REVIEW: Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D-Episode 9-Ye Who Enter Here
You definitely get a sense of the series coming to a head in true penultimate Winter finale fashion in this week’s episode, which is as suspense filled as it is awesome.
This installment opens with a spooky dream sequence, which is uncharacteristic of S.H.I.E.L.D. The dream depicts Skye (Chloe Bennet) finding herself in a deserted S.H.I.E.L.D base until she finds a baby, which we are led to believe is her and Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming Ne Wen) leaving the baby alone on a table, creating an uneasy sense of foreboding, with Skye unable to shake the niggling feeling that something bad is going to happen.
Judging by Skye’s bad feeling she has perfect intuition and prediction skills with the events that unfold in this episode. Having knowledge of where the alien city is located on Earth, information that nemesis organisation, HYDRA doesn’t have, Coulson is keen for his team to get to the city where the mysterious temple is located that the obelisk unlocks, before HYDRA. While half the team jet off to San Juan in Puerto Rico, where the alien city is situated, Coulson sends May, Skye and Hunter (Nick Blood) to pick up Raina (Ruth Negga), who is being protected by S.H.I.E.L.D agents Billy and Sam Koenig (Patton Oswalt), after being pursued by HYDRA.
The battle to keep Raina safe was gripping, with kick ass meeting bad ass as former S.H.I.E.L.D agent 33-now brainwashed minion of HYDRA boss, Doctor Whitehall (Reed Diamond) being a clone of May (having had a nano mask fused to her face a few episodes ago)- and Skye, who has been recently schooled in the art of epic hand-to-hand combat, clash in a adrenaline-filled fight sequence.The pursuit also proves to be amusing and confusing with the audience seeing not only double of May but agents Billy and Sam appearing to be identical too.
I’ve said in previous reviews that this series hasn’t allowed the audience to get to know the character’s and explore them in depth, due to the high number of cast members. Therefore, it was a little cruel and mean of the scriptwriters to reveal Mack (Henry Simmons) the mechanic’s playful side, seeing him fool around with a remote control car or rather a mini replica of “Lola”, Coulson’s beloved car he is dying to work on…only for him to meet a painful end sad end, as he bravely abseils into a dark hole, believed to be the entrance to the city. What’s more tragic is that Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) has to electrocute him to subdue him following his being consumed by rage after touching the enigmatic alien symbols on the pit’s floor, causing him to lose his mind and experience immense agony. With Trip’s (B.J.Pritt) life hanging in the balance after being shot last episode, S.H.I.E.L.D needs to cool it on killing off characters because it’s surprising how much I was rooting for Mack to live and not fall down the pit like he did, despite complaining that the writer’s had not given viewers enough to emotionally invest in the characters.
I guess all the will they/won’t they die element makes the show more absorbing and more of a emotional roller coaster. Speaking of emotional roller coasters, the phrase “awkward turtle” springs to mind with Fitz’s (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons’ (Elizabeth Henstridge) current situation. Just as Simmons has resolved to tell Fitz that she sees him just as a best friend, he informs her he is planning on working in the garage with Mack as he feels like he is getting in her way, after confessing that he loved her and saving her life last series, an action which led to him incurring brain damage. I say “planning” as with Mack gone, Fitz may have no choice but to continue working in S.H.I.E.L.D’s lab. Bobbi also reveals to Simmons that she has had an on/off relationship with ex-husband, Hunter for years and seems to be hiding something from Hunter that only Mack knows about. That secret looks set to die with Mack, though knowing S.H.I.E.L.D it will come out sooner or later. But it just goes to show how someone who seems like an insignificant character like Mack can be at the center of a complex plot web- like knowing Bobbi’s secret and being Fitz’s co-worker of choice.
Meanwhile, as HYDRA close in on the hunt for Raina, who reveals she can touch the obelisk without turning fatally to stone and is one of the “worthy” few humans who will inherit the Earth and can enter the temple in the alien city, she tells Skye her back story, revealing that the unhinged murder that appears to be Skye’s father (Kyle MacLachlan) could potentially be quite misunderstood. She tells Skye that her father took Raina in when she was a poor con artist running with a bunch of “freaks” in Thailand and cleaned them up but no one could replace Skye and she is all he ever wanted. Could it be that her father just wants to be reunited with his daughter and his only fault is he is willing to do whatever it takes to get her back, whatever the cost?
A question mark may still hang over Skye’s father but there’s no doubt that Doctor Whitehall is pure evil, ordering Agent 33 to shoot the S.H.I.E.L.D plane down, with agents on board, when Ward (Brett Dalton) lets them go free after taking Raina and unexpectedly Skye with him. Last episode closed on a scene with Ward, Whitehall and Skye’s father all uniting as supposed allies but Ward may have angered his new boss by refusing to shoot the agents’ plane down, meaning he could still have a sense of loyalty to S.H.I.E.L.D. Nevertheless, I’ll doubt they will forgive him for his past treachery.
No question mark hangs over Coulson, however, as he admits to Bobbi that unlike the agency’s previous director, Nick Fury, his number of acceptable losses on a mission is zero, deepening the audience’s respect for him. With this noble and high moral ground Coulson operates on, it’s clear that he will be the right boss to lead the S.H.I.E.L.D team into the dangerous pursuit of this mysterious alien city and temple.