This week's installment was a huge leap forward as far as storytelling, which not only affects Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe.
That's right, The Inhumans are here and fanboy/girls everywhere are psyched!
Join TV Fanatic staff writers Jim Garner, Kathleen Wiedel, Allison Nichols, Christine Orlando and Hank Otero - plus the Helicarrier Podcast's Andy Behbakht - as we discuss Skye's true identity, The Inhumans and plenty more in this week's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 10 Round Table...
What was your favorite scene from the Midseason Finale?
Jim: There were so many good scenes in the episode, but in the end, I have to go with Kyle MacLachlan telling Skye about her history and her mother. He did an amazing job adding real emotions to a scene that could have gone goof and campy very quickly.
Kathleen: There were a lot of great scenes in this episode, so it's hard to pick just one. I will say that I'm a huge fan of Cal going to bloodily murder Whitehall, only to have his vengeance snatched out from under him by a couple gunshots from Coulson. And then Coulson's all like, "You're welcome?"! I also loved when Skye coolly put all those bullets into Ward, though I'm not sure if that will curb his creepy stalkerness at all.
Allison: I loved Skye shooting Ward. He did not see it coming, and I was jumping up and down praising Skye. I also loved Skye running to Coulson after her father leaves. It shows how close the two of them are, and her line about not being able to kill her own father is amazing. Skye may think he is a monster, but that doesn't mean she wants to be responsible for his death or to know that she can never see him again.
Christine: There were so many powerful and fun moments but Skye watching Trip basically disintegrate after he tried to save her, that was something I won't soon forget.
Andy: Without doubt the final scene when it finally happened: the introductions of The Inhumans and the birth of a superhero, Skye, Daisy Johnson aka Quake. But there is also one major downside of that scene, but I will get to that in just a bit. The scene was done so majestically with outstanding score by Bear McCreary and just the looks that Chloe Bennet gave during the scene and the discovery her character made was powerful.
Hank: Though like Jim I loved the Skye and Cal moments this week, I've got to agree with Andy and say the Terrigenesis scene. I've been waiting so long to find out if Marvel would actually introduce The Inhumans on the show, it was pure nerdgasm watching it happen. I'm not sure the casual viewer understands just how huge this reveal was. Basically, we've now got a superpowered mutant fighting alongside our S.H.I.E.L.D. team.
How do you feel about losing Trip? Are you glad to see Mack survived?
Jim: I'm a little sad we lost Trip, but really he has been used a whole lot this season other than to bring out Grandpa's Howling Commando gear. On the flipside, I'm thrilled that Mack survived. He has a lot of mystery and heart to him and I'm excited to see where things go.
Kathleen: Like Jim, I'm very, very glad to get Mack back alive. His relationship with Fitz has been one of the most interesting character developments this season, in my opinion. As for Trip... the poor guy was barely seen this season and got very little (if any) character development over the past ten episodes. He felt almost extraneous, which is rather sad given the potential he had in Season 1B. Killing Trip off worked dramatically - though it was somewhat frustrating that it was apparently an ultimately meaningless death.
Allison: I don't really care about Trip at all. He was fun last season, but he hasn't done anything this season. It's a shame, but hey, at least he died a hero. I'm soooo glad about Mack! He has been a joy this season. I can't wait for him to reunited with Fitz. There will be tears.
Christine: I'll miss Trip and I was disappointed that he's been so underutilized this season but I'm relieved Mack is back. His relationship with Fitz is something that we definitely need to see more of moving forward.
Andy: I'm sorry, I'm still drying my eyes after all that crying because man did I not see that coming and boy am I angry that they did this! It's a curse and a blessing that it happened because his death will now follow Skye/Daisy for the remainder of the season, but at the same time, we lost a perfect original character. I'm still processing this so I don't want to add anything more other than that I will be missing the heck out of B.J. Britt!
Hank: I think it's tragic the writers didn't do more with the Trip character. That said, his death is going to be a huge deal for Skye moving forward. The moment of her rebirth was also the death of her dear friend. It's going to make for better storytelling. As far as Mack, I was prepared to riot if they killed him off. Glad he's sticking around for a bit, Fitz still needs him.
Share your thoughts on the big father/daughter reunion between Cal and Skye (err, Daisy).
Jim: It edged out the awesome aerial escape scene and the Coulson/Cal fight scene as my favorite. Having recently been introduced to my own adult daughter, I understood the gambit of emotions he was going through and MacLachlan did an amazing job showing the emotions in just the right amount.
Kathleen: She finally got to learn her real name, yay! Of course, now we'll have issues on how to refer to the character in the future. For now, I'll stick with "Skye" for the sake of clarity. She has been so desperate to learn about her past, but her history is wrapped up in such horror committed by both Whitehall and HYDRA and her own father, Cal. Cal is quite clearly insane, but his insanity is at least understandable, even if his violent behavior has been appalling at best. Despite everything, Skye can't bring herself to kill Cal because he's her father. It's all so tragic: what would her life have been like if HYDRA hadn't come along?
Allison: I'm glad the writers also threw in some moments of Cal stating all the things he wished he had done with Skye like teach her about the stars. They gave us an emotional reunion, and not just one where Skye calls her dad a monster and storms out. It was so interesting to watch the two of them interact.
Christine: Listening to Cal talk about how he lost his daughter was heartbreaking. Yes, the man is out of his mind but now I understand why. Years of searching for your child and not knowing what's happening to her will do that to you. I know he's done horrible things but at least now I have a bit of empathy for him.
Andy: Talk about intense awesomeness! Even though we knew a few weeks ago that Skye was Daisy and her dad was Mister Hyde, the execution of that reveal was flawless and felt earned for fans who have been tuning in for so long. MacLachlan and Bennet worked so well together and I really want to see that dynamic more fleshed out when the show comes back.
Hank: As I mentioned in my Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2 Episode 10 review, Kyle MacLachlan's performance was phenomenal. This was a difficult scene which could have easily been overacted or campy. Instead, it was realized with real emotion and power. The guy is a great actor.
Well, The Inhumans have officially been introduced into the MCU. What did you think of the Terrigenesis scene?
Jim: The Terrigenesis scene was both exhilarating and heart breaking. Watching Trip crumble to ash nearly had me in tears. But, it was great to see how they did the Terrigan Gas (and Cocoon) portion. And how could you not like Skye showing off her Quake power and blowing the cocoon to bits?
Kathleen: First off, I wanted to throw my remote through the TV when Skye didn't just shoot Raina and instead stood there yammering with her until it was too late. Seriously?! I know, I know, they had to introduce Inhumans, but it was just rather ridiculous. Anyway, the effects were cool, especially when Skye blew away the stone "cocoon" with her new-found seismic powers, as Jim mentioned. Maybe she can open up a hole in the ground and drop Raina in it forever. That would be nice.
Allison: I'm assuming that's when Raina and Skye were all covered with something. What? I don't know fancy terms. It was really cool. I'm with Kathleen though, Skye should have shot Raina or gotten into a fight with her or something. She just stood around staring at Raina and the diviner.
Christine: Um, what's an Inhuman. Am I going to have to research this moving forward? The scene was impressive although I'm still trying to figure out what it all means.
Andy: It was chilling and awesome at the same time. You could really feel that a new chapter in the entire MCU was being opened and that this show is now getting the opportunity to lead the movies in a way. The score by McCreary was something I ended up playing in my head over and over again. I agree with most people out there that Phase 3 started this week on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and that makes me as a fan of the show feel that the connection between the movies and the show is now stronger than ever.
Hank: Thrilling, that's all I can say. I'm not sure if this was all part of Marvel's plan, but I think with superpowered humans introduced on the show many fans that left last season might return. The "not all heroes are super" tag turned tons of people off. Perhaps the creative team realized this early on and therefore we have The Inhumans. I'm even more of a Marvel fan now, DC should take some serious notes. Can't wait to see those S.H.I.E.L.D./Age of Ultron crossovers!
Will HYDRA take a backseat to an Inhuman villain in the second half of the season? Who's the eyeless man?
Jim: I really hope so. We've been dealing with HYDRA since the last Captain America movie, and it would be nice to see how much they can explore the Inhuman lore. I have no idea who the eyeless man is, another question I have is: How does he have a Diviner?? The wait to March is going to be rough!
Kathleen: I don't think HYDRA's going to take a back seat so much as being a simultaneous threat. It may have been weakened with the sudden demise of Whitehall (may he rest in pieces), but they're a big fan of the "cut off one head, two more take its place" motto. HYDRA's definitely going to want to control as many of the newly 'gifted' people it can, so I suspect that it will be a constant between SHIELD and HYDRA over The Inhumans throughout Season 2B and beyond. As to the eyeless man, I have no clue, though like Jim I'm very curious to know how he came by a Diviner. Though it was pretty unintentionally funny when he said, "Are you seeing this?" and then it was revealed that he had no eyes. For now, however, bring on Agent Carter!
Allison: I'm actually really curious about Ward, and what he will be up to next season. He has a follower now - Agent 33. Will he also manage to recruit some other Hydra members? It would be interesting to see Ward in charge of people, and then see what's on his agenda. I don't think Hydra will ever go away. It may not be the primary focus, but Hydra will always be there. As for eyeless man, he is just disturbing. I am very interested to see what happens with him and his own diviner.
Christine: I wouldn't think that HYDRA's going anywhere but the eyeless man was seriously creepy…and their are two diviners? So much for being special.
Andy: I think HYDRA won't be featured as much as they were in the first half, but I do think that by the time we get to episode 20, a certain Hydra character named Baron Von Strucker (who will be in Age of Ultron) will somehow show up on the show to 1) remind people that there is a Hydra aspect of the upcoming Avengers sequel, 2) give us a taste of him before we see him in the film because he is a secondary villain there and 3) kind of wrap up the Hydra arc that the show has established. Regarding the eyeless man: it's most likely "Reader" that a lot of comic fans have been speculating and it makes sense that it would be him. Apparently he was just recently introduced in the comics so to see a character like that being on the show too makes a lot of sense.
Hank: The Inhumans are the new shiny toy and I think the writers are going to be playing with them for a while. Certainly in the second half of the season. I don't think HYDRA will disappear altogether, but I'm sure their presence will be reduced somewhat. I'm ok with that, bring on The Inhuman baddies. Like Andy, I've also read the eyeless man is "Reader." Don't know much about him, but I look forward to finding out in March!
You're up S.H.I.E.L.D. fans, share YOUR thoughts on the Midseason Finale in the comments below. Have a wonderful holiday season and see you guys right back here in March to discuss Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2-B.
Don't miss the two-hour Premiere of Marvel's Agent Carter Tuesday, January 6 at 8/7c on ABC. Here's a quick sneak peek: