After last week’s episode felt more in service to the overarching Marvel universe’s plot, “One of Us” focused squarely on moving along the dangling threads on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Coulson’s team has begun to fracture, and “One of Us” very much delved into the show’s many broken relationships and whether or not they could be repaired.
But, as the title suggests, “One of Us” was about belonging—whether that means belonging to the heroes or the villains. On the S.H.I.E.L.D. side of things, that means determining Skye should remain a member of the team. For Cal and his ragtag group, it’s about trying to make society accept them, flaws and all. Even if those flaws include knives in the place of fingernails.
“One of Us” kept much of S.H.I.E.L.D. separate until the climactic, 50-yard-line showdown as it examined those relationships. Here’s how those groupings fared:
Skye, May, and Andrew
Skye is still living in The Cage, but we first see her happily having a meal with Coulson. She’s now on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s gifted index, but she thinks she can control her tremors. Of course, Coulson and the team are less certain and want her to have a full psychological evaluation.
And there’s only one man for the job—May’s ex-husband, Andrew (Blair Underwood). The two’s history rises to the surface when they reunite. Andrew used to work with S.H.I.E.L.D. but has since cut ties. To be fair, May was the one to divorce him and then ignore his calls when he reached out in concern as S.H.I.E.L.D. fell apart.
May convinces him, however, to at least ignore their past grievances and help Skye. Andrew can tell how much she cares, and knowing visible emotion in May is such a rarity, he agrees to help. Skye is initially reticent, but he feeds into her eagerness for May gossip (He and May eloped, but not to Vegas, even though May loves Vegas), and Skye eventually opens up about shooting herself last week with the icer. She offers a simple description for what it feels like when the tremors begin—terrifying.
But Andrew isn’t only spending his time on Skye. He and May are reconnecting, and there most be something special about a guy who can make May laugh. With the small time he has on screen, Underwood does an admirable job of creating a believable and storied relationship.
Their happy moment is cut short when Skye begins shaking everything in her sleep. She later reveals to Andrew she had a nightmare about becoming the enemy. Andrew is concerned that when she tries to calm herself, she isn’t really dealing with her powers and the accompanying emotions, that she’s merely bottling them up. Any shrink will tell you that bottled up emotions are guaranteed to come pouring out at some point.
What’s the solution for that? Well, it will have to wait, as the plane starts shaking again. This time, however, it’s not Skye. It’s May driving the plane on a mission to help her fearless leader…
Coulson (and Bobbi)
Coulson starts off worrying about Skye, but his attention quickly shifts to Skye’s father, as Cal makes his return. Cal’s been assembling his own team, comprised of a roided-up man named Francis (Geo Corvera), a technical wiz in Levi (Ric Sabaria), and the knives-for-nails Karla Faye Gideon (Drea De Matteo). All three are former S.H.I.E.L.D. inmates, and Cal has one more member to add to his mercenary group. So he breaks into Brynmore Psychiatric Hospital, drawing the attention of Coulson and Bobbi.
There, he picks up David A. Angar (Jeff Daniel Phillips), who, thanks to some experimental energy blasts, has a voice that causes anyone who hears it to fall into a catatonic state. So the first lesson is to never bring this guy to karaoke night. The second is that he is a serious threat, and Coulson takes Bobbi with him to investigate the break out at Brynmore. They encounter another high-level inmate, who Bobbi makes quick work of, and discover Angar is long gone.
Cal has taken him to Wisconsin, Coulson’s hometown specifically, in an attempt to lure S.H.I.E.L.D. into the open. He wants to expose them for the monsters he sees them as for treating him and the rest of his group like monsters themselves.
NEXT: Showdown at center field.