Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D returned this week as it prepares the final leg of its Second Season. With the two S.H.I.E.L.Ds still waging war and the Inhumans in Afterlife mistrusting the outside world, an old evil is once again gaining strength and Hydra now has two hostages. So let’s take a closer look at
The Best Day Ever! this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D “The Frenemy Of My Enemy”.
“The Frenemy Of My Enemy” – Ward, May, Bakshi, Etc:
As the old saying goes, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”; but where does Frenemies – someone who walks the line of friend and enemy, usually masquerading as one or the other – fall into this? That is quite the distinction this episode makes; but we can see this notion throughout the episode at almost every turn. For example, Coulson seeks out Ward because he’s a freiendly with Hydra but isn’t actually one of them anymore. Simmons now sees May being friendly with the real SHIELD, thus the ‘frenemy of that S.H.I.E.L.D.’. S.H.I.E.L.D. sees Coulson working with Ward, thus making him a frenemy of their enemy, Ward. Coulson and Ward trust Bakshi because he’s the frenemy of Hydra. You see where I’m going with this.
Though the most important thing to note of this episode title is the fact that it leaves out the second half of it. “The frenemy of my enemy” is my what? Is Ward to be trusted or is he an enemy? Is May really turning to Gonzales’s SHIELD or will she stand firmly with Coulson in the end? Did Bakshi really sell Deathlock out or is he still operating along Ward’s and Coulson’s infiltration plan? We might not know where these allegiances will fall, but hey, that’s what the last few episodes of the season are for.
Converging Paths & Larger Threats:
The idea of converging paths rang very true in the second half of this episode as S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson’s Squad, Hydra and the Inhumans were all locked in the same building. A couple of episodes ago we heard Gonzales speak about how he wanted to get to the bottom of things with Coulson so that S.H.I.E.L.D. could focus on more pressing matters. Well we were not only reminded of that this episode, but also saw it start to come true as Coulson has now turned himself into S.H.I.E.L.D. so that they could stop Hydra once and for all.
Coulson and Gonzales certainly have some very differing opinions, but as we saw in the early moments of the episode, Bobbie and Mack are starting to wonder if this whole uprising was the right idea after all. Valuable time has been wasted fighting each other while Hydra has experimented more and more on ‘powered people’ and now they’ve turned their eyes towards Inhumans. These upcoming battles will not only tie together the two S.H.I.E.L.D. teams and the Inhumans; but also set up for The Avengers: Age Of Ultron – but more on that later in the article.
Life Moves On Without You – Cal:
There are many things that set Cal and Coulson apart as warring factions for the title of Skye’s father figure – as we discussed in earlier articles – but the main reason was summed up perfectly by Skye in this episode: clinging to the past. Cal might be a great man, but he is unable to let go of the past and all the pain and missed opportunities it holds. That was the purpose of seeing Cal bring Skye to his old neighborhood in Milwaukee. He’s spent over 20 years trying to piece his family back together and never stopped to realize that the world moved on.
While he was trying to restore his wife and find their stolen daughter, he forgets that time itself doesn’t return to that moment. The neighborhood has developed and so has Skye. He still treats Skye as if she is a little girl and fails to see that she’s become an amazing woman. This is the fact that separates Cal from Coulson, and Jaiying is teetering on this line as well. She scoffs at Skye’s allegiance to S.H.I.E.L.D. and how she thinks she’s responsible for none powered people. Raina might have been annoyed at her inability to leave last episode, but Skye is in similar shoes as she is kept from being reunited with Coulson and told who’s side she should and shouldn’t be on.
Endgames – Cal, Ward & Project TAHITI:
As of the moment, we have no clue what Ward’s endgame is. He certainly seems to care about Agent 33; but considering how his ears perked up when he learned Skye was involved, could things change? As far as relationships go, I still say that ship has sailed and turning Ward back that way would do a huge disservice to the character. Vengeance for shooting him several times in the back on the other hand could be on the table – or perhaps that’ll be Agent 33’s move. Either way, Ward seems pretty convinced that he’ll avoid Coulson’s T.A.H.I.T.I. Protocol; but could it be better served on someone else?
When faced with the prospect of forgetting all the bad and being left with the good, Ward seemed pretty happy with the way he’s turned out. Though this episode saw another character express interest in how he’s changed – Cal. Skye’s father might not be able to let the memories go, but TAHITI could solve that problem. Right now we’re getting hints left and right that Cal will get worse and become the monstrous Hyde we know from the comics; but is there a happier end game?
Skye now knows what it’s like to have a full family, and she is going to do what she can to protect that. She sees how Cal can’t move on from the hurt and pain he’s been through, so what if he were to forget. If Coulson used the TAHITI Protocol on Cal to replace all the pain and bad memories with good ones, Skye could finally get her family. Will the show go this way? Who knows; but all the resources are definitely there for it. Cal is such a great character that I think people would want him to get that second chance, to see the Cal we’ve only heard about in Jaiying’s memory.
Excelsior – Easter Eggs, References & Other Important Points:
- Much like Whitehall, Dr List believes in extensive bouts of experimentation as Ethan was experimented on for 37 hours before he died. These experiments were inconclusive since he had yet to receive his powers in the Mist.
- Apparently S.H.I.E.L.D has a Vibranium cutting laser. Random fact sure, but it also sets up the idea that Vibranium can be broken – which we’ll actually see happen in Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Hydra is able to track Gordon’s special jumps and then goes to that location to grab whomever they can, thinking them to source of the jump.
- “Hey baby” “Hey sweetie!” You’ve gotta love Coulson!
- Raina’s gift of premonition is the first of her kind. Gordon sees it as an asset, but Raina is hesitant until they know more about how it works. Possible hint that as we predicted, Raina could use her gifts to induce panic and false dreams?
- “He’s not a cyborg. He’s a S.H.I.E.L.D Agent … with rockets in his arm.” – Coulson
- Quantum Entanglement is creating a bridge between two points in space, aka what Gordon does when he teleports
- Skye finally gets her comic name compelted as she learns Cal’s original name was ‘Johnson’, thus making her 100% Daisy Johnson.
- Cal “Who doesn’t love a volcano?” Hmm, the villagers perhaps? This is a great metaphor for Cal’s himself currently.
- Sadly Agent 33 doesn’t have anymore of those face masks. Guess Deathlok will have to rely on his “winning personality”; but could this hint at him maybe one day getting a mask to cover his facial scars – like how 33’s is currently doing for her?
Avengers: Age Of Ultron Set Up Begins:
The trailer for this week’s episode weighed more on Avengers: Age of Ulitron shots and title cards than actual footage from this episode. So it’s ironic that next week’s preview – which ACTUALLY sets up for the new Avengers film – was the exact opposite. There was plenty of footage to be found of next week’s episode and we even know what it’s leading to in the new Avengers film – the attack on Strucker.
As you’ll remember from the Post Credits of Captain America: The Winter Solider, Strucker was responsible for experimenting on individuals and creating the Maximoff Twins Quicksilver and Scarlet Witch. One of the early scenes in Avengers: Age Of Ultron is the team waging a full out assault on Strucker’s snowy base. Next week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revealed Coulson and crew infiltrating a snowy Hydra base tied to Strucker. Could they be the same base? Probably not, but this will be a major base and could tell the location of the larger Strucker base, which Coulson could send to Hill for some … ‘Avenging’.
So be sure to stay tuned for next Tuesday’s episode, then our analyses of Avengers: Age of Ultron next weekend, and finally the aftermath of all this on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. two weeks from now. STAY TUNED!!!!