WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!
Out of the first four episodes of Agents of SHIELD’s second season so far, I Will Face My Enemy has probably been the weakest to date. Whilst it still provided some great fun in which we got to see the awesome Melinda May in a fight against someone wearing a similar face mask to what Romanoff used in Winter Soldier to make it look as though it was two Mays fighting each other. It once against continued the mostly serialized approach of SHIELD, moving the focus onto the battle for more alien tech between the two rival organizations, which has been the forefront of this season so far.
The whole dilemma of May having a double was pulled off better than I thought it would have been. Seeing May in action was awesome and it was great to see the tech from Winter Soldier revisited meaning that we could very well be looking at having some similar movie-verse technology crop up in the series in the future, which is pretty interesting to see indeed.
Even if this episode did continue the serialized approach, it did feel a little too close to simply becoming another random spy episode from the early stages of season one. However, it was nice to see it further the series’ storyline, with May and Coulson’s undercover assignment early on being one of the weaker parts of this week. But thankfully, they didn’t keep that ruse going on for too long, and when it got to the spy work the series became entertaining. There was even a fun gag about a hallway covered with lasers, a common trope in the spy genre.
The thread with May’s double could have been the least interesting part of the week, and the writers could have made Coulson seem like an idiot but at least they gave him plenty of material to work with. Even if he did reveal to the double that he was SHIELD’s Director (which will no doubt have repercussions with HYDRA now knowing who the man to go for is), he wasn’t completely fooled, and there was another nice line where May asked Coulson whether he punched the imposter in the face or not.
It was also good to see that Fitz got a lot more attention this week after last week was largely a Simmons-centric episode. I’ve mentioned this before but like the series itself he seems to have improved a lot more as a character, and this episode further keeps making Fitz a lot more interesting and compelling. We saw him save the Bus and the team, with Iain De Caestecker having some great moments in this episode. It’ll certainly be interesting to see an eventual reunion between Fitz and the real Simmons, but I get the feeling that it won’t happen for a few weeks yet.
Speaking of the Bus, it was great to see the team bonding and working together well. Both Mack and Hunter are great additions to the cast and it’s awesome to have them around on a permanent basis, continuing to give the series a fresh, dynamic feel. Fitz is improving and even Skye has become more tolerable now with her reduced role. Tripp is good as usual and it’s great to see a more interesting group of characters than when the series started out.
The ending was also pretty interesting, with Whitehall now commanding Raina. Raina hasn’t had much to do since HYDRA stepped into the limelight and it’ll be interesting to see where next episode takes us, which will presumably feature her bringing the Obelisk back to them.
In conclusion, SHIELD still gave us a strong episode despite the fact that it didn’t quite meet the heights of the previous three. The spy element of the episode was mostly good but there’s always a risk that it could revert back to early Season 1 and deliver another dull episode, but thankfully that hasn’t proved to be the case.