Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Marvel's Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 5: A Hen In The Wolf House

Lots going on in this week's episode. Probably the biggest was the introduction of Bobbi Chase, aka Mockingbird, to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We also get to spend some time with Skye's father, who's not exactly parent of the year, and Skye finds out she may be an alien. 

We learn that the Obelisk is also known as the Diviner, Raina has a nice dinner with Coulson and we finally find out the identity of Hunter's ex. Oh, and Fitz and the real Simmons are reunited, but it doesn't feel so good. All in all a pretty action-packed installment!


The Plot:
HYDRA is trying to weaponize the Obelisk with a plan that doesn't seem very well thought out. Raina tells Skye's father that Whitehall wants the Obelisk from him, and he says he'll give it up if she delivers Skye to him. 

Raina asks Coulson for help, and threatens to blow Simmons' cover at HYDRA if he doesn't. Coulson says "meh," and Raina follows through, exposing Simmons. Fortunately for her, Black Widow, er, Wonder Woman, er, I mean Mockingbird shows up to save her. 

Skye learns her father's whereabouts and goes to confront him, but he's already fled the coop. Skye looks at Coulson's alien chicken scratches and somehow makes the incredible intuitive leap that they're a map.

• Skye's father (whoever he really is) is doing a little back alley surgery on a couple of thugs when Raina barges in. They have a heated conversation and he threatens her, coming very close to snapping her supple neck with one hand. The whole time the two thugs just sit there watching, not the least bit concerned by the goings on.

I guess it all works out in the end though as later in the episode we see Skye's father apparently lost control and killed the two thugs. Maybe they balked at his bill?

• Fitz stands in the Bus' cargo bay, watching the rest of the crew as they bustle about. Fake Simmons is there too, wistfully staring at Mack and admiring his formidable physique. Um... wait a minute. Fake Simmons is a manifestation of Fitz's psyche, created by his brain to help him deal with her absence. So that means it was really Fitz thinking that Mack is hot. Not that there's anything wrong with that!

• Over at HYDRA, Simmons is still working as an undercover science tech. She's apparently been spending her lunch hours sending covert messages to S.H.I.E.L.D. One would think she might want to, oh I don't know, type her secret messages rather than dictate them aloud to her device, in earshot of anyone nearby, but what do I know.

Back inside, Agent Bobbi Morse, who we've never seen before, enters the lab and declares there's a mole in the organization. 

I'm guessing that the revelation that Morse turns out to be Mockingbird, the superhero slash S.H.I.E.L.D. agent from the comics, was supposed to be a shocking twist, but anyone who's ever read the comics would have seen it coming from several miles away. 

If they wanted her identity and allegiance to be a secret, then why use her real name? Why not give her an alias and then have her reveal she's Bobbi Morse?

Bobbi's played here by Adrianne Palicki, who starred in a rejected Wonder Woman pilot a few years ago. Looks like she finally got to play a superhero after all!

I was a little miffed when I first saw photos of Palicki as Mockingbird, as she didn't have the character's trademark blonde locks. I didn't mind a bit after I saw her in action though, kicking ass with her battle staves. Battle staves! On TV! How awesome is that? Later on she mentions she dyed her hair for the mission, so maybe there's still hope she'll be a blonde.

• Mockingbird, er, Agent Morse is determined to find the mole and orders her grunts to start searching everyone's desks for evidence. Simmons soils herself as she realizes her S.H.I.E.L.D. flex screen communicator is in her drawer. 

First of all, she's in hostile territory here, posing as a member of an evil, bent-on-world-domination secret organization, and she leaves her S.H.I.E.L.D. tech in her goddamned drawer? Was she trying to get caught?

Secondly, one of the HYDRA grunts then finds the screen in Simmons' workmate's desk. Holy crap– did Simmons just throw her coworker under the bus? That's pretty hardcore! Hope they don't take him to the Agonizer Booth!

• Speaking of Simmons' HYDRA coworkers– they don't seem like a particularly evil bunch. They look pretty much like scientists you'd find in the R&D lab of any big corporation. They're working for an anti-S.H.I.E.L.D. organization– shouldn't they at least all be wearing evil goatees?

• So what exactly is Whitehall's plan? He wants the Obelisk so he can weaponize it, and mentions that with it could kill millions, even billions. Yeah, and then what? Does he want the whole planet to himself? Or is he planning on wiping out all of humanity and repopulating it with HYDRA agents?

• We finally have a name for Daniel Whitehall's Lackey. And the name is... Bakshi. I'm pretty sure this is the first time they've ever mentioned his name on the show. It's the first time I've heard it at least.

• After Simmons' identity is compromised she takes off running through the endless HYDRA corridors. She's intercepted by Agent Morse, who reveals she's also an undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, and is there to help her escape.

Simmons and Bobbi then leap off the top of the HYDRA building (which I'm surprised didn't have an enormous neon logo on it) and land on the invisible S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet that's hovering below.

Lucky for the two of them they didn't land on either of the two prominently exposed turbine engines.

• Coulson decides to tell Skye everything, and says she may or may not be a alien. Uh-oh...

As you'll no doubt remember, I couldn't stand Skye last year because all the other characters on the show bent over backwards to bask in her amazing glow. She became the Most Important Person In The Universe, without ever doing anything to warrant such a title.

This season they've been playing down that aspect quite a bit, much her benefit. I like Skye 2.0 much better than Original Skye. 

But dredging up this alien crap again makes me think they're going to finish out the Super Skye storyline even if it kills them (and us).

• Skye's father is spying on her as she discovers his handiwork: the two dead thugs he killed when he "lost control." He sits in his car screaming, "She thinks I'm a monster! I'M NOT A MONSTER!" as he smashes his iPad in a most monstery way possible. But he's not a monster!

So what's the deal with Skye's dad? He keeps talking about not losing control and becoming a monster. Is he some kind of Hulk? Doubtful, but honestly I can't think of any other Marvel character he could be. 

There's a fan theory that he may be Mr. Hyde, who was a Daredevil villain (and not the literary Hyde). I'm not familiar enough with the character to dispute the theory.

• Where the hell is Agent Koenig? We haven't seen him for a month now.

• Mockingbird enters the S.H.I.E.L.D. base and is welcomed by one and all, except for Lance Hunter. Turns out the two used to be married.

HAW! I totally called it! A couple of weeks ago I said that the psycho ex-wife that Lance Hunter's always going on about would turn out to be Bobbi Morse, aka Mockingbird, and I was right. Granted I knew she was joining the show, so it wasn't a huge leap to connect the dots, but still.

• After the show aired Marvel released this photo of Mockingbird in her official crime fighting gear. It looks like she's going to have blonde hair after all! Awesome!

And look at that– an ass-kicking super heroine who's not wearing ridiculous and impractical high heels! Amazing!

I'm wondering if they're adding Mockingbird to the cast as a low-budget alternative to Black Widow? They're both spies, they both have pretty much the same "powers" (consisting mainly of cool ass kicking moves) and they both work for S.H.I.E.L.D. The TV series probably can't afford to hire ScarJo full time, so I'm betting they settled for Mockingbird.

I love that they're adding Mockingbird to the show, but... is she staying for good? She basically fulfills the same function as Agent May. I guess you can never have too many ass kicking women in black jumpsuits.

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