TV Recap: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘Love in a Time of Hydra’

Written by Marley Ghizzone

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Love in a Time of Hydra Plot Summary:

Ward (Brett Dalton) helps Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) to rebuild herself after the devastating effects Hydra left, mentally and physically. Meanwhile, Hunter (Nick Blood) discovers the truth behind Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Mack’s (Henry Simmons) “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Coulson (Clark Gregg) takes Skye (Chloe Bennett) off active duty.

The theme of tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. revolved around perspective. Each storyline posed different solutions, forcing viewers to truly take stock of what has happened and changed since season one. We see the return of Grant Ward (Dalton), as he helps Agent 33 (Stojan) find herself. He helps her to stabilize the face mask and eventually exact revenge on Sunil Bakshi (Simon Kassianides). The audience is left to wonder, is Ward trying and failing to be a good guy or does he have some sinister plan up his sleeve.

Photo Credit: ABC/Patrick Wymore
Photo Credit: ABC/Patrick Wymore

Coulson (Gregg) and Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) decide what is best for Skye (Bennett.) May is prepared to treat her like any other person on The Index. She wants Skye (Bennett) removed from active duty and monitored. Coulson doesn’t want to make Skye feel as though she has been abandoned or make decisions for her life. Similarly Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) argue about the correct way to handle people with special abilities.

Hunter (Blood), who has been held hostage by Mack (Simmons) and taken to a secret location, must now decide which S.H.I.E.L.D. to give his loyalty to. Which brings us to the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” As Robert Gonzalez (Edward James Olmos) explains to Hunter, the S.H.I.E.L.D. led by Fury – and now Coulson- has too many secrets. The “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” blames the downfall and the deaths of the Hydra takeover on the secrets Fury kept and the intensity with which Coulson tracks down alien tech.

This brings us back to perspective. Who’s right and who’s wrong? At the end of last episode I sighed. I loved the twist ending but I thought — how many secret organizations within an organization can you have? But watching tonight’s episode grounded me back in this world Marvel has created. Nothing seemed out of place or contrived. Yet I am now questioning Coulson’s S.H.I.E.L.D. There are so many secrets. It’s a little bit ridiculous and as the old saying goes, “Secrets, secrets are no fun unless they’re shared with everyone.” Keeping information private never works out in anyone’s favor. Of course, with that being said, I do not trust “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” Anything that stays hidden, while complaining about secrets, is shady as hell.

Photo Credit: ABC/Patrick Wymore
Photo Credit: ABC/Patrick Wymore

I also can’t decide with who to agree on the treatment of people with powers. On one side, Fitz (De Caestecker) is right and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s protocol does seem a bit extreme. The people aren’t necessarily evil, they may just need help to control and learn. But on the other hand, Simmons (Henstridge) is right. They then would be super powerful and could do whatever they wanted. I appear to be arguing with myself.

But the point to all of this, and to this episode, is that everyone is acting on the assumption they are working for the greater good. Everyone believes they are helping and are hoping to protect innocent people.

I really enjoyed this episode. I love this show as a whole and this episode in particular made me confront the changes it has gone through in such a short amount of time. I miss the lightheartedness of season 1 and the relationships formed then. However, I understand and appreciate the change. Though I do truly mourn the loss of a FitzSimmons banter session.

The one thing I really can’t get on board with, yet, is Ward’s (Dalton) storyline. It didn’t seem to fit in with this episode in particular and I can’t figure out what his intentions are. He’s so creepy, in a reformed-convict-turned-cult-leader sort of way. I love hating it.

I’m excited for next week’s episode to see where everything and everyone is going to turn out. I am interested to see what change S.H.I.E.L.D.  is going to go through when confronted with an organization that thinks they are in the wrong instead of vice versa. That will definitely shock the system, gaining perspective always does.

Rating: 8 out of 10


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Marley Ghizzone is the current music editor and former Breaking News Editor for The Pop Break. Aside from writing news, Marley reviews television shows and the odd film. Pop culture is her drug of choice and her talents include binge watching entire seasons of TV shows obsessively fast and crying over fictional characters. Marley is a graduate of Rowan University. Follow her on twitter: @marleyveee