Long gone are the dark days of Agents of SHIELD’s monster of the week plots punctuated by extended cutaways of a cargo jet landing, the show’s latest installment, “Who You Really Are” was so full it probably didn’t need a return visit from Jaimie Alexander’s Sif, but no one is complaining that it did.
This episode played heavy with secrets wrapped in lies and the fallout that occurs when it all unravels. Sif, who spent most of the episode with only fragments of memory, added humor and action punch while the series regulars handled the intrigue.
The secrets were big (the Kree keeping the success of their experiments on Earth under wraps for millennia) and the lies were small (Fitz keeping Skye’s real test results away from Simmons). No matter the size of the secret, the mess it created will take a lot of cleaning up.
Secrets are also serving an added purpose to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, because it looks like Agents of SHIELD is laying the groundwork for two future Marvel movies.
Sif and the Kree visitor laid out the ugly history of Terragenesis for Coulson, May and any audience members who hadn’t Googled “Inhumans” to this point.
The upshot is similar to the backstory of the Marvel characters whose rights are owned by Fox: these transformed beings are powerful, sometimes hideous, unpredictable and in the wrong hands, dangerous weapons that must be eradicated.
The whole “eradicated” part made Skye nervous and triggered her Quake powers, exposing her secret and sent both Sif and the Kree into extermination mode against the SHIELD members seeking to protect their teammate. Skye put an end to the danger by shooting herself with an enhanced ICER round and in the process showed a capacity for noble sacrifice that impressed one of Asgard’s best warriors.
The more Mockingbird and Mack plot in whispers, the more it seems their storyline is planting the seeds for Captain America: Civil War. In one conversation they made it clear that their orders to get their hands on Nick Fury’s toolbox and other goodies were not coming from HYDRA, but coming from another source (Maria Hill? Tony Stark? Hill backed by Stark? Someone else?). They talked about the team turning against them when Bobbi floated the idea of bringing Hunter into their little circle.
The M&M conspirators’ secret might not stay that way much longer after Hunter told Mack he knew they were up to something and Mack choked Hunter out.
The team was left as shattered as the broken glass they were sweeping up at the end of the episode. Everyone (except Coulson, amazingly enough) had some piece of their world crash in some way or another. Hardest hit was Skye, who was called an abomination by an alien and a danger by her teammates. It’s no wonder what she’s locked herself away from the world.
Craig Wack is a veteran journalist. Please follow his Twitter.