Episode Title: One Of Us
Original Airdate: 17-3-15
After a well-deserved vacation where Bubba was kind enough to fill in for me last week, I am back and was geared up for the continuation of last week’s shocking cliffhanger on Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’. However, similar to my co-workers’ reactions to my mild tan from the hot Bahamian sun, I was underwhelmed. The episode titled ‘One Of Us’ decided to slow things down this episode for more light hearted banter and character development, decent action, some subtle plot points and a big confusing reveal in the end.
After Skye’s self exile in the interrogation room, a psychiatrist is called in to assess her state of mind, who also happens to be May’s ex husband played by Blair Underwood. Through their interactions we discover characteristics about Skye’s personality that we already kind of knew about; it’s a poor excuse for psychoanalysis. While I initially didn’t much see the point of this plot, beyond a bit more character development for the usually mysterious May, the episode made some subtle connections to Underwood’s character’s response to the goings on and what’s to come. More on that later. More significantly, although Skye’s power seem under control, we find that by repressing them, they’re actually hurting Skye internally. Obvious answer here seems that she needs to ‘shake it off’.
The threat of this episode comes from Skye’s father, played by the super awesome Kyle MacLachlin, as he gathers a team of super powered baddies to exact his revenge on Coulson for robbing him of his own revenge on Dr. Whitehall in the mid season finale. This is where I am a little underwhelmed as this episode was marketed as the heroes vs. villains episode of this series, directed by a guy well know for really cool on screen fight sequences, (‘Mortal Kombat Legacy‘) but when fights end with a table knockout and a briefcase beat down, there’s not much to be impressed by. Adrienne Palicki ‘s Bobbi gets a brief cool fight scene earlier on which had more finesse and was shot better than the 3-pair fight climax we got in the end.
The more long term repercussions of this episode come from Mack who has imprisons Hunter for asking too many questions last episode. The episode basically ends on the reveal of whom Bobbi and him work for and it’s a head scratcher. Apparently Mack and Bobbi have been working undercover for– wait for it– S.H.I.E.L.D., ‘the real S.H.I.E.L.D.‘ according to Mack. We also get a close up of what looks like an older more classic version of the S.H.I.E.L.D. emblem. The previews of next episode indicate that ‘Battlestar Galactica’s Edward James Olmos’ character may finally be revealed as the head of this new (or old?) S.H.I.E.L.D. The preview also indicates rumblings of how they believe Coulson to be a wild card and not fit to lead S.H.I.E.L.D., and yada yada…
If the storyline does go this route, I don’t see how the dynamic would be different than the story arc that saw Adrian Pasdar’s General Talbot chasing Coulson and team, that we saw weave through the end of Season 1 and beginning of Season 2, ending with a truce and even working relationship between the two sides at this point. Now we have another good guy organization disapproving with the way that our resident team of good guys deals with things and that will cause some sort of conflict? Yawn. The intrigue redemption of this episode comes as Gordon, the Nightcrawler-esque teleporter whisks Skye’s dad away at the last minute because he was ‘making too much noise’. The implication of their interaction seems like Gordon, who saved Raina in an earlier episode and has thus been unseen since, have bigger plans that may or may not include the psycho doctor.
Over all ‘One Of Us’ seemed like a slower episode than what we’ve been used to in this later half of Season 2. But that could’ve been intentional in order to pack more punch to the reveal of the ‘other’ S.H.I.E.L.D. Speaking of, Blair Underwood’s character seems to have a history with S.H.I.E.L.D. and he keeps hammering on the point how they haven’t changed, and I feel that this will play into the issues that Olmos’ character will have with Coulson being in charge. It’s an interesting set up and I’m looking forward to see what a powerhouse like Olmos brings to the show.