Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Love In The Time of HYDRA” Review

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Posted March 27, 2015 by Kenneth Rodriguez in Comic Books

If you want to catch-up on last week’s episode, you can find that here

 

This week’s episode had a bit more meat to chew on than last week’s, but still I can’t say that a whole lot happened, these last few episodes seem to be more concerned with setup so far, so it seems my prediction that there would be a full-steam ahead shift to the end of the season wasn’t exactly right. We see the return of Ward and Agent 33, and honestly I like him more here than I ever have before, now that he has decided to embrace his full villainy. I can certainly believe his transformation, and his influence on Agent 33 is also something I can actually get behind.

 

Agent 33 as May kidnapping the engineer

Agent 33 as May kidnapping the engineer

So we begin seeing Agent 33 and Ward enjoying breakfast in a diner in LA, and we learn that she helped nurse him back to health after Skye shot him in Puerto Rico. They are getting along, and she is thankful that she gave her something to strive for after Whitehall’s death. They see their apparent target and strike, kidnapping him and tell him he is meant to fix Agent 33’s facial cloaking mask. He adds a chip and contact lens control to the mask and fixes it, hiding her severe facial scarring and making her look like May once again, along with any other face she sees. They seem to be getting along well, and she is grateful to Ward for helping again… but it doesn’t go so well for the engineer.

May and Coulson disagree about what to do about Skye, and whether to actually take Skye out of active duty. Coulson says this isn’t like May’s experience in Bahrain, they know what they are dealing with (I imagine they ran into some “gifted” there that didn’t end well, as it’s been alluded to many times), but she warns him that Skye has changed. Simmons and Fitz have a conversation about how much damage Skye has done to herself, and Fitz thinks she can become a hero like the Avengers but Simmons believes she is more of a destructive force like the Hulk. We get some interesting talk about the normality of the Avengers presence, and how they seem to people like Fitz and Simmons, but Fitz is more concerned with how much the experience has changed Simmons, and how that is scarier than Skye’s change (Finally! Someone points out how crazy Simmons’ sudden change of heart was).

 

Agent Robert Gonzales and the "real" S.H.I.E.L.D. logo

Agent Robert Gonzales and the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. logo

We see Mac giving a tour of the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. facility, and brings him to a conference room, where three agents and a man with a cane walk in. It seems this man is Agent Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) and he is heading up this new S.H.I.E.L.D. offshoot, and explains the idea of the outfit to Hunter. He tries to explain the concept of this other S.H.I.E.L.D. outfit believing that reviving the agency as a pillar of transparency after the secrets of Fury’s regime took it down makes sense, but Hunter doesn’t buy it. They believe Coulson is just becoming an extension of Fury’s old ways and someone needs to stop him, with the deaths of Isabelle Hartley, Victoria Hand, Antoine Triplett, and others have all been a result of Coulson’s recklessness and pursuit of alien artifacts. Hunter assures them that Bobbi would never go along with them, until she walks in and does just that.

We see Simmons come to Coulson’s office with a bag and says its all there and give it to him after protesting some. He goes down to Skye and tells her to pack a bag for a trip, and we see them on a plane, trying to calm her down. They have a heart to heart about Coulson’s dad and his working on a crappy car with him (it’s Lola), giving him an appreciation he wouldn’t have otherwise (ha we get it, it’s Coulson’s relationship with Skye). Coulson tries to apologize for what is happening, but she places the blame on Cal. He takes her to one of Fury’s safe house where she can get in tune with her powers and not hurt anyone else, along with gloves designed by Simmons to suppress the magnitude of her abilities. He apologizes and she is upset but understands what is happening.

 

Agent 33 posing as Skye for Ward

Agent 33 posing as Skye for Ward

We see Agent 33 trying new faces from a magazine, and Ward walks in and she tries to thank him for helping her. But she feels guilty because she has nothing to give in return, but he tells her that’s not what he is doing this for and leaves. When he returns, Agent 33 has adopted Skye’s face and jumps him, trying to “give him what he wants”. Ward pulls away, and tells her whatever was between Skye and him is done now and she becomes embarrassed. She was hoping that if she looked like Skye he would want to be with her, but he assures her he wants to be with her, but as the actual person she is. But he is enraged, as she thinks there’s nothing left of her former self. Ward begins to explain the history of his family and what happened between him and Garret, comforting her and showing her he knows where Bakshi is. He can offer closure to her, and they should go and pay him a visit in Air Force custody, conveniently in General Talbot’s custody. We see Agent 33 taking Talbot’s wife’s face to infiltrate the base, and when he lets her in, she changes her face into a Major she passes by and shuts off the video feeds. Talbot receives a call from his wife stuck in traffic, and he realizes that the person he just let in was an imposter with the nano-mask. He gets all the female personnel into one room and grills them, making sure they are who they seem to be, and when he thinks he has caught the imposter, it’s not and he is confused. Turns out she has taken the face of a male solider (the shortest she could find) and gets Ward into Bakshi’s cell, wheeling him out, punching him before he can try to hypnotize her again. Talbot is paranoid, and when his actual wife comes into the base, he threatens her at gunpoint, still convinced she is an imposter, until he realizes and puts his gun away.

 

Kara's (Agent 33) real face

Kara’s (Agent 33) real face

Bobbi speaks with Hunter, hoping to convince him to join this new S.H.I.E.L.D. but it is for naught and he decides to escape, ripping their relationship apart. He beats some people up and gets out, and discovers he is on an aircraft carrier. With the other people on his tail, he escapes on a plane, and while the others question Bobbi’s loyalty for letting him get away, Agent Gonzales is convinced that she is all in. They think Hunter can make it back to shore in 12 hours and tip Coulson off, but Bobbi says she only needs 6 to take him down. Talbot tells Coulson and May about what happened, and tell him to keep them informed. May and Coulson discuss Mac’s agenda, as neither believes what he is saying, and decide they should figure out what is really going on. As a last teaser, we see Agent 33 reveal her true, scarred face and Ward is happy to finally meet her and she introduces herself as Kara (true to the Agent 33 in the comics) and they are shown turning the same HYDRA brainwashing techniques used on her back on Bakshi.

Like I said, while the episode was moderately entertaining, there wasn’t a whole lot happening. They seem to be focused on setting up the scenarios for the upcoming climax of the season but I am honestly not all that interested so far about this “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. They seem well equipped and a legitimate threat to Coulson’s outfit, but I have a lot of trouble thinking Coulson won’t just convince them he is doing the right thing and combining their efforts. Skye is quickly becoming a McGuffin and not a character, with the writers using the idea of her for more effect than her actual actions, but hopefully we can see her actually kick some ass soon, I miss spunky Skye. It seems the show is banking on the existing audience buying fully into the show’s already built mythology and not trying to bring new people in, because if I didn’t already have a vested interest in the show, honestly I would have flipped the channel on this episode ten minutes in. I know this show can be so much better, it has proved it with it’s midseason premiere and the following episode, but all this hovering is killing the momentum the show had. Hopefully next episode is a lot more interesting than what we are seeing here.


About the Author

Kenneth Rodriguez

Kenny has been completing his pokedex since Pokemon Yellow, ever ready for his next test, comics in hand. He thinks Mass Effect is the best game series ever,.. period and loves TV and Movies dearly. Follow him on Twitter @k_rod14