Sam Rivman ’18 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
Throughout the second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the tension has been constantly rising. Between Director Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) alien sketches, Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) mental instability, the search for Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) heritage, and Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) infiltration of Hydra, there has been plenty of reason to bite one’s nails in anticipation. In “A Hen in the Wolf House”, every single one of these plot lines is generously advanced forward. While there wasn’t quite as much action as the last episode, this week’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. progressed the story-line in all the right ways.
Perhaps the most significant aspect of “A Hen in the Wolf House” that differentiates it from previous episodes it that it has a large focus on Raina (Ruth Negga), who now works for Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan). Raina is threatened by Hydra to return the Obelisk that she stole from them for him. When she tries to retrieve the Obelisk from Skye’s father, however, he is far less than willingly to oblige, and cruelly sends Raina back out to face the consequences of defying Hydra. This is the first time in the series that Raina isn’t two steps ahead of everybody, and it was exciting to see how she reacted when backed into a corner. Villains are usually more interesting when they have a level of cunning and wit, and Raina has the opportunity to prove her intelligence when she manages to take compromising photos of Simmons betraying Hydra. When she tries to threaten Coulson with the photos however, he doesn’t budge, as he has a plan of his own. Coulson hasn’t been able to really take control of a situation ever since he began to sketch the alien markings, which made it really inspiring for him to be able to outwit and demoralize Raina.
The plan that Coulson came up with is easily the highlight of the episode, because it introduces Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki) as a reoccurring character to the show. Bobbi is a S.H.I.E.L.D agent who was undercover as a security head at Hydra. When Raina puts Simmons in danger by blowing her cover at Hydra, Bobbi steps in and kicks some serious Hydra ass. She’s cool, slick, and fights using batons with incredible skill. Not to mention, she is also Hunter’s (Nick Blood) ex-wife whom he so often complains about, which will likely lead to humorous situations in future episodes. While Agent May (Ming-Na Wen) is a good fighter, her personality is a bit too reserved. Bobbi can lay down the hurt on Hydra agents, and has a fiery personality to boot, which enables her to fill a character slot which had previously been empty on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Hopefully she will become a permanent member of Coulson’s team, because she is exactly the kind of character needed to spice up the show and keep season two running strong.
As long as Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. refuses to stay stagnant in its story lines such as was demonstrated in “A Hen in the Wolf House”, it will continue to be just as entertaining week after week. With excellent plot progression and the addition of a well-rounded character to the show’s line up, “A Hen in the Wolf House” was a fully impressive episode.
Overall Episode Grade: A