WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!
Three episodes in, and already Agents of SHIELD is showing that yes, it can keep up momentum, by taking a rapidly darker tone than from when we were first introduced to the characters, with an excellent third episode that teased the possibility that one of our agents, Simmons, was Hydra. The opening sequence with Simmons waking up as though everything was normal and walking into a Hydra base was handled very well, and unexpected for someone like myself who hadn’t seen any promos going into this week’s episode. However, the revelation that she was a double agent was all too predictable and obvious, but aside from that, Making Friends and Influencing People was very much an entertaining episode that continues the excellent serialized storyline that the series is developing.
This episode showed that both HYDRA and SHIELD are now trying to get their hands on as many assets as they possibly can, including people who we’ve met before. Remember early season one when they kept teasing characters with superpowers but never revealing their full potential? Well, if you’ve been wondering what happened to Donnie Gill, the gifted student who could manipulate ice, this served as thread that dealt with his storyline pretty well, and also got us a taste at some superpowers in action. It was fun to watch him on the run from both HYDRA and SHIELD, and with Fitz out of the action, he never really had any connection with both sides.
One of the strongest moments of this episode came with Fitz as a character, which showed once again how he’s improved from being one of the weaker elements of the team in Season 1. His scenes with Ward were great to watch, and after an episode without Brett Dalton’s character, the impact was made all the more important, especially with the revelation at the end to Skye concerning the fact that her father was still alive. What Ward’s gameplan is remains to be seen, and it’ll be interesting to see how Agents of SHIELD can develop him over the future episodes.
The scare factor of HYDRA has only gotten worse with this episode as well, with a similar mind-control technique to what was used on Bucky in The Winter Soldier, turning a SHIELD agent against their own. With Simmons sticking around as a double agent, the risk has increased tenfold with her promotion into the inner ranks, especially when this is someone who as we’ve seen before, isn’t a skilled liar. I can’t wait to see what happens next, and where we go from here will be very interesting indeed.
On the whole then, Making Friends and Influencing People was another excellent episode of Agents of SHIELD, which continues to demonstrate just how much this show has turned around. It’s now quickly establishing itself as one of my favourite shows, and if it keeps going will quickly give Arrow a run for its money as my favourite comic book series on TV right now, and where things go next week will certainly be interesting indeed.