11:26 pm EDT, October 14, 2014

‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ season 2, episode 4 recap: Danse macabre

Dancing turned rather dangerous on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 2, episode 4! Check out our recap and share your thoughts on “Face My Enemy”!

Opening number

A church in Miami has burned down, leaving only an ancient portrait of Mary and Baby Jesus intact. The painting has some very particular alien symbols carved onto the back.

Coulson and May infiltrate a swanky fundraiser for said church. They are undercover as a couple, and attempting to steal the fragment of painting. Skye and Trip run the operation from the Bus, but Coulson turns off comms and takes May out to the dance floor.


The two reminisce about S.H.I.E.L.D. Academy while dancing and scoping out the security, but May wants to talk about the present – like how Coulson’s hand was shaking earlier. Coulson wants to make a plan if he goes all Garrett and crazypants, but May avoids the subject.

The dancing and scoping goes well, until General Talbot shows up. Coulson decides to be upfront, and asks the General not to blow his cover.

“I won’t interfere,” Talbot agrees, “Unless I feel I need to.”

Oh, okay, well that’s reassuring.

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Friends and lovers

On the Bus, Hunter tells the story of how he met his ex-wife on a moonlit night. Unfortunately, she turned out to be crazy and evil and totally Bobbi Morse.

Coulson and May decide to move up the timetable, so May distracts the host, shocking the listening agents with her laughter and loquaciousness. Coulson takes a picture of May and the host, then uses the image to bypass the retinal scanner.

Then Agent May is completely unimpressed by laser grids.

Unfortunately, Talbot is making his own plans. Not only is he also after the painting, but he’s reporting to Daniel Whitehall! Oooh, Glenn. We knew that terrible haircut meant you were bad news.

But Whitehall is unperturbed, and has a plan.


Talbot confronts May and Coulson. He has the painting, but wants Coulson’s help to decode the writing. Coulson agrees to meet him downtown in an hour, but is actually just stalling until he can figure out Talbot’s game.

Coulson returns to the Bus, while May goes off to do what she considers to be the fun part – though she enjoyed the dancing “a little bit.” She breaks into a hotel room occupied by Agent 33.


Talbot enters, but a quick punch to the face reveals that the man is in fact Bakshi, wearing one of those high-tech Black Widow masks from Captain America: The Winter Soldier!

Agent 33 tases May into unconsciousness. She takes her dress, prints off a May-mask, and voila – we have 33May.


On the Bus, Hunter, Skye, Trip, and Mack bond over exes. Imaginary-Simmons tells Fitz to join the bonding, but he decides to sulk in what used to be their lab. (Which hurts, guys.)

Fitz still feels like he is no longer a part of the team, and bitterly muses that telling Simmons about his feelings did him no good.

33May arrives and claims that Talbot is being honest. She sticks a bomb-thing onto the Bus as she leaves with Coulson.

Meanwhile, actual-May wakes up tied to a chair in the hotel room. Bakshi questions her, and promises her that she’ll meet Whitehall soon and “will comply.” May is completely unfazed, even as Bakshi prepares to torture her.


On the way back, Coulson asks 33May about the other plan. He wants her to be the new Director after he is neutralized. 33May realizes that she’s meant to be moved by this. “I won’t let you down,” she promises.

Aww! Oh, wait… no.

Luckily, Coulson is more clear-headed than we are. Just outside Bakshi’s hotel room, Coulson asks 33May out to coffee – she agrees, and he punches her. “May hates coffee!” he crows.

Because all coffee is weaker than she is.

Actual-May breaks out of the chair, but Bakshi escapes with the painting. Coulson goes after him as May fights 33May for a ridiculously extended length of time.


33May reveals that she used to be S.H.I.E.L.D., and actual-May manages to electrocute her mask and takes her out – though she does not learn Agent 33’s identity.

Meanwhile, the Bus begins to shut down. Fitz realizes they have been sabotaged, and that the Bus is going to explode imminently. He manages to get it together, and uses Hunter to fix the wiring.

Coulson ICEs Bakshi, and he and May escape with the painting just as Fitz saves the Bus and HYDRA reinforcements descend on the hotel.

Guys and dolls

Hunter brings Mack and Fitz beer. With Simmons’ silent encouragement, Fitz joins in – but rather angrily spills that the girl he loved did not reciprocate his feelings, and left after he confessed them to her.

The guys toast to moving on as we wring our hands in frustration over Fitz’s building resentment at Simmons.

The contingency plan

Coulson fills a bemused Talbot in on the impersonation, and says that the painting was destroyed. In reality, Coulson has had it analyzed. The painting is 500 years old, but the carving is new – so someone else is out there like Coulson. May promises to find him. (Or her.)

When Coulson once again broaches the topic to the contingency plan, May reveals that she already has a plan. If Coulson cracks, she will bail with him, and keep him safe in Australia.

“No matter what happens, I’ll take care of you,” She says. “That’s my plan.” Coulson is deeply touched (as are we) ,but he orders her to kill him. He believes the situation is only going to get worse.

“Hard choices are coming,” he tells her. “I need you to make this one for me.”

May finally nods her assent, tears gleaming in her eyes.


Raina makes plans to go to Miami for the painting, but finds herself apprehended by HYDRA: Daniel Whitehall wants his Obelisk back.

Whitehall threatens Reyna very eloquently, sticks some weird device on her hand, and gives her 48 hours to bring back the Obelisk.

And that’s what we call a “Dun, dun, dun!”

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