TV Review: Agents of SHIELD: “The Frenemy of my Enemy”

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(Editor’s note: Welcome back to our coverage of Agents of SHIELD, from now until the end of the season, William will be joined by Agents of SHIELD super fan Zoe as they discuss the last stretch of episodes).

William: “The Frenemy of my Enemy” deals a lot with bringing all the various groups we’ve seen separated over the past couple of episodes as they unknowingly search for the same thing: Skye. It’s always about Skye. But there’s still plenty of solid episode building here and a lot of that comes from the pairing of Ward and Coulson. But what was your take on the episode?

Zoe: I feel the same. This is really Skye’s story, and if that wasn’t clear, I feel like it certainly is now. All these groups were trying to converge and Skye was at the center.

William: So much of the backhalf has been about Skye. Actually, from the very start of the show it’s always been about her, (especially as she’s served as the audience surrogate to this world). Yet, this is also a calmer hour that’s clearly setting up for the final episodes and what’s to come from the season finale – in what’s shaping up to very clearly be an Age of Ultron crossover.

Zoe: It’s funny you saw it as calmer where I was on the edge of my seat the whole time and I’m begging for more information. This episode, to me, was packed. In a good way! And I agree about Age of Ultron, and the rest of MCU, especially with Strucker and the focus on powered people.

William: Well the tension really beings to mount as Skye and Cal descend upon his former office.

Zoe: That’s true. But surely you were tense with the new Ward action and Jemma vs May?

William: Certainly. Especially because we’re still unsure where Ward’s true intentions are. We very clearly see he perks up when Skye’s name gets mentioned, but there’s still a lingering feeling that he could switch at any time – and that’s heightened in the final act as the bullets start flying.

Zoe: I shuddered at that moment for that exact reason. What are you up to, Ward? What do you want? Give up Skye already.

William: What have you thought about Ward’s arc for this whole season, Zoe? I enjoyed the Hannibal Lector in the cage bits at the beginning, but certainly knew he would escape at some point or another. Since he’s been on the run – his motivations aren’t 100% clear (other than he seems fully content to do just he feels inclined to do).

Zoe: I’m with you on the motivation aspect which leads me to believe he thinks he can still play Coulson. “Boss?” Coulson isn’t going to melt like butter for that. As far as his arc goes, it actually is strange that he was in the cage at the beginning of the season. That feels like years ago. I’m not crazy about it, to be honest. I think the writers have been unsure how to utilize him. He’s been absent for many episodes. How have you felt about his overall arc so far? Under-utilized? Perfectly utilized?

William: I think Agents of SHIELD has a larger problem of not knowing what to do with a lot of it’s supporting cast (and the idea of removing what has worked well – Bobbi and Hunter isn’t ideal for me, as I think it dramatically hurts AoS), but I think there’s a strong chance Ward is being set up for some sort of redemption/sacrifice arc here before it’s all said and done. I’m very curious about how things will pan out after this season – it’s still too early to really, fully bring in the Inhumans (although they could keep working that mythology in the show, but there is only so far they can go without introducing Black Bolt and company) and I’m not sure the Hydra threat will really be around after the finale. But that’s an interesting place to be in, as Agents of SHIELD really redefined itself for the positive after a major game change and I’m curious to see if they can pull the same trick twice.

Zoe: It’s gotten quite big, hasn’t it? I feel optimistic, though. I do think Agents of SHIELD can, if the situation calls for it, make a major move in-universe. Considering the planning that goes into the timelines, I feel relatively confident. As far as the size goes, I can’t honestly say if I feel like it’s been a help or a hindrance. I’ve come to love a lot of these side characters a lot, so I’m glad they exist. We needed a personal continuation of a villain from season one, so we have Ward. After the distinct feeling that he was past irrelevancy, I’m now very intrigued as to what is going to happen.

William: We needed a familiar face as SHIELD chased after Hydra and Ward certainly fit the bill. With only a few more episodes left, I think the show has positioned itself to be in a place for a strong conclusion to what’s been a very strong season and one that’s maybe gone a bit overlooked as Daredevil takes the spotlight.

Zoe: I have yet to fully explore Daredevil so I’m avoiding commentary, but that would be a shame. I think this season of Agents of SHIELD has been very good. There have been spots for me that didn’t enrapture me, but if I’m comparing it to “I’m interested but not enraptured,” I’m not complaining. They’ve done an interesting job opening themselves up to significantly more in the universe instead of case-of-the-week like much of season 1.

William: Exactly. And it’s episodes like tonight’s that remind me of just how much fun this show can be when it’s really on top of its game,

Quick Thoughts:

– Ward is disgusting and i wanted to throttle him when he grinned at Fitz and talked to him. – ZW

– Kara, it’s a succulent! It’s okay, there are many of them. – ZW

– Kyle MacLachlan is a gem and i’ll be sad if they have to let him go. – ZW

– “He’s not a cyborg, he’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. agent . . . with rockets in his arm.” – WG

– “I’m a friend of Skye’s.” “Sure. And I’m the Hulk.”

What did you think of this episode? Sound off in our comments below!

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