Despite teasing the return of Ward in “Afterlife”, Agents of SHIELD delays the return of SHIELD’s favorite double-agent with a flashback episode. “Melinda” takes a trip back in time to seven years ago and recounts the origin of May’s nickname “the Cavalry.” Predictably, this is not a happy story, and it involves a young woman whose superpowers are a danger to the people around her, drawing obvious parallels to Skye. It also sheds some light on why May is so protective of Skye now that she is super-powered and why failing to keep Skye safe could devastate her.
There is nothing quite like a good art heist adventure, and Agents of SHIELD tries its hand at it in “I Will Face My Enemy.” Coulson and May attend a gala in order to steal a painting with valuable information written on the back. Before they can recover the painting, however, their cover is compromised by General Glenn Talbot, and someone else snatches up the painting first. The resulting episode is a loving tribute to the art heist sub-genre in the vein of James Bond and The Thomas Crown Affair with a big party, sexy ballroom dancing, and tricky laser alarms.
Agents of SHIELD, Ep. 2.03, “Making Friends and Influencing People”: Simmons Makes New Friends Undercover at Hydra
To quote Bill Hader’s beloved SNL character Stefon, “Making Friends and Influencing People” is an episode of Agents of SHIELD that has everything: Double-agents! Hypnotism! Nazis making The Sound of Music jokes! A male version of Queen Elsa from Frozen (minus the singing) freezing a ship! Underneath all of these borderline silly moments, however, is one of the best episodes of Agents of SHIELD yet, not just for season two but season one as well.