On the D/L – Agents of SHIELD

Mar 18, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Agents of SHIELD

Season 2 Episode 13 – “One of Us”

Cal assembles a team of super villains to take down the Agents of SHIELD while Skye gets evaluated by none other than May’s ex husband Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood).

The strongest aspect of the episode was definitely the evaluation scenes as it let Skye develop a little more in the wake of everyone finding out about her abilities. Everything has changed now and it’s good that the show is dealing with this in a logical way.

Agents of SHIELD

Cal baits Coulson into coming after him

Skye isn’t really receiving any special treatment now that she has powers and is being treated like any other metahuman that is discovered. There have been many mentions of a “Gifted Index” over the course of the show so it’s good to see that properly explored in how S.H.I.E.L.D deals with individuals who have powers. I like the idea of properly evaluating them before making a decision on their threat level. All very logical stuff and exactly how a professional organisation would deal with these things.

I liked that Coulson was only interested in having the best guy he knows evaluating Skye and is willing to risk having things be uncomfortable for May in order to do that. It also shows how well he knows May in assuming that she’d be fine with it. In the run of the show so far there has never been anything May is uncomfortable with when it comes to servicing the needs of the mission. Apparently that extends to dealing with her ex husband.

Any scene that Ming-Na Wen shared with Blair Underwood was really well done. There’s a defined change in May when she speaks to him that works really well in adding much needed depth to her personality. We now get the sense that she at one point had a personal life and actually managed to lighten up once in a while. Seeing the other characters react to this different side of May provided some really genuine laughs as well.

The particulars of what made their marriage fail aren’t revealed here but there’s definitely a sense that their split wasn’t something emotionally traumatic considering how well they seem to get along. There’s also a calmer and more personable side to May when she interacts with her ex husband that really is refreshing to see. I’m interested to see this relationship explored at some point be it through flashbacks or just more dialogue between them.

Agents of SHIELD

Skye is assessed by Dr. Garner

Another thing I found really interesting is Dr. Garner’s aversion to working with S.H.I.E.L.D. It’s clear that he’s spent some time working with them over the years and it’s not something he ever liked doing. I imagine under Nick Fury’s leadership he might have been asked to do some pretty questionable things when it came to assessing the “gifted”. He’s not about to let that happen this time though as he makes it abundantly clear that all of this is on his terms where Skye is regarded as the most important thing. His evaluation will be shared with her and conducted in secret. It all seems pretty sensible considering how corrupt S.H.I.E.L.D was before. It also gives us an idea of what May might have seen in this guy in the past.

His technique in dealing with Skye is an interesting one. The angle the show approaches this from is that Skye is hostile to this sort of evaluation since being in and out of foster homes her whole life has had her in similar situations far too often throughout her life. She doesn’t see this as being any different but comes around to the idea when she finds out that May’s husband will be conducting it. Of course she uses this as an opportunity to try and scratch the surface of the mystery that is Melinda May and Dr. Garner’s approach compensates by that by adopting something of an information exchange dialogue. He gives her some information about his marriage to May and Skye follows it up with some information of her own. It works and I like that they didn’t formally agree to it. Being such an accomplished psychiatrist would boil this down to technique so it’s good to see that his expertise has him in control of the situation.

Agents of SHIELD

May and her ex reminisce

On the other side of the plot we have Cal recruiting an army of super villains purely because he hates S.H.I.E.L.D. Naturally he has  a special place on his list for Coulson who denied him the revenge he had spent decades planning for.

It’s always great to have Cal be a part of the story because Kyle McLachlan chews the scenery like no other. There’s something about his maniacal villainy that is endlessly watchable and he brings a unique energy to things that this show so often lacks.

I found this story to be a bit hit and miss mostly because the villains weren’t really up to much. Characters like Karla Faye Gideon (Drea De Matteo) and David Alan Angar (Jeff Daniel Phillips) seemed to be the only legitimate threats on the team with the rest being completely forgettable. Wendell Levi (Ric Sarabia) and Francis Noche (Geo Corvera) left a lot to be desired in terms of characterisation. Given that they were supposed to accompany Cal to be a force to be reckoned with and how much buildup the end confrontation was afforded I was expecting a lot more from it.

There were some really head scratching moments in terms of how these characters exist. Most notably is Karla’s back story involving her grafting metal blades onto her nails so that she could defend herself against an abusive ex-boyfriend that she ended up killing was just a really silly origin. For one thing why not just use a knife and for another, why were S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping an eye on her? Beyond her apparent proficiency with blades she doesn’t seem like much of a threat to anyone who has any sort of long range weapon.

Angar was the only one besides Cal who had any actual powers and in the end fight he didn’t even get the chance to use them. I’m really struggling to consider any of this a viable threat given how easily they were subdued.

Agents of SHIELD

Angar opens his mouth

There were some parts of this plot that worked really well. The image of them all sitting in a diner was sort of ridiculous enough to work on some level and some of what Cal said was interesting. Specifically his mentioning that he tried to improve himself with chemistry to very mixed results. We’re starting to get real shades of the Jekyll & Hyde dynamic that is part of this character from his comic book roots. It could be said that this was one of his volatile mood swings and wasn’t supposed to be a well thought out plan. He’s desperate at the moment and afraid at what might be happening to his daughter in the hands of humans at S.H.I.E.L.D so it makes a kind of sense that he would try something completely off the wall like this. I just wish this had culminated in something a bit more interesting.

That’s not to say the action was bad. It was incredibly well choreographed and allowed us to see more of Bobbi’s terrifying skill in battle. There was lots going on during the fighting as well with everyone involved getting some moment to shine.

I’m actually finding the Bobbi/Mac secrecy plot to be pretty interesting now that Hunter has found out things about it. Seeing Hunter chained up in a safe house but still remaining calm and composed was a nice touch. It’s perfectly in keeping with Hunter’s character to not panic in this situation. He’s a well trained and skilled individual so falling back on those skills when captured makes a lot of sense. The revelation that Bobbi and Mac apparently work for the real S.H.I.E.L.D is an interesting one and I look forward to seeing where this goes and what being the “real S.H.I.E.L.D” actually means in contrast to this fake one we’ve apparently been following around.

Agents of SHIELD

The real S.H.I.E.L.D?

Some of the other moments were really nicely done as well. Skye’s power taking on a different form when she turns it inward and it doing her internal damage was something I wasn’t expecting. She definitely has a long way to go before she has a lid on this and she will definitely need help from those experienced in dealing with this. Having this prompt Simmons to suggest different categories of “gifted” was a nice touch as well. We’re getting closer to the “Inhuman” classification, it’s only a matter of time.

Having Cal teleported away to join the other Inhumans came a lot sooner than I expected. i suspect there will be differences in ideology between Cal and whoever leads this other group that will give us plenty of conflict to chew on. More Kyle McLachlan is never a bad thing.

  • 7/10
    One of Us - 7/10


An episode of two halves with one being much stronger than the other in terms of storytelling.

The inclusion of May’s ex-husband was a good way of freshening up the character of May in some really interesting ways. I really liked to see her calmer and more personable for a change and the suggestion that in the past she did have a personal life is very much a welcomed one. I had wondered if we were ever going to get an episode like this for May and I’m glad it’s finally happened. All I want now is to see more of this and have this character develop further.

Dr. Andrew Garner was a good character as well and Blair Underwood did a good job of portraying him. I really liked the sense of integrity and professionalism that he had throughout the episode when it came to his evaluation of Skye and how he was only willing to assess her on his own terms due to some uncomfortable dealing he had with S.H.I.E.L.D in the past. I hope he’ll come back in the near future as he was a good character to have around.

Cal’s plan to pull together a team of super villains was a bit hit and miss. Ultimately it was a lot of build up for what didn’t really amount to very much. In one case the back story was completely moronic. The only recruit with actual powers didn’t really get the chance to use them.

We sort of find out what Bobbi and Mac have been hiding and the revelation is an interesting one. I think it has potential to be an interesting plot point and I look forward to seeing it explored in detail over the coming episodes.

User Review
5 (1 vote)