Marvel’s AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Recap: “A Hen in the Wolf House”

     October 21, 2014


Welcome back, true believers!  Our latest installment promises to introduce a long standing character from the comics into the Marvel cinematic universe in the form of Bobbi Morse, played by Adrianne Palicki.  Bobbi, aka Mockingbird, is the ex-wife of Avenger, Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner in the movies), and has found herself on quite a few incarnations of the team herself.  In our most recent installment of the series, the gang will find themselves at odds with Ms. Morse as she is revealed to be the current head of security for Hydra.  Whether or not this is a con or a new take on the character is yet to be seen, though it would be funny to see how many undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agents there are in Hydra at this point with the recent episode focusing on Simmons.  (Maybe there are no actual Hydra agents left!)  Will the team be able to battle the forces of Hydra this go around?  Is Mockingbird friend or foe?  Has Agent Coulson been working on his dance routine from last week?  All these and more revealed in our latest Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. recap after the jump.

agents-of-shield-kyle-maclachlanOur episode begins with Hydra “spiking the punch” at a wedding, as it were, with an Obelisk cocktail, killing half the audience made up of Navy Men.  The Obelisk pretty much takes a back seat for the rest of the episode, thankfully, as we focus on the three warring factions of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hydra, and Skye’s father’s crew, played by Kyle MacLachlan.  While the pace of the episode is fast and heavy, we’ve run into a place where it is a tad difficult to keep in mind all of the different moving parts.  As of this episode, we find ourselves with another cast member added to the roster of the team with Bobbi Morse.  While Morse gels really well with the established crew, which I’ll get into a little later into the recap, I feel like the team could shed a member or two to put more focus on some of the main players, especially with Simmons returning to her role.  (Remember Agent Tripp? Anybody?)  Too many cooks in the kitchen as it were.

The biggest mystery for me, and the most intriguing, is the questions behind Skye’s father.  He clearly cares for Skye and is doing his best to “become a family again”, and it almost seems like everything else is secondary to this one goal.  MacLachlan’s character comes across as bipolar as he turns on Raina at the drop of a hat and seems to be exhibiting super human strength, along with a temper he is trying to hold back much like a certain Dr. Bruce Banner.  It’s very likely that Marvel will pull another obscure character to be revealed as Skye’s father later on in the series, a Hulk villain perhaps?  I do think Skye’s father is a character that the show has been needing in that he represents a wildcard, someone who is completely insane and doesn’t necessarily fall into a given camp.  It will be interesting to see exactly why he was “operating” on two random thugs.

agents-of-shield-image-adrianne-palickiMeanwhile, on the Hydra front, Simmons is conveying information to the S.H.I.E.L.D. crew only feet away from Hydra HQ via smartpad/fish taco menu.  This came across as a little eye rolling for me, in so much that you would think one of the first things that Simmons would learn from S.H.I.E.L.D. academy would be to not send out classified information that could put your life in danger mere feet from the enemy’s base, but I digress.  A lot of the scenes with Simmons in this week’s episode were done well and I’ll be the first to admit that the dialogue between her and her Hydra boss got a belly laugh from me.  With Simmons back on the team and the eventual fallout with Fitz coming down the pike, surely, it should be a fun ride for a character that I thought was merely taking up space for the first season.  Kudos on the show creators taking Fitz and Simmons and making them some of the most interesting characters of the series.  Now if they could just stop adding more characters we’d be set.  Whitehall, the main Hydra antagonist, gave a good chilling portrayal this week as well and I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of him both here and in the upcoming Agent Carter series.

As I mentioned in the introduction, the big arrival of the episode is Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, who stands revealed as a double agent working as Hydra’s head of security and being a mole for Coulson.  (Man, Hydra is awful about recruiting.)  Ms. Palicki puts in a solid performance tonight, not only menacingly at first, but also bantering with the rest of the S.H.I.E.L.D. team as if she were there from the start.  It’s a nice way of acknowledging the source material, points for having her baton weapons from the funny books, while having a character who can hold her own both physically and among the cast.  Again though, I have to say that with the addition of Mockingbird, we’re kind of drowning in characters that we’re sort of overlapping in terms of functionality for each of them.  If we’re going to have Mockingbird be the team’s strong arm, what’s to become of May?  Will Tripp be lost in the wake of Hunter’s freakout about his ex joining the team?  (Yes. The answer is yes.)  There’s just a lot to balance and I worry that this might be a problem moving forward.  (Patton Oswalt! Where are you??)

Overall,  I thought this was a strong episode, but I hope that the series gains a little more focus in some respects as we head forward into season 2.  Nice to get an answer as to what the alien text Ward has been carving is.

Grade: B-

agents-of-shield-episode-205-elizabeth-henstridge-ian-de-caesteckerAgents of M.I.S.C.E.L.L.A.N.E.A.

At least Skye’s dad and Hydra joining shakey forces brings the villain team in one nice package.  By the way, I just started watching Twin Peaks for the first time, so it will be a treat watching MacLachlan act nuts in two series!

Not quite sure if the “Diviner” is an established artifact from the Marvel Universe, though who’s to say.  The Tesseract was originally called the Cosmic Cube.

It’s really difficult for me to get past the idea that Hydra is operating in a board room in broad daylight with Hydra logos stamped all over the place. What happens when someone delivers the mail or something?  What if someone were to accidentally walk into their office?  Do they have a chute that they drop all these bodies into for people who keep stumbling upon their logo all over the place?

“Maybe you could declassify?”
“I could, I won’t.”

“Do you know what this means?  We could kill millions of people.  BILLIONS.”
“Pretty awesome right?”

“Mack has a heck of a body.”
“Bugger off.”

“Awaiting further instructions … fish tacos.”

“Are you saying I’m an alien??”
“It’s a theory.”

“Wherever she goes, death follows.  Memorable quote.”

“You’re having one helluva day huh?”

“Had to maintain my cover.”
“As what?  Ron Burgundy?”

“It needs to be carved.”