This week's installment of Agents of SHIELD felt to me like it slowed down a lot from last week's premiere, though this week was certainly dutiful about answering a lot of questions. (When will they get Simmons back? Where has May been? What is Ward up to?)
The May story line was my favorite of the episode. First, there was the inherent fun you get in almost any long running television show when they introduce you to a relative of one of the main characters. Second, there was the added fun in that being May's father, played by wonderful character actor James Hong. Lastly, there was the interesting promise in having May and Hunter paired up for future episodes. They are a bit of an odd couple, she the least talkative and open of the characters, and he one of the most. It's a pairing we haven't had before on the show, and I'm looking forward to it.
In the main story line, we continued to see a desperate Fitz take reckless chances to get Simmons back from wherever the monolith took her. (I have no doubt future episodes will fill us in more on what her time there was like.) This was the most emotional and dramatic of the plot threads this week, and once again Iain De Caestecker was giving a hell of a performance as Fitz. Peter MacNicol's return as his decidedly un-Asgardian Asgard was a nice texture to have woven through the story as well.
As for Ward's story? Well, they have some building up to do to catch up with last season. The face-changing Agent 33 of last season was a wonderful gimmick, in that it provided an excuse for other main cast members to act in scenes with Brett Dalton. Now that that's finished, the writers have to put in some work to get
other interesting characters around Ward. So far, I don't have high hopes for this spoiled rich child wannabe supervillain. But we'll see where it all goes.
All in all, a decent if not great episode. I give it a B.