Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.05: "A Hen in the Wolf House"

“This is you telling me that I might be an alien. That is not something you just say like it is no big deal.”

So the event I’ve been waiting for anxiously happened by the end of this episode. Spoiler alert: Simmons has returned to the S.H.I.E.L.D. fold and has spoken to Fitz. I’m sad to say it was kind of underwhelming, though. Some of the S.H.I.E.L.D. cast participated in a panel at the Paley Center for Media earlier this month, and that panel led me to believe that the reunion went down a bit differently than what actually happened. Still, I’m glad Simmons is back. I’m the kind of person who likes to have all my people around, and when shows split apart all the main characters on different story tracks, it makes me sad. This episode also was another example of how the Joss Whedon name can attract some great talent. We got our first glimpse of Adrienne Palicki (Tyra from “Friday Night Lights”) as Agent Bobbi Morse.

The episode opened on a wedding reception, specifically a Navy wedding reception. The best man gives a kind of awkward toast, but that’s not the half of it. After everyone takes a sip of the champagne, people starts passing out, either very sick or dead. It’s quickly clear that Hydra was behind this rather horrific scene. Team Coulson learns about this not long after it happens. Apparently most of the Navy sailors at the wedding were part of a special anti-Hydra team, and that’s why Hydra wanted to take them out. Skye interrupts the team’s discussion about all of this with questions about the writing that was on the Obelisk. She’s like an annoying puppy, sometimes, always anxious to be right in the middle of everything. And I usually like puppies. Skye, however, just grates.

We next see a scene between Raina and Skye’s father. Skye’s father has the Obelisk, and because Whitehall really wants it, Raina is trying to convince him to hand it over. Raina’s very afraid of Whitehall, it turns out. Skye’s father, for his part, is pretty pissed off that Raina hasn’t yet found Skye. All he has is a name and a picture, and it’s not enough for him. He refuses to turn over the Obelisk until he has a chance to see Skye. For his part, Whitehall really, really wants to turn the properties of the Obelisk into a weapon. He calls Simmons into a meeting about it, and he asks Simmons for her opinion on how to replicate the Obelisk’s effects. Simmons thinks they will be more successful weaponizing the actual Obelisk as opposed to trying to replicate its powers.

Back at the Playground, Skye is bitching to Lance about how Coulson won’t tell her anything about the Obelisk writing, so Lance convinces Skye to talk to Ward about it. Probably because he’s sick of her whining. I wouldn’t blame him. Ward tells Skye about how Garrett carved writing like what was on the Obelisk all over everything in his final months. Naturally, this makes Skye even more worried for Coulson, because both Garrett and Coulson (and Skye, actually) took the alien serum at some point. What really upsets Skye, however, is Ward again saying that her father is alive. Skye confronts Coulson about the whole alien writing thing. They talk a bit about why Skye hasn’t gone crazy with the writing like Garrett and Coulson, and Skye is pissed to find out that Coulson thinks she might be at least part alien.

Coulson and Skye’s conversation is interrupted by May, who says Coulson has a call from Raina. Raina saw Simmons sending a message to S.H.I.E.L.D., and she photographed it. Raina wants to meet to talk about the situation. Meanwhile, at Hydra HQ, a security lockdown has just gone into effect. Bakshi and a female lieutenant (Bobbi Morse undercover) stride down the halls looking important. I will say it was cool to see Adrienne Palicki on television again. Bobbi finds Simmons in the rest room and starts really interrogating her about how she used to be a very loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. The questioning seems to be (thankfully for Simmons) in vain, though, because incriminating material is actually found in the lab bench drawer of Simmons’ boss.

Coulson goes through with the meeting with Raina, but it doesn’t really go well. Coulson tells Raina he wants the Obelisk, but Raina counters with the photograph of Simmons sending the message. She tries to blackmail Coulson. Raina wants to take Skye to her father, and she says that if Coulson doesn’t agree within a time limit, the photograph of Simmons sending the message to S.H.I.E.L.D. will be sent to every Hydra computer. Coulson says no deal, and Raina is shocked at what seems like extreme callousness. Of course, we know there has to be more to it. The photo starts appearing on Hydra computers, and everyone starts staring at Simmons. She runs, and she manages to escape Hydra security with the help of none other than Bobbi. They do a lot of running through corridors until they are eventually able to jump on a cloaked S.H.I.E.L.D. plane.

Once Simmons is safe, Raina is allowed to leave the meeting. The rest of the team is distressed to find, however, that Skye has run off after her. Skye finds herself in her father’s lab, although it’s abandoned by this point except for one photograph. Coulson appears out of the shadows and confronts Skye. Meanwhile, Skye’s father watches everything that his happening through secret cameras hidden throughout the lab. He’s in a car nearby watching the camera feeds on a tablet. As Skye and Coulson explore what’s left of the lab, they find two dead bodies. Now Skye thinks her dad’s a monster, and she tells Coulson she’s is up for whatever it takes to bring him down. They share a very emotional hug, and Skye’s father doesn’t like what he sees at all. He smashes the tablet and drives off.

The end of the episode mostly focuses on the S.H.I.E.L.D. team reuniting at the Playground. As I said way back at the beginning of this post, the FitzSimmons reunion was a little underwhelming. They did talk, and Fitz was awkward about it. It looks like Simmons really still does care about him, though, so there’s that. Bobbi is also with the crew, and Coulson says she’s with them to stay. The only catch is that it turns out she’s Lance’s ex-wife about whom he’s always telling horrible stories. Coulson and Skye reach an accord where they decide they are going to be honest with each other. Coulson shows her the writing he has been doing, and Skye actually has a useful theory. She thinks it’s a map. It’s a good thing they’re on the same page now, because things are about to get worse. The very end of the show involves Skye’s father bringing the Obelisk to Whitehall.

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