"The Frenemy of My Enemy" - A dangerous new alliance is formed as Coulson and Hunter turn to the last person anyone would expect - Grant Ward! As the war between S.H.I.E.L.D. factions continues, Skye and Lincoln will find themselves drawn into this conflict, on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
Episode 18 – The Frenemy of My Enemy
It was a monumental week for Agents of SHIELD as they gear up to take down Avengers-connected Baron Von Strucker and a Hydra stronghold. If judging by just the last five minutes of this episode, next week will be even greater. It’s evident Marvel has astronomical plans for this show.
Coulson, sidelined with Hunter and Mike Petersen at his side, joins up with Fitz and ultimately decides to make an unlikely pack with the only person he feels can lead him to Strucker, Grant Ward. Once SHIELD member-turned Hydra drone, Ward was blacklisted after his betrayal late last season and remained a strong, but back-plotted presence throughout this season. Coulson getting Ward’s help came with a slew of complications, and although necessary for Coulson to advance his work, raised a good amount of bumps in the road. Highly entertaining bumps in the road.
Skye’s story-line was tame in comparison to the brewing one on Coulson’s end. However, in the last episode I called out Skye’s reluctance to have dinner with her parents unfitting for her character. It appears the writers smoothed most of that uneasiness over with Skye talking out her motives to Jaiying and then when she gets ahold of May.
There were two main themes running through this episode, play along and family. Skye spent a lot of time with Cal this episode, learning her history as well as his. She mentioned early in the episode that she was feeling empathetic towards him, but still with reservations knowing the kind of person he was. When Skye gets a free moment, she jacks a phone off a bystander and calls May who you could relate to her mother figure at SHIELD (and with last weeks episode focusing on May and her wishes to have a family it makes sense). In the Dad vs. Dad end, Cal’s protection of Skye runs through the whole episode, and the moment Coulson sees Skye before she is whisked away is a moment delivered so wonderfully by both Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennet.
The play along theme comes in both Fitz sending directions to Mike Petersen to stand down, but also was reiterated in May telling Jemma to just trust her. Everyone in the episode did a bit of playing along, Coulson and Ward had to play along nicely, even settling after pulling guns on each other. Skye had to play along with her father to try and get herself to safety as well as making sure he wouldn’t be around to harm anyone. May is playing along with Bobbi and Mack and the other SHIELD to clear Coulson’s name.
Also in this episode, we saw the rebellious spirit of a separated Fitzsimmons. Fitz, stressed under having Ward in his vicinity, nearly loses it by pulling a gun on Ward and lunging at him. He is subdued by Hunter and Coulson. On Jemma’s side, she imparts the information that Fitz has the Toolbox, to which May tells Bobbi. Frustrated that May spilled her secret, Jemma calls May out on it and accuses her of not standing her ground. It was also nice to see Kara, Agent 33, find her agency and correct Coulson that she actually has a name – that she is a person- after the mistreatment she had faced at the hands of Whitehall in the past. It shows that AOS is still really about people standing up for what they believe in.
The last five minutes of the episode were a blessing. So much happened, between Bakshi kidnapping Mike Petersen and Lincoln, Gordon taking away Skye with Cal, and May and Skye seeing Coulson with Ward without knowing why. Coulson also turned himself in to Bobbi, which knowing how Coulson works means even though he failed at his attempt to get Skye, he has a plan, and in the promos for next weeks Dirty Half Dozen it looks like the original six members that started out on The Bus in season 1 are back together to infiltrate a Hydra stronghold.
Overall, a well-written episode. Pacing could have been a little better instead of being confined to the crucial action being confined to the last five minutes, but it’s given a pass. Visual effects were on point and at times subtle, the powered peoples superpowers are beginning to blend into normalcy. There were also top-notch performances from Fitz and Coulson as they struggled to trust Ward, and Coulson trying to get to Skye. With Strucker’s name being floated around we can’t wait to see if there will be any tie-ins to Avengers: Age of Ultron in the upcoming Agents of SHIELD episodes.
- Rebellious Fitzsimmons
- Themes: playing along and family
- Had to wait to the end for the really interesting stuff