Agents of SHIELD Review: “A Hen in the Wolf House”

Bobbi Head of Hydra Security

– Spoiler Review –

Things are constantly moving at a fast and exciting pace this season on Agents of SHIELD and “A Hen in the Wolf House” was an exception, in that it actually moved faster and even more exciting than the previous weeks. It spent that time rather well, giving us more insight into Skye and her father, trouble for Simmons in Hydra, and introduced us to an important new character (and the last two points are related to each other in a surprising—kind of—way).

Obelisk OuchThe opening scene was an odd start initially; it was apparent the room of happy people weren’t going to be happy for long, and it was a drug in their drinks which killed a number of them. Turns out it was a Hydra hit and the results weren’t good enough, since not everyone died. Yup, if you’ve wondered if Hydra is evil, this opening moment and a few throughout show their capacity for evil rather well. However, what their exact goals are for all this evil isn’t entirely clear.

Coulson and SkyeIt’ll be pretty obvious Coulson has changed the moment he first appears on screen, especially after his antics in last week’s fun episode. In the show’s first year, characters would’ve spent a lot of time telling us he changed, without showing much of it, but this year that’s thankfully not the case. He’s scratching alien writing in his desk absentmindedly and is trying to be even more withdrawn. Skye takes a big risk with her career and friendship with Coulson by calling him out in front of everyone, asking for more information he’s just unwilling to share. Their stand off here and how their relationship evolves throughout is one of the highlights of “Wolf House.”

Raina Confronts Skye's FatherWhile Skye and her current father figure Coulson come to heads, Skye’s actual father receives his fair share of screen time. Kyle MacLachlan is terrific as a unhinged madman, with his own secretive goals, dubious actions, and strong desire to see his daughter. His exchange with Raina is chilling and what exactly his condition is, or what he really is, should be fun to discover as the season progresses. Raina attempts to hide her real reason to obtain the Obelisk from Skye’s father, Whitehall marking her for death if she doesn’t recover it in 48 hours, but he sees right through it and even though he considers her like his child, he’d rather let her die. 0 for 1 on possible chance Skye’s father being a good father figure.

‘Zen’ Ward and ‘Clarice’ Skye have some great conversations within “Wolf House,” as he continues to try to convince Skye everything he tells her is the truth. One of his revelations about the alien writing leads Skye to realize Coulson’s been the one writing the samples he’s been giving her. Realizing his jig is up, Coulson lets Skye into his inner circle about all things alien writing, gaining her trust. However, Coulson drops two big secrets, in a funny bit of dialogue, regarding Skye: 1. She’s been monitored to see if she’d start writing the alien script. 2. Coulson believes she’s an alien, something a lot of fans were theorizing when she didn’t seem to have any adverse reaction to GH serum, and that’s his rationalization for it as well. It’s seems too easy, so it’s possible there’s something we’re missing, but I wouldn’t be surprised we’ll find out by the end of the season.

Simmons in troubleSimmons’ role escalates this week, getting called out in a meeting by Whitehall himself, asking her how best to proceed if Hydra were to obtain the Obelisk and carry out its “kill a lot of people plan.” This, along with her work ‘buddy’ excited about all the death they can cause, causes her to send a dire message back to SHIELD about Hydra’s intentions. Unfortunately for Simmons, Raina’s snooping around and takes some pictures of the incident, but only alerts Hydra and keeps the pictures for herself. In walks Bobbi Morse, Hydra’s Head of Security (who comic fans will recognize, Wikipedia searchers wil quicklyl figure out the twist the show didn’t really try hiding, and the casting announcement pretty much already revealed), ready to bust heads and take names all in the name of Hydra. Bobbi Morse seems to be out to get Simmons, whose inability to lie starts working against her.

Things look even worse for Simmons when Raina offers Coulson a deal: she won’t send out a mass e-mail to Hydra with a picture of Simmons sending a SHIELD message as long as Coulson helps her get the Obelisk/away from Whitehall/away from Skye’s father. Raina has always been a great wordsmith, saying just enough to get her point across without laying out all her cards, so when she and Coulson have a conversation together, it’s a blast to hear. Coulson doesn’t take the deal and Simmons’ image blares across the Hydra facility, leaving everyone but May and Coulson completely shocked by his choice.

Bobbi Kicking AssEven though I knew what was coming with Bobbi’s reveal she’s actually SHIELD, it didn’t diminish the twist or Coulson’s seemingly shocking choice to basically sacrifice Simmons. Bobbi quickly shows she’ll be quite the awesome addition to the team, kicking major ass (though it’s still not better than the ‘May’ vs May fight last week) while rescuing Simmons. Their escape on the rooftop and jumping onto the cloaked Quinjet was handled really well in the effects department.

Hunter, who along with May and Skye has been around and listening to Coulson’s and Raina’s conversation, steps up to the table and injects Raina with a tracker, letting her go. While Hunter, Coulson, and May discuss their plans about Raina and Skye’s father, Skye takesoff to follow Raina. She finds an empty hideout, minus a photo of her father; She breaks down, disappointed her father wasn’t there, and finds herself in her father-figure Coulson’s arms, but her real dad is watching from a secret camera and definitely not happy. What really pisses off Skye’s father is Skye calling him a monster after seeing what he did to the two men he was operating on in the beginning of the episode, something he was afraid she’d say.

MonsterHe’s so pissed, he waltzes into Hydra headquarters, who he’s been dodging this whole time, and offers his services so he can help them kill Coulson. This is the second episode this season where I’m beginning to think Coulson will be biting the dust…for real this time. Tragic event for Skye, her father killing her father figure, making for a great hero’s backstory, no?

Here are a few other things:

  • Turns out the ex-wife Hunter has spent most of this season deriding is Bobbi, and their first scene together does not disappoint.
  • Simmons in awe of Bobbi was cute and very fitting for the character.
  • I’m not sure how I feel about Ward; while I like where his character is at, I just don’t know what his endgame is and it’s bothering me. And I’m sure it’s not just to be with Skye/win her complete trust.
  • Bobbi’s hair flip-up moment after initially rescuing Simmons was a little too much like Black Widow’s in Iron Man 2. Wish they had given her a different dramatic finish.
  • I got a little choked up once Fitz and Simmons were reunited. Them back together doesn’t look like it’ll be all sunshine and rainbows, as Fitz was just finally admitting he didn’t need Not-There-Simmons anymore.
  • Skye’s deduction that the alien writing is a map wasn’t anything I had considered before.
  • It’s a good thing we dropped the heart-rate monitoring thing from “Making Friends…” as Skye would’ve had quite the overload here. Unless the final scene of her being unable to bring down the heart rate is exactly why we’re not seeing it now…

Reunited at last!

Now that Skye’s father, what/whoever he is, is working with Hydra and they have the Obelisk, things are only going to get worse for our team I fear. But with Bobbi, the eventual Mockingbird (a Avenger nonetheless in the comics!), and the team being more cohesive and stronger, they might just be able to handle it. If anything, I can say I trust Agents of SHIELD to do justice to whatever it all has planned out, as this season just keeps getting better and in that regard, “A Hen in the Wolf House” was certainly no exception.

+ Bobbi Morse

+ Skye’s father

+ Coulson and Skye bonding time

+ A few people reunited

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

Season Two: 2.1 Shadows | 2.2 Heavy is the Head | 2.3 Making Friends and Influencing People | 2.4 Face My Enemy | 2.6 A Fractured House | 2.7 The Writing on the Wall | 2.8 The Things We Bury | 2.9 …Ye Who Enter Here | 2.10 What They Become | 2.11 Aftershocks | 2.12 Who You Really Are | 2.13 One of Us | 2.14 Love in the Time of Hydra | 2.15 One Door Closes | 2.16 Afterlife | 2.17 Melinda | 2.18 The Frenemy of My Enemy | 2.19 The Dirty Half Dozen | 2.20 Scars | 2.21,22: S.O.S.

Season One: 1.1 This is Not the End/1.2 Bridge and Tunnel | 1.3 Time and Tide | 1.4 The Blitzkrieg Button | 1.5 The Iron Ceiling | 1.6 A Sin to Err | 1.7 SNAFU | 1.8 Valediction