Will Agents of SHIELD Save “A Hen in the Wolf House”?

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

So where can this show go after last week’s sweet but sad Philinda episode? Straight into a Skye-centric episode with plenty of creepy factor thanks to her dear old dad. At HYDRA, Simmons is compromised and Bobbi Morse is hot on her trail. But as we’ll see, Simmons isn’t the only “Hen in the Wolf House” this week.

Death toast: At a wedding reception, the best man’s toast turns deadly killing, among others, several naval officers from an anti-HYDRA unit. The champagne was laced with a serum derived from one of the obelisk’s victims thanks to the wait staff who are all on HYDRA dime. At the Playground, Skye and the team want to know where Coulson’s alien writing is coming from but he shuts them down. May hangs back to advise Coulson to let Skye in, which is great idea because the more Skye is left out, the nosier she gets.

Fathers and daughters: Skye’s father pauses his “practice,” which seems to be helping injured criminals, to speak with Raina. She promised him Skye and she hasn’t delivered so he has no incentive to help her escape the wrath of Dr. Whitehall. Daddy Dearest has clearly got some Hulk level anger issues as evidenced by nearly choking Raina to death. She persuades him to give her another chance and leaves with the hopes of bringing Skye to him. “That’s not her name,” he replies softly. At HYDRA, the mole alarm goes off. Simmons’ coded message, which she’d dead dropped earlier, has been discovered. Now Bobbi Morse and Bakshi are on the hunt. Bobbi questions Simmons right away but the double agent puts some damning evidence in her boss’ desk so he’s taken away instead. That doesn’t stop Bobbi from questioning Simmons again in the bathroom, making the double agent worry all the more about being found out.

Skye, Ward and the thing about Coulson: After listening to Skye vent about Coulson and his secrecy, Hunter makes two suggestions: talk with Ward to get intel and invade Coulson’s privacy. She pursues the first and finds out Raina gave Ward the information on her father. Ward also recognizes what Garrett carved into the glass. Having spotted some alien writings carved on Coulson’s desk earlier, she bursts into the Director’s office and accuses him of being the author of the samples he’s been giving her. He concedes pretty quick and then throws out this craziness: Skye hasn’t reacted to the formula like him and Garrett because maybe she’s an alien. No, seriously. They’ve been monitoring her and she’s not showing any side effects, perhaps indicating the alien formula was something she already had in her system. Further discussion is halted when Raina calls for a meeting.

Coulson gives up Simmons: At dinner with the woman in the flower dress/blouse, Coulson asks for the obelisk. She bargains with a photo of Simmons making her undercover drop, which she’ll email to everyone at HYDRA unless Coulson lets Skye go with her to meet her long lost dad. He has two minutes to decide. Hearing this whole exchange over comms, Skye wants to take it out of curiosity and to save Simmons. So when Coulson deadpans his answer, “No deal,” she’s distraught. This clearly isn’t what Raina wanted either as she practically begs Coulson to help her. He remains stoic and the photo is sent. He knows Raina is desperate and he’s not one to pass up a good opportunity. They tag her so when Whitehall takes her, they’ll know where Herr HYDRA is operating from. She goes on her way and Coulson belatedly figures out Skye has skived off to where Raina said her dad was holed up.

An unexpected new ally: At HYDRA, everyone’s screen is filled with the incriminating picture of Simmons. She makes a run for it and comes across Bobbi pretty much right away. And that’s when Bobbi Morse kicks all of HYDRA’s butt and reveals she’s working for Coulson. She sends Simmons to the roof where an extraction team is supposed to meet them but no one’s there. They jump anyway and yes! Invisible jet! Also, Bobbi has Simmons’ HYDRA hard drive so they can poke around in HYDRA’s top projects. Score one for SHIELD!

Worst dad ever: Skye enters her dad’s place alone, gun drawn and blinders snugly on. The place is empty but she does find a photo of young, smiling Kyle McLachlan holding, I’m assuming, baby Skye. A hand grabs her from behind. Thankfully, it’s just Coulson, but Skye’s dad is watching the whole thing via a camera. They find bloodied bodies of the bikers he was treating earlier before he raged out on them. They find the camera as well so when Skye calls her father a monster, she must know he hears it. She probably doesn’t know how angry this makes him though, enough so that he takes the obelisk straight to Whitehall. Skye’s dad (can we get his name already?) wants to show Whitehall how to use the alien technology and how to survive it so they can kill Coulson and everyone else.

Getting the band back together: Simmons returns home and after some of her patented awkwardness she spots Fitz. Their reunion is tense at first because he’s not sure if she’s real and then only gets more painful when she asks how he’s been. No FitzSimmons hug of joy? Boo! Moving on, Bobbi is asked to join the team, much to Hunter’s horror because she’s his “she-devil” ex-wife. Alone, Skye and Coulson debrief. She says she only cares about stopping her dad, nothing more…except no more secrets from Coulson. He agrees and shows her his latest carving and she instantly proves her usefulness: “It’s a map,” she exclaims.

Field Notes

  • There was a brief mention to Raina’s grandmother and her influence on Raina pursuing the otherworldly. Who do we think this grandmother is in the Marvel universe?
  • Even Fake Simmons appreciates Mack’s buff body!
  • Coulson, on why he didn’t mention the “Skye might be an alien theory” earlier: “I was trying not to rattle you.”
    Skye: “Epic fail!”
  • At a HYDRA conference meeting, Dr. Whitehall makes it clear he wants the obelisk so they can manufacture a more deadly version of the poison used at the wedding reception. When Simmons mentions to her boss that this could kill millions of people, he responds: “Pretty awesome huh?” HYDRA is so messed up.
  • Coulson and Raina are on their dinner-meeting-date.
    Hunter: “Is she hitting on him?”
    Skye: “Yep.”
    May: “It’s what she does.”
  • Ward saying whatever Garrett became “wasn’t meant to survive” seems to point toward his knowing Coulson is also losing his mind and wanting to turn Skye against our beloved Director.
  • I know the title of this episode ostensibly applies to Simmons, but what if it also applies to Raina, Skye, Bobbi, or even, in some very twisted way, Ward? Think about it.
  • Did you see the news about the Age of Ultron trailer premiering during next week’s episode?!
Stephanie Coats
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