*Sooooo many spoilers!!!*
The mid season break finally breaks upon the shores of Britain like a wave of geek satisfaction, after a more assured and generally stronger second season comes to a brief close. The last episode leaves a lot of loose ends to tie together with the ever ravenous flocks of fanboys circle above, waiting for a mistake. The episode begins with Mae and Trip evading Whitehall’s Quinjets using moves from the dusty manual of 80’s action film tactics 101.
Ward meanwhile introduces ‘Skye’ to her Dad and the reunion is well written and appropriately tense with a conflicted Skye watching her Father wrestle with emotions during a meeting they have both fought towards their whole lives. Unlike the FitzSimmons reunion this is not underplayed but well crafted and the weight of the occasion is tangible in their awkward interactions. Whitehall then arrives at the base where they are which is also where Hydra are drilling into the temple. He captures the father and daughter as well as Ward but they quickly escape. Skye shoots Ward in one of her greater moments of actual displays of character, instead of being the broken hearted girl still pining for the rebel she shows her fury and lack of survival instincts.
Skye’s Dad tells during their conversation refers to himself as Cal and his daughter as Daisy, also singing “Daisy, Daisy” to her as a mothers lullaby of past. We’ll get back to this morsel of revelation soon….
Cal chases Whitehall for revenge but witnesses Coulson shoot the ungainly Nazi and is overcome by rage and the vengeance taken from him. Cal attacks Coulson who pulls out some nifty MMA moves but is overpowered until Skye rescues him and Cal leaves saying he will “be waiting” after his Daisy “changes”. Agent 33 finds Whitehall dead and Ward casts his manipulative magic to convince her to carry help him to safety so they can “figure things out”. Bobby, Hunter and Mae are randomly towards bad people just so they feel involved, it’s fun and to real consequence.
Daisy/Skye/Skysy follows the staggeringly empty void that is Raina into the temple as she carries the Diviner to its destiny. They enter a chamber and the diviner is placed on the ominous table of doom! Coulson has the unhappy task of fighting the mountain that is possessed Mack and Trip runs around to disarm the bombs he planted around the temple after finding that Skye had entered, he then enters the chamber with two women and the diviner as the doors turn to walls and traps them all.
The ending is the absolute climax of a carefully plotted and paced story and is worth the wait. Not in explosions or over the top drama but the natural progression we waited for and wanted. The crystal ones and cocoons Skye and Raina and Tripp panics before kicking the crystal, shattering it and releasing Mack from its hold. Skye exits her cocoon just in time to see Tripp turn to dust as he is ‘unworthy’ and she sends tremors out causing the temple to crumble and begin to collapse. I love Tripp and although I was relieved to not lose Mack I felt our wisecracking Wade replacement was just finding his pace. His days always felt numbered as Hunter joined the team but at Tripp’s exit from the stage was appropriate dramatic, hear tugging and took pride of place at the most vital climax on this shows history.
A lot happens in this and there is not much to analyse as the frantic game of catching up with the plot makes the episode fly by but in a entertaining flurry at the very least. The main points are important however to the future of the show and more importantly the Marvel universe, Skye’s dad Cal would appear to be Calvin Zoba or Mr Hyde which would explain his bouts of rage. Kyle MacLachlan does a great job portraying the doting father struggling with his very real and not so inner demon. Skye’s past is satisfying as she is revealed to be Daisy Johnson or ‘Quake’, this is cemented the tremors she created. Quake is an emerging character in Marvel lore best known for leading Nick Fury’s team of young mutants in Jonathan Hickman’s fantastic ‘Secret Warriors’ series.
The most encouraging thing to come from this is that up till now the series has been impacted by the Marvel Universe and made important, but now the series is directly impacting the Marvel Universe and ushering in the next stage. This shows Marvel’s investment in a much improved show and adds a depth of lore to much beloved characters….and wastes some spare lore on Raina. The most likely scenario is that Raina and Daisy are ‘Inhumans’ who are humans that were experimented on by the Kree and their DNA is unlocked by a Terrigen crystal and is named…wait for it….Terrigenesis, oh yes someone at Marvel got a bonus for that gem! Inhumans are an upcoming film venture for Marvel and the Kree a key part of the cosmic ballet that will be the battle for the infinity gauntlet and the next two generations of movies.
This series so far has been well written and paced and now it would seem that was in part to the amount of crucial story elements riding on the plot on this series. It’s brave of Marvel to put so much stock in this show and only Gotham has beaten it to the eyes of more comic fans this year. The episode itself is very solid and entertaining but what it represents is a exciting future for our heroes as they take prominent place at the forefront of one of the most popular and lucrative universes in media.
The verdict: Well acted, well shot and well paced but even without these the episode is gleefully important and that trumps all.