By Felicia Kudronowicz
After a season of episodic chapters, it’s nice to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. taking a new approach this season. Episode two picks up right where it left off last week, opening at the scene of the car accident with Izzy dead and Hunter struggling to get out of the now upside-down SUV.
May is rushing in to help him but he encourages her to get on Creel’s tail now that he has the super secret weapon. She follows him but Coulson orders her not to shoot but instead to follow him to find out who he is working for. As soon as May leaves Hunter, soldiers come for him, ultimately leading to him meeting Talbot. Talbot demands that Coulson be delivered to him in exchange for proper funerals for his two fallen comrades.
Back at the new SHIELD head corridors Fitz is now trying to find a way to destabilize Creel aka the Absorbing Man. He is still talking to Simmons while he works and it’s absolutely heartbreaking to watch now that we know she isn’t really there. We also get to see him try and interact with Simmons and new character, Mack, at the same time. It’s eerie but mostly depressing to see how he clings to the image of Simmons in his head. But luckily Mack seems to be a lot more patient with Fitz and he is able to remember that he already built something that would help them destabilize Creel.
Next we find out that ever since Creel touched the mysterious weapon, he hasn’t been able to absorb anything else and now whenever he touches someone him or her turns into the black stone like the weapon does. It is more vital than ever to destabilize him.
The SHIELD agents make a plan to capture Creel, but Hunter ruins their plans because he is still trying to give Coulson up to Talbot. In the action packed sequence, Hunter manages to shoot May, Triplett, and Skye and then gets caught up with Creel who is inches from touching him. Coulson manages to get the drop on him, momentarily turning him into stone. In all the confusion, Reina (the girl in the flower dress) gets hold of the weapon for herself.
Coulson ends up forgiving Hunter and agrees to meet with Talbot on his own terms.
Things seem to be solved, at least for the moment but there’s a lot going on in-between all this action. For starters Coulson is definitely not okay. He has strange episodes that force him to carve symbols into the wall, some kind of “Beautiful Mind” looking stuff with alien symbols instead of numbers. May is the only one that knows about these episodes, which worries me, because secrets inside SHIELD is exactly how HYDRA was able to infiltrate it so thoroughly. Skye can sense something is up but Coulson barely even talks to her. I’m getting all around bad vibes from that.
Another thing to note is that we still don’t really know what Reina is up to but at the very end we see her with a new character (played by Kyle MacLachlan). Not only is she able to touch the new weapon, but it lights up with the same alien symbols that Coulson has been carving. Everything seems to be mysteriously connected but how?
This season has much more of a vision and each episode is woven together with less effort than last season. SHIELD seems to be finding is voice. There are side quips (“We’re lucky we still have our George Foreman Grill.”) to make it lighthearted but still has those momentarily heart crushing scenes also. It’s got Joss Whedon writer all over it.
Previews for next week promise that we will see the real Simmons again… but she may or may not be a member of HYDRA now.