Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 2, episode 13
"One of Us"
WRITER: MONICA OWUSU-BREEN
DIRECTOR: KEBIN TANCHAROEN
AIR DATE: March 17 2015
Beware a man with a grudge. Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan) has been unhinged for years, which of course makes him all the more of a problem. And he’s got a particular dislike for Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg). On the one hand, there’s the whole issue with his daughter Skye (Chloe Bennet) still being among Coulson’s people instead of where he thinks she belongs - with dear ol’ Dad (Cal could use some intensive therapy). On the other hand, there’s the whole problem of Coulson having had killed Daniel Whitehall which robbed him of his chance at revenge. Needless to say, the lunatic has lots of scores to settle and not much in the way of sanity to keep him in line.
This brings us to the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., titled ‘One of Us’. Calvin seems to think there’s strength in numbers when picking a fight with someone else, so why not find some friends? In this case, recruiting names from the Gifted Index he’s managed to acquire from S.H.I.E.L.D. along the line. These are dangerous people the agency wanted to keep an eye on back in the day, people with powers and too much time on their hands. This of course brings Coulson and company into conflict with Cal’s team when Cal decides to hold a school hostage- in Coulson’s home town.
The second plot revolves around Skye, who’s still trying to come to terms with what she’s become. She too is now on the Gifted Index, not sure of what that means for her. Coulson and May (Ming-Na Wen) bring in a specialist, a therapist named Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood). Garner happens to be May’s ex-husband, so there’s history here. As much as it might have been a treat to see Leonard Samson play the role of shrink, we’re not seeing that character yet. Garner engages Skye in therapy, asking questions, probing in just the way you’d expect of the profession. Typically and true to the character, Skye evades and is standoffish.
The third plot keeps track of MacKenzie (Henry Simmons) and Hunter (Nick Blood). Mack has knocked out Hunter and spirited him away. Hunter’s absence is explained away in a way that certainly doesn’t invite questions, while Hunter himself finds himself in a place that would seem to defy explanation by episode’s end.
Those with a careful eye to Marvel history will recognize at least one of Cal’s band of miscreants. Angar the Screamer was a minor character with sonic powers and a relationship with the villain Screaming Mimi, who would later become the heroine Songbird of the Thunderbolts. His powers are used creatively here. If this is just a one off use of the character, it’s been nicely done.
It’s also good to see another layer of Agent May. She’s a character who keeps things close to the vest about everything, so it’s only gradually that the audience has gotten to know her. Ming-Na Wen and Underwood play their characters as having history, and it gives us a very different look at May, as she is away from the job.
Much remains unanswered. What has become of Cal, when it’s all said and done? And where has Mack brought Hunter to? There’s not that much of the season left, but there is ground left to cover before we get there.