The events of the previous episode ‘T.A.H.I.T.I’ have severely altered the emotional level of this show. Suddenly its tone has gotten quite big darker. The organization that or gang belongs to, S.H.I.E.L.D, has always been depicted as a sort of benevolent C.I.A despite being oppressive, bureaucratic and secretive. We always knew that there must have been an other side to the organization and slowly it is being revealed as one with a very dark secret. From now until the end of the season we can expect Coulson to be severely at odds with S.H.I.E.L.D which in my opinion means a divorce between the reason of existence of this show. We shall see how that pans out.
Continuing from the previous episode, Lorelei ditches her previous victim for a biker whose gang she enslaves for her plans to create an army. While talking to Skye, who has finally awoken from her coma, the team is summoned by May to investigate an energy reading in the desert consistent with the imminent arrival of an Asgardian. They encounter Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), who has come to Earth seeking Lorelei. Reuniting with Coulson, she explains that Lorelei escaped imprisonment in Asgard during the attack of the Dark Elves and that to reverse her power to control the minds of men, she must fit a special collar around Lorelei’s neck that prevents her from speaking. The team and Sif travel to the biker bar Lorelei is using as a hideout, but during the battle, Lorelei enchants Ward and escapes with him. They go to Las Vegas, where Lorelei and Ward have sex in a hotel room, but when Coulson, Sif and a S.H.I.E.L.D. team catch up, the two are nowhere to be found. They realize too late that Ward and Lorelei, planning to eliminate any threats to Lorelei’s rule, have commandeered the Bus with help from an enchanted Fitz, who locks Sif in the interrogation room and imprisons Simmons in Skye’s recovery room. Coulson, pretending to be under Lorelei’s power as well, learns of Simmons’ location and frees her. Lorelei encounters May and claims that Ward revealed to her that despite their sexual relationship, his heart is with someone other than May.
Simmons and Skye help trick Lorelei into entering the interrogation room, where Sif confronts her; while they fight, May is forced to do battle with Ward. Sif finally manages to disarm Lorelei, and despite Lorelei’s attempts to get Sif to kill her, Sif fixes the collar to Lorelei’s neck, undoing her enchantment on Ward and Fitz. In the conclusion, Sif thanks Coulson for the team’s aid and says that she will bring Lorelei back to Asgard on Odin‘s orders, while May ends her relationship with Ward. Coulson goes to Skye and confesses that he discovered the drug used to revive them both was alien in origin based on his own suspicions and information provided by Sif. Despite how disturbed Coulson is by this fact, Skye remains optimistic, and Coulson swears that they will get answers, beginning by tracking down the Clairvoyant once and for all. He orders Skye to keep the origin of the drug a secret until Nick Fury gives them the truth. In the final scene, it is revealed that May, who actually knew the truth of Coulson’s resurrection all along, is secretly monitoring him. She picks up a secure phone line and tells the party on the other end that “Coulson knows.”
This weeks episode of continues where last week episode left off. Coulson has uncovered the alien origin of drug that resurrected him and saved Skye’s life. Coulson seems adamant to prevent SHIELD and director Fury from continuing what he believes are monstrous methods. ‘Yes Men’ also ties into the larger the Marvel Universe by introducing Lady Sif played by Jaime Alexander whom the audience saw in Thor and Thor: The Dark World. The episode as such feels very much packed and doesn’t delay any of the action much. The downside is that it also feels a bit rushed, the final confrontation between Lady Sif and her opponent Lorelei being a prime example. The fact that Lady Sif manages to subdue and capture Lorelei makes that part of the episode too much of a happy ending and there seems to be little room for seeing either character again in the near future. Coulson’s distaste for fury’s methods on the other hand seem a bit forced. For the audience it is difficult to conceive whether Coulson suffered much by being resurrected, we just have to take his word for it. The fact that Coulson is scheming with Skye to stop fury feels far-fetched. I wonder if either will be allowed to take their intentions far as agent May already has informed Fury (presumably) of Coulson’s intention.
Despite these issue the episode had in my opinion a distinct Marvel Universe feel to it. The humor, the action and the suspense of disbelief made it one of the best Agents of SHIELD episodes so far. The events of last episode emitted a large shadow over this episode and it feels like agents of SHIELD is finally able to create a mythology that fans can get invested in. I can barely wait for the next episode ‘End of the beginning’ to see how the show continues. It should air on April 1st.
Score; 8.6 / 10. A good episode that has one happy ending too much but is otherwise surprisingly dark in tone.