Reviews

MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: “One Door Closes”

CORNELIUS SMITH JR., ADRIANNE PALICKI, EDWARD JAMES OLMOS, HENRY SIMMONS

When Bobbi Morse showed up on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. earlier this season, she quickly cemented herself as a memorable and beloved character — thanks to her quick wit, amazing fighting skills, and chemistry with just about everyone on Coulson’s bus. “One Door Closes” finally dove into Bobbi’s backstory in a way that allowed us to understand the motivation behind some of her secrets, as well as the reason as to why she’s so loyal to Gonzales. And the result was my favorite episode of the season so far.

Like most Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode titles, “One Door Closes” plays very much into the themes of tonight’s episode: with the reveal of “the real S.H.I.E.L.D.” and Gonzales’ meeting with Coulson, the S.H.I.E.L.D. we thought we knew is no longer the only player in the game. And as for the door that opens? It’s an entirely new antagonist that’s creating drama and new conflicts for even the most loyal of Coulson’s team.

But first, a flashback: to the day of the events that happened in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, when Hydra came out of the woodwork. Mack is being held hostage on a ship, his team having turned on him, and despite trying to give himself up, Hydra’s not above killing innocent S.H.I.E.L.D. colleagues. Mack’s near-death is saved by BAMF Bobbi Morse, along with none other than Isabelle Hartley (Lucy Lawless)! Hi, Hartley! Fancy seeing your return to this show!

Bobbi tells Mack that Fury left her orders to save S.H.I.E.L.D. They find Gonzales, who is apparently also on the ship and has been injured, and then Bobbi passes off a medallion to Hartley that says “Franny’s Saloon.” She advises her friend to give it to Hunter, revealing that she has a second mission from Fury: she’s going to sink the ship so that the weapons can’t be abused by Hydra. Why, Bobbi Morse. How very Captain America of you. (Marvel really loves putting people in terrible situations based on Hydra weapons, doesn’t it?) Gonzales and Mack and Hartley refuse to let her go through this without help, though, and the solo mission unintentionally becomes a team effort.

But Bobbi still wants to follow Fury’s orders, even if it means killing innocent people. (Like Winter Soldier so aptly put it: “we have to assume everyone aboard those carriers is Hydra.”) Mack argues for her not to, and despite the fact that she’s conflicted, Bobbi’s good side wins out. She ends up siding with Mack – and they decide not to take down the ship after all, something that Gonzales seems to respect. It’s a really wonderful moment for Bobbi’s character, and if anyone was asking whether she was good or bad? Well, you can have your own opinions, but I think this sums it up.

In the present day, there’s a different kind of betrayal brewing. Bobbi blames Hunter’s absence on herself, right before Coulson figures out that Mack’s hiding something. And while Bobbi is taking measures to remove Fury’s toolbox from Coulson’s office, he gets clued in to her real agenda. May catches Bobbi red-handed, but refuses to believe that she works for S.H.I.E.L.D. – of course, as far as we (and our characters) know, S.H.I.E.L.D. is and has always been with Coulson. So begins an epic, amazing fight between two of my favorite females, and all the shout outs to fight coordinator Matt Mullins for an incredible sequence that left me open-mouthed yet again.

Bobbi escapes via some sort of EMP, while Fitz, who has managed to figure out Bobbi’s gadgets, discovers that the device she used to find the toolbox was made to find anything with vibranium. May’s not entirely convinced that Bobbi is Hydra because of the fact she didn’t kill anyone when she escaped, and Hydra always leaves bodies behind. They’re both still wary, however, of their teammates’ true allegiance.

Bobbi runs into Simmons, who is still having trust issues with Fitz about treating Skye like a science experiment. (A rather notable exchange: “I told you Leo, I’m only trying to help. Whatever, Jemma.” Seldom do we hear Fitz and Simmons use their first names with each other, and certainly not so formally. They’re FitzSimmons for a reason, and this is just further proof of their rift becoming more and more divided.) Bobbi seems a little uncomfortable with the whole situation, and it really drives home the fact that she doesn’t want to be the bad guy in this situation – she doesn’t even want to be the semi-bad guy. She doesn’t want to hurt her friends. But Simmons gets the upper hand and tricks Bobbi by distracting her. Fitz, on the other hand, isn’t so lucky – he’s found by Mack, who tries to talk to him, but Fitz ends up almost getting injured when the real S.H.I.E.L.D. storms in. Mack saves Fitz, but I’m guessing that there’s not really going to be a lot of happiness on his end about it.

Meanwhile, Skye is pretty much bored to tears in the healing cabin. She skypes Simmons like good friends do, roasts marshmallows, and eventually puts on the special gloves-not-gauntlets, which make her feel slightly weird. She also finds what seems like a hidden door, but before she has time investigate it (bemoaning the fact that she should probably watch less horror films), someone comes calling. That someone? Gordon, the Inhuman who we last saw taking her father. Let’s just say he’s The Reader, okay? It hasn’t been officially confirmed, but I’m calling it while I can.

Anyway. Don’t talk to strangers, Skye! Not even if they have no eyes and promises of candy and magical fixes! But Skye lets him in against her better judgment, where he tries to talk to her about her powers, and about people who were affected by the terrigan mist. His mentor embraced him, he tells her – what has S.H.I.E.L.D. done? Locked her away in a cabin and made her things that suppress her powers, that’s what they’ve done. Skye can’t help but commiserate about her issues, especially when she feels like she’s found somewhat of a kindred spirit in this man.

Gordon basically tells Skye that she can become something amazing, if she realizes her potential. Which obviously involves getting away from S.H.I.E.L.D. and being with like-minded superheroes (and also, uh, her father. And Raina.) Skye’s clearly intrigued, though still torn on her loyalty towards Coulson and her found family. Gordon leaves ominously, and Skye discovers that she can do really cool things with her powers – like control liquid. She can control them, and it only cements the thinking that’s been implanted in her brain, about S.H.I.E.L.D. trying to keep her down.

Meanwhile, Bobbi (worried about the hostility Gonzales has displayed has been harmful to her friends) is now a hostage on her own team. While Simmons inquires about the contents of the toolbox, May looks in Bobbi’s locker, and Gonzales and his team take over the premises. She soon realizes where Coulson has taken Skye to: “the house that Banner built.” It’s really fun to see all these Marvel references thrown in without it being overdone – each one is carefully relevant to the narrative, but also provides a bit of imagination for what it could mean in a bigger context. May overhears Bobbi planning to get Skye, and stages an interception, warning her to get out because she’s in danger. And really, this is not doing much about Skye’s feelings for S.H.I.E.L.D. at the moment…

Bobbi and her crew search for Skye and Gonzales meets Coulson face to face in his office. It’s official: new S.H.I.E.L.D., meet old S.H.I.E.L.D.! He tells Coulson the story of what happened on the ship, and it’s clear they still blame Fury for all the death and destruction that’s been brought upon them. Theoretically, they blame Coulson, too, because he’s basically the second coming of Fury. Gonzales also confirms that he knows Fury’s not dead, and tries to find out what happened in the alien city…all so he can open the toolbox. BAMF May comes to his rescue before anything can happen, though.

As for Skye, things are going from bad for worse. Bobbi doesn’t want to really hurt Skye, she just wants to detain her. But the agents have other ideas, Skye becomes so terrified while being pursued that she freaks everyone out, causing them to attack her. Skye sets off her powers, realizing too late that she’s responsible for more destruction and hurt that she didn’t mean to cause. Again. Scared and alone, she calls out for Gordon – who arrives to take her away the same way he took Raina and Cal.

Odds & Ends:

  • The scene with FitzSimons and Agent Weaver was a nice way to connect the dots from the S.H.I.E.L.D. world, as Agent Weaver was the duo’s old instructor at the Academy. I also wonder if it’ll sway them away from Coulson and his ideas.
  • The ending tag of Coulson at a Tiki Bar…did that remind anyone else of “Tahiti”? Just saying. But with Hunter giving him his contract by signing his name on a napkin, it looks like Coulson is back to square one of building up S.H.I.E.L.D. And maybe that’s not a bad thing. We’re heading into the home stretch of the season, and conflicts are definitely going to be brewing…and I kind of can’t wait to see where we go with this.

One thought on “MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.: “One Door Closes”

  1. Every time I think AoS can’t get better, the next episode comes out. What an amazing ride. There were so many, many high points in this episode.

    My disappointment in Bobbi is somewhat muted as she starts to question the tactics used by Gonzales and team. I never really considered her intentions bad, just misguided. It’s another case where one group considers different = bad and power in the hands of others needs to be controlled or destroyed.

    That’s clearly where Gonzales is coming from. Fury and his obsession with alien technology were an issue. Hello! What about HYDRA? Seems to me that the fall of SHIELD had nothing or at least very little to do with alien technology. Also, he’s assuming power like Skye’s will eventually corrupt.

    He’s blinded by all the potential negative consequences and doesn’t consider the potential opportunities. The problem is that the bad guys won’t hesitate to use this power and if the good guys don’t have an answer of their own, then bad things happen. This is all pretty standard stuff, but they way they pull it off on the show is nothing short of amazing.

    May vs Bobbi was awesome. The stuntwork is amazing.

    Simmons lying to Bobbi to incapacitate her confirms that she is now an effective liar. Bobbi can usually see through people, but Simmons had her fooled.

    Skye tapping into her power at the end was awesome. Yes, she does have Avengers level power. It was an awesome moment, but of course it frightened her. And since she had no way of knowing Gordon was associated with her father and Raina, I can totally see her opting for a solution that would help her learn better control. In the end, I do not see her betraying Coulsen.

    The final scene totally reminded me of Tahiti. But the way Hunter committed to Coulsen without hesitation made me love his character more. I’m trying to hold out hope for Bobbi and Mack, but I guess we’ll see what the next few episodes bring.

    Love the writeup and the chance to relive such an awesome show.

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