Who needs one boss when you can have four? Am I right? The leaders of the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. have been revealed, and while Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) is at the head of the table, he’s supported by the former head of the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science Academy, Agent Weaver (Christine Adams), and two new characters, the fiery and contentious — and not stereotypical at all — Agent Calderon (Fringe and 12 Monkeys’ Kirk Acevedo), and the quiet, bearded, utterly non-descript Agent Oliver (Mark Allan Stewart). But let’s not kid ourselves, Gonzales is in charge. This brain trust believes that Coulson (Clark Gregg) isn’t transparent enough and doesn’t think his recent obsession with alien artifacts is good for national security. Instead, they feel that their secret organization is much more reliable and beneficial for America. What I can’t figure out is just who confers legitimacy on either of these S.H.I.E.L.D.s? Neither are state-sponsored as far as we know, but Coulson was at least tasked by Fury to rebuild — which is part of the problem Gonzales and crew have with him. Essentially both groups are privately funded (by whom?) with tech, foot soldiers, and secret bases, so I’m kind of really seeing the government’s side in the whole “paranoid about S.H.I.E.L.D.” department. There are two secret armies roaming free and interfering with national security. Sure, they both say they’re good guys, but so did the last S.H.I.E.L.D. and they had state sponsorship! Shit, I could just get some friends together, have Kinkos print some banners and ID cards and start calling ourselves “The Realest S.H.I.E.L.D. 4 Realz” and see if someone will pay for our computers and guns. If you’re in, leave a message below and we’ll see what we can do! The Real S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn’t seem all that tough though, since Hunter (Nick Blood) was able to escape without any real effort. Or is he just that good? The rest of the episode is devoted to Ward (Brett Dalton) and Agent 33 (Ming-Na Wen/Chloe Bennet/Maya Stojan) working through some psychological issues — which involves breaking into a military facility, kidnapping the imprisoned Bakshi (Simon Kassianides), and torturing him. Plus, as you can see by the acting credit above, they’ve fixed Agent 33’s mask, so she can alter her disguise again (although the software can only hold three faces in its memory at a time). This, of course, leads to some creepy sexy times, that thankfully, Ward isn’t really down with. I’m not fond of how emotionally fragile Agent 33 is through the episode, but I understand that she’s working to regain a sense of self after her time brainwashed by HYDRA, so I’ll cut the writers some slack. At least by giving a full episode over to Agent 33’s psychology, she’s a much more credible threat at episode’s end. This is exactly the sort of thing last episode needed for those generic baddies. But if she was a loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent before, I guess they’re not really breaking down her conditioning, just redirecting it into a new personality? Seems like that should come into play at some point. In the meantime, it’s kind of nice to see Ward walk that tightrope between psycho-killer and supportive mentor. He’s never going to be redeemed, but he’s definitely an interesting, multi-faceted character. Going bad was the best thing to happen to the character! I almost forgot! Coulson and May noticed that Mack (Henry Simmons) and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) have been gone for a while and know that something is up. They’re not stupid, after all. People really should stop treating them like they don’t know what they’re doing. Agents of SHIELD 2.14 “Love in the Time of Hydra”Paul's Rating3.5Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.