Skye and Raina’s terrigenesis is complete and each of them is dealing with their changes in their own way. The rest of the team is also dealing with the death of Tripp.
After the events in the mid season finale, there’s a lot going on. The SHIELD team is trying to deal with everything that happened to their team while still investigating what exactly happened to Skye and Raina. They’re also dealing with handling the loss of Tripp. Skye is in quarantine because of her exposure to the mist and its unknown properties. They want to make sure that she hasn’t been exposed to some kind of contagion. Skye knows that something is wrong with her, but she doesn’t vocalize it to anyone. She can tell that whenever she gets agitated, things around her start to shake. She’s also blaming herself for the mission going sideways, which Coulson assures her isn’t the case. Simmons had stayed behind in the ruins of the city and preparing to flood it when she runs into a transformed Raina, who’s covered in thorns. She kills a couple of scientists before fleeing the ruins. Simmons heads back to the base to analyze samples of Raina’s blood.
While they leave foot soldiers to go after Raina, Coulson focuses his attention on the people he really wants to make pay: HYDRA. With Whitehall presumably dead, they have a hole in their leadership structure. The other HYDRA heads meet and determine that they’ll give the position to whomever can take out SHIELD. Their top candidate is Bakshi, Whitehall’s former right hand man. He, however, is still in SHIELD captivity. Coulson uses Bakshi as bait in a scheme where he plans to hand him over to the US Government in exchange for assistance in taking out the rest of HYDRA. He uses Hunter (who’s using an American accent) to trick Bakshi into thinking HYDRA saved him and leading them to the other HYDRA leaders. Bobbi follows him for backup, and so the two can continue nurturing their re-budding relationship. Coulson’s plan works and the SHIELD leaders all slaughter each other. After they do, Bobbi and Mack come in and reclaim Bakshi to trade him as agreed.
Mack and Fitz are both trying to focus on their work in order to deal with what just happened. Mack is frustrated because of what happened to him in the alien city and he blames Coulson and Skye’s obsession with the alien writing for it. He lashes out at Coulson during a team meeting, which almost causes Skye’s powers to trigger. Eventually, Mack calms down but it served as another reminder about Tripp. When the rest of the team moves out, Mack and Fitz focus on putting Skye’s bio-watch back together in order to try to figure out what happened to her. Fitz manages to put it back together, but he gets increasingly frustrated when what he’s seeing doesn’t add up. He believes that it’s because of his mind still being broken but, eventually, he figures out that it’s because something spectacular happened.
After getting Raina’s DNA analyzed, Simmons realized that she was completely changed and she’s horrified by it. She tells Skye that this kind of thing needs to be destroyed and condemns her former mindset of trying to study and control alien powers and technology. She says this in front of Skye, who realizes that she won’t be able to tell Simmons about what happened to her. She feels like their obsession with alien tech is what killed Tripp and what brought about the horrors that necessitated the forming of the Avengers. Simmons represents the idea that Skye’s father warned her about. She doesn’t understand what’s happening and she’s afraid of it. She even goes so far as to suggest that the team should put Raina down. She says all of this in front of Skye, which only serves to make her feel more isolated. She also takes Skye’s DNA to analyze, which means it’s only a matter of time before they find out that she’s like Raina.
Meanwhile, Raina seeks out the help of Cal (Skye’s father). Her transformation has left her gnarled and in pain, but stronger. Cal is more concerned to hear that Skye made it through the change and is thinking that he needs her (he’s not wrong). He tells Raina that there is no “fix” for her condition. That leaves Raina in a state of depression. At the end of the episode, she confronts some SHIELD agents in the hope that they’ll gun her down. She’s saved by the Inhuman with no eyes (only identified as “Gordon” so far). He calls her beautiful and teleports away with her.
Fitz confronts Skye about what happened to her in the ruins. The fact that she was at the epicenter of the damage, unharmed and that her bio-watch was reading ridiculous figures all points to the idea that something “Inhuman” happened. When she’s confronted by this information, Skye loses control of her powers again and blows out the light in her cell. Fitz runs away and no one else sees what happened. May comes in afterward and the two talk about how tense everything has been and how Coulson went after HYDRA so brutally. After the mission is completed, Simmons comes in with the good news that Skye’s DNA results came back normal. Fitz tells Skye that he switched out her samples and that her current ones are drastically different. Fitz doesn’t think that anyone is in the right mindset to deal with Skye’s change right now. As he tells her she’s just different now.
At the end of the episode, the rest of the team is sitting around reminiscing about Tripp, having finally gotten a chance to calm down. Bobbi and Tripp are talking about their own secret mission. Earlier she told Hunter that they were both part of the same support group, which was a pretty obvious lie. We still don’t know what they’re up to, but we see that the mini-Lola that Mack gave Coulson has a scanner in it. It scans his office and confirms that Nick Fury’s toolbox is in the office. Bobbi says that she’ll file a report about it.
- Gordon saves Raina
That teleporting effect just looked cool.
- Fitz to the rescue
While I hate that Fitz is still in this condition, it was nice to see him be the one to actually figure out what was going on. He’s also become the most empathetic person in the group now.
- Coulson takes out the heads of HYDRA
Pissed off Couslon does not mess around! I wasn’t expecting Coulson’s end game to be death as he’s usually more a “let justice be served” kind of guy. Still, it was kinda awesome, and that look on his face when he saw Tripp’s mom…cold blooded.
So it looks like we’re now going to be dealing with Raina and Skye leading us into the world of the Inhumans. Raina’s been taken by Gordon, but Skye is pretty much on her own. Simmons has already been used to set up the idea that Skye’s not going to feel that her powers are welcome in SHIELD. As a result, she’s probably going to go through a lot of trouble to hide them. Given the training she did with May, that should be doable. Still, she’s gonna need someone to help her that actually knows what’s happening. They point that out at the beginning of the episode, that Skye’s mother was the one who was usually responsible for helping people with the transition. Without her around, the next best option might be Cal, but I wouldn’t assume that Skye’s gonna come to that decision on her own.
There really was so much going on in this episode that it could be a bit hard to digest. I think the biggest thing was just getting the characters past the idea that Tripp was dead. Then there was Coulson’s revenge plot and Skye and Raina’s identity crisis. The flashback to Skye’s mom and her father’s whereabouts were kind of an afterthought as well as the idea that SHIELD is now working with the government again. We did find out that Bobbi and Mack are looking for something belonging to Nick Fury, but that mostly stands out because it was the last thing in the episode. I don’t know if having that much going on at once is a good or bad thing, I just felt like it was notable.
As a viewer, I didn’t need that much time to get over it. Aside from the fact that it’s been 3 months since the last episode aired, Tripp wasn’t that big of a character in the show over his last few episodes. A good guy, sure, but I’d care more if someone like Fitz died. At this point, Mack is doing more than Tripp did on screen. Tripp being gone felt a bit like cutting some dead weight from a show that probably has too many characters and things going on at once. Going forward, I’m hoping that we get to see some more of the Inhuman community. I just wonder how you can fit those people into the show with an 8 man SHIELD team and their adversaries already taking up so much screen time.