Agents of SHIELD: 115 “Yes Men” Review
Reviewed by Phil Boothman.
After a couple of arc-heavy weeks, we’re taking a step back and a look at the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe this week with a couple of visitors from Asgard and the first real appearance of a character from the movies in the TV show (not counting Nick Fury’s cameo at the end of episode 2).
The episode follows straight on from where we ended last week, as Lorelei the Asgardian drives through the desert with a man she stole from his new wife: she finds a biker gang outside a gas station and decides they will serve her better, takes control of their leader and kills the lovestruck young man she first took control of, because apparently Asgardian women are very ungrateful when you drive them across the desert.
After last week’s medical issues, Skye is awake and seemingly healthy, but Simmons and Coulson are still worried about the GH 325 they injected her with. Skye tells various members of the team that she is grateful for what they did for her, and Ward in particular that she wants to train even harder when she’s recovered. Simmons takes dozens of blood samples from her and Coulson meets with Agent Sitwell to try and track down Nick Fury, who has apparently gone off-grid. While futile, the meeting has a nice moment as Sitwell asks Coulson how Tahiti was, and instead of the usual ‘magical place’ response, Coulson simply replied ‘It sucked’.
Anyway, the team spots an energy signature in the desert which matches that of an Asgardian arriving on Earth: they head out to investigate, but are interrupted by another energy signature which heralds the arrival of Lady Sif (from both Thor films, and played by Jaime Alexander) on Earth. She tells the team that she needs their help tracking Lorelei down after she escaped Asgardian prison when the Dark Elves attacked (in Thor: The Dark World), and she is pretty surprised to see Coulson alive: Coulson, on the other hand, spends the episode understandably crushing a little bit on Sif. She informs the team of Lorelei’s means and motives, and shows them a neck-ornament which will stop her from controlling men with her voice. They decide to track her down by looking for criminal activity, and find her with the motorbike gang: there are a couple of nice moments as Sif demonstrates her familiarity with the crazy S.H.I.E.L.D. computer systems, saying that they them in Asgard ‘ages ago’, and Coulson picks her brains for information about blue creatures from other realms (notice she mentioned the Kree, who are my prime suspects for the blue alien seen in last week’s episode).
So the team tracks Lorelei down to bar and are faced with a bunch of cops and bikers all under Lorelei’s thrall: Sif has a fairly destructive tussle with Lorelei’s goons, and Lorelei takes control of Ward in return, getting him to take her to Las Vegas, where they do the bad thing in a hotel room. However, when the team catch up with them they are nowhere to be found, having gone back to the plane and commandeered it: Lorelei takes control of Fitz, who locks Simmons in Skye’s recovery room and Sif in the interrogation room. A moment later he pops the roof of the interrogation room and sends Sif flying out into the air, where the rest of the team presume that she has died.
Coulson pretends to be under Lorelei’s control and frees Simmons, then the team trick Lorelei into entering the interrogation room, where Sif has just managed to get back to after climbing around on the outside of the plane like the badass Asgardian she is, and they get down to their violent business. Meanwhile, May throws down with Ward after Lorelei tells her that, even with their sexual relationship, Ward’s heart belongs with someone else (Skye, presumably). Fortunately, as Ward attempts to shoot her, he finds that she emptied the gun before he got hold of it, and Sif manages to clamp the necklace onto Lorelei and shut her up once and for all. Unsurprisingly, this leads to May calling time on her relationship with Ward, as Sif takes Lorelei back to Asgard under Odin’s orders.
Finally, Coulson tells Skye what he found in the Guest House, and why he was so reluctant to let Simmons inject her with the drug: even though Coulson seems incredibly shaken by it all, Skye stays characteristically optimistic, and they decide that they’re going to stop letting the Clairvoyant get to them, and actively go after them instead. Finally, it is revealed that May is monitoring their conversation: she picks up a secure phone line and gives the message “Coulson knows”. Is May a traitor to the cause? The answer is probably no, but it’s a hell of a twist to end the episode on: immediately shocking but then giving way to all sorts of questions about who has May’s loyalty and why she, as a typically pragmatic agent, would be doing such a thing. My guess is that she’s talking to some higher-ups at S.H.I.E.L.D. and has been tasked with keeping an eye on Coulson, rather than being an out-and-out traitor to the team and actually working for the Clairvoyant.
A solid and enjoyable episode, and one with some nice ties to the rest of the Cinematic Universe: presumably, Sif’s appearance on the show opens the door for other characters from the movies to show up in the future, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. As for the rest of the episode, it works well together and includes some tantalising teases for the next few episodes.