On the D/L – Agents of SHIELD

Mar 11, 2015 | Posted by in TV
Agents of SHIELD

Season 2 Episode 12 – “Who You Really Are”

Lady Sif (Jamie Alexander) returns to Agents of SHIELD with a bout of amnesia as she hunts down a mysterious assailant.

Amnesia is always a really dodgy subject given how profoundly overused it is in these sorts of shows and this was really no exception as far as that storyline goes. It felt a little extraneous to the overall story and the complete lack of payoff made it seem completely pointless. Sif having her memory unceremoniously returned to her somewhere around the midpoint was completely drama free and made me question what the real point of it all was.

Having said that having Lady Sif around was actually pretty refreshing. Even with amnesia she has innate knowledge of the cosmos that proves useful to the team at several key points. I love how she would casually chime in with information about alien cultures in the middle of discussions. Also she has the raw power necessary to be a significant asset to them when combat is required.

Agents of SHIELD

Sif tries to piece together her purpose on Midgard

This episode is an important one in that we got some really significant face time with the Kree in the form of Vin-Tak (Eddie McClintock). It was disappointing that he spent most of the episode looking like a lazy bumpy headed Star Trek alien but his significance can’t be understated. He provides a lot of information on the creation of the Inhumans and what their purpose is. The experiments were nothing more than an attempt to create a super powered army.

It provides an interesting contrast to the mythology we’ve heard so far where Terrigenesis is considered to be a transcendent experience for those who can undergo it while having the added symbolic effect of realising their full potential. Vin-Tak boiling the intentions down to something so clinical and so throwaway is the complete opposite of that. It clearly isn’t easy for Skye to hear this said right in front of her as she’s already fearful about her powers and Vin-Tak is calling her kind “abominations” that need to be eradicated. It’s pretty strong stuff and Vin-Tak says these things with such disgust that it’s easy to see why Skye would be so upset.

I wonder if we’ll find out what makes humanity uniquely suited to Terrigenesis and what the Kree will do once they find out that their experiments are running around on Earth. This episode tells us that Vin-Tak was acting alone but if he managed to detect the signal then there’s no reason that others wouldn’t have. I really hope we’re due to see more of an alien presence on Agents of SHIELD because that will make for a really good antagonistic force especially if other races get involved.

Agents of SHIELD

The Obelisks are missing, this can’t be good

The revelation that there are another 6 Obelisks is really significant as well and them being missing is definitely cause for concern. I think I can see where the season is going from here and to my mind the ending is likely to be some kind of global Terrigenesis that will fill the world with super powered people for the team to track down either to fight or ally with. It’ll hopefully give the Marvel Cinematic Universe the sense of scope that the comics have had.

Having Agents of SHIELD at the forefront of the development of the Inhumans is a very exciting prospect and -as I’ve said before- helps to legitimise the show in the context of the wider universe. I’m really glad that the show gets to spend the time establishing all of this and exploring it for the first time. I imagine this ground will be covered again in the film which is fine but it’s good to know that there aren’t any limitations on how much of the mythology the show is allowed to cover.

Naturally this would all fall apart if the characters don’t feel like a proper part of the story. With Skye being the one with emerging powers she really deserves the biggest share of the development when it comes to reacting to this. As I said above she is definitely fearful of what she is now capable of and that comes across here. Her training session with May where it is identified that she is holding back for reasons that are unclear. May thinks it’s due to guilt over Trip’s death but we know it to be more than that. Skye is terrified that she might lose control and do something terrible. For all she knows she has other abilities so had to be careful around others. She seems to be in a constant state of worry when she’s sent out into the field and her feelings probably contribute to her powers flaring up.

Agents of SHIELD

Bobbi prepares to defend her friend

I must say that I’m surprised that her secret wasn’t kept for much longer than this and I’m really glad that the writers didn’t choose to let this permeate the season because even after last episode I was already sick of it. I honestly thought we were going to get endless scenes of Fitz and Skye whispering in a corner about how worried she is.

Having her secret be revealed during a loss of control made sense as it let all of the characters react to the reality of Skye being a potential danger to them simply by being among them. I’m happy to say that for the most part the reaction was what I expected. Coulson and May instantly rushing to her protection made a lot of sense as they have both shown a desire to keep her safe in the past.

We already know that Fitz is fine with her being the way she is and it’s been established that Simmons is now against the notion of people with powers so her reaction seemed consistent with that. Having her look so betrayed when Skye’s transformation was revealed was what I expected.

Bobbi, Mac and Hunter’s reaction was pretty much what I expected based on the little information I know on their perspective of the whole thing. They were ordered to defend Skye and they all immediately did so. Bobbi had a nice moment where she expressed a sense of loyalty to those she works with which of course includes Skye. Bobbi will fight to her last breath for those she is loyal to which rings true to her comic book counterpart.

I was less on board with Sif’s desire to take Skye to Asgard purely because she felt that there was potential for danger. Surely she is compassionate enough to see the fact that she is cared for and really wants to control her abilities. I would think she would realise that Skye needs to be around people who care about her to help her control it. Sif could even find some way to help without locking her away in some kind of Asgardian prison. It would be a good way to keep involving her. I do think Sif should be a regularly recurring character on this show.

Agents of SHIELD

Sif readies herself to return to Asgard

The conversation after all of this died down seemed a bit all over the place as well. Simmons has basically solidified herself as a hypocrite as she states that her anti-powers raving doesn’t apply to Skye because of their friendship. Maybe she’s feeling too close to the situation to see how ridiculous she’s being but it’s just really annoying me. I can understand the position of the others who felt that they would be better off knowing rather than having key information concealed from them.

I can understand that but on the other hand they do work for a spy organisation so they surely must be aware that sometimes information will be kept from them. Of course the whole thing has been turned on its head but this is surely something they are used to. I think some work needs to be done on firmly establishing why these characters feel the way they do about all this.

Having them all be a little scared of what Skye is capable off makes a lot of sense in terms of having Skye isolated from her friends and feeling like they somehow resent her. She will have a lot to work through before some kind of comfort level is reached. I imagine many sources will be providing her with advice on what to do and what everything means but ultimately she will have to decide for herself.

There were some other good development moments in this episode. Firstly Hunter formalising his place on the team is something that makes sense and actually something I thought had been done already. It also makes sense that he would want to stick around for Bobbi’s benefit because he genuinely wants to make their exceedingly complicated relationship work after so many rocky stops and starts. Hunter seems a lot more centered and has more of a sense of belonging than he had when he first appeared. One thing that’s definitely been done well is establishing how much he is settling into the team and how much he likes those he works with.

I very much doubt this feeling of security will last too long since he seems to rumble Mac and Bobbi’s secret pretty quickly. He doesn’t know the details of it but definitely figures out that there’s a flash drive and that they’re up to something. This causes Mac to put him in a sleeper hold and creates a difficult situation for the next episode now that Hunter knows something.

Agents of SHIELD

Skye isolates herself

Mac got some good moments here too. I like that Coulson wants to put him in the field but this is something he’s not overly comfortable with. Violence is not something he enjoys and his recent experience of being used as an alien weapon will only have intensified his dislike for it. Nevertheless he follows orders but makes it clear that it’s not something he’s eager to do. It is nice to see someone on this show who leans a bit more towards pacifism.

Bobbi and Mac’s secret is handled a little too obviously. The way they’re openly discussing it in rooms full of cameras seems a little sloppy especially for Bobbi who is an expert at this sort of stuff. The dialogue feels a little clumsy as if they are both working really hard to avoid talking about that thing they both know about. I’m not sure what it could be but I hope it doesn’t drag out much longer.

  • 7.5/10
    Who You Really Are - 7.5/10


A really strong episode that gives a great deal of insight into the mythology of the Inhumans and seems to establish what will be the consistent thread for the rest of the season.

The reveal of the existence of 6 other Obelisks as well as the fact that they are missing is really significant. It suggests that Skye and Raina’s transformation won’t be an isolated incident and the season ending might be some kind of global Terrigenesis that will give birth to lots of other Inhumans.

Having a Kree be a big part of this episode was a good decision in terms of fleshing out the mythology from a different perspective. I liked the fact that the Kree see this as nothing more than a failed experiment that needs to be wiped out. It’s a clever contrast to the previous dialogue suggesting that Terrigenesis is a powerful experience that symbolises the reveal of a true self and the fulfillment of potential. It’s a good foundation for some personal drama involving Skye and her confused sense of identity.

Given that her friends are fractured in their opinion on what has happened to her now that they all know has all but isolated Skye in terms of how she can relate to those around her. At the very least she will be looked upon differently by everyone and protecting her from alien threats presents a danger to them. Her abilities present another one.

I am really glad that Skye’s secret is out in the open as it provides plenty of opportunities for things to develop and means that they don’t draw things out needlessly when there’s plenty of story to tell.

In terms of the reaction I found that everyone made sense other than Simmons who just comes across as a hypocrite now that her anit-powers rambling doesn’t seem to apply to Skye for some reason. It’s clear that she’s not thought things through and really needs to resolve those issues. Her constant negativity is just something that annoys me at this point.

Having Sif be part of the ensemble this week made for some interesting viewing but her amnesia plot accomplished nothing. There was no real payoff to it and she still knew enough to provide information where it was needed. If she knew who she was then it’d probably have been pretty much the same. I’d like to see Sif turn up a lot more because she really adds something extra.

Mac and Hunter had some great development in this episode from Mac’s pacifism and lack of engagement with field work to Hunter feeling a little more like part of the team to the point that he wants to formalise the arrangement into something more permanent.

Bobbi and Mac’s secret is already proving tiresome and I’m hoping they’ll dispose of this plot as quickly as they got rid of Skye’s secret being kept.

User Review
5 (1 vote)