, Garrett decided to use Thomas Nash, a man who used to claim having psychic abilities before undergoing a severe accident which left him heavily disabled.[4]

Search

Attack on the S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House

DeathlokThreatenedByGarrettTriplett

Antoine Triplett and John Garrett fight against Deathlok

"Hit him with an I.C.E.R.!"
"What the hell? He's not going down!"
John Garrett and Antoine Triplett[src]

John Garrett suggested that the Clairvoyant could be someone who had been rejected out of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Index for gifted people, as S.H.I.E.L.D. officially assumed that psychic powers were not a real thing. Garrett and Antoine Triplett journeyed to a S.H.I.E.L.D. Safe House in Sydney to investigate, but they were immediately attacked by Deathlok. With their combined efforts, they managed to repel him, but not without noticing his extreme resistance to their shots. Deathlok then escaped, leaving Garrett and Triplett to report the attack to Phil Coulson.[4]

Double-Blind Test

End of the Beginning

Victoria Hand, Felix Blake and Jasper Sitwell join the search

"If we're going up against an actual Clairvoyant, how do you suggest we combat that?"
"By compartmentalizing the information."
Victoria Hand and John Garrett[src]

Deathlok's attack convinced Phil Coulson that the Clairvoyant felt threatened by S.H.I.E.L.D.'s investigation. In need of backup, Coulson invited S.H.I.E.L.D. officers Victoria Hand, Jasper Sitwell and Felix Blake to join him and John Garrett on the Bus. Coulson and Garrett explained that they were hunting a criminal with mind-reading abilities who might have previously been on S.H.I.E.L.D.'s radar. In order to efficiently investigate, Coulson suggested to have Skye gathering information and identifying potential Clairvoyants who would then be investigated by random pairs of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. To that end, Skye was officially made a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent.

Skye suggested to make the search double-blind: one member of each pair would have the name of the potential Clairvoyant while the other one would have their coordinates. As Sitwell had to return to the Lemurian Star and Hand returned to the Hub, this left three pairs: Coulson and Garrett looking for Noriko Sato, Grant Ward and Antoine Triplett searching Elijah Fordham in Milton Keynes Prison, and Melinda May teaming up with Blake to find Thomas Nash. Meanwhile, Skye remained in the Bus and looked into the candidates' psych evaluations to figure out the Clairvoyant's way of thinking.

Blake Deathlok

Felix Blake is attacked by Deathlok

May and Blake turned out to have the most promising lead, as they encountered Deathlok in Tranquility Bridge living home where they were looking for Nash. Deathlok violently attacked Blake, who shot him multiple times but with little effect. Figuring out Deathlok could escape, Blake switched weapons and implanted a Tag Round on Deathlok. Deathlok then seized Blake and lifted him off the ground. As Blake tried to appease him, Deathlok crushed Blake's ribs. May joined the fight and Deathlok eventually escaped. May reported the attack, prompting the others to converge to the hospital.[4]

Finding the Clairvoyant

"Agent Coulson, Agent Garrett, I surrender. Forgive me if we don't shake hands. I don't like to be touched."
Thomas Nash to Phil Coulson and John Garrett[src]

Despite Felix Blake being heavily wounded, S.H.I.E.L.D. had a main suspect for the Clairvoyant's identity: Thomas Nash. While Victoria Hand requested Antoine Triplett and Jemma Simmons to go with her to the Hub so they could brief the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents about Deathlok's capabilities, Phil Coulson and Melinda May figured out that Blake had used Tag Rounds on Deathlok, enabling S.H.I.E.L.D. to track him down to an abandoned racetrack in Pensacola, Florida.

An operation was set to arrest Nash, notably involving Coulson, May, John Garrett, Grant Ward, Skye and Leo Fitz. They blasted the door and Fitz sent his Golden Retrievers to search the place. One of the drones located Deathlok, who destroyed it. While Fitz returned outside the facility with Skye, the other agents went deeper to find the cyborg. Deathlok ambushed Ward and his team, attacking them with his Forearm Rocket Launcher before fleeing again.

Deathlok-Escapes

Deathlok runs away from S.H.I.E.L.D.

May briefly caught up with Deathlok, but he jumped several floors down and went into the basement. Coulson and Garrett chased him and ultimately found him, but Deathlok escaped again through the sewers. However, Fitz warned them about the presence of another person in the basement: Nash.

Coulson and Garrett were soon joined by Ward and May and the four of them confronted Nash about being the Clairvoyant. Nash, heavily disabled and talking through a computer, assumed he surrendered to them. He also referenced some occasions when Coulson's Team had crossed the Clairvoyant's men. When Coulson asked Nash whether he truly was the Clairvoyant, Nash simply answered that the name had been given to him by Edison Po.

Thomas-Nash-Dies

Thomas Nash is killed by Grant Ward

The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents carried on the interrogation while securing the room. However, Nash kept taunting them, especially Coulson, until he brought up the day when Skye had been shot by Ian Quinn under the orders of the Clairvoyant. Nash delivered an ominous warning, claiming that Skye would eventually die, which prompted Ward to shoot him in cold blood much to the others agents' surprise. As Nash was dead, Ward was taken into custody and everyone returned to the Bus.[4]

Aftermath

Wrong Target

"I don't believe the man Ward killed was the Clairvoyant. I think he was an unwitting decoy meant to end our investigation."
Phil Coulson[src]

Although S.H.I.E.L.D. believed to have killed the Clairvoyant, Phil Coulson quickly had a feeling that Grant Ward had actually taken down the wrong man. Thanks to Skye's investigation, she and Coulson realized that the Clairvoyant was still alive and that he did not possess any mind-reading ability: actually, he was a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent with high security clearance to access all the S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel's files.

As a result, a climate of suspicion arose. Coulson initially suspected Ward of working with the Clairvoyant and having killed Thomas Ward to mislead their investigation. Melinda May was also suspected when Leo Fitz discovered a secret encrypted line aboard the Bus[4], and Victoria Hand became Coulson's new lead after she hijacked the Bus. However, Coulson and his team later discovered the truth during the Battle at the Hub: John Garrett was the actual Clairvoyant and a member of HYDRA.[5]

Disillusioned Agent

Felix-Blake-Hospital

Felix Blake is taken to the hospital

"When I got out of the hospital, it turned out there had never been a S.H.I.E.L.D., just HYDRA hiding behind one."
Felix Blake to Phil Coulson[src]

Having been heavily wounded by Deathlok, Felix Blake was taken to a hospital and remained far from S.H.I.E.L.D. by the time of the HYDRA Uprising. Blake soon became disillusioned with S.H.I.E.L.D. and decided he would have no part in the agency when Phil Coulson attempted to rebuild it. Instead, Blake founded the Watchdogs, an anti-Inhumans hate group which would become a dangerous enemy to S.H.I.E.L.D.[6]

References

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