Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Frenemy of My Enemy
April 22, 2015 12:59 PM - Season 2, Episode 18 - Subscribe

It's Classic Shield vs New Shield vs Hydra vs Inhumans vs Ward vs Cal. Luckily you can mix and match the various groups.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (17 comments total)
Basically, Coulson had a not very good plan in joining forces with Ward and Agent 33, it all went to hell as Hydra got involved with the Inhumans, who really wanted to get rid of Cal, but Skye didn't want that and que a dangerously delightful mess. Agent Carter recaps it all!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:03 PM on April 22, 2015

It's a good thing Hydra saved the day by showing up when Cal was about to go all EvilHulkCal and gave him something productive to be pissed off at.
posted by localroger at 1:46 PM on April 22, 2015

I loved the look on May's face when they hacked into Deathlok's feed and saw Coulson and Ward together. A delightful mess indeed!
posted by homunculus at 2:16 PM on April 22, 2015

I thought it was a pretty decent episode. I did chuckle when Hunter said "It's only a flesh wound". Also Bobbi and Mack cluing in that stabbing the the good guys in the back was counter-productive to fighting Hydra was cathartic.

Hunter; shaping up to be one of my favourite characters.

Strange how it's the British characters who seem to have the best handle on what's going on in this series. Brits make the best spies, clearly. Cue a Fitz, Simmons and Hunter cameo in the next James Bond film.

I quite like Bakshi too...
posted by dazed_one at 2:18 PM on April 22, 2015

I did not hate this. There's a certain amount of problem caused by poor communication, but much of it is earned. Skye's difficulty being open with her newfound father - as well as treating him much like an angry hornet/problem to be solved - worked fine, and having her mother be a little standoffish/arrogant about her role as grand inhuman poobah seemed okay as well.

Why GuySkye was assigned to trail them I found less understandable, but I will concede the show's need to not intro new nobodies.

I really enjoyed the Skye and Cal time.
posted by phearlez at 2:21 PM on April 22, 2015

I'm enjoying this season but I'm completely ready for The Band To Get Back Together because we're approaching shuffling the pieces around to kill time until the good stuff happens at season end territory.
posted by Justinian at 2:48 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Skye's Day Out With Dad was indeed delightful. Not that I expected anything less from Kyle Maclachlan, but he sure did deliver.

I always enjoy Bakshi so I didn't really mind it, but I gotta say that "he's been instructed to behave the way he'd behave if he weren't brainwashed" has to rank as one of the all-time obviously worst sets of instructions to give to a nefarious double-crossing villain that's only helping you because he's, y'know, brainwashed.

Anyways, I said weeks ago that with the absence of any major threat like HYDRA this show was seriously lacking momentum. But apparently we're close enough to Age of Ultron now that they can name-check Strucker (who will be the movies' new HYDRA baddie, I expect) and introduce our own new HYDRA guy, Dr. List**. And sure enough, as soon as they did that this show got moving again. Which I was very glad to see.

**in case any non-comics people are wondering, Dr. List is an original character created for the TV show (though he made a brief appearance in The Winter Soldier). Strucker, OTOH, has a long history in comics.
posted by mstokes650 at 3:13 PM on April 22, 2015 [1 favorite]

Agreed, mstokes650. The lack of RealShield nonsense, the rapid pace of plot movement (the Hydra stuff would have taken 2-3 eps earlier in the season), and Skye's chat with dad all added up to a very decent episode. It's sad to think that at least some of this is due to the proximity to Age of Ultron.
posted by adrianhon at 3:33 PM on April 22, 2015

I enjoyed Coulson's "take me to your leader" line. I'm also looking forward to people talking to each other instead of jumping to conclusions or storming bases.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 5:52 PM on April 22, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm going to bet that Bakshi is faking his brainwashing - could Ward and 33 figure out how to do it so easily, even if they do have the trippy visualization video?
posted by dazed_one at 5:54 PM on April 22, 2015

Yeah this was a good episode, but also confusing. I've lost track of who trusts who and who has potential secret dark alliances and what may happen next. It's just chaos. I'm kind of holding out hope for Ward though, he's too handsome to remain evil forever.

Big raspberry to the showrunners for thinking they could pawn off some random city as San Francisco. I mean why even try, if you're going to use a location with the wrong street furniture, the wrong streets, and wtf an em pty parking garage? As if. Although I guess it was clever to have the very first shot be on a vaporizer store; at least that part looks like SF.

Also LOL at the idea of Milwaukee being overrun with currency exchange shops. Did it become a big international destination for tourists without ATM and credit cards all the sudden?

It's the little things. Deathlok's boobies on his armor were distracting too.
posted by Nelson at 9:44 PM on April 22, 2015

Also LOL at the idea of Milwaukee being overrun with currency exchange shops. Did it become a big international destination for tourists without ATM and credit cards all the sudden?

I associate currency exchanges as places where folks without bank accounts can cash checks for a fee and will usually advertise being able to do bail bonds and the like. I don't know if Milwaukee is overrun with them, but it's a pretty standard low income neighborhood marker.

I was so angry with Coulson for deciding that going with Ward was a good idea that I don't think I can accurately judge the rest of this episode. Sky's parts didn't bother me that much, I guess.
posted by dinty_moore at 5:38 AM on April 23, 2015

Oh that makes sense; a check cashing place, a marker of a lower income neighborhood. Goes with Cal's idea of a daddy/daughter date is to take her to a creepy back alley, then an abandoned office building. I looked again and the location does feature "Check Cashing" and "Payday Loans". Also "Exchange", it's both, but at least it's a plausible new business now. Since I was reviewing anyway, here's Deathlok's chest armor. I guess it's supposed to reflect his bulging pectoral muscles but in that shot it's a remarkably feminine look.
posted by Nelson at 7:27 AM on April 23, 2015

Both San Francisco and Milwaukee were played by downtown Los Angeles. The San Francisco stuff was around 5th and Main, the Milwaukee stuff up the street around 5th and Spring and Broadway. (I live at 5th and Main.)
posted by jimw at 10:25 PM on April 23, 2015 [4 favorites]

The location for Cal's office was the Spring Arts Tower, where The Last Bookstore is located. That vape store is actually gone already (don't worry, it's a hip neighborhood, there are plenty more). And I think most of the currency exchange stuff was just set dressing over empty or boring retail spaces.
posted by jimw at 10:34 PM on April 23, 2015

The number one impression I'm getting from these episodes is that SOMEONE on the staff has experience dealing with a mentally ill relative. I'm pretty sure I've done the exact same sequence of expressions Jiaying had in dealing with Cal. And I've seen people take the same sides of "protect ourselves" vs. "indulge them, but then try to break the news to them" with similar success.

And then there's Cal's "Yeah, I know I fucked up let's do this one thing that will make everything perfect *switch flips* YEAH HERE I GO AGAIN"

Oh yeah, I guess there was Ward and Hydra. But damn. Cal.
posted by happyroach at 2:41 AM on April 25, 2015 [2 favorites]

Did Fitz's look when he first showed up seem to anyone else like a nod to "Kingsman: The Secret Service?"

I'm so happy to have both Kyle MacLachlan and Dichen Lachman on my teevee.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 8:50 AM on April 28, 2015

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