HYDRA certainly seems to be on the ascendant while SHIELD remains on the back foot this season – they’re busily recruiting new staff (voluntarily or otherwise) and working on their evil schemes while Coulson and co. are constantly trying to gain some ground. At least with the revelation that Simmons is working inside HYDRA (albeit we really can’t tell how long she’ll last – Skye is absolutely right about her ability to disseminate!) it seems as if Phil Coulson is trying to move forward.
It’s also good to see Iain de Caestecker get a chance to show what he can do; the progress that Fitz has been making is clear, thanks perhaps to the way he’s working with Mack. His comments to “Simmons” and about her absence show that even before his confrontation with Ward, something that I didn’t expect to come quite this early in the run, and which I’m sure is nowhere near finished.
Talking of Ward, let’s hope that we get to see him somewhere other than his cell – the Silence of the Lambs bit works for a short time, but Skye is no Clarice Starling. The producers seem to be trying to change her up for this year, and make her more useful; however, we’ve got enough machismo with Lance and Trip (let alone May!) so hopefully she’ll be given a role that fits her background… before we get into the whole “where is my daddy?” thing that’s clearly coming.
This season certainly seems to be more upfront about using supervillains – after the Absorbing Man in the first two episodes, we’ve got Donnie Gill (aka Blizzard – although the backstory for the character is completely different in the comics Marvel Universe). The odds of him having disappeared completely would seem to be rather thin so I’m starting to wonder if some sort of supervillain team-up is going to be heading our way for sweeps episodes.
Verdict: A better balanced episode than we’ve had for a bit that moves nearly all of our main characters forward. 8/10