Let’s get this out of the way:
We’ve finally get a trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron! Its original airing was meant to be after next week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the internet just wasn’t able to keep the hype together, so Marvel bit the bullet with its official release. Be sure to watch it again after next week’s episode on October 28th.
Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. opens this week with yet another reminder that the Obelisk is a dangerous artifact with HYDRA demonstrating its effects by injecting it into a wedding party’s champagne. Of course, the HYDRA commander we’ve come to know through Simmon’s operations, Bakshi, is reported to about the small number of deaths as a result of the open bar assault. As expected, papa HYDRA is disappointed, and demands more deaths because EVIL.
Back at SHIELD, as Coulson debriefs everyone on HYDRA’s use of Obelisk power, Skye notices the scribbled carvings on Coulson’s desk, unmistakably similar to the ones on the back of the painting. She decides this is a better moment than any to finally dig into him about it, and he sternly enforces his authority as director on her more than we’ve seen before.
Hunter, of course being the rebel he is, thinks Skye made the right call prying into Coulson in front of everybody. She eventually comes to the conclusion that the only one who will give her the answers she wants is Traitor Beardman Ward.
What info for Skye does he have this week? It’s revealed, ultimately, that Garrett’s symptoms completely changed him as a person, into something else, and there was no controlling when he had to scribe the alien writing. Skye also finds out that Garrett was injected with the same GH serum that saved both Coulson and Skye. Skye takes this information immediately to Coulson, and the gravity of his situation feels like it’s bearing down more here than it did when he discussed the contingency plan with May last week. Coulson opens up to Skye about monitoring her the recent times, hoping that she wouldn’t turn into a scribbling nutcase like he and Garrett did. Coulson shares his hypothesis, which, for the time, remains just that, but the idea is frightening nonetheless: that he and Garrett reacted, or rejected, in a sense, the alien serum, but the possibility of Skye’s DNA being alien doesn’t seem farfetched to him, thus she didn’t react the same way. Of course, Skye is devastated.
For the rest of us in the audience who didn’t go poring into details all last season…
GH Serum = Kree Blood
A positive reaction means… Skye is also… Kree Blood?
Kree Blood… like Captain Marvel… who gave his powers to… Carol Danvers… wait, what?
Oh yeah, exciting times, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves with this hypothesis – I still have 70% of an episode to cover.
On the villain’s side of the week, Raina finds herself stuck between a rock, a hard place and a HYDRA, as she is on a limited time frame given by Whitehall to retrieve the Obelisk. Skye’s father has it, whom she approaches unsuccessfully, as his crazed state becomes more aptly represented, and only agrees to trade it for his daughter. Ergo, an impromptu classy restaurant meeting with Coulson and his backup is demanded by Raina, in an admittedly tense table-turning conversation, as she puts a highly valued chip on the table: Jenna Simmons, who had been pulled upstairs at Hydra to assess the potential of the Obelisk, and goes off to lunch incognito to send Coulson a secret message. It just so happens that her deceit of HYDRA was caught on camera by Raina, and now she’s threatening to unveil Simmon’s true intentions to all of Hydra’s staff. It’s all quite a complicated and intense turn of events, as Coulson refuses to turn Skye over to Raina and her Mad Scientist father, seemingly confident in Simmon’s outcome.
Simultaneously, the Hydra lab is paid a visit by Bakshi and a new character, Bobbi Morse, investigating the potential mole within the Hydra Labs.
The result in building up the danger facing Simmons is an awesome surprise twist for fans unknowing that Morse was Coulson’s secret ace in the hole… codenamed Mockingbird.
Name: Barbara “Bobbi” Morse Barton.
Alias: Mockingbird, The Huntress, Agent 19.
Abilities: Biologist, trained athlete, gymnast, unarmed combatant and spy.
Affiliation: SHIELD, Avengers, West Coast Avengers, Great Lakes Avengers, New Avengers, Secret Avengers, Hawkeye.
Creator: Gerry Conway, Barry Smith.
First Appearance: Marvel Super Action #1 (1977); Hawkeye #2 (1983).
Mockingbird, played by Adrianne Paliki (Friday Night Lights, Supernatural) gives us probably season two’s best action sequence yet, almost harkening back to Scarlett Johansson’s stunts as Black Widow in previous MCU films, but less exaggerated in poses than the ones in Iron Man 2.
Not only is Bobbi a surprise badass, she also turns out to be among SHIELD’s top infiltration unit, and also happens to be Hunter’s ex-girlfriend. Upon arrival, and this reveal, I found myself groaning, as the last thing we need in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. right now is extra baggage in terms of romance for characters we don’t know so well yet, but their chemistry right off the bat was fast, snide and funny.
My only disappointing note this week is Simmon’s arrival back to SHIELD felt a little too soon, if only because I feel that Fitz could have grown independent from her, at least a little more, over the course of one or two more episodes.
Skye investigates her father’s lab after the conflict resolution with Raina, only to find his base of operations have up and left, leaving only the photo of the two of them that he held onto for years. Clearly, Skye’s father cares deeply for her, and has answers to things we and Coulson are unsure of, but does it matter that he’s some kind of Mad Scientist with Hulk-like Aggression? There’s only one way to find out, and that’s to keep watching. Oh yes, and now that Skye works as a fresh pair of eyes on the crazy carvings of Coulson’s, we get a clue as to what they’re meant for: a map. A map of what? A MAP OF WHAT, SKYE? How do you know?!
“A Hen in the Wolfhouse” is another solid episode, and probably the best yet of the season, and Mockingbird looks to be a promising, awesome character, and seems to already expel some flirtatious energy with Simmons?
If you know Buffy the Vampire Slayer, you know her best friend Willow Rosenberg (Alyson Hannigan), and how she was the first major character on a TV series to identify as a lesbian, and it wasn’t even outright said until her Witchin’ Lovin’ relationship was built and established ever so subtly. Maybe I’m jumping into things, but I could sense that very same energy between Jenna Simmons and Bobbi Morse.
Did anyone else notice this? If you did, do you think anything will become of it, and will it end as tragically as Willow and Tara on BtVS? Or am I just crazy and looking for socially progressive signals on television? Let us know, people!
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode 2.5. “A Hen in the Wolfhouse” (8.5/10)