A Most wanted (Inhu)Man – Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D (S3E3)

The president’s ATCU (Advanced Threat Containment Unit) begins hunting down inhumans across the country. Meanwhile, Simmons begins her rehabilitation after her extended stay on the alien world.

While the title for “A Wanted (Inhu)man” referred to Lincoln, and his story was solid, the episode’s most notable content dealt with Simmons, as she was back, but hardly back to her usual self.

Elizabeth Henstridge was terrific here, as Simmons seemed on edge and often almost in pain from being around, well, nearly everything. Mundane things like a cell phone ringing got under her skin and Henstridge did an excellent job showing her trying to put on the best face she could, but struggling so much underneath. It was touching seeing Fitz trying so hard (yes, I it was “Aww”-worthy how he had held that restaurant reservation for them, hoping she’d return), but he just couldn’t help her – at least not yet.

Cover from Inhumans trade paperback (2001).
Cover from Inhumans trade paperback (2001). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Most Wanted (Inhu)Man starts off pretty fast-paced. We meet back with Lincoln, who is being chased by a small military squadron. They pursue him through the woods until he escapes after creating a blinding wall of sparks via some steel towers. He continues throughout the episode in a similar fashion, having to give the slip from the ATCU using his powers. Eventually, he seeks refuge with his old friend, John, but he ends up turning Lincoln in after seeing a news report falsely exposing him as a fugitive. Though it was a bit silly (and cliché) to do the “close confident sees news report about friend and freaks out without trying to get explanation” route. However, the fact that Roebuck’s character actually died from his heart attack, despite Lincoln trying to use his powers as a defibrillator – and that Lincoln didn’t redeem himself to his friend or anyone else by saving him – was effective.

 Superpowers should theoretically make a person more interesting, but the Inhuman characters on Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. are the blandest members of the cast. The writers of this series have struggled to give Chloe Bennet a character that brings out the charisma she shows in her public appearances, and while Skye/Daisy has gone through a significant transformation, it’s not one that highlights Bennet’s natural charm.  Right now, Daisy’s entire life is dedicated to S.H.I.E.L.D. and rescuing Inhumans, but it wouldn’t hurt to get a glimpse of what she does outside of work. What is her personal life like? Does she wish she could just be a regular woman in her early ’20s, trying to find her way in the world without alien powers and government organizations at her back? Now that she has control over her superpowers, does she ever have any fun with them?
While Daisy attempts to convince Lincoln to come along, Coulson meets with Rosalind Price. He’s attempting to find the reason her task force is hunting inhumans, particularly Lincoln. While her response is inconclusive, Coulson’s focus shifts when he informs her that he’s aware she knows about Daisy, who happens to also be on her hit list. Realizing neither side will get anywhere if they keep attacking each other, instead of focusing on the bigger struggle at hand, Coulson suggests a temporary partnership with Price.Lance Hunter
May finally decides to team up with Hunter in their mutual pursuit of Grant Ward. They make their way to Boston to meet with an old friend of Hunter’s who is in league with a mysterious arms dealer, suspected to be the new Hydra. It was a lot of fun seeing Hunter and May teamed up and on their own, trying to get Hunter infiltrated with Hydra. As a big Spartacus fan, I loved seeing Dan Feuerriegel as Hunter’s kinda/sorta buddy, “Spud”, they needed to cozy up to in order to get close to Hydra – a comic highlight of both the episode and the show in general was when Hunter and Spud got drunk and their slurred, thick accented dialogue – that May was struggling with – was subtitled. After a few rousing rounds of lager, Hunter agrees to fight his way up the pecking order…literally.  It’s a painful episode for Hunter, but it’s a great one for Nick Blood, who gets to goof off when he’s not being beaten to a bloody pulp.  Blood plays up the comedy even when Hunter’s getting pummeled, giving the character an endearing scrappiness as he fights a much larger, stronger opponent. May also finds herself in an uneven fight against three imposing men, but she’s far from scrappy. She’s ruthless as she quickly takes out her three would-be attackers, and gets the best line of the night as she walks away from the fallen bodies:
“How about I do you a favor and not tell anyone that a tiny little Asian woman kicked your ass.” 
Somehow managing to withstand a pretty hefty beating, he finally decides to go by Hydra’s rules to play as dirty as possible, pulls out his knuckle dusters, and reigns in his victory. Barely able to keep himself upright, he’s taken to finally face the man he set out to kill.
When Bobbi finds Simmons still analyzing the fragments of the Monolith, she tries telling her its been completely disabled and she has nothing to fear anymore. Much to Bobbi’s surprise, Simmons tells her she’s not afraid of being sent back, but for some reason, actually needs to go back.
Meanwhile, despite their differences, we got some more amusing banter between Coulson and Rosalind (them I feel chemistry between) and her “eyes up here!” as he eyeballed her car was a very funny bit.

OK, bit of a mixed bag this week as the impressive season opener did not really carry through in my opinion into week two.  While there was still quite a bit going on in this episode, the team was somewhat fractured dealing with all of the different responsibilities and goals that they needed to address. The first and perhaps most important was a straight continuation from last weeks attack on the Monolith by Fitz. Stopped by the rest of the group just before the Monolith decides to try and eat him, they realize that wherever it has taken Simmons, it has not just destroyed her as there is some dust left on Fitz’s face from a different planet. Coulson realizing that there is now some hope of recovering her has everyone get on deck to solve the problem of her disappearance.

Invoking the assistance of the Asgardian we’ve seen earlier – Dr. Randolph – who has been around for thousands of years and does not want to be sent back to Asgard. As such he has hunted high and low for all portals and should have information that they could use.  Once they find him, they determine that the Monolith was at one point in an English castle. It seems that over the ages people have discovered and analyzed this monolith to try and determine how it works and what it does and over the course of centuries some scientists have managed to create a way to activate the Monolith on demand (which in my opinion is quite impressive for individuals from the Renaissance/Medieval era!).

Fitz realizes immediately what they’ve discovered and they have Mac bring the Monolith to them so that they can try to rescue Simmons. Utilizing the tech from the middle ages Daisy (I’m going to have trouble with this name change and while I realize and can understand her justification for doing it and even applaud her for embracing her past, I’ve gotten used to Skye and I know her.  Daisy – well she’s still a bit of an unknown to me and someone I’m not as comfortable with) is able to open the Monolith by vibrating it at a certain frequency, although this obviously causes her quite a bit of pain.  While their initial intent is to send a probe through to see if they can find any sign of Simmons, Fitz decides to take the bull by the horns and leaps through the portal onto the  surface of another planet and in the middle of what looks to be a vicious sandstorm.  Struggling through the vicious storm, Fitz manages to locate Simmons and while at times he looks like he will lose his grip on her, they are able to make it back through the portal before it is destroyed due to the interference and effects of Daisy’s powers.  Yay!!!  Fitz and Simmons are back together!!

Now it must be stated that this is idiotic and while I understand that Fitz would do anything for Simmons he’d also check and see if there was breathable atmosphere wouldn’t he?!  He is a (brilliant) scientist & while he might be (is) still a bit messed up because of what Ward did, and while I’d agree and admit he’s conflicted, I didn’t like this at all!  I suspect the sandstorm/windstorm that he was subjected to on the other side was due to the portal being kept open and it effects on the local environment, but I would have expected to see some blowback on the Earth side of that gate which didn’t occur.

While all all of this is going on we finally have the reappearance of Ward and Hydra. Ward has transformed the organization into one that is significantly more violent and deadly than anything we have seen before and the members of this resurgent force seem willing to risk and do anything for his pleasure and approval. When he takes his forces and captures a playboy dilettante off of a yacht in the Mediterranean for the stated intention of obtaining his funds, it seems a little bit Micky Mouse, but this playboy is absolutely not what he seems.  As the son of the previous leader of Hydra, he’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty himself and quickly defeats Wards designated lieutenant – exactly as Ward had intended.  Ward wanted to see what he was made off and whether or not he would work with him in restoring Hydra and he’s gotten the answer he was looking for.

So as mentioned stuff has happened however we haven’t seen the reappearance of Lash – seemingly unstoppable based on what we saw last week or the team that Coulson was tangling with.  There is a very brief mention of secret warriors by May’s husband in a seemingly off the cuff remark and with all the other rumours out there, this is bound to come to fruition fairly soon.  May herself makes a very brief appearance as the perfect daughter which by itself is almost enough to make you shake your head in disbelief!

Simmons, even though she has now returned I’m sure there has to be some impact of her travels on the other side of the Monolith (PTSD is I’m sure the smallest part of it and it would be quite interesting to see her transform in some way also due to her exposure or something like that).  In all honesty the whole destruction of the Monolith itself was somewhat anti-climactic as it didn’t really do anything. Well I’m glad to see Ward back on our screens I’m actually starting to get a little bit frightened of him as he always seems to be multiple steps ahead of everyone else and this capability could lead to him becoming something quite horrifying in the future. May and Hunter are going to try and hunt him down, but the Ward that we’re seeing now – well my prediction is that, he’s not someone they will have an easy time with!

I take back everything bad I’ve ever said about Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and their inability to show people with powers. While season one and two had a dearth of special-effects this season already has kicked off with a bang.  Of course effects by themselves generally aren’t enough you also need to have the underlying story to tie everything together and while it’s perhaps a bit early in the year to comment on the overall story arc currently my hopes are quite high.

If you recall at the end of last season the Terrigen mist had been put into the earths ecosystem when it fell into the ocean. The effects of that are now being felt with multiple people with powers popping up all over the world. Our story actually starts with someone that seems to have an ability to melt metal and while he is initially being hunted by an unnamed group of soldiers Skye or as she now calls herself Daisy come to his rescue and with Mac they transport him into the new bus.  This new vehicle seems to be a scaled up Quinjet so I assume it also has similar cloaking capabilities too.

When our gang try to track down the people that seemingly are hunting down Inhumans around the land they discover that the leader of the group has had a host of different governmental responsibilities all around the world. Coulson and the Scooby gang come up with a plan to capture her or at least confront her, however she’s able to flip that’s on its head fairly quickly and easily demonstrating that she is absolutely more than what she seems.  While their initial conversation fences around why each of them are there, they quickly come to the realization that the people that are killing the Inhumans must be somebody else and perhaps they should be on the same side.  However, before they join teams both of them receive an alarm informing them of another attack in progress.

While this is going on Daisy continues to try and speak to the metal melting guy and persuade him of who and what they are and the fact that they are the good guys but she quickly comes to the realization that the best person for this job is actually Lincoln. As her own trainer and person that integrated her into the Inhuman society he is absolutely more skilled at this sort of action than she is and while they have previously tried to bring him on board he had rejected them initially.  When Daisy and Mac appear at the hospital where Lincoln is working they try to persuade him once again to join up with them however they are here confronted by another powered character that quickly attacks them.  Lash (who has appeared in the Inhuman comic books) is seemingly the killer of all of the people. His power seems capable of absorbing the powers of other Inhumans.  When both Lincoln and Daisy attack him, he is momentarily stopped but is able to to overcome this and continues to confront them. He seems to have no restrictions on his abilities as Mac even pumped a full clip into him and was unable to put him down.  He was only defeated when Daisy managed to knock out the floor under his feet.

Fitz meanwhile continues his search for a solution to Simmons disappearance and while he seems to make some progress, unfortunately it is nothing more than a red herring and he is persuaded by Coulson to “let it go”.

Overall a really good first episode and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. The fact that Colson is managing with an artificial hand while still searching for a cure for his existing hand, the whole change in leadership in tone of the organization where people are filling in slots of others that have been lost. Mac for example seeming to really own the relationship with the powers and Bobbi taking over for Simmons now that she’s disappeared very very good. The new director or leader of the alternative agency seems a little bit to well-informed however which is a bit annoying and while HYDRA and grant ward have yet to make their appearance I’m sure they too will soon show up.

However perhaps the best and in and best portrayed part of the show for me is the character Lash itself.  In the comics he was primarily responsible for culling those Inhumans that he judged unsuitable for the powers they wielded – basically he acted as the judge, jury and executioner and while you’d definitely question his criteria as he seems to have included Lincoln and Daisy on this list, he seems to be fulfilling similar a objective here and at the current time it looks like there isn’t too much that can stop him.

Its hard to believe that after last weeks episode, they will be able to keep the momentum going in Agents of Shield … but they’ve succeeded admirably!  While there are a few “wobbles” along the way, the mid-season finale ended with an appropriate cliffhanger and is an episode that will definitely keep me coming back to find out what happens next … not to mention the number of things that it actually did reveal – Daisy Johnson & The Inhumans plus enough death and destruction to even keep the Hulk happy!

As a really quick recap from the last episode, Ward has captured Skye and Raina and is taking them to Whitehall.  Whitehall has told Agent 33 to shoot down the Bus & Mack has been killed/transformed by the underground city.

Episode Recap

OK, lets start with the Quinjets attacking the Bus shall we?  May knows that despite Wards promise, HYDRA will not let them survive so as soon as Ward takes Raina and Skye off, she runs to the cockpit to get the Bus out of harms way.  Diving to the cloud deck (by the way, funny scene with the twins (triplets??) here) May and Tripp manage to evade the HYDRA forces by ejecting some camouflage debris which their missiles impact with.

[note: this is one of the wobbles I mentioned earlier … why was Tripp screaming as he pressed some buttons to engage the cloak?  seems a bit over the top?  also, why would HYDRA not search harder for the team – lets be honest 4 smoke clouds floating in the sky, hardly amount to much debris for a plane the size of the Bus?!]

City

At the city, Tripp and Fitz/Simmons are emplacing mechanical detonators to destroy the city.  Once again Howling Commando tech (big promotion in this for the upcoming Agent Carter series of course!) saves the day, as this old school tech won’t be impacted by any electromagnetic interactions that the city might be throwing off.  The team is obviously somewhat concerned with whats happened to Mack and speculate that he might not be dead, but instead he might have been converted by the city – something like a zombie ant – and the city is now controlling him!

Skye

Ward has taken Skye to her dad & what can you say?  While Kyle MacLachlan has only had a handful of appearances on the show, he’s easily a standout performer and one that emotes the roles to a greater degree than almost anyone else.  He is as crazy as they come, but at the same time he can make you empathize with him and his pain … of course a minute later you are scared spitless when he reverts back into a homicidal maniac!

Skye and her dad talk and while he admits to being a monster, he tries to explain and justify it but while doing so, he starts to lose control and scares Skye.  He explains that while he is here in the HYDRA base, he’s not actually working for HYDRA but is using them to find Skye and now that they have, he can kill Whitehall (not sure if you remember, but last weeks episode, we saw Whitehall torture and kill an immortal women – turns out this was Skye’s mother and Cal knows that Whitehall had her killed).  Skye’s dad says he’s sorry and goes out to kill Whitehall.

But

Whitehall knows that Cal is Skye’s dad and questions Ward on why he brought her also when his mission to the Bus was to capture Raina.  Realizing that Skye too can touch the Diviner, Whitehall tells Skye that he will enjoy finding out how she is able to do what she does & knocks out Skye’s dad.  He also tells Ward that he will enjoy making him “comply”.

When Skye’s dad wakes up, he finds that Whitehall has implanted a transmitter on him that knocks him down but before Whitehall can continue threatening Skye, Coulson and May appear and start to attack the HYDRA forces.  Skye’s dad manages to get the transmitter off his neck and kills the guard holding Ward and Skye captive, before he once again leaves to kill Whitehall.  Unfortunately before he is able to get his hands on Whitehall … Coulson appears and shoots him dead!

OK – officially at the 1/2 way point now … like I said lots already happened but no where near the real earth shattering stuff still to come!

[note: is Whitehall really dead?  Considering he was the “big bad” of the season, he seemed to go awful quick?  Potential here for a clone or LMD or something like that??  Would be curious to see if he’s really out of the picture]

On to the 2nd 1/2

OK now that Coulson has killed the big bad, Skye’s dad has a major freak out on Coulson and starts to pound on him … hard.  Meanwhile, Ward has managed to escape his bonds and frees Skye.  As he’s scouting the lay of the land … Skye … shoots him!!

Bloody hell, that one actually really did take me by surprise.  I wasn’t expecting that at all and sad to say … I’m glad she did it.  It actually shows that she’s living up to her words and while I’m curious to see what happens in the future, this was well done.

While Ward is bleeding in the hallway, Skye rush’s to Coulson’s defense and manages to get her dad away from him.  Skye’s dad says he’s sorry and leaves and tells her that she will come to him in the future after telling Skye her real name is Daisy.

[note: this is the first real confirmation that Skye is actually Daisy Johnson the Inhuman known as Quake and her father is the supervillian Mister Hyde]

Syye says she will go to find the obelisk, but it turns out that Raina has managed to carry it into the tunnels where she meets Mack, who’s obviously not dead.  Telling him to take her to “the place” she heads out into the darkness.  Skye quickly realizing what Raina has done, goes into the city looking for followed fairly shortly thereafter by Coulson.

When May tells Trip, Fitz and Simmons that Skye and Coulson are now in city, Tripp quickly goes back in and disarms all of the bombs he’d just finished arming and follows Skye into the chamber where she has managed to track down and confront Raina.

When Raina places the Diviner on the obelisk, it opens up and is all crystalline inside (looks a lot like Superman’s fortress of solitude to be honest!).  Activating, the Diviner encases both Skye and Raina in some sort of chrysalis, but Tripp looks unharmed.  Unfortunately when the crystal shards on the Diviner shatter Tripp is hit by one and is immediately turned to stone.

Tripp is dead. … I’m not sure how I feel about this to be honest.  He’s not one of the main characters and I’m still not really invested in him, but he’s been around for a while and I really thought that Mack had bought it, but with the bait-and-switch they’ve pulled, it looks like Mack is going to be here for at least a little while longer.  The way he died though … kind of lame to be honest … would have been better if he’d gone in the episode where they were searching for the lost city. This one, he was just following Skye around and was kind of incidental.

Skye however breaks out of her chrysalis and sees Tripp crumbling to dust in front of her.  She seems … powerful.  Everything is shaking and Skye looks like a hero come to Earth.  Raina however … while we know she was encased, we don’t really know what has happened to her – there was a small flash of something that looked like porcupine quills but I could have been mistaken.  I guess we’ll need to wait till March to find out more!

or will we?

Like all good cliffhangers, we can’t be left with just one … it seems that after all this time, there is another Obelisk & there’s someone new … A Man with no eyes … he seems to know all about the Obelisks though as he picks up the phone and tells someone else that there is now “another”.

Closing

It looks like instead of Agents of SHIELD being an also ran and addendum to the movies, its now taking the lead with the introduction of the Inhumans.  While no-one specifically mentions them by name Marvel Comics long ago introduced the concept of the blue crystals brought to the Earth by the Kree that transformed Neanderthal man into something more by encasing them in cocoons.

This means that SHIELD is finally doing what I wanted them to do in the first place (I’ll take full credit for this by the way) & is helping to drive the Marvel Universe forward instead of just reacting to things.  Not only are they now leading the way, they have also with this episode opened up the possibility of a whole host of super powered beings being introduced and hopefully appearing in future episodes of SHIELD.

Last weeks episode of Shield didn’t really give us any great shocks or surprises did it?  I mean we all knew that Skye was Daisy Johnson (Quake) … we all knew that Raina was something different, something new and we all knew that Tripp was dead.  What we didn’t know however was how the team would react to these changes.  To the death of a friend and colleague, to the transformation of a friend … well I think we have those answers at least now.

Have we got all of our answers?  No, not by any stretch of the imagination and like all good TV we’ve probably got even more questions than we did before.

  • I mean what is Raina now?
  • Who is the Nightcrawler-esque jumper that we saw save her?
  • What is the secret that Bobbi is hiding and is
  • HYDRA out of the picture or will they be back?

This one episode by itself opened up a raft of different questions that we need answers to and the ones I’ve mentioned are probably just the tip of the iceberg!  One thing that was done quite excellently however was the introduction of our new “powers” for this latter half of the season.

I mean, by this point its been well publicized that due to the deal Marvel crafted with FOX they are unable to use the XMEN or any of the other Mutants or mutant characters in the MCU – one would hope that they’d be able to do something similar to what they’ve recently done with Sony and it’s Marvel property (Spiderman) so that we can eventually get the mutants into the MCU – and as such they’ve needed to go a different route to introduce a host of different characters with powers – namely the Inhumans.

What we didn’t know however is how were these characters going to be introduced to us?  Would it be something off the cuff said in passing or would it be something completely different, something a lot more ominous and frightening?

aosWell in last week’s episode we got our answer to that question at least and it was nothing less than perfect!  It was appropriate to the conversation, it made sense to the story and it gave us an idea of how different these new characters are going to be.

We got a chance to see how Simmons feels about people with powers in this new world order but more importantly we got a chance to understand what someone going through such a change would act and feel like.

One other thing we saw though?  We saw true friendship – love, caring and devotion that you only see in families and to be honest isn’t that what our core group of agents in this show are?  They go that extra mile for each other and will do anything to help each other succeed.

While the changes to Skye are still in the very early stages and she has no real control over her powers, the one thing that we know for sure is that while she might be Inhuman she still has human connections and it is these connections that will help her to gain a handle on her powers and survive.

While the first half of AOS might have been all about HYDRA and the events subsequent to Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I expect that HYDRA is going to take up significantly less screen time in this latter half of season two as they explore the ramifications of the changes to Skye and who and what she is now.

Filler

Hmmm – I have to be honest I was really looking forward to this episode as unlike some other reviewers I really enjoyed last weeks one and Lady Sif is always badass and cool – however I have to be honest … I was somewhat disappointed as this episode felt like nothing more than a filler.  I mean the whole “reveal” thing of Skye could have been done last week and while the Kree explanation was OK … it was also somewhat unnecessary I felt?  I might be being too judgmental however, so lets go through the recap and see what we all feel like by the end.

Recap

We start with Lady Sif coming out of the surf in black leather looking for “kava” (I actually thought she said coffee the first time I heard it!) and it seems she’s lost her memory.  From this we see May (Ming-Na Wen) and Skye (Chloe Bennet) doing some hard core fighting at HQ but Skye is holding back … while May thinks it has something to do with Tripp’s death, we all know that in reality she’s worried about what might happen if she loses control.  Fitz appears to further reinforce this to us and you can see that May is wondering a little bit about what is going on.

Hunter and Bobbi are having some “relaxation” time together and Hunter tells Bobbi that Coulson has offered him a permanent position on the team.  Coulson meanwhile also offers Mac a more robust (field) role where he can better utilize his strengths.  Mac states that he is not a huge fan of violence, but it seems Coulson is able to persuade him.

The team travel to Portugal where Lady Sif is waiting for Kava.  However Coulson informs her that he isn’t Kava but rather a friend that can help.  (There are some cute sequences where they play upon Lady Sif’s memory loss – i.e. May mentions Thor and Sif smiles, “but doesn’t know the reason why” and her education in regards to things she learnt as a child, knowledge which she still retains.)  She is suffering from amnesia so Coulson gets out his digital photos of all the good times they had together, ever the fanboy. She trusts him even though he is not kava but he is going to help her figure this out. Skye finds a video on Twitter of Lady Sif in a pretty epic boardwalk brawl with a man who is able to hold his own against her. He is wielding some sort of small hammer like tool and he uses this to zap her in the chest. She strikes him with her sword and some liquid shoots out along with sparks before he throws her into the water. If she travelled across the universe to find this guy he must be dangerous.

We then jump to the strange man who managed to beat Lady Sif and see him in a hospital demanding access to their supplies.  When the nurse tries to dissuade him, he zaps her also with the device and turns blue.  The team meanwhile make their way to the pier where the fight took place and with some investigation manage to track him down to the hospital where Bobbi and Skye confront him.  Bobbi fights against him but is beaten quite soundly, leaving Skye on her own.  As she holds a gun on him, the whole room starts to shake and the gun literally falls apart in her hands (quite cool how this happens I have to say) but before anything else happens a shelf falls on her knocking her out and the man escapes.

The team then all gather back together and determine that the man is a Kree.  Lady Sif states that a Kree on Earth is up to no good.  Skye and Fitz meet to discuss what happened and she indicates that she wants to tell Coulson, but Fitz tells her to wait till they know more.  Hunter walks in on their private conversation but its not clear how much he’s actually heard.  Talking about secret conversations, Bobbi and Mac are having their own conversation too where they’re discussing bringing Hunter onboard with their secret plans, but Mac is adamant that doing so is not an option.  It’s very much stated that while their plans aren’t meant to harm SHIELD they also have nothing to do with HYDRA and that “after they pull the trigger” they hope to be friends with SHIELD again.  It’s all a little bit too cloak and dagger and feels forced to be honest.

The team realize that the Kree is in a town in Portugal called Chaves (keys in English) and this is where Whitehall first found the obelisk in 1944.  Skye states that she’d prefer to sit out the fight and while her stated reason is that she feels “banged up” after her previous encounter, both Sif and May look a little suspicious and wonder what is really going on.

The team manage to capture the Kree with an electronic net and take him back to the bus where they interrogate him.  He informs them that he’s actually there to help and his name is Vin-Tak and his truncheon can also restore memories.  He manages to get his hands on it and immediately restores Sif’s memories and then explains that the Kree used terrigenesis on a multitude of planets to obtain soldiers in a war that they were losing.  While it didn’t work on most planets, on Earth it did and created abominations.  When Vin-Tak saw that the program had started again he came to Earth to immediately put a stop to it as the current Kree empire would start the program again, enslaving humans to do their bidding.  When the team looks at the crate that Vin-Tak had removed from the cave they see that there are enough diviners to create an army and while we know one has been destroyed, there are five remaining.

Vin-Tak says we have to find the diviners and destroy the abominations that were created immediately. They talk about the event that changed Raina and when Vin-Tak and Sif learn that Skye witnessed it they are suspicious. Scared Skye starts to rumble the room a bit and again nobody notices which is really odd I’d like to think someone would at least take note that the room was starting to tremble again. The drama escalates and Skye goes full on quake, the enter HQ shakes and Coulson turns to her and says, “Skye..what is doing this?” He knows the answer and the look on his face was torturous sadness he knows how badly this is going to turn out for her. Skye tells him it is her and she shatters the windows behind her but May and Coulson are immediately at her side, guns pointed at Lady Sif and VinTak.

Sif and Vin-Tak immediately want to take Skye away, but the team manage to distract them long enough to allow Skye to escape.  Fitz manages to knock down Vin-Tak with a big gun and Bobbi then uses his own truncheon on him to erase his memory neutralizing him.  Meanwhile Lady Sif has managed to break into the cell where Skye is hiding but she shoots herself with one of the icers making Sif realize that she isn’t evil. Coulson finds them and explains that Skye would rather harm herself than bring harm to any of them and that she can be trusted with her powers.

Lady Sif and Vin-Tak are transported back to Asgard and its assumed Vin-Tak will be returned to his home world sans memory (quite a pity as he was only trying to do the right thing, but now he will not only not know that, he won’t remember anything else either!).  Lady Sif explains to Coulson that Asgard is significantly more advanced than Earth in terms of Science (glad how they state its science and not magic) and sometimes there are some things you just can’t control.  Coulson makes the point of stating that the city is underwater so even though there are more diviners out there, they can’t be used (why can’t they be used under water?)

At HQ everyone is cleaning up and they all attack Fitz for not telling them.  Mac states that they need to be protected from Skye which she overhears.  Skye then proceeds to lock herself in the bus and resigns herself to isolation for the moment.  Later we see Mac working on something when Hunter confronts him about the whole secret with Bobbi thing.  Mac manages to get him into a choke hold and knocks him out.

Review & Questions

This episode was all about revelations; but beyond Lady Sif and Skye, the team is also coming to terms with finding out who ‘each other’ are. Sure there’s fears about what Skye really is; but there is also continuing discord between Fitz and Simmons. We also have the whole Mac/Bobbi/Hunter love triangle really coming to the fore in this episode.

  • Vin-Tak doesn’t seem based on a specific comic book Kree, but his name follows general Kree naming conventions (i.e. Mar-Vell, Yon-Rogg, et al) and the idea that Kree would have violent subfactions is well established. Vinny’s weapon is also reminiscent of Ronan’s Universal Weapon (that hammer-thing from the GotG movie) but his seek-out-and-capture mission makes him seem like a Pursuer (unlike Ronan, who is an Accuser).
  • When Sif initially says she’s looking for ‘Carva’, some could have thought this meant Carva Tessara, a brief Centaurian character in the comics. Of course we learn in the episode that “Carva” is actually the Kree word for “Keys”, which then bring us to “Chaves” which is the Portuguese/Old Spanish word for “Keys”.
  • The stunning icer guns are back; but this time Simmons has increased the concentration of Dendrotoxins, which could be very dangerous and unhealthy for the targets. Sadly, Simmons sees this as necessary for the Inhumans.
  • Showing Skye’s powers shatter a gun help to show that Skye’s powers aren’t geomancy or power over earthquake; but rather shockwaves and vibrations themselves.
  • Despite not knowing who Thor is, Lady Sif still smiles at the mention of his name. This is a reference to their occasional romance in the comics as well as the romance fans have been wanting in the films as well.
  • When Lady Sif warned Coulson ‘There are tides in the universe that you cannot swim against”, you might have remembered the Season One group “The Rising Tide” for whom Skye used to work for. Could this group see an actual return or was this just a simple Easter Egg of Skye’s past in reference to her future?
  • How do you slow down a Kree? Simple, use Coulson’s Destroyer Gun
  • This episode also marks our first confirmation on the Kree’s home world of Hala

OK so if you’ve stayed with me till now – what do you think?  Was there anything earth shattering presented in this episode or was it a simple filler as I’ve stated at the start?  I really don’t think we learnt anything new or at least nothing of significance and while it seems like lots happened, it all revolved around a revelation that could have been done in the previous episode.

Confusion, concern and questions

So is Skye’s dad (Cal – Kyle MacLachlan) the big bad of the latter half of the season or not?  We’re only two episodes in, but it seems that he’s been sent to the great big dumpster in the sky just like HYDRA was in the last episode. I guess if the main concern from fans about the previous season, was that the show seemed to drag on and nothing really seemed to happen is considered now … well the complaint might be the exact opposite!  Too much is happening and its all happening too fast … it seems like they aren’t closing one issue off before introducing another whole new storyline and its getting (even more) complicated than it normally is!

Skye is out of control, but SHIELD is determined to keep her on the team – somehow – and enlist the help of a psychologist that used to be on their payroll to help assess her and her state of mind.  Coincidentally this psychologist happens to be someone that May and Coulson both trust implicitly – May’s ex-husband – played by Blair Underwood – you might recall that I mentioned in a previous post his appearance on the show?  Well it seems since the last episode that while Skye is still in the cage on the bus, she’s magically managed to gain control of her powers and is able to control the shaking as long as she keeps her cool.

English: Kyle MacLachlan at the Vanity Fair pa...
English: Kyle MacLachlan at the Vanity Fair party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Tribeca Film Festival. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While this episode is not a filler episode like last week, it seemed much too disjointed and was all over the place.  Cal’s personal vendetta against Coulson for taking away his revenge (for killing Whitehall … by the way, any chance this was a clone or something like that?  He died way too easily in my opinion – just saying!) might have been a bit of stretch right from the beginning, but I was willing to let it slide as it had some great possible conflicts for Skye and her growth as a character with Skye having to choose between her biological family and the SHIELD family that has adopted her.  However if he’s now out of the picture (or at the least on the back burner), it seems like it was all a complete waste of time doesn’t it?  Kyle MacLachlan is too good an actor to just be written off in this manner so I really hope that in some way he returns to the show.  However not as the leader of another band of misfits.

Merry Men (& Ladies) are we

OK while I know AOS is all about a superhero show that doesn’t really have any superhero’s in it (with the possible exception of whatever Skye is becoming), the villains have always been top notch.  They’ve not been at the Galactus or Loki level perhaps, but they’ve been solid and quite respectable – Deathlok for example and the Absorbing Man are both worthy villains that you can get behind the team defeating.  But this motley crew?  They weren’t anywhere close to being worthy and while their purpose might have only been as cannon fodder so that Skye could see how “bad SHIELD is” in Cal’s eyes, with access to the whole list at his fingertips, he could have done a lot better.

Right now this group of messed up people (lets be honest, who grafts razor blades to their fingertips … aside from the stupidity of doing this, blades break, are these supposed to “grow” back?  What about getting dull – that would kind of remove their usefulness as weapons?  Finally why didn’t SHIELD just conduct surgery to remove them?) does nothing more than just take away screentime from the characters we actually know and care about and the other ongoing storylines we’re already invested in.

Skye as mentioned earlier seems to initially have a handle on her powers but as we see during the course of this episode its a bit less than ideal as she continues to shake while in her sleep and ends up literally fracturing the bones in her hands trying not to quake!  Now considering that her “control” came from the school of Agent (shoot first and ask questions later) May its probably not that surprising that its not really addressing the underlying problems but is rather just glossing over them.  It was a quick fix, the equivalent of using duct tape to repair your leaky toilet, but it wasn’t an actual resolution. It also wasn’t healthy. This effect does however have the benefit of (surprise) making her match her comic book character in terms of appearance though which while not a prerequisite, is definitely a nice touch!

One Step Forward

May has a lot to offer—she’s skilled, she’s smart, and she’s strong—but she’s not even close to being qualified to offer advice on how to deal with something like Skye’s powers, which are rooted in her emotional state. May represses everything to a harmful degree, and Skye was doing the same. It’s why her powers came alive while she was dreaming, and it’s why she ended the episode in a cast.

We finally find out the big secret that Mac and Bobbi have been hinting at over the course of the past couple of episodes – namely that they are working for the “real” SHIELD.  While this introduces another major character – Edward James Olmos (of BSG fame) – to the show … which is really cool, as I’ve always liked him and his style, it kind of goes back to my earlier comment that they’re making this show overly complicated as they really didn’t need another plot line.

While it’s cool to see a somewhat lighter side of May (I think she actually smiled), I really want Skye’s character to move forward.  For her to gain some control over her abilities and learn how to use them to the benefit of the team.  I know that it’s a bit simplistic but I’m definitely in the camp where the good guys win and with everything the team has gone through recently (Ward being part of HYDRA, Fitz almost dying, Tripp dying and Skye’s whole transformation) it would be nice if they actually had a win for a change!