William: I have to give kudos to Agents of SHIELD for not wasting time with the reveal of just what exactly Simmons has been up to since she left Coulson and the rest of SHIELD. In an episode that felt a lot like Alias (perhaps it was the fun use of music or large spy elements laid throughout), “Making Friends and Influencing People” is another strong outing for the series. There’s a lot here to pull apart, but it’s very clear this episode belongs to Simmons (and Skye, but we’ll touch on that in a bit). After two episodes of table-setting, we can finally dig deeper into the SHIELD vs Hydra war and the results are very encouraging. What did you think of episode, Justin?
Justin: It is funny that you mentioned Alias because that cold open was exactly what I had been wanting from the show from the start. The jaunty tune playing over Simmons going about her day leading up to the stark reveal of the Hydra logo along with the Kraken trying to break an agent with a weird light show was a blast of confident weirdness that finally showed that the show is willing to go places that we want it to go. Alias seemed like the perfect blueprint for AoS, but it never quite got there in the first season. In just three episodes, AoS has made leaps and bounds in terms of characterization, tone, and yet another strong committal to its own premise. This is finally the Steranko-esque spy show that we all wanted when it was announced. I would also agree that this episode didn’t waste a moment with the Mystery Box involving exactly where Simmons was and delved further into Skye’s budding badassery.