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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2×14 “Love in the Time of HYDRA”

Written by Alex Reale

Sorry, but tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was one of the more boring hours of the season, which is a shame because it had the makings of a great plot (isn’t that the case most of the time?). There were a few solid moments that caught my eye, but overall, it almost made me fall asleep. Marvel’s got some work to do if it wants to get that third season. (spoilers ahead!)

For the first time since before the winter break, we finally get to see what happened with Ward and Agent 33. They’re now working together to get revenge on the people who caused 33’s disfigurement and who almost left Ward to die in Puerto Rico. Their first stop is at a diner where they pick up a scientist to reconfigure 33’s mask and fix her scarring. Now she has the ability to mimic other faces simply by looking at and scanning them.

This leads to probably the only exciting moment of the episode. 33 sneaks into a military compound,  past General Talbot’s soldiers to find the man who was ultimately responsible for her plight. It was neat watching her use her masking powers to appear as Talbot’s wife and soldiers in order to reach her target. This could lead to more interesting storylines further down the road where 33 tries to sneak into S.H.I.E.L.D. once again. They’re severely under-utilizing this character when she could turn out to be a great antagonist.

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Speaking of S.H.I.E.L.D., it looks like we have another round of shady dealings going on within the agency. Mack and Morse have revealed to Agent Hunter how they are working for the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. The truth is that it’s a small band of agents who think that Coulson is hiding something big and bad that could compromise S.H.I.E.L.D.’s operations. It reminds me of the part in Avengers Assemble when the heroes suspect that Nick Fury is hiding something from them. It also reminded me of the plot of the entire movie Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which featured HYDRA taking over S.H.I.E.L.D. Do we need another scenario like this where S.H.I.E.L.D. is being undermined by a shady, covert terrorist group? It reeks of unoriginality and only makes the show become stale and boring.

On a similar note, the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. people mention how they think that Nick Fury is still dead. This confused me since I thought that Fury revealed that he faked his death at the end of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. So who knows who is dead? For that matter, do any of the Avengers know that Coulson is still alive or is that a secret too? It’s all becoming very confusing. It’s like trying to remember who knows Oliver Queen’s secret identity on Arrow.

Finally, Skye is taken out of active field duty and secluded in a remote cabin. Coulson explains that it’s for the best and that it should help her practice gaining control over her powers. The two of them have a heart-to-heart discussion on the plane that actually sounded convincing and genuine. You could feel the strong chemistry between Clark Gregg and Chloe Bennett, and you can definitely get a sense that Coulson cares for Skye no matter what the circumstances. Crazy prediction time: what if Coulson is somehow related to Skye? They sure act like it…

I couldn’t get sucked into this episode. It was really “meh” for me, and I ended up checking the clock half the time to see when it was over. Hopefully things pick up by next week.

Final Grade: C

+ Great chemistry between Skye and Coulson.

+ I liked watching Agent 33 infiltrate the base by using her masking abilities.

 

– Overall boring episode.

– It’s getting confusing remembering who knows who is dead.

– The “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. storyline was not as exciting as I thought it would be.

 

Extra thought:

– The arm bracers that Skye wears to limit her powers could be a tribute to Quake’s gauntlets.

 

What did you think of “Love in the Time of HYDRA? Any thoughts of how the rest of the season will pan out? Let us know what you think in the comments or 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!