14 May 2015

Agents of SHIELD S2E18 "The Frenemy of My Enemy" review

Despite having potentially the worst episode title Agents of SHIELD has ever produced, "The Frenemy of my Enemy" is one of the most important and memorable episodes that the show has produced since the mid-season finale, taking huge steps towards bringing the several different storylines that the show is juggling together in time for both the Avengers: Age of Ultron crossover episode and the ever looming season finale. 

We follow Coulson, Fitz, Hunter and Mike Peterson as they form an alliance with Agent 33 (now preferring to be called Kara) and Ward in order to get information from Dr List, a Hydra scientist who is working with Baron von Strucker to create 'enhanced' people. At the same time, Skye attempts to stop Jiaying from abandoning her father Cal in his home town, knowing that his inevitable temper tantrum could put a lot of people in harms way.

"The Frenemy of my Enemy" may well be one of the best episodes of the season so far thanks not only to the seamless way it repositions various characters and pushes the main season wide plot forward, but also for the amount of time it allows us to spend with characters that haven't had the opportunity to interact in a while, such as Ward and his old team members. I've been saying for a long time now just how much I enjoy Ward as a character, and his creepy 'evil power couple' relationship with Kara and blasé attitude towards Fitz has done nothing to dissuade me of that.

We also get to spend a lot of time with Cal and Skye, who are going on a 'daddy daughter' date with a hidden agenda. Kyle MacLachlan has been consistently great since his introduction thanks to a series of bizarre and memorable performances, but he really steals the show here, toning down the crazy just enough to allow the audience to really begin to empathise with him, while ensuring that his anger is always simmering just below the surface, ready to explode at any second. 

I was struggling to see how Agents of SHIELD could reconcile its various storylines into one narrative in time for the season finale, but the climactic meeting between the various factions at play towards the end of the episode puts that question to rest in a very satisfying way. Next weeks episode, "The Dirty Half Dozen", is set to reunite the original core cast for the Avengers: Age of Ultron tie-in episode, and I honestly can't wait to see how they all react to Ward being amongst them again. There isn't long now until the feature-length finale, and with Agents of SHIELD recently having been renewed for a third season, I'm certain that we have a lot to look forward to yet.

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