Welcome back from the long winter hiatus, SHIELD fans! Are you ready to find out about the Inhumans and plans for them in the MCU? Good, then let’s see what’s become of our first Inhuman characters.
When we last saw them, Skye and Raina had been transformed by the Terrigen Mists while poor Trip was killed by them. In the aftermath of the destruction of the temple, Skye is being watched for contamination from an alien substance. Fears of a contagion seem well-founded after Raina is discovered fully transformed into a weird thorn-creature. She’s understandably upset about her metamorphosis.
Coulson wants to kick some HYDRA butt to avenge (he is an avenger, isn’t he?) Tripp’s death by going after HYDRA’s remaining leadership. He and the SHIELD team trick Bakshi into getting the HYDRA leadership to turn on each other. When they do, they kill each other and only Bakshi is left. Coulson plans to turn him over to Talbot.
Skye becomes increasingly worried that something did happen to her in the temple. Fitz discovers that her DNA has been altered ‘significantly’ and that she has some kind of telekinetic powers. He hides this news from the rest of the team to protect her until emotions have settled down within the group.
Raina is despondent about her hideous transformation but is rescued by another Inhuman – a blind teleporter. And it appears that Bobbi and Mac’s secret involves searching for the Tool Box that Fury left to Coulson and ‘contacting’ someone else about it.
What Hit the Target
The argument scene outside quarantine was nicely done, reminiscent of one of my favorite scenes in The Avengers – the similar group argument on the helicarrier among the heroes. It’s good for this show to express discord and disagreement rather than to have things be too lovey-dovey. Inner conflict is realistic and makes for better TV.
Skye’s slow realization that there’s something seriously wrong with her is really well-done, as is that final scene between her and Fitz. Fitz (Iain de Caestecker) has really shone this season on his own. As much as I like (and miss) the old days of FitzSimmons, this character has grown a lot since striking out on his own and focusing on interactions with other members of the team.
I’m glad that so much of this episode was devoted to dealing with Trip’s death, even though I’m sad to see him go. This show has picked up the pace this season, but it needs to remember to slow down for character work.
Oh, poor Raina! She was a beautiful woman who’s now a hideous beast, and her devastation over what she became really made me feel for the character. How strange that a person who started out as a mysterious villain has become someone we can genuinely want to find peace.
What Missed the Mark
It seemed ridiculously easy to outsmart and destroy the HYDRA leadership. They’ve survived a long time, but not by being easily fooled and executing a coup after one setback.
I really hope that Bobbi and Mac’s secret project doesn’t turn out to be traitorous. I really like both characters, and if the show takes them on an unnecessarily Ward-like journey, I’m going to be really disappointed.
The Bottom Line
A fitting, contemplative episode to follow the shocking winter finale. Skye’s transformation was slow enough to be interesting while Raina’s began to show us the strange world that the Inhumans live in. Secrets still abound both within SHIELD and in the larger world they inhabit. The plot in which SHIELD tricks HYDRA was a little too easy, but the episode was really about what Skye and Raina have become and the existence of other Inhumans on the planet. I suspect that Agents of SHIELD is going to get a little more Marvel-ly with their arrival, and that can only be a good thing.
Plus, next week – more Lady Sif? Yes, please!