TV Recap: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD, ‘Who You Really Are’

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Who You Really Are Plot Summary:

When Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander) arrives with amnesia, Coulson (Clark Gregg) puts his entire time together to find out why. This puts them in contact with an intergalactic warrior who causes a big rift within the team.

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Personal identity played a very big role in last night’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Of course, it kinda had to with a title like “Who You Really Are.” Nearly every character has some kind of mystery that was focused on throughout an hour. There’s Mac (Henry Simmons) and Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki), whose private meetings have burned slowly up to this point. Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) recently got his own after discovering Skye’s (Chloe Bennet) secret. That secret in particular is obviously the big one which will carry this show from here on forth. Then we have the two that were introduced for this episode only. Sif has no idea who she is due to amnesia, and her target is an unknown but supremely powerful man. It’s a lot of questions to deal with in one hour, yet most of them actually worked to the show’s benefit.

The Inhuman story is quickly proving to be S.H.I.E.L.D.’s claim to fame. We’ve only had proper Inhumans in this show for two full episodes, but the intense focus is working really well. Case in point, “Who You Really Are” was a massive information dump on why this is happening. Vin-Tak (Eddie McClintock), the man Sif was chasing, was revealed to be a Kree warrior attempting to eliminate threats brought on by Terrigenesis. Apparently Earth was the only planet where Kree were successful in giving people superpowers (for reasons). We also learned that there are six Diviners, only two of which have appeared. Coulson fervently believes that they flooded the only means for the Diviners to be used, but it’s so obvious that this won’t be the case. Otherwise, how could an Inhumans movie happen? It’s easy to theorize now that these very Diviners will eventually cause global changes that give us classic Inhumans like Black Bolt and Medusa, subsequently leading to the film. That, or they already exist and these will make more. Expect big changes either way!

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

What I absolutely loved about this episode was how it heavily focused on morality. Vin-Tak, despite technically falling to the “villain of the week” category, isn’t actually a villain. He’s not wrong for wanting to eliminate the completely unknown Inhuman threat. Sif sides with him too and she’s a hero! The only reason the team didn’t join them is because the target is one of their own. In that same vein, S.H.I.E.L.D. keeping Skye for protection is an extremely dangerous idea. Her completely known powers are currently limitless. Her lack of control can cause immense destruction. However, taking her away isn’t a solution either. Will she do any better in a completely unknown environment surrounded by aliens who want to experiment? No, but it is definitely much safer for everyone else. For a show that’s frequently so black and white, it’s nice to watch it dabble in gray.

Fitz is creating his own gray area within the team too. It’s unsurprising that everyone is upset he kept Skye’s secret from them. How they react is entirely character specific too. Mac takes the safety approach, stating that they need protection from Skye, which does not go well at all. Bobbi and Hunter (Nick Blood) are mainly agitated because they believe in an open environment, something that backfires for Hunter too. Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) is the most damaged however because she felt a personal betrayal that her closest friend held such a personal secret. Fitz throws her secret keeping right back in her face though. But while everyone is ganging up on Fitz, he rightly defends himself. He is the only one actually thinking about Skye which is important. He also openly blasted Simmons’ own hypocrisy that Raina needs to get put down but not Skye. Clearly this rift is being introduced to give the show further conflict around these changes, but it actually feels very organic. It’s a crazy time and it’s proper that no one really knows what they’re supposed to do.

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Lady Sif was the big guest star of the night, giving a nice break to recurring special guest star Kyle MacLachlan. Now I’m never going to complain about more Jaimie Alexander. She’s great as Sif, easily the Asgardian with the most personality outside of Thor and Loki. Her mission against Vin-Tak, and Vin-Tak’s inclusion at all, was a very smart way to give us more insight into the Inhumans. However, saddling her with an amnesia story was a very dumb idea. It honestly didn’t even matter that she had no memory or that Vin-Tak caused it. All it gave us was a few quips, a nod to Sif’s romantic feelings towards Thor, and a way to pad an hour. We only saw her fight on some amateur video. This episode was a much better showcase of Bobbi’s skills, but we can get that any week. So while I will always love Sif on this show, her story only really mattered at the very end.

The writers must have tried really hard to keep Mac and Bobbi’s secret still a secret with those constant discussions too. Seriously, can it get anymore vague?! Apparently what they are doing is extremely dangerous, will cause a rift between Bobbi and Hunter (who was fairly annoying this week), and is definitely not with Hydra. I’m sure this will pay off in dividends once the truth is revealed, but right now this feels like a dangling plot afterthought compared to the big Inhumans mystery. We need more now than a car scanning for Fury’s toolbox. Mac strangling Hunter because he kept asking questions is a start. It really doesn’t get us anywhere though.

Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal
Photo Credit: ABC/Kelsey McNeal

There was a little interesting moment that actually questions the identity of the show itself. It was in the discussion between May (Ming-Na Wen) and Coulson where they talked about Skye’s new powers. Basically, the show has always been about Skye. May brought up a lot of good points explaining why too. Coulson is there because of Kree blood which implanted within him a map to the Inhuman city. Their very first mission on this team was to pick up Skye who is now one of those very Inhumans. Coulson chalks this all up to fate. We as the viewers can categorize this as smart production by the people behind this show. Clearly this is what Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was supposed to be about from the beginning. It took a while to get here, and it was a very bumpy ride, but man is it paying off.

 

Rating: 8/10