Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Things We Bury”

Daniel Whitehall

Skye’s father tells them to put pressure on the wound, observing that one bullet went clean through but the other will have to be removed.  Fitz gets back to work while Coulson plays nurse, handing the Doctor instruments as he asks for them.  Coulson wants to just stabilize Trip and move him back to the Bus, but the Doctor says, “If we keep our heads about us he has a chance, Phil.”  He immediately realizes his mistake, saying that if he hadn’t said Phil they wouldn’t have recognized him.  Before Coulson can do anything, the Doctor informs him that he just sliced Trip’s brachial artery and that if he lets go Trip dies.  He tells Coulson to put their weapons down, and Coulson reluctantly complies but criticizes the Doctor’s methods.  Skye’s father calls it an opportunity to get to know each other, and wonders if Skye is there.  When Coulson says she isn’t he seems relieved, saying that you only get one chance to make a first impression and this situation doesn’t look very good.  Coulson says that he already made a first impression with the bodies they found a few weeks ago, but the Doctor says that Coulson’s not her father, he’s SHIELD, the ones who took her from him.  Besides, he says, the ends will justify the means.

He says this will all end in the city they’re both trying to find, observing that he and Coulson both had the same idea.  He adds that Whitehall doesn’t know what it is, that he thinks it’s just a weapon but he doesn’t know the true power of what’s inside.  “Oh, there’s something inside,” he adds as an afterthought.  Coulson wants to know what kind of power, if it’s like the Tesseract, and the Doctor replies, “Sure!”  After thinking for a second he admits, “I don’t know what that is.”  He thinks it will all be exciting with so much flesh, blood and emotion involved and his baby girl right there in the center.  He’ll just have to wait for the right circumstances for their reunion.  Coulson says that Skye won’t want anything to do with him if he lets Trip die, and he shouts, “That’s not her name!”  However, he’s not going to let Trip die.  In fact, he’s going to tell Coulson just how to save him.  There are too syringe packets in his kit that will seal the wound if they pump it full of a clotting agent once he lets go, however it will give him enough time to escape.  “We will find you,” says Coulson, “and when we do we’ll finish this conversation.”  The Doctor leaves and Coulson rushes to follow his instructions, with Fitz joining him to help after activating the transceiver.  It works and Trip starts to stabilize, as back on the Bus Skye links with the system and starts to scan the planet.

Back in 1989 Reinhardt has the woman strapped to the table, saying that you have to take any opportunities you’re given.  He’s spent a considerable portion of his life incarcerated after all.  We watch as the woman is cut open and her body and organs are harvested and transplanted into Reinhardt.  We hear him narrate that “No matter the sacrifice, one must be willing of enduring the trauma of shaking off what you were, of becoming something new, something better.”  We watch as he instantly de-ages, once again looking like he did in 1945.  Now Dr. Whitehall, he’s asked by an assistant what he took from the woman, and he replies, “Everything I possibly could.”  He tells the man to dispose of the body as we hear him say in narration that everyone deserves a second chance if they’re willing to earn one, and we see that he’s talking to Ward.  Ward says he completely understands and knows sacrifice, and what it takes to move forward in life.  They watch a news report of the death of Christian Ward and their parents in a fire that burned down their home.  They’re classifying it as a murder/suicide based on a tape recovered from the scene on which Christian confesses to wanting to make his mother pay, to feel their pain.

Bakshi is lying in a hospital bed with an oxygen mask, as Bobbi and Hunter try to talk.  She asks what’s on his mind and he says it’s just been a hell of a day.  “Please don’t ‘hell of a day’ me,” she says angrily.  Hunter replies that she pushed Bakshi too hard.  She says she miscalculated and thought he was about to talk, but Hunter thinks she was afraid he was going to talk.  “I can’t argue a man to suicide,” she says.  “Clearly you’ve never been in an argument with you,” Hunter counters.  Hunter clearly doesn’t trust Bobbi, and she wants to know why.  He says that he doesn’t know where the angles end with her.  She asks why he thinks she vouched for him, and he assumes it’s because she has some sort of a game running and needs allies.  She asks if he’ll ever trust her, and he says no but that he’ll never stop wanting too.  Next thing we know, they’re making out in the garage, stripping their clothes off between two vehicles before diving into one to continue in a (slightly) more private place.  These two, I swear…

On the Bus, the search has been running for a few hours, but they haven’t heard the ding that means they’ve found a match to the blueprints.  Coulson and Fitz are awfully quiet, but Skye reassures them that Trip is ok and getting patched up.  That doesn’t seem to make things better, and she says they look like they saw the devil out there.  Her eyes and Coulson’s meet and they share a long look as she asks, “What?”  But before he can tell her what happened the computer dings that it’s found a match, displaying it on globe onscreen.

Whitehall and Ward are sitting together when the Doctor walks in.  Whitehall seems happy to see him, and invites him to sit, but the Doctor laments that he would have cleaned up if he knew they were having a meeting.  Whitehall introduces Ward as an expert on SHIELD, saying that together there’s much that the three of them can achieve.  Ward says he was a member of Coulson’s team, living with them for months, and that he knows the entire team “like family.”  This sparks the Doctor’s interest, and Ward says that his encounter with Coulson must be rough.  Skye’s father says it wasn’t a complete loss, as it’s good to look your enemy right in the eye.  As he says this he looks right into Whitehall’s as we flash back once more to 1989.  A younger looking Doctor comes across the dead woman’s body in the woods and rushes too it, taking her in his arms and holding her close.  “Oh my love,” he says, “I’ll find him.  I’ll do to him what he did to you.  I will tear him apart.”

What an episode!  So much happened!  Ward killed his brother and his parents, seemingly killing his chances at redemption even if his brother was horrible, and apparently joined up with HYDRA.  We learned how Whitehall still looks the same as in the 40’s, by harvesting the organs of one of the Diviner’s chosen people.  We met Skye’s mother, whose organs Whitehall harvested, calling the Doctor’s motivations for working with Whitehall into question.  Trip almost died, Fitz got to be useful and joke with Coulson, Bakshi tried to kill himself, and Hunter and Bobbi hooked up!  Oh, and they found the city!  Things are moving so fast these days, with only two episodes left before the show’s winter break, and SHIELD has definitely hit its stride.  Things are intense and I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.  I’ve got lots of thoughts about this episode, so be sure to check out my instant reaction for those that aren’t covered below.

 S.H.I.E.L.D. Thoughts

Skye’s father was a lot of fun this week, and full credit has to go to Kyle MacLachlan.  He gave the Doctor a weird sort of energy, and almost made him seem like someone you’d want to hang out with if he wasn’t a crazy murderer.  I loved how he said the power of the Diviner was like the Tesseract, even though he had no idea what the Tesseract is.  Obviously he’s unstable and out there, but I’m starting to feel bad for the guy.  His wife was murdered and her organs harvested by Whitehall, and his daughter was taken from him by SHIELD.  I’m not on board with his methods, but he definitely has legitimate beef with both organizations.  Whether that will lead him to tearing Whitehall apart or killing Coulson or both is still in the air, but from the look he gave Whitehall it seems pretty obvious that he knows who is responsible for Skye’s mother’s death.

How nice was it to see more of Peggy Carter this week?  I’m really looking forward to Agent Carter, and it’s great to see her in control of the situation with Whitehall.  I like that she locked him away rather than making any deals (as I’m sure her superiors wanted her to).  I loved Simmons’ reaction to finding her signature on a file, and I like the idea of her as a legend and inspiration to some agents within SHIELD.  Hayley Atwell gives Carter the right level of fire, like a proto-Melinda May, but who talks more.  At this point, I’m very curious how much what’s happening on SHIELD will tie into Agent Carter, whether the Diviner and other potential Kree artifacts will play a large role or if it will stick to other cases and missions.

I‘m not sure where Ward goes from here.  We found out that his version of events at the well were true, but then he killed his brother and parents and joined HYDRA.  Even if we assume that he’s only joined HYDRA in order to help Coulson and Skye (possible, but not guaranteed), it’s hard for me to see redemption in the cards for him after murdering his family, even if they’re all horrible people.  He’s all over the place lately, and I’m not sure what that means for him going forward.  However, I am excited about him taking Bakshi’s place as Whitehall’s right-hand man for the time being, because it lets Ward play full evil (even if it’s an act) and gives the HYDRA/SHIELD conflict a personal aspect once Coulson’s team realizes Ward is working with HYDRA.  Brett Dalton does a great job playing evil, and I’m sure it’s a fun gig.

Every episode seems to push the Kree/Inhumans/Attilan connection even harder (CLICK HERE FOR SPOILERS).  This week we got the myth that told of blue angels coming down from the sky bringing a gift to the world, which sounds like it ties in with Inhumans nicely.  There are still boatloads of questions, though.  What’s is the power in the Diviner?  Is it something that will trigger the creation of the Inhumans?  Is it an Infinity Stone?  What will the find in the city/temple?  I’m also intrigued by Skye’s mother.  Skye hasn’t shown any powers (yet), but might she have inherited some from her mother?  How did she come by those powers?  Do the other people who get a positive reaction (like Raina) from the Diviner also not age?  Clearly Skye isn’t immortal (yet), given what happened after being shot last season.  Perhaps they’re all descendants of a Kree, or are in fact Inhumans waiting to be triggered?  And what’s the nature of the Doctor’s relationship with her?  I’d expect answers to some, but not all, of these questions in the next two episodes.

(I’m also curious how, assuming we’re dealing with the Inhumans, the show will tie into the film coming in 2018.  Will the show build to the film, requiring people watch the show before seeing the movie in order to fully understand it?  Will the movie be a prequel or a tangent to the show?  Will the idea of Inhumans be explored on the show without focusing on the characters/main plot of the story?  Will Skye factor into the film, or even have a major role, or will she not appear in it at all?  What happens if, god forbid, the show gets cancelled?  Will it affect the movie?)

Let’s all take a moment to mourn Trip.  Not because he died, but because he was put in mortal peril to add drama despite the fact that he’s been almost nonexistent this season.  I love the character and I want to see more of him, but with the show’s roster expanding so much (Mack, Bobbi, Hunter, plus Whitehall, Bakshi and the Doctor) he hasn’t gotten a lot of screen time.  He’s perfect for a throwaway joke or funny comment, but he could be much more than that.  This is a man who could easily have been Ward, after being trained by Garret, but turned out differently.  Hopefully he’ll get some moments to shine, especially in the second half of the season, but for now he’s definitely underutilized.

Don’t forget that the next episode is on December 2.  At the end of this week’s episode they found the city, and it looks like the next one will take us there.  Raina makes a return, telling a battered Skye that only the worthy are allowed in.  As does Koenig (one of them anyway) who warns Coulson of someone who looked exactly like May.  This, somehow, leads to a Skye/May battle where May loses part of her face?  What on Earth is going on?  Is she possessed?  Is someone impersonating her?  And what’s going on with her face?  Aaaaah!

What do you think?  Did you enjoy “The Things We Bury”?  What was the biggest moment/revelation for you tonight?  Was it Skye’s mother and Whitehall’s youth?  How about Ward and Christian?  Was it something smaller like Trip or Fitz?  What do you think is inside the Diviner?  Whose side is Ward on?  What is Skye’s real name?  Are you looking forward to Agent Carter?  What question do you most want answered?  What would you like to see happen before/during the midseason finale?  Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “The Things We Bury”

  1. Pingback: Instant Reaction: Agents of SHIELD – “The Things We Bury” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  2. wow… so glad you’re doing running commentary, this is now getting really really complexicated……..

    blue guys, blue guys, why is it always blue guys…. notice that lots of Marvel characters are blue??????

    didn’t catch the connection between Ageless Woman Tortured by Hydra and Skye’s mother until you mentioned it…

    still cornfused by Inhumans and Celestials and Attilans and Eternals……….

    egad, at least I can remember all the Avengers’ names now….

    The characters are getting more interesting, Skye is growing more mature, and yes, we should see more of Tripp. it is a rather large and growing ensemble, but yes, more Tripp.

    To be fair, we saw not a lot of Fitzsimmons either.

    Did Ward really blow up his family!?!?!?!?! Or is there something more twisted going on?

    He surely has his own agenda now, as do a number of other characters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Instant Reaction: Agents of SHIELD – “…Ye Who Enter Here” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

  4. Pingback: Recap: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – “…Ye Who Enter Here” | Love Pirate's Ship's Log

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