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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2×05 “A Hen in the Wolf House”

Written by Alex Reale

This episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. may not have been as great as the season premiere, but it is definitely a step in the right direction. Many fans, including myself, were excited to tune into tonight’s episode because we were finally going to see Bobbi Morse a.k.a. Mockingbird come to life. Although there were several great moments in “A Hen in the Wolf House,” Bobbi’s presence easily dominated the episode. (spoilers ahead!)

As Simmons continues her life as a double-agent working within HYDRA, there is an announcement that a mole has infiltrated the organization. This is when we are introduced to HYDRA’s Security Chief, Bobbi Morse, played by Adrianne Palicki. I was a little disappointed that she was brought in a little late to the episode, but her performance easily makes up for it. Palicki captures the essence of Morse perfectly. She has that strict, authoritative demeanor while still maintaining a likable personality, even when she is portrayed as the enemy.

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A little later in the episode, Morse shows her true allegiance by fighting off a team of HYDRA security guards and helping Simmons escape back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. base. I thought it was a clever way to introduce the character and where her loyalties lie, but it was a little too predictable. Fans of the comics knew that Marvel would not turn such a significant heroine into a villain. Even though I was aware that Morse was going to reveal herself to be another double-agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D., my jaw still dropped when she engaged the HYDRA security in a brawl with her trusty battle staves (a pair of batons that Mockingbird wields in the comics that can be connected together to form a bo staff). The fight scene was nothing short of bad-ass. It was reminiscent of the scene from Iron Man 2 where Black Widow fights her way through a hallway full of guards without breaking a sweat.

I was thrilled at the end of the episode when Coulson asks Morse to join the team, which means that we will be seeing more of her in future episodes. I cannot emphasize enough how well Palicki did in the role, and I can’t wait until we see her future ventures. Perhaps she’ll make an appearance in the movies? After all, in the comics, she and Hawkeye are responsible for starting a secondary Avengers team out west, so maybe they could incorporate that storyline into a Hawkeye or Mockingbird spin-off movie?

The secondary plot of the episode revolved around Raina and her relationship with Skye’s father (yep, we’re getting closer and closer to the big reveal about Skye’s backstory). Skye’s father forces Raina to bring his daughter to him or else suffer dire consequences. There is something off about Skye’s father as he shows feral tendencies and a monstrous side as he threatens Raina. Kyle MacLachlan‘s portrayal of the character reminds me of the Hulk in a way. He has a sense of tranquility to him that makes you think he’s harmless, but then he surprises you with a hidden anger and hostility that seems to come from nowhere.

One of the theories revolving around Skye’s parents is that they are part of the Inhumans. I’m still holding onto that notion, especially after tonight’s episode where we witness Skye’s father go a little crazy, and when Coulson makes an off-hand remark that Skye is possibly part alien.

The episode revisits the obelisk from the season premiere and further teases its origin without actually revealing too much information (except that it’s also known as a “Diviner”). Like Skye’s backstory, it’s becoming a little tedious how the show keeps bringing up the obelisk and then yanking it away. I understand what the show is trying to do, and it’s a smart way to get viewers to keep coming back, but there better be a great payoff. A satisfying conclusion would be if the obelisk and Skye are connected. What’s interesting and almost supports this theory is a moment at the end of the episode where Coulson shows Skye the symbols he’s been carving into the wall (and that appear on the obelisk) and Skye guesses that they are actually part of a map.

“A Hen in the Wolf House” could’ve been a little better if it had just put more focus on Simmons’ undercover mission and Bobbi Morse. It seemed like this plot, which was much more interesting, was shortened to make room for the rest of the story with Skye’s parents and Raina’s relationship to Skye’s father. Overall, it was a decent episode and well worth a watch.

Final Grade: B

+ Have I mentioned how awesome Adrianne Palicki did as Bobbi Morse in this episode?

+ Kyle MachLachlan did a very impressive job as well, and I hope he shows more of his Doctor Jekyll/Mr. Hyde-ishness in the future.

+ The fight scene between Morse and the HYDRA guards was a thing of beauty.

 

– While the Simmons/Morse-in-HYDRA plot was the highlight of the episode, it deserved much more screen-time.

– The episode could’ve been split into two, and everything felt a bit rushed.

Extra Thoughts:

– What is the connection between Skye and the Obelisk?

What did you think of tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Were you impressed by the portrayal of Bobbi Morse? Sound off in the comments or send us your thoughts on Twitter!

About the author

Alex Reale

From a young age, Alex knew he was destined to be a writer. He also harbored a deep infatuation with superheroes and comics. Luckily, he was able to combine these two passions through his role with A Place to Hang Your Cape, where he works as Junior Sidekick and Social Media Hero.

When he’s not writing for AP2HYC or working full-time as a content manager for a small business website, Alex is diligently at work on other creative projects including a fantasy novel collection and an independent comic series.

You can find Alex's first book, Dodger's Doorway, on Amazon!

1 Comment

  • Great review! Could have almost been split into two episodes to make room for each plot to grow and play out slightly better.