Agent Darryl reporting in with this week’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” mission debrief – S2 Ep.10, codename: “What They Become”
Warning! This debrief is fairly detailed and contains multiple spoilers for “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” For the best possible experience, it’s recommended that agents not read this review until after they have watched the MAOS episode “What They Become.” Enjoy!
As the HYDRA Quinjet containing Ward, Skye and Raina disengages from the “Bus,” May, Trip, Hunter and the brothers Koenig scramble to find cloud cover as the full wing of HYDRA Quinjets circle around to blow them out of the sky. Hunter and the Agents Koenig strap in (to hilarious effect) as May takes the “Bus” into a power dive for the nearest cloudbank. As soon as they they’re locked onto by HYDRA’s missiles they reach cover and May releases several cargo pods to serve as an alternate target for the missiles to lock onto as Trip cloaks the “Bus.” The missiles detonate harmlessly, the “Bus” exits the cloudbank while decloaking and I can’t help but recall that the same tactic had worked for Tony Stark in the first Iron Man movie. Well hey, if the trick works, keep doing it until it doesn’t.
As they land just outside San Juan, Coulson orders FitzSimmons to prep for another excursion back into the tunnels as May brings him up to date about Ward grabbing both Raina AND Skye. He asks Morse to reach out to her contact and advise him to clam up if HYDRA comes sniffing around and promises to do what they can to save Mac, still crazed and trapped in the hidden city’s tunnel system.
Trip busts out some of his vintage Howling Commando explosives and while Agent Koenig (Sam I think, but don’t ask me to swear by that, unless they’re actually using each other’s names, I can’t tell which is which) wishes they had more (and that they could be operated by remote) he’s nevertheless as happy as a certain mustachioed ol’ Walrus would’ve been. They plan to plant the mechanical explosives at key points around the Obelisk station in the hidden city for maximum damage.
As FitzSimmons prepare to re-enter the tunnels, Simmons tries to buoy Fitz’s spirits following the loss of his new friend, Mac. Although he fears the worst for him, Simmons suggests that he may not be dead, only under some kind of alien zombie control.
Speaking of Mac, Bobbi roots around his workshop on the “Bus” looking for a flash drive. Something to do with “the other thing” they talked about last episode, no doubt. Hunter pops his head in and offers her some support following Mac’s entrapment in the tunnels. Bobbi gets word from her contact to meet and asks Hunter to come with. He asks about the flash drive she’s trying to hide from him, but he’s not talking. He gives her the benefit of the doubt and assumes it has nothing to do with him. Yeah, we’ll see.
May beats herself up over letting Ward take Skye, but Coulson assures her that the training she’d provided Skye will keep her alive and safe.
Meanwhile Skye, as Ward’s captive, is led through the halls of a building somewhere in San Juan to a door where Grant tells her he’s kept his promise. He opens the door and Skye is finally, for the first time since infancy, reunited with her father, the Doctor.
Face to face with her father for the first time she can remember, Skye is speechless as her father, amazed at the resemblance to her mother, tries to keep his emotions in check. He introduces himself as “Cal,” her father and thanks her for meeting him. This spurs Skye to speak, reminding him that she’d had no choice, having been kidnapped at gunpoint. Dr. Cal gets a little nervous and goofy, but despite the accusation of being a monster, he defends his actions after she’d been stolen from him. He promises to protect her now, though, but when Skye asks him to help her escape, he tells her that she’s exactly where she’s supposed to be.
Across town, Bobbi and Lance round a corner to meet her contact, but see HYDRA agents have gotten to him first. As they walk past, Morse and Hunter do the old “make out in public so no one will notice us” trick (if you’ll recall, Black Widow and Cap pulled the same stunt in Captain America: The Winter Soldier) and her contact slips a scrap of paper with an address on it into Bobbi’s pocket . . . huh, how about that? Makes me want to re-watch the scene in Captain America: The Winter Soldier to see if Widow pulled the same trick with Crossbones. I’m betting she did . . . and that would make her HYDRA to at least all the way through to nearly the end of the film.
Back at the address in question, presumably, Skye tries to impress upon her father that he’s working for the bad guys, but Cal takes offense at the suggestion that he answers to Whitehall and confesses he’d used him to get to Skye. Then he begins to unfurl the story of Skye’s unique nature and HYDRA’s capturing and killing of her mother before humming the same lullaby (which I’d failed to notice earlier is “On A Bicycle Built For Two” featuring the name “Daisy”) that Skye had heard in her dream from the beginning of last episode. A HYDRA guard enters, telling Doctor Cal that Whitehall wants to speak to him. As he stands, he promises that, now that his purpose has been served, he plans to kill Whitehall, the architect of all his misery. Still humming the lullaby’s tune, he steps out.
Back at the parked “Bus,” FitzSimmons prep hazmat suits to wear in the tunnels, while May, Coulson and Trip plan to set the explosives. Trip asks Sam where his brother is at, and he gets more head games as he’s led to believe the Koenig brothers are actually “Life Model Decoy” robots . . . either that, or HE’S an LMD and they’re making fun of him for it. I could almost buy that as a twist later in the season. Coulson orders both Koenig brothers back to the “Playground” to be prepared to enact something called the “Theta Protocol” if things go bad and then receives a call from Morse about HYDRA being holed up in a theatre on the other side of town. When Koenig superimposes the map of the hidden city over the map of San Juan, it’s revealed that HYDRA are perched directly over the chamber everyone is looking for.
At the theatre, HYDRA has set up a plasma drill and plan to drop straight down into the city. As Whitehall gathers Ward, Raina and the Doctor, he first thanks each of them for their assistance before bringing Skye in and asking what she’d been brought for. Ward claims it was for insurance purposes, but Whitehall reminds him that he didn’t follow orders to shoot down the “Bus,” which he’d personally countered. He opens the case holding the Diviner and tells Skye to pick it up. She hesitates, but seeing that her father isn’t concerned that it will harm her, she grabs it and, as it activates, she quickly presses it to a HYDRA soldier’s face, killing him, as Doctor Cal zips a scalpel across the throat of another before they’re all hopelessly surrounded by the remaining HYDRA guards, including Agent 33, all with guns trained on them. They disarm both the Doc and Skye, not to mention Ward, and then Whitehall confesses to not immediately recognizing the Doctor when he’d shown up with the Obelisk. The Doctor says that if Skye weren’t there, he’d rip Whitehall and his goons apart. Intriguing . . . it sounds like Doctor Cal would be able to use his “monstrous” powers, but Skye’s presence might somehow suppress his ability to do so. Or he just doesn’t want his little girl to see what he looks like as an enormous, (insert applicable colour here) rage monster.
Whitehall probes deeper into Ward’s involvement in this wacky family reunion. Raina, however, with her greater knowledge of the powerfully attractive nature of both her and Skye, provides the answer. Ward is obsessed with winning Skye’s love by helping her achieve her destiny. Whitehall, however, promises to spoil all love interests, fateful birthrights and duplicitous revenge schemes and orders his guards to be doubly vigilant when detaining Ward, before insinuating that he’ll soon have a date with Whitehall’s “Faustus Method” machine.
May lands the cloaked Quinjet, also carrying Coulson, Hunter and Morse, on top of the HYDRA infested theatre and they debark.
In the tunnels across town, FitzSimmons and Triplett argue about the best method of setting the timed charges and what to do if they encounter Mac, dead or alive.
Inside the theatre, Ward gets inside “Maygent 33’s” head before Whitehall steps in and uses a subdural doo-hickey (like the one he’d used on Raina earlier in the season) to knock out Doctor Cal. He tells Skye about her mother’s gift of extended youth before wondering aloud what Skye’s gift could be. “Discovery requires experimentation.” As Whitehall promises to show him what he intends to do to his daughter, Coulson and May break in upstairs.
Meanwhile, Fitz, Trip and Simmons . . . make a left turn. Seriously, we cut away from the action packed firefight for this?! Must be some seriously important future plot point.
In the theatre’s kitchen, Ward, while tied to a chair, uses his silver tongue to distract the guard keeping watch over him and the Doctor, as Cal slowly recovers from Whitehall’s “compliance disc.” Just long enough for the Doctor to sneak up behind the guard and snap his neck like a chicken bone. Then, refusing Ward’s request to watch, he sets out to kill Whitehall.
In the tunnels, Simmons sets the second charge before Trip tells them they’re running behind. Fitz suggests splitting up to finish and TripSimmons reluctantly allow him to finish the job on his own.
Above, Whitehall gives his last order to “Maygent 33” before Doctor Cal advances on him. Whitehall raises his pistol to defend himself and with a crash . . . Whitehall falls to the ground, the victim of Coulson’s well-timed intervention. The Doctor, however, is furious at being denied the one thing he’d dedicated the last 25 years to. Revenge.
After confirming Whitehall is dead, the Doc rounds on Coulson, but Phil tells Cal that he’s there to take Skye. Not a good idea there, Coulson buddy. “Maygent 33” breaks up the stalemate sending both Coulson and the Doctor scrambling for cover only to find Daniel Whitehall’s lifeless corpse and an end to her continued purpose.
Covering the stairs, Morse and Hunter run afoul of a HYDRA goon and Hunter gives the recruitment slogan that has worked for centuries before shooting the goon and knocking the shutters off the window behind him, casting clear light into the darkened stairwell.
Coming down another stairwell equally brightened by unshuttered windows, Phil is suddenly struck from behind by the Doctor. As he turns to face the Doc, an eerie red light emanates from the plasma drill in the next room. Cal declares that Skye doesn’t need Coulson, but him, her true father . . . and then curb stomps Phil.
In the kitchen, while the battle is heard through the walls, Ward unties Skye to help her escape and immediately regrets the decision when Skye puts four bullets in him from the downed goon’s gun.
Coulson’s beat up pretty bad, but he holds his own for a few seconds before Doc Cal gets the upper hand and nearly kills Phil . . . before Skye yells for him to stop. Nothing stops a cold-blooded killer in his tracks better than the ol’ “No, Daddy, no!” trick. He claims that his just revenge was thwarted, but Skye lays it out plainer: Phil stopped the Doc from becoming more of a monster. She swears to see the hidden city destroyed before the Obelisk can reach it. Then the Doc, accepting this, yet knowing her change is inevitable, tells her he’ll be around to help her afterwards, saying “I’ll always love you, Daisy,” he just walks out of the poor girl’s life, yet again.
So, that’s that then. Doctor Cal appears to be none other than seminal Marvel villain Calvin Zabo a.k.a. Mister Hyde. Which, if Skye’s real name IS Daisy, would make her his daughter Daisy Johnson a.k.a. Quake (and now apparently also a.k.a. Mary Sue Poots!). I have to confess, aside from the occasional appearance in various Avengers titles, I know very little about Quake. What I do know is, she first appeared in the “Secret War” mini-series from 2004 and eventually went on to feature in the S.H.I.E.L.D. team title “Secret Warriors.” Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to catch up on ALL of that before the show returns in the spring. But hey, we’ve still got a program to watch here!
“Maygent 33” comes across Ward as he’s slowly bleeding out and he once again entrances her with that hypnotic voice he’s acquired as of late and, without any other directing force in her life now, she essentially comes his new padawan learner. And hey, while we’re on the subject of Agent 33, doesn’t she look just a wee bit like Madame Hydra with that scarred eye? Just sayin’! But really, anyone who’s listened to the We Got the Geek: Make Mine Marvel Movies podcasts with JStew and myself knows that I’ve been rooting for a Madame Hydra appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a while now. As great as “The Wolverine” was in the FOX-men Cinematic Universe, their mutant Viper just didn’t satisfy.
Anyway, May breaks off from Lance and Bobbi to search for Coulson, who Skye has just left along with a green lantern (heh, see what I did there?) to stop Raina, who’s taken the Obelisk and her own purple lantern down into the tunnels and encountered Mac, still zombified and amenable to coercion by Raina as a guide to the Obelisk’s activation chamber.
Phil, looking pretty beat up, is found by May, but he doesn’t waste time and, grabbing another green lantern, he signals May to switch on the blood red-lit cable winch to lower him into the tunnels.
While at that moment, at the other end of the city, Fitz is pulled from the Fort entrance to the tunnels wearing his white hazmat suit and Simmons tells him they’ve got ten minutes to spare. Good thing too, because when Trip makes contact with May, she tells him that Raina, Skye and Coulson are still in the tunnels. So, without hesitation, Trip leaps into action lowering himself down to the tunnels to deactivate all four charges in under 10 minutes.
Mac and Raina reach the Obelisk chamber and Raina enters. Trip gets the first charge. Coulson waves his green light around yelling Skye’s name. Bobbi and Hunter catch up with May. Skye finds Mac and when he won’t budge, she moves past him, Mac putting up no resistance, and enters the chamber. Raina’s expecting her and Skye declares her intention to stop her. Trip gets the third charge (although I have no idea what happened to the second one). Raina goes what Darcy from Thor would call banana balls cuckoo and the Obelisk floats onto the pedestal in the centre of the chamber. Trip gets the last charge in the . . . heh, nick of time. Coulson finds Mac and takes another beating before getting past him and continuing toward the chamber, which somehow Trip has gotten to before him, because he enters the chamber just as it closes, sealing Phil outside. As the Obelisk opens to reveal crystals contained within (these would be the Terrigen crystals of the Inhumans), they begin to vapourize, shooting towards Skye and Raina like iron filings to a magnet. Outside the chamber, Mac advances toward Coulson menacingly, but then immediately stops and drops to the ground. Inside, Skye and Raina both are quickly encased in a hard cocoon-like shell. As Skye calls out to Trip for help, he kicks the pedestal causing the opened Obelisk and remaining crystals to explode. As Trip watches Skye appear to die before his eyes, he himself quickly dies due to a shard of the Obelisk’s metal shell piercing him. Skye bursts forth from the cocoon with a seismic blast that the rest of the team feels throughout the underground complex as her true identity as Daisy Johnson, which had been hinted at since last episode, is pretty much confirmed. She looks on in horror at the petrified body of Agent Triplett as it crumbles to nothing as a result of her Inhuman birth blast. But the question remains: What has Raina become?
Looks like we won’t find out until well into next year, because somewhere a box glows, reacting to Skye and Raina’s Terrigenesis, a man sets down his book, lifts another Diviner/Obelisk out and makes a call saying: “Are you seeing this? There’s someone new. Tell the others, I’m on it,” before the camera pans up to show that, despite seeing the Obelisk’s light and reading a book, HE HAS NO EYES.
Who is he? Not Daredevil, but obviously another Inhuman with a Diviner, speaking to others who also have their own Diviners about a sudden and unexpected birth into the Inhuman population. What did Raina become? Why does Ward give me a snakey, slithery vibe? Is Mac gonna be okay? Trip! Ah Trip, you were cut down too soon. He hardly had any chance to shine this season, at all. Very disappointing. I’m hoping that more clues into his connection to the Howling Commandos will be further explored in next month’s 8-part Agent Carter mini-series before we get back to the good old gang next spring. One thing’s for certain, the shape of Phase Three has been cast and it’s only a matter of time before Wars both Civil and Infinite break on the horizon . . .
Well, that’s it for me this year, folks. Of course, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Agent Carter once it premieres and in the meantime, if you got something out of these reviews, check out the We Got The Geek’s periodical podcast with JStew and myself: “Make Mine Marvel Movies!”
This is Agent Darryl signing off.