REVIEW: Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D-Episode 10-What They Become
After weeks of building up to an epic mid-season winter finale, Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D didn’t disappoint, serving up a fast pace, explosive emotional treat of an episode.
While audiences basked in the relief that agents May (Ming Na Wen), Trip (B.J. Pritt) and Co. managed to evade being shot down in the S.H.I.E.L.D plane on the orders of mega villain and HYDRA leader, Doctor Whitehall (Reed Diamond) following last week’s cliff hanger, that relief is short lived as this instalment takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster with a good character in danger almost every five minutes-making for perfect on-the-edge-of-your-seat entertainment. Realizing that HYDRA have already arrived in San Juan, Puerto Rico where the mysterious underground alien city is believed to be located and that they plan to drill straight down to the coveted temple that the obelisk leads humans deemed worthy enough to inherit the Earth to, S.H.I.E.L.D decides to attack straight away. While on the mission in San Juan, on and off ex-spouses agents Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Hunter (Nick Blood) have enough sexual chemistry to erupt a volcano with the actor’s on screen chemistry mirroring that of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr and Mrs Smith, making for amusing viewing.
Meanwhile, at the HYDRA base, suspicious Ward (Brett Dalton) delivers his captive, agent Skye (Chloe Bennet) to finally meet her long lost old man, Cal (Kyle MacLachlan). The much anticipated father-daughter reunion predictably goes south; with Skye being adamant her biological father is a murderer and a monster. Though the reunion was more like an episode of Jeremy Kyle, it proves to be an informative one, with Cal revealing Skye is descended from a line of people who possessed special “gifts”, explaining why Skye can touch the obelisk without turning fatally to stone: she is one of the “worthy” to enter the alien city. I have come to the conclusion that Skye’s father isn’t some sort of Hulk at the mercy of uncontrollable rage or has any powers at all, destructive or otherwise, he was simply driven mad with grief after Whitehall butchered his wife, Skye’s mother, to obtain her gift of never aging and losing his baby daughter. But he isn’t granted his desire to enact brutal revenge on Whitehall, who upon realizing who Skye is and that Cal is not his ally, holds Skye, Cal and Ward prisoner, intending to experiment on Skye and take whatever her gift maybe from her too. However, Coulson (Clark Gregg), May, Hunter and Bobbi attack the HYDRA base in the hopes of disabling the drill before HYDRA can reach the alien temple and Coulson shoots Whitehall dead. Having been denied his craving to unleash his revenge on Whitehall, Cal attacks Coulson, who is saved in the nick of time by Skye, who tells her father she doesn’t want to see him again. He creepily says he’ll be waiting for her when she changes her mind and leaves.
I’d like to say it was satisfying seeing Whitehall die after he has wreaked evil atrocities throughout this series but it was far too quick and easy for my liking and cockroaches like him tend to have a way of coming back. The again he maybe gone for good as once the ultimate bad guy is killed off in a series like S.H.I.E.L.D they tend to be replaced by an even scarier, more ruthless bad guy, and the person with the eerily eyeless face that we see in the end tag of this episode maybe that next big bad villain to watch out for-no doubt affiliated with HYDRA and the infamous and feared Red Skull.
The most pivotal moment in the episode though had to be Skye bravely, and perhaps foolishly, running in to the underground city in a bid to look for the obelisk and make things right. Amongst all the drama and fighting unfolding at the HYDRA base no one kept an eye on cunning Raina (Ruth Negga), who, also descended from the line of gifted people, took the obelisk down to the city. Suspense built as Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Trip had planted explosives around the temple on Coulson’s orders, prepared to destroy it for good. Upon realizing that Skye has gone into the temple, Trip nobly raced to disable the explosives but ended up tragically turning to stone and shattering when Raina activated the obelisk, resulting in her and Skye both looking like they died by becoming encased in stone too, only to burst free and “transform.”
Talk about an emotional roller coaster! We are left wondering what new and exciting powers Skye will have and what abilities Raina, who can’t be trusted at the best of times, will possess. The fate of Coulson and Mack (Henry Simmons) also hang in the balance, with Coulson having to battle one of his own agents after rushing to the tunnel to aid Skye, only for Mack, who’s muscular frame means he cuts a formidable and dangerous silhouette after becoming possessed by the alien city last episode, to be bent on stopping Coulson getting to the temple, as he is not one of those “worthy” enough to enter.
Gripping and moving from start to finish with cliff hangers galore, bring on the next half of the season!