Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 5: 'A Hen in the Wolf House' Review

10/22/2014 Stephen Colbert 0 Comments


Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is almost unrecognizable from last year, despite going back to it's roots with another Skye story.  The show has come a log way, and it's very exciting to see this many good episodes strung together back to back.  Especially knowing the direction the Marvel Cinematic Universe is likely to take, and seeing the epic scale of the new Avengers Trailer, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. feels like it's ready for the big leagues.

Marvel related spoilers to follow

Episode 5, 'A Hen in the Wolf House', takes a hard turn and brings Skye's origin (and her dad) into center focus.  Skye was once the weakest part of the show, and the idea of focusing on Skye plotlines would make many people cringe, but that's not the case here.  Part of it is better writing, and part of it is a much more seasoned Chloe Bennet.

This episode felt like it was bringing the end of the season 2 introduction, and starting down a much larger path.  One major change I wasn't expecting was in the form of Ward.  I wasn't the biggest fan of Brett Dalton's Ward last season, until he became Hydra.  He was shooting people in the face, he was cold, and he worked.  Then he got captured and seemed to have a change of heart, which had me worried that they would try to bring him back into the fold, which would not be ok with me.

It seems like that's exactly what they're doing, but I'm a lot more ok with it than I used to be.  I'm still not the biggest fan of his character, but the writing is natural and doesn't seem forced.  They also managed to fit in some very believable exposition which makes his flip to and from Hydra actually make a little more sense.  You know this show is doing something right when it does exactly what I didn't want it to, but finds a way to make it work.

Fitzsimmons is finally back together.  We'll see how this plays out next week, but bringing Fitz around from his incapable self in the first episode to this new version of the character was very deftly handled.  He's not back to 'normal,' but he's definitely not entirely broken anymore.

This season has also done a very good job of natually injecting some strong new talent and interesting characters.  Adrianne Palicki's Mockingbird could be a Black Widow equivalent on the small screen, but she feels like she could possibly appear in a Marvel movie (like Captain America 3), as has been rumored.

Coulson has also opened up about the symbols, and told Skye she might be an alien.  The team is back together (plus a few), the Bus is up and running with cloaking, they have a new quinjet, and all the small plot threads have been united.  This season feels poised to launch into something epic over the next few weeks.

Next week was also supposed to be the official release of the Age of Ultron trailer.  Any chance the episode establishes any early tie-ins?  That might be a little but too hopeful, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesday nights at 9/8c on ABC

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