Title: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (IMDb): “Making Friends and Influencing People”
Created by: Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, Maurissa Tancharoen
Marvel Comics by: Stan Lee, Jack Kirby
Season/Episode: Season 2, Episode 3
Directed by: Bobby Roth
Written by: Monica Owusu-Breen
Length: ~45 min
My IMDb rating: 9/10
This review contains spoilers for season 1 and season 2, episode 1-3. Please continue reading only if you don’t mind being spoiled or have already watched all the episodes anyway. Enjoy 🙂
Simmons is back! This time not only as a fragment of Fitz’ imagination but as an undercover HYDRA agent. The only people who know about her undercover work are agent May and SHIELD director Coulson. The rest of the SHIELD team are of course going to find out about Simmons’ work when they spot her during one of their missions. Simmons has a small and unimportant research position in HYDRA but manages to obtain a higher level in the course of the episode as she demonstrates her loyalty in dealing with a “gifted” person and by pretending to save a HYDRA agent’s life from Skye’s shot. Thus, she gains access to higher levels within HYDRA’s facility. I really loved having Simmons back. She is one of my favourite characters in Agents of SHIELD. It’s amazing to see her working as an active agent, not only as a researcher in the background. I think it suits her really well.
Meanwhile, Fitz finds out that the other SHIELD members have secrets they don’t trust him with. When the others leave the base to save Simmons and a “gifted” person from HYDRA (which he doesn’t know about), he goes to find out who they were shielding him from. He faces Ward in his cell and tries to kill him via suffocation. Ward can save his own life by telling Fitz about HYDRA’s brainwashing that could endanger the SHIELD agents currently on the mission. Fitz spares his life but faces Coulson demanding to know about what else is going on. Coulson tells him that Simmons is on an assignment and can’t contact her friend. I’m not sure what I think about Fitz’ reaction to seeing Ward. I don’t think it was like him to even consider committing murder. Especially in the cruel way he wanted it to do. On the other hand, I can relate to his reaction and wondered if I, had I the opportunity to do it, would react in a similar way. I’m really looking forward to seeing how Fitz’ character will develop. His brain activity seems to be getting better…?
An interesting character development was also seen in Skye. Now an active field agent, she practices shooting with May, including shooting a sniper rifle. I wonder if it was she herself who decided to kill the “gifted” or if it was only due to Ward’s influence that she made the kill without so much as a heightened heartbeat. In any case, I look forward to seeing more of her skills. I don’t really look forward to the whole estranged father story line that will surely come soon. I wish they could just leave that out.
Everything considered, this was a really great episode. We got to see more of the inside workings of HYDRA, learned about the brainwashing technique they use to manipulate people, and we had some wonderful action scenes as well as emotional ones. I loved how they opened this episode with Simmons’ pretty normal-seeming work day in contrast to the cruel brainwashing going on inside of the same facility she works in. Despite the rather boring first episode, this season now is becoming more and more promising.