Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “A Hen in the Wolf House”

FitzSimmons

Skye is looking over the painting when Hunter walks in.  He looks at the image on the front and remarks that he was a fat baby.  “You know this is like a religious painting, right?” Skye asks.  “When aliens started writing on the back of it,” Hunter replies, “it kind of voided God’s warranty.”  Skye is still angry that Coulson is so closed off and is keeping things from him, telling Hunter that he didn’t used to be this way.  Hunter says that his ex-wife kept secrets and it drove him mental.  His advice is to dig deeper and make them crazy in return, and should find out whatever it is that he’s hiding from her.  He adds, “It seems your HYDRA boyfriend downstairs would be a good place to start.”

She takes his advice and heads down to the vault to see Ward, who says that he’s surprised it took her this long to come back.  Skye, however, insists that this isn’t about her father.  “Don’t pretend you haven’t thought about it,” Ward says, but she says even if she did she wouldn’t want to talk to him about it.  She repeats the facts as she knows them, that her parents were killed along with her entire village.  Ward insists he’s only trying to help, but she says she knows he’s just exploiting a weakness.  He repeats his claim that he’ll never lie to her again, so she asks for proof, for him to name his source of information.  He says it all came from Raina, which makes her laugh.  He says that Raina played him, found his weakness and used it against him.  When he starts to object she tells him that she doesn’t want to hear another word about it.  She holds up a picture of the alien writing and wants to know all that he knows.  He says he first saw it in Belarus, and that Garrett started carving it all over the place after he was injected with the GH-325 formula.  He says he was relieved when SHIELD put Garrett down, that the man he knew was long gone by the time he started writing that stuff.  “Whatever took his place,” he says, “I don’t think it was meant to survive.”

Raina, with no other options left to her, heads to HYDRA, where she just happens to see Simmons heading out for lunch.  Simmons heads outside with her food and sits by a fountain, where she pulls out a flexscreen.  She talks to the screen and tells it that HYDRA is pursuing WMDs based on alien tech, and that SHIELD must act quickly to prevent this newest development.  She then tells it “fish tacos,” and the screen turns to the logo of a taco stand, looking just like a napkin.  She throws it in a nearby trashcan along with the rest of her garbage and walks off.

Skye bursts into Coulson’s office and says that the reason he won’t tell her the source of the alien writing is that it’s him.  “By all means, come on in,” he says sarcastically.  She asks him for honesty, saying she knows it’s him, and asks if he’s ok.  When he says he’s fine she reminds him that Garret went nuts.  “I see you’ve been talking to Ward,” he observes.  He says that May’s been keeping an eye on him, and when Skye asks how long he’s been doing it he says since after he first saw Garrett’s writing.  She wonders why she hasn’t had the same reaction to the GH-325, and he says that is either “Very good or an altogether different kind of scary.”  He confesses that they’ve been monitoring her, which she points out is a very specific word.  She wants to know if they’ve got tiny cameras hidden in her bunk, to which he simply replies, “Not in your bunk.”  He tells her she’s focusing on the wrong details, and that she didn’t have a reaction to the alien serum because it’s already there inside her.  “Like, I’m an alien?” she asks.  “Hold on, are you saying I’m an alien?”  “It’s a theory,” Coulson replies.  “That’s not something you say like it’s no big deal!” she shouts.  When he says he was trying to break it gently, she says, “Guess what?  Epic fail!”  Before things can get too heated, the phone rings, and despite Coulson’s insistence that it’s not a good time, May insists that he’ll want to take it.

It’s Raina, of course, who says she doesn’t mean to interrupt despite Coulson being sure that that’s exactly what she intended.  She insists that they have something urgent to discuss.  Meanwhile in HYDRA an alarm goes off.  A voice tells everyone to step away from their desks, as Bakshi and an intimidating woman in a red coat walk in, flanked by guards.  The woman is Bobbi Morse, who is working with HYDRA security and informs everyone in the lab that “We have a mole, ladies and gentlemen.”  She holds up the flexscreen that Simmons left for SHIELD, and tells everyone that someone has been sending messages under their noses.  Morse specializes in finding traitors, and Bakshi makes them suffer.  Until that happens, no one leaves.

The guards start searching desks, while Bakshi lectures everyone that HYDRA does not tolerate traitors.  Morse focuses on Simmons, pulling up her file and grilling her on it.  Two PhD’s, top of her class at the Academy, time spent as a SHIELD agent.  Simmons insists that she was only with SHIELD a short time, but Morse replies that actually she’s only been with HYDRA a short time.  Before that, she spent most of her life affiliated with SHIELD.  “To be fair, aren’t most HYDRA agents former SHIELD operatives?” Simmons asks.  Morse replies that those operatives were working for HYDRA from within SHIELD, something there’s no evidence of Simmons having done.  She thinks Simmons might still be with SHIELD, but Simmons replies that her loyalties are with HYDRA.  Morse says she’ll be the judge of that, but before things can go any farther one of the guards calls for her attention.  They’ve found another flexscreen, inside Turgeon’s desk.  He splutters that he’s never seen that before and doesn’t even know what it is, but that doesn’t stop him from being dragged off and knocked out.  As they take him away, Morse turns back for one last look at Simmons.

Coulson and Raina have agreed to meet in a fancy restaurant.  Coulson takes a seat at a table, with Hunter watching the room from over his shoulder and May keeping tabs from a window into the kitchen.  Skye’s trying to smooth things over with the cooks, promising to compensate them for their cooperation.  Hunter pipes up that he’s spotted someone, a “tiny girl in a flowered dress.  That’s who everyone’s been making such a fuss about?”  Raina sits down with Coulson and tries to exchange pleasantries, saying she was worried he wouldn’t agree to this but that she must not be the only one looking forward to their next meeting.  “Is she hitting on him?” Skye asks.  “Yep, that’s what she does,” replies May.  Raina tells Coulson that he’s changed, but he thinks that might have something to do with how circumstances are different since the last time they met, namely that he’s no longer strapped into her memory machine.  She insists she was only trying to help, but he tells her if she wants to help then she should tell him where the Obelisk is.  She says that it’s out of her hands, but that doesn’t work for him.  It’s too dangerous to be out in the world, and they’ve only seen the beginning.  “Just because something’s powerful doesn’t make it dangerous,” she says.

She tells him they both want the same thing, but he says, “Unless it’s an end to this conversation, we really don’t.”  He knows she has something up her sleeve, but she tells him it’s actually in her purse.  She pulls out her phone and places it on the table, where it displays a picture of Simmons talking to the flexscreen.  She tells him that HYDRA is looking for a spy and wonders what would happen to Simmons if they saw the picture.  Simmons, meanwhile, is in the toilet, trying to convince herself that everything will be fine.  She flushes and opens the stall door, almost bumping into Bobbi Morse.  Morse comments on how nervous Simmons seems, but Simmons says it’s no wonder, with Morse lurking right outside the stall.  Morse observes that Simmons and Turgeon were partners, and that some people think he wasn’t acting alone.  She then straight-up asks if Simmons planted the flexscreen in his desk.  Simmons tells her no, but Morse says that she’s not a very good liar.  Morse suggests that perhaps they should search Simmons hard drive, but Simmons tells her to go ahead, as it contains nothing by HYDRA information.  Morse tells her to keep in mind that HYDRA is everywhere and then leaves Simmons alone.

Coulson tells Raina that he doesn’t like being threatened, but she insists it’s a gesture of good will.  She’ll be happy to delete the photo, but in return she wants to take Skye with her.  “What in the hell is this about?” Coulson asks.  “And why, also in the hell, would I let that happen?”  She tells him it’s the only way to prevent HYDRA from seeing the photo.  She gives him two minutes, starting a countdown timer on her phone, after which an email will be sent to everyone in HYDRA that will put this picture on every screen in their building.  Coulson doesn’t panic, instead asking where she wants to take Skye.  “Somewhere she’s always wanted to go,” says Raina, “to meet her dad.”  May immediately tells Skye that Raina is lying, but Skye remembers that Ward told her Raina knew her father and insists that it can’t be a coincidence.  Raina says she’s just trying to make the best of a bad situation, but Coulson says that she’s threatening his team.  She says she just wants Skye to find out who she really is.  She knows Skye is listening, and tells her that her father loves her very much, that she was taken from him against his will, and that he’s spent his entire life searching for her.  She tells Coulson that he is still a good man and wouldn’t intentionally keep a daughter away from her father.  As the clock ticks down, Raina becomes more worried, and demands Skye or Simmons will die, but Coulson says there’s no deal.  Skye tries to run out to stop him, but May stops her, slamming her into the wall and saying that Coulson has a plan.  “He also carves alien writing into his desk,” Skye says, by way of a counter argument, but May forces her to stand down.  Raina begs Coulson to reconsider as the last seconds tick off, and her phone executes the file transfer.

Simmons walks through the lab, getting an unusual number of stares.  As she walks she sees the picture of herself on the computer monitor, knowing that her cover’s been blown.  Bakshi appears with guards, but she takes off running, sliding around corners and escaping into a long hallway.  She’s cut off by Bobbi Morse and two guards, heading straight for her.  Morse pulls out two steel batons, and it looks like Simmons is doomed when suddenly Morse attacks both of the guards, savagely kicking their asses until they’re both on the floor unconscious!  She smiles at Simmons, who asks what’s happening.  “Don’t worry,” Morse says, “Coulson has a plan.”

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11 thoughts on “Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “A Hen in the Wolf House”

  1. Pingback: Instant Reaction: Agents of SHIELD – “A Hen in the Wolf House” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  2. This has probably been my favorite episode of the season so far (which is probably why I’m commenting on it twice), but that probably means something dreadful’s coming up soon 😦

    Totally agree with you about the recap thing. It really gets to me when reviewers or other recaps don’t seem to be fans of the show or remember other details. I understand that you can’t love every show, but there are some considerations people can make. Heck, I knew that Skye wasn’t her real name since the first episodes (why else would she be looking for her family?). That was how I found you in the first place! Really wish you could get paid for it though, you give the most thorough recaps.

    There’s still the possibility of Inhuman blood in Skye, especially since Kevin Feige has been eager on the Inhumans for a while. Still, just because they’re all out of HYDRA doesn’t mean I’m not worried about them!

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    • It really was a great episode, wasn’t it? I hope you’re wrong about something dreadful coming soon, but with this show I feel like it’s always waiting just around the corner.
      Thanks for the compliment! I’d love to get paid, but then I’d probably have to be a little more reliable about when these recaps are posted, so it’s probably for the best. I’ve been contacted about writing for bigger sites, but it always fell through. But even if a recapper isn’t a huge fan of the show, I would at least expect them to watch all of the first season, and the Mary Sue Poots scene was pretty memorable.
      Feige is definitely an Inhumans fan, so I think that’s certainly a possibility for Skye and her father. (We’re not the only ones.) I think we’re more likely to see an Inhumans story on TV than we are as a feature film, as I couldn’t see it fitting in with the MCU direction at the moment.
      You’re right, just because they’re out of HYDRA doesn’t mean they’re safe! I’m afraid it’s only a matter of time before something awful happens.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment (twice!). It means a lot to me, and I love interacting with people about shows we love.

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  3. Pingback: Trailer Thursday: Avengers: Age of Ultron | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  4. I have to say that the writing this season so far (I know, only a few episodes) has been great, compared to how it was going after Season 1 got started. I don’t know if they were really constrained by the movie(s) and having trouble finding themselves, but it has really improved, and I like it. Ratings have dropped some, but hopefully not enough to put them in danger of cancellation. I feel that part of their survival is that they are a weekly marketing engine for the Marvel movies, and as long as they can keep that connection strong, they will continue. But yes, exciting episode!

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    • I agree completely! The writing has definitely improved over the first chunk of season one. It might have to do with the writers having to hold things back until The Winter Soldier, or it could just be that they’ve found their groove with the characters. Regardless, I’m loving this season and I hope it will stick around. I think it will!

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  5. Pingback: Instant Reaction: Agents of SHIELD – “A Fractured House” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  6. Pingback: Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “A Fractured House” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  7. So Bobbi is the badass in the tumblr feed…

    WOW.

    I see these “spoilers” come up on my tumblr feed, and rather than being spoiled, I am intrigued (whattheheck is that gonna be?!???).

    She’d better stick around, she’s just epic heroic. We girls want a few more role models you know, though SHIELD is doing a better job than most TV on giving us strong female characters.

    I had to google Inhumans…. well now………. that’s interesting…….

    The show has definitely found its feet this season. They may have just needed that much time to solidify the characters, their relationships, and the direction of the stories… and to untangle themselves from the film franchise. In the old days of the 60s, TV shoes took a couple years to find their feet, their audience, their direction, to become really good. Now our corporate consumer culture expects awesome ratings on Day One, or the show dies.

    SHIELD has become a fantastic addition to television, and to the Marvel Universe… carry on!

    Like

    • Yes, Bobbi is the badass. I’m glad you’re not put off by the spoilers, especially since you’re fated to be a week behind. I think she’s going to stick around a little while at least.
      I’m not particularly familiar with the Inhumans either, but I’m trying to learn about them, especially with the film they announced coming out in 2018. It’s definitely an intriguing theory about Skye.
      I agree completely about the difference between shows in the 60’s and now. I feel like there’s no patience anymore, and with DVR and streaming and on demand and twitter and all of that, everything has to be an instant hit, which leads to some shows getting renewed just because they deliver a huge hit while others are cancelled before they get a chance to shine. I’m glad SHIELD is still around and has gotten to mature and become even better this year!
      And thank you as always for taking the time to read and to comment. I know I’m sometimes slow to respond, but know that I always read your comments right away and they mean a lot to me!

      Like

  8. Pingback: Instant Reaction: Agents of SHIELD – “The Writing on the Wall” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

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