HomeTelevisionTV Review: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., 'A Hen in the Wolf House'

TV Review: Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘A Hen in the Wolf House’


Plot: After forcing Raina (Ruth Negga) to do his bidding, Daniel Whitehall (Reed Diamond) makes a play for the Obelisk. Director Coulson (Clark Gregg) however will do everything he can to stop him. Meanwhile, Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is put in a tight spot when Hydra begins snooping around.

“A Hen in the Wolf House” was a real turning point for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for both its second season and the show. In terms of story, it did an excellent job of streamlining all of these disparate elements that have been introduced so far. Simmons’s time as a Hydra operative is over, Skye’s Father (Kyle MacLachlan) makes himself known to our heroes, and the villains have come together without officially becoming part of a singular organization. This has all happened after only five episodes too. Remember when the show dragged on in the first season? Thankfully that is definitely not the case. As for the show in general, this is when it finally made the seemingly simple but monumental leap of introducing an actual comic book Avenger for the first time outside of the movies: Bobbi Morse, AKA Mockingbird.

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

I’ve known about Adrianne Palicki’s casting as Morse for quite a while now. The same can be said about her role as Hydra’s head of security. So I knew 100% going into this episode exactly who and what role her character was going to play. How exactly that was going to work out was unknown. Would the show choose to keep her as a Hydra operative for most of the season, or would they quickly do away with that cover once she’s introduced? The former is especially difficult to pull off simply because anyone who’s familiar with Marvel’s history knows that Morse is a hero. It’d be stupid to have her play up the villain angle for an extended period of time. Thankfully for all of us, Morse officially joins the team at the end, while also bringing Simmons back to home base. Introducing Morse as this ass kicking agent who can infiltrate Hydra with impeccable poise was excellent, and I cannot wait to see what Palicki does with the character. Finally! Palicki gets to play a hero after Wonder Woman tragically fell through for the umpteenth time.

Weaving Morse’s reveal into the overall tapestry was some great work on the part of the writers. First off, she’s revealed to be Lance Hunter’s (Nick Blood) ex, so there’s all that foreshadowing going back to the premiere. But we also the action that stemmed from Raina trying to negotiate Skye (Chloe Bennet) from Coulson by using Simmons as blackmail. That was easily one of the most intense scene’s this show has ever done. For a minute there, I actually thought that Coulson was going to give someone up. Playing up the “should we trust him” angle with Skye was great too. After learning more about Coulson’s drawings, it’s understandable that Skye would be concerned. It’s right to question Coulson’s trustworthiness. We still don’t know exactly what is going on with him, so exercising caution is very wise. Yet proving that Coulson is always one step ahead was amazing. And it was during Simmons’s extraction that we got those awesome action sequences that really showed just how hardcore Morse can be in a pinch.

Scene from Marvel's Agents of Shield.
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Most of “A Hen in the Wolf House” moved at that fast clip we’ve become accustomed to this season. I already mentioned that Simmons is now back with S.H.I.E.L.D., and I feel like that’s at the perfect time. Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) has moved on from his fake Simmons and should get the real deal back at his side. We also got a taste of what Simmons was like at Hydra and that’s really all we need for her character. There was also plenty of movement with Skye too. Coulson has let her into his inner-circle with his drawings and she’s fully aware that her Father is both evil and alive. Now he’s partnering up with Whitehall to take care of Coulson, their mutual enemy. Seriously, this season is basically a freight train of progression.

The only thing the show is still insistently stagnant on is Skye’s mystery. Clearly, she and her father are something, but it’s really vague on what. Skye’s father spends most of his appearance tempering his anger while also being a dangerous killing machine. Is this somehow related to the Hulk? No one really knows. As for Skye, Coulson even goes so far as to suggest that she can be an alien, which she quickly thinks is crazy. But it’s totally possible right? There has to be a reason why the GH drug isn’t affecting her in a manner similar to Coulson and Garrett. But again, what is that reason? The show insists on being hush hush about it. Considering how fast this season is moving, it’s possible we’ll find something out about this soon, but who really knows.

Kyle Maclachlan in Agents of Shield.
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Next week already feels like something special. For the first time all season, everyone is placed where they should be. The S.H.I.E.L.D. team we care about is back under one roof, the bad guys are partnering up while simultaneously maintaining their individual identities, and Glenn Talbot (Adrian Pasdar), who’s showing up next week, is firmly placed in the middle. Clearly this is a show that knows what it wants and is perfectly capable of pulling it off. Plus, now that Mockingbird is officially in the Cinematic Universe, more doors are opened. It’s perfectly feasible for Palicki to appear in a movie as this character. It’s also no longer out of the question for other people who’ve held the Avengers name to be introduced here if the show is willing. We’ll see exactly what comes of this at a later date.

There’s also the small matter of next week’s episode having the first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron. GET. PUMPED.

Rating: 9/10


Luke Kalamar is Pop-Break.com’s television and every Saturday afternoon you can read his retro video game column, Remembering the Classics. He covers Game of Thrones, Saturday Night Live and The Walking Dead (amongst others) every week. As for as his career and literary standing goes — take the best parts of Spider-man, Captain America and Luke Skywalker and you will fully understand his origin story.



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