Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S2 Ep02 – Heavy is the Head

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to deliver a solid start to its second season with this week’s episode, “Heavy is the Head.” The episode literally picks right up where last week’s episode, “Shadows”, left off. This helps at making the series feel less like a typical procedural and more like one continuing story, which was an issue I had with the previous season. Additionally, “Heavy is the Head” provides audiences with some much needed character development for a few of the show’s newer characters.

CLARK GREGG, NICK BLOOD

Coulson questions Lance

In a nutshell, “Heavy is the Head” is about Coulson and his team pursuing Carl Creel the Absorbing Man (Brian Patrick Wade), and making sure the 0-8-4 he holds, referred to as The Obelisk, doesn’t fall into the hands of HYDRA. Series newcomer Lance Hunter (Nick Blood) is deeply entangled in this plot being the only one to survive the car crash caused by Creel in the previous episode. Based off Hunter’s actions we see he has loyalty to Coulson when he is asked by Colonel Talbot (Adrian Pasdar) to turn the team in, but doesn’t do so. He later informs Coulson of the deal Talbot attempted to strike. That sense of loyalty is nearly washed away later when Hunter stuns May, Skye, and Tripplet in order to take his revenge on Creel for being responsible for the deaths of his partners, Izzy (Lucy Lawless) and Idaho (Wimer Calderon). After its all said and done, Coulson still allows Hunter to remain a member of his team. This establishes how much Coulson still trusts Hunter and respects him for his skill-set (he took out Melinda May with an Icer), but also shows his desperation to have as many soldiers on his side as possible since S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently in a rut. Also, Hunter does display some nobility by making sure his fallen friends received a proper burial.

Another character this episode goes into is Alphonso ‘Mac’ Mackenzie (Henry Simmons). Unlike most of the team, Mac doesn’t shy away from telling Fitz how it is, respectfully pointing out the fact that Fitz is talking to himself. Rather than treating Fitz like he’s broken, him and Mac team up and figure out a way to stop Creel and succeed at doing so. Fitz’s dilemma continues to be a heartbreaking one as he continues to struggle to complete sentences and ideas, but its nice to see that there is some hope for him and he may even have a new partner in Mac.

Brian Patrick Wade’s performance as Carl Creel makes him feel like less of the typical shifty-eyed villain of the week. While no background is given on the character other than the fact he works for HYDRA, it still felt like there was something more to him seeing him worry over his Obelisk infection and his heated conversation with Raina. Though, it doesn’t seem like we’ll be seeing more of him soon since Coulson was able to incapacitate him with Fitz’s device.

IAIN DE CAESTECKER, ELIZABETH HENSTRIDGE, HENRY SIMMONS

Fitz, Mac, and a non-existent Simmons

The episode also gave us our first real glimpse at Skye’s father, played by Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Believe). From the few seconds we see of him we do get a feel for how much of a creep he is. He’s doesn’t hesitate to order Raina to touch the Obelisk either, knowing there can be a possibly of it infecting her as it did to Izzy in the last episode. I’m still left wondering why his hand was all bloodied in last season’s finale, though.

Coulson’s plot thickened a bit in this episode as we find out he’s still drawing those weird symbols Garrett had drawn in the previous season. As of right now we don’t know what they could possibly mean, but its nice to see Coulson is at least trusting this strange secret with May, letting her document it, and not dealing with the situation alone. I just hope there’s a worthwhile payoff at the end of the season for what these symbols actually mean.

I don’t have much of anything negative to say about this episode. “Heavy is the Head” does a decent job progressing the story and should keep audiences wondering and invested in what will happen next. Learning more about new characters was necessary and worked will within the plot. The only real problem I can think of is it seems Lucy Lawless’ character Izzy is indeed dead. I wouldn’t think such a high-profile actress like Lawless would be introduced and killed off in one episode. Maybe she’ll end up having a “twin” like Patton Oswalt’s character supposedly does or maybe she’s dead at all. Who knows?

Two episodes in and we still don’t know where the real, non-imaginary Simmons is. It looks like our questions will be answered next week in “Making Friends and Influencing People.” Check out the promo for it below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Heavy is the Head” in the comments.