Declassified: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “Making Friends And Influencing People”

Making Friends

After the – basically – two part season 2 kick off, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. settled into it’s 3rd episode of the season. Though whether it was the ‘stuck in 2nd gear’ feel of a 3rd episode or the added stress of it following The Flash on the CW, this episode didn’t leave many lasting impressions. Sure some good ground work was laid to build suspense – even a few laughs -; but overall the general feel was less than marvelous. Despite that, I’ll still break down the episode and highlight some key points that will be played out later this season.

Going Undercover With Hydra

It’s not yet clear whether Simmons volunteered for the Hydra Mission or if Coulson specifically chose her. Due to her being awful at lying, it doesn’t necessarily make sense why she was picked; but then again as a scientist she would best fit in with entry level/harmless agents. Although things might not stay harmless for long. Thanks to May and Skye, Simmons’ cover isn’t only safe; but she’s about to rise through the ranks.

Skye immediately realized that Simmons was under cover so her and Simmons quickly set up a scenario where it’d look like Simmons saved her superiors life. This along with her cooperation on the mission has propelled her into the upper levels of Hydra; but with new security levels of access, the chances for Simmons to report and be save drop drastically.

Hydra Simmons

If she’s a higher up, she will be under much greater surveillance and any contact with Coulson and the team could spell her death – or worse. As I’ve been saying for the past few episodes; the Daniel Whitehall is known for his ability to ‘bring out people’s potential’, or at least how he sees it. He’s a master of brainwashing and this episode set us up for exactly that. We saw some signs of it with ‘Absorbing Man’ last time and some more with ‘Blizzard’ this time around; but seeing him turn – possibly – Agent 33 by episodes end demonstrates his abilities.

Now there was some mention that a certain few are immune to his tricks. Hopefully Simmons is one of them; because the risk of her getting caught and taken for brainwashing seems to be almost at 100%. If she is one of those immune, then it would be a PERFECT opportunity for her to gather even more intelligence; but again, it’s a huge risk.

Revenge Never Looked So Good:

Last week we learned that May loved revenge, savors it even. Well this week May finally got her revenge by shooting Lance Hunter to protect Simmons’ cover. Pretty short moment in the greater scheme of things; but her attitude before and after doing was just perfect and reminds us why we love Melinda May. Now we just have to wait for Agent Triplett to settle his score with Lance. I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!

What Rattles Skye:

 Throughout the episode we got glimpses into Skye’s training and how she’s training to remain calm in all situations. As such, we got to see her check her heart rate at various points. Her base seems to be 61, which she maintained through all of her shooting practice – even while imagining Ward as the target each time. When she was about to have her first air drop, her heart rate rose slightly to 65.

Hunter and Skye

The interesting heart rate reads happened later in the episode. The first of which was when she made her first kill, Donnie Gill. May told her that no matter how much you practice, taking a life is never simple and easy. Despite this, Skye’s heart rate remained regular at 61. Whether she just accepted that it had to be done to save her friends or something else was at play here – that made her enjoy the kill – remains to be seen.

There is one thing however that rose Skye’s heart rate; and that was when Ward told her about her father. Skye’s origins have long been sought after; and now to hear from the person you hate that he’s known about him all along is too much for Skye to take as her heart rate soars over 100. What awaits Skye can’t be good; but its even more curious to see where Ward is going with this.

 Operation Redeem Ward Or Another Deception:

We knew eventually there would be some attempts to redeem Ward; but are these honest attempt or just a trap for both Skye and the audience. Ward was a despicable character last season; but he’s actually a more intriguing one now that he is evil. Though things seem to be getting even better with Ward as the path to apparently ‘redeem’ him actually makes loads of sense and pulls at your heartstrings, which is exactly why we should still remain worried.


As we learned during Ward and Skye’s chat, Ward does seem regretful for his actions and has FINALLY accepted responsibility for them. We have yet to hear what ‘secrets’ Ward’s family is keeping. Rumor has it his brother is even a senator – who could be the senator ‘with deep pockets’ that was referenced last week with Creel – so it’s no surprise that Ward could seem a little trapped. Even in his talk with Fitz, Ward seemed sorry; but there is always the chance that this is all an act because of one HUGE ace up his sleeve.

If we remember last Season, Raina left off with Ward that if he waits and with a little push, he and Skye could be monsters together. If he is aware of her father and Raina’s connection to him; then he would know that he is this push and not just a good ole daddy-daughter bonding exercise. Ward left off this episode that he is being honest with Skye so that she believes him about her father. This just SCREAMS “It’s a Trap!”, which actually pains me because this was actually a great way to begin thinking of a redemption for Ward. Is this new more accepting Ward the real deal or too good to be true? We’ll have to wait to find out – perhaps the Mid Season finale will start to show us.

Influencing People

Beyond all this, there wasn’t much else to the episode. Again, it was all basically set up for future stories as the agents ended up back where they started. Though despite Hydra getting to all the ‘talent’ before Coulson does, at least the team made off with a ship full of Hydra tech. Hopefully they remove any trackers and are prepared for the battles ahead.

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