Roughly a year ago the release of Captain America The Winter Soldier upended the story of Agents of SHIELD with the introduction of HYDRA. It was a move that probably saved the show as it suffered from a disjointed plotline and steadily lowering ratings. I personally agreed with some of the criticism but upon viewing the early episodes again I also think expectations were too high. Most reviewers have so far praised season 2, but for me it has been a mixed bag. HYDRA did not materialize as the great threat that I hoped it would be while Coulson and May have experienced too little character development. This weeks episode ‘One Door Closes’ once again shakes things around when SHIELD is yet again stormed by an enemy within. This is enemy, is… SHIELD?
Agents of SHIELD S2Ep15 ‘One Door Closes’ Review
After last weeks introduction of the alternative SHIELD lead by Robert Gonzales (Edward James Olmos) everybody knew the show would again shift. With 5 more episodes to go you could almost imagine what the general storyline would be. The REAL SHIELD versus COULSON’s SHIELD. That didn’t happen. Coulson saw right through Mack and Bobbi in the previous episode. Within minutes of this weeks episode he had Mack surrounded by a half dozen guards after he confronted him about the little electronic device Mack implanted in the model of Lola meant to spy on his office. Despite the confrontation Bobbi manages to steal Fury’s cube that supposedly will help rebuild SHIELD. This theft is ended by a fight between Bobbi and May that has only ben trumped by a similar fight between Skye and Agent 33. Within moments of the theft COULSON’s SHIELD is overcome by a tranquilizing gas that allows Gonzales, Mack and Bobbi to overcome all resistance and launch a bloodless coup.
The entire episode is interspersed with flashbacks of how Gonzales, Bobbi, Mack and Hartley (Lucy Lawless) take back their aircraft carrier from HYDRA several months back. At first they merely attempt to escape from the fighting after Gonzales determines they are outnumbered. The fighting takes place as HYDRA assaults the Triskelion. Bobbi reveals she has been sent on a suicide mission by Fury, she has been ordered to sink the carrier. Gonzales agrees it has to be done but tells her he will join her. This leads to opposition form the others who openly disagree with Gonzales and state that any new SHIELD should be more democratic. Gonzales overcomes his strict sense of duty and agrees to take back the carrier from HYDRA.
Meanwhile Skye has to deal with her semi-incarceration. She doubts the device Simmons created for is intended to aid her. She is visited by the Inhuman Gordon who promises her an alternative to the way SHIELD deals with people with powers before he vanishes. After the coup Gonzales berates Fury in front of Coulson as a king and Coulson as his heir. He questions why he is so fond of Skye, hinting at something he has in store for her. Bobbi and Calderon (Kirk Acevedo) are sent to retrieve Skye, but May manages to her warn after hiding from Gonzales. After Calderon attempts to shoot Skye with an icer her pent up anger she has felt since her change makes her deflect the bullet and take down a dozen trees along with it. She manages to escape with Gordon to the safety he promised.
Meanwhile, Fitz and Simmons are approached to join the new SHIELD. Simmons is asked to attend to Mack’s wound he suffered when Gonzales’s men breached the wall. Fitz seems to have doubts as he remains skeptical about their intentions regarding Skye. Meanwhile May manages to come out of hiding and free Coulson. She quickly gives him a bag of supplied and shoves him into a secret passage before she is overcome. The last scene of the episode shows Hunter rejoining Coulson’s SHIELD by signing a napkin. It reflected well with he mood of the audience. After all that has happened to SHIELD everybody wonders where the show should go from here. Coulson only has Hunter and the new SHIELD is not exactly an evil organization.
This episode of Agents of SHIELD reminded me that not all is right with season 2. This show can be good when it wants to be. So far season 2 has had its moments but it is also too disjointed. The effective use of flashbacks made it almost seem that the entire season has not happened. This effectively means we are back to when HYDRA tried to destroy SHIELD just without the HYDRA this time. I can only hope that this attempt at rebooting the show will be as effective as last years attempt.
Score; 8.8 / 10. A excellent episode of SHIELD that dares to up-end everything season 2 has worked towards.