I’m not a fan of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I gave up shortly after the return from the midseason finale, and even had to stop reviewing these series for All Comic. But when Captain America: Winter Soldier hit, I knew this was one show I had to jump back on board and try and catch up to see what the fallout was, because they couldn’t screw up something this big, could they?
However, first I had to get through a couple of episodes. Thankfully – this one was also one that I happened to be looking forward to for a while, entitled “Yes Men”, featuring one of my favourite characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) and using this as proof that the show was starting to include more comic book elements that was largely absent from the rest of the season. This allows Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D to show where it’s at its strongest, and why there should be more comic book characters cropping up every now and again, much like Arrow isn’t afraid to include elements important to DC canon as the Birds of Prey and the Suicide Squad – as well as even a brief, blink and you’ll miss it cameo by Harley Quinn, who doesn’t appear in person but gets one line.
I can safely say then, that Yes Men is the best episode in the series yet. It had to be, with its US release tying into the release date of Thor: The Dark World on DVD. Yes Men knocks everything else out of the water and may be the first Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D episode that I’ve actually liked as opposed to not hated, which is always a good thing.
Lady Sif is ordered to Earth by Odin following the escape of Asgardian Lorelei , who escaped from Asgard’s cells following Malekith’s attack in the movie. The show for once wasn’t packed to the brim with the Agents running around at random, ignoring orders from S.H.I.E.L.D and practically making only the last few minutes worth watching at all.
The biggest strength of Yes Men is Lady Sif, who was played by Jamie Alexander, who is a great actress and has already proven to be one of the best to appear on the show. Her inclusion signifies that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D should have been doing this since Day One, not since episode fifteen. It’s great seeing her appear on the show, even if by having someone as good as Jamie Alexander exposes the weaknesses in just how boring the rest of the cast still is. They have improved since the early episodes, but several interactions, most specifically the Ward and May ones – fell flat, whereas Lady Sif’s battles with Lorelai proved that maybe this show should have been about Sif all along.
Something that was also good about this episode was that Jamie Alexander had more to do in Yes Men then she ever did in Thor: The Dark World, which was great to see, and hopefully this won’t be the last time we’ll see her on the show.
However, there are still a few problems in this episode though. The show continues to refuse to accept that the Skye Mystery is just simply dull and uninteresting, which is a real shame because as Yes Men proves, the main strength should be in utilising secondary characters in the Marvel films.
There’s also a post-credits scene which reveals that May is in fact a mole, and given what we’ve seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier it’ll be very interesting to see how this affects the rest of the team. Aside from the problem that reverts back to the Sky Mystery – here’s a hint, writers – if you’re going to have our characters involved in any mystery, make sure we care about them first, this is the best episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D yet, and for the first time in a while, I’m actually looking forward to next week. Bring it on.