Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (2013) season 2, episode 18
"Frenemy of My Enemy"
WRITERS: MONICA OWUSU-BREEN and PAUL ZBYSZWESKI
DIRECTOR: KAREN GAVIOLA
AIR DATE: April 21 2015
‘The Frenemy of My Enemy’ is the latest episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., moving towards the final phase of the season, and I must note that I’d like to strangle the person who came up with the word frenemy. (I’d really better have an alibi if that person ever meets a bad end). Hydra returns into the mix as the two S.H.I.E.L.D. factions contend with each other, while the Inhumans factor into the plotline as well.
Skye (Chloe Bennet) is getting adjusted to the fact that her mother (Dichen Lachman) is alive and well, and feeling a certain amount of empathy where her father Cal (Kyle MacLachlan) is concerned. Jiayang tells her that Cal will have to be removed from the Inhuman refuge, noting that he is inherently unstable and may harm others. Skye decides on a compromise of sorts, one that allows her a bit of time with her father on her own, learning details about him as a person, about her own past, and where she comes from. As chance would have it, their paths intersect with others. It’s odd to see the two characters interacting as family - all while wondering what might set Cal off.
The bulk of the episode plays out the S.H.I.E.L.D.-Hydra storylines. May and Simmons (Ming-Na Wen and Elizabeth Henstridge) remain in the presence of the Gonzales faction, trying to determine Coulson’s agenda, not quite in agreement. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) is reunited with Coulson and Hunter (Clark Gregg and Nick Blood), who have the back up of Mike Peterson, otherwise known as Deathlok. Coulson has a plan to take on Hydra, but it requires help - from the proverbial prodigal son, Grant Ward (Brett Dalton) and his significant other Agent 33, aka Kara (Maja Stoyan). A trap of sorts leads to an unlikely deal and some serious tension, particularly for Fitz, who remembers particularly what Ward did to him. And from there things go in other directions as all three factions collide, with Inhumans in the mix.
Ward and Coulson
(with Hunter, Palamas, and Fitz)
Turning Ward into a traitor and then effectively a rogue agent with his own agenda has been the right move from a writing point of view and for the actor. When Ward was effectively the boy scout operative part of the team, it was also the weakest character in the ensemble. Turning him rogue has made him more interesting. He’s interacting with former team mates in a completely different way now - there’s tension and distrust there. And the way he relates to Kara also works; they’re both former agents without a mission, just each other. On the one hand one wonders if they’ll turn on each other, but on the other hand, it’s more of a believable relationship than Ward’s dalliance with May or his affection where Skye is concerned.