Five weeks in, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues to build momentum. If you’ve been sitting on the fence about the show, here’s where I’m finally letting apprehension give way to excitement: AoS is going somewhere, and it looks fun and dark and far more interesting than ever before. Also, if there’s any truth to the prevailing theories out there, stuff is gonna get cray. We’ll talk about that some more in a bit. Let’s talk about this episode first, since that’s why we’re all here.
“A Hen in the Wolf House” starts at a very swank military wedding enduring a very bad best man speech. It’s pretty bad, groan-worthy stuff that just about everyone present wants out of—which works out, I guess, since the caterers just kill them all anyway. Turns out they were Hydra agents, and the military folks were a S.H.I.E.L.D. task force dedicated to taking down Hydra. But thanks to poisoned champagne, they’re now all dead or dying with effects frighteningly similar to what The Obelisk does.
Back at S.H.I.E.L.D. HQ, Coulson is being briefed on the disaster, and during the proceedings Skye catches a glimpse of Coulson’s desk, which has some of those troublesome glyphs carved into it. Since Coulson is asking her to analyze what they mean without telling her where they’re from, she’s quite frustrated and seeing them on Coulson’s desk stokes her curiosity. But Coulson shuts her down hard, and Skye takes it pretty badly.
Meanwhile, Kyle MacLachlan is doing some basement surgery on some criminals, because a guy’s gotta pay the bills, man. But when Raina interrupts to tell him that Hydra is threatening her to hand over The Obelisk or else, Kyle MacLachlan gets very angry. As Skye’s Angry Dad, he has one very important goal: finding his daughter. Letting Raina hand over The Obelisk to Whitehall is off limits because it’s “the only thing that will let her understand him,” which sets off SO MANY COMIC NERD IDEAS.
The Raina/Angry Dad confrontation ends with us learning two things: Angry Dad is freakishly, superhumanly strong, with serious control issues—Raina is terrified of him. The second is told to Raina as he dismisses her from his service and she apologizes for never bringing “Skye” to him:
“That’s not her name,” he says.
Meanwhile, at Hydra (writing those words never ceases to crack me up), Simmons and her supervisor are called up to an evil meeting called by Whitehall, who talks about weaponizing the effects of The Obelisk should they acquire it, and he makes it clear he knows who Simmons is.
Back at HQ, Skye is looking over the glyphs on the back of the painting from last week’s shenanigans, trying to see if there’s something there for her to suss out. Lance has a chat with her, telling her that she should dig deeper into her suspicions about Coulson and see if Ward has anything to offer on the matter. Which she does, but not before asking what he knows about her parents. Ward tells her what he’s said before: She’s wrong about her parents being dead, but she won’t believe him, choosing to change the subject to the glyphs. Ward tells her what he knows—that Garrett had the same problem after being injected with the GH formula, and it scared the hell out of Ward. Naturally, this terrifies Skye.
However, Skye chooses to do the rational thing, for once—she confronts Coulson right away. He levels with her and says that she was kept in the dark because she had to be monitored, since she was given the same formulas as Garrett and Coulson, but not exhibiting the same effects. Coulson hypothesizes that whatever’s in his head is an adverse reaction to the alien DNA in the GH formula, and that Skye is not suffering from similar symptoms because there might already be alien DNA in her. (Again, this sets off so many Marvel alarms).
This super fascinating conversation is interrupted by a phone call from Raina, who is threatening to expose Simmons to Hydra if they don’t give her what she wants, which—after a meeting with Coulson at a fancy restaurant, he learns—turns out to be Skye. Raina has a photo of Simmons leaking intel (hilariously disguised as a fish taco menu) that she’s going to send to all of Hydra (Raina’s got a stacked Rolodex) if Coulson doesn’t hand Skye over in two minutes. Coulson doesn’t budge, but Raina wasn’t bluffing either—Simmons is outed.
NEXT: Honestly, where is Hydra even located?