Wow, Agents of SHIELD. Way to break my heart. We finally found out the big secret about Skye and the Obelisk, but the price was just too much. I knew the moment Trip found himself in the temple with Skye and Raina that he wasn’t going to make it, but seeing him turn to dust like that was just heart-wrenching. Like I said last week, folks, the Whedon family knows how to break hearts.
“What They Become” was a nail-biter from beginning to end, starting with Agent May’s quick thinking in order to get Hydra’s missiles off their tail. At the end of last week’s episode I wasn’t sure how they were going to get out of it, but May proved that she can pretty much do anything at this point.
One major emotional doozy this episode was the tense meeting between Skye and her father, who calls himself “Cal.” Skye has been looking for her parents since the first episode of the series and seeing her find out that her mother has been dead all these years was tough. Even moreso when Skye had to come to terms with the fact that her father has become a homicidal maniac as a result of it. He explained to her that she comes from a “long line of people with gifts.” I assumed her mother, who still hasn’t been named, got her gift because of her contact with the Obelisk, but that line hints at something different. Is there still more to the mystery of Skye’s origins?
Now that he was reunited with Skye, Cal had no need for Whitehall anymore, giving us the best quote of the episode: “I’m gonna kill the man that destroyed my life–best day ever.” Unfortunately for him, things didn’t turn out as he planned. After Whitehall forced Skye to touch the Diviner and confirm she is just as “gifted” as her mother, he had her, Cal and Ward tied up and incapacitated so he could start his gross Nazi experiments on her.
Meanwhile, our favourite SHIELD duo FitzSimmons were back to their old tricks, figuring out a way to safely get down to the temple without going haywire. Deeming the place too dangerous for Hydra to get their hands on, Coulson moved to have the place destroyed. Bobbi and Hunter were also in tonight’s episode, but I was honestly way too preoccupied with everything happening with Skye to pay attention to them. I hope I’m not alone in that respect.
Coulson and May managed to infiltrate Hydra’s station in San Juan as they drilled into the underground temple. During the shootout Cal pulled himself together in time to go after Whitehall, only to have Coulson take him out before he had the chance. Naturally Cal immediately goes into a blind rage.
Ward tried to play the hero and untie Skye but she turned on him and shot him in the side. That really took me by surprise, but in no way was it not deserved. Ward betrayed all of them, murdered his brother and just did not take no for an answer. It’s clear those shots didn’t kill him, but hopefully they sent the message that it’s well and truly over between him and Skye.
After escaping Ward, Skye discovered her father beating Coulson to a pulp. She managed to stop him, but not without coming to the realization that the only way to end it was to go down to the temple as she was “destined” to do. One problem? The bombs planted by Fitz, Simmons and Trip were all set and ready to go any moment. And so she said her goodbye to Cal, who finally revealed her real name: Daisy.
Okay, guys, I’ll be the first to admit I was wrong. Turns out Skye is definitely not Carol Danvers, but she is an important part of the Marvel and SHIELD universe. Who is she? She’s Daisy Johnson, also known as Quake, a superpowered SHIELD agent who is on par with greats like Black Widow and Maria Hill. Her father is Calvin Zabo, also known as Mister Hyde, which fans have been speculating for awhile. Needless to say it definitely fits with his background as a doctor and that whole flying into a murderous rage bit.
Okay, enough comic book talk, back to the episode.
The ever eager Raina was already down in the temple, guided by a possessed, but alive (!!) Mack, who led her to a pedestal for the Diviner. Skye caught up not long after, causing the Diviner to react and lock them in, but not before Trip slipped through. This was where my moment of euphoria over Mack turned into utter despair: The Diviner opened up and blasted Raina and Skye, encasing them in stone. Trip tried to save them by destroying it, but ended up with a shard of it inside his chest. Skye broke free from the stone just in time to see Trip break apart and blow away. In one of the final moments of the episode we see the temple start to fall apart due to an earthquake, most definitely caused by Skye’s new powers. We also got a small peak at Raina’s new face, but not enough to ascertain what her new powers are. Any ideas, comic book fans?
In the final scene of the episode, we saw a mysterious man in possession of a second Obelisk, who talks to someone on the phone about finding “someone new.” There’s no doubt in my mind he’s talking about Raina or Skye. Could this be the beginnings of the Inhumans storyline?
Final thoughts from the Agents of SHIELD mid-season finale:
Hooray for FitzSimmons working together as a team again! I wish they’d hashed out their issues a bit more before the break, but at least they’re at a mutual understanding.
Mack is alive! I wasn’t ready to lose our favourite mechanic yet. I’m still holding out hope he’ll be more fleshed out in future episodes.
Skye’s emotional goodbye to Coulson had me teary-eyed in spite of all the intense action going on. Way to deliver tonight, Chloe Bennet.
RIP Trip. You deserved better, but you went out a hero all the same.
What did you think of last night’s intense winter finale? Are you excited for the next big SHIELD mystery? Unfortunately, Agents of SHIELD will be on hiatus until March, but the much-anticipated Agent Carter will be filling its slot starting Jan. 6. See you in 2015!
Associate Editor Kelly Townsend always had strong opinions on TV growing up, so it was only natural to evolve from couch musings to online journalism. She can't ever choose a favorite series, so please don't ask. Her writing has also appeared on IndieWire and Tribute.ca. You can find her on Twitter at @kellybtownsend.