So... I enjoyed this episode. In fact, I think it might be the best one this show has managed to pull off, with the exception of the one with Simmons almost dying. This episode just... it did a lot of good work. It's still not soaring to new heights or anything, but I'll tell you one thing: Lady Sif helped matters a lot. Also, there's a shocking twist in this episode that actually made me gasp out loud. Let's take a look at the plot.
Lorelei enslaves a biker gang to her will, beginning to create her army. The team discovers a strange reading in the desert, which indicates Asgardian technology. While out in the desert, Lady Sif appears. She is there to find and imprison Lorelei. Turns out, Lorelei’s power comes through her voice, and if they can silence her with a special collar, they can stop her. The team, accompanied by Sif (but not Skye, who is still recovering from her near-death), finds Lorelei at a biker bar.
During the fight, Lorelei puts Ward under her enchantments, and escapes with him. They go to Las Vegas. Coulson and the team follow, but Lorelei and Ward are nowhere to be found.
Coulson asks May to think about what she would do, in a similar situation, because she and Ward have had such similar training. May realizes, too late, that Lorelei and Ward are planning to commandeer the Bus. Lorelei enchants Fitz, and Fitz locks Sif up, and imprisons Skye and Simmons as well.
Everything comes to a head in epic fights between Sif and Lorelei, and May and Ward. Sif manages to subdue Lorelei and put the collar on her. Ward and Fitz are released from their enchantment.
Sif leaves with Lorelei, revealing that that she tracked down Lorelei on Odin’s orders. May and Ward break up, mostly due to the fact that Lorelei told May that Ward doesn't desire her, but another. (Ostensibly, we are meant to think of Skye).
And now for the shocking ending – Coulson talks with Skye, telling her about the blue alien-like creature that was the source of the drug that cured them both. Coulson is very worried about the mystery, but Skye is optimistic that things will be okay, stating that they are both alive, and that’s the most important thing. Coulson tells Skye that they should keep this secret just between the two of them, and not tell the rest of the team until they can get some answers from Nick Fury.
And then we see that May is spying on the conversation. She speaks into a secure phone line, and tells an unknown recipient: “Coulson knows.”
So. Let me start with my complaints. I wouldn't be me if I didn't have them.
Is it just me, or did the team behave really stupidly in this episode? I mean, Lady Sif tells them that Lorelei can control men with her voice. And yet they let Ward go into the middle of the fight. When she started controlling him, at first I thought… there has to be a fake out. This was all S.H.I.E.L.D.’s plan, right? They're not actually this moronic? But yes. They actually are. Very disappointing.
Also, Ward likes Skye? Noooo. I hate love triangles. I really, really do. They are the worst. I am not looking forward to how this plays out. All I want is Fitz and Simmons to fall in love and be together forever. Who cares about Skye and Ward? Ugh.
But… I did say that this was one of my favorite episodes of the show so far. Let’s talk about why.
Lady Sif and Lorelei. Jamie Alexander did an amazing job as Sif. In the Thormovies, she's something of a small fish in a big pond, but in this show, she gets to shine. I really appreciated the fact that she interacted mostly with May. These two strong women identify, first and foremost, as warriors, and it made a lot of sense that they would connect because of it.
All of the Thor tie-ins! I remember that earlier episode that was supposed to be a tie-in with The Dark World, but it totally wasn't. This time was a much better tie-in. Firstly, I loved the way that Sif told Coulson that Thor considers him a friend. The mention of the Dark Elves was lovely. But… the most significant moment in the whole episode for me came just before Sif left to take Lorelei back home. She said she was there on Odin’s orders. Everyone who saw The Dark World knows that Odin isn't Odin at the moment…. Odin is Loki. What does this mean?!
The fight sequences. I don't know a lot about this stuff, but I really enjoyed all of the hand-to-hand fighting in this episode. It looked really good.
AGENT MELINDA MAY IS A SPY?! I was shocked when this happened. Totally floored. I had no idea. It's the first time that a twist in this show has done this to me. Skye’s an 0-8-4? So what? Coulson was really dead for days, and was never in Tahiti? Snore. But May is spying on Coulson? Wow! I'm very intrigued. I don't think this means that May is evil. I really don't think that's where they're going. But I'm not sure what the answers are, either. Who was May talking to on the phone? I want answers!
There you have it. This was a very satisfying episode. However, it bodes poorly for the show that it took the presence of two Asgardians and a twist ending to pull this show out of the mud. I hope it's more than just a temporary fix.