Agents of Shield recap – S2,E18 – Frenemy of My Enemy

agents-of-shield-frenemy-of-my-enemy - coulson and wardWith the return of Ward, Deathlok tracking down Skye and Hydra on the attack again, this episode felt like a throwback to that far too brief moment when ‘AOS’ was becoming every bit the excellent Marvel TV show we’d hoped for all along. But with so much occurring since then ‘Frenemy of My Enemy’ felt like a desperate Hail Mary to create some excitement for a frustrating second season.

Per the show’s norm, all roads lead to Skye. I wouldn’t have such marked indifference to her if the writers stopped trying to force Daisy Johnson’s adventures as Quake with special appearance by SHIELD as opposed making her just another agent with powers.

agents-of-shield-frenemy-of-my-enemy - SkyeAll the various parties were trying to track Skye down instead of…oh, finishing off Hydra and any other worldwide threats. May now knows Simmons lied and SHIELD ver. 2 only has a decoy toolbox and has Simmons track Coulson via Deathlok’s visual scanner.

The uninspired storytelling has now infected the last holdout to better days as Ward gets brought back for one mission only to help Coulson get some Hydra intel and hopefully track down Skye. Coulson thinks Ward’s relationship with Agent 33 is a sign there’s a good person buried deep down somewhere and just to make sure when the mission’s complete, he’ll scrub Ward’s brain via TAHITI and let him enjoy a new life. Two questions: Coulson can’t possibly think Ward won’t snap Agent 33’s neck the second she becomes a liability, can he? Did Coulson’s own TAHITI brain scrub make him forget the whole going crazy thing?  Ward brings along Agent 33 and their brainwashed Hydra agent Bakshi to join Coulson, Hunter, Fitz and Deathlok.

The Hydra agent tells Bakshi that Baron Von Strucker, remember him come ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ is looking for powered people and they’re tracking Gordon’s teleportation energies. To prove their loyalty, Bakshi and Deathlok have to bring him in. BTW, if I’m May or Simmons, their lack of priority on Coulson’s rescue list would have me switching sides to SHIELD ver. 2 or Ward’s Hydra SHIELD faster than twitchy Fitz while Ward’s around.

agents-of-shield-frenemy-of-my-enemy - deathlok and coulsonSkye meanwhile was dealing with some major family drama, what most people want to see from their spy show. Jiaying is all set to revoke Cal’s Inhumans Secret Resort visitation pass, but Skye feels sorry for dear old dad after one dinner! Yeah dad you did kill a lot of people, but that steak was ah-maaazing! So instead of Gordon simply dropping him to no man’s land (read: Milwaukee), Skye wants to spend a little time with her nutjob father hanging at all his favorite hang-outs including his office where she learns her full name is Daisy Johnson. Skye somehow figures he’ll take getting ditched much easier at the hands of the daughter he’s sacrificed his sanity and life to reclaim. Skye pickpockets a guy’s cell phone (our hero) to tell May where they can find Cal.

Unfortunately Lincoln (keeping an eye out on Skye for Jiaying) and HYDRA arrive first and Cal goes off. Simmons taps into Deathlok’s visual scanner just in time to see Coulson shoulder to shoulder with Ward. This won’t do for May’s trust issues with Coulson. Lincoln fights Deathlok to a standstill only to both get captured by a surprisingly un-brainwashed Bakshi while Ward and Coulson come thisclose to reuniting with Skye before Gordon arrives and teleports her (and Cal) back to Afterlife. Ward replies with way too much sympathy “Your call boss.”

A regular theme in wrestling is when a heel starts becoming too popular, he’s turned into a good guy largely maintaining the traits that made the fans cheer him while a villain. This episode got a little too much good chemistry with Coulson and Ward bickering to the point I’m worried the writers may really try to bring him back into Coulson’s team. I’d much rather see Ward and Agent 33 be the evil mirror images of Hunter and Bobbi in their rumored spin-off. agents-of-shield-frenemy-of-my-enemy - agent 33, deathlok and ward

Coulson decides to wait on Mack and Bobbi, who arrive long after the fight. Coulson’s now ready to be taken to their leader. So why did he need to escape, steal a Quinjet and reveal his alliance with Deathlok again? I’ve no idea where the show is heading at this rate and am now seriously doubting the latest movie tie-in can reinvigorate the season like last year. Were that movie ‘Inhumans’ this would all make perfect sense, but whatever boost the show can get from ‘Age of Ultron’ looks like it may come too little too late this time.

  • Anonymous

    You say everything leads to Skye but that isn’t true. Everything leads to the Inhumans and powered individuals. The Hydra has been collecting and testing them and Coulson also has plans for them with the Theta protocol. Currently, Skye is our only connection to the Inhumans. List and Strucker have been capturing powered individuals for some time, a plot line that directly connects to AOU. Coulson surrendered because now that that Hydra has Deathlok his ragtag team is at an extreme disadvantage.

  • My problem is we didn’t really need Skye to be our connection to the Inhumans. Strucker (and Hydra) have plans for the super-powered, but Coulson is putting all his plans on pause to rescue Skye, which means SHIELD v.2 is following the path leading to her as well.
    But what disadvantage did Coulson have? He still has the tool box and Deathlok was the only way SHIELD 2 could track him. It’s not like Ward and Hunter couldn’t do the job Coulson needed Deathlok for (admittedly of the plan we’ve seen so far).

  • Anonymous

    Strucker has having a plan for powered people doesn’t directly connect to the Inhumans. It might connect to characters like absorbing man or scorch but the Inhumans have been operating in secret for years. How is Coulson not at a disadvantage when he lost his heaviest hitter. If he lost Ward or Hunter I could see your point, as they both effectively fill the same position. Also, Coulson didn’t just put his plans on hold to save Skye. He was following Hydra in the hopes that they would take him to Strucker, when that didn’t happen they had to improvise. It wasn’t until they knew Skye was in the building that they felt the need to intervene. Hydra had just infiltrated the building and most of Coulson’s team realized that Hydra could find out she was and Inhuman. Lastly, Shield2 was already after Skye and any other powered individuals Coulson was hiding.

  • keith

    It was okay. Hyde made this one for me. I felt sorry for him as a sorry delude creature not that he deserve a chance. Its still funny how it is still 60% skye, daisy, quake. Honestly is quake that good a character for all of this??? IDK. I think phil has run out of rope and the two shield about to get their crap together and combine like voltron. Who knows maybe fury will come back clunk their heads together and say enough of this s hit. I just know i cant see a 4 year wait with generic inhumans as a spinoff. I can understand why DC is getting a spinoff, but agents really have no business spinning crap off.. unless it fixes the main show. I know the fan girls are swooning for a ward redemption.. Im sitting hoping phil said that as he is no longer in charge. Ward isnt a super human. he should be locked at the least after he has given up his info. Im getting sick of the cat and mouse with ward. Its time to move on from this…

  • This may tie in more to AOU so I guess neither of us know for sure at this point, but so far in the MCU the only powered people are The Avengers and the random few who have powers. As of right now, that’s just the Inhumans.

    Deathlok is all tech’d-up sure, but having May, Ward, Agent 33, Hunter, FitzSimmons at least from the show portrayal balances out what Coulson would get from Deathlok.
    I’ll have to rewatch that, but I’m pretty sure Coulson’s entire point of finding Strucker was to find Skye that’s why he was so upset when he came this close to getting her. Ward said as much when they were on The Bus “This is all about Skye.”
    Shield2 already being after Skye was my point — everyone’s agenda this episode led them to Skye.

    PS, I’m enjoying the dialogue but I feel like I need to give you a code name/alias 🙂

  • I thought about you with Ward rejoining the team (temporarily). Your Fury cameo has potential 😉

  • Barry Murray

    I have a sly suspicion that they are building to something here. Something we couldn’t possibly guess at.
    I could be totally wrong of course, but i am expecting it to get way better before the end of the season. Just like it did last year.

  • I’d love to be surprised. At this point in the season say it’s an amazing spectacularly brilliant move. Would that make the season for you?

  • Barry Murray

    I’m hoping that we see some incredible uber baddie revealed just for the show, and that Shield becomes more cohesive, possibly back to what it was before. Without the spectre of Hydra looming over them as badly.
    I’m going to the cinema in a little over 5 hours to watch AOU, so i am hoping that doesn’t disappoint.

  • That would be good. I liked how Hydra was the SHIELD enemy but they’ve struggled some this season keeping them a threat with the weaving in of the Inhumans storyline.
    I’ll be jealous of you for exactly six more days 😉

  • Barry Murray

    Hehe. I have no idea how many times i will have seen it by then if it’s good.
    As for Shield, i would like “old/new” Shield to unite, with EJO(Or someone similar) becoming the new head guy, with Coulson back to the head of his old “Spc Ops team”.
    But with the announcement of the new show, perhaps Bobbi and co will be the Spec Ops team, so Coulson can be the leader, doling out new assignments, and Bobbi and Co doing the missions.
    I am sure they will have thought this one out far ahead.

  • LOL. I imagine I’ll pay to see it several times after the press screening Tuesday.
    I’d like Hunter and Bobbi to stay with the main team. Maybe Gonzalez will work directly with them?

  • Barry Murray

    WQell maybe it will be Bobbi/Hunter/Skye/Other weird & powered freaks working in one show, and Coulson and the gang in the other show.

  • That could be fun. I just hope it’s not only Bobbi and Hunter every episode.

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. It would be great to have a “cops” style of vibe, with loads of different people all ready to go out on missions. People doing their part.

  • Yes, instead of having everyone around all the time!

  • Barry Murray

    I always thought AOS was going to be a similar idea. Bunch of agents, always on a quinjet, off on a mission. Some make it, others don’t. Some are popular with fans, get a few episodes, go away for a few eps, then come back into rotation. Every episode is a mission, or group of missions. Keep it fresh.

  • And it really seemed like it was heading in that direction too with the new additions at the start of the season. I enjoyed that actual sense of consequences and danger (which we didn’t get enough of with Coulson’s original team), now it’s looking more like status quo all over again.

  • keith

    i thought the same thing barry. not skye and her personal problems, hell they fooled us in the pilot as i thought skye was one note character . I thought mike peterson was going to be a star in it. way to fool us disney

  • Barry Murray

    Yeah. After seeing AOU, i have a slim feeling that we might be in for a tie-in next week with AOS in time for the american release.

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