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Agents of SHIELD — What They Become Review

"They Become the Best Episode Yet"

Guys. Agents of SHIELD had their mid-season finale this week with “What They Become”. It’s good. Don’t want to bury to the lead, but there it is. It’s exciting, we get sweet sweet answers, there’s some bittersweet moments, and most of all: promises for the future. The only downside? We have to wait three months to see what happens next. Ugh.

Lets get into it.

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Plot

In the exciting finale, Skye finally meets her father while May and Coulson regroup. The race is on to get into the alien city and either destroy it or use the weapon inside. As Hydra and SHIELD descend on the final location, things begin to slowly unravel.

The Answers

Oh man! There were a ton of things answered here! Lets dig in. First, Skye’s “real name” is Daisy and her dad’s name is Cal. These are actually super important! First off, it means that Skye is, or is very close to being, Quake. She’s a regular fixture in SHIELD, even acting as Director for a short period of time, and has close ties to the Avengers. Could Skye — or Daisy/Quake — play a role in any of the upcoming phase three movies? Possibly. Though I do hope that they make her character more bearable if that happens.

Lets not forget that her dad’s name is Cal. If Skye is Quake, then that would make Cal Calvin Zabo, aka Mister Hyde — a pretty popular street-level villain who has mostly stuck to fighting characters like Daredevil and Spider-Man, but has gone toe-to-toe with the likes of Thor and The Hulk. His insanity and mood swings are already apparent, but will we ever see him transform into an honest-to-god Hyde? I hope so. After all, he did warn Skye “change is terrifying“. Who would know better?

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I wonder how far they’ll take him. Will he have created the Hyde Formula? Does he have the alter ego? Maybe he’s already Hyde. I mean, it’s been insinuated that he was able to kill bikers with sheer strength, that’s nearly superhuman. Hyde was born of hormonal treatments, maybe that’s where the moodswings come from.

Obviously, the other big one: we’re dealing with Inhumans. Pretty much guaranteed, they just haven’t said it. The “special people” enter a chamber, a crystal appears, it fires out a kind of gas, the people are encased in a cocoon, and they emerge changed. That’s like 99.99% Inhumans. And it’s pretty amazing. We get a look at an eyeless guy at the end with his own Diviner, who has to be an Inhuman. He’s talking to a woman on the phone, which seems to mean that there is a small population of Inhumans out there living among us.

Raina, who acted weirdly serpentine, has turned into some kind of bird/reptile creature. She could be Naja or, maybe, Raina — a version of mutant in dinosaur people society (comics are weird). Either way, she’s taken the traditional route of the Inhumans and underwent a drastic physical change.

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The Future

This episode, there were quite a few things that seem to set up events for both the back half of the season and beyond. There’s the obvious tease at Skye’s new powers, Raina’s transformation, Mac getting a head-full of alien city, and the other Inhumans. Obviously there’s a lot of speculation, for instance does the presence of multiple Diviners mean multiple cities, but there are some things too tantalizing not to talk about.

First off, Ward leaves with Agents 33 (Nega-May? Reverse May? Dark May?). With her lack of direction and his skill at manipulation I think we’re looking at the start of the solid team up. Hopefully, this’ll lead to Ward becoming truly independent. Maybe he’ll start his own team, a dark reflection of Coulson’s, and beings going around dispensing justice as he sees fit. You can’t tell me that’s not an exciting thought.

What are Bobbi and Mac up to? This episode we got a thumbdrive thrown into the mix. A thumbdrive that Lance called out, by the way. Maybe this is the start of an investigation that leads to the Agents uncovering what the two are doing. I feel like the two of them secretly being Hydra is a red herring, and a twist that’s already been played. I personally subscribe to the SWORD theory, but as of yet, that’s unfounded. Or maybe the two just have a relationship.

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Troubled hugs. The surest sign of betrayal.

When Skye emerged from her cocoon, her seismic powers seemed to have kicked in and she was bringing down the place. However, we never saw it stop. Could there still be Agents in trouble? The last we saw of them were in peril. Fitz and Simmons holding each other, Coulson keeping Mac on his feet, May above the hole, and Bobbi and Lance together on the stairs. I find it doubtful that anyone really dies, but it’ll be a cool sequence nonetheless.

Other Thoughts

When Skye finally met her father, it was sort of a prime example of Chloe Bennet’s habit of getting out-acted in one-on-one scenes. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think she’s the worst actress. It’s just night and day when you see Kyle MacLachlan playing Cal with with mix of outlandish insanity and nuanced sadness, then Chloe just kind of wavers between weepy and indignant. I’m not even sure it’s the fault of the script. That’s a pretty effective scene. She’s just not throwing out any energy for Kyle to bounce off. I’ve watched the scenes multiple times. It’s like “sad now”, “angry now”, “sad again”.

Whitehall went out a little too easy for me. It leads me to believe that he’s not really dead. After all, he doesn’t really age. Maybe he doesn’t really die from conventional means either. Mostly, I just want Cal to rip him apart. It’s genius, the way the show makes you feel for him, makes you want him to tear Whitehall apart, and when Coulson takes that away you feel his rage. However, a shot through the heart? That seems too easy for our season’s big bad.

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I’m really digging the little payoffs in this show. So Skye’s real name is Daisy. Raina, who has been running with Cal for most of her life, always wears flower dresses. Perhaps that’s her way of trying to replace Skye in her dad’s eyes? It’s an awesome symbol any way. Especially when you think back to Skye’s dream sequence wherein she wore a flower dress. Not only a symbol for her similarity to Raina, but her actual name.

Agents of SHIELD may be the best comic book TV show on the air right now. I say “may” because I stopped watching Arrow about a dozen episodes into the first season and I never even started Batman-less Batman show Gotham. So if someone wants to correct me, I’ll direct you to the comments below. However, from what I’ve seen, Agents of SHIELD blows away the competition. Sure, it doesn’t have the most comic book references, and it’s tone is more of an action procedural than a superhero drama, but it’s a more solid show.

I like the The Flash a lot, it’s charming, and I like Constantine, it’s fun and pretty close to the source material, but they don’t really compare. Agents of SHIELD‘s use of plotting — events set up many episodes in advance, twists that you honestly don’t see coming before its too late — and the sheer amount of payoffs is above and beyond any its contemporaries. Not to mention Agents‘ character work. I care deeply for almost all the characters on Agents of SHIELD. I couldn’t care less for the Killer Frost lady in The Flash, she’s a non character who is waiting to become a villain. I don’t really care about anyone on Constantine other than Constantine and Zed, and even with those two it’s just to see what kind of magic/asshatery Constantine will pull out next.

It just sucks that we’ve got to wait so long for it come back. Well… see you guys in March, I guess.

 

Rating
9.5
Pros
  • More of Skye's Father
  • Reveal of Skye and her Father's Identity
  • Awesome dog fight at the beginning
  • Terrigen transformation
  • Secrets revealed
Cons
  • Flat Acting Here and There
  • You Never Get a Good Look at the City
  • Seemingly Needless Death

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