Agents of SHIELD – S2E4 – Face My Enemy – Recap

Man, compared to last season, this season of Agents of SHIELD is so good! I don’t know if it just takes a season for the writers and actors to really discover the characters, or if it’s the fact that Coulson and his team are the underdogs this season. Maybe it’s a combination of the two.

This episode focuses mainly on Coulson and May, as the two most experienced members of the team, crash a very fancy house party in order to retrieve a painting that on its backside has the same weird alien wingdings that Coulson has been drawing. There’s a small, but major complication to this when they show up and see that Talbot is at the same party. Oh, and did I mention that the party is at a Hydra house? And that Talbot seems to be in league with the Hydra guy whose party it is. Oh boy.

But the biggest problem really is just Talbot being there, whether or not he’s in league with Hydra. Coulson and May are at the party under assumed identities. If Talbot spots them, their cover is completely blown.

Before discovering Talbot is at the party, Coulson and May have one of the coolest scenes in the history of this show. They’re dancing together, but using every turn, dip and spin to scope out the room, taking notes of cameras and guards while reminiscing on past adventures together.


Coulson confronts Talbot, telling him that he’s on a mission at this party that could benefit them both. Talbot is surprisingly receptive to the idea.

Once the mission gets underway, we get some serious Mission: Impossible action going down. May flirts with a guy and tells Coulson to take their picture. But what Coulson is really doing is scanning his retinal patterns to bypass a lock later. Unfortunately, when they go for the painting, their cover is blown and the painting is nowhere to be found. Skye alerts them that the US government has the painting. Coulson meets with Talbot, and Talbot agrees to let Coulson see the painting…but only if they’ll meet him a secure location. Talbot also seems to be working with a bad guy here behind Coulson’s back. Uh-oh…

May checks out the secure location and is ambushed by the brainwashed Agent 33, who uses this digital mask thing to copy May’s face onto her own. Where does Hydra get these wonderful toys? The disguised-as-May Agent 33 arrives at the Bus, convinces Coulson to go to the secure location with her, and manages to install some nasty devise onto the Bus’s mainframe. 


Agent 33’s device sends the Bus into lock down mode. Coulson’s entire team is trapped inside the Bus. Crap. Oh, and the Bus is going to explode. Double crap.

may fight

At the hotel that is the secure location, Coulson figures out May is an imposter when she agrees to get a cup of coffee with him when this is all over. The real May hates coffee. Real May frees herself and it’s a May on May fight to determine who may walk away.  It’s a fantastic fight scene. I hope they include a making of for this scene in the DVD release of season two. The real May wins the fight. Coulson recovers the painting.

may fight 2

On the Bus, Fitz manages to save the day. This gets both Fitz and the rest of the team to believe in Fitz a little more. Fitz had been standoffish around the others earlier in the episode. But once he saves the day, he is ready to interact with the team again on a personal level. They’re all bitching about exes. Fitz joins in to complain about a girl who left once she found out how her felt about her.


So that was never Talbot. It was a Hydra guy in a Talbot mask all episode. When Coulson gets hold of the real Talbot, Talbot is amused that Coulson didn’t find it odd that he would just go along with this plan. Coulson’s team makes a discovery about the painting: it’s old, but the carvings aren’t. That means unless Garrett did this before he went completely Loony Toons, someone else is out there making these weirdo alien carvings too.

As the outro for the episode, Raina is taken by the Hydra silver fox from last week. He wants the obelisk, and wants her help retrieving it. To entice her to see things his way, he tortures her with some device and tells her she has 48 hours to bring it to him.