I might have felt last week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was a little slow; but this episode made up for it ten times over. With action, espionage and heart wrenching revelations, this episode kept us glued to our seats and reminded us just how real the threats are in this post S.H.I.E.L.D. world.
Though “Face My Enemy” wasn’t only meant to show an immediate and person Hydra/ S.H.I.E.L.D. face off; but also to show that one of there own might very well become an enemy if left unchecked. So let’s take a closer look at this episode’s high points and see why this episode was beautifully straightforward; yet deep.
Hydra vs S.H.I.E.L.D:
Admit it, you feared the worst when we saw General Talbot talking to Daniel Whitehall. For a moment, all the S.H.I.E.L.D. hunting and Hydra slacking made sense; but then we learned that it in fact wasn’t Talbot. What it actually was was a return to Captain America 2’s ‘Disguise-O Mesh’. Coulson and May might have gone under cover; but Whitehall’s right hand man had gone DEEP under cover.
Ironically, ‘Talbot’ wouldn’t have blown Coulson and May’s cover. They actually blew his – and their own. If they hadn’t approached, then he wouldn’t have learned that S.H.I.E.L.D. was there. Further more, after the one of the Hydra agents disguised herself as May, she learned that Coulson was in fact the new Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Last episode slowly brought up some S.H.I.E.L.D. vs Hydra feelings; but this episode saw that tension start to boil over – and it’s only going to get worse. Hydra now might know that Coulson is the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent May’s is second in command. Though Whitehall’s not only targeting S.H.I.E.L.D. ; but Raina too. If she doesn’t return the obelisk in 48 hours, then Whitehall’s coming for her – and he always gets what he wants. This will significantly push up Raina’s and Skye’s father’s timetable.
A big non-action theme this episode was the idea of exes. Hunter, Skye and the others all shared their stories ranging from the humorous to the sad truth; but it was Fitz’s inclusion that really took center stage. He has been holding onto his mental Simmons and has really become distant from everyone else; but he’s finally started to open up this episode.
Fitz isn’t only dealing with the trauma of a brain injury; but also with the knowledge that the one time he was honest with someone about how he felt, he was rejected. To make matters worse, it was by someone he was inseparable from and basically acted with one mind. When someone has that close a connection to someone and is still rejected, it leaves a plethora of questions left linger, which only serves to burden Fitz more. Additionally, Simmons leaving Fitz and not saying anything to him is yet another nail in the coffin.
By Fitz finally expressing all this, he is truly starting to move forward. He’s been trapped so much in his past pain and confusion that his mind doesn’t want to process that much. His loss for words isn’t only physical; but also psychologically caused. Finally Fitz has taken that first real huge step in becoming part of the new group and ‘becoming’ something else. Do I think he and Simmons will end up together in the end? I honestly don’t know; but it’s important for Fitz to grow on his own either way.
May’s Softer Side:
From the gown to the dancing, we got to see a very different side of Agent May this episode. I mean we actually saw her flirting – well fake flirting; but still! Though in the end that whole party scene was just an act; but she does admit to liking it a little bit. The actual softer side of May is seen when her and Coulson talk about contingency plans.
Coulson wants May to kill him – the very thing May was instructed to do Season 1 if he got out of hand -; but May refuses. Her idea of contingency plan includes hiding Coulson away and watching over him. This whole episode there was that underlying vibe that there might have been something between them once – or at least could have been. Though sadly as Coulson points out “nostalgia is fine; but then life happens”.
He knows “hard choices are coming”; and from the looks of things with Hydra and Skye’s father, he’s right. Coulson needs May to put him down if and when he starts acting like Garret did towards the end there. Though if we know Agent May, she won’t rest until she finds a way to save Coulson – even if it means from himself. She hasn’t failed yet; and I don’t expect her to start now. She will do whatever it takes to make sure Coulson never becomes an ‘enemy’.
As I said, the tension started to boil over this episode and next episode it’s going to bust forth. No more waiting around or slow go as next episode will set Skye on the path to meet her father; and Simmons at Hydra’s mercy. The climax of this half season is approaching; and it’s only a matter of time before we learn the fates of our heroes.