Synopsis of 2×10: Whitehall and Coulson’s forces take part in an explosive confrontation that changes everyone’s fate; Skye uncovers her past.
So here we are, mid-season finale for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. “What They Become” not only continues the Hydra versus SHIELD battle started at the end of season one, but finds somewhat of a conclusion to the plot line of the obelisk/diviner, Daniel Whitehall, the Doctor, and the carvings now realized to be a city blueprint.
Although the Inhumans movie is four years away, it’s been speculated by fans that we’ll be getting snippets of Inhumans in the years to come, and it seems Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. it first to get a slice of the cake. After the reveal of the carvings and the race of the blue aliens as Kree, it seemed this episode has been long in the making.
We open the episode jumping straight into action as Whitehall orders that the SHIELD plane is shot down; May uses her considerable skill as a pilot and manages to evade the missiles and protect the team from harm, having just lost Raina and Skye to Ward. Without Skye, the team seem to be working faster in order to reach the city not only to defend it from an apocalyptic event but also to rescue Skye from the Hydra clutches. Bobbi and Hunter are sent to San Juan and receive intel from Bobbi’s contact Diego of where Hydra plans to go.
They are lead to a chamber where they find out that Hydra is using a plasma drill to get directly into the chamber where the diviner must be placed. Coulson plans to go after Skye with May while Fitz-Simmons and Trip go plant bombs along the perimeter of the chamber to collapse it before Hydra can get into it.
And while that’s all good, they definitely did not account for Skye’s crazy dad or her crazy situation. Ward tells her he’s not loyal to Hydra and that he’s keeping his promise to her, before leaving her in a room with daddy dearest. Look, I love Ward. I love all crazy characters who are incredibly unstable due to year of abuse and now are forced to live in moral greys because of the lives they’ve been forced to live. But god, Ward, your love of Skye is so unhealthy.
Speaking of unhealthy, Skye’s first meeting with her father is, in a word, creepy. There can be no doubt of his love for her, but his attempts at keeping his cool shatter at the mention of Skye’s mom or Whitehall. Introducing himself as Cal, we can assume that fan theories are correct (especially when we learn Skye’s name is Daisy later) that he is Calvin Zabo aka Mister Hyde. Obviously their stories are different, Cal tells Skye that her mother was Chinese and that he worked in a clinic helping people. Her mother translated for him and they lived a happy life with their daughter until Whitehall’s men came and took Skye’s mother away under the guise of SHIELD.
Cal is about as unstable as they come, and continuously references Skye’s “destiny” however is not blind to the darkness in his own life. He owns up to his violent past and tells Skye about Whitehall and the revenge he will seek for Skye’s mother. They are brought in front of Whitehall, who has realized Cal’s deception and suspects Ward of the same deception in bringing Skye with Raina. Forcing Skye to hold the diviner, Whitehall confirms Skye is special like her mother.
Skye quickly turns on Whitehall’s guards along with Cal and Ward. Obviously they are not successful in any escape and find themselves tied up and captured. Although Whitehall seems to have the upper hand on the three, ready to deal out the same horrific experiments to Skye as her mother, he is interrupted by Coulson and May who break in guns blazing. Without him around, Ward and Cal take out the only guard. Instead of freeing Skye and Ward, Cal goes after Whitehall on his own.
No problem though, Ward gets himself out of his binds in no time, and frees Skye as well. I’ll take this moment to note that I am unabashedly a SkyeWard shipper (yes, dole out the hate and judgement) and I’ll be the first to say despite Ward getting shot by Skye, this was a pretty necessary scene for the two. Skye’s aim and shooting isn’t infallible but she has been practicing, at close range and with his back turned, she easily could have killed Ward, but she doesn’t. She does what she needs to to get out of the situation, and Ward needed a pretty heavy slap in the face about his relationship with Skye.
Skye makes comes in on Coulson and Cal basically having a very violent “dad-off”, in which Cal is beating the crap out of Coulson. Coulson interrupted a very long awaited moment between Cal and Whitehall by killing Whitehall. Robbing him of his revenge, Cal is manic; he gains an upper hand on Coulson and is near killing him until Skye stops him by calling him Dad. She tells him he’s got one chance to run before she shoots him. Instead of overreacting, Cal seems to understand, and tells her to find him after she “changes” and that no one will understand but him. Before he leaves, he tells her he loves her and calls her by her name, Daisy.
Ward is found by Agent 33 who helps him escape. Her own loss of Whitehall mimics Ward’s loss of Garrett and it seems like their parallel might prove to be Ward’s future story arc. Meanwhile Skye makes sure that Coulson is alive, but is unable to stay away from the diviner; she has to make things right. She goes after it despite Coulson’s protestations, and follow Raina into the underground chamber.
The team has been planting their bombs, and after Fitz-Simmons and Trip make it back above ground they get news that Raina has the diviner and is going into the chamber, with Skye not far behind. Without a second thought Trip jumps back underground to disarm the bombs and retrieve Skye. He disarms them just in time, and manages to jump into the chamber that holds Skye and Raina.
We have been under the impression that the diviner, once used, will create an apocalyptic event, but as Raina and Cal have said, it will create a change. Raina makes sure of this when the diviner is activated and opens up to reveal blue crystals inside. This activates some kind of expulsion of force that knocks them all back, including Mack outside, who probably awakens from his whatever spell he fell under. It also starts to cover Raina and Skye in the rocky substance that we have seen before. Trip is unable to do anything as he watches Skye turn to stone.
It’s heartbreaking because then Trip himself also begins to turn to stone, and as Skye “hatches” from the stone, the first thing she sees is Trip. Both she and Raina appear to have activated their change, with Raina appearing to have golden eyes and feathers (?) while Skye has adopted powers similar to the comic book character Daisy Johnson. Because this is already a long recap, I’ll spare a very long description of who Skye really is and sum it up to the fact that she has now been confirmed (as fans have suspected) as Daisy Johnson, aka Quake.
The episode ends with a stinger revealing another diviner that is held by an eyeless man who tells someone on the phone that “there’s someone new” and to tell the other that he’s “on it”. We’ll have to wait until March to find out what on earth that even means, and I’m sure the fan theories will fly until then. But we got a very satisfying finale, albeit painfully sad, for a show that has turned from Marvel’s little side project to something so much more. Applause for BJ Britt and his character Antoine Triplett (I’ll spare you my rant about how upset I am at the way his character went out). Here’s hoping this isn’t the last we see of him.