Tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. deserves some credit for its numerous nods to the past and future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The further we get into the show, the more it’s trying to tie back into the over-arcing world, and I can respect that. However, is the show relying too much on its movie background and thus compromising its own individual quality? Let’s take a deeper look into “Who You Really Are”. (spoilers ahead!)
I’m sure for most viewers, the high point of this episode was the return of Jaimie Alexander as Lady Sif of Asgard. Don’t get me wrong; I think both the actress and the character are outstanding. Unfortunately, it feels like the show under-utilized her on tonight’s episode. Sif shows up without any recollection of her current memories. All she remembers is very basic information that she learned from her childhood. When S.H.I.E.L.D. finds her, they deduce that she must have lost her memory during a fight with a mysterious man.
As it turns out, this mystery man is a member of the Kree, and he is on Earth to retrieve the Diviners. In some sloppy exposition, this Kree explains how an evil faction of his people tried to create an army of super-beings by using the Diviners. When the project failed, the alien race abandoned the obelisks on Earth. Now, this Kree renegade is here to retrieve the Diviners, as well as anyone who may have been affected by them.
I wasn’t too happy with the portrayal of the Kree character in this episode. Eddie McClintock just doesn’t sell the performance for me. He seemed awkward and uncoordinated with his dialogue, and his fight scenes are pretty laughable. Even the special effects were sloppy tonight; a first for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The only decent effect was at the very end when Sif and the Kree take the Bifrost back to Asgard. It’s a television show, so I’ll cut them some slack on production values, but previous episodes have done extremely well in this department. No need for the poor form tonight.
In other news, Coulson and Mack are back on good terms despite their outburst last week. Tonight, Coulson decided to confront Mack and ask him to venture into the field with the other agents. I always thought it was weird to keep him on the Bus since Mack is a huge and intelligent dude who would be a great asset out on missions. We see a brief moment where he actually steps up to the plate and tries to fight the Kree, but he gets knocked out in one hit. Even if he went down quickly, he still had the guts to dive into a fight. Give him time to train and I’m sure he’ll be just as much of a bad-ass as Coulson, Mockingbird, and Agent May.
Last week, we were teased with a covert operation going on between Mack and Mockingbird. We see a little more of that tonight, although we’re still in the dark. For once, I’m actually fine with the teasers. I’ve complained a lot in the past about how Marvel kept teasing Skye’s backstory so poorly that I lost interest quickly. I think that whatever is happening with Mack and Mockingbird could be pretty interesting. The only problem I have is that it must be something very shady, especially considering what Mack did to prevent Hunter from finding out the secret. Mockingbird (at least in the comics) was always an extremely loyal S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, so it would be unusual for her to be going behind the organization’s back. But then again, look at what’s happened with S.H.I.E.L.D. so far; maybe Mack and Mockingbird are wary about another HYDRA-esque takeover and are building a backup plan?
“Who You Really Are” was slightly above average, though it suffered with the Kree storyline, which is a shame because it could have made for an excellent plot. I think if Sif’s role was properly utilized, and the Kree character was well-casted, I would’ve enjoyed myself more. For now, however, I’m left scratching my head and waiting for next week’s episode.
Final Grade C+
+ I like the teasing of the secret plot between Mack and Mockingbird.
+ I loved all the nods to the MCU.
+ It was nice seeing Jaimie Alexander come back.
– Sif’s amnesia subplot was pretty lame; she deserved more characterization than that.
– I wasn’t a fan of McClintock’s performance as the Kree rogue.
– The fight scenes were clunky, and the special effects left a lot to be desired.
– The Kree character mentioned how his people wanted to create an army using the Diviners. What if Ronan the Accuser was on a similar mission in Guardians of the Galaxy?
How did you receive tonight’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Let us know what you think in the comments or on Twitter!