Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: The Things We Bury

"Did you hear what I said? Peggy Carter, founder, happens to be British, held this in her hand."

Even in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, people geek out over Peggy Carter.

This was a very busy episode. Coulson, Skye, Tripp and Fitz raced around the Pacific in an effort to find the hidden city, which brought them into a confrontation with Bob and HYDRA. Meanwhile, back at base, Bobbi was interrogating Bakshi while everyone else researched Daniel Whitehall, leading to various flashbacks that told us what happened to him after he was captured by the S.S.R. And at the same time, Ward took his big brother on a trip down memory lane. Like I said, a very busy episode. A little too busy if you ask me.

I didn't think any of this week's storylines were bad, but they all suffered from being crammed into one episode. Coulson's mission raced by so quickly I had trouble keeping track of what was actually going on. The Whitehall flashbacks were interesting, mainly because we got to see Peggy Carter again, but I don't think they really told us anything about Whitehall that we didn't already know. Sure, we found out what happened to him after he was captured and how he has managed to retain his youth (poor Sierra), but this was information, not insight. We still know nothing about that character other than that he is an evil HYDRA scientist.

Ward's confrontation with his big brother was something of a wasted opportunity. Don't get me wrong, I thought it was the strongest storyline and Tim DeKay and Brett Dalton did great work, but it was all over too quickly. In next to no time we went from "Hey big brother" to "I confess, I confess" to "Holy shit, he killed his family?". This is something that really should've had an entire episode devoted to it. I mean, why bother to bring in an actor like DeKay only to kill him off after two episodes? And off-screen to boot.

Did Christian confess because he was guilty or did he confess to save his own skin? Confessions under duress are not the most reliable. Being a senator, Christian's top priority is saving his own skin, so it is reasonable to deduce that he only admitted to wanting Thomas dead to give Grant what he wanted to hear and save his own life. On the other hand, if what he said was true, then he and Grant are really the same. What if neither of them was really lying. What if they both abused Thomas because he was spared the abuse their parents dished out on them and blamed it on each other? We might never know the truth because now mama and papa Ward are dead along with Christian. The only person who might be able to give us the truth is Thomas Ward. Where the hell is he?


Intel and Assets

--Skye's mum was played by Dichen Lachman, who played Sierra on Dollhouse. And since she was tortured and killed by Whitehall, we got a mini-Dollhouse reunion. Yay?

--Are we going to find out what Skye's real name is any time soon?

--Because of how underutilised he has been this season, I did think for a second that Triplett was done for.

--Mid-season finale prediction. Bob and Ward betray and kill Whitehall and then go off and be creepy about Skye together.

--I'm not really invested in Lance and Bobbi as a couple, but I do love that she towers over him.

Coulson: "My job now is keep an eye on the big picture."
Skye: "And you found something to chase."
Coulson: "Fury. I've been thinking a lot about what made him such a good director. His communication skills - flawed. But he could see five steps ahead, which, for a one-eyed man, is impressive."

Triplett: "You can do that in your sleep."
Fitz: "In my sleep, yes, I'm quite good at it. Problem is, I'm awake."

Coulson: "What are we talking about? Tesseract-level power?"
Bob: "Sure. I don't know what that is."

Coulson: "Take this to the Ka Pua dry-cleaner on Makaimoimo Street."
Triplett: "Maka-what, now?"
Coulson: "Not the one on Hookelewaa."
Triplett: "Am I good with this in my pocket?"
Coulson: "That depends. You ever want kids?"

Two and a half out of four covered up wells.
---
Mark Greig has been writing for Doux Reviews since 2011. More Mark Greig.

11 comments:

Marianna said...

I was very happy to see Sierra! She's such a great actor. It's too bad she didn't get to do much, but maybe she'll be in flashbacks in future episodes.

Quick correction: The quote at the top should be "Peggy Carter, founder," as in founder of SHIELD.

Billie Doux said...

This episode was so busy that I was confused, and following what's going on in a TV show isn't usually one of my problems. Especially the Ward plot.

Why bring in Dichen Lachman and then do this to her? Damn.

Anonymous said...

LOL!! Bob of Hydra is a Deadpool comic book character.

Anonymous said...

I doubt the good senator is dead.

Jess Lynde said...

I loved Kyle MacLachlan in this one. He gave Whitehall just the creepiest small smile about halfway through. It reminded me of Garrett Dillahunt in the Sarah Connor Chronicles. Sort of a friendly, non-threatening smile, but still somehow completely terrifying. Eek!

I'm with you on the ongoing ambiguity as to what really happened at the well. It mostly played like Christian was finally confessing the truth, but, as you say, it was in direct response to Ward threatening to toss him down the well. So maybe Christian was just telling Ward what he thought would save his own skin. (If so, epic fail.) I felt like maybe I was grasping at straws, because I prefer "Just how crazy and psychotic is Ward?" to be an open question. Of course, he did kill his family afterwards, so even if Ward wasn't the main driver of what happened to Thomas, we can probably keep asking "Just how psycho is he?"

Such a waste of Dichen Lachman. Almost more upsetting than what Whitehall did to her. Perhaps since she's Skye's mother and was in SHIELD custody back in the day, we'll get some more time with her down the line. In Agent Carter, perhaps?

J.D. Balthazar said...

I think the entire point of the the Flashbacks was a red herring, they weren't about Whitehall at all, but about Skye's mom. She was beaten, tortured, dissected, and used to fuel Whitehall's rejuvenation. But was that enough to actually kill her?

We saw her body dumped, we saw Skye's father grieve and vow revenge (on Whitehall I'll add), and even more importantly we never saw what happened afterwards. What was she? Is what happened to her something that can actually kill her? What does that mean for Skye? None of those questions were answered, and yes I'm drawing from the fact that this is a comic book universe where literally anything is possible.

Loved the Agent Carter stuff, and I'm looking forward to her mini-series. I like that we are finally getting some movement on the various plot-lines. Overall I liked this one, but I do agree it was a bit too packed. I wonder what is coming that required this episode to be so full of stuff.

Nice review Mark, I'm so happy we aren't getting ten zillion breaks like last season. Until next week.

TJ said...

I'm with Balthazar on this one...don't think Skye's mother is really dead. I wouldn't be surprised if Dichen Lachman returns.

migmit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Onanymous said...

I quite liked how they handled the passing of time in Whitehall's prison cell. It was very nicely done.

tiff Christie said...

I totally agree this episode had alot of things going on, it was hard to keep track with them all.
I did enjoy ward's subplot, i thought they did a great job with the cloud of uncertainty over whether or not his brother was guilty. However, in the end i do believe he did it.. If he weren't guilty, and said what he thought ward wanted to hear, i doubt he would have went into to so much detail about his feelings for the other sibling, and their parents.. It makes sense in abuse cases, where the abuser typically picks a child they hold dear, while the others suffer.. Also, in season 1 they explored the trauma from the incident, and how it shaped wards life leading up to his recruitment by garrett. His brother seem genuinely upset over what he did.. which i think is a testament to how great the actor was...

Patrick said...

Re-watching this episode, I noticed a neat little bit that first-time viewers wouldn't catch, and people might not recall by the time it makes sense. When Whitehall is asking Skye's dad why he's helping HYDRA, he mentions wanting to be reunited with his family "in the Afterlife". Nice little bit of foreshadowing there, which doesn't mean what most people would have assumed on first viewing. :)