As we get closer to the mid-season finale of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., things are starting to come together quickly. This episode opens with a dream sequence that is loaded with symbolism and hidden significance. First, we have Skye (Chloe Bennet) in a flowered sun dress, tying her symbolically with Raina (Ruth Negga). Coulson (Clark Gregg) and May (Ming-Na Wen) appear as parent figures, which is pretty obviously the roles they’ve taken on in her life, filling the absence of her dead mother and psychopathic father. And finally, the song “Daisy Bell” is playing as the creepy dream images build to a crescendo. At this point, the significance of the song (which you probably know from Hal 9000’s interpretation in 2001: A Space Odyssey) is unknown — but just wait. Next episode will clear that up. We then get caught up with Raina, who is apparently scamming a rich dude for good coffee? Anyway, HYDRA is out to get her and Agent 33 has her in her sights — her Agent May face with horrible scarring and scary robotic voice sights! Luckily, S.H.I.E.L.D. has eyes on her, four eyes, to be exact. But only one face. Wha??? This episode sees the return of Patton Oswalt as Billy Koenig and his “brother” (?) Sam, who utilize some cool S.H.I.E.L.D. tech to bring Raina in safely. From there, the rest of the episode is split between Skye, May, and Hunter (Nick Blood) meeting up with Raina and the Koenigs, while the rest of the gang head for San Juan, Puerto Rico — not for a vacation, but to try and figure out how to access the ancient alien city that lies beneath the island. There are nice little character moments for just about everybody, with Oswalt really playing up the mystery of whether or not the Koenigs are twins (triplets?), clones, or Life Model Decoys, Skye getting to kick the living crap out of Agent 33 in another excellent fight sequence, Fitz (Iain De Caestecker) and Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge) coming to an arrangement that is heartbreaking but rings true, Coulson explaining why he does what he does — and specifies his difference from Fury — and finally, Ward (Brett Dalton) getting a moment to play hero in a totally creepy passive-aggressive way. While all of that is going on, Raina finally drops some knowledge on Skye and confirms what we’ve assumed for quite a while now: the big blue corpse is Kree! She describes them as blue angels who came to earth to help humanity fulfill its potential. And with that, we’re pretty much assured an Inhumans connection — as if we didn’t know that was coming anyway. And with a mid-season finale next episode, we can rest assured there’s going to be something dramatic happening involving transformation. But more on that tomorrow. We also discover this episode that Bobbi (Adrianne Palicki) and Mac (Henry Simmons) have something else going on besides just working for S.H.I.E.L.D. What that is, we don’t know, but it’s secretive and Bobbi doesn’t want to being Hunter in on it — despite the fact that apparently Izzy and Idaho were privy to the scheme. As if we didn’t have enough going on at the moment. Anyway, while Coulson, Fitz, Simmons, Bobbi, and Mac discover an entryway to the lost city, HYDRA surrounds the Bus and demands that Raina be turned over (since she can use the Diviner, they need her to get into the city and trigger Armageddon or whatever). Ward shows up as their henchman and after a tense standoff, leaves with both Raina and Skye, but promises to not to shoot them down. A promise that Whitehall (Reed Diamond) promptly renigs on in the end tag. Oh, and Mac went down into the city, was infected with some sort of alien defense mechanism and is dragged back up to Puerto Rico as some sort of Rage Monster who almost kills everybody before he is knocked back down the hundred foot drop to the ancient city. That would surely kill him, right? Right? All in all, this was an excellent episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. that packed in a little bit of everything, from conspiracy hints to more brutal girl-on-girl violence to prophecies of transformation. This sort of combo is really the strength of the show (and the Marvel Cinematic Universe in general); it’s pop mythology with just enough character work to let viewers get an emotional grip on the characters, rounded out with good old-fashioned good guys vs. bad guys violence. People can criticize the Marvel films all they want (and they do), but they’ve been able to capture the sort of frenzied escapism of classic serials and the crazy world-building of the sixties Marvel comics in ways that just tweak your adrenal gland (if you haven’t lost your sense of fun to adulthood and responsibility). Agents of SHIELD 2.09 "... Ye Who Enter Here"Paul's Rating4.0Overall ScoreReader Rating: (0 Votes)Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.