Saturday, April 4, 2015

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.14: "Love In the Time of Hydra"

“I think it’s best we keep in mind the unstable nature of Skye’s power. If there is an Avenger equivalent, right now, I’m afraid it’s the Hulk.”
“Well, Hulk saved the world last I checked.”
-Simmons and Fitz

Again I find myself conflicted about an episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” I think my problem is that this episode was pretty heavily focused on things that don’t interest me. Namely Ward and Skye. We did learn more about the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. that is behind all the shadiness Bobbi and Mack have been up to. We also have some more wins in the guest actor department. This episode featured the awesome Edward James Olmos (“Battlestar Galactica”) and Kirk Acevedo (“Fringe”) as members of the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. Seeing both of them on my television screen was definitely a treat. I just really wish we could stop talking about Skye so much. I know she just got cool earthquake powers and all, but she’s super emo, and I’m emo enough as it is. I don’t need to watch it on television! I find Skye whiny and annoying in much the same way as Kate from “Lost.” The whole puppy-dog “why don’t you include ME!” act gets old fast.

Anyway, there’s also a side plot in this episode that deals with another least favorite character of mine. The episode opens with none other than Agent 33 and Ward (said other least favorite character) ordering food at a diner. It turns out they were actually waiting in the diner for a mark, who they proceed to kidnap as soon as they recognize him. He appears to be an engineer of some sort who can apparently fix the nanomask on Agent 33’s face. He is indeed able to repair the mask, and we get a bit of an info dump about how the mask works. It can only hold the pattern for three faces at a time. Ward wonders if one of those patters could be Agent 33’s real face, but Agent 33 recoils at that idea.

At S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Simmons and Fitz continue the really annoying Team Coulson habit of talking about Skye and her powers in front of Skye. Simmons says some troubling things about enhanced people, and Skye starts quaking again. She ends up going back to her cell to cool off. Meanwhile, we learn that Andrew recommended Skye be removed from S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent May agrees. Coulson, however, disagrees. He’s got a different plan for Skye. Later, we see Coulson hand over a case to Coulson. The contents of the case are presumably the result of their secret conversation last week about restraining Skye’s powers. Simmons for once seems to have a bit of a conscience and seems to feel somewhat bad about turning this case over to Coulson.

Hunter, meanwhile, gets introduced to some of the leaders of the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. They include Agents Gonzales (Edward James Olmos), Calderon (Kirk Acevedo), and Weaver (the former head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. science and technology academy where FitzSimmons went to school). Like I already said, this episode was definitely good from the guest star perspective. It was a lot of fun to see Olmos and Acevedo on my television screen again. Anyway, it turns out that this crew basically decided that they would secretly take over S.H.I.E.L.D. because they don’t trust Coulson. They got nervous after the whole injected with alien DNA and starting to write strange symbols on the wall phase, and I guess I kind of don’t blame them.

When we next see Ward and Agent 33, they are in a hotel room, and Ward is planning yet another caper designed to help out Agent 33. Agent 33 doesn’t seem especially happy about Ward continuing to help her, though. While ward is out on his Mission, Agent 33 looks through a magazine and uses her nanomask to imitate different faces. By the time Ward returns, she has put on Skye’s face. They kiss, but then Ward backs off. He would rather Agent 33 look like herself. Agent 33 says she doesn’t really know who she truly is. Ward thinks if they capture Bakshi, who is currently in Talbot’s custody, Agent 33 could get her mojo back and feel comfortable in her own skin again. The whole torturing the person who tortured you deal, I guess? Anyway, Agent 33 is into the idea.

Whatever Coulson has planned for Skye involves a bit of a road trip, and on the way to their destination, Coulson and Skye discuss Lola of all things. I was psyched to finally get some backstory on the namesake of my own car (which is a red Subaru…not quite as sexy as a Corvette, but it gets me through the winter). The Corvette that would become Lola was a car Coulson and his dad worked on when Coulson was growing up. Coulson’s dad was very busy at work, so the time they spent fixing up Lola was very treasured by young Phil. Anyway, Coulson takes Skye to a remote cabin. I haven’t seen the first Captain America movie, but it sounds like Cap was taken there by Coulson when he woke up in our present day to get his bearings. He thinks it’s a good place for Skye to decompress. He also gives her a pair of gloves Simmons made that should rain in his powers. The gloves come with nasty side effects, but he wants to wait a bit to tell Skye about those until after she’s thought about whether or not she’s interested in the gloves at all.

At “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Gonzales orders Mack back to “our” S.H.I.E.L.D. He figures everyone is going to be missing Mack soon, and he’s not wrong. When Mack returns to the Bus, Agent May in particular really doesn’t believe his story about where he has been, and she tells Coulson so. FitzSimmons, who had been getting along better ever since bonding over their mutual glee at watching May and Andrew, are on the outs again. Mostly because Simmons made some insensitive comments about getting upset when she can’t “fix” “broken” people. Fitz knows that’s why she pulled away from him, and he doubts that she’ll ever really accept his new reality. And that is why I no longer really like Simmons all that much anymore. I used to think she was kind of badass. I am definitely Team Fitz in this situation.

Ward and Agent 33 have to infiltrate an Air Force base to get to Bakshi, and it’s pretty fun to watch. Agent 33 first pretends to be Talbot’s wife, then she cycles through several officers stationed at the base. Talbot catches on pretty quick to this, though, and he rounds up all the female officers to figure out which one is Agent 33. It’s too late, though. Agent 33 has taken the face of a male officer, and she and Ward get to Bakshi and break him out. Talbot’s actual wife does arrive on base, and Talbot freaks her out a bit when he thinks she’s actually Agent 33. Ward and Agent 33 take Bakshi back to their safe house where they start trying to brainwash him. Meanwhile, Hunter manages to escape “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, even though it’s an aircraft carrier. He uses a submarine pod to make his escape, and the agents estimate he’ll reach land in 12 hours. Bobbi wants to return to Team Coulson and try to bring Coulson down. She says she can get it done in six hours.

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