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The Iceman Cometh (Again) – Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review

Posted on October 8, 2014 at 7:00 am by Amanda Andonian

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Looks like Hydra is out of the shadows! In “Making Friends and Influencing People,” Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. showed us this week that the many-headed beast is definitely going strong. Now that S.H.I.E.L.D. has been disbanded, Hydra is spending all of its resources going out and finding former S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and assets, bringing them into the Hydra family.

Spoilers Ahead!

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t doing the monster of the week thing, but it does seem that we’re going to be revisiting a lot of old friends from last season. First off, Donnie Gill from episode 12 of last season, “Seeds.” In case you didn’t see that episode (and why would you have? I hated it myself), Donnie is a super smart guy who got into some trouble freezing people to death at S.H.I.E.L.D. academy. Now he’s a bonefide “gifted’ himself with the power to freeze anything and everything. What’s the problem? Hydra is after him, and thus so is Coulson.

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The episode mostly concerns itself with showing the new S.H.I.E.L.D. in action and establishing the new agents more. Hunter gets a hard time from everyone for being a pain in the ass merc, Mack is now Fitz’s new caregiver/bestie, and Skye is still in training with May, who is as much a hardass as she always was. Plus, Ward is in the bunker, locked away until he can give just the right amount of intel at just the right time. I know why S.H.I.E.L.D. (and S.H.I.E.L.D.) is keeping him around: he can provide valuable information on Hydra when the show needs that info to be disseminated. However, I’m still not a fan of the character, I still think he’s incredibly bland and boring, and I couldn’t give less of a crap about whether he knows Skye’s dad (though I imagine she’d disagree).

One thing that shot this episode up to an automatic B-level grade for me was the fact that we weren’t forced to wait for half the season for Simmons to show up again. Since she was absent from the first couple of episodes, I thought for sure that we would wonder about her whereabouts forever, but fortunately that’s not the case. I enjoyed her cheering morning montage up until the thought occurred to me: how can she be so chipper when her best friend in the world is brain damaged? Not cool, Simmons.

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Of course, if you were working as a double agent at one of the most dangerous organizations in the world, you’d probably try to brighten up your day as much as possible. The reveal that she’s actually working in one of Hydra’s science facilities was definitely a surprise, especially since she’s such a bad liar, as we learned in “The Hub.” I mentioned in my review of this season’s premiere that I couldn’t understand why she would leave Fitz when he’s obviously having a really hard time, but the fact that she’s undercover is a perfect explanation. However, the show leaves it a little up in the air whether Simmons asked for this assignment, so it might still be the case that she actually did want to get away from Fitz.

Despite the fact that they used the double agent thing last season with Ward, I find this new development with Simmons to be a reasonably fresh take on things. She’s clearly in a lot of danger, but she’s rising to the challenge. Although Coulson is asking a great deal of her, and although it’s not in her nature to be disingenuous, Simmons is going to have to be the best Hydra agent she can be if she wants to help Coulson and the team. I don’t think it’s too much of a stretch to assume that she’s going to reach her breaking point sooner rather than later.

Overall, it was a fun episode that helped us get to know the new people at S.H.I.E.L.D. a little better, while also giving us the most entertaining bits of each of the old characters. Though I could have done with Ward’s presence, seeing Simmons made up for it, and I’m looking forward to seeing how her storyline develops over the season.

“Making Friends and Influencing People” – B-

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 2 Episode 3, “Making Friends and Influencing People,” aired on ABC October 7th, 2014.

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

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