Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Mastodon Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - A Hen in the Wolf House - Review

SpoilerTV - TV Spoilers

Subscribe for show updates
Receive news and updates about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - A Hen in the Wolf House - Review whenever something new comes out.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - A Hen in the Wolf House - Review

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., “A Hen in the Wolf House,” was written by Brent Fletcher and directed by Holly Dale, both familiar names from season one. The episode gives us a lot more insight into Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan) – The Doctor. MacLachlan is wonderful and brings the scary crazy to the role. The episode also adds another agent to the roster: Bobbi Morse (Adrianne Palicki). I loved Palicki in the episode, and she feels like an excellent fit to me!

This episode sees the fallout from Whitehall’s (Reed Diamond) demand to Raina (Ruth Negga) to bring him the obelisk. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens to Raina as she’s been shut out on all sided now. Initially, we see that the Doctor has an excuse for his perennially bloody hands – he’s been performing illegal surgery on criminals. When Raina asks for his help, he questions her loyalty – “You’re more afraid of him than me?” He distinguishes himself from Whitehall, calling Whitehall a butcher and himself a man. But we already know that he’s not really a man. We learn that the Doctor saved Raina when she was starving on the street as a child, which, of course, opens up more questions about where she really came from.

Without the Doctor’s help, Raina first thinks to go to Whitehall for mercy and stumbles upon Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) sending a report. I loved the special effect of her flex screen. We learn that HYDRA is already trying to weaponize the effects of the obelisk – more great special effects at the Navy wedding. Simmons is clearly appalled and it’s even creepier when Kenneth (Adam Kulbersh) thinks it’s cool. Henstridge delivers a great performance as she manages to lie almost well in this episode, and I loved her clearly looking up to Bobbi. I loved the scene in which Bakshi (Simon Kassianides) shows up with Bobbi to find the mole – I find them and she makes them suffer. Simmons staunchly answers Bobbi’s questions. Aren’t you ex-S.H.I.E.L.D.? Answer? Aren’t most HYDRA ex-S.H.I.E.L.D.? It was great seeing her put Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) advice to stick as close to the truth as possible. I also loved how the scene in the washroom was written – very clever as you can’t be sure whether ‘you’re not a good liar’ and ‘HYDRA is everywhere’ are threats or warnings to be careful.

Palicki may give May (Ming-Na Wen) a run for her money in the fight scenes. I loved her taking those guards out with her batons. Anybody else dying to see May and Bobbi fighting together? I also loved her complete faith in her team to be there when she jumped off the building with Simmons. Utterly unrealistic, of course, but very cool to have them land on the invisible jet anyway. Is this a shout out to Wonder Woman? Too soon? And the best thing about Bobbi Morse? She’s Hunter’s (Nick Blood) she-devil ex-wife! And she’s the one who vouched for Hunter to join S.H.I.E.L.D. in the first place. I also thought it was a nice shout out for Hunter to say he didn’t like her hair. Palicki’s fans will be used to seeing her as a blond too. It’s nice to see the show add another strong female character along with the two new male agents.

         Henstridge’s best scene has to be the very awkward and painful reunion with Fitz (Iain De Caestecker). I loved De Caestecker’s performance in this episode as limited as it is. I adored him identifying “Simmons” as his subconscious and being uncomfortable with her admiration of Mac’s (Henry Simmons) physique – thank you Simmons/Fitz for pointing out what we were all thinking! Fitz is also clearly able to tell himself that he doesn’t need “Simmons” anymore if he’s ready to acknowledge that she’s not real. She says she’s left and moved on, so maybe he should too – but now she’s back. We get very little of their reunion – just enough to make it painfully awkward. I’m hoping for more this week…

Skye (Chloe Bennet) manages to get Coulson to finally come clean about the writing in this episode – which, about time! – but she is absolutely stupid as an agent. Once again, she throws her training to the curb to follow her own agenda. One thing that I did find curious was Hunter’s advice that she keep digging deeper with Coulson, driving him “crazy” if she had too. Should we be suspicious of Hunter? I’m really enjoying Nick Blood. I also loved when he leaned into Coulson and said he understood why Coulson found Skye so frustrating! Is he just not a very good team player, or does he have another agenda?

I still love watching Bennet and Gregg together. It was great watching her turn to him for comfort after seeing what her father was capable of – and it nicely paralleled her father watching them and what he appears to be. The show is doing a good job in starting a number of interesting threads that look like they are going to weave together nicely. With Ward’s (Brett Dalton) help, Skye is able to put the writing together with the doodle on Coulson’s desk. Ward tells her that he knew Garrett was long gone after he started the writing. But we really haven’t seen any evidence of Coulson losing it mentally. He may have physical symptoms that cause his hands to shake and compel him to write, but so far, that’s it.

Coulson tells Skye that seeing Garrett’s writing triggered something in him that started the writing. He also tells her that they’d been monitoring her to see if she had any effects – she hasn’t. Coulson attributes the difference to he and Garrett having negative reactions to the alien blood while Skye hasn’t. He suggests that the difference may be her alien DNA already contained it. Skye is even more upset by the suggestion that she’s alien than that they’ve been monitoring her. Bennet gives a solid performance moving through a number of intense emotions in this episode. I’m still a little disappointed though that we’ve gone from rock solid agent Skye back to impulsive, emotional Skye – regardless of the reasons. Of course, Skye suggests that Raina played Ward with the intel on her father – “Raina played you – she found your weakness and exploited it.” There’s a lot of that in this episode.

I loved the scene in the restaurant – so great to see the whole team working together – including the team at HYDRA. Coulson doesn’t give in to Raina – though she tries to exploit his weakness – he cares about his agents. But he already has an extraction plan in place. I loved the banter between the team members. Hunter incredulous at all the precautions for Raina and then her hitting on Coulson. I have to admit that I did feel a bit sorry for Raina get shut out by S.H.I.E.L.D. too.

In the end, Skye discovers that her father is a monster – or at least so he appears at the moment. She gives Coulson her blessing to go after him. She also convinces Coulson to completely bring her in on what’s going on with him. He shows her the wall and says he can’t explain it and the most frustrating thing is that he has no idea what it means – he doesn’t even have a theory. But Skye does. She realizes it’s a map. Given that she’s been analyzing the writing for some time, I was at first bothered by her immediate recognition, but up until now, she’s only been exposed to parts of it I think. So showing all of it to her now makes sense.

The final scene is great as the Doctor shows up at HYDRA to discover that the offices are being dismantled. He’s clearly decided to let go of whatever control he had been exerting. He brings Whitehall the obelisk which he calls the Diviner, and tells them he will teach them how to use it if they help him kill Coulson and all the other agents. Somewhere in our future there is an awesome confrontation between Coulson and the Doctor! Now, diviner can mean several things. It can be a person with special powers to predict the future or a person who searches for water underground with a special stick. It can also mean having the nature of or being a deity. So, does this object release latent powers? Does it bestow powers? Does it enhance either of those powers? And let’s not forget that Raina was able to touch the obelisk without dying too.

What did you think of the episode? Are you happy with more new additions to the team? Are you happy to see Simmons back in the fold? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

About the Author - Lisa Macklem
I do interviews and write articles for the site in addition to reviewing a number of shows, including Supernatural, Arrow, Agents of Shield, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, Forever, Defiance, Bitten, Glee, and a few others! Highlights of this past year include covering San Diego Comic Con as press and a set visit to Bitten. When I'm not writing about television shows, I'm often writing about entertainment and media law in my capacity as a legal scholar. I also work in theatre when the opportunity arises. I'm an avid runner and rider, currently training in dressage.


SpoilerTV Community
Latest News