Last week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., we had a dramatic return from the season break. Dealing with the aftermath of what happened in the alien city and the death of a comrade, the team wasn’t doing so hot. Skye was having issues understanding what she was, Simmons apparently went off the deep end and decided that lethal measures against super-powered beings might be the way to go, H.Y.D.R.A. lost more than one of its heads and Raina got snatched up by some crazy teleporting blind guy that was groomed by Skye’s dead mother. Oh, and Skye’s crazy-ass dad is back and still looking for his daughter’s love, even if he has to force it out of her under threat of death. With a strong start to the season, did ‘Who You Really Are’ measure up? In some ways, yes. In others, not so much.
We begin this week with Lady Sif, wandering out of the ocean and bereft of most of her memories. Coulson and the team figure out that she’s back and go to help her. A little video footage shows that Sif lost her memory while battling some guy on a pier, so it’s up to everybody to find out who this guy is. As it turns out, his name is Vin-Tak and he’s a Kree. Naturally, that shouldn’t be good news in the slightest. The Kree aren’t known for their kindness and love of warm hugs. When the team finally does find their target, he tosses Bobbi around like she’s nothing and causes Skye to have one of her “shaking fits” (as in shaking the hell out of everything around her).
After a little more searching, they find Vin-Tak in a cave, digging up an old box. One quick capture and a meandering interrogation later, they discover that the box is supposed to contain a bunch of those obelisk things that were so annoying for the last season-and-a-half. Vin-Tak is there to take the things away and make sure that they are never used to activate the city to make super-powered warriors, something that the Kree tried to do on Earth a long time in the past. But he’s too late – all the obelisks were stolen back in the 40s.
Everything looks to be fine and dandy (for the most part), until Vin-Tak and Lady Sif (now with new and improved memory) find out that Skye has been altered by the powers of Kree science. She’s a dangerous weapon and the best way to handle that is to either kill her or lock her up somewhere far away in Asgard. But the rest of the team ain’t having it. They defeat Vin-Tak and find a way into Sif’s soft, creamy center so that Skye doesn’t have to go anywhere.
In the background of this episode, we have two subplots running. One is the relationship between Skye and Fitz. He’s become a big brother of sorts and with Simmons storming around talking about how super-powered folks need to be killed if necessary, he doesn’t feel like giving up Skye’s secret. But Skye’s lack of control solves that problem quick enough. The cat’s out of the bag and Fitz catches hell for keeping it all under wraps and putting everyone else in danger.
There’s also another subplot involving Bobbi and Mack, but the show keeps refusing to tell us what that is. They’re doing some super-secret project that would, according to the intentionally vague dialogue, put them at odds with their teammates should anyone find out. Hunter, however, figures out there’s something going on. Though when he confronts Mack and demands to know more, he’s promptly attacked for his troubles.
While I wasn’t impressed with a few aspects of this week’s episode, overall it was pretty decent. I like the fact that the primary story arc revolves around Skye and what happened to her. With last week and this week, they haven’t strayed off track too much. I am also relieved that they exposed Skye’s secret quickly. Dragging it out and forcing Skye and Fitz to hide constantly would have been tiresome as hell. With the revelation, they can get right on to the meat and bones of her new super powers.
Which leads me to the bad stuff. My main annoyance is this prolonged BS with Bobbi and Mack. They have a “secret project” going on that will apparently put them at odds with the other S.H.I.E.L.D. team members, but the writers are keeping it vague to the point where even when the two have private conversations they play the pronoun game well enough that the audience is left to sit and wonder. And wait. And wait. And wait some more for the time when S.H.I.E.L.D. finally realizes that they’ve dragged this subplot on to the point of ridiculousness. This is something Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has done before and it’s always the low point of any season.
Also, a few other nit-picks. Simmons’ change of attitude toward super-powered beings felt way out of left field. All of a sudden, she’s talking about killing people. I feel like with each season, a new group of writers gets handed the “Simmons project” – a special assignment to breathe life into a character and make her interesting. So she flip-flops around in unrealistic ways and we’re left to scratch our heads in wonder. And, of course, they’ve written the rest of the show so that Simmons will come into direct conflict with Fitz – yet again.
And, naturally, there were wacky antics and corny jokes aplenty. Sif’s loss of memory was the perfect opportunity for the S.H.I.E.L.D. comedy hacks to throw in some bad humor and be goofy. Luckily, this happens less and less as the show goes on. One of these days, we may even see it die. Or so we can always hope…
Next week, ‘One of Us’ promises a super-powered madhouse and all the special effects you can handle. It looks like Daddy Skye is trying to lure S.H.I.E.L.D. and his daughter out into the open so he can bestow more love. In order to do that, he brings in the big guns – super-villains! Check out the trailer for that one below: