I apologize for the lateness of this review. Personal schedules have been crazy lately.

Cast and Crew Information

Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson
Ming-Na Wen as Melinda May
Brett Dalton as Grant Ward
Chloe Bennet as Skye
Iain De Caestecker as Leo Fitz
Elizabeth Henstridge as Jemma Simmons
Nick Blood as Lance Hunter
BJ Britt as Agent Triplett
Reed Diamond as Daniel Whitehall
Henry Simmons as Alphonso ‘Mac’ Mackenzie
Dylan Minnette as Donnie Gill

Written by Monica Owusu-Breen
Directed by Bobby Roth

Premise

We finally learn where Simmons has been this season, and confront a past villain from the first season.

High Point

Fitz confronts the asset. (In fact, this high point starts moments before that and continues throughout.)

Low Point

Really? A secret organization being hunted by everyone on the planet puts logos on their uniforms?

The Review

We have another original story in the context of the series, made possible by the new status quo. I give it 5 out of 6.

The effects are well done, even if we’ve seen them all before. I give it 5 out of 6.

The story is another tightly structured hour. We’ve got a complete story here that clearly fits into a much larger picture. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting is very well done, with some intense moments for Dalton, de Caestecker and Henstridge. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production is very well done, with particular attention to visual metaphors this time around. For example, when Fitz is struggling through the fuzziness that is his mind, we get out of focus objects in the foreground of the shot. We’re seeing some very effective and specific choices getting made. I give it 6 out of 6.

The emotional response is very good. I’m happy that they revealed Simmons’ role so quickly in the episode, as it was my immediate reaction when hearing about the teaser. Once again, the Fitz story works extremely well. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, it’s a strong episode that lays more groundwork for future episodes, which is exactly the kind of episode I like. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Making Friends and Influencing People receives 36 out of 42.