Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - Making Friends and Influencing People

As expected, "Making Friends and Influencing People" reveals Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) has been working undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D. as a HYDRA scientist since leaving the team. Given her relationship with Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette) she finds herself pushed into field duty to help Sunil Bakshi (Simon Kassianides) retrieve his asset. Along with revealing Simmons' purpose within HYDRA, "Making Friends and Influencing People" also brings a curious Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) face-to-face with the man responsible for his brain damage when he deduces one of the sources of Coulson's (Clark Gregg) HYDRA intel.

By the end of the episode Simmons cover within HYDRA remains intact and Skye (Chloe Bennet) is able to stop HYDRA from recovering their asset, however given the information we learn about the evil organization's brainwashing techniques it's far from certain that Simmons is safe especially once we witness how Doctor Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond) is able to break Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) and turn her into a loyal member of HYDRA. Taking a life doesn't seem to phase Skye, but Ward's (Brett Dalton) revelation about her father certainly does as S.H.I.E.L.D.'s prisoner plays his only card and continues to set the stage for Skye to make an impossible choice between the family she's grown to love and the one she's searched for her entire life.

Despite the episode's sunny opening of Simmons' life, there's plenty of darkness under the surface of the show's latest episode. Given Ward's useful information Fitz stops his vengeance on Ward but had the traitor not known about Gill's conditioning it's anyone's guess whether or not Ward would have survived with all his brain cells intact. Even given the emotional impact of Ward's reveal, I don't see this version of Skye turning on her teammates for personal closure so it will be interesting to see what else Ward and HYDRA can cook-up to force her hand and allow the show to provide more answers about just who Skye really is.

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