Agents of SHIELD Review: “The Frenemy of My Enemy”

Agents of SHIELD

Spoiler Review –

Coulson makes an unexpected deal with Ward, Skye wrestles with her mother about how to let Cal go, and the ‘other SHIELD’ might have found some new converts in “The Frenemy of My Enemy,” a busy episode finding Agents of SHIELD refocusing more on action after last week’s emotional wallop.

Agents of SHIELDWhile “Frenemy” didn’t come even close to packing as much emotional impact as “Melinda,” the change of pace and less dour ending were definitely welcomed. However, I’m still not all that interested nor invested in either Ward or Agent 33’s story at this point, though their interactions with the rest of the team at least prove to be entertaining. A zen-Ward and focused Coulson make for a great match-up, as they both surprise and disappoint each other throughout the episode. It would seem Ward’s intentions are to just get out of the spy business and settle down with Kara, so he decides to take the rather lopsided deal with Coulson to help him down that path: Coulson offers to let Ward go with the rather steep catch that he’d need to have his mind erased. Ward might accept the deal, but he considers it a formality, whispering to Kara that he won’t let them erase his mind.

Agents of SHIELDBy the end of the episode it really felt like Ward and Kara were genuinely trying to help Coulson and crew, but the actions of their brainwashed Bakshi calls all of that into question. Bakshi at first seems to be doing his best as a good little stooge of Ward and Kara to help Coulson get at List and Strucker, the last remaining Hydra heads, but in the third act he’s joined up with Hydra and gets Lincoln and Agent Deathlok captured. Was he immune to brainwashing and just played along? Is this a bigger part of Ward’s plan to help Coulson? Or did Ward engineer the double-cross from the beginning? But the even bigger question is where did everyone else go at the end and why did Coulson decide to stay behind and get captured by ‘other SHIELD?’

Agents of SHIELDBack at the ol’ SHIELD base, May and Simmons get into a bit of a fight after May reveals the switching of Fury’s Toolbox around with a fake to Bobbie, though she at least blames it on Fitz instead of Simmons. May’s reasoning for letting that particular cat out of the bag is a sound one, even if Simmons just can’t quite understand it yet. However, I’m questioning May’s not completely enthusiastic attitude towards Coulson and his secrets; It seems a little out of place for the usually loyal May, especially when Simmons is the one being more loyal (and after the events of “Melinda”). With the Toolbox no longer able to help uncover Coulson’s secrets, May tasks Simmons with hacking Agent Deathlok’s eye, and does so at the most inopportune time: they see Coulson and Ward, guns drawn together, standing over a downed Deathlok. Suddenly both May and Simmons are swinging more towards the ‘other SHEILD’s’ ways and it makes May’s questioning of Coulson a little more warranted.

Agents of SHIELDOver at Inhuman Island, Skye comes at odds with Jaiying wanting to banish Cal after their family dinner didn’t turn out to be so bad. I found it hard to argue against either’s plans: Jaiying just wanted to drop him in Milwaukee (!) and not worry about the lives his anger might affect, while Skye wanted to let him down gently so maybe he wouldn’t hurt those around him. Jaiying decides to let Skye do it her way, which leads to some father/daughter bonding time on the streets of Milwaukee, WI (or something like it…more on their visit to my hometown below) full of funny and purposefully awkward dialogue. For awhile I was beginning to think Skye’s way was going to work, but it all comes crumbling down as Coulson’s crew and Hydra’s men storm the building, causing Lincoln to reveal his presence and anger Cal. It was interesting to watch Skye’s reaction to seeing her surrogate father, especially after all the bonding she’s done with her real father, and the eagerness there to return to Coulson. But staying with her mother, and learning to control her gift so she won’t hurt those she cares about, takes precedence. I’m betting Jaiying takes some drastic measures when Cal comes tumbling back to Inhuman Island with Gordon and Skye, something which might put Skye against her mother.

Agents of SHIELD

Here are a few other things:

  • Look, if they filmed in my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (where I’ve lived all my life), I’m pretty sure I would’ve heard about it/actually recognized some of the shots of them walking around the city. Alas, I’m fairly certain they didn’t actually visit Milwaukee, as I didn’t hear anything/didn’t recognize anything from the limited view shots. Is it still possible? I don’t know, but either way I think it’s really cool! It’s not very often a show visits Wisconsin (besides one named That 70’s Show), let alone one I watch and twice in a season. Now it has me trying to imagine placing something like the first Avengers or Age of Ultron taking place in Milwaukee…nope, doesn’t seem as epic. Well, Steve Rogers did visit Milwaukee selling war bonds during WWII…kinda epic.
  • Liked the little discussion about Raina’s abilities and that they call her the first of her kind
  • A few line’s I loved: Mike’s line to Kara when she mentions her mask is the only one and he can’t get one, “At least I have my winning personality.”; Ward on the phone thinking it’s Kara, “Hey baby.” Coulson’s response, “Hey sweetie…”
  • Another big question is how/why has Hydra been tracking Gordon? And what is that special grenade made of that knocks out gifted people….and will we see it in any upcoming MCU content?
  • Inhuman Island isn’t a official Marvel name or anything, it’s just what I’ve taken to calling their compound.

 

In “Frenemy” there’s a lot of people changing hands: Hyrdra gets their hands on some valuable people, Mike and Lincoln, the latter of which might satisfy the experiments List has been been doing on other gifted people and a possibly still brainwashed Bakshi joins them; ‘Other SHIELD’ gets their hands on a willingly surrendered Coulson; Cal gets his hands on a return ride to Inhuman Island; And who the heck knows what happened to everyone else? Next week’s episode is the last one before we find out how important (or not) it is to have watched Age of Ultron before continuing watching Agents of SHIELD again.

+ Ward vs Coulson…or is it?

+ Things escalating quickly

+ Putting a lot of characters in tight spots for next week

 Still don’t care about Ward/Kara

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

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD REVIEWS:
Season Two: 2.1 Shadows | 2.2 Heavy is the Head | 2.3 Making Friends and Influencing People | 2.4 Face My Enemy | 2.5 A Hen in the Wolf House | 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 | 2.19 The Dirty Half Dozen | 2.20 Scars | 2.21,22: S.O.S.

MARVEL’S AGENT CARTER REVIEWS:
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