Please note that there will be plenty of spoilers for “One of Us” below.
“One of Us” was an episode that provided fans with backstories for many of its characters, offered a wonderfully devilish performance from Kyle MacLachlan, and ended with one hell of a surprise.
This episode started with Calvin Zabo (Kyle MacLachlan), occupied by two new baddies, Francis Noche (Geo Corvera) and Wendell Levi (Ric Sarabia), going in search of recruitments for their new team of supervillains. We meet Karla Faye Gideon (Drea de Matteo) first, who while a character from the Daredevil comics, does not match her comicbook counterpart at all, really. This Karla has long, razorblades as fingernails, which until Cal came in search of her, had been hidden beneath shackles put on her by S.H.I.E.L.D..
What’s interesting about Karla is that while S.H.I.E.L.D. clearly had their reasons for placing the shackles on her (some of which we learn later on thanks to Coulson), she doesn’t seem as off balance as Cal and the rest of his new team when we first meet her. Of course, that changes as the episode moves along, but in the beginning, it’s almost as though she’s simply going along with him because he helped to free her.
When she ruthlessly murders a man as Cal leads his new gang to a physiatrist facility to break out David A. Angar (Jeff Daniel Phillips), a.k.a Angar the Screamer, we get our first real glance at Karla.
Jumping forward a bit: I have to admit, while I absolutely loved this episode, the way they showcased Angar the Screamer was both creepy and terrific. That shot with him in the middle of the field, with the students collapsing around him, and the birds falling from the sky? It was both terrifying and wonderful.
While Cal is busy assembling his team of misfits, Coulson and team are busy worrying about Skye. Coulson has informed her that she is now officially on the index. Seeing how she reacts to this, and how she struggles to cope with her new abilities in this episode was hard at times, but these scenes do a great job of showing just how much Skye has grown since season one. Sure, while she’s left with May’s ex-husband, Dr. Andrew Garner (Blair Underwood), she does slip back into the snarky character we knew from season one, but most of this episode she spends trying to protect those that she cares about from herself. In the end, we see that her good intentions only end up harming her.
I’m really excited with how they are handling Skye/Daisy in this second half of season two. I appreciate the fact that they are actually taking the time to explore her abilities and how they affect not just her, but the entire team. They’re allowing her to really grow into “Quake”, instead of rushing it, and I can’t wait to see where the character is at by the end of this season.
One of the best parts about “One of Us”, was that it offered us a chance to really get to know Agent Melinda May. We learned about her nickname, The Cavalry, back in season one, and we’d also learned that she’d been married but we’ve never really gotten to know who she is. This episode, along with the introduction of her ex, Dr. Andrew Garner (played by the excellent Blair Underwood), helped to pull back the curtain a bit. It also seemed to hint that we’ll finally get an answer as to what happened in Bahrain sometime soon.
Given how dark this season has been so far, it was nice to get a short FitzSimmons moment. What made the scene even better was what brought them back together. The FitzSimmons from season one has been pretty much nonexistant in season two of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and given what Coulson and Simmons, I don’t see them returning to state anytime soon. I have read some comments stating that this scene seemed too fast moving given how upset Simmons was with him early on in the episode, but these are two characters with history behind them. I didn’t see the scene as a “everything is fine” moment, but rather a moment of them slipping back into how things were before.
Moving onto Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), Mack (Henry Simmons), and Hunter (Nick Blood). It’s a S.H.I.E.L.D. off! I don’t know how else to describe the end of this episode other than by saying it was a big dose of what?
It was a crazy way to end the episode, and it was one that left fans stunned. Some fans still believed Bobbi and Mack to be Hydra (even though Bobbi did state they weren’t Hydra in last week’s episode), but most fans were expecting them to either be working for another organization like S.W.O.R.D. or for them to be working with Maria Hill. I will admit that when the camera cut to the new logo, I was still hopeful that someone would come walking out – an unannounced cameo, maybe – but nope. Still, I do kind of love how they decided to end this episode. This ending gave us an answer of sorts, but still left us wondering where they were headed with everything.
All in all, this episode was a nice change up. Was it perfect? No. I would have loved to see more of Cal’s team – especially Karla (seriously, if you can snag Drea de Matteo, you make more use of her), but it was a very enjoyable hour of television and Kyle MacLachlan stole every single scene that he was in. (MacLachlan is so dang good in this role that I kind of really want a Cal one-shot.) The fight scenes were skillfully shot, and they only made me want a Bobbi Morse spin-off even more — with appearances by Agent May, of course. Blair Underwood is a wonderful addition to the cast, and I’m pretty bummed that he’ll only be in three episodes. And I really enjoyed how they went about writing the backstories in this episode. When you’re trying to tell as much as they did last night, it’s easy for things to become tiresome, but that wasn’t the case with “One of Us”. I feel as though the writers balanced everything rather nicely.
One final note: I know that Raina isn’t a part of the team, but I do wish they’d bring her in more. Her story, like Skye’s, is important and it’s a bit strange to me we haven’t seen her too much. (The scene with Gordon at the end would have been the perfect spot to bring in Raina – heck, his line to Cal would have been perfect to hear coming from Raina.) Hopefully we’ll start seeing more of her again soon.
What did you think of “One of Us”?