There be spoilers here.

Welcome, UK Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans. It’s the fourth week we’ve had Coulson and co back on our screens. As ever, I am endeavouring to give you the show 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’ll really be doing, as per usual, is talking about the five things I loved and hated in this episode. So what did I make of season two episode “Love in the Time of Hydra”?

LOVED: Agent 33 and Ward

Shield season 2 Episode 14 love in the time of hydra Ward It was good to catch-up with this crazy pair during this episode. I loved how we first met them, sitting in a diner, making normal conversation, speculating on pancakes. The way things subsequently turned in that opening scene and the angles and shizzle used were very reminiscent of a certain scene from Pulp Fiction only minus Vincent and Jules.

HATED: Dropping Skye

The tense conversation between Coulson and May over Skye’s future with the agency was kinda hard to watch. Felt a bit like watching two parents argue, with Coulson being all, “We’re talking about Skye!” when he objects to May’s suggestions and then May being all, “She doesn’t know herself any more,” and therefore can’t look after Skye herself. It’s all very tense, all very disappointing for Skye’s character.

LOVED: Choice and powers

Discussions got a bit philosophical at times in this episode. I especially liked the one between Fitz and Simmons where they compared Skye’s powers to that of the powered Avengers. Fitz, it appears, is pro-Hulk, whereas Simmons sees the Banner-Hulk dynamic as one Banner would rather not be a part of and that generally Hulk is kinda crap at really helping out with things. While I didn’t like what this implied about Skye, I did like that they brought in a conversation that looked at the Avengers.

HATED: Edward James Olmos/Robert Gonzales

Shield season 2 Episode 14 love in the time of hydra Robert Gonzales Okay, I don’t dislike the actor, but finally finding out the nature of his character’s role in the show was kinda of a bit “argh” for me. In some ways, it seems he’s just playing a bit of an Adama character again, with a whole of the usual side of “I know what’s best”, and it has made me very suspicious of what this second S.H.I.E.L.D. (the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. as Mack and Bobbi refer to it) really wants.

LOVED: Ward talking about himself

I actually kind of like Ward’s twisted character, I find him interesting. So to hear him talk candidly and with much innuendo, to Agent 33, about how he became the man he is today was pretty cool. When he mentions how he had to, with his family, “Dig in, express our feelings,” I got a bit of a shiver from this reference to the earlier part of the season. I mean, the gap in screening episodes had almost made me forgot what Ward had gotten up to earlier in this season.

HATED: Agent 33 not getting things right

Okay, okay – she’s a villain, but sometimes it’s possible to have sympathy for the devil. In this case, if you consider what has been taken from Agent 33 over the years, it was a little heartbreaking seeing her flounder around in trying to build a relationship with Ward. Taking on Skye’s visage was unlikely to ever work out for Agent 33, and it didn’t, but to then realise that she doesn’t know what her own face looks like any more: kind of sad.

LOVED: Talbot freaking out

Shield-season-2-Episode-14-Love-in-the-time-of-hydra-talbot Sure, it’s lovely to have Talbot on side these days, there is just something satisfying seeming him freak out at the revelation that Agent 33 is in the same building as him. Talbot’s subsequent misguided actions against his female staffers and wife showed how hard it is for the Colonel to actually stay on top of things. Oh, that and the mower description he gives to a Lieutenant before his location is compromised was pretty ridiculous – he was definitely the episode’s comic relief.

HATED: Skye being dumped

Yes, let’s just take Skye to the middle of nowhere, to some log cabin, with added laser fence, in order to keep her on ice and not be a danger to anyone else. Coulson was clearly conflicted over the whole thing, but I didn’t like the presentation of Simmons’ new gloves design for Skye in order to inhibit her powers. I just don’t like how Skye’s character is being treated and I never thought I could loathe Simmons as a character, but I do now – her switch has been too drastic.

LOVED: Fitz speaking his mind

For me, since the series came back from its break, Fitz has been the only voice of reason. So the way he just lays everything out to Simmons after finding out about the gloves that have been designed for Sky is just priceless. Simmons tries to say that everything that’s changed with Skye is dangerous and scary and all, but Fitz really gets it when he says, “You know that the scariest change is, Jemma? It’s you.”

HATED: Hunter and Bobbi

Shield season 2 Episode 14 love in the time of hydra Hunter Hunter is his own man, and obviously doesn’t like having his strings pulled. It is sad for Hunter to feel so betrayed by Bobbi, after it looked like something might come of their rekindled relationship, but I think it was worse how he was being treated by the “real” S.H.I.E.L.D. It was all like “yeah, we’re more transparent than Coulson’s gang” but then also “and we will want to control you even more”. I just hope Hunter makes it back to Coulson and co in time.

That’s it for now. I hope you’re enjoying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as much as I am. If you have any thoughts on episode 14 or the show as a whole, let me know in the comments below.