There be spoilers here.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is back on UK screens. Each week, we’re hoping to bring you the episode analysis that matters, the key insights and critiques that can be derived from those tense forty-three minutes of television…

Ha, just kidding. No, what I really want to do instead is talk about the five things I loved and hated this week. So what did I make of season two episode “A Fractured House”?

Talbot LOVED: Avenger’s Assemble reference

There’s something nice about the references to the Avengers film – where a lot of this all started. It’s a nice nod to the rest of the Marvel universe and it’s brilliant to see the universe developing, rather than the comic’s tendency to write over the past and have a weird connect/disconnect with it’s characters (connect because of the crossovers, disconnect because of the lack of lasting change in a lot of their characters).

HATED: The stitching up of SHIELD

While I liked the plotline itself, I did have an initial reaction of “those devious buggers!”. In a way, it’s good that they’re showing just how far Hydra will go, and how they’re so dangerous, but I do think SHIELD needs to catch a break.

turning-to-dust LOVED: Drilling and turning to dust

The tech in this episode was quite good. The drilling reminded me of the Cerebral Bore from Turok 2 (probably the most brutal weapon in an FPS) and the dusting effects from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It’s also showing just what Hydra can do with alien technology.

HATED: Ward – again!

Ward – not the most popular character and one that has gone from being “meh” to “bad”. He’s definitely a character that I’m ready to see them doing something with, he’s just in limbo at the moment and it’s frustrating just how long they’ve used him for info in this way. It’s got quite tiresome.

Coulson-and-Grumpy-Cat LOVED: Grumpy cat mug

Previously, Phil Coulson has been noted to be grumpier than usual, which is why it’s quite a nice jab when he noted a new mug aboard. This mug actually had the image of the world famous Grumpy Cat.

HATED: The Ex-Wife trope

I get it – Lance Hunter doesn’t get on with his now ex-wife. Constantly criticising her and taking everything she does in the wrong way, as well as general bickering with her, it’s tiresome and it’s petty. I know that’s the way it’s meant to be played, and it’s nice that two new characters have a history outside of SHIELD, but it’s got old, real fast.

LOVED: Dude from White Collar! – As Ward’s brother!

Having watched  binged on episodes of White Collar, it’s quite interesting just how much of a different character Tim DeKay plays. It’s also fantastic that they’ve finally found a reason to bring Ward back – and it kind of allays my fears about his character – that they would do nothing decent with him and he would just fade away in a “he used to be useful” kind of way.

HATED: Simmons and Fitz

Poor Fitz. Not only does he have to deal with brain damage, but Simmons genuinely acts annoyed that she’s having to slow down her thinking speed for him. The tension is there and it’s awkward and almost cringe-worthy that Simmons isn’t really helping Fitz. Her patience with him is just not there. Although I do like how this has opened up avenues of friendship with Mac.

Christian-Ward LOVED: Battle of the Wards

So we have two Wards, both pointing the fingers at just how messed up the other is in the head and we’re left with this feeling – which is the worst of two evils. By the end of the episode we have Grant Ward – a known Hydra agent who has manipulated before, but claims he’s told the truth and just wants to be with Skye, and then we have Christian Ward, who has done that massive U-turn condemning Hydra and differentiating between them and SHIELD. Somehow, I don’t think either of them will turn out to be trustworthy…

HATED: Broken SHIELD

SHIELD lost more people. Their main dwindling resource – manpower, is getting smaller and smaller. I’d love to see SHIELD bounce back, but it seems like it will take a few seasons before that will come about – and that’s probably a good thing. But by the same token, it’s not pleasant to see Team Coulson taking a hit.