Agents of SHIELD S2 E1. One Door Closes Review.
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Agents of S. H. I. E. L. D (2. 01. 3)The series flashes back to the day SHIELD fell during the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier as Gonzalez’s (Edward James Olmos) SHIELD team and Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) SHIELD team clash in the present.
Meanwhile, Skye (Chloe Bennet) gets a few surprise visitors at the cabin.**Spoiler Alert**This review does contain spoilers for episode 2x. Agents of SHIELD. Read at your own risk. The Good. Bobbi Morse doesn’t mess around. Adrianne Palicki is basically an action queen after this episode. She’s delivered stunts in plenty of movies in the past, but her opening scene on this show has her enter a room and take out half a dozen Hydra agents in the flashback sequence to the fall of SHIELD last year. She’s fast, she’s efficient, and she knows where her enemies are.
Mockingbird doesn’t miss a beat in - almost - any of her scenes in the episode. The reveal that Bobbi got her orders directly from Fury during SHIELD’s fall. While there is also a reveal that shows Bobbi is the one who convinces Gonzalez that SHIELD needs to be more transparent with its members, I think it’s telling that Nick Fury himself gave Bobbi the ability to destroy the ship she was sent to salvage.
It speaks a lot to Nick Fury’s character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Who does he really trust to get the job done? Bobbi Morse, Natasha Romanoff, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, and Melinda May.
His top female SHIELD agents. And yet, he gives Coulson the reigns to the organization. Because each of those women have specific loyalties, people and things they believe in that mean they will get the job done, while Coulson believes in doing the most good for the most people and getting the job done right. Mack and Bobbi are found out right away. Instead of circling this point anymore, we get Coulson confronting Mack and May confronting Bobbi right out of the gate, which was such a good decision on the part of the writers. We get right into the action and the confusing “but they said they are working for SHIELD.”The May and Bobbi fight sequence. I know I said that Adrianne Palicki proved her action star status tonight, and Ming- Na Wen is just always so fantastic, but how great was it to see these two powerhouses face off?
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The fight was choreographed and executed to perfection. These two women are a force. I can’t wait until their characters are back on the same side so we can see them teaming up against someone again. Gordon coming to Skye.
It’s about time Skye got some answers about her heritage. With the events of the episode going down, we knew that it was only a matter of time before Gonzalez sent a team for Skye, so I was pleasantly surprised with the reveal that Gordon could find her whenever he wanted.“It’s like a thousand bees are trapped inside of me. All the time.” We’ve often seen abilities described in superhero shows and movies as lightning, electricity, fire, and a lot of other heated words, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone describe the holding in of their abilities as trapped bees, and it’s perfect because I guarantee everyone watching understood exactly what Skye was saying in that moment. Jemma takes Bobbi down. In a move that would have made Peggy Carter proud, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), the girl who couldn’t tell a lie to save her life when the show began, managed to trick master interrogator Bobbi Morse while “looking for a prototype” so she could use what looked like Widow’s stings to knock her out. Jemma has definitely changed, but it’s definitely making her a better agent. Fitz being betrayed by, and standing up to, Mack.
Iain de Caestecker is such a phenomenal actor that he managed to convey Fitz’s hurt and betrayal and anger in just a couple of swift glances in his scene with Henry Simmons. Fitz has been betrayed over and over again over the last year by people he thought he could trust - Garrett was Hydra, Ward was Hydra, his own brain turned on him, Simmons lied to him and left, Coulson’s kept secrets from him, and now Mack. Obviously, these things apply to almost every other character on the show as well, but it’s Fitz who keeps getting hit the hardest, and de Caestecker just needs one glance to show you how that feels for him. Amazing. Skye removing the gloves. When she first put on the gloves designed for her, I was worried that we wouldn’t see her be able to defend herself when the SHIELD team came after her, but I was glad she changed her mind and took them off. ABC promised that Skye would make an irreversible decision about her future, and while that would happen later in this episode, the moment Skye took off her gloves and the complete sense of relief crossed her face, it felt symbolic of Skye embracing who she really is. A small moment on the show, but one that spoke volumes.
Skye actually using her powers. In the past when Skye’s used her ability, it’s been an accident, a reaction to the emotions inside her. This time, not only does she try to focus her powers on the water in the cabin when she realizes she\'s using them (and has fun with it), but she aims her powers at a bullet that’s about to take her out, and she levels a forest. It’s a breathtaking sequence, and the fear that Chloe Bennet demonstrates when Skye realizes what she’s done, when she whispers for Gordon to help her? Executed perfectly. May being stealthy. Not only does she avoid capture until she actually wants to be taken in so she can protect Fitz and Simmons, but she warns Skye about the danger, and she manages to get Coulson out of the base.
I can’t be alone in thinking that sometimes, maybe May should be the agent in charge because she\'s the only one who seems to know every situation in and out. Bobbi and Mack showing that they really aren’t traitors.
Bobbi and Mack have every opportunity to just take people out. Instead, they try their best to reason with the members of the team they’ve been working with, they warn them about what’s coming, they profess their alliance with SHIELD. Mack saves Fitz’s life and Bobbi warns Skye about the bullet meant for her. They both are true to their words and trying to do the right thing, which is fantastic because it would have been very easy for the writers to vilify them to make the audience side with Coulson’s team. Coulson searched for Gonzalez.
When Coulson and Gonzalez finally come face to face for the first time, Coulson reveals that he searched for Gonzalez for months after SHIELD fell to Hydra, that he thought they would make a great team, and that he’s only in charge because Fury put him there. I loved everything about this moment. Think of all the heartache that could have been spared amongst these two groups of people if Gonzalez hadn’t remained hidden from Coulson. They could have found a way to work together months ago. Instead, both halves of what’s left of SHIELD have been making their own mistakes and forming tight knit bonds, and it’s going to create a lot more confusion and drama moving forward. Fitz and Simmons. Fitz and Simmons have been so far on the outs, and we’ve been so intent on them just arguing and getting their feelings out in the open.
This episode didn’t exactly do that, but for once it didn’t need to. What it gave fans in two scenes with these characters was enough.
In their first scene together in the episode, the two are in full snark mode, Fitz calling Simmons’ gloves and isolation for Skye her “little science experiment” with all the condescension he can muster, while she shoots back with something we’ve never heard on the show before - she admonishes him by using his first name. Given that he seems to prefer being called Fitz, this a low blow for someone who’s been letting him yell at her and then scoffing at his remarks without actually fighting back. She\'s finally fighting back. Of course, at the end of the episode, after they’ve had their encounters with their respective “real SHIELD” buddies, they’re seated in custody on the floor of the lab, and they’re more united than they’ve been in a long time. So much so that when Simmons grabs Fitz’s hand to comfort him (and likely reassure herself), he grabs hers right back. That moment is enough to remind viewers that as much as they might fight or disagree, they are most definitely on the same side and they’ve got each other’s backs when the chips are down.
The tag. After wondering where Hunter (Nick Blood) escaped to after his move last week, we see that he and Coulson are now the only two agents on the outside, meeting up for drinks, and trying to come up with a plan. Hunter even makes it official - he signs his name on a napkin and tells Coulson that he’s accepting his offer to be a part of SHIELD. Clearly, being lied to by Bobbi, kidnapped by Mack, and held hostage by Gonzalez didn’t sit well with him. This episode went for a game changer a la The Winter Soldier fallout, and it delivered. If anything, I would have trimmed the flashback sequence slightly (though I did love finally getting to see Lucy Lawless in action as Isabelle Hartley) to give the episode more time in the present day, but I definitely enjoyed seeing what makes Bobbi tick, so that isn’t a major gripe for me. Okay, I take that back - Jemma Simmons is not a medical doctor and the show should stop acting like she is.
It’s the nature of television that a character in any kind of biological science field is treated as such though, and it’s becoming obvious that neither SHIELD team has an actual medical doctor on staff or she wouldn’t have to keep patching people up. They need to recruit a doctor. The Marvel- ous Links. The fall of SHIELD. The flashback sequence is expanding what we see in the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and last season on Agents of SHIELD. There were SHIELD bases all over the world, and this gives us a taste of what went on in some of them.