Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Who You Really Are”

(Episode 2.12)

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Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: “Who You Really Are”

I may be paraphrasing here, but I believe it was Pat Benatar who once sang, “Stop using Skye as a weapon.” I’d like to add plot device to that list. Stop using Skye as a weapon and a plot device. Mostly because it’s just one more way to keep a weak character at the center of the story.

It’s tempting to forgive tonight’s episode for falling a bit flat. Usually an appearance from Lady Sif would guarantee excitement, but somehow even Jamie Alexander’s fight scenes never quite pay off the way they should—possibly because we view much of it through shaky phone footage. It’s also difficult to get excited about a character cameo when the character spends most of the episode not remembering who they are. Basically, Sif’s presence doesn’t make much of a difference one way or another. She’s got some fun one-liners, but it’s the alien she’s pursuing, Vin-Tak, who’s holding all the plot. And by plot, I mean lots of exposition.

As fictional alien species go, the Kree have a certain lack of ethical reliability that puts them firmly in the center of pretty much every intergalactic conflict. So, finding out they’re responsible for the creation of the obelisk/ diviner uses them in a pretty logical and fulfilling way. As “the blue angles that fell from the sky,” a militant sect of the Kree created a way to turn human beings into weapons by changing the human molecular structure. Skye is one of these weapons.

It’s important information. Information that those of us who like the idea of a fully fleshed out MCU would have been annoyed not to have. But there’s really not much else to this episode.

Getting Skye’s new powers out in the open is definitely preferable to watching Fitz (who is a horrible liar) continue to coddle and cover for her. Still, this and receiving warning from both Sif and Vin-Tak about how dangerous Skye could be is about all we get out of tonight’s episode. There is a lot of vague hinting and setting up for next week. There are more obelisk/ diviners out in the world (enough to create an army). Mac’s last-minute choke out of Hunter showed us a different side to the otherwise gentle giant. It’s interesting, but with all those vague warnings and hinting conversations, this episode edges dangerously close to telling and not showing.

So it’s a bit flat, but not completely without merit. There are two moments from tonight that I want to mention. One, we finally get clarification on the S.H.I.E.L.D. fraternization policy which is apparently really strict. Sorry fan writers. Two, how awesome was that Daredevil trailer? Matt Murdock’s never been a favorite of mine, but I’ll be checking it out for the cinematography alone.

Katherine Siegel is a Chicago-based freelance writer and director and a regular contributor to Paste. You can find out more by checking out her website, or follow her on Twitter.