Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: A Hen in the Wolf House

"We have a mole, ladies and gentlemen."

All, and I do mean all, the various arc plots came crashing together this week, resulting in another awesome episode of what is shaping up to be a stellar season.

Last week I speculated that Hunter's ex would turn out to be a HYDRA agent. And I was right. Sort of. Say hello to Barbara "Bobbi" Morse, HYDRA's head of security and Jemma's new girl crush (seriously, Simmons, contain your obvious lust). In the comics, Morse is a former S.H.I.E.L.D. agent who becomes a costumed crime fighter named Mockingbird. She is also Hawkeye's ex-wife, but since Jeremy Renner is too busy/expensive -- and already established as being in some sort of relationship with Black Widow (what the fuck happened in Budapest?) -- that relationship has been transferred to Hunter.

So is Bobbi really the she-devil from hell that Hunter has made her out to be? So far the answer is a big fat no. Bobbi Morse is, to quote Jemma Simmons (who is practically drooling all over Bobbi's shoes), amazing. Hunter is the only one who has anything negative to say about her, everyone else loves her. Mack welcomed her with open arms and offers of Martinis. May even gave her a smile and a little head nod, which is the Melinda May equivalent of a warm and loving hug. Having a former married couple around can't exactly be good for group harmony. Considering that next week's episode is called 'A Fractured House' I'm willing to bet tensions are going to rise pretty quickly between the ex Mr and Mrs Bobbi Morse.

I was fully expecting Jemma's time with HYDRA to last until at least close to the winter break. But after one company-wide email from Raina (how did she get everyone's number?) her HYDRA internship came to a sudden, and bone-breaking, end. The million dollar question now is who has been brainwashed? Jemma's little joke about it was clearly meant to remind us that this is something HYDRA does to its employees. I know they want us to think it is Jemma, but Bobbi is the more likely candidate since she is only a guest star. And we never did see what happened when she took on Whitehall's aide and those guards. He didn't look very beat up in the final scene. Did he activate her programming and send her to infiltrate S.H.I.E.L.D.? Then again, maybe Bobbi is a red herring and Jemma is really the one who has been brainwashed. Time, as it so often does, will tell.

I think Raina has finally realised that if you want to play with monsters you have to be a monster, which she clearly isn't. We've never seen her this shaken or desperate before. She tried to maintain her cool exterior to Coulson during dinner, but it vanished the instant he refused to play her game. No way was he going to sacrifice one daughter to save another. Not when he has a Mockingbird-shaped ace in the hole. So what's next for Raina? Whitehall has the Obelisk so he doesn't need her any more. Nor does Skye's father since she failed to bring Skye to him. I have a feeling this flower dress loving enigma is not long for this fictional world.

Skye and Coulson have been heading for a collision for a while now. Despite her transformation into Melinda May 2.0, Skye still doesn't like being kept in the dark. She expects Coulson to share things with her like he did in the good old days before he became director. Mind you, I doubt she thought that one of those secrets would involve spying on her to see if she was suffering from the same side effects of the miracle serum as him and Garrett. I'm glad they've finally brought that back up. With so much focus on how it is affecting Coulson lately, I was worried the writers had forgotten about Skye also being injected as well.

So are Skye and her papa aliens? Bob doesn't look very extraterrestrial. Maybe he's only half human, and his alien side is the part he can't control, the part that also gives him superhuman strength and serious anger management issues similar to the Hulk (but less green). Whatever he is, he has more understanding of the obelisk than anyone else around -- he even knows its true name. I wonder if his knowledge of aliens is hereditary, and that is how Skye has finally worked out that the code is a map. But a map to where? The Kree homeworld? Atlantis? That burger place with the green door that Marshall was so desperate to find?

Intel and Assets

--Adrianne Palicki is tall. I suppose you have to be when you play Jared Padalecki's love interest. I hear poor Alexis Bledel still has neck pains from looking up so much.

--Whitehall and Bob are now working together. That can't be good.

--We know who and where Skye's father is, but where is her mother?

--Just as Fitz was starting to let go of Harvey Simmons (and awkwardly question his own sexuality) the real Simmons has come crashing back into his life.

--I'm disappointed with the development Tripp is getting this season. The addition of Hunter, Mack and now Bobbi, has pushed him to the sidelines. All he seems to do lately is stand in the background looking pretty. Give him something to do or cut him loose.

Coulson: "I already answered the question, Skye."
Skye: "No, you skirted it. There's a difference."
Coulson: "Then it's a difference I'm comfortable with, but if you continue questioning my authority then you and I are going to have a very different conversation--one you will not be comfortable with. Is that clear?"

Mack: “What you been up to?”
Bobbi: “Oh, you know, working undercover at HYDRA. Acting all uptight and evil."

Skye: "Hold on, are you saying that I am an alien?"
Coulson: "It's a theory."
Skye: "No, a theory is what scientists use to prove things in nature. This is you telling me that I might be an alien. That is not something you just say like it's no big deal."
Coulson: "I was trying not to rattle you."
Skye: "Guess what? Epic fail."

Skye: "Have you been drinking?"
Hunter: "I was working. Had to maintain my cover."
Skye: "Your cover as what? Ron Burgundy?"

Four out of four best man speeches.
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.


migmit said...

Oh, I loved Coulson blatant "No deal" answer. It's such a cliche when a bad guy threatens to kill someone to force a good guy into doing something terrible and a good guy just does so (after throwing a little tantrum). It's so refreshing to see that not happening, with the good guy keeping the upper hand.

Diogo said...

Isn't it funny that Fitz was having a man-crush at the same time as Simmons was having a girl-crush?

Juliette said...

Thank goodness Hunter's ex has appeared, I was getting to the point where I never wanted to hear the phrase 'my ex' ever again!

Totally failed to recognise Adrienne Palicki (sp?!), partly because of the hair, but mainly because I've only ever seen her onscreen with Jared Padalecki and had no idea she was so tall. I have a feeling this comment will end up applying to quite a few actors and actresses, up to and including Jensen Ackles. Jared Padalecki is a like a mirror that distorts the appearance (height-wise at least) of everyone around him...

rebecca_s921 said...

i love how Coulson became a chess master this season, with a plan in place to extract Simmons at a moments notice. Also the monitoring Skye thing felt slightly calculated but the hug at the end showed a part of him is still the warm father figure. I bet he knows one or both of the extracted agents might've been brainwashed and it excites me to think about what he'll do next.

Billie Doux said...

It's so funny, but I thought the same thing when I recognized Adrienne Palicki under that awful hair -- wow, she's so tall! And then, of course, Jared Padalecki. :) Jensen Ackles is 6'1" and I bet most of the world thinks he's not tall.

I enjoyed this one. I'm enjoying them all. And I'm so glad they got a second season.

Jess Lynde said...

This show is definitely firing on all cylinders right now. I loved the Coulson and Skye dynamics this week, and the restaurant confrontation confrontation with Raina was delightfully tense. Plus, Kyle MacLachlan was wonderfully unhinged as Skye's father.

But, like Simmons, the thing that most excited me this week was introduction of Bobbi Morse. I am beyond thrilled to have Adrianne Palicki in the house! She is fierce and fine, and an extremely talented actress. You all need to watch Friday Night Lights, stat! Adrianne was amazing as Tyra Collette --- a tough and beautifully complex character --- and she captured my heart forever. I hope we get to keep her for awhile. They toyed with me by giving us Lucy Lawless and then immediately taking her away. Please let Mockingbird last more than a few episodes!

Otherwyrld said...

The one thing I thought about Adrianne Palicki (apart from, she's really tall), is that I could really see her as Wonder Woman here. I don't know if its a shame or a mercy that the series never went ahead.

Rory Sullivan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
drnanamom said...

Another gangbusters episode. I am, like everyone here, really enjoying this season. I was very worried for Simmons so very glad for Bobbi and hey Simmons actually framed her co-worker - she's moving up in the spy game. Maybe nobody is brainwashed - I can dream can't I?

Patrick said...

Otherwyrld, definitely a mercy. The pilot was pretty bad, especially compared to the more recent DC Comics stuff on TV(most of it at least, I'm still iffy on Gotham). She definitely looked the part though. It's a shame they didn't give her a shot in the upcoming movie. I'm not sold on the new girl(why couldn't they have just made Man Of Steel 2 instead of what I fear will be an overstuffed mess?).