The old adage goes, ‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend,’ and this episode of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” takes that one step further by adding the 21st century concept of frenemies. In this case, Agent Coulson seeks an alliance with ex-Agent Grant Ward for unknown reasons. Also the Inhumans continue to lie to Skye, and her father, all this and more, in my review of “The Frenemy of My Enemy,” after the jump.
The Big Rumors
How accurate this buzz is could be a bigger bugaboo altogether, like how rumors rip through the internet like an urban legend in a small town, but here it is, folks. There does appear to be a “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” spin-off in the works. The initial word that I had mentioned last time was that there would be a new show, or perhaps the original show, that would focus on the super-powered agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., like Deathlok and Skye’s comics identity of Quake, led by Coulson. That might still be the case, but we have more definitive news since last week.
The buzz is that the new show would be focused on the characters of Agent Barbara Morse AKA Mockingbird and Agent Lance Hunter, as played by Adrianne Palicki and Nick Blood. Whether they remain with S.H.I.E.L.D. or not is up in the air, but the new series would have a Mr. and Mrs. Smith vibe, which would actually be both on target and pretty cool. I’d watch that, especially if we finally see Mockingbird in more of a comics-close costume. Also, no word yet on the likely renewal of “Agent Carter,” or the other new non-S.H.I.E.L.D. related show featuring a reinvented Marvel character that John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) is pitching to ABC.
This Is How We Do It
The song may be two decades old, and yes, I can hear my friends’ bones creak when I make this reference, but Montell Jordan had a lot of wisdom when he sang, “This is how we do it,” because finally, if only momentarily, this show is doing it right. Remember how the old “Mission: Impossible,” or the quiet second openings of the James Bond films? Here’s the set-up, here’s the mission, now go. That’s how you do espionage entertainment.
In the first three minutes of this episode, just three minutes, we have all that. Fitz makes a dazzling escape from his tail, confirms he’s back mentally, and then Coulson activates The Toolbox, verifies information pertinent to both this series and the upcoming Avengers: Age of Ultron, and then confirms their mission. This is how we do it, baby. And this is how fast and efficient “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” should always be.
The Return of Hydra
It should be noted, Hydra never really went away. The good guys defeated their forces in America but they remain strong in Europe where they are run by the Baron Von Strucker, a major foe of Captain America since World War II, who will be one of the secondary villains in the aforementioned second Avengers movie; and his second-in-command, head scientist Doctor List.
We’ve seen List before, in the villains roundtable of “Aftershocks,” and with Strucker monitoring Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch in the after-credits scene of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Much like Coulson has been accused of, and appears to be, they too are very interested in powered individuals. I guarantee their plans for them are less sinister than any Coulson may have had…
The circles of trust on this show continue to turn but in all the wrong ways. Simmons trusts May with the news that Fitz has The Toolbox, and may in turn tells Morse in hopes of protecting Simmons, who then must track Coulson via Deathlok. Calvin Zabo AKA Mister Hyde thinks his dinner with his wife and daughter last episode went swimmingly, and they’re going to all live happily ever after. Hmmm, there’s never been a doubt that Hyde is insane, bad news for Jiaying is she’s going to toss him out on his bum.
The real switch is Coulson seeking out Grant Ward and Agent 33. In his search for Skye, Coulson thinks that Hydra may have clues as they are after powers too, so he’s going to use Ward to get inside with Doctor List. Using the Ward-brainwashed Bakshi, along with Deathlok as a bodyguard/example, they manage to get to List, not without a double-cross or two along the way. It does however seem that Coulson is exactly on track, as List is currently tracking a powered individual who is using ‘quantum entanglement’ as a power. Oh yeah, baby, that’s right – List is tracking a teleporter. Talk about how ‘it’s all connected.’
Daddy Daughter Date
The Inhumans want rid of Mister Hyde badly, mostly because he’s not ‘one of us.’ Based on that loose but apparently firm rule, one wonders how truly long Skye and Raina will last among them. After all, they weren’t chosen for terrigenesis either, but had it thrust upon them. Skye begs to go with her father to Milwaukee, to ease the blow. He thinks it’s a field trip to grab some things, not realizing it’s a one way trip.
As they walk streets that Cal no longer knows, trying to show his daughter around, one not only feels sorry for him, but must also marvel at Skye’s empathy for a father she’s never known, as well as a need to protect those he might hurt. And now that we know Skye’s real name – Daisy Johnson – what does that mean for the dead body List had at the start of this episode – Ethan Johnson? Are they related? Also I liked the nice explanation for the change from Johnson to Zabo for dear old dad. Hyde does try hard to connect, but once Lincoln reveals himself, Hyde realizes he’s not trusted and this is goodbye. The problem is… they’re not alone. Not only are the Inhumans watching, so is the ‘real’ S.H.I.E.L.D., and our S.H.I.E.L.D. and Hydra are both there onsite.
Everything comes together and it’s all connected. Hydra is tracking Gordon, which leads them to Hyde and Skye, and by equal coincidence, Lincoln and Deathlok (whose fight scene was awesome). Meanwhile Coulson and Ward, working together better than they have throughout this entire series, find Skye as well, much to the chagrin of May and Simmons watching through Deathlok’s eyes. It’s one big beautiful flustercluck, and the best ending that could be hoped for without seeing Morse and/or May kicking some ass.
In the end, Gordon appears to escape with Hyde and Skye, Hydra gets away with Deathlok and Lincoln, who knows where Ward and Agent 33 (not to mention Fitz) are, and Coulson is waiting for Morse and Mack to show up so he can surrender. Everyone is still unfortunately separate; all this did was shuffle the cards. I want my team back together and fighting the bad guys – with no to little shades of grey.
Next: “The Dirty Half Dozen!”