Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2, Episode 5 Review: “A Hen in the Wolfhouse”

Personally, I’ve found Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s second season to be fairly hit or miss each week. Last week’s episode marked a bit of an improvement, but I’ve still been very critical in my reviews. This week, I would like to offer an apology. I knew this day would come and it’s finally here. This is the episode that will make me eat my words. I’ve bashed AoS for introducing too many new characters with little to no development, but this episode did a phenomenal job with giving each character something to do, even with the addition of two new cast members.

This episode gives us our first formal introduction to Skye’s father, played by the wonderful Kyle MacLachlan. This character has been mentioned often and now the anticipation is starting to pay off. MacLachlan is incredibly menacing in the role and is a welcomed addition to the cast. He isn’t the only newcomer to steal the spotlight in this episode. Adrianne Palicki shows up as Agent Bobbi Morse, who you might know better as Mockingbird. She’s introduced as a hard hitting Security Chief for Hydra, but is later revealed to be an undercover agent working for S.H.I.E.L.D. She excels at playing both and it’s truly  a wonderful sight when we get to see her kick some ass with those famous, steel poles.

I’ve also criticized Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for having a lack of focus, but once again this episode proves me wrong. The story flows without a hitch and it seems like all of the larger elements (Coulson’s drawings, Skye’s origins, etc.), are finally coming into play. I’ve always had a problem with AoS providing more questions than answers with each new episode, but they really do deliver when the time comes. They always say “It’s all connected,” and they’re not lying.

Despite all of the new faces, all of our favorite S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are given their time to shine. Chloe Bennet is fantastic as Skye, whether she’s interrogating her “Hydra boyfriend” or dealing with the fact that her dad is a madman. She always seems so natural in whatever scene she’s in, even when dropping arbitrary Anchorman references. The same can be said for Elizabeth Henstridge, who has a real sense of innocence and sincerity as Agent Simmons. Of course, the big star is always Coulson himself. We’re getting to see a much tougher side of Clark Gregg’s character this season and it really does a great job of displaying the actor’s range.

I know I’ve said some horrible things about AoS and its second season, but I can now honestly say that I am excited for the future of the show. It took a few weeks, but Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back to being must see TV. If you weren’t already excited for next week’s episode, then I know something that could change your mind. The first trailer for Avengers: Age of Ultron will be premiering during AoS next Tuesday! Saying that we’re excited would be an understatement.

Wesley Boutilier

Part time writer, full time nerd.

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