Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.18 Review: Who's Working With Who?

If last night’s episode of Agents of SHIELD wasn’t exciting enough for you, you’re probably watching the wrong show. It really is as simple as that because I loved the episode, entitled ‘The Frenemy of My Enemy’. Coulson, Mike Peterson, Fitz, and Hunter went after Ward. Skye maneuvered her way into a trip with Cal – which didn’t end up being as one way for her monster doctor of a father as was intended. May (hopefully) seemingly showed her allegiances, just as Simmons continued to display her own. Bakshi returned and went against (Did he?) the team that’d had him brainwashed. Ward and Skye reunited – albeit briefly. And Lincoln and Mike Peterson were kidnapped by Hydra – yes, they are still around.

There’s just so much about this episode that I really enjoyed. Maybe it’s just from a self-professed TV addict’s perspective, but ‘The Frenemy of My Enemy’ hit many storytelling spots in just the right compelling way. Giving just a taste of Ward and Skye (for all those still hoping that that comes to fruition, despite their antagonistic relationship) was perfect to keep people at the edge of their seats waiting for an honest interaction. Bobbi’s questioning of why the “real” Shield is so gung ho about tracking down Coulson when Hydra is still out there perfectly put into play what many viewers are wondering about this new/old agency. Just the way each piece (or in this case character) adds a layer to this series that when they’re all connected together in the right setting (i.e. this episode) it makes for some tantalizing storytelling.

I’d just like to take a minute (or, really, a paragraph) and toss around a few questions regarding certain aspects of this episode that are bouncing around in my head, and also written down in my notes. If Hydra was able to fix on Gordon’s location when he “jumped” from one point to another, does that mean he is the one responsible for them finding all the powered people? Why is May all of a sudden all bothered by the notion that Coulson has kept secrets? Can it really be linked to the traumatizing events of the last episode? It feels a little lacking if it is. What is Ward and Agent 33’s – excuse me, Kara – end game? Am I the only one not all right with Ward and Kara? Did Ward honestly think it was okay for him to ask Fitz how he was doing? Does Hydra want Gordon, Skye, or just powered people in general? If Ethan was the one dead in the body bag near the beginning of this episode, does the fact that he had yet to transform (that is, go through the mist) have anything to do with Hydra’s inability to find whatever they’re looking for in his genes? When is Ward going to find out what happened to Skye? Is Hydra going to find the powered people’s location if they are tracking Gordon? He does go there an awful lot for them to not find it. And, finally, are Lincoln and Mike going to be dissected? Or, perhaps, just Lincoln? I would really not be okay with that. I’m a sucker for a good love triangle (one that does not dominate the story), and I think Skye, Lincoln, and Ward could be that. Of course, that won’t happen if Lincoln dies. Plus, I like Luke Mitchell’s character, and would like to see him stick around a while. Whew, that was a long paragraph, moving on.

Now, to the casual viewer this series may not be all that great; I know at least one person that has given up on this show after (to me) mild disappointment. But this series has really picked up it’s storytelling since the first season, and season two is screaming to me that this show is just starting to get really good. Although a spin off series (possibly starring Bobbi and Hunter) is being thrown around, the ratings for this show aren’t nearly as good as they should be to secure a definitive third season. So, that being said, I implore all those not watching this show, and/or all those that have given up on this series to jump back on that horse, get yourself settled in, and just enjoy the ride. I mean, I watch a fair bit of TV (at the moment, roughly around twenty hours a week), and not all of that is TV gold, so – in my opinion – when I say something is good, it’s usually worth a watch. This show is good, it’s first season wasn’t bad, but season two is good, and I expect if it were to get a third season it would only get better. But, I guess, if you’re not looking for good television, there’s always reality TV.

My rating: 8 out of 10.

Best Lines:
“Hey, baby.” – Ward answers the phone, thinking it’s Kara. “Hey, sweetie. Why don’t you drop by? Love to catch up.” – Coulson replies, obviously not Kara.
“At least I have my winning personality.” – Mike Peterson states, after Kara tells him there aren’t any more face modulator things.
“Sometimes, as a leader, I have to do things I’d rather not do.” – Jiaying explains to Skye.
“Honestly, I don’t care what’s in it; the only thing I know is Coulson was just trying to protect Skye.” – Simmons says to May.
“Does it matter? You’ve got a cyborg on board with rockets in his arms.” – Ward wonders if three armed men are really much trouble. “He’s not a cyborg, he’s a Shield agent… with rockets on his arms.” – Coulson corrects.
“This is about Skye.” – Ward clues in to what Coulson is after that he needs Hydra for.
“The Skye who shot you three times?” – Kara asks Ward. “Four.” – Ward amends.
“I’m a friend of Skye’s.” – Mike explains. “Sure, and I’m the Hulk.” – Lincoln responds – which took me a second to remember the Hulk actually exists in this universe.
“I had her. Damnit, I had her.” – Coulson murmurs dejectedly. (And an awe moment for the surrogate father-daughter relationship they have.)
“We’re outmanned, outgunned, and our only back up is Fitz.” – Ward describes the situation at hand, feeling not too encouraged by where they stand.

“Take me to your leader.” – Coulson raises his hands to Bobbi and Mack.