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REVIEW: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. 2×18 “The Frenemy of My Enemy”

This week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was surprisingly better than expected. When I saw that Ward was making a return, I knew that it’d be better than the last few episodes, but I was pleased with tonight’s installment. “The Frenemy of My Enemy” was full of interesting plot developments and a side of action, although there were several aspects that rubbed me the wrong way. (spoilers ahead!)

The episode opens with Fitz taking Fury’s Toolbox to Coulson and Hunter aboard the Quinjet. Now that this object of seemingly vital importance is in their possession, the group turns their attention to cutting off the last of the HYDRA heads. I’m glad that we’re away from the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” business for a bit, but I can’t help wondering why, all of a sudden, they’re re-focusing on HYDRA? I thought Coulson was hard-set on finding Skye and settling affairs with “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” It’s not until now that he finally decides to continue his hunt for HYDRA? My guess is that Fury’s Toolbox may be the key to cutting off the heads once and for all.

Coulson, Fitz, Hunter, and Deathlok realize they’ll need help finding the last heads of HYDRA: Dr. List and Baron Strucker. If you’ll recall, Strucker has made an appearance in Captain America: The Winter Soldierand will be part of Avengers: Age of Ultron. With the release of the Avengers film next Friday, and with the next episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airing on Tuesday, I’m a little worried that the show might contain a huge spoiler regarding the fate of Strucker. I’m hesitant to watch and see what happens, but there’s nothing I can do. I’m hoping that the show focuses on List while the movie focuses on Strucker.

Anyway, Coulson and co. need a little help getting to the HYDRA heads, so they seek out their old friend Ward to assist them. Even if he’s a vile piece of $#%&, I still like Ward. If I could compare him to anyone, it would be Slade Wilson from Arrow. He’s lethal and not the nicest person to be around, but you still hope that he teams up with the hero to kick ass and take names. We get to see that in its full effect in “The Frenemy of My Enemy” when Ward and Agent 33 join forces with Coulson.

I got frustrated in one instance where Ward is trying to pull an elaborate plan on HYDRA and Coulson thinks he’s double-crossing them. Ward steals a gun while Agent 33 holds a knife to Fitz’s throat, initiating a Mexican Standoff with the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents. How stupid do you have to be? Coulson obviously knows what Ward is capable of, so why didn’t he keep better tabs on him? I knew this would happen at some point in the episode. Granted, Ward really was trying to help S.H.I.E.L.D. with his plan, but Coulson can’t keep getting sloppy like that.

I’m willing to sweep this all under the rug due to the climax of the episode where the agents lead an assault against HYDRA. We get to watch Ward practice his trademark bad-assery in all its glory, and we get the impression that he may turn to the forces of good. However, given his past crimes and his still volatile nature, it’s unlikely that he’ll be returning to S.H.I.E.L.D. anytime soon after this mission is over. At the very least, I can see him acting as a mercenary or anti-hero, almost like the Punisher or Taskmaster.

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Another part of the episode I wanted to focus on was the relationship between Skye and her father, Cal. In the beginning, we all thought Cal was a bit of a psycho for everything he’s been doing. But as we’ve recently seen, it’s all done for his daughter. Many people will probably complain about this slowdown in the episode, but I actually really liked seeing Cal and Skye go for a walk and discussing what their lives could have been like if they were never separated. It’s sweet and sentimental, and it demonstrates the family bond that Skye has been craving for years. I also liked the one scene where Skye finds out Cal’s former last name was Johnson, making her full name Daisy Johnson, which is the actual name of Quake in the comics.

My major problem of “The Frenemy of My Enemy” was the conclusion. HYDRA agents are swarming the building and are ready to attack Coulson and his team. Cut to commercial. Then, when it cuts back for the final scene, we see Coulson by himself, calmly sitting at a desk, and then turning himself over to Mockingbird to be taken into custody. What the hell is that about? If you’re going to make a cliffhanger, at least do it in a way that doesn’t annoy us.

I’ll give this episode credit for at least giving us plenty of exciting moments, though, as usual, it left a lot to be desired. Right now, I don’t know if I’m more anxious for the conclusion of this season, or just the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron. Here’s to hoping that the both of them tie together in the forthcoming weeks.

Final Grade: B

+ I liked seeing Ward come back and rock the house with the agents once again.

Kyle MacLachlan gave a decent performance.

+ I’m glad that the plot is trying to focus more on HYDRA rather than the “real S.H.I.E.L.D.” nonsense.

 

– This episode had the stupidest cliffhanger ever.

– Fitz and Simmons annoyed me as per the usual.

 

Extra Thought:

– Avengers: Age of Ultron premiers this weekend in the UK, and next weekend in the US. I’m hoping that the next episode doesn’t spoil anything about the film.

What were your thoughts on the recent episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? What do you think Coulson is up to? Let us know 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!