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Recap / Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. S1 E15 "Yes Men"

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When Coulson and his team are attacked by Lorelei—a deadly seductress who escaped from Asgard—Thor's teammate Lady Sif, her longtime nemesis, steps in to try to save them.


Tropes:

  • All Bikers Are Hells Angels: The gang Lorelei recruits are violent thugs who hang out in a bar. Lampshaded, somewhat, as Rooster has "1%" embedded on his jacket, a surprisingly smart reference to how only 1% of bikers are criminals. There's also a biker gang that calls itself "The one percent club".
  • All Your Base Are Belong to Us: Using the brainwashed Ward and Fitz, Lorelei takes control of the Bus.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Coulson asks Sif if any of the species she's seen throughout the realms were blue.
  • Amazon Brigade: The all female team who go into Lorelei's apartment. Justified because of Lorelei's magic.
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  • Artistic License – Gun Safety: Averted while showing off the new stun guns. When Fitz points one at May, she wisely pushes the barrel off to the side, and both she and Ward aim them away from Fitz and each other while handling them.
  • Artistic License – History: Rooster tells Lorelei that Ben Franklin was a President of the United States. But then, Rooster's an idiot.
  • Bar Slide: Sif does this to one of Lorelei's brainwashed thugs.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Coulson (who isn't brainwashed by Lorelei because they never crossed paths) is assumed to be under her control by Fitz. Coulson rolls with it and gets him to explain her plan.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Any man Lorelei talks to or gets her hands on. Those resistant to the first will fall for the second. It should be noted that Lorelei's ability doesn't really change their personality, merely makes them unwaveringly devoted to her. It's taken to an extreme with Ward, who outright tells Lorelei that he knows he's being used as her tool, but can't bring himself to disobey her.
  • Call-Back:
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    • Coulson and Sif recognize each other from New Mexico, and she brings up Loki killing him in The Avengers. She also refers to him as "Phil, Son of Coul." Coulson also calls Sif's attack on the Destroyer "badass".
    • Lorelei apparently escaped Asgard during the Dark Elf attack.
    • Lorelei is attracted to Ward because he has the rage of a berserker inside him, which he gained by using the Berserker Staff in "The Well".
    • Among the blue-skinned people Sif mentions are Frost Giants, and Sif says they're the only ones to have visited Earth, as explained in the first Thor movie's backstory.
  • Cavalry Betrayal: Inverted. S.H.I.E.L.D. is technically the cavalry to the local police, who Lorelei has already enthralled by the time they arrive.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Sif says that Odin orders Lorelei brought back to Asgard alive. Anyone who's seen Thor: The Dark World knows that this order has some darker implications.
    • When Ward tests out the new guns that Fitz had made the team, his first comment was that he'd finally lost the ounce of weight he'd requested be removed from the Night-Night gun back in "FZZT". He also approves the fact that the name "Night-Night Gun" has also been dropped.
    • A bit of a subtle one: Ward and Lorelei stay at Caesar's Palace, the same Vegas hotel where Iron Man starts out.
    • Another subtle one: Simmons' weapon of choice when attempting to ambush Coulson (whom she believes has been brainwashed by Lorelei) is a fire extinguisher. She previously (successfully) used a fire extinguisher to momentarily stun Fitz in "FZZT".
    • After Coulson KOs Fitz, Simmons notes regretfully that Fitz is always getting knocked out, making reference to the above Head Tap. note 
    • Skye's awful impression of Simmons's English accent brings to mind her (even worse) attempt at mimicking Fitz's Scottish accent in "T.R.A.C.K.S."
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • For all her martial art skills, May stands no chance against an Asgardian and gets felled by the first punch.
    • Coulson also downs Fitz with one punch, not so surprisingly.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Sif/Lorelei, with May/Lorelei turning up as well. It's justified as any man fighting Lorelei will quickly become her slave.
  • Destructo-Nookie: Ward and Lorelei make quite a mess of the hotel bedroom.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Coulson wants to talk to Fury about the Guest House, but Fury is of course off the grid and can't be reached.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Brainwashed Ward and Lorelei have sex. Due to his brainwashing, this is rape. While she is a villain anyway, no mention of it is made later, and Ward is treated as partially at fault for not being strong enough to resist her. Also qualifies as Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male and a form of Double Standard: Rape, Divine on Mortal.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: Subverted. Ward has taken Lorelei and could have gone anywhere in the world, and the next shot we see has them passing the Eiffel Tower — only it's not the real one; they're not in Paris, they're in Vegas.
  • Evil Plan: Lorelei has come to enslave all the men in the world and then use them to take it over and rule as queen. Her motivation for this is to gratify her ego.
  • Exact Words: Lorelei told her first puppet that she'd be with him until the end. The end comes the moment she finds a more useful puppet, and kills him.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Coulson taps May's experience as a way to anticipate Ward's next move. She barely gets started before Sif starts banging on her locked door and May realizes that Ward's first act would be to take them out.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Among the blue-skinned species Sif mentions are the Kree, who'll play a major part in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Another subtle example: When May and Ward are checking out the new guns, she says that they will need them because when against an enemy that can control people, "sometimes it's hard to distinguish friend from foe." She glances down for a second as she says it, like she had some sort of traumatic experience with an enemy like that. One season later, it's revealed that the incident for which she is nicknamed the Cavalry involved a little girl that could control people.
    • It also shows "Evil Ward" for the first time which is pretty much how he'll act to everyone in a few episodes once Hydra is exposed for the rest of the series. Note how remorseless he is attacking the team (while Rooster at least was apologetic to his wife) and how he still tries to shoot May after the control wears off but before she's aware of it. Understandable as this is the first episode shot where Brett Dalton was told of his upcoming side switch by the staff.
  • Functional Magic: Sif explicitly calls Lorelei's mind control "sorcery" and lists its rules.
  • Funny Background Event: When Ward is trying to convince May that he's no longer brainwashed, Sif walks in leading the imprisoned Lorelei. The look on Sif's face when she sees Ward, May and the half-destroyed Bus is hilarious.
  • Fun with Acronyms: Fitz has changed the name of the Night-Night guns, of which he has made several, more powerful variants, to I.C.E.R. (for "Incapacitating Cartridge-Emitting Railguns").
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Coulson smartly orders all male agents to stay away from Lorelei... then immediately has Ward go around the back to cut off her escape route with no backup. He at least learned from his mistake, bringing an all-female team for the next raid.
    • For that matter, there's Ward having been briefed on her ability and still not shooting her on sight despite having taken the I.C.E.R. gun for that purpose. May be justified, as while Sif emphasizes the power of Lorelei's voice and touch to control men, it's possible that her mere presence has a subduing/endearing effect.
  • I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: The fact that Lorelei's ability only affects men leads to women all throughout the episode commenting on men's "inherent weakness we do not share". Simmons says that she's not saying Fitz specifically is weak, she's saying men in general are weak. This is of course ridiculous because men and women (aside from asexual people) both have libidos. Lorelei's abilities seem to be tied to attraction, but it's never explored or even discussed if asexual and homosexual men would be immune to her, or if lesbian and bisexual women would be at risk.
  • It Amused Me: The reason why Lorelei seduces men to fight her battles. She especially likes stealing away men who are married or otherwise romantically attached.
  • It's Personal: Sif has a personal grudge with Lorelei, because she previously took the man Sif was in love with. It's implied the man died before Lorelei was stopped.
  • Just Think of the Potential: Simmons really wants to reverse-engineer the formula that saved Skye and Coulson, and is extremely frustrated by Coulson stonewalling her attempts to get outside help.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Simmons has noticed how often Fitz gets a Tap on the Head.
  • Literal-Minded:
    • Coulson asks Sif for cover during a gunfight, so she pushes a large trailer between the team and Lorelei's minions. Coulson Lampshades it.
    • Sif, like Thor, calls Coulson "Son of Coul".
  • Love Triangle: Lorelei mentions that May wasn't Ward's first choice, and when May and Ward talk later he implies she wasn't lying. The other woman is implied to be Skye.
  • The Mole: The Stinger reveals that May is spying on the rest of the team (or maybe just Coulson), presumably for the people within S.H.I.E.L.D. who brought Coulson back.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • When asked if she knows of any blue-skinned aliens, Sif rattles off a list of species from the comics who fit the bill.
    • Lorelei refers to past events, when Sif was in love with Thor, and Lorelei used her power to seduce him. None of this has been mentioned in the Thor movies, but it did happen in Walt Simonson's Thor comics.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Fitz is tasked with repairing the necklace which will block Lorelei's voice and break her spell over the men she has enthralled. He succeeds, then uses it as bait to trap Sif after he's been enthralled by Lorelei, thus allowing Sif to use it against her.
  • No One Could Survive That!: Sif is surprised to find out that Coulson is alive.
    Sif: (to Coulson) What kind of dark magic is this? Thor told me you perished at the hands of Loki.
  • No Ontological Inertia: As soon as the collar goes on Lorelei's neck, all the man she's enthralled go back to normal, no matter how far away they are.
  • Offhand Backhand: Lorelei backhands the groom she stole so hard he goes flying backwards and dents a car before flying over it and landing, demonstrating her Super Strength.
  • Outside Ride: Sif is ejected from the Bus and has to cling to the exterior of the plane for a while. Even for an Asgardian, that's no piece of fun.
  • Power Nullifier: The silencing collar brought by Sif to deal with Lorelei. It robs her of her voice, and thus her power to control men. It also negates any mind control already established.
  • Pretend to Be Brainwashed: Coulson runs into Fitz, realizes he's under Lorelei's control, pretends to be under her control as well and walks away.
  • Product Placement:
    • Another Thor-themed episode, this one coming a week after the Dark World DVD release.
    • The Caesar's Palace hotel in Vegas is also prominently on display when Ward and Lorelei stay there.
  • Pun: In the German dub, instead of simply saying that "Tahiti" "sucked"note , Coulson calls it "unterirdisch", i.e. "abysmal", which works both metaphorically and literally.
  • Punny Name: When Sif sees the biker bar where Rooster's gang is hiding Lorelei, she mentions Lorelei is used to living in a castle. Where does Ward take her? Caesar's Palace.
  • Remember That You Trust Me: This is Coulson's arc.
  • Remember When You Blew Up a Sun?: A variant. Coulson tells May about Sif's heroics on Earth from Thor against the Destroyer. He admits "it was pretty badass".
  • Rewatch Bonus: While already disproven after season 2 introduced Inhumans to the show, Captain Marvel (2019) shows that Coulson already knew Sif was wrong when she assured him that the Kree had never been to Earth.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Coulson has officially reached this point. At the end of the episode, he tells Skye he's ready to throw every bit of S.H.I.E.L.D. protocol he's put so much faith in right out the window and demand answers from the people responsible for everything that's happened to him.
  • Shut Up, Hannibal!: Lorelei starts gloating about having had Sif's former lover under her control, and Sif replies by slamming the collar on her.
  • Subverted Catch Phrase: When asked about Tahiti, Coulson replies "It sucked."
  • Super Strength: Both Lorelei and Sif, being Asgardian.
  • Take a Third Option: After being subdued, Lorelei asks Sif whether she will kill her, or will keep her alive to hear of her boasting about taking her man. Sif simply snaps the silencing collar around her neck.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: Ward tries to flush Sif out of the plane by opening the ceiling. It works, but she manages to cling to the hull and climb back in.
  • Took a Level in Badass: While it hasn't happened yet, Skye has taken the events of the previous two episodes as an indication that she needs to. She has asked Ward to step up her training as soon as Simmons lets her out of bed.
  • We Have Those, Too: Coulson tries to explain to Sif how to use the touch screen, but she proves perfectly familiar with the interface from her time in non-magical alien societies. She even calls the system "antiquated."
  • Wham Line: "He knows. I repeat, Coulson knows."
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Simmons snaps at Coulson after he refuses her request to share her limited data on the G.H. serum with S.H.I.E.L.D. in the hopes of reproducing it. Coulson counters by pointing out the lengths to which S.H.I.E.L.D. had gone to suppress that information.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The groom Lorelei picked up last episode gets an Offhand Backhand into his car when the more impressive biker gang becomes an option.

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