Agents of SHIELD, Season 1, Episode 15, “Yes Men”
Written by Shalisha Francis
Directed by John Terlesky
Airs Tuesdays at 8pm EST on ABC
In “Yes Men”, Thor’s Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) joins the gang on Agents of SHIELD to track down Lorelei (Elena Satine), an evil enchantress from Asgard. Lorelei has a nasty habit of hypnotizing men and using these love-sick slaves to build armies and conquer worlds. Lady Sif is more than happy to bring her to justice, considering that Lorelei enslaved someone Sif cared for during one of Lorelei’s failed attempts to conquer Asgard. When Ward is brought under Lorelei’s spell, May and Sif have to work together to stop Lorelei from taking over Earth and stop Ward from hurting May. Meanwhile, Skye is recovering remarkably quickly, thanks to the mysterious GH-325 recovered from the SHIELD base, but Coulson is losing his patience as Director Fury refuses to take his calls or answer questions about GH-325.
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As Coulson’s faith in SHIELD wanes, Agents of SHIELD is hitting its stride and delivers the best episode of season one. Guest star Jaimie Alexander is enjoyable and works well with the cast. More importantly, her conversations with Coulson about blue aliens and her talk with May about Ward will have consequences beyond this episode. “The Well”, which was the last episode to feature an Asgardian, was criticized for advertising a major tie-in with Thor: The Dark World and then not delivering a strong story tie-in or enough Asgardian characters. “Yes Men” delivers on all counts, and though I had a more favorable reaction to “The Well” than others, “Yes Men” is a much more successful Thor cross-over and a much better episode overall.
The episode’s main conflict with Lorelei is perfect for an ensemble show like Agents of SHIELD because her actions create moments of drama for some characters and genuine comedy for others. It would be easy to have each man react to Lorelei similarly, and it’s nice that the writers are more creative here. When Ward is brought under Lorelei’s spell, it is frightening because Ward is a dangerous person. He has SHIELD agent training and under Lorelei’s control, he could kill most of his team, including May. In comparison, Fitz is seduced by Lorelei and rather than turn violent, he gets very fussy about Simmons and Skye staying out of the way so they don’t ruin Lorelei’s plans. At one point, Simmons makes a run for it and Fitz chases after her like a babysitter chasing a toddler with Krazy Glue. Moments like this can turn quirky sidekicks into fan favorites and though I have never been a big fan of Fitz, this scene makes me laugh, loudly and heartily.
The big moment of the episode that will have comic book fans talking, though, is the final scene between Skye and Coulson. Coulson is done with protocol and he is ready to find some answers as to what happened to him and Skye. It is a conversation that changes the direction of the show going forward; in the last few moments, May delivers the episode’s stinger and leaves me, for the first time, wanting to watch the next episode, “End of the Beginning”, right away.