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May vs. “May” – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Face My Enemy” Review

Posted on October 14, 2014 at 9:00 am by Amanda Andonian


Previously on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Coulson was carving some weird stuff on a wall, and it has something to do with aliens! As avid Geek Legacy readers know, I’m pretty much on board with anything that includes aliens. We haven’t seen them show up yet in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but they’re coming! I can feel it!

The thing the team has to acquire this time around in “Face My Enemy” is a church painting that mysteriously survived a fire that destroyed everything else in the building. Why did it survive? Because it has the same carvings on the back that Coulson has been making on his walls in his free time. He and May go on a mission to retrieve it, however the rest of the team doesn’t know what they’re really after. Skye being Skye, she has to stick her nose in where it doesn’t belong, so you know that she’s eventually going to track down the truth and then get all butt hurt at Coulson and May for not telling her every tiny little thing.

I fully expected to enjoy watching Coulson and May out in the field together, but it just didn’t click for me. I don’t know if it’s because of Ming-na Wen’s portrayal of May as a humorless fuddy duddy, if she and Clark Gregg ultimately have no chemistry together, or if her awful, ugly dress was just too distracting, but I wasn’t drawn into what was obviously supposed to be a fun look at the two of them being spies. Perhaps if May had shown even a little enjoyment in it, that would have made the whole thing more entertaining; but as it is, it felt slightly painful. I know that her schtick is supposed to be “super serious warrior woman,” but lighten up a little, May! I did, however, enjoy the joke of her just walking through the laser field while Coulson tried to limber up. Definitely a classic Whedon-ism if there ever was one! Also, Wen’s fight scenes with “herself” and Whitehall’s right-hand man were pretty spectacular, so I think the show needs to stick to her kicking ass and taking names.

As for the painting, Coulson and May don’t know any more about what the carvings mean than Hydra, so at first I didn’t buy the importance of trying to get ahold of of the painting. What does it matter if they have no idea what its significance is? However, the revelation at the end that the painting is 500 years old, yet the carvings are new, brought it all home. I’m still not totally onboard with wherever the show is trying to lead us, but at least they’re laying a semi-plausible foundation for whatever they have in store. Hopefully it’s not all just a random red herring, as is often the case in these “mysterious” plot lines.

Although the spy vs. spy nature of the episode fell a little flat for me, as always, I was completely drawn in by Fitz’s B-story. The more time Iain De Caestecker spends on screen, the better! The camaraderie between the other team members felt a little forced, but that’s probably because the writers were forcing it in. Its sole purpose was to show how Fitz feels left out still, even though it’s a solitude of his own making. It was especially heart wrenching at the end when he blurted out that he told a girl he liked her, but she didn’t feel the same way, so she left. No, Simmons! You two are meant to be together!!!

Finally, Raina gets her just desserts at the very very end when Daniel Whitehall catches up with her, demanding that she return the obelisk in 48 hours. I’m glad he lost the terrible German accent from the premiere episode, and so far he makes a terrific bad guy. No doubt next week’s episode is going to heavily feature Raina and her attempts at deflecting Whitehall’s unwanted attention; at least, that’s what the “next time on…” suggested.

Overall, despite the fact that the mission storyline itself wasn’t as fun or engaging as I think it was meant to be, there was still plenty of great fight scenes and even a little heart here and there. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is still going pretty strong, and I’m officially convinced that they have a better vision of where they’re going with the show and what they intend to accomplish.

“Face My Enemy” – B-

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2 Episode 4, “Face My Enemy,” aired on ABC October 14th, 2014.

You can follow Amanda on Twitter at @reiko516 for more geek news.

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