Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Episode Review – “Making Friends and Influencing People”

Warning: This review contains a major spoiler for this past week’s episode! Read on at your own risk!

I awaited this episode with much trepidation, as the promos seemed to indicate that Simmons had aligned herself with HYDRA. But much to my relief, the fears of the audience were for naught, and the episode delivered a fun and exciting storyline that brought even more depth to both Simmons and Fitz.

At the beginning of the episode, we see Simmons going about her normal workday routine, getting ready for work and going to her workplace, which turns out to be a HYDRA facility. We quickly learn, however, that she is simply doing undercover work for Coulson, by way of Coulson appearing at her apartment for a dead drop. It is revealed that her assignment has been kept secret from the rest of team, excluding May. As the episode progresses, we get to see a formerly introduced character by the name of Donny, an incredibly intelligent young man who one trained with S.H.I.E.L.D. Unfortunately, he built a machine that could create ice from the air and ended up hurting a lot of people, and was taken to the facility known as the sandbox, but not before we learn that he has developed ice powers of his own, probably caused by a freak lightening strike.

HYDRA is recruiting new members left and right, often taking the best and brightest of former agents and known gifted people alike. The ones who refuse to join are put through torture and brainwashing until they comply, and the ones that are too strong are killed. Coulson and the team want to prevent this from happening to Donny, and so most of the episode is something of a showdown between the two groups to see who gets him first. The result is a bit unexpected.

I really enjoyed this episode. Finally getting to see Simmons again was a real treat, and I think that the character has really come into her own. Skye and May got to have some nice moments here two, and it is clear that the two have developed a real bond, almost like a mother/daughter thing. But I think the real winner of this episode’s character depth race was Fitz. One scene in particular, when he finally faced Ward for the first time since his accident, was enough to make me cry. It is obvious that Fitz has been severely traumatized, and his attempt to show Ward what it was like for him really hurt to watch. Oh, and I should probably mention that Ward actually saved the lives of several characters here, but now how or who. He also revealed a very important piece of info to Skye at the end of the episode, one that could be a real game changer for her.

In terms of content, the worst was some language and some violence. Donny, with his ice powers, has a habit of freezing people, occasionally breaking them apart. My thoughts? That kid needs to let it go…(Ba dum tssss).

Next week’s episode looks to be fun, with Phil and Melinda going undercover for some kind of art heist. Yes, you read that right! PHILANDA IS A THING!!!!!!!!! 😀 (I totally ship it)

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