Three episodes in AoS gives us some time to catch our breath, but not for long. Coulson & Co. are on the hunt for Donnie Gill and his icy touch. Bad News: So is HYDRA. We also see how Simmons is spending her time. Bad News: It’s with HYDRA.

With Carl “Crusher” Creel tucked away in a US Military facility for the time being, Agents of SHIELD’S gifted menace of the week is Donnie Gill. You may remember (Previously on Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD) that Donnie appeared in Season One’s twelfth episode, “Seeds”. He developed an “Ice Machine” while attending SHIELD Academy and nearly destroyed everything. It seems machines/weapons that freeze are a popular trope, so liked by the Whedons (See- Buffy The Vampire Slayer Season Six, Episode 9 “Smashed”) in fact, they brought the freeze back to AoS. I’m assuming this “freak of the week” formula will continue for the duration of the season, with HYDRA and SHIELD vying for the upper hand.

Caught in the middle of this tug of war is Agent Simmons. For many of us, our theories were proven correct: Simmons is a double agent, and still remains loyal to SHIELD. I’m not sure knowing that Simmons is still one of the good guys is such a relief after witnessing the “compliance” tactics put into practice by SHIELD. Whitehall goes all Alex DeLarge on former SHIELD Agent 33, and it’s revealed that this same brainwashing/reprogramming method was used on Donnie Gill. It apparently only takes a recited speech to flip the bad guy switch to “ON.” If HYDRA has the ability to just roll everybody back to factory settings and reprogram some HYDRA compliance stuff, things could get ugly. Well, uglier. With Simmons moving up a few floors on the HYDRA food chain, it puts her in a prime spot for stealing intel, but it also puts her at risk for being brain-scrubbed. Of course, Ward claims that not everyone is susceptible to such methods.

Speaking of Ward..

We get to see The Asset” some more this week. He’s still trying to gain the trust of Skye, but she seems to be holding strong. Ward gives up the goods on HYDRA’s protocol in catching “gifteds”, and seems to be genuinely trying to get back in the good graces of Coulson & Co. WE AREN’T FALLING FOR IT, WARD! NOT FOR ONE SECOND. I don’t foresee any of the team forgiving Ward and trusting him again. I assume that for most of the season, until Skye messes everything, Ward will remain in the basement. As long as Fitz doesn’t kill him.

And the Emmy goes to…

I’m sure I am not alone when I say that Iain De Caestecker is killing it this season. He plays our beloved, broken Fitz to perfection and tugs at our heart strings every week. Fitz’s discovery of Ward in Vault D/ The Basement, was devastating. It does seem that Mac is trying to get buddy-buddy with Fitz, but the poor guy is just a mess. I hope that De Caestecker gets some love from the typing-hands of the internet nerd-blogosphere. He deserves it. Before making his discover of Ward, it seems as though he silenced the rationalizing of Ghost-Simmons. Will she come back? Will facing Ward and making him gasp & squirm lead to a breakthrough for Fitz? I sure hope so, my heart can’t take much more of this.

It was right of Coulson to keep Fitz in the dark about Simmons whereabouts. If he hopes to improve, he’s going to have to dismiss his curiosities just as he dismissed Ghost-Simmons.

And another thing …

  • May alluded to Skye that there were more like Simmons (SHIELD Agents inside of HYDRA). It’s safe to assume that Simmons will be the higher up of those undercover agents, but how long do they maintain cover and what’s the exit strategy?
  • We were repeatedly shown Skye’s heartbeat throughout the episode. We get it, she’s learned how to be calm and cool. May has taught her well, but is it Ward or the mention of her father’s whereabouts that made her BPM’s climb?
  • There were a lot of ice deaths in this weeks episode. I was sad to see Gill bite it, but it showed that the new SHIELD is not your Director Fury’s SHIELD. They now longer wait to decipher what’s right from wrong. When HYDRA is involved, they make sure they pull the trigger first.
  • “Don’t get cocky.” – Agent May. Is there are “Don’t get cocky” supercut video yet? There should be.
  • Agent May got a small taste of revenge when she shot Lance Hunter to protect Simmons. Tripp was a little upset-”I wanted to be the one!”
  • Lance Hunter really bothers me.
  • This weeks episode was the best yet. It was good to Simmons and spend some time making the rounds to see the gang not chasing someone for an entire episode. The stage has been set for the season and the HYDRA/SHIELD round-up of estranged agents and escaped “gifteds” is far from over. What did you guys think of this weeks third episode of Season Two? What do you hope to see in next weeks episode? More Kyle MacLachlan? Me too. Share your thoughts and analysis in the comments below.

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Daniel J is a writer living in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s spent a lifetime compiling an impressive backlog of pop culture knowledge. He comes in handy at bar trivia.

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