Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S2 Ep14 – Love in the Time of Hydra

Last week’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. concluded with Agent May’s ex-husband recommending that Skye be taken off active S.H.I.E.L.D. duty. Additionally, Mack revealed to Hunter what him and Bobbi have been hiding. There is another S.H.I.E.L.D. “Love in the Time of Hyrda” picks up right where “One of Us” left off, as we learn more about this other S.H.I.E.L.D., find out what plans Coulson and May have for Skye, and see two characters we haven’t seen in a while make a return.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., S2 Ep14 - Love in the Time of Hydra (2)

Coulson makes a decision regarding Skye

Former Hydra affiliates Grant Ward and Agent 33 are back. Their plans in this week’s episode are to get 33’s face fixed and infiltrate Talbot’s facility to capture Sunil Bakshi. Hydra agent Bakshi played a significant role in the molding of Agent 33’s current state. With nobody to turn to now, other than Ward, Agent 33 is in a pretty bad place. After being disguised as May for so long she has a lost a sense of who she truly is, and even after getting her new mask she can’t reconstruct her original face. Her struggle is made more apparent as she tries to think of a way of repaying Ward for helping her. This leads to a pretty creepy scene involving Agent 33 using Skye’s face to try and please Ward. It doesn’t work out as well as she wanted as Ward says he’d rather have the real Agent 33. This is one of the main reasons they need to locate and capture Bakshi.

When it’s discovered that a person with a “bio-mask” has infiltrated Talbot’s facility, Talbot is led to believe that any one of his female soldiers could be a mole. This led to a somewhat humorous scene where Talbot had to interrogate a line of soldiers and even pinches a soldier’s cheeks assuming she’s wearing a mask. While Talbot may have been clueless, I think it was made pretty obvious to the audience that Agent 33 changed her face yet again to appear as a male soldier. This is confirmed soon after.

Meanwhile, Hunter has been brought to what Mack and Bobbi perceive as the true S.H.I.E.L.D. Actor Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica) guest stars as Robert Gonzales, the director of this new faction of S.H.I.E.L.D. As much as Mack and Bobbi try and convince Hunter that Coulson is not in the right mindset to run S.H.I.E.L.D., the whole mutinous aspect of the new S.H.I.E.L.D. drives Hunter away and by the end of the episode he escapes their clutches.

When it was first revealed that Bobbi and Mack were secretly working for another organization I knew it couldn’t have been Hydra. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had already played that card with Ward. I like the idea that they are working with another S.H.I.E.L.D., rather than Hydra or any other evil organization. This new S.H.I.E.L.D. has not given the audience any reason to think of them as the bad guys. They just disagree with some of the ways Fury and Coulson have handled things. When Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. and Gonzales’ S.H.I.E.L.D. cross paths it’s going to be very interesting to watch as both groups believe they are in the right. Maybe they’ll make a compromise somewhere down the line and work together.

Fitz and Simmons are still not seeing eye to eye

Fitz and Simmons are still not seeing eye to eye

While Hunter was getting the tour of the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson agreed to take Skye out of active duty and seclude her in a cabin isolated from society until she can get a handle on her abilities. This subplot took a backseat to the others, but at least provided some nice father/daughter-esq moments between Skye and Coulson. No matter what decisions Coulson makes on Skye’s behalf we can always tell that he cares for her. He even compares her to Lola, his red corvette.

While “Love in the Time of Hydra” had some neat character moments between Agent 33 and Ward, Coulson and Skye, and even Fitz and Simmons, this episode felt kind of dull. I like this new twist the show has gotten into, but hope it amounts to something more than just a power struggle between factions. I really do like Bobbi and Mack as characters. It would be a shame if whatever is happening now affects their working relationship with Coulson’s team.

While the last two episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. weren’t all that great, it looks like next week the show will really kick into gear as Coulson confronts Mack about what he’s been hiding. Check out the promo for “One Door Closes” below and feel free to let us know what you thought about “Love in the Time of Hydra” in the comments.