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TV REVIEWS: FTN Reviews Agents of Shield Season 2 Episode 3: Making Friends and Influencing People

October 8th, 2014 by Todd Black Comments

In a move that showed that Season 1 wasn’t totally left behind, “Making Friends and Influencing People” brought back a character that was tied to many of Coulson’s crew. Oh, and Simmons is back as well.

Yes, she’s not in Hydra, no, I’m not surprised they used her as a plant. In fact, when the “reveal” of her being a double agent came about, it was kind of a letdown.

Many fans speculated that Simmons was actually Hydra, via key lines of dialogue and curious actions she did when the takeover came about. Seeing her there in Hydra no doubt gave these fans some joy. But then to see her so simply be revealed as not Hydra will not doubt cause frustration. It’s not that I want her to be Hydra to shake things up again…but it would’ve been cool to learn that the reason she left was BECAUSE she was Hydra and tried to betray the team like Ward did. Oh well.

The worst part about the double agent storyline was the fact that we got the stereotypical plotline of “will her cover be blown?” In which that happened almost a couple of times. Yes, it was handled well, but we all knew she wasn’t going to get revealed for real to Hydra, nor was she going to die.

The other half of the episode was dedicated to the return of Donnie Gill, who truly embraced his comic book persona of Blizzard. Whereas before he was making a weather machine, he was now an Iceman…oops…wrong franchise…but you get the idea. Freezing people and objects at the drop of a hat was very cool, if not exactly visually pleasing. But hey, it worked right?

The best parts of “Making Friends and Influencing People” ironically was the stuff about Hydra. We got a more in depth look at one of their facilities and their “management”. We also truly saw the process of how they “convince” high priority targets to join their cause. One of which we’ll no doubt see very soon…

The scene stealer though was Ward. This was only his second appearance this season, but boy was it worth it. His scenes with Skye were great, especially when he FINALLY revealed to her that her father is alive. But to add to the story he revealed that he could take her to him. Prison break anyone?

And yet, the true great scene was with Fitz finding out Ward was only a floor below him. Sometimes the best scenes are the ones with spoken dialogue. So props to Fitz for showing just how distraught he was at seeing Ward not only alive but right there in front of him. Not to be outdone, Ward showed true emotion when talking to Fitz and reliving his “killing” of him and Simmons. How dark was it when Fitz turned off the oxygen? Wow.

The ending was nicely handled as we learned that only May knew about Simmons mission, which resulted in Hunter getting shot (it hit his vest) and Skye having to shoot Gill to save them. Though…they didn’t find his body….

Simmons, because her “service” and dedication got promoted, so we’ll no doubt see her become more important in future episodes. Let’s just hope they don’t continue to play to the stereotypes.

In the end, “Making Friends and Influencing People” was a good outing for the second season of Agents of Shield, but some of the stuff they focused on just wasn’t on point with what’s happened earlier. Obvious storylines, overuse of CGI, and more dropped it down a bit in quality. But overall, it still was worth the watch.

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Todd Black is reader of comics, a watch of TV (a LOT of TV), and a writer of many different mediums. He's written teleplays, fan-fictions, and currently writes a comic book called Guardians (guardians-comic.com). He dreams of working at Nintendo, writing a SHAZAM! TV series, and working on Guardians for a very long time!

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