Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Making Friends and Influencing People begins with Agent 33 (Maya Stojan) being held by HYDRA and she is fighting the brainwashing program that Dr. Whitehall is patiently applying. When the former S.H.I.E.L.D. operative says that there is no way that she will ever work for HYDRA, the doctor says that he expected the night to be long one.
Simmons is shown getting ready for work at HYDRA where they are completely under using her as a scientist. Skye gets a lesson from May about maintaining control when in the field while she practices at the shooting range. As agents Hunter and Mack pass by the two women they reveal that they have a bet. Hunter believes that Skye went to the S.H.I.E.L.D. academy and she reveals that the answer is no.
Lance loses his bet and May reminds him that shooting them was a mistake, Hunter then makes “apology number 470.” May tells the former mercenary not to be sorry but to just wait. Hunter wants to know if Skye has “taken anyone out,” and she says no. Coulson comes back alone because Agent 33 was captured by HYDRA and he is not happy.
Agent Simmons learns that the cells she has been studying belong to Donnie Gill who is hiding in Marrakech, Morocco. At a sidewalk cafe, he fixed the shop owner’s radio and then offers to help out for room and board. The owner lets it slip that he was warned that Donnie was dangerous and the Gifted’s response is to freeze the cafe owner to death. He then takes out one of two HYDRA agents and finds out that they were supposed to take him to Maribel Del Mar. Gill then leaves.
On Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Making Friends and Influencing People Simmons comes home to find Phil Coulson in her apartment. The new director tells her that he will cook dinner while she debriefs him. Phil tells his undercover agent to make friends and she asks about Fitz. She passes on that HYDRA are wanting to get Gill on their side and it turns out that Donnie is dangerous and unstable. At a S.H.I.E.L.D. agents briefing later, Fitz passes on, with difficulty, that Donnie did not make friends easily.
Skye questions “The Asset” aka Ward, about the gifted Donnie Gill who can freeze things by touching them and she asks what HYDRA will do with the former scientist if he will not comply. Simmons gets called “upstairs” to answer questions at her new place of work. She is escorted by two armed guards. Bakshi questions the agent and wants to know why she did not tell them she knew Gill. During the tense Q & A session, Bakshi tells Simmons that she will have a chance to prove her loyalty.
Donnie has frozen a ship at Maribel Del Mar and the two opposing factions race to get to him. Fitz gets left behind with his new friend Mack and he is not happy about it. Simmons is forced to accompany Bakshi as they go to recruit Gill at the frozen ship. Donnie confesses that he is angry before killing another member of the ship’s crew.
Fitz argues with pretend Simmons and then goes to find out what the team have been keeping from him. He discovers that it is Grant Ward. Simmons is told her life depends on recruiting Donnie and Skye proves that her practicing to control her heart rate is working. Fitz talks to Ward and explains what he did to him, the scientist tells Grant that he suffered from Hypoxia because of being deprived of oxygen and does the same to Grant.
As his oxygen level goes down Ward tells Fitz that Skye and the others are in danger. Donnie meets with Simmons and her attempt at talking him into joining HYDRA fails. Hunter, Skye and May go to either capture Gill or kill him. Lance gets the order to stop Donnie talking to the HYDRA agent whom May recognises as Simmons, she shoots Hunter to stop him from shooting Simmons and the undercover S.H.I.E.L.D. agent takes the moment of confusion to run from Gill who has turned deadly.
Bakshi turns Donnie, as he was already programmed to follow what was suggested and Gill starts to kill the agents in the ship. Skye shoots Donnie and he falls off the ship and crashes through the ice, freezing as he sinks further in the water. Skye checks her pulse and it is steady at 61 BPM just after she shoots at Bakshi to help Simmons maintain her cover.
When the agents get back to the plane Hunter tells May that he is alright after being shot by her and asks if they are even. May says that they are, meaning that Trip still wants some payback from the ex mercenary. Skye tells May that she is afraid for Simmons and that she cannot lie well enough to keep from getting caught, May tells Skye that Simmons will be fine.
At the end of Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Making Friends and Influencing People Phil has a talk with Fitz and he tells him that he can see his progress and that Simmons is undercover and that is why she left the team. Agent 33 comes in to give Dr. Whitehall some paperwork and it is evident that she has been broken. Bakshi wants to bring Simmons upstairs and if she causes problems to brainwash her as well. Skye has another chat with Ward and he reveals her father is still alive and looking for her; she is not happy to hear it. After she leaves her BPM peaks at 105. Next week it looks like May and Phil go undercover. The fight between HYDRA and the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. looks to be heating up with Simmons still undercover and now two more agents are entering HYDRA territory as a part of the strategy. It remains to be seen if Fitz will improve enough to cut down on his frustration factor with communication.
By Michael Smith