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In S01E07 of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., two members of Coulson's team are tasked by the Hub to go into enemy territory to disable a weapon of some kind. One of the threads of the plot uncovers the fact that there was no extraction plan for these agents. Coulson and his team finally take their jet to rescue their own agents.

My question is, why was there no extraction plan in the first place? Coulson's team was just sitting around, wasn't it?

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Agent Hand smiled after Coulson called her out on the lack of an extraction plan. Her plan was to not have a planned extraction, and instead allow the rest of Coulson's team to figure this out and go save Fitz and Ward. She smiled because her plan played out as she hoped, and Fitz and Ward got their extraction.

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Thank you. What was the need for such subterfuge? Why not just tell them to extract the agents? Midway through, I was expecting the whole exercise to be a kind of "level up" test for Fitz. "Trust the system" :| –  coleopterist Nov 14 '13 at 18:57
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Maybe it's a test to see how good they have become as the team on its own has some non-standard structure. Maybe they were testing loyalty within the team. Maybe it was the intent to make them bond. Maybe they wanted to see what Fitz/Simmons were capable of outside of their comfort zone. Maybe some unknown plot line. Lots of possibilities for this to fit into the overall series arc. –  Origin Nov 15 '13 at 10:35
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Would SHIELD shield be willing to risk the lives of two operatives and the success of a "Level 8" mission for a mere test? - And even if it really was a test, why not reveal it afterwards? Not telling them will seed/nurture distrust, and why would SHIELD want a team that doesn't "trust the system"? –  Oliver_C Nov 15 '13 at 21:47
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