The mid-season finale of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is finally here, and it’s time for one of this series biggest moments to happen – the father and daughter reunion for Skye. And will we also see an Inhumans or Attilan reveal tonight as well? It took the series over a year to finally say the word ‘Kree,’ so I’m not holding my breath. Either way, this episode is the game changer. Meet me after the jump for my thoughts on “What They Become.”
One of the overarching mysteries of this series has been that of Skye. Who is she really? We know she’s daughter of The Doctor, perfectly and maniacally played by Kyle MacLachlan, but again who is he? I had thrown out the idea that he might be old school Thor foe Mister Hyde some time ago. It was more in line with just tossing answers at a wall to see what sticks, and lo and behold, this seems to be something that other folks have come up with as well.
Mister Hyde first appeared way back in 1963’s Journey into Mystery #99. As Dr. Calvin Zabo, he was obsessed with the Mister Hyde from literature and releasing the bestial superhuman creature within. In this new form he could go toe to toe with Thor, and later the Avengers as a member of the Masters of Evil. His temper and power are a nice match for MacLachlan’s character. What I had forgotten is that he does have a super-powered daughter who is conveniently a member a SHIELD – Daisy Johnson, codename Quake, because of her ability to cause earthquakes. Could Skye be Quake?
After some awesome aeronautics, May pulls The Bus out of Hydra’s reach, so cliffhanger averted. Have I mentioned how cool the cloaking special effects are? Yep, last time, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true this time as well. And of course on the eve of this spy show becoming a super-powered spy show, good special effects are important.
Also it seems that Mack is not as far gone as we might have thought. He’s not dead and Fitz and Simmons, working together think there might be a way to bring him back. And namedropping Dum Dum Dugan, the plan is to use old WWII Howling Commando timer bombs to blow the city since remote electronics aren’t working. This is what I like, a team working together with a plan. The spy parts of the show are good, have always been good, but I fear, they may suffer in this game changing transition.
Doctor and Daughter
On the bad side, Ward still has Skye, on his own agenda, and he’s delivered her to her father. When The Doctor introduces himself as ‘Cal,’ I know I nailed it, this is Mister Hyde. MacLachlan is so on target for Hyde. He is full on crazy and I’m not sure what’s scarier, his performance or the fact that he’s Mister Hyde. The acting is stunning, and MacLachlan is in his element. His measured tones, the sweat on his face, and just the overall scary demeanor he has bestowed upon his Hyde make a complete package.
Chloe Bennet, on the other hand is the equally perfect counterpoint. Her fear of him underlines even her affected toughness. May has taught Skye a lot, but pretending to be brave when faced with a monster is difficult. I wonder how scary these scenes were for those who didn’t know who Hyde was vs. those who did. Comics readers know that Hyde nearly beat Hercules to death, but MacLachlan is just plain scary. I wonder which works better?
Honor Among Thieves
Last time one of my real fears was that the villains (Whitehall, Raina, Ward, Hyde) would end up eliminating each other before the good guys got a chance to get in a shot or two. I had already had one disappointment this night over in “The Flash” when Firestorm came to the rescue dues ex machina style, I didn’t want to see something similar here. Let the good guys do something!
The villains do turn on each other, but not in the way expected. Nice to see some surprises are happening here. I was so happy Coulson got a piece of Whitehall, as I would have hated to see the villains take out the villains, glad to see good guys get to be good guys. Coulson also puts up a helluva fight against Mister Hyde, holding up much longer than I would’ve bet on. It was also very satisfying to see Skye shoot Ward, although lame to see her let her dad go.
Here’s the thing, the powers that be aren’t going to tell you what happened. Odds are they are not even going to explain things either. And if they do, it may be months from now. So allow me to translate, if I can, what we saw at the end of the episode. It’s called terrigenesis, and as I’ve explained before, it’s an Inhumans thing.
Once Raina, Skye, and Trip were sealed in the temple in the hidden city, The Diviner activated. It opened and revealed the terrigen crystals which eventually released the terrigen mists. This is the stuff that rearranges chosen DNA. It turns Raina and Skye to stone, which in this case is more like a cocoon, a great metaphor for transformation. Skye becomes Daisy AKA Quake, Trip is killed by shrapnel, and Raina becomes… Tigra maybe?
We cut to another Diviner somewhere else and its glowing. Obviously there is more than one of them. A man with no eyes (quite possibly a new addition to the Inhumans called Reader) makes a call, apparently checking with the owner of another Diviner. He announces that there is someone new, and he’ll contact the others. Hmmm… will the Inhumans be hunting SHIELD as well now?
Speaking of enemies, Ward survived getting shot by Skye and aligned himself with Agent 33 to escape. I was sad to see Kraken/Whitehall die so easily before reaching his full potential as a villain. There was much more to him in the comics, and even more just as he was here, a seemingly immortal Nazi. Maybe he’s not quite dead…
Other than learning I was right in one of my guesses regarding the identities of Skye and her father, on the whole I have to say I was disappointed with this episode. As expected, we did not get to hear the words ‘Inhumans’ or “Attilan’ although they’ve been verified by the showrunners, and if you’re not comics-savvy, let’s face it, knowing Dad is Mister Hyde and that Skye is really Daisy Johnson means nothing. The Bride who doesn’t read the comics was disgusted with the cliffhanger ending of this mid-season finale. I had to hip her to Daisy’s new powers so she’d know most of the cast would be all right.
And therein lies the problem. Is this series holding up for those who don’t read the comics? If I didn’t know who was who, would I still be around? After this episode, I kinda doubt it. The idea that I have to wait through the holidays, and then another seven weeks through “Agent Carter” to find out what happened… I don’t know, man. This might be my last episode. There is a great divide amongst viewers of this show, and I wonder which side you fall on. Will you continue to watch?
I’ll be back to review “Agent Carter,” and then the rest of this season. Will I see you all on the other side?