Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is Building Up to Something... But What?

Bob Chipman | 22 Oct 2014 12:30
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This week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is packed with both action and plot.

If you want to read up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., you're in the right place. But remember: SPOILER WARNING is in effect. If you haven't caught this week's episode, spoilers are below... or you can catch up by watching on ABC's website or Hulu.

And now, on to "Hen in the Wolf House."

Kyle MacLachlan is always a fun presence to have around: he's one of those actors who's exactly "off" enough to always be interesting, but has enough of the basic look of a traditional leading-man (tall, angular features, it's always just a little surprising that he doesn't have an English accent) that he can "hide out" in an ensemble until his natural oddness can pop out and be surprising.

He's playing the classic "X-Factor" (not referring to the comics) role here: A villain (Skye's apparent biological father, a yet-unidentified superhuman with rage-control issues working as a criminal-surgeon for some reason) whose goals intersect those of HYDRA (conquer the world) and S.H.I.E.L.D. (save it) in more personal ways. It's a fun turn, especially because he looks just ridiculous enough delivering super-strength beatdowns for it be amusing but still "work." We still have no real clue who/what he is -- the new popular fan theory seems to be Mr. Hyde, which would make Skye Quake -- but I'm thinking Inhumans. Either way, should be fun to find out.

Skye's Dad ("The Doctor") is the highlight of this week's "Hen in The Wolf House" in terms of abject weirdness, but it's a joyfully "stuff"-packed installment besides: Secrets get revealed, arcs get closed, loose ends get tied, new people join and old favorites return.

Season 2 continues to feel very much like a deliberate make-up for what people disliked about Season 1, particularly the adherence to an episodic status quo -- though, to be fair, it could just be a result of needing to cover a lot of ground and likely execute a "half-way finale" before the series takes its hiatus for the Agent Carter miniseries. Thus far, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2.0 has openly flaunted the idea of things getting "settled." New dynamics like Aloof Coulson, Simmons being both imaginary and a HYDRA double-agent, Fitz needing to re-make friends, etc that could easily be season-long arcs get tied-up in two or three episodes (or changed entirely) and in that respect "Hen" is some kind of motherload.

In short order: Simmons comes in from the cold. Adrianne Palicki's Agent Bobbi Morse joins the team (after some fun but utterly-unconvincing misdirection where she appears to be a HYDRA Agent) and turns out to be the answer to the "Lance's ex" mystery. Skye figures out that Coulson is the source of the alien-writing she's been analyzing for him, and he not only admits it -- he explains his reasoning: He wanted to see if it would "trigger" her like it did him (he didn't start drawing until he saw Garrett do it, but then couldn't stop) and the fact that she isn't reacting to the alien serum makes him think she might be an alien herself.

Topping it all off? After making it look very much like The Doctor was going to be a chaotic troublemaking "second heavy" with his own agenda... he marches into Whitehall's HYDRA HQ and basically says "On second thought, yeah! Let's team up and use this Obelisk to kill S.H.I.E.L.D.!" Nice curveball.

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