Skye’s Past Presented, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “Seeds”
Agents of SHIELD is like some sort of entertainment hydra; one mystery gets (sort of) solved, and two more pop up in its place.
Last week we learned that Agent Coulson’s (Clark Gregg) trip to Tahiti was a big, fat lie and his death was days long, not minutes. This week we discover that Skye (Chloe Bennet) is not the daughter of a long-lost SHIELD agent as she previously assumed; she’s actually an 084, which is SHIELD talk for ‘Object of Unknown Origin’, like Thor’s hammer or any other piece of alien detritus that falls from the sky (see what I did there?).
As a baby, her mere presence got a Chinese village and squad of SHIELD agents slaughtered. What made the infant Skye so important, so exceptional, that an entire village of civilians would die to protect her? Who methodically, ruthlessly killed each and every one of the SHIELD agents who’d come into contact with her? I’m sorry, but nothing that I’ve seen of Skye so far marks her as extraordinary enough to cross the street for, let alone lay down my life in defense of. And why is it, in the words of off-the-grid former agent Richard Lumley (Boyd Kestner) who also serves as this week’s Captain of Exposition, that “Death follows that girl?” Which, by the way, has to be the worst mutant power out there.
As usual, in SHIELD, a question gets answered, only to be replaced by two or three more. But for the first time, it doesn’t really bother me. Skye is finally interesting, and her purpose has been re-directed from the trope-ish, “Who and where are my parents?” to renewed devotion to SHIELD and the de facto family formed by the people who’ve been protecting her for her whole life.
Her second visit to the memorial wall at the Academy, (her first included a shout-out to Captain America‘s Bucky Barnes) in order to honor Linda Avery, the agent who engineered Skye’s disappearance into the foster care system and who died protecting the secret of the baby’s placement and location, was sweet, and more sentimental than I’d expect from her. It was also indicative of the fact Skye finally understood that she has her place, and that’s with Coulson’s team.
Also at the Academy, we learn that the Twins, Fitz and Simmons (Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge) are considered rock stars of the tech division, illustrating again that, no matter how it’s earned, everyone in SHIELD world has their place.
It’s gratifying, not only because I love both of them, but because they deserve it. The two of them are brilliant and amazing, but sometimes get lost in the Secret Agent shuffle where so much emphasis is put on strength and combat ability.
In their own element, they shine, and it’s demonstrative of the fact they are as integral to our team as the physically superior Agents Ward and May. Also? Their department has a sweet, secret bar in the boiler room with lasers and pool tables. Suck on that, jocks!
They are so impressive that their biggest fan, loner and resident super-genius Donnie Gill (Dylan Minnette – Jack’s son onÂ Lost) puts himself in jeopardy in order to lure them to the Academy to help him solve a problem he is having with a fabulous, environmentally unstable doo-hickey (technical term, yo) that he invented and is illegally selling. At 18, I was bussing tables in a beer hall. Thanks, SHIELD, for playing the role of ‘Guy making Tobey feel inferior’ that my dad usually takes.
Eventually, Donnie absorbs the ice-making powers from his malfunctioning machine, establishing an origin story for a villain if I’ve ever seen one. It’s just one of the many plot and character seeds sown in this highly enjoyable SHIELD episode, one of the season’s best so far.
Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 8/7c on ABC.
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