It’s all about outer-realm crossovers as Agents of SHIELD revs the engines on the second half of season 2, with Asgard’s Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) making a return to the small screen to battle a Kree named Vin-Tak.
But the main focus of “Who You Really Are” is to offer a primer on the Inhumans storyline that will dominate the rest of the season and eventually culminate in a movie of the same name currently slated for 2019.
So it’s an appropriate assumption that it will take a while for all those characters and themes to develop, but keep in mind that the next Avengers movie is just a few short weeks away.
And like Captain America: The Winter Soldier, I expect Age of Ultron — with the reemergence of the famed superhero team and the unveiling of Inhumans Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch — to dramatically change the SHIELD landscape once again.
And with HYDRA currently crippled after the staged mutiny that led to many executions and SHIELD getting some leeway for turning over Bakshi to Talbot, we have some breathing room for new villains before those heads eventually grow back.
But first, we gotta track down some Diviners.
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The episode starts with Lady Sif emerging from the ocean in Faro, Peru, unaware of who she is or what she’s doing on earth. She only knows what realm she is from and that she’s looking for a guy named Carver.
The SHIELD team responds, and Skye finds videos online that show Sif and some dude fighting on a pier. She hits him in the chest with her sword, but it just makes a clanging noise before some sort of liquid squirts out. Then he hits her with his truncheon (a nightstick-like weapon), picks her up and tosses her into the water, from which she emerges with nary a memory.
Fitz, Mack and Hunter work on forensics, while Skye and Morse are sent to talk to possible witnesses, and Coulson, May and Sif conduct the investigation. They all score simultaneously.
Landing a Kree
Hunter spots the dried liquid on a light pole, which snaps like a twig when he touches it. Fitz sends a sample back to the lab at the same time Coulson stumbles across a balloon vendor who had all his helium valves swiped by the mysterious alien man. At about the same time that Simmons determines the substance was liquid nitrogen, Morse and Skye encounter a nurse at a hospital who has lost her memory.
They find Vin-Tak reloading his metal chest amulet with nitrogen from an exam room, and it turns his blue skin human color so that he can blend in with humans. He knocks out Morse and is about to take on Skye when her uncontrollable Inhuman nerves kick in and cause an earthquake. The gun in her hand basically crumbles and a stacked shelving unit collapses on her, allowing Vin-Tak to escape.
The discovery that he’s a Kree explains Sif’s presence, and she realizes that Carver isn’t a name but rather the Kree word kahva, which means keys. And what a coincidence: Chaves, Peru, which is the location of Whitehall’s original dig spot back in the 1940s, is the literal translation of the word ‘keys’ in Portuguese. So, of course, that’s where Vin-Tak is going.
There, they capture him with a special net just as he’s about to open up a crate he dragged out of a cave.
Enemies Join Forces to Explain Stuff
Back on the Bus, Vin-Tak swears that Sif attacked him and that he wiped her memory so she wouldn’t track him. But he’s not a threat, and he’s determined to gain Coulson’s trust. And as a sign of good faith, he uses his nifty identity-swiping truncheon to restore Sif’s memory. The Kree giveth as the Kree taketh away.
After greeting Vin-Tak with a welcome-to-earth punch, Sif explains that Odin sent her because a Kree’s presence on earth is a giant red flag. And so he reveals the ancient process of Terragenesis.
In case you missed it in the last recap, it goes something like this: back in the day, the Kree were involved in a deadly war and needed more warriors. So an extreme faction of the race began traveling to various planets and experimenting on the DNA of the inhabitants. It was an abject failure across the universe, except on earth, where the subjects developed destructive powers and became known as Inhumans.
The Diviners hold the Terragon crystals, which release the Terragon mist that activates the powers of the “worthy,” while anyone else in the vicinity is destroyed. When the more peaceful-minded members of the Kree race (which isn’t saying much) discovered that the earth experiments were successful and that the newly-transitioned had set up a city called Attilan, they came to earth and shut it down.
Skye’s Secret Revealed
When Vin-Tak saw that an ancient artifact had been activated, he knew it was a Diviner and came to earth to destroy anyone who had changed, as well as the other obelisks — the main fear being that if the Kree found out that their dastardly plan actually worked, they’d probably start up the program again. Those darn Kree are always at war with someone.
There were enough Diviners in the crate to create an army, but when FitzSimmons opens it, they find six obelisk-shaped cutouts but no obelisks. They surmise that they were all taken around the same time as Whitehall’s work, approximately 70 years ago. Vin-Tak and Sif vow to find the Diviners and eliminate anyone whose powers might have been activated, which naturally makes Skye a bit nervous.
They pepper her with questions about Raina and what happened inside the Kree city temple, and everything around them starts to quake. The windows behind Skye shatter, and everyone is pretty quick to put together what’s going on.
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A Family Affair
Sif wants to take Skye to Asgard to be put down, while Vin-Tak wants to take her out on the spot. But Coulson is having none of it, and May rushes Skye to a containment area while the rest of the team stands in the way.
Vin-Tak breezes through Coulson, Mack and Hunter, but Morse manages to fend him off long enough for one of the guys to shoot him with some new high-tech gun. Then she hits him with his own truncheon, wiping away his memory.
Sif is just about to break into the lockdown room when Skye shoots herself with a nigh-night gun to protect everyone around her. Sif is so impressed with Skye’s selflessness that she agrees to let Coulson try to manage her powers, and she heads home with a quick stop to drop off Vin-Tak — but not before she issues a dire warning about the dangers of letting Skye live, saying, “There are tides in the universe you cannot swim against.” Isn’t that right, Ultron?
Fitz is under the impression that he was looking out for Skye by keeping her secret, but it seems everyone else on the team is against him. Simmons and Mack are particularly vicious, and when Fitz proclaims that they should be protecting Skye, Mack screams that they are the ones who need protection from her.
Naturally, she hears all of this and retreats to a prison cell that she promptly locks. It’s all just pushing her toward her father and giving validity to his prediction that she’s going to need him when people realize what she’s become.
The Mack-Morse Side Plot
The “other” story happening behind the scenes involves whatever plot Mack and Bobbi are working on together and Hunter’s potential to disrupt it after Coulson offers him a permanent job.
Hunter and Morse’s rekindled relationship is starting to heat up, and she considers bringing him in on the plan. But Mack rejects the idea because Hunter is a friend whom he wouldn’t want to be fighting against if he were to pick SHIELD once they “pull the trigger.” While he’s convinced that Hunter will always love Bobbi, he is not convinced that Hunter won’t kill Bobbi if necessary.
He tells Bobbi to push Hunter away for the sake of the mission because it will be best for everyone if he just leaves. But Hunter knows something is up and confronts Mack, who knocks him out with a sleeper hold before sighing heavily. Anddddddddd end scene.
The Inhuman Brigade
Moving forward, it appears we’re about to meet the rest of the Inhumans gang, and possibly even comic book royal family leader Black Bolt, who is unable to speak because his voice can level a city.
What did you think of “Who You Really Are”? I think the presence of Lady Sif and a Kree was an adequate mask to the heavy exposition they were brought in to convey, and I can’t wait to see where the storyline goes. But I am most excited to see how Age of Ultron ties in and brings everything I think I know to its knees.
And don’t forget, Daredevil is on the horizon. Isn’t the Marvel Universe a wonderful place to live?
You can watch Agents of SHIELD every Tuesday at 9pm on ABC.
(Image courtesy of ABC)