Agents of SHIELD Review: “What They Become”

Agents of SHIELD

– Spoiler Review –

Everything Agents of SHIELD has done so far led to this surprising, action-packed, and revelatory episode, “What They Become,” which helps distance itself even further from the much maligned first season and proves it can evolve into an essential part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The meeting between Skye and her dad, who mentioned his name is Cal, went even better than I expected. Though it didn’t go exactly as Cal expected (no almond cookies!), but that was part of the fun since watching Kyle MacLachlan has just been a treat and this scene was no exception. While I would’ve liked a clearer history, his manic explanation served his character better and still gave us a small glimpse into Skye’s parents lives. Chloe Bennet has come a long way from not only the first season, but from the start of this one as well, and she plays this scene wonderfully. It certainly wasn’t the normal father and daughter reunion and for that I’ll be forever grateful. Especially since Cal teased Skye had a gift…

Agents of SHIELDI’m just going to skip right ahead to the final scene, where Raina and Skye receive their gift. Even though Skye didn’t want to be in there and see what would happen, she obviously would’ve left since those doors closed slowly enough for Trip to sneak in. As usual Raina continued to impress thanks to her conviction about the Diviner and their destiny, plus her calm and cool composure about whatever might happen makes her a character to watch out for. The whole scene of Skye and Raina being encased by the Terrigen Mists was ripe with anticaption and full of unknowns. What would happen to them? What gifts would they come out with? What about Trip?

Agents of SHIELDWhile we don’t know the answer to what Raina became, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of her in the second half as one of the big bads (alongside Cal?). As for the other questions: There was a brief moment where it seemed like maybe Trip would get through the encounter with the Terrigen Mist, but he understood his fate after roundhousing the Diviner’s Terrigen crystals. And as awesome as Skye bursting (one could say Quaking..) out of the cocoon was, it’ll now be forever inextricably tied to the crumbly death of Trip. But what’s a comic book character’s origin without a little tragedy? So with that moment, the Inhumans officially joined the MCU, something the collective viewers of the show have been theorizing for awhile now. How awesome is it that the show was able to introduce such an important part of the MCU going forward? And even better yet, this leaves the theory that Skye could headline the upcoming Inhuman’s film quite intact.

Or should I say Daisy could headline the film, a revelation Cal makes as Skye brings a fight between he and Coulson to an end. Cal’s quest to kill Whitehall for his sins against Skye’s mother was abruptly ended when Coulson kills Whitehall (“What did you do!?” “You’re welcome?”), and instead of being happy, this only makes the unhinged Cal even more pissed. Combine Cal’s lack of revenge with his hate for Coulson acting as a surrogate father for Daisy/Skye and we get a special Daddy beatdown. I was surprised both of these middle-aged men were pulling off some of the moves they were, but it was entertaining to see them finally face off. Even better was Daisy/Skye swooping in to save Coulson and threatening to kill Cal, who left with a declaration of love and the promise her change will bring them closer. With Trip dying thanks to Daisy’s newfound gifts, she might run from the team and meet up with Daddy dearest. As for her gifts, they might seem a little…dare I say…Earth…QUAKE…ish? And Marvel has come out and confirmed, Skye is Daisy Johnson a.ka. Quake and Cal is Dr. Calvin Zabo a.k.a supervillain Mr. Hyde.

Agents of SHIELDWhile this episode was packed with big events and reveals, it worked on all different levels as well. The humor was spot on this week, especially Hunter, who had some of the best lines of the season. The action was quick and well choreographed and damn, that opening flight sequence looked really good for broadcast TV. “What They Become,” was just a solid hour of TV. However, the slightly underdeveloped Whitehall and Trip biting the dust sort of highlighted their lack of development, though Trip’s death was still a little emotional.

Agents of SHIELDIt looks like my theory about Ward working on a mission from Coulson are way less than likely, but that’s the fun of watching week to week and having time to stew on events. Instead, Ward got his chance to fulfill his promise to Skye to reunite her with her Dad and what did he get in return? Bullets to the chest. Understandable, but cold and awesome move by Skye. At least Ward has a friend in the displaced Agent 33 now, after her fearless leader got two to the heart. What trouble could they get into?

Here are a few other things:

  • In the shot of them bursting out of their Terrigen Mist created cocoons, it was strange that Raina was conspicuously absent from a above view shot, and I don’t know if it had to do with whatever gift Raina gained or just an oversight by the crew and special effects team. Either way, her creepy yellow eyes are creepy.
  • With only a small Terrigen Myst cloud created, we’ll be playing the long game for 2018’s Inhumans. And then that final scene, with the man (with skin over his eyes) with a glowing Diviner, calling someone else and mentioning there are now more, certainly sets up some unique places AoS can go after the winter break.
  • I’ll miss Trip’s usage of cool old Howling Commando gear and I’m sad his death destroys my other theory: that he and Simmons would get together to draw out the Fitz-Simmons relationship drama. RIP Trip, RIP.
  • In one of their more touching scenes together, Hunter caught Bobbi pocketing a flashdrive found in Mac’s garage on the Bus. While we still don’t know what Bobbi and Mac are working together on, now that Mac looks to be back for good and Bobbi trusting Hunter more, could he be brought in on whatever their side project is?

Agents of SHIELD

Agents of SHIELD has sort of ended up as an extended origin story for Quake and the Inhuman element of the MCU, which it did so deftly and somewhat stealthily for most of the season. And by giving the show such an important part of the MCU to develop, instead of how it had to react to the important parts laid out in the films in the first season, AoS has burst out of it’s own Terrigen Mist petrifaction cocoon and gained a gift: the gift of being good, compelling, and entertaining TV. The wait for it’s return will be a little easier with Agent Carter to enjoy, but it’s new Inhuman element will certainly spice things up when it returns.

+ Skye’s meeting with her father

+ Coulson vs Cal

+ Raina and Skye receiving gifts

+ Exciting places to go from here

Ryan is Mynock Manor’s Head Butler. You can follow him on Twitter @BrushYourTeeth. You can follow the website @MynockManor.

Season Two: 2.1 Shadows | 2.2 Heavy is the Head | 2.3 Making Friends and Influencing People | 2.4 Face My Enemy | 2.5 A Hen in the Wolf House | 2.6 A Fractured House | 2.7 The Writing on the Wall | 2.8 The Things We Bury | 2.9 …Ye Who Enter Here | 2.11 Aftershocks | 2.12 Who You Really Are | 2.13 One of Us | 2.14 Love in the Time of Hydra | 2.15 One Door Closes | 2.16 Afterlife | 2.17 Melinda | 2.18 The Frenemy of My Enemy | 2.19 The Dirty Half Dozen | 2.20 Scars | 2.21,22: S.O.S.

Season One: 1.1 This is Not the End/1.2 Bridge and Tunnel | 1.3 Time and Tide | 1.4 The Blitzkrieg Button | 1.5 The Iron Ceiling | 1.6 A Sin to Err | 1.7 SNAFU | 1.8 Valediction