Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Review 1.15 - 'Yes Men'
Posted by Wyatt Beougher on 03.12.2014
Coulson and the team help Lady Sif as she tries to track down a dangerous Asgardian escapee, but will her powers prove too great when she turns a member of the team against them? 411's Wyatt Beougher checks in with his review of "Yes Men!"
Previously on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Agent Garrett assisted Coulson in his hunt to find the drug that brought him back from the dead in order to save Skye’s life. Coulson found more than what he bargained for, though, and questioned whether the risks were worth the results.
Season 01, Episode 15: Yes Men
The gentleman from the end of the last episode pulls into a service station in the desert and tells Lorelei (Elena Satine) that he’ll be right back, but while he’s inside, she’s approached by the leader of a group of bikers who are fueling up. Rooster, the Road Captain of the Dogs of Hell MC, offers Lorelei a place to lay low and a ride on his motorcycle. Upon learning that he leads the club, she uses her powers on him to put Rooster under her spell before swatting her poor, hapless victim from last week through the air and over his convertible. She asks Rooster to introduce her to the rest of her men.
Back on the Bus, Skye tries to get out of her hospital bed, but before she even make it to the floor, Simmons is urging her back into bed and then taking more of her blood. Ward comes to check on Skye and Ward tries to make her feel better about how she looks and for going into the house alone. Garrett has taken over the search for Mike Peterson, and Skye says he needs help, but Ward says he’s beyond help and Ward will never forgive him for letting Skye get shot. Ward says he’ll ease her back into training, but Skye wants to go full-tilt so that she doesn’t have to rely on a miracle drug next time. In the lab, Simmons tells Fitz that Skye’s getting suspicious of all the blood that she’s taking, and Simmons says that she’s been unable to find anything in her blood to determine what exactly made up GH-325 and that Coulson has prevented her from uploading samples to HQ, preferring to keep it “in-house”.
Coulson, meanwhile, flashes back to his meeting with Dr. Streiten, as well as the being he found in the Guest House. He’s sitting in Lola in a parking structure when another car pulls up. The agent inside, Jasper Sitwell (Maximiliano Hernandez) says that he doesn’t know where Fury is and intimates that Coulson has been making waves throughout S.H.I.E.L.D. with his recent activities. Sitwell says Fury won’t be found until he wants to find Coulson and asks Coulson about Tahiti. May says they have new orders, as S.H.I.E.L.D. has picked up massive energy readings on the Nevada/California border. She tells Ward that Coulson is taking personal time, and Simmons reveals that they are the same readings that Doctors Foster and Selvig picked up in New Mexico and London and herald the arrival of an Asgardian. S.H.I.E.L.D. wants them to be the welcoming committee. A convoy of S.H.I.E.L.D. vehicles rolls through the desert and Ward asks May if Coulson told her why he changed his mind about giving Skye the injection. May says no and asks how close they are, just as Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) arrives on Earth from the Bifrost Bridge. Fitz uses facial recognition to determine that she was on Thor’s side in New Mexico. She approaches the S.H.I.E.L.D. contingent and introduces herself, warning them that their world is in great danger.
The team brings Sif to the Bus, where Coulson talks about the events of Thor. May questions if Coulson is up for this, and he says he’s fine. She disagrees and tries to get Coulson to confide in her, but he stonewalls her. Sif is alarmed to see Coulson, as Thor had told her of his death at the hands of Loki, but Coulson assures her that Loki wasn’t the only one with tricks up his sleeves. Coulson asks Sif to allow him to tell Thor about his return personally, and then asks about her mission. Sif says she’s hunting Lorelei, who used her powers to cause mass hysteria across the Nine Realms. Sif says she uses her powers on men, who have a weakness that women don’t share. She produces a collar that prevents Lorelei from speaking, thus negating her powers, and explains that Lorelei escaped and used one of Loki’s hidden passages to Earth during the Dark Elves’ attack on the Asgardian prison in Thor: The Dark World. Sif says that she doesn’t know where Lorelei is, but that the Bifrost sent her to Lorelei’s last known location. Coulson says they’d better get searching because if she’s used to ruling over empires, she’s going to be hard to please.
At a bar, Rooster dumps a bag of cash on the pool table. Lorelei is displeased that Rooster brought her paper when she asked for gold, so he explains that it’s the currency of the land and that she’d be the first woman to rule the land. A woman bursts through the door and starts yelling at Dwayne, which is actually Rooster’s real name. She confronts Lorelei for wearing her clothes, revealing that she owns the bar, and demands everyone leave, but Lorelei tells Rooster to make her stop making noise, so he chokes his wife to death. Back on the Bus, Coulson shows Sif files of police reports and she effortlessly uses S.H.I.E.L.D.’s technology, calling it “an antiquated system” that they’d had in other realms ages ago. Coulson asks if she knows about any blue aliens, and she rattles off a list (including the Kree), but Sif says only the Frost Giants have ever been to Earth.They pinpoint crimes that look tied to Lorelei, which gives them the location of the biker bar. Ward and May go to Fitz to prepare to lead a convoy to the biker bar, and Fitz shows them the updated collection of Night-Night guns, which are now called I.C.E.R.s, though Ward interrupts Fitz before we find out what the R (and potentially the S) stands for. Apparently, FitzSimmons tripled the stopping power after dealing with Mike and Centipede. May makes an ominous statement about not knowing who is friend or foe when someone’s being controlled, and when Coulson and Sif approach, they’re ready for the raid.
The S.H.I.E.L.D. convoy pulls up to Rosie’s and Coulson questions the police officers outside, who turn out to already be under Lorelei’s control before firing a shotgun at Coulson. A full-fledged firefight breaks out, and Rooster tells Lorelei about a “medieval times chick”, who Sif recognizes as Sif. Coulson asks Sif for some cover, so she kicks an Airstream trailer in front of them, allowing Coulson and Ward to take out the last of the cops with their I.C.E.R.s, which now leaves behind the blue vein-looking residue from the grenades that the Italian intelligence team used on Coulson’s team in T.R.A.C.K.S. Sif enters the bar and tells Lorelei to surrender, but Sif needs no time to take out the bikers. Ward approaches from the back of the bar and has to take on Rooster, who is armed with a chain, but he takes Dwayne out almost as effortlessly as Sif took out his men. Lorelie watches Ward take down Rooster and jumps down from the roof, complimenting Ward. He tells her to get down on her knees and requests back-up, but Lorelei is able to touch him and put him fully under her spell. They take off on a motorcycle for somewhere Ward knows is “fit for a queen”.
Back on the Bus, Sif punches a wall and Coulson assures her that they have teams everywhere looking for Lorelei, but Sif slams the collar down on the table and says that it’s broken, so short of death, there’s no way to stop Lorelei and end her enchantments. Coulson tells Sif to let him worry about that. Ward goes to Skye’s room, explains that Ward is still Ward, just that Lorelei is overpowering his better judgment, and tasks Fitz with fixing the collar. Coulson tells Skye that Ward has drop boxes all over the world and he’ll use them to try to keep Lorelei off of the radar. He says she’s the best radar he has and wants her to find Ward. Simmons follows Coulson into the corridor and asks him again for permission to upload her findings from Skye’s blood to HQ, but Coulson again shuts her down. Simmons angrily stands up to Coulson, but Coulson gets angry back, telling her that until they get answers from Fury as to why two men in a bunker full of explosives would lay down their lives to keep the drug a secret, they’re going to keep it in-house.
Ward takes Lorelei to Las Vegas (Caesar’s Palace), and she compliments him. Ward is lucid enough to know that Lorelei is using him, but he says that he had feelings for a member of his team before, but that they seem foolish now. He offers his life to Lorelei, and she says that he’s a real man with the rage of a Berserker inside. She tells Ward that he will present her with an army in exchange for a gift, and then she takes Ward to a hotel room, where they engage in carnal relations. Post-coitus, Lorelei tells Ward that she thought Earth left a lot to be desired, but it looks beautiful from their hotel room. Ward assures her that she’ll never have to go back to prison, and when she says that so long as Sif is alive, she’ll never be able to rest easy, Ward says he’ll take her out of the equation and remove the threat. On the Bus, Sif is sharpening her sword, and May asks to see it. After testing the heft, May tests it out. She returns it to Sif, who warns her that Lorelei is adept at combat. May inquires as to why Lorelei would enslave men, and Sif suggest that it gives her a thrill, especially if the man is already taken, and that to take over an empire, she still needs an army. May says Ward is as lethal as any man and one of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s best. Sif says she’s had a man she cared for under Lorelei’s spell and that May needs to be prepared to do what’s necessary. Coulson comes in and says security cameras found Lorelei and Ward.
Sif kicks down the hotel room door, but the suite is empty. Coulson says that he knows May said she and Ward wouldn’t be a problem, but he also knows that she wouldn’t tell him even if it was. She calls Fitz and tells him to use all of the cameras in Vegas to track them. On the Bus, Fitz says he wasn’t able to find them on any cameras. Coulson says Ward knows how S.H.I.E.L.D. works and how to avoid cameras, but Fitz says he’s also got satellites searching for them, so they’ll find them. He also says he fixed Lorelei’s collar, which Sif wants to inspect. Fitz says it’s in her room and takes her to see it. Coulson tells May that she and Ward are two of a kind and asks where she would run to if she were in Ward’s situation. As Sif inspects the collar, Fitz locks her in the room, causing her to start pounding on the door. May and Coulson hear the racket Sif is making and realize that Ward wouldn’t run, he’d take out his biggest threat...just as the Bus starts moving. Ward takes off, which confuses Skye and Simmons. Simmons goes to check things out, only to find herself locked in Skye’s room.
Coulson finds Fitz and asks where Sif and collar are, and Fitz says he’s standing guard to keep Sif from hurting Lorelei. Coulson plays along and goes down to see Simmons and Skye as May heads for the cockpit. Lorelei confronts her before she can get there and easily sends May flying. In the cockpit, Ward opens the airlock to the cell where Sif is trapped. The collar is about to fly out of the plane when Sif grabs it, but she too is quickly sucked out into the atmosphere. May gets back to her feet, just in time for Ward to join them. Lorelei says she’s going to retrieve Sif’s sword, but May tries to talk sense into Ward, who pulls an actual gun on May (as opposed to an ICER). Lorelei asks Ward if May is the “beautiful warrior with the heart of ice”, and when May is speechless, Lorelei kisses Ward and says that his heart beats with hers alone. May says no reason to make it about them, but Lorelei says that Ward told her who he desired from the team, and that it wasn’t May. Coulson frees Skye and nearly gets brained with a fire extinguisher by Simmons before he can convince them that he’s not under Lorelei’s spell. He says they need to free Sif, but Skye reveals that Sif is gone. He tells Skye that Sif is still out there, to re-open the airlock and let her back in. He takes Simmons and leaves as Sif attempts to maintain her hold on the plane.
Lorelei goes to Sif’s room and pulls her sword out of the mattress, only for Sif to close the door behind Lorelei and cut her off from Ward and Fitz, who is perplexed as Skye overrides the Bus’ controls. Lorelei tells Sif to return to Asgard without her, but Sif refuses, stating that she’s under orders to bring her back. Lorelei says that Sif still takes orders and will never get what she wants, saying Thor treats her more like a pet than a woman. Lorelei says she doesn’t take orders and releases the second blade from Sif’s sword. She attacks, but Sif separates the two sections and each woman is left with a single sword. Fitz tells Lorelei to stay strong and tries to get into the room, but Simmons pops around the corner and he gives chase. Fitz yells for Ward, which distracts him long enough for May to take his gun. As Lorelei and Sif fight in Sif’s room, Ward gets the better of May in the main cabin area. Fitz runs downstairs and Coulson knocks him out. May gets the advantage on Ward and takes the gun, but he leaps at her and it goes flying again as they struggle. He ruthlessly slams May against the ceiling and then the floor as Sif takes Lorelei down and puts her sword to the villain’s throat. May tackles Ward through the glass divider in the main cabin area, but Ward comes up with the gun and points it at May’s face. Lorelei begs Sif to kill her rather than sending her back to prison, but Sif refuses in spite of Lorelei’s best efforts to provoke her. Sif puts the collar on just as Ward pulls the trigger, but May grabbed the clip out of the gun and Ward dry fires. They get to their feet, with May ready to fight, but Ward drops the gun and says that he’s back. May looks unconvinced, but Sif says that he’s telling the truth, only for May to punch him in the face anyway.
Sif apologizes for the damage to the Bus and says that Lorelei will be punished severely for her crimes against humanity. Coulson says it must’ve been hard for Sif to move past everything Lorelei had done to her and not kill her. Sif says Odin wanted Lorelei back alive, and, as one of his warriors, she bows to his will. She tells Coulson that not unlike S.H.I.E.L.D., they are bound by a code. Sif salutes Coulson and May and escorts Lorelei away. May says she’ll run diagnostics and see how much damage they’re dealing with, and Coulson asks how much she’s dealing with. May plays it off like Coulson is asking about physical damage, but Coulson tells her she should talk to Ward, and she counters that he should share whatever he’s been sitting on, at least with Skye since it involves her as well. May goes to the cockpit, where Ward is waiting. He offers to let May punch him again, repeatedly, but May says it’s fine and that there was never the risk of Ward hurting her. She brushes Ward off, and he leaves, resignedly, but not before May can chide him for being more honest with Lorelei than he is with himself. In the sick bay, Simmons is telling Fitz that he specifically isn’t weak, that all men are, and Fitz forgives Coulson for punching him. He asks for a minute alone with Skye.
Coulson fumbles for words before just telling Skye what he found in the Guest House. He tells her it was alien in origin and that he tried to stop them from injecting her before apologizing. She says that he saved her life, but Coulson says he was desperate and subjected her to unknown ramifications and side effects. Skye is clearly not bothered by any of it, but Coulson angrily tells her that she should be. She says they live in the dark, that she’s an 0-8-4, and at least they’re in the dark together. Coulson says that he’s no longer bound by protocol and that he and Skye are going after the answers to their questions. He tells her that they can’t share any of it with the team to keep them safe, and that they’re going after the person responsible for shooting her and make him pay. Meanwhile, May has been eavesdropping on the whole thing, and she uses a special phone to contact someone on an encrypted line to let whoever it is know that “Coulson knows”.
“I must look terrible.” “I’ve seen worse.” “Gee, thanks.” “I mean, you look better than when you were dying.” “Swinging and a missing, Ward.”
“Y’know, usually when a friend wants a favor, they do something nice - take me to a nice dinner, buy me a bottle of wine.” “Wanna go to a movie, hold hands? Okay, but I need to ask you a question first.”
“I never asked you - how was Tahiti?” “It sucked.”
“No cause for alarm - Asgardians are allies, right?” “Loki wasn’t.”
“And who is this ugly woman?” “That’s Ben...Franklin, he used to be president and rule this whole country.”
“They’re great...and you lost the ounce.”
“Let me worry about that, just try not to punch a hole in my airplane.”
“It presents its own set of countless variables.” “You’ve got a couple of hours.”
“Ward won’t kill me.” “Do not let your feelings cloud your judgment.” “I’m not. He might try to kill me, but he won’t.”
“Well. We can’t always get what we want...actually...I can.”
“Plus you’re not sprouting a pointy tail or anything, so bonus there.”
Theory of the Week
I’ve chosen two users to weigh in this week, as Matthew is back with his thoughts on the big reveal at the end of last episode:
On the topic of the blue dude, my initial thought was that it was a Frost Giant, but what we saw was too small. I have to agree with the Kree idea after having thought about it some. And it dawned on me that if that's the case, Skye might possibly be their version of Ms. Marvel. Admittedly it's a completely different route, but their is enough similarity there that it's not completely stupid of an idea.
And registered user JusticeBringer both backs up my theory that he was in fact a Kree, while also offering his own suggestion as to why Skye suffered no harmful effects from the GH-325:
The creature inside of the stasis chamber was in fact a Kree. It's line with the markings on his body and slight claws. For pretty solid reasoning as to how Skye could handle GH-325 with no adverse effects. one only has to look at the major imitative going on in Marvel Comics right now.
Both very good theories, I think, and either way, we end up with a more complex Skye, which I think is a good thing. And, as always, I appreciate the feedback, and if you guys like this feature, I’ll continue to highlight the best comments each week. I’d like to make this column an interactive experience, so thanks again to everyone who comments every week.
As for this week’s biggest mystery - who is May working for? Is it someone higher up in S.H.I.E.LD., or something more sinister? My theory is that it’s all tied in with the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. May is working for Alexander Pierce’s more proactive sect of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that could certainly put May at odds with Coulson (as the preview for next week’s special shows), who would more than likely remain fiercely loyal to Fury, the man who saved his life. I would guess that Sitwell telling Coulson that Fury is off the grid has direct ties to the events of The Winter Soldier, which would almost explain the repeated delays between new episodes (more on that later). With this being a Whedon show, that makes May my pick for “Most Likely to Die”, as it gives her character a chance to die heroically at or near the end of the season and redeem what Coulson (and perhaps the rest of the team) view as her betrayal of trust.
Let’s start with the good, shall we? First off, I was immensely relieved that this episode recovered from last week’s falter and the plot was tight enough that it didn’t require its guest stars to save it from being a complete disaster. And while the “team member is mind controlled by a villain and fights the rest of the team” storyline is as about as cliched as they come, in the context of the episode’s villain, it certainly worked. The little nods to continuity certainly didn’t hurt things either, what with Lorelei saying that Ward had the spirit of a Berserker inside him (a callback to Episode 8, The Well) and the way that Ward and Lorelei ejected Sif from the Bus made perfect sense based on the events of The Avengers, whether it was because it was a S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol that Coulson shared with the team (how Fury planned to deal with the Hulk or Loki on the Helicarrier if either ended up out of control), or because Loki (one of Lorelei’s allies in the comics and a fellow Asgardian prisoner with her in the MCU) used it on Thor. And the guest stars didn’t disappoint, as Jaimie Alexander was as beautiful, as loyal, and as fierce as she’s been portrayed in both Thor films, while Elena Satine was perfectly cast as a woman possessed of otherworldly beauty that men would gladly lay down their lives for.
As I mentioned, the story this week felt like a return to the goodness that spanned from The Bridge until T.R.A.C.K.S. and while it wasn’t as good as the latter episode, it was still a vast improvement over last week, with no major deus ex machina needed for resolution (unless you count Fitz fixing the collar, which was at least in line with his character figuring out the basic workings of every other 0-8-4 thus far in the show’s history). Every team member was given something to do in this episode, pertaining to both the ongoing story and this week’s self-contained aspects, and Fitz being able to trick May, Coulson, and Sif was a particularly nice touch, as was him immediately assuming that Coulson was under Lorelei’s spell as well. Plus the revelations just keep on coming, as Ward never had any feelings other than a sexual attraction to May, and his real feelings were for either Skye (my guess) or Simmons (which would make for a weird love quadrangle between Simmons, Fitz, Ward, and Tripp), as well as the revelation that May might not be entirely loyal to the team.
My only major gripe this week has nothing to do with the episode, thankfully, and everything to do with the deceased horse that I’ve continually flogged for weeks now: WHY ARE WE GETTING AN MCU SPECIAL NEXT WEEK IN PLACE OF A NEW EPISODE?!? As I mentioned in this week’s theory, I’m guessing that there are elements of the rest of this season that play into the events of Captain America: The Winter Soldier and if that’s the case, then I can understand why they’d need to delay those episodes until after the movie’s release. And I can even understand that when this show premiered, it hadn’t received a full season order yet, so maybe some of those elements were added in after the basic storyline ideas were roughed out, but for crying out loud, they have to know how the season is going to end by now, don’t they? They have to at least have a breakdown of what’s going to happen in each remaining episode, so when ABC needed to schedule hiatuses, why didn’t someone say, “Hey, let’s just take five weeks in December, run three new episodes, and then take five weeks off for the Olympics, so that we don’t completely destroy the flow of this show?” Since The Bridge, the schedule has looked like this: three weeks off, two weeks on, two weeks off, one week on, three weeks off, two weeks on, and then, apparently, another two weeks off. While I’m actually looking forward to next week’s special, it’s really making it hard to get into this second half of the season with all the starts and stops, and that’s a damned shame, because so far, it’s been noticeably better than the first half of the season was. Oh well, at least next week in two weeks, we’ll have the return of Bill Paxton and J August Richards. Plus, they’ve just announced that Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli from Heroes) will be playing Major Glenn Talbot, which means we might get some Hulk action down the road (probably not until Season 2, I’d wager).
The 411: Another very solid episode that makes me feel much better about the show going forward after last week’s slight misstep. Sadly, the continued halting nature of the schedule of upcoming episodes is preventing me from really getting excited for what’s to come, but at least we got a better episode to head into another mini-hiatus on.