The last episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “Yes Men,” was written Shalisha Francis and directed by John Terlesky. Francis last penned episode 10, “The Bridge.” Terlesky’s many credits include Castle, Criminal Minds, Body of Proof, and Army Wives. This episode features the crossover of Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) from the Thor movie franchise. As expected, there are some great fight and action sequences in the episode, but there are also some terrific performances. With Captain America: The Winter Soldier opening in North America this weekend, we’ve been promised an even greater crossover payoff.
The episode opens with Lorelei (Elena Satine) acquiring a new champion. This one, Rooster (Dylan Bruno), has an army in the form of a biker gang.
Back on the bus, Skye (Chloe Bennet) is recovering. Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is acting like a mother hen, but her concerns are mostly stemming from Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) caginess. Ward (Brett Dalton) comes to visit her. She tells him it was stupid for her to have gone in alone. Ward is blaming everyone but himself. He blames Mike Peterson – Deathlok – for not helping her. None of them yet realize, however, that he likely saved her by not looking at her so that the Clairivoyant couldn’t see her through his eye device. Skye is determined to train harder so that next time, she won’t have to depend on a miracle drug.
Tempers are short everywhere. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) thinks Simmons blames him for not getting more of the drug, but she’s just frustrated that Coulson won’t give them more information. Fitz tells her that everything in the bunker was “strange.”
Coulson, meanwhile, is calling in favors to try to find Director Fury to get answers. Fury, however, is in the wind. I suspect that we may find out that Fury is busy with Captain America...This time when he’s asked how Tahiti was he answers with “It sucked.”
After there are indications that an Asgardian is on their way to earth, S.H.I.E.L.D. command orders them to be the Welcome Wagon. Ward keeps pressing May (Ming-Na Wen) for why Coulson tried to stop them from giving Skye the injection. May stone walls him, but it’s pretty clear that she doesn’t know the answer. The Asgardian turns out to be Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander), who May, not surprisingly, recognizes.
It was a little curious that May beat the rest of the team back to the bus to brief Coulson. However, May sees that Coulson is not fine and reminds him that she’s there for him if he needs to talk. Lady Sif is shocked to see Coulson alive and asks “What dark magic is this?” A question we all seem to be asking in this episode. She tells him that Thor will be pleased as he considers Coulson to be a friend. He asks that she not tell him because Coulson considers Thor a friend too and would like to tell him himself.
I loved Lady Sif and May discussing the “inherent weakness” that men share that makes only them vulnerable to Lorelei’s sorcery. Fitz and Ward are adorable as they have no idea what she’s talking about and are subsequently Lorelei’s easiest conquests. Lorelei escaped the Asgardian jail during the raid by the dark elves in the last Thor movie. Coulson astutely surmises that she is going to be hard to satisfy and therefore easy to track.
I also loved Lady Sif having no trouble working the computer table after Ward and Coulson were totally defeated by it. Gregg delivers a wonderful performance every week, and it’s not just in the big scenes. His understated “oh” when Lady Sif calls up the files is perfect and another wonderful layer to his characterization of Coulson. For Lady Sif, their state of the art is really an antiquated system they used long ago. Coulson takes the alone time with her to ask her if she knows of any blue aliens. She rhymes off a fairly long list – including the Cree. The Cree seem to be the frontrunners for Coulson’s blue alien.
Ward and May arm up for the confrontation, and it’s always fun to watch Fitz preen over his new weapons and improvements. Ward is surprised that May wants a gun, but she corrects him, reminding him that she always says when she needs a gun, she takes one – as she said in the second episode of the series. She tells him that when you are going up against people being controlled, you can’t always tell friend from foe. She looks a bit shifty as she says it and I had to wonder if she, herself, was being controlled – given the revelation at the end of the episode that she is reporting to someone else at S.H.I.E.L.D. I loved Coulson’s little smirk just before they head out.
The fight scene at the biker bar is simply fantastic and really movie worthy. I loved Lady Sif pushing the bus to give them cover. I also liked the contrast we get between Lady Sif and Lorelei. Lady Sif has nothing but disdain for the fact that Lorelei uses men to do her dirty work rather than doing it herself. Ward does manage to resist Lorelei and try to call for back up before he lets her touch him.
The enchantment doesn’t change who the men are she just becomes the embodiment of all their desires. There’s no chance that Ward can claim he wasn’t himself. Once the collar is back on Lorelei the enchantment is broken. Coulson tasks Fitz with fixing Lorelei’s collar and Skye insists on helping, so Coulson asks her to look for signs of Ward.
Simmons is still very concerned about the blood work and confronts Coulson. He tries to brush her off, and she surprisingly loses it on him. Coulson opens up enough to admit that he has concerns and that they can’t say anything until he’s tracked down Fury and gotten answers from him. Coulson is still willing to trust Fury at this point – or at least entertain the idea of trusting him depending on what Fury has to say for himself.
One of the things that I really, really like about this episode is that it contains so many echoes, references, and outright payoffs from previous episodes and movies. We know that Fitz has had experience with the Asgardian metal, for instance, and Lorelei recognizes that Ward has the rage of a berserker within him – which he got from touching the berserker staff.
May and Lady Sif bond over her sword. Lady Sif tells May that Lorelei is a skilled warrior but that she needs an army to conquer an empire. Lady Sif is an astute judge of character and picks up on the link between May and Ward. I loved when Lady Sif warns May that Ward is not himself and will try to kill her. Wen knocks this scene out of the park as she simply smiles serenely and says that Ward won’t kill her. Lady Sif thinks May is letting her feelings cloud her judgment, but May knows she’s a better fighter. He won’t kill her because he can’t beat her in a fight.
Ward lures them to Las Vegas and as they search his room, Coulson checks in with May, reminding her that she’d said she’d tell him if her relationship with Ward was a problem. Coulson tells her he doesn’t think she’d say. May’s actions prove him wrong, however. Ward meanwhile has taken the bus and Lorelei has infected Fitz who traps Lady Sif. Her pounding alerts Skye and Simmons as well as May and Coulson.
I loved Coulson pretending to be enchanted and how goofy Fitz was. Simmons tries to brain Coulson thinking he’s infected. Simmons and Skye think that Lady Sif went out the airlock but Coulson reminds them she’s Asgardian.
May challenges Lorelei. Ward pulls a gun on May and tells her to get out of the way. May tells him to fight it. Lorelei calls her the beautiful warrior with the heart of ice and then reveals that Ward actually desired someone else before Lorelei – can we assume Skye? Or perhaps there’s someone else.
Lady Sif and Lorelei face off. Lorelei tells her she doesn’t take orders, and we have several parallel fights break out. Fitz takes off after Simmons, and Coulson knocks him out. Simmons says, “Poor thing, he’s always getting knocked out," which is quite hilarious.
The fight between Lorelei and Lady Sif comes to a head just as May and Ward’s does. Ward pulls the trigger, but May hasn’t trusted him and has removed the gun clip. Coulson is impressed that after everything Lorelei has done to her, Lady Sif is still going to simply deliver her prisoner. Lady Sif tells him that she is a warrior and just like S.H.I.E.L.D., she is bound by a code.
Coulson and May check in with each other. May says she’s fine – nothing broken. She also calls Coulson on his own damage. She recognizes that he’s been sitting on something since the Guest House, and she urges him to talk to Skye if he won’t talk to her. For her own part, May denies that Ward has hurt her. She tells him there was never a risk of that and that they’re done. She tells him that he was more honest with Lorelei than with himself.
Coulson does go to Skye and he reveals that the drug they were given was alien. Coulson apologizes for not stopping them. She completely forgives him, saying so what? She is only focused on the fact that he saved her life. Coulson is freaked out because they are in the dark about the drug and its effects. Skye points out that’s where they live – she’s used to it because of her low clearance – again something we’ve seen explored throughout the season. But Coulson has had it. He has a long list of questions and he doesn’t care about any code they are supposed to live by, he wants answers! Coulson is determined to protect the rest of the team by not revealing the powerful secret. Coulson tells Skye they’re going after the person responsible and are going to make him pay. And this takes us full circle to our first big cameo – Nick Fury.
The final scene shows May eavesdropping on Coulson and Skye – the conversation she encouraged. She then makes an encrypted log entry saying that Coulson knows. Who is she reporting to? My first guess is Fury. I think the earlier scene shows that she’s not happy about this role she’s being asked to play. I think she was put on the bus to keep an eye on Coulson right from the very beginning, but I also believe that if push comes to shove, she’s going to remain loyal to the team.
What did you think of the episode? Do you think May is a traitor? Do you think Ward will open up to Skye? Are you excited that we know have a break free series of episodes to finish the season? I really loved how much this episode brought so many of the elements from previous episodes to bear. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!