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Agents of SHIELD Recap: “The Dirty Half Dozen”

ULTRON IN THE HOUSE.

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“The Dirty Half Dozen” brought together the crack creative team of Kevin Tancharoen behind the camera and Drew Greenberg behind the words, and it made for one of the best SHIELD episodes in weeks. And the Ultron tie-ins sure didn’t hurt, either!

I know you’re all going to freak out and assumed I’ve entered some weird Twilight Zone, but – I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but – I really, really liked Skye this week. I know! Who’s writing this recap?! I think it was Tancharoen’s incredible action direction (the same we saw in the May vs. May fight back in “Face My Enemy,” also written by Greenberg), but Skye kicked some serious Hydra ass this week, has mastered the Force, and she got some solid one-liners against Ward (plus the Sonic dig against Raina?! I almost died). Keep this Skye up, and I’m going to be rooting for her full-time.

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It was also a delight to have Bad Sass Ward back with the gang. The writers have subverted everyone’s expectations for a redemption arc and continue to do so, even as he’s forced to join the ol’ SHIELD team again for an episode. Ward made some great points about Coulson returning him to his abuser – not cool, Coulson – but I’m also totally on board with the team still refusing to completely forgive him for betraying their trust so completely. It’s actually hard to know who to agree with, because no one here is wrong.

I’m also confused about how I feel about Ward and Kara’s relationship. At first I was all, ew, Stockholm Syndrome much? But now I’m all, maybe he was actually good to her? But it’s actually kind of both of those things? Damn you, SHIELD writers, for your complex characterizations!

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Those complexities, of course, don’t cover everyone on the show – I was intrigued by Olmos’s partnership with Coulson, but that was all just part of Eddie’s Dastardly Plan in the end. Lincoln also remains super whatever – I kept imagining him trying to gently float away from the Hydra operatives who nabbed him and it made me laugh a whole lot. But Lincoln’s scenes with Mike actually had me pretty stoked about the two of them teaming up – though, given that I felt that way about the Mike/Coulson/Hunter combo as well, it could just be that Mike makes everyone awesome by association.

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Otherwise, the tension between May and Coulson is wonderful (I hate it when Mom and Dad fight!); Raina embracing her power as the true Clairvoyant is pure excellence; and SkyeMom going full Edward Cullen gave me some serious giggles. And while Simmons is all over the place, she’s obviously just trying to do what she thinks is best – and that’s not always easy to determine.

The episode was peppered with hella Ultron tie-ins, since the movie drops this week. From subtle mentions of “the twins” with powers, to the whole shebang with Maria Hill (Cobie!), Raina’s visions, and the sceptre, I can’t wait to see the flick, and then see how it fucks up SHIELD.

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IT’S ALL CONNECTED ET CETERA.

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