The Doctor, Skye's Mom and More - Breaking Down Last Night's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D
Well, last night's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was certainly an event-filled episode, perhaps even too event-filled, as it seemed at certain points the show struggled to keep up with all the storylines it was juggling. That being said, this was still a great watch hour that brought us closer to gaining the answers to certain burning questions we've had since the season's start.
Spoilers from 'The Things We Bury' below:
Dollhouse favorite, Dichen Lachman returned to the 'Whedonverse' in last night's episode and although her character was never named, it seems without a shadow of a doubt that she is Skye's mother. First appearing in a flashback scene in which Nazi officer Werner Reinhardt subjects countless innocents to the judgements of the mysterious obelisk known as The Diviner, Lachman's character is earmarked as 'special' right from the get-go. When Lachman's character is forced to touch the Diviner, she, unlike those before her, remains unscathed and the Diviner bubbles into action prompting Reinhardt to order his men to take her away for further experimentation. But before this 'Young Woman' (that's her official description) can be imprisoned, the Nazi's are sprung by the Howling Commandos and Peggy Carter soon enters for her first cameo.
Young Woman's importance is cemented when, later in the show, another flashback set 44 years after Reinhardt's capture and subsequent imprisonment at the hands of Agent Carter, sees the Nazi war criminal freed (at the orders of Alexander Pierce) and get right back to his twisted Nazi-experimental ways. It's at this point that he discovers Young Woman, 44 years on, is still just that. Lachman's character hasn't aged one bit and a haggard Reinhardt wastes no time in putting her to the sword via a brutal operating table scene, which sees Young Woman harvested of just about every organ Reinhardt can get his hands on. After sowing what he has reaped from Young Woman into his own body, Reinhardt reverts to his younger self and the obvious is now confirmed....Reinhardt is Daniel Whitehall, the mastermind behind Hydra's resurgence.
The fact that Lachman has been chosen to play this mysterious 'Young Woman' is enough of an indicator that her character is going to be a major figure. As Sierra/Priya, Lachman was a major and beloved character on Whedon's Dollhouse. She's also a major feature on CW's The 100 and it's safe to say that an actress of Lachman's talents is not going to be brought onto a show like Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for an insignificant cameo. Couple this with the prominence of her character's appearance and subsequent death on this episode, and all signs are pointing firmly towards this being Skye's mother. This is something the show has been building to since it began last year, and personally, I cannot wait to see where they go with it.
Does S.H.I.E.L.D. Have a Dangerous New Ally?
Another source of intrigue for this show has been Kyle MacLachlan's 'Doctor', and for the first time ever, we're starting to get a sense of what his motivations are. Seemingly an antagonist of S.H.I.E.L.D. at the start of this season, could it be that The Doctor is fighting the same fight as Coulson and his team? Yes, we know they are both looking for the hidden city, but for a while now it has seemed The Doctor has been serving as Hydra's point man on the hunt. When The Doctor and Coulson came together in last night's episode it seemed as though The Doctor's intentions would remain on an antagonistic path and he would keep manipulating S.H.I.E.L.D's efforts for his own gain.
But in his exchanges with the Hydra elite, there's a spark in MacLachlan's eye which suggests all is not as it seems. Is The Doctor just using Hydra, or does he want to hit them where it hurts? When we see a flashback scene in which The Doctor discovers the decapitated remains of the 'Young Woman', we discover that not only was there an emotional attachment between the two, but in seeing what Whitehall had done, The Doctor looked ready to exact a painful revenge on the Hydra mastermind. And that can only be good news for Coulson and Co.
Grant Ward is Interesting Now
If you had told me last season that Grant Ward was going to one of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's most interesting characters, I would have laughed in your face with an almost disrespectful vigour. In most of Season 1, Brett Dalton's Grant Ward epitomised all of the show's early issues. He was generic, uninteresting and wooden. He really didn't bring anything to the table until the three quarter mark. Now look at him....he's a twisted individual with a murky past and he's damn near impossible to figure out. Many fans, myself included, really seem to be struggling to predict where the writers are taking this character and that bodes well for the future for the show.
Despite the fleshing out of the 3 storylines above, 'The Things We Bury' still found time to tease these extra storylines:
- Hunter and Bobbi's complex relationship: These two are just so much fun to watch. Watching Hunter sweep from trust issues to lust in the space of one episode proves that there's more to this relationship than we think. Don't be surprised if their already strained bond gets tested in a big way later on in the season.
- What is the 'Hidden City'? - Worth of a whole article on its own, this is a question that will likely remain unanswered until the season's climax next year. It's also one of the most hotly debated TV questions on the internet right now.
- Who isn't excited about the prospect of Agent Carter next year? This episode showcased how entertaining a Marvel show set in WW2 can be. It also showcased that Agent Carter won't be a mere Marvel spin-off and that events that unfold over those 8 episodes will greatly impact other Marvel products.