Television: Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., "Making Friends and Influencing People"

Finally, the second season begins to show signs of possibly being good.

We learn that Simmons is working undercover for Hydra. And that Hydra is "acquiring" gifted people (like Creel), and has added Donnie Gill to their wish list.

In case you don't remember, Donnie Gill was the kid from last season who Fitz and Simmons saved while giving a lecture at the S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy. And then the whole weather machine fiasco, and then Donnie turned into something from X-Men, namely a guy who can freeze stuff by touching it.

When Hydra realizes Simmons has a prior connection with Donnie, they send her in to try and win him . . . back, as it turns out. And when that doesn't work, they trigger his programming.

Turns out Hydra has been brainwashing the gifted people who resist joining them. (Look back to Dollhouse for more of Whedon doing this, and doing it a bit better, really, maybe just because here it was so obvious but in Dollhouse there was a better reveal.)

Meanwhile, Fitz discovers the Ward they've been keeping in the basement. Ha. Ward. Fitz nearly kills Ward by depriving him of oxygen, just as Ward had done when he dumped Fitz and Simmons in a container in the ocean. That lack of oxygen to his brain is what has caused Fitz so many problems, namely his difficulty thinking of words. But I guess it's a good think Fitz spares Ward because it gives Ward a chance to tell Skye that her father is alive and looking for her, and that he (Ward) will take Skye to him if given the chance. Hmm. Sounds like he's hoping to motivate Skye to free him. I'll be more than a little annoyed if she falls for it.

I found the first two episodes of this season dull, but this one held most of my attention, which is a move in the right direction.

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